“A charming, deftly crafted narrative propelled by strong characters.” —Kirkus Review“A debut novel about a supernaturally gifted young Cherokee woman who goes on a journey, by foot, from Oklahoma to Texas after the destruction of her home.As the story opens, 20-year-old Chewahnih Walkingstick gazes down upon her ransacked village. It’s just been burned to the ground by raiders who brutally slaughtered or kidnapped her fellow clan members; she only escaped the devastation because she was off collecting special plants for her mother. Even her beloved mustang pony, Running Moon, has disappeared. Chewahnih, a “sensitive” who’s able to spiritually connect with animals, tries to make it to Texas before winter sets with her three constant animal companions—Turtle, her friend; Mother Raven, her guide; and Father Wolf, her protector. Although the young woman is frightened and desperate, she’s also feisty and courageous. Along the way, she meets a stranger named Isaac Nicholson. The handsome, cantankerous man is also a Cherokee and recently retired from the Army. He was orphaned young and became a loner by nature; he’s skeptical about Native American tradition and ritual after spending most of his life in the white man’s world. Now, he’s “tired of riding, tired of fighting, and just plain tired.” This engaging, mystical novel is part adventure story, part love story, but most of all, it’s a tribute to the strength of Cherokee character and culture. The author, [. . .] delivers a tale that’s rich in imagery and character development. She handles the two main characters’ fortuitous meeting in a humorous and tender way, moving back and forth between Chewahnih’s and Isaac’s separate quests until they encounter each other on the trail to the Red River. (Isaac serendipitously acquires Running Moon, who hears Chewahnih singing and becomes frantic to reach her.) It also offers impressive details on how to survive in the wild [. . .] An abundance of warmly portrayed secondary characters gives the story even greater breadth.” —Kirkus Review
HE WAS DYING. Tyler could hear his labored breathing and see the way his chest rose and fell, and somehow could tell there wouldn’t be too many more breaths. He knew this was his fault. He was responsible for this man’s condition. Was it too late to make up for what he had done? He tried to remember how it had started. Memories flooded his mind, and suddenly he was seeing it all again.
Crouching down, running, I reached the large plastic garbage can that stuck up through the top of the bushes. Even though my attention was on getting away as fast as possible, I couldn’t help but notice for the first time that the bottom of the garbage can was broken and wide open. And since the bottom of the can was a foot off the ground, I figured I could crawl into it with the newly replaced garbage bag hiding my location. I climbed in quickly when I heard his voice and his heavy footsteps on the ground getting closer.
He stopped nearby, and my heart skipped a beat. I heard him say to himself, “When I catch that kid I’m going to beat the livin’ daylights out of him.” At that moment I knew what I had to do…
Joy Hershberger wants to live up to her name, but joy is something she needs to fight for. Her entire Old Order Amish family is leaving the People. Joy visits the Secret Garden B&B in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, finding rest and guidance from Naomi and Micah Yoder, along with the women in the spinning circle. When she meets Nathan Good, his character outshines her fiancé back home in Sugar Hollow, Ohio. Will time away from home give her perspective? Can she hold firm to her Old Order Amish ways, helping her dear family see that they’re blaming the Amish for a beloved family members death? Karen Anna Vogel is a best-selling author of over twenty books. Most are set in her beloved Smicksburg, but a few in New York, where she used to live among the Amish of Cherry Creek. She’s a grandma to four precious grandchildren, wife to Tim, and mom to four adult children. She’s a homesteader wannabe, a yarn hoarder not in therapy and loves all things rural. She credits some of her success to her alma mater, Seton Hill University, for their excellent literature department and encouragement.