Nothing disturbs the silence, except for the soft clip-clop of a mule as it makes its way along the floor of Chaco Canyon. The woman who rides it sits straight and tall in the saddle. From time to time she glances up at the Fajada Butte as if expecting to see someone, or something at its summit, watching...waiting.
Somewhere far off a wolf hows, its mournful cry, disturbing the silence. At once the rider halts, listening. Is that really a wolf - or the spirit of Nukpana, the evil one? Tonight is known throughout the Western world as 'Halloween' - All Hallows eve. A night of great significance to all who practice the dark forces. The rider has important work to do - to alert the world to the words of a 1000 year old prophesy, as told in her new book 'Flames On The Sky'. She urges the mule forward and at last reaches the large pueblo, known as 'Una Vida'. She dismounts and looks around nervously. The witch who owned it has not been near her house for many centuries - but will she appear if she senses intruders?
A shadow materializes out of the darkness of the house before her. She sees the dark form of Oliver, dressed as a shaman, a skull headed staff in one hand. He inclines his head slightly, the moon, now fully risen, revealing a wicked gleam in his eyes, which immediately glaze over with slave-like devotion as the moon scuds from behind a cloud to reveal her face. "So, Ms LaRoque, you are here, as promised. Come, my mistress and her companion await you."
Taking her hand, he leads her inside the dimly lighted pueblo, where Lyn and Sharon are waiting to greet her. As Oliver, with undisguised admiration, hands her a guava marguerita, Lyn bids Linda join them on the woven mat, where they both sit cross legged.
"Welcome Linda, I see the spirits let you pass in safety. As you see, Oliver has prepared sustenance for you after your journey." She waves a hand toward the plates of cornbread, fresh made tortillas, salsa dips, enchiladas dripping with melted cheeses, frigoles, Tameles, Poc Chuc, Pollo Pibel, stuffed picante Palbano Chilies, Guacamole dip, ceviche, and Chilies Renellos.
Nearby are flans, Sopapilla Cheesecake, Tres Leches, Churros and Mexican Wedding cookies
Linda is a retired teacher who loves Texas, its flora and fauna, and its people. Her stories paint pictures of life, love, and learning set against the raw landscape of ranches and rural communities in Texas and the Southwest. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, her local Heart of Texas RWA where she serves as president and Davis Mountain Trail Writers. She makes her home in Central Texas with her husband their dog Molly. They have two grown children and one grandson. You can read more about Linda’s work on her website at www.lindalaroque.com/
Purchase your copy of Flames On The Sky HERE:
The Anasazi whispered of this evil and of the woman who could defeat it.
Fire, sky, and stone must unite to fulfill an ancient prophecy.
Madison Evans inherits a turquoise locket, travels to New Mexico, and discovers the stone dates back to the Chacoan Anasazi. When she's attacked, parks ranger Lonan Stone, of Chacoan ancestry, fears Madison's turquoise is a missing twin of the revered Fallen Skystone, an egg size piece of turquoise on display in Albuquerque. The mystical stone is missing two slivers – one’s in Madison’s necklace, the others whereabouts unknown, but if united by evil they can destroy.
Madison and Lonan are part of a 1000 year old prophecy to save Chaco Canyon. Thrust back in time, they meet a witch, solve a murder, fall in love, and imprison a 1000 year old evil spirit. Their mission complete, can these two people from different cultures blend their lives as the prophecy predicted?
Madison felt as if she’d traveled to the Twilight Zone. Lilly’s claims were preposterous, but, she couldn’t deny what she’d seen on the cliff face or the dreams.
“Yes, you need to tell me about the dreams. They started at the time you received the necklace, right?”
Madison nodded. “How did you know?”
“I assumed the ancient Elders would haunt you, but when Lonan called yesterday, I knew so for a fact.” Her smile was sympathetic. “Tell me about them.”
Lilly’s eyes lit with excitement as Madison talked. When she finished, the older woman leaned back and closed her eyes.
Lonan’s brow was furrowed, his mouth pinched. “What did you mean when you said, ‘You are the one’?
She pierced him with an intent look. “Did not Madison say you were the very image of the warrior in her dream? The prophecy requires that someone from the past, which is you, son, be chosen to be Madison’s protector.”
Lilly turned to Madison. "Oh, no. I don’t think I want to hear this." She held up her hands and shook her head.
“Yes, Madison, with hair of fire, whether you like it or not, the gods chose you, someone from the future, to find the third stone and reunite the twins with the mother stone. Together, you two will find a way to consign the evil one to the pit below Mother Earth, where he belongs.”
And now for the secret question, answer this and one lucky commentator will receive a copy of Linda's 'Flames On The Sky'. "What do you think is Oliver's worst Halloween nightmare?"