Through the Fire ~ Finalist 2008 Golden Heart ® Contest
BHB Reader’s Choice Best Books of 2009
“Captivating and beautiful.” Mistress Bella Reviews
When I wrote my historical romance novel Through the Fire I felt as though I’d been through the flames. My hero and heroine certainly had. This adventure romance with a strong The Last of the Mohicans flavor and a mystical weave was born in the fertile ground of my imagination, fed by years of research and a powerful draw to my colonial roots.
My fascination with stirring tales of the colonial frontier and Eastern Woodland Indians is an early and abiding one. My English/Scot-Irish ancestors were among the first settlers of the Shenandoah Valley and had family members killed and captured by the Indians. Some individuals returned and left intriguing accounts of their captivity, while others disappeared without a trace. On the Houston/Rowland side of the family, I have ties to Governor Sam Houston, President James Madison and Malcolm 1st of Scotland (that last one’s a stretch).
Family annals list early names like Beale, Jordan, Madison, and Hite (a German connection I discovered). A brief account of my grandmother (six times removed) Elizabeth Hite, says her sister Eleanor was taken captive and sister Susan killed, though not by which tribe. Their brother Jacob was killed by the Cherokee. I’m not exactly certain of the dates regarding these captures and deaths, though more is known about Jacob Hite.
Another ancestor, Mary Moore, is the subject of a book entitled The Captives of Abb’s Valley. She survived an amazing ordeal and was eventually restored to her family by her brother.
Another account came down to us regarding a Moffett forebear captured as a child who became a boyhood companion of the revered Shawnee Chief Tecumseh.
When young Moffett grew up, he married into the tribe and had a son, but that’s the subject of a different novel, Red Bird’s Song, release date 9-10-2010 by The Wild Rose Press.
A Pennsylvanian ancestor on the Churchman side of the family was invited by the Shawnee/Delaware to help negotiate a treaty with the English because he was Quaker and they were more sympathetic to the plight of the Indians. Many accounts are left unrecorded, though. Historian Joseph Waddell says we know only a fraction of the drama that occurred during the Indian Wars. I invite you back to a time long forgotten by most.
Hear the primal howl of a wolf, the liquid spill of a mountain stream. Welcome to the colonial frontier where the men fire muskets and wield tomahawks and the women are wildcats when threatened.
The year is 1758, the height of the French and Indian War. Passions run deep in the raging battle to possess a continent, its wealth and furs. Both the French and English count powerful Indian tribes as their allies. The Iroquois League, Shawnee, and others bring age-old rivalries to the conflict—above all the ardent desire to hold onto what is theirs. Who will live, and who will fall?
The French and Indian War, a Shawnee warrior, an English lady, blood vengeance, deadly pursuit, primal, powerful, passionate…THROUGH THE FIRE.
Rebecca Elliot is an English lady, Shoka a half-Shawnee, half-French warrior. Rebecca fled an abusive father in London to elope to America with her young British captain. Shoka was a guide for English traders, befriended by an itinerant priest and betrayed by his wife. Rebecca left Philadelphia a widow, courtesy of the French and Indian War, to seek a beloved uncle in the colonial frontier. She has unwittingly entered a dangerous world of rugged mountains, wild animals, and even wilder men. The rules are different here and she doesn’t know them.
Shoka is the hawk, swift and sure, and silent as the moon. He knows all about survival in this untamed land and how deadly distraction can be. He makes Rebecca his prisoner, but the last thing he wants is to lose his head and already shredded heart to another impossibly beautiful woman…this one with blindingly blue eyes and a blistering temper.
Rebecca wants Shoka to guide her to Fort Warden where her uncle and cousins may be sheltering. Shoka wants to sell this furious Englishwoman to a Frenchman before she draws him under her spell, but if he lets her go he can no longer protect her. If he holds onto her can he safeguard his heart?
Rebecca is torn between a growing attraction to her magnetic captor and loyalty to her people. With dark forces gathering against them, will Rebecca and Shoka fight together or be destroyed?
(Scene from the 1992 film The Last of the Mohicans with Daniel Day Lewis. My favorite movie.)