Wednesday, October 23, 2013


It's Wednesday -- time for the HUMP DAY HOOK, a weekly blog meme where authors post a tempting portion of their writing.
Follow this link for a complete listing of this week's participants: Hump Day Authors. And you can find links to these posts on twitter using the hashtag #HDH.
With Halloween just days away, I'm offering another bit from my legend-inspired romance ~ The Witchy Wolf and the Wendigo (book1 Ashkewheteasu)  It was exactly this time of year when I first learned about the Beast of Bray Road. The story captured my imagination, so I wrote it into a romance. 

my hook, then details follow:

Death was not something an immortal considered, but he had no reason to live. Distracted by thoughts of suicide, Ash stepped into the road.

The dark two-mile stretch of road was notorious for deer activity. Needing to stay alert, Olivia yawned and clicked on the high beams  to expand her range of vision. She rolled down the window and took the cold blast of evening air full in the face before turning on the radio. Finding the inane talk radio chatter unappealing, her gaze momentarily strayed from the road to the dial. She looked up in time to see a large husky walk right in front of her car. The horrible thump that followed confirmed her worst fear. 

Pulling off to the shoulder, she ran to the bleeding, unconscious dog. Another car pulled up behind her. The driver hurried over. “Oh the poor thing! I saw it happen. He walked right in front of you.”
Between them they managed to wrap the dog in Olivia’s jacket and get him into her car. Speeding back to the clinic, Olivia grabbed blindly for her cell phone. Feeling the touchpad like Braille, she speed-dialed her boss, John Redleaf. “John, it’s me. I know you and Cora have an evening planned, but I really need some help. Can you give me just an hour of your time?”
“Of course Liv, what’s wrong?”
“I ran over a dog.”
“How bad?”
“I’m not sure. First glance says compound fractured leg for sure, bad road rash, possible internal injuries, there’s pink foam coming out of the mouth and nose.”
“Sounds like a punctured lung. Anything else?”
“I can’t tell. It’s too dark to see.”
“I’m leaving now.”
“I’ll meet you there. Thanks, John. Tell Cora I wouldn’t ask if I thought I could handle this myself. This is a nasty compound fracture. If the dog’s going to keep his leg, he’s going to need surgery.”

Three hours later, washing up at the sink, knew they’d done all they could for the dog. Olivia’s quick action saved the leg and hopefully the animal’s life as well.
Intent on getting a better look at the amulet they’d found tied around the dog’s neck, John ran the carved bird stone under the water. No larger than a small plum, its smooth surface had been worked by hand until the form of a bird was achieved. The fact the animal wore it suggested they’d been treating someone’s pet, but if he hadn’t cut the bloody cord himself, he’d swear they’d just performed surgery on a wolf or a wolf–dog cross. “I’m not so sure that’s a dog Livie … with that snout, it’s more likely a wolf mix.”
“I believe you’re right. I’m thinking malamute–wolf or husky–wolf cross, myself. Look at those dark markings on the head.”
John nodded. The animal was darker than the average wolf, but definitely wolfish. “Malamute’s a good guess.” He held the small figurine out to her. “But whatever he is, this isn’t an everyday dog tag. He’s obviously somebody’s pet, though I can’t imagine the purpose of a pet wearing a bird stone.”
Taking it, Olivia blotted it dry with a paper towel. Simplistic in its rendering, the stylized bird was similar to Native American artifacts she’d seen in museums. Gift shop souvenir, she thought.
John examined the unconscious dog lying on the table. This was a full-grown adult, obviously well cared for, and he had no tartar on his teeth. No sign of the usual wear to the enamel that came with age either. In fact, his gums, coat, and eyes were all clear of disease and healthy — perfect, actually. John found that curious. A niggling thought entered his mind. Picking the bloodied cord from the trash, he unwound a bit and exposed fresh pale fibers suggesting the cordage had been recently crafted. A memory took him. This was dried stinging nettle, the same material his grandmother used on the reservation. The dog’s owner could be Potawatomi or perhaps Anishinabe, like himself. He turned back to the animal with renewed interest. “I think we’re looking at a rez dog.”
“This far south?” The nearest reservation was Lac du Flambeau, nearly six hours away by car.
“It might explain the bird stone versus dog tag. Very few tagged dogs on the rez.”

Behind the scenes: At this point in the story, Ashkewheteasu has been watching over his wife's burial mound for millennia. Today he discovers the bulldozers have scraped it all away. The shape-shifted shaman decides to take his life.

Here's the story
The Witchy Wolf and the Wendigo (book1 Ashkewheteasu)  

Based upon Native American oral tradition and a modern urban legend
Read More at USA Today


"I really loved this book. The characters are well rounded and full of personality. I love the way this author plays with the shapeshifter mythos. The scenes are well written and gives a sense of historical background. "
~ A Reader


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  1. I'm glad they saved him. This is so mysterious, I want more.

  2. Thanks for stopping by Linda. It takes them a while to figure out who and what he is.