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Brothers by Blood
US$ 4.99 (+ tax)
Alone in the world of the white man, half-Sioux and half-white, thirteen-year-old Blue Fox with Two Hearts must learn to face the reality of discrimination and hatred. Left by his mother upon her death in the care of Ben and Sarah Walters, Blue Fox must accept he is alone among people he doesn’t know or trust. The years spent with Ben and Sarah are tumultuous, full of harsh words and bitter disappointments. But when Blue meets George Hawkins, a bond of friendship beyond race is formed. After years of being nearly inseparable, George goes away to West Point to become the soldier of his dreams and Blue’s world falls apart. When White Oaks, the ranch Blue has come to call home, is attacked several times by a ruthless, racist man, Blue is forced to decide his place in life. Realizing his surrogate parents, whom he has grown to love, could be hurt or killed because of the attacks aimed at him, he sets out to find his heritage among the Sioux. Locating the tribe who’d been with his mother, uncle and Sarah, he quickly learns acceptance among the Sioux will not come easily. The young warrior Wild Wolf holds an unknown, bitter hatred of Blue, making his life difficult. But Blue’s road is set and he travels far among The People, counting coup, learning their ways, and finally, participating in the Sun Dance to pass into manhood. Faced with the choice of saving the life of his enemy, Blue rides to the aid of Wild Wolf, killing a Crow brave only seconds before the warrior would drive his tomahawk into Wild Wolf’s back. Following a revealing explanation for his hatred, Wild Wolf and Blue become “brother-friends” a bond stronger than that of brothers of blood. During a raid on the Crow by the warriors of his village, Blue spots a white woman trying to escape into the woods. He takes her as captive, vowing someday she’ll come to him willingly. But she hides a dark secret that keeps her from giving herself to Blue. And when the wall surrounding her heart finally crumbles, the world around them spirals out of control when the U.S. Cavalry raids their village. Everything is destroyed, leaving them to travel north to join Crazy Horse’s band of Oglala with no food, extra clothing or blankets against temperatures dropping to below zero at night. Blue and Amy survive the journey, but when the army is discovered in the Valley of the Rosebud, their future with the Sioux becomes uncertain. Led by Crazy Horse, the Sioux, including Blue, meet and defeat the Bluecoats. Hoping for peace, the Indians move on and settle in the Valley of the Little Bighorn. But peace is not to be. Only a week following the defeat of the soldiers at the Rosebud the “Long Hair” Custer comes to the valley of the Little Bighorn where he and his men are outnumbered and killed. Blue flees the battle, his white blood warring with his red blood over the carnage, and discovers his boyhood friend, George. Desperate to save his life, he hides George and returns to the Indian camp to retrieve Amy. The time of the Indian is coming to a close. It is time to return to White Oaks. But the road home is blocked by Wild Wolf. Unable to accept Blue’s departure with a white woman and a white man Blue claims to be his brother, the ensuing confrontation ends in disaster. This is a story of coming of age, of learning to deal with the hatred and inability of people to accept another human being for what they are. It is, finally, a story of understanding, acceptance and love.
Awe-Struck Publishing; April 2008
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The following morning by the light of the dying fire, Blue again watched his captive sleep. She looked like a contented child, her long, dark lashes closed over her emerald eyes. Each time he looked at her he wanted to scoop her into his arms and kiss the breath out of her. He wanted to taste her lips and feel her body pressed close to his. Although it was his right by Lakota law to take her as he wanted, he wouldn't force himself on her. Couldn't. Another way he was so different from those he lived with, he berated himself. He gazed at her and imagined her giving herself to him willingly. His mind drifted to a picture of her mouth curled in laughter, of her eyes bright with joy, her heart filled with love. Children, running happily about, finished the picture. He sighed. Would he ever be completely fulfilled with a wife and children? Would he ever know true happiness? His vision drifted back to the delicate creature nestled in the furs across from him. He froze. Her eyes were open and she was staring back at him. "Daydreaming?" "Thinking." "About what?" "Nothing of importance." He pushed himself up from the pallet. "Hungry? You've slept well into the morning. "Yes, some." Her perusal of him never wavered. He turned his back, unnerved by her continued examination. It reminded him of another girl and how she'd led him down a fool's path. Would this slip of a girl do the same thing? Angrily, he dished out gruel and handed her the bowl. She sat up and dipped her fingers into the mixture, but continued to gaze at him as they slid in and out of her mouth. Blue stared back, captured by her face. By her whole being. "Are you ready to tell me your name?" She finished the gruel and put the bowl aside. She licked the last of the food from her fingers and nodded. "Since it appears I may be here a while, I suppose it will do no harm." Blue didn't miss the condescending tone in her voice. "My name is Amy Ross. And yours?" "Blue Fox with Two Hearts." "Hmm, Blue Fox with Two Hearts. Two hearts," she repeated. "A half-breed." Her words sounded dirty and cold. "Yes, a half-breed," he snarled back. "But why are you here? You've obviously lived with civilized people, you know our language perfectly." "I'm here because of people like you, who judge me because of what I am, not because of what's inside me. You said it the other day. I don't belong here. I've never belonged anywhere." His words tasted bitter in his mouth and he felt he'd said too much. He looked into her face and saw it had softened. "Feeling sorry for the little breed?" he spat. "No, I don't," Amy answered. "You feel sorry enough for yourself for the both of us."