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about the book
Senior Warrior Fierce Mink has loved Tall Bull as long as memory. He is beauty and power, but in the secret pockets of her spirit, he is vastly more. He is the brave to whom she swore her heart, the friend to whom she owes her life, and the chief to whom she will never be bound. Soon, he will be required to take a wife, but lamentably, Mink is severe, intimidating, hard-bitten by war—qualities a man appreciates in combat, not so under the bearskins. But perhaps it’s best he’s blind to her, for he clings viciously to the Beloved Path, and unbeknownst to him, she has joined her fire with Jesus.
Since his youth, Chief Tall Bull has treasured Mink. Even now, in their turbulent refugee world, she is comfort; she is home. Better yet, she shares his passion to preserve the Beloved Path and his fight to start anew in a land where they are no longer hunted. Then, a startling omen: before the blood moon, Tall Bull must make restitution for his transgressions, or the spirits will take payment. From her. A tragedy he would die to prevent.
Another portent looms—that of a horde of bluecoat soldiers pecking at their borders, threatening to drive the Red Stick Defiance into uninhabitable swamps. The Defiance will not go quietly, and as Tall Bull prepares for a brutal strike, he realizes the bluecoats aren’t his only enemy, and Mink’s life isn’t all he stands to lose.
I’ve said it before (here, here, here, and here) and I’ll say it again, y’all NEED the Creek Country Saga in your lives!!! Gardner’s rich and vibrant storytelling speaks to the mind, heart, and spirit. The historical time period, the divergence of cultures, and each individual’s story are intriguing, immersive, and compelling. I’ll keep this brief and let the story speak for itself below!
Mink is a deliciously multifaceted character… bold, fearless, fierce Red Stick warrior, fledgling Christ-follower, insecure, love-struck woman. Sometimes it feels as though she is with war even within herself yet each aspect of her personality is authentically Mink. If I wasn’t a little bit terrified of her, I think we could be great friends… as it is, she has my utmost admiration and respect.
Tall Bull is an unintentional master of mixed messages. His actions are often in opposition to his heart’s desire and he seems to inadvertently and repeatedly sabotage himself with his pride and temper. I am so thrilled to finally peek below the surface of this previously antagonistic character and find out what makes him tick.
If you haven’t picked up this saga yet, I implore you to do so! Start soaking up the devotion, passion, and faith within these stories today! Be reminded of the diversity of cultural traditions within the Church and encouraged by our unity in Christ. Our God is Lord of All and there is no people group beyond His reach.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. The opinions expressed are my own.
A shadow crossed over her. “Mink?”
She barely caught her jolt of surprise.
That voice…utterly male yet silky smooth, low in volume yet lacking no authority. She could pick it out from her deepest slumber or while submerged in the river for morning prayers or at a dead run in the chaos of battle. And she had. Many times.
Eyelids opening, she looked up, knowing whom she’d see.
Tall Bull. Her Heart.
The other one, the one pumping blood, rocked violently inside her. A disorderly flageolet, it trilled a call to dance, refusing to accept that her affections were one-sided, that he had never known, would never know, her love was an underground river, sweeping and powerful.
Tongue pasted to her teeth, she stared up at him. The man did his name justice—from her crouched position, seeming a never-ending tower of untouchable brawn—and was as mind-numbingly attractive as ever. A stark contrast to her incurable uncomeliness.
Since she’d left him two summers ago, his reputation had grown large throughout the Point. He’d become provisionary micco to the Wakullas, bosom ally to the Spanish, and right hand to Crazy Medicine, the renowned knower or prophet.
He was greatness and power, but in the hollows of her spirit, he was vastly more. He was the brave to whom she’d sworn her heart and the stunning warrior who’d occupied her thousand dreams and her thousand memories more.
“You bleed.” Tall Bull’s worry sliced into her stupor. Forehead creasing, he held out an arm. “Come. Let me hold you.”
Without delay, she gained her feet, the passage of time too feeble to slay her instinct to answer him.
He opened his wolf-pelt cape and gathered her in.
Ear coming to rest against the hard curve of his chest, she let her lids float closed, then released a protracted breath. With it, she drained tension into his solid frame and, for uncounted moments, allowed herself to obscure their world and simply roll with the slow, steady waves of his respiration.
The amount of sleeps since she’d seen him, twenty-six trying moons. Since he’d held her? Far longer. Perhaps since their youth in Kossati. Among warriors, it wasn’t done.
The reminder prompted her to push off him, but when she began, his muscles flared in refusal.
“Do you smell it?” His voice rumbled against her.
Nose pressed to her hair, he inhaled deeply. “Home.”
about the author
April W. Gardner writes history with a Christian perspective and a little imagination. She is a copy editor, military wife, and homeschooling mother of two who lives in Texas.
She writes Christian historical romance with a focus on our Southeastern Native Tribes. In no particular order, April dreams of owning a horse, learning a third language, and visiting all the national parks.
Mink chooses to embrace both her Muscogee heritage and her newfound faith.
What are some non-faith-based traditions that YOU celebrate?
for example: Independence Day or birthday celebrations