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A Handsome frontiersman, Mysterious Scots-Irish Woman, Shapeshifting Warrior, Dark Secret, Pulsing Romance…The Bearwalker’s Daughter
Karin McNeal hasn’t grasped who she really is or her fierce birthright. A tragic secret from the past haunts the young Scots-Irish woman longing to learn more of her mother’s death and the mysterious father no one will name. The elusive voices she hears in the wind hint at the dramatic changes soon to unfold in the mist-shrouded Alleghenies in Autumn, 1784.
Jack McCray, the wounded stranger who staggers through the door on the eve of her twentieth birthday and anniversary of her mother’s death, holds the key to unlock the past. Will Karin let this handsome frontiersman lead her to the truth and into his arms, or seek the shelter of her fiercely possessive kinsmen? Is it only her imagination or does someone, or something, wait beyond the brooding ridges—for her?
Romance novel The Bearwalker's Daughter is a blend of carefully researched historical fiction interwoven with an intriguing paranormal thread and set among the clannish Scots in the mist-shrouded Alleghenies. The story is similar to others of mine with a western colonial frontier/Native American theme, and features a powerful warrior or two. My passion for the past and some of the accounts I uncovered while exploring my early American Scots-Irish ancestors and the Shawnee Indians is at the heart of the inspiration behind this book. I was also given assistance in my research by the Shawnee themselves.
The Bearwalker's Daughter is Book One in my Native American Warrior Series. The series loosely ties together based more on time and place and strong Native American characters than as a traditional series that follows the storyline. However, Kira, Daughter of the Moon is the actual sequel to Through the Fire, and there will be other sequels. In addition to Native Americans, hardy Scots-Irish frontiersmen and women, colonial Englishmen and ladies, and even a few Frenchmen also play an important role in this series. So far, it spans the gamut from the dramatic era of the French and Indian War, through Pontiac's War, The American Revolution and shortly thereafter. But that time period may broaden as more stories are added to this line.
Autumn, 1784, the Allegheny Mountains of Western Virginia
Music? Jack McCray wondered if he was so bone-tired he’d fallen asleep in the saddle. The last time a fiddler had regaled him was back during the war when that drunken musician cheered their weary camp in return for draughts of rum.
Shaking his head to be sure he was awake, he listened intently. The spritely strains enlivened the gloom in the murky woods and lifted his spirits. He patted the slick neck of his long-suffering mount. “Almost there, Peki.”
Neither he nor his horse had eaten for hours, but he hoped their sorry state was about to improve. The perceptive animal seemed to sense his lightened mood and hastened its pace between glistening trunks silvered in the full moon rising above the mostly bare trees.
There! Up ahead, light shone from a dwelling like a beacon. A little closer and Jack glimpsed the stone-flanked cabin, more of a house given its size, standing in the clearing. The dark shape of fenced in fields and outbuildings surrounded the prosperous homestead. This must be the place; it met the description given him and was in approximately the right location. After his seemingly endless trek through these harsh ridges, he’d finally reached his destination. And the home resounded with gaiety. Seems he’d come in time for a celebration.
Hers, he wondered, with no idea what she’d be like. Forbidding, if she took after her black-hearted father.
But what good fortune to arrive now. Festivity meant abundant food, drink flowing like water, and perhaps being reunited with his family. A mix of anticipation and uneasiness fluttered in Jack’s chest at the thought of meeting kinfolk he hadn’t seen since boyhood. And the quest that brought him here. How in God’s name was he to snatch—
Pain seared his shoulder as a blast erupted in the night. What the devil? Clutching his upper arm, he scanned woods faintly illuminated in the ghostly light. An inky figure darted away. By God, if he could get in a shot!