Selena had a different idea. She grabbed Katie by her hand, and they headed out the back door. "Come on, Katie. Let's see what is going on!"
"Selena, are you crazy? I know you do crazy things, but we don't know who is out there."
Against her better judgment, Katie headed out the back door to follow Selena, and they crouched low going around the front corner of the store. Tied to the post was Spirit, who was pulling hard to get free. He looked white-eyed and nervous with all the commotion going on.
I don't think it's a good idea to be out here," Katie said.
"Well go back in. I'm going to get Spirit before a stray bullet hits him."
Yanking on Selena's arm, Katie looked right in the eyes, "You are going to get yourself shot. Your pa will tan your hide if you go out there."
It didn't stop Selena. She shook Katie's hand off and crouched down, creeping toward her horse.
Katie looked at her, making the sign of the cross, and took a step out. But then she heard a gunshot and retreated back to safety.
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Read an Excerpt
Ruled By Destiny
By Linda M. Newton
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2011 Linda M. Newton
All right reserved.
Chapter OneLone Wolf guided his horse down the mountainside, weaving in and out of the trees. He stopped to lean forward to whisper to his horse, Thunder, "What is it?" Thunder had been with him in many battles and knew when something wasn't right. Slowly, Lone Wolf reached down for his bow, notching an arrow. He was ready to defend himself and his horse. He caught a glimpse of a horse and rider and, hearing a familiar bird call and looking more closely, saw that it was his best friend of many years, Laughing Otter.
Still grinning, Lone Wolf lowered his bow. "Are you wishing to go to the Great Spirit before your time?"
Laughing Otter chuckled. "It's not like you could hit me from there." Grinning from ear to ear he rode up to Lone Wolf. "If only you were that good of a shot I might have something to worry about, but we both know you're not."
Otter had a point, but Lone Wolf had hit him once before. He may have been aiming for the apple in Otter's hand, but he had hit Otter all the same. Growing up together they were more like brothers than best friends.
"So how was your vision quest? You have been gone for days now. I thought you might have forgotten your way back home," Laughing Otter said.
Lone Wolf grunted his reply as they turned their horses and started down the familiar trail leading the way home. Laughing Otter was known as one who would not let issues drop, but this time he kept a silent tongue.
Lone Wolf's father, Chief Two Timbers, wanted the neighboring tribes to join forces as one. It had all started late last month when Chief Two Timbers was approached by Chief White Cloud wanting to arrange a marriage between his daughter Willow and Lone Wolf. It wasn't that Willow was a complete stranger, and she was nice on the eyes and would make a good wife. Lone Wolf would also be chief over both tribes. But there just wasn't that spark that he knew he should have for her.
They continued to ride in silence, each deep in his own thoughts. Lone Wolf did not quite know how to explain to his friend the white woman he had come across the first day he was on his quest. He had been riding his horse following the river when he heard soft humming along with a splash of water. He got off his horse and tied it up to graze. He started on foot, gently approaching the river, and crouched down, ducking between the smaller trees. He dropped down behind the great ferns next to the river to look, with knife in hand in case of danger. There she was bathing in the water looking like a water spirit, her blonde hair floating beside her as she floated on her back with her arms moving by her side. Her breasts were saluting with raised nipples that puckered as the gentle wind caressed them. She just continued to float on the water effortlessly. His mouth suddenly went dry, and his heart started to beat faster. Then she lifted her head up out of the water, her knees going under her until her feet touched the bottom of the river. Lone Wolf did not even breathe; he just continued to stare. He watched as she stood up and walked over to a large boulder to grab her soap. She lathered her body, turned from the boulder, and then plunged headfirst into the water to rinse off, with her bottom coming to the surface to peek up at him. Lone Wolf's stomach knotted. His manhood stirred, taking on a life of its own. Remembering the knife he was still holding, he put it away. His water spirit now finished bathing and started walking toward the bank of the river. Her beautiful naked body glowed while her hair dripped with water, and she suddenly stopped and turned her head in his direction until her green eyes were looking right at him. Lone Wolf did not even dare to blink.
"Selena! Selena!" a young voice called out. "Where are you?" The white girl turned away, her attention distracted, toward the voice calling her name. She grabbed a piece of cloth to wipe the excess water off her body. She knew that her younger brother Reid was calling. Her mother must have sent him to tell her that it was time to come home. Selena scrambled into her clothes and pulled her hair into a ponytail while running down the trail. Lone Wolf remained in his hiding place. He did not even dare to breathe, as he did not want to been seen. However, Selena slowed down her pace and turned around, looking. Something was different. The hairs on the back of her neck stood up, and she had the feeling that she was being watched.
Taking Lone Wolf out of his memories, Laughing Otter said, "You don't have to tell me, but you look like you are thinking way too hard."
Lone Wolf turned to his friend, noticing for the first time that they were entering the outskirts of their village. "Tell you what?" he asked.
Laughing Otter grunted, thinking to himself about what had his friend so occupied. I guess he will speak when he is ready.
Both men dismounted, leading their horses over to the young braves who were the pony watchers and leaving their horses in their care. Strong and tall, they walked through the village until they noticed that they were being surrounded by little children. Lone Wolf could feel a gentle tug on his leg. "Did you bring anything back?" Looking down, he could see a sea of little faces looking up at him. He removed the leather bag that he had been carrying and placed it gently on the ground, bent down, and opened it. All the children were gathered around him trying to get a peek into the opening. "What is it? What's in the pouch?" The little voices asked. Suddenly a small nose poked out; next came two little black eyes and a set of paws that finally come over the edge of the pouch.
"Oh! Can I hold it? Is it a puppy?" Harlow asked, her child's eyes shining brightly.
Lone Wolf replied, "It's not a puppy. It is a young wolf pup, and he is free to come and go as the pup wants. He has been separated from his pack, so he will join our family." Lone Wolf shot them a look, warning them to be nice to the pup.
Lone Wolf took the little pup gently out and placed him on the ground. The pup looked around and sniffed the ground while licking a couple of wiggly toes. Soon laughter erupted into screams of delight. However, before the many little hands could grab for him or scoop him up he was off and running as fast as his little legs could carry him. Following behind in hot pursuit was a group of giggling children.
Watching the pup run off, the men continued walking until they reached the center of the village. Lone Wolf noticed his mother Lilly sitting next to a fire by his parents' tipi. He saw her in her doeskin dress, her long black hair braided and her eyes dark brown with fine lines at the corners that only showed when she smiled. He noticed that she was putting beads on a new doeskin dress she was making. Lone Wolf thought to himself that it must be the dress she planned to wear to the marriage ceremony.
His mother looked up from her beadwork. She brushed several strands of hair out of her eyes. A gentle smile played across her face. "I see you found our wayward cub," she said to Otter.
"Good luck getting him to talk," Otter said. "It seems that his vision has robbed him of his tongue."
By the look on her son's face she could tell he was not ready to share yet. "Sit down; it has been a long journey." She motioned for both men to be seated. "I have rabbit stew and flatbread ready to come off the fire." Lilly entered the tipi, retrieved a couple of wooden bowls, and ladled in the steaming stew. She handed each a bowl with flatbread, and they ate like there was no tomorrow, and the silence was loud when unanswered questions hung in the air.
She picked mindlessly at the strand she had been about to bead. "Your father is out scouting," she said, breaking the silence.
"Has there been trouble while I was gone?"
"No," Laughing Otter and Lilly answered in unison.
Laughing Otter looked at Lone Wolf. Lilly kept glancing toward him too.
Lone Wolf realized that he wasn't going to get any peace until he told them What had been shown in his vision. He looked at his mother, who had just beaded the same bead twice, and then at his friend, who was wiping the stew from his chin. He knew that they both wondered what had been shown to him by the spirits.
Lone Wolf looked at them both. "Do you want to hear of my vision?" He knew that he had their attention now; they both nodded their heads, not saying a word. "I went to my place of safety to pray and fast for three days. On the evening of the third day, I was sitting on the ground as the sun was setting. I sat with legs crossed and my eyes closed in a meditative state when I suddenly felt the presence of warmth next to me." Looking at them both he saw that they were listening to his every word. "With my eyes still closed I could see a vision of a large dark wolf running with his pack. The wolf was not the leader yet but looked to be next in line."
Lilly thought to herself, Well, that would be Lone Wolf and his father Two Timbers. She nodded her head so her son would continue; she wanted to hear the rest.
"In my vision there came another pack of wolves, and they mingled together. Surrounding a willow tree both groups were on edge, snipping and snapping, all the while circling around this tree. Suddenly a colorful bird flew through the air to land on a branch of the willow tree. It looked down at the dark wolf." He could see Laughing Otter's eyebrows move together with a question, but he remained silent.
"I have never seen this type of bird before. It had many colors of blue and green and long feathers with the shape of eyes at the end of the tail feathers. The dark wolf jumped at the tree, but the colorful bird flew down with no fear. The willow tree branches drooped as in defeat. The dark wolf walked off along with the colorful bird balancing on his back.
"Just as the vision started to fade, I heard the sorrowful cry of a wolf. It came from the warmth next to me." Lone Wolf looked at them both; his mother, he could tell, was rethinking the story in her mind, placing all the pieces together to figure out the meaning.
Laughing Otter picked up another piece of flatbread, one a little on the hefty side, and bit off a piece and chewed, deep in thought.
Lone Wolf fixed them each with a gaze. "Well, you wanted to know. Now what do you think?
Lilly spoke her words wisely. "You are in line to take your father's place when the time comes." She looked right at her son. "I see Willow, who is the daughter of Chief White Cloud from our neighboring village. I see his daughter Willow as the tree. What I do not understand is this colorful bird. I have never seen nor heard of the likes of such bird, so I am not sure what that was all about; only time will tell." Lilly continued to move her lips as she repeated her words slowly and softly, more to herself than out loud.
Laughing Otter suddenly burped and then grinned with mischief, ready to offer words of wisdom. "Well, if you ask me"—he looked at them both—"I would say that you had been dropped on your head as a baby."
Lone Wolf threw a playful punch, but Otter rolled away, laughing. For such a big guy, Otter sure could move.
"Looks like I will be moving on now," Laughing Otter said as he stood up to go to his own home.
Lone Wolf looked to his mother. "They should have named him Laughing Fool."
Lilly replied, "Did you expect anything less from him?"
Sensing that her son was still unsettled, she asked, "Lone Wolf, what is the problem? Are you not thinking of marrying Willow?"
"I've known her since I was six." Lone Wolf tapped his chest. "It just doesn't feel right in here."
"It is usually standard practice among leaders." She placed her hand on his. "Your father and I joined together the same way. We have shared many happy seasons together."
Lone Wolf shook his head, not quite sure how to reply, but he didn't have to. A bundle of gray fur ran up and crawled into his lap. The wolf laid its head on his bent knee.
"This pup came to me after the vision faded."
"I'm sure he is hungry. Give him what is left of the rabbit carcass."
Lone Wolf got up and retrieved the carcass. He gave it to the wolf, which started to chew on it. "I guess he is hungry. He looks worn out and tired from playing with the children today."
"That he does. Your father should be coming soon. Did you want to stay to speak with him?" Lilly asked.
Lone Wolf knew that his father, whom he loved, would ask more intense questions than his mother had. Now was the time to make a quick retreat. Standing up, he kissed his mother on her forehead, "I'm going to go on my way. Tell father that I will speak with him tomorrow."
Lone Wolf stepped over the beaded dress and headed toward his tipi. It lay on the outskirts of the village. His station as the chief's son would allow him to be closer to the middle of the village despite his young age, but he liked having a bit of distance from his family. He also preferred the company of the men his age over the elders whose tipis lay toward the center. Besides, his father always told him that in order to lead men, you must first show them that you are one of them.
The village was starting to settle down. He could see the community fire and hear the drums beating and soft chanting, but he didn't feel like joining in tonight. He had too much on his mind. He entered his dark and cool tipi. His bedding was to one side with furs to sleep on. Everything was as he had left it. The wolf pup followed him, dragging what was left of the rabbit carcass between his legs.
"Come on, Wolf, put that down. You have had enough." Wolf looked at him and lay down stretched out on his belly, his head cocked to one side with his ears facing his new master. He continued to chew on the leftover rabbit. "Well, I'm going to bed," he told his new furry friend. "Try to keep the chewing down, would you?"
Lying down with his arms under his head, Lone Wolf couldn't help but stare at the stars shining brightly from the top of the tipi, thinking to himself that he had left out one important part of his vision today. He had come across another creature with green eyes the same color as the feathers of the colorful bird that had showed up in his vision. He needed to see her again. Her green eyes made his stomach knot up and his palms sweat. That hadn't even happened when he went into his first battle. Willow was a sweet girl and had a beautiful body, and the two tribes joined as one would be very powerful. She just didn't have the connection that he felt with this white girl named Selena.
He felt the wolf pup curl up by the bottom of his feet. That was the last thought he had as he drifted off to sleep.
Chapter TwoSelena lay in bed remembering when she was at the river bathing the other day. She had felt that someone had been watching her but couldn't see or tell if there was anyone there. Her father would be furious if he knew. He didn't like her going to the river by herself. He was a fair man but still protective over his children. He just wanted what was best for them all. Changes had been happening in the area with the many new settlers moving in. The natives had been restless of late, with more and more of their land being settled on. Rumor had it that only a day's ride from their homestead a farmhouse had been set on fire. No one was hurt, but it made everyone uneasy. Suddenly her heart quickened its pace just thinking about tomorrow when she was to ride into town. She couldn't wait. Her best friend Katie, who was also her cousin, was going to spend the week with her. After chores she was going to take her to the river, where there was a new rope to swing into the water with. Even if they had to sneak there they would be going.
"Selena, would you stop twisting and turning? You keep shaking the bed," Amy, who was only a pillow away, grumbled to her.
"Sorry. I just can't seem to get comfortable or fall asleep."
Excerpted from Ruled By Destiny by Linda M. Newton Copyright © 2011 by Linda M. Newton. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a really fun, fast paced book that you will enjoy and then look forward to more stories and adventures.
Get this book! I'm not sure if this Author has written other books but if this is the first book written by her it is great. It has many twists and turns not boring for sure.
I usually don't judge a book by it's cover but this cover caught my eye. After reading the overview I decided to order it. What I didn't expect was to stay up till 2:00 in the morning finishing it. Now I can't wait for the 2nd book to come out I will be watching for the 2nd book.
I'm always looking for new books to read when this book caught my eye. It's an easy read that keeps you turning pages as quckly as you can to see what will happen next. Can't wait for the second book to come out it has a couple of chapters in the back of the book. You will love this book!!