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Roddy Williams must hide from the gangsters who have put a contract on his life. His grandfather, a retired Chicago homicide detective sends him to live with a friend and onetime partner who owns a trading post near the Navajo Reservation in Arizona.
Roddy becomes involved in the lives, history, and legends of three different cultures. Can he survive the intercultural conflicts plus the ancient curse that surround his new environment and still keep secret his hiding place?
Roddy sat high on the pile of stones stacked on the floor like cannon fodder. From behind the front wall, it would be easy to drop the fist sized and larger boulders over the edge on any adversary trying to climb the steps. There would absolutely be no other way up.
The sun had dropped hours earlier into the mesa on the distant horizon, and for Roddy, the darkness would be protection for a while. Later, the moon would rise and he could see more clearly again, but until the moon shone full on the face of the high embankment, only his ears could give him a true sign.
Many feet below the base of the cliff, near the beginning of the foot and handholds, Roddy saw movement. Not a person... too big, he thought gauging the scarcely discernible shadow. As it moved from the cliff into the trees, the faint black silhouette rose to a standing position, expelling a blood curdling roar that sent guttural sounds throughout the canyon. Kiki came to Roddy from the blackness of the dwellings.
“Can you see that, Kiki?” responded Roddy. “There’s something down there, something huge. What is it?”
Kiki stood silent while the cry of the high desert wind whistled through the cracks and crevices, the cottonwood and juniper, the doors and windows of the ancient cliff dwelling that provided protection for Maria and Joepy.
“What do you think it is, Kiki? Sounds really scary!” Roddy mechanically picked up a cabbage sized boulder as the ancients had done to protect their home.
“She’s here. She’s been following me for weeks. She’ll kill the horses.”
“She?” Roddy questioned. “What do you mean, she?”
“The witch--the shape shifter--called up by the Evil One...”
Before Kiki completed his sentence, another great roar echoed across the mesas and through the canyons. The two youths could hear the terrorized whinnying of the horse and mule that were hidden in the distant pinions.
“It’s old man Rockwall’s doings; I’m sure of it. I have to face her once and for all, Roddy!” Kiki disappeared into the darkness, returning with Jojo Morgan’s rifle. “I’m going down.”
Roddy grabbed Kiki’s arm. “You’re not going down there. That’s a crazy-acting giant bear.” He paused. “Or something!”
“For many years she’s caused lots of trouble to people I care about, and I’m gonna kill her once and for all.”
“That can’t be the same bear from the Yassies’ and the trading post. We’re more than a day’s ride away. And you’re surely not thinking that’s the same bear that killed Jojo Morgan’s wife forty years ago, are you?”
“It’s her. There’s no other way, my friend. It’s my duty to protect my family. This time she’s after Maria or the baby or both. Jojo lost his son; the Yassies lost theirs; it’ll not happen again. I’m going.”
Before the young man began his descent into the blackness of the canyon floor, Roddy pulled the ceremonial bear claw from his pocket.
“Kiki, take this.” Roddy handed the ancient talisman to his friend. When Kiki touched it, he knew what it was.
“Thanks,” he said, “maybe it will help.”
Kiki had barely begun his descent when he stopped. “Roddy?” he called.
“If I don’t come back, take care of Maria and little Joepy. Get them as far away from the Reservation as you can. Promise me.”
Roddy shook his head, knowing Kiki couldn’t see him standing there in the darkness. Finally he spoke, “I will, Buddy, but you’ll be back; I’m sure of it.”
Jim has been an educator and coach in the Arizona schools for over forty years. He is an avid sportsman who loves to explore on foot and on horseback the deserts and the mountains of the Southwest.
The Shadow Walkers is Jim’s newest young adult novel from Wings ePress, Inc. Night Whisper… A Basketball Story has been honored with the prestigious Golden Wings Award. Children Of The Bones will be forthcoming in March.
"This adventure is more than a NIGHT WHISPER. It is a standing ovation for young people who overcome odds. The conversation sparkles; the mystical thread is superb!" -- Phil Mandel, English Chair, Phoenix schools
Night Whisper: "This book has a mystical voice with its lyrical style that weaves a strong mood." -- The Jokker's Lair Studios, literary component
Night Whisper: "Southwest flavor unleashes adventure. What a great sports story about teens... but it is much, much more." -- Jamie Cundiff, agent
The Ghost Dancer, Jim Green’s best yet, and I’ve read them all, takes you inside the mind and heart of a young boy and into the mind and heart of the Arizona high country. It’s an unforgettable tale of courage and just plain pluck. You’ll find open graves, a Chindii, a bone awl, ancient skulls, bad animals, bad people, bad spirits. It’s spooky, thrilling, and told by a compelling narrator, young Skeeter Irons, a boy I couldn’t help but love. Jim’s is a voice that makes Arizonans proud. -- Toby Heathcotte, Author and President, Arizona Authors Association
The Ghost Dancer: A five record selection: Another great narrative by an outstanding story teller. This book, written for young adults, will be enjoyed by all readers who love adventure, suspense, and unforgettable encounters. The words of fifteen-year-old Skeeter Irons, the main character, are at times pure poetry. -- The Jokerr’s Lair Studios
Skeeter and Old John in Jim Green’s newest novel, The Ghost Dancer, might remind one at times of two other famous adventurers. The Grand Canyon to Skeeter is much like the Mississippi River to Huck Finn, and Old John and Ms. Watson’s Jim both become mentors and father figures along the way. The setting is intriguing, the plot intricate, and the characters unforgettable. -- J. L. Cundiff, Literary Agent
Book Publisher: Wings ePress
No. of Pages: 192
Paper Weight (lb): 8.4
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