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About the Author
Robbins’s hobbies include all aspects of music: singing, dancing, and playing the keyboard. She also enjoys gardening, walking, researching, and an educational, historical, or prehistorical book. During the last twenty years, she has traveled extensively, both in the United States and abroad. In 1986, an Indian Holy Man advised her to go to Chaco Canyon in northwestern New Mexico. When she visited, she had a feeling of déjà vu, which resulted in the inspiration to write her first three novels in that location. She spent the new two summers backpacking into remote places to locate Anasazi ruins, interviewing archaeologists, and doing on-site archaeological digging. She also spent time with the Hopi and Navaho Indians, taking part in some of their ceremonies.
After twenty-nine years of teaching music and only a month before retirement, having been informed by Richard Curtis Associates that she had a publisher, she turned to writing with a passion. Coyote Woman, her first novel, was closely followed by her second, Sun Priestess, both taking place from 1054 to 1064 CE. In December 2000, her third novel, Moon Fire, was released. Judith is now working on her fourth novel, which takes place in Crystal River, Florida, in the year 1000 CE.
Read an Excerpt
Spring 1055 a.d.
She stood alone on top of the butte. From this vantage point she could see great distances in all four directions. There were occasional clusters of wildflowers contributing their medley of color against the rusts and tans of the sandstone cliffs. The sky in this mid-part of the sun cycle was a brilliant blue with only a few puffs of white clouds that hopefully might bring spring rains to bring about the glorious rebirth of the desert. Many ceremonials were performed on top of this butte, since it served as a natural stage. Her name was Coyote Woman, and she had only recently been appointed High Priestess of her people, the Anasazi.
It was just prior to the peak of the sun's path that she and Nish't Ahote had come to the butte to observe and document the dagger of light passing through the spiral on the stone slab. Normally she and Nish't Ahote, who was the Sun Priest, sat at a corner window in his room to watch the rising of the sun. The sun, known as Tawa to her people, was the giver of life and marked the seasons giving Nish't Ahote notice to tell the people when to plant.
Now Tawa was high in the sky, giving off a delicious heat that was so welcome after the harsh, cold winter. A gentle breeze whipped Coyote Woman's robe around her young body and blew her long hair as a wreath around her neck. Nish't Ahote had chosen to return to his quarters after their observations, but she remained to commune with Earth Mother and give thanks for the return of Tawa, Sun Father, who brought rebirth to all creation. Truly she felt marvelously alive, for not only was the world new again, but she was also blessed with the loveof Nish't Ahote.
Quite suddenly she began to feel the small hairs at the back of her neck begin to prickle. A trembling began in her hands and moved gradually through her entire body. She could not stop the tears that gathered in her eyes. Her stomach knotted and she doubled over. Something was very, very wrong. Something evil had happened. This was not a new feeling, for there had been many times before that she had had premonitions. Nish't Ahote had said that she had the "gift." Huddled in the fetal position on her side, she shivered uncontrollably. Her entire body now felt tingly, almost as though the next step would be paralysis. She knew it was just a matter of time for these feelings to pass, but how much time only Awonawilona, the Creator, would know.
The shivering at last subsided, leaving her with a heavy feeling. Her limbs felt like they were rocks, making it an enormous effort to pull herself out of the fetal position. The tears continued unbidden as a prodigious sadness overcame her. At last she was able to pull herself first to a sitting position and then to a standing position.
It was then that she saw what she thought was a human figure in the far, far distance. It appeared as little more than a speck on the western horizon. As the figure came close enough to see a little more, she realized that a runner was moving toward the complex as swiftly as was humanly possible. Curiosity subdued her feelings of sadness. The figure came closer, almost staggering with exhaustion. She followed his progress as he passed under her at the base of the butte and ran on toward the plaza of her home complex. Feeling an urgency to find out what news the runner carried, she tearfully and laboriously climbed down the hand--and toeholds on the side of the butte. By the time she had arrived in the plaza, the runner had long been escorted, probably to Nish't Ahote's place, to give his message and to receive a rubdown and soothing herbs. The sadness stayed with her as she climbed down the ladder to her own quarters.
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