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A Walk Between the Winds by Toni Morrow Wyatt & Margaret Chism Morrow - Book Tour + Giveaway

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A Walk Between the Winds
By Toni Morrow Wyatt & Margaret Chism Morrow
Historical Mystery

Haunted by a Spirit Warrior, Soft Morning Mist, a young woman of the Skuna
River Chickasaw tribe, feels trapped into a marriage she does not
When her friend, Swamp Lily, disappears, Soft Morning Mist suspects foul
play when a lecherous, old man from the Hatchie River tribe accosts
her. The mournful howls of a dog lead her to Swamp Lily’s body. As
rumors of suicide circle, she fights to prove it was murder. 

As she stood under the small, thatched porch canopy that extended from the doorway to the edge of the narrow path, her stomach felt as if it was full of backstroking water bugs.
Two young warriors approached from the east and stopped in front of Swamp Lily’s hut. With a demure, but confident aplomb, Swamp Lily refused them her hominy. All the while, her dark, glistening eyes continuously searched for the approach of Raccoon Tree Climber.
The young men, Wolf Spider and Water Beetle, left with their heads hanging low and returned eastward toward their clans.
Soft Morning Mist stiffened as she heard footsteps approaching her hut from the west. Closing her eyes, she prepared for Big Beaver’s request for her hominy. When she opened them, she was startled to see a man she didn’t know. He stood in front of her hut, staring brazenly at her with piercing, black eyes. She gasped at his bold demeanor and took a step backwards. She hadn’t expected other Chickasaw warriors to come for her. She had made it clear she would only accept Big Beaver.
The man grinned, exposing his brown, rotting teeth. He was old. His skin hung in loose folds as though draped over his protruding bones.
“May I eat your hominy?” he asked as he reached toward her with a thin, claw like hand.
She drew in the bowl protectively, her right hand sliding over the top to cover the precious ta-fula, her left hand pressing the bowl into the soft flesh of her now heaving breast.
Breathless and frightened, her tongue grew too thick to answer his request as she stared at his corpse like face.
He thrust his extended hand closer to her, and she reacted by shaking her head.
“N...No,” she managed to stammer.
He thrust his hand forward again, his grin reminding her of the grimace on Spirit Appeaser’s ceremonial death mask. She used her right hand for sign language to back up her faltering voice.
What in the world is wrong with me? I’ve never had trouble finding my tongue before.
Drawing strength from the bottom of her watery spine, she looked the old man in his black, liquid eyes.
“You cannot eat my hominy.”
The man peered back at her, his mouth sour, as if he had eaten rotten meat. His skin clung to his legs and rib cage like a starving dog.
“I need a second wife,” he stated, in a harsh, grating voice, while jabbing his ear of corn at her. “My first wife is old and lazy. Since I brought Blue Flag, my daughter, here from our village upon the Hatchie River to marry a warrior from your village, I decided to take a new wife myself.”
He grinned broadly, showing his rotting teeth again.
“I know how to take care of a young girl’s needs,” he whispered in a gush of putrid breath. He bent at the knees, thrusting his pelvis toward her. “You should be honored that I, a brave warrior, have seen fit to honor you. I’ll service your every need, if you’ll service mine,” he said, looking down at a bulge in his breechcloth.
She cringed as the old man stepped toward her, tossing his ear of sacred corn under the sitting bench. He placed his hands upon the roof pole, blocking the doorway. Bracing himself, the flaccid skin on his upper biceps hanging in limp folds, he thrust his lower body toward her.
I’d rather die.
As a child, Toni Morrow Wyatt’s family spent nearly every summer
visiting relatives in a small, rural community in Arkansas. Finding
magic in this place, it is the setting for many of her novels. Her
love for southern fiction led to the writing of her upcoming novel, A
Killing Among Friends, and also, Return to Rocky Gap. Her work has
appeared in From the Depths Literary Journal and Belle Reve Literary
Journal. She writes an eclectic blog titled, A Pinch of Me, on
Tumblr. She was previously an independent bookseller, owning and
operating Kindred Books for seven years.

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