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Curse or blessing?
Is Flame a deviant marked by the sins of her parents? Or are her physical differences from the others signs of her mission to save her tribe?
Three men will join her on the quest to answer this question. Lone Bear, who would forsake family, tribal laws, and dignity to follow his belief that she is the chosen one, and he's destined to be her mate. William Van Snel, who desires her body and would crush her spirit to possess her. And Michael Farriday, who after being marooned in Lenape Hoking strives to be worthy of her, and the title of Manitou.
Tawny, sleek, and as dangerous as the predator for which he’d been named, the magnificent male emerged from the boulders at the apex of the Great Falls. “Wait,” he snarled, “it seems I’ve waited for you all my life! My time for claiming you as my own is near.”
Lone Bear stalked to the edge of the woods. His trained, hunter’s ear strained for the sound of her coming. “What’s keeping you, Flame?” A twig snapped. He smiled as he dove back into concealment.
* * * *
Cast out? Not while Mother was matriarch of the longhouse. But, cast aside from birth by the others of her Munsi Clan, she must live it. There was no escape.
Flame emerged like a shadow from the tree-lined path. Her carry basket overflowed with the herbs she’d harvested that day. Mother would be pleased. Medicines were a necessary part of every travel pack. Tomorrow the clan’s last trip to the roaring salty water for this harvest season would begin.
Twilight enveloped the clearing before the Great Falls. Its churning waters bellowed as they careened over the rocky ledge, down into the peaceful pool below. “Will I, in time, do the same? I yearn for peace.” The nubile maid questioned the unseen spirits of nature that she sensed about her. “The water is fulfilling the destiny ordained by He Who Created All. Shall I? What is His plan for my future? If I only knew!”
Behind her, with the aid of the great night light in the sky, she strained to see the outline of her beloved mountain. Flame ached to flee forever to its secure, craggy pinnacle. Many times, without the benefit of Mother’s permission or companionship, she’d slipped away to find solace. There, she’d stand alone upon its majestic summit. She’d survey the panorama of the forests and the ribbon of the silver river that wove within their heights. There, too, she’d offer thanks for the splendor that He gifted to The People. In those private moments, she could escape from their treatment. They did not hurt her. Worse, they simply ignored her. She lived and labored as a tolerated outcast.
Flame wanted more. She longed to be accepted. Mother, Father, and little Singha loved her. Her parents would some day travel their paths to the Twelfth Heaven. Without their protection, would she be allowed to remain within the village? Could she survive by herself?
The Munsi Clan of the Lenape Tribe of the Delaware Nation had lived for countless turnings of the seasons in this lush location beside the river that would be named Passaic. The benevolent spirits of fish, game, trees, and crops cohabited with The People in northern Scheyechbi. Mother Earth remained kind to her children. All strove to be ever careful to return their respect and gratitude for her endowments. Did she not provide this river that ran to and from the powerful falls? Its might symbolized the frailty of the beings permitted to exist within Mother Earth’s embrace. As the most frail of the animals, her people were taught from infancy to give their thanks. All were joined in harmony in this matriarchal society. Each had their role in family, clan, and tribe. All belonged and were recognized as belonging. All but Flame!
She removed the tumpline from her forehead. Her basket slid to the ground. This might be her last private moment for days. She yanked off the leather thong that bound her flame colored braids. She dragged her porcupine quill comb through the soft, shining mass that fell below her tiny waist. It was only when alone that she took time to care for her personal appearance. Flame despised her body. The color of her hair, the pale, creamy peach of her skin, and blue of her eyes were the marks of her deformities—obvious evidence of her differences from the others. She was the only person in all of Lenape Hoking who looked this way. All could see and pointed out, by their actions, their awareness of these abnormalities.
Take a ride back into the historical days of the Delaware and Indian nation, as Ms. Wencil vividly describes this era of time and the story. It is a deep, heartfelt story with some very emotional scenes and a personal quest. The characters are well written with plenty of emotions and history to make them seem real. The sex scenes are steamy and romantic. Historical fans will truly enjoy this read.
Wateena 4 cups
Reviewer For Karen Find Out About New Books
Reviewer For Coffee Time Romance
Together, the native maiden Daughter Of the Flame and the Englishman Michael Farriday start a journey that will lead them far away from the Munsi Clan, to a shared destiny so full of surprises and adventures that the reader will eagerly turn the pages in order to discover just what role Flame is to play in life.
THE OUTCASTS is a very intriguing and lovely story about a woman and a man who have always been considered different from the general populous, for different reasons. But they learn that when they come together, those reasons no longer matter as long as they have each other. Flame's journey takes her from young adulthood into true womanhood and it truly is a fascinating journey to watch. She matures and grows with the love of Michael and he in turn discovers the soul mate he has been waiting for. Ms. Wencil's descriptive setting of the Munsi Clan, its traditions, its deities, and its rituals adds a rich layer to this story that truly helps the reader better understand the characters and their motives, while at the same time providing a fascinating backdrop in which to learn about the Delaware culture. All in all, THE OUTCASTS proves to be a gem of a story because it has a great combination of plot, characters, and setting that enhances a semi-biographical ancestral story.
Reviewed by Sarah W. for www.romancejunkies.com
Book Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
No. of Pages: 295
Paper Weight (lb): 12.4
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