Tentative Ebook publishing date for Raven is set for April 4th. If historical romance is your cup of tea, this is your book!
A breathtaking Historical Romance sprawling the plains of Montana up through the Mountains. Raven, raised as a Blackfoot Indian learns the ways of his tribe. From a young boy alone on the plains to a true warrior of his people, he has but one desire. His ceremonial quest showed him his future, a white woman with golden hair. What his vision did not show him was her strong spirit and her affinity to have trouble follow her. Can he break through her defenses and teach her to love? Will he be able to save her from the clutches of Sean Willis and the Innocents that rule Bannack Montana and take her back with him to Browning?
Keep an eye out for updates here, as soon as it is available, I will post links and sites where it can be purchased.
*Sample Chapter 1 & Chapter 2
In the lush green grass of the meadow, at the bottom of the hill, stood the majestic white beast. Jagger was the largest of the stallions owned by the tribe. Charcoal, black hooves, which stood silently. Taunt muscles twitched under the shinny white coat. His black mane hung down on a thick neck, he was known to be the most fierce war horse. Jagger belonged to the Chieftain’s son.
Raven sat perfectly straight on Jagger’s powerful back, the proud and mightiest warrior of his Blackfoot tribe. Ebony long hair hung past his broad, strong shoulders. Eyes of velvet brown looked out upon the lake. His strong, handsome chiseled face, perfect sensual lips, slightly curled to a gentle smile.
His body, a masterfully crafted piece of art from the gods. Skin kissed by the sun until it was a deep rich golden brown. Every muscle in his hard, rippled expansive chest twitched as he looked at the view. A few strands of hair were pulled from each of his temples. They were woven into the silkiest, smoothest braid that lay between the center of his shoulders. Intertwined in the hair was a thin strip of leather. At the end of the strip rested a cream colored feather.
Ravens back was tickled lightly by the feather. His every sinewy muscle flexed, almost seemed to dance, in the gentle breeze and sunlight. Pale sun bleached leather pants taunt on his powerful legs, holding his hard yet perfect buttocks. Raven caught the scent of the woman in his flared nostrils. She was here…with him. Just a few paces behind him hiding in the underbrush of some trees.
Nicole Sanders had wandered to far from camp yet again. She had never seen an Indian before and to be this close to this savage made her feel numb. In the pit of her stomach, she felt sick with fear. Her head was downright dizzy from looking at such an alluring creature. Never had a man evoked such erotic feelings in her before. This was the second time she had seen him. The first was from a great distance, he was perched on a white steed, on the top of a mountain. Nicole was just a few feet away from him now, one more look at this creature wouldn’t hurt, she thought to herself. Suddenly she felt a sharp pain. A hard crisp throbbing to her head and everything grew dark. All she would remember when she awoke would be, the intoxicating smell of leather and this fascinating man.
She barely heard the words spoken “Mine! She is mine!”
Bear stood over the white woman’s motionless body, eyeing her. He had not meant to hurt her, but from behind, she appeared to be a man. She was clothed in riding breeches, boots, a large, heavy shirt and a man’s cap. Raven had leapt from Jagger’s massive back and was at her side in what seemed to be a flash of an eye.
Raven pulled the leather cap from her head and released a rich golden thick mane. Never had he seen hair more golden than that of corn hair. Her skin was lightly tanned from hours that the sun had kissed her sweet flesh. Soft high cheek bones just made her beautiful face all that more graceful. Placing his index finger to her full, rosy luscious lips he traced her jaw line and down the length of her creamy neck. His hungry eyes resting on her made his loins quiver like a badly aimed arrow.
“I did not hurt her….did I brother?” Bear asked in his native tongue. Slowly he said “She looked like the white man, you know they have guns. Bear was watching your back brother. I did not see it was a woman.”
He felt a bit uneasy by the reaction of his brother. Going over in his mind what had transpired. He had hit her on the head, and her delicate limp body fell to the ground. The sound seemed to echo in the forest.
Then came, “Mine! She is mine!” From Raven.
Just what did he mean his? Bear was a large brave but nowhere near the bulk of his brother. Bear was a full seasoned warrior of four years to Raven’s nine seasons. True Bear was one of the strongest Blackfoot braves at his mere nineteen years.
Raven, just five years older had strength in abundance, but was also supremely wise. He had seen blood baths that were beyond his years and most of the elders.
“Have you seen this white woman before?” Asked Bear.
“I know she has seen me.” Raven said.
His demeanor was stiff and rigid, as it should be with his position in the tribe. He gathered Nicole in his arms and cradled her to his bare hard chest. He stood with so much grace, it was if he had just picked up a feather. He strode over to Jagger and laid her over the beasts back face down. Jumping up he sat up straight and tall, his expression was blank. He rolled over the limp, little body until she was cradled once again in his powerful arms.
“What do you do with her?” Bear asked Raven.
He would not take her back to the tribe. She was a white woman and a beautiful one at that. There would be hatred from some of the squaws, and maybe worse from the young braves, Bear thought to himself.
“Tell the others I go on a quest. Say nothing more, I will be back at the end of the season”. Raven said.
“The end of the season! That is to long my brother. Her people will look for this woman. They will come and look for her.” Bear said.
What will Bear tell Sparrow? She should be told by Raven of this new woman. Sparrow had been given to Raven, as a gift, for saving a young braves life in a battle. She was to be his squaw not this white woman! Bear had been in love with Sparrow from the first time he had laid eyes on her. They would meet in the fields of corn, in the forest and made love in the waters not far from their village. To see her hand put in Raven’s, to be given for his squaw, all but killed him.
His heart was tormented to know she loved him, but had to retreat to his brother. Bear knew that Raven did not feel for her as a mate should. There had been no wedding ceremony yet, but it was to come at the end of the season. The only thing Sparrow found appealing about Raven was that one day he would be Chief and his velvet soft eyes.
“Sparrow waits for you!” Bear growled.
“She waits for someone I am not! She waits for the marriage ceremony, the new babes and for me to be the new Chief! Raven is not ready to marry, have babes, and it is not my time yet to be Chief.” Raven said with anger strong in his voice. “Sparrow is now your concern. She belongs with you, I see it in her eyes and yours. She is a proud young squaw. Take her and marry her with my blessing. Now go!”
Raven turned Jagger and rode off without hesitation. Raven rode on for hours, cresting marvelous hills and through thick woodlands. Finally, the log cabin was in sight. It was nestled at the base of a mountain, surrounded by trees and wild flowers. As the sun began to set, the crisp, brisk winds of autumn gently blew memories to him.
He had watched the settlers leave many seasons ago. He needed this time alone with this white woman, to find what she searches for. To tend to her needs and a few she didn’t know she had. He could remember the first sign of her, his match.
On a journey, through the smoke tent where all of his fate was revealed to him. He was shown his path, and, on the path, he was lead to a squaw. She was so remarkably different from the Blackfoot squaws. She was lighter in skin, and this squaw had a fiery spirit. She appeared standing behind the white man’s billowy cloth clouds, that were blown by the winds of change. Raven had been perched on Jagger’s back, high on the great ridge, overlooking the waters. He looked out and could see the ship that would bring his mate to him.
He had waited for her for what seemed his entire life, and now she had landed. That very first night he had to see her, his match. He crept closer and yet closer to the white man’s camp. Outside of her canvas tent he peered through the brush. A dainty figure appeared to him, the shadow of her exquisite body. The lantern behind her shone bright casting a spell over him. He watched the shadow dance on the canvas, as she removed her clothing. It almost seemed that she wove this bewitching spell knowing he watched her. Slender arms with long dainty fingers held a long night gown over her head. It fell down around her body and seemed to cover her soul. He could see the ruffles at her wrists as she began to brush her long wavy hair, which came to rest at her tiny waist. Wanting to pounce like a wild bobcat, claiming what was destined to be his, he held his breath.
His head cantered “No she will come. The quest showed she will come to me.” He spoke to himself.
He had waited for an entire full moon until she sought him out.
Once at the cabin, he slipped off of his mount and opened the heavy pine door. This place was far from the tribe and even farther from the white man’s camp. She would be more accustom to the bed rather than sleeping on the earth. This cabin would have all the things of the civilized camps she stayed in. The table and chairs sat untouched, timber still lay in the fireplace. Raven used his flint to light a fire and shook off the bedding while the woman lay asleep on a woven cloth in front to the fireplace.
Fingers of the night had long since claimed the sun, and it was unusually chilly and damp. The fire had worked its magic and warmed the cabin. Raven was bringing in his pouches that were filled with dried meats and bread. When he opened the wooden door, he was met by a woman filled with fear and rage. She was swinging a small log burning with hot, bright yellow flames at one end.
Nicole stood there in wide eyed shock. She had been taken by this…this savage. She began spouting out words at random.
“Don’t…. don’t even come close to me!” She demanded. “Oh God, Oh God, Oh God please stop.” She spoke ever so softly.
He moved slowly closer to her starring into her eyes. He knew she was as frightened as a deer waiting for the final blow. On his face, he wore a blank stare.
“Savage Stop!” She yelled at him. “No! I am a great white woman with big yellow fire….you stop now!” She yelled trying to scare him, but her voice was shaking more than her hands.
Ravens’ eyes sparkled in the firelight. A look came over his face, it wasn’t fear. Of course, it wasn’t fear what would he have to fear from her. He stood in front of her his bare rock hard chest heaving. Leather pants that laced at his tight waist. Her eyes shifted to the rather large bulge that rested between his thighs and it seemed to be growing. Quickly her eyes flew up to his where her eyes were captured by his velvet brown ones.
“Great spirits her watery blue eyes they will love me.” He spoke in his native language in such a low tone she thought she had heard him growl.
“You big…handsome savage.” She said softly. It seemed quite obvious to her he had no idea what she had said he gave no indication.
“Oh you are a handsome creature aren’t you?” She whispered to herself yet he had still heard her. “Get a hold of yourself Nicole….Now I said go!” She snapped at him.
He had backed her up in front of the fireplace. She could feel the heat shooting up her back. Although, not quite certain it was the fire or the strange flames she felt inside the few times she had seen him.
She caught her breath and said rather sternly “Don’t move another….beautiful…I mean don’t move another muscle or I will have to hurt you!”
What in the hell was she saying? Of course, he must have thought her to be a crazy woman. He was a savage, and she did not speak in his tongue.
“Do you understand me?” She asked, but there was still no response.
He looked at her knowing she didn’t trust him and how could she. She was unquestionably captivating; he couldn’t even trust himself to be alone with her.
“Of course you don’t understand my words.” She sighed.
Her gaze fell to his sensual lips, and she could see the corners begin to curl slightly. Her eyes lifted to his pillow soft browns, and they began to mock her. She looked shocked, and the reality came creeping into her mind.
“Oh no, you didn’t, no you don’t understand me do you?” She quite simply stated to him.
“Your stomach tells me you are starved, but your lips say you have another craving.” He said out loud, yet in a low, husky voice with one eyebrow slightly arched.
He speaks English and exceedingly well she thought to herself.
She threw the log back into the fire and yelled “Ugh!”
Her feet scrambled under her quickly carrying her over to the bed she hopped up on top of it. She sat on her knees and he slowly began walking over to her. Raven was now standing at the foot of the bed. Her mind raced, thinking quickly it was him from the white beast. Aye, but he has these finely chiseled features and heavenly body. He speaks…did he know her impure thoughts? Of course not, he may understand her words, which was extremely careless, but not her mind. Then on the other hand, she had said some things that were not lady like of her.
“I have food…bread and dried meat. Since you’ve bedded down, I could join you”, came the voice in a low-lusty rumble.
Screaming in her mind “Good God he knows!” Then there was a white hot heat, she felt a white hot heat somewhere in her chest. Or was it in her face burning her cheeks.
He watched her eyes fall shut, and her slender body went limp, and fell right over on the soft bed. She would no longer be lead by her unpredictable mouth, she had fainted dead away.
It was past midnight when Nicole awoke from a warm, sublime slumber. She had been having a dream about an Indian warrior, exquisitely handsome. His frame was covered by hard muscle. She had been captured by this savage and taken away to a cabin nestled in a heavenly place. While in this dream, she had spoke her mind, and not eloquently. To her surprise he had understood every English word she had spoken to him. Coming out of the dreamy state, she sat up right in the large bed and gently shook her head as it to rid herself of the cloudiness. She opened her royal blue eyes to see she was in a cabin just as she had, in her dream.
Now wide eyed in total disbelief that it hadn’t been a dream after all.
“Franklin and Joseph might you have an idea where our little Miss Nicole Sanders has run off to this time?” Asked Sean?
“No sire.” Stated Joseph in a flat tone.
“Last I laid my eyes on the young woman she‘s runnin off in her riding attire again sir.” Franklin said with a smile on his face.
He had once had a daughter as lively as Nicole, but she was taken by the fever along with his wife.
Nicole Marie Sanders, by fate, had been forced to live with her Aunt Pamela. Her parents had died from the same fever as Franklin’s family. Nicole was just a wee bit of a thing when her Aunt came to take her from her home. Aunt Pamela had spent her life in spinsterhood and was forced to take in Nicole being the only living relative left. It would be not long before she would meet the likes of Sean Edward Willis.
Nicole had been raised not to care for men. She had no real use for them that she knew of. Her aunt over the years had grown quite tired of the young girl’s fiery spirit. It seemed that wherever she went trouble soon would follow. Nicole grew to the age of nineteen, she had become a stunning beauty that had seemed to blossom over night. She would surely indeed fetch a fair price in the affairs of men. There had been suitors that had come and had been run off by Nicole’s temper. Although, it was her tongue that always seemed to cut them to the quick. Some were young, strong and handsome men that even her aunt might change her ways for. Others were wise and much older, maybe even twice her age.
Nicole had not found a mate in one of them. She had dreams while she slept, of the one man she would take for her husband. He was proud and strong, yet as gentle as any lover should be with a woman. She knew this man would never come for her and save her from this dismal life. How could he, she had made him up of all things she was passionate about, he was only a dream.
There was one “fine gentleman” Her Aunt Pamela had called him. Sean Edward Willis, he was four scores older than Nicole. A tall man with graying patches of hair at his temples. He looked at her down his long, pointed nose that had been placed in the center of his wart covered face. Sean had helped out her Aunt with their financial troubles on a few occasions. Now that Nicole had come to be a lovely young woman he had come to collect on a debt he felt he was owed.
Her Aunt put all of her personal effects in a suit case and had them taken down to Sean’s awaiting carriage. Nicole, on the other hand, was not willing to go as easily. She kicked and clawed trying to free herself from Sean’s unsuspectingly strong arms. He put her into a rather large trunk and closed the lid. She could hear the lock on the latch being closed. Only muffled cries could be heard from the trunk, and with a tip of his hat, the case was loaded onto the carriage. She lived with him over the next few months, he had beaten her, and forced himself on her several times. The only safe haven she had to retreat to was, her dreams and the man she longed for although he would never come.
Sean began to grow tired of the battles with her and she seemed to be losing her mind. She would send herself into a screaming rage when he was present. Picking up any object close at hand, she would hurl it at him. She had convinced him she was going crazy or so she thought. Of course, he had his doubts she acted somewhat different with others around. Sean was a man of enormous wealth and just wanted her to bear him an Eire.
She had become a savage over the time she was with him. She would babble to herself most of the time, and he could not have this embarrassing woman ruining his honorable name. All he could do with her now was just to leave her be. Sean was so respected in his London society that he decided he needed to be rid of her all together. He put up a gracious dowry, for any suitor who could tame this savage she had become. To his utter disappointment there were no takers.
A new opportunity was presented to him to take some settlers to the new America’s. This was a place he could leave her, where he could prosper. He packed their belongings and his beautiful savage. They by ship set out to the America’s. Most of America was still untouched; surely they were populated by Indian savages. Once they arrived, white canvas tents were set up for the new settlers. Nicole began to take every chance she could steal to wander off on small adventures. She had been known to sneak off in the morning and not return until after the sun would set. Sean began to notice that when he was out of sight, Nicole spoke to the other settlers as a refined well educated lady.
The other settlers grew to adore her a great deal, all except for Sean. His hatred for this young vixen only grew more intense with time. It became apparent she acted so devilish with him because she loathed him a great deal. Sean thought that it would serve her right, after all her actions, if she was taken by a real savage. Then he would be rid of her altogether. He would then put on the best act of all, that of a concerned protector.
From time to time, he would look for her, and there were those times that it angered him that she had gone off again. He often pondered the thought of her dying, all alone somewhere in the wild new America’s. Generally that single thought brought an evil smile to his smug face.
The man that captained the ship, Timothy was of the same opinion as Sean when it came to Nicole.
“Aye sir she needs welts and a few bruises to set her mind straight.” He said to Sean.
“Just find a way to rid us of her, but leaving no implication. Not a single trace of her and no trail to us!” Sean said with hatred drooling from the corners of his mouth.
“Aye….there are settlers in these parts that do trade goods with the Crow Indians. They trade guns, oils and also have been known to desire white woman for slaves”, said Timothy.
“Women? What do they do with these women?” Asked Sean
“It has been said that the Crow treat their women well, but the white women they acquire become their slaves. They skin animals for the men and sometimes made to pleasure their desires”, answered Tim.
A sparkle shone bright in Sean’s eyes, “Find her! She is to be traded so she may live out her life as a slave to these Crow.” Three of Tim’s best men that had some tracking ability were given provisions and horses.
“Don’t return without her, alive or I will shoot you myself!” Said Sean in a low, guttural tone.
“Aye cap’ian.” They all said in unison.
Nicole slipped out of the large bed looking around the cabin, but there was no sign of the savage. Quickly giving herself a once over from head to toe, she was untouched by him. She thought to herself now is my chance to slip away before he should come back. On either side of the quaint little cabin, there was a window that had been placed almost in the center of the wall.
Ever so slowly, with great caution, she began pulling the ragged cloth coverings to the side….she peered out and let her eyes soak up her surroundings. There was no sign of anyone or anything. A loud terrified voice in her head screamed, “Now, run now!”
Nicole grabbed the cold metal handle on the large heavy pine door and with every ounce of determination she could find within, she swung the wooden door open. Forcing herself to take a step forward she peeked her golden head over to one side of the door, then to the other side. She noticed that she was entirely alone. Letting her eyes comb the field in front of the cabin for her captor all she could find was this small open glen, filled with flowers.
They swayed in the gentle autumn breeze. Brilliant reds, blues and yellows spilled over in the tall green grass. On the outskirts of the clearing were towering pine trees and others stood with leaves set on fire with fall colors. This place he had taken her to was so breathtaking she almost had forgotten her reason for her coming out of the cabin. Nicole was positively in awe of her view and made a few small steps forward onto the wooden porch. With her last step, her foot fumbled to find its footing. She looked down, and the look of sheer horror devoured her sweet face.
“Oh….they’re all dead and bloody.” She finally stammered.
In front of her lay a pile of maybe ten or so dead, bloody rabbits. Her head flew up and scanned the field again, but she could not see him. Now with her wits fully intact she sprang from the porch and ran off into the woods to the side.
Running as fast as her leather boot covered feet could carry her, she sprang up over downed trees. Long thin branches reached out to slice and bite her soft skin. The golden waist length mane flew in the rush of air she created behind her. She pushed on although her breath seemed to be coming harder now. Nicole had run a substantial distance from the cabin, finally, her pace began to slow to a jog. Her lungs were burning, and her chest was heaving trying to draw in deep breaths. She stopped and stood still, looking for the sun that was slowly making it’s decent behind her. She leaned with her back against a tall maple tree.
A breaking branch made an eerie sound coming from in front of her, panic raced through her body. In her mind, she knew that the branch was not broken by her, for she had not made any movements. Pressing her head and back hard against the tree, as if to hide from the cause of the noise, then she heard another sound.
“Zing” branches in front of her moved and leaves seemed to rip in the air.
The sleeve of her shirt at her right shoulder was pinned to the tree by an arrow.
Nicole’s eyes stared straight ahead in a horrified bewilderment. Tearing her shirt free she turned and started to run in the direction from which she had come.
“Zing” she heard again, this time the arrow hit a tree a pace in front of her.
Had she not ducked her head it would have struck her from behind, at the very base of her skull. She began to run as a wild animal being hunted for a trophy.
“Whoosh” she heard an instant before she felt the searing pain in her chest between her breasts, a mere hands distance from her heart.
Nicole’s pace slowed until she fell behind some heavy bushes. Before her world darkened she had looked down, and a ray from the setting sun shimmered off of the arrowhead protruding from her chest.
Every muscle in Raven’s body tensed. A lone muscle on his face twitched at his jaw, and his lips had closed from his gasp, now firmly pressed together. The look of sheer death had consumed his once handsome face. Laying ten yards before him was her delicate limp, helpless little body. His eyes dropped to the arrow that had sliced through her flesh, focusing on the arrow, he knew that the craftsmanship of it belonged to the Blackfoot tribe. He strode several feet until he stood positioned in front of the bushes sheltering the woman. Raven heard the cruel arrow leave the string of the bow. It ripped through the leaves and headed straight for his bare chest. He quickly plucked the arrow from the air only inches from its target.
“Come Out!” He growled.
The command seeped through his lips that would have made fear coarse though anyone. Two young braves from his own Blackfoot tribe stepped out of the trees, with their chests puffed at the victory of the woman. It wasn’t a moment that their faces settled on that of Raven’s. The air escaped their lungs deflating the puffed chests. They stared in shock when they realized that it was their mentor before them, peering into their souls with eyes as black as the night.
“You live….for now!” Came the low rumble from Raven’s chest.