People of the Lightning: A Novel of North America's Forgotten Past

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People of the Lightning takes us into ancient Florida, to a village of fisher folk who must face their deepest fear: Pondwander, the White Lightning Boy, the first of his kind to be born in tens of tens of summers. His white hair, pink eyes, and pale skin make him fearsome enough, but prophecy foretells that a Lightning Boy is destined to make Sister Moon bury her face in the clouds and weep falling stars—and unleash the winds of destruction.

Fearing their ultimate demise, the folk manage to trade him off in marriage to Musselwhite, a woman warrior who knows nothing of the prophecy. But when Pondwander is kidnapped, she must face an ages-old enemy who has always been determined to destroy her. But what is truly in store now that this Lightning Boy is hearing voices in the wind, telling him of his role in the coming horror?
New York Times and USA Today's bestselling authors W. Michael and Kathleen O'Neal Gear bring North America's Forgotten Past to vivid life in this epic, romantic historical novel.

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About the author

Kathleen O'Neal Gear is a former state historian and archaeologist for Wyoming, Kansas, and Nebraska for the U.S. Department of the Interior. She has twice received the federal government's Special Achievement Award for ""outstanding management"" of our nation's cultural heritage.

W. Michael Gear holds a master's degree in archaeology and has worked as a professional archaeologist since 1978. He is principal investigator for Wind River Archaeological Consultants.

Together they have written the North America's Forgotten Past series (People of the Morning Star, People of the Songtrail, People of the Mist, People of the Wolf, among others); and the Anasazi Mysteries series. The Gears live in Thermopolis, WY.

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Additional Information

Tor Books
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Published on
Nov 15, 1996
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Fiction / Historical
Fiction / Native American & Aboriginal
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Sara Donati's debut novel, Into the Wilderness, was hailed as "epic in scope, emotionally enrapturing, grand adventure" (BookPage)  and "a captivating saga...definitely the romance of the year when it comes to transcending genre boundaries" (Booklist). Author Diana Gabaldon called it "one of those rare stories that let you breathe the air of another time, and leave your footprints on the snow of a wild, strange place." Now, in her second novel, this award-winning master storyteller once again blends fact and fiction, and re-creates her beloved characters from Into the Wilderness in an eloquent, enthralling tale of romance and adventure.

Elizabeth and Nathaniel Bonner have settled into their life together at the edge of the New-York wilderness in the winter of 1794 when Elizabeth gives birth to healthy twins. But soon the events in Canada draw Nathaniel far away from his new family. Word has reached them that Nathaniel's father has been arrested by crown officials in British Canada. Nathaniel reluctantly leaves Hidden Wolf Mountain to set out for the distant city, determined to see his father freed. Instead Nathaniel is imprisoned and finds himself in imminent danger of being hanged as an American spy.

In a desperate bid to save her husband, Elizabeth bundles her infants and sets out on the long trek to Montreal. Accompanied by her stepdaughter, Hannah, their wise friend Curiosity Freeman, and Runs-from-Bears, a Mohawk warrior and lifelong friend of Nathaniel's, Elizabeth journeys through the snowy wilderness and across treacherous waterways. But she soon discovers that freeing Nathaniel will take every ounce of her courage and inventiveness. It is a struggle that threatens her with the loss of what she loves most: her children.

Torn apart, the Bonners must embark on yet another perilous voyage...this time all the way across the ocean to the heart of Scotland, where a wealthy earl claims kinship with Nathaniel's father, Hawkeye. In his heart, the Mahican tribe of Hawkeye's youth is the truest kin he will ever know, just as Nathaniel will always remain loyal to the Mohawk nation. But with this journey a whole new world opens up to Nathaniel and Elizabeth--and a destiny they could never have imagined awaits them....

A sweeping epic of romance and adventure, Dawn on a Distant Shore establishes Sara Donati as one of today's most gifted storytellers. With well-drawn characters and an evocative love story that is intricately woven into the rich history of our nation's past, this extraordinary novel will enthrall readers like few others--and sweep them away to a whole other time and place.

A sweeping epic of romance and adventure, Dawn on a Distant Shore establishes Sara Donati as one of today's most gifted storytellers. With well-drawn characters and an evocative love story that is intricately woven into the history of our nation's past, this extraordinary novel will enthrall readers like few others--and sweep them away to a whole other time and place. -->

From the Hardcover edition.
“An irresistibly intriguing story line that brings the past vividly to life. . . . Nobody does Native Americana better than the Gears.” —Booklist

In the eagerly awaited third installment of the Contact: Battle for America saga, New York Times bestselling authors W. Michael and Kathleen O’Neal Gear richly portray a clash of cultures and a native peoples’ struggle to protect their world. Set against the tragic war sparked by Hernando de Soto’s brutal invasion of the American South, A Searing Wind heightens the historical action in this series hailed as “magnificent” (Andrew M. Greeley) and “exciting, skillfully crafted, and fast-paced” (Publishers Weekly).

Black Shell is an exile, banished by his people for his cowardice in battle. To his fearsome patron spirit, Horned Serpent, however, he is imbued with the courage and keenness to stop the Kristiano onslaught. He and his beautiful wife Pearl Hand have fought them from the Florida Peninsula through the very heart of native America. A trader by profession, Black Shell now dedicates his soul to destroying the invaders, with their impenetrable armor, their swift, enormous cabayos, and their flashing, razor-sharp swords.

Black Shell and Pearl Hand have seen the shackled, naked, starving slaves, heard the broken promises—and learned de Soto’s plans. While the battle of Mabila cost many Kristianos life and limb, the marauder does not retreat. Now he heads for Chicaza and the people from which Black Shell was once exiled.

Wounded and pursued by memories and visions, Black Shell is obsessed with setting the perfect trap. To do so, he must use the Chicaza and their stockpiles of food and supplies. And he must gamble everything on his people’s pride, traditions, and failings. As winter sets in, new dangers abound for the pair—that of a family’s shame, a woman’s anger, and a betrayal that may force Black Shell to forfeit his last chance to save their world from utter destruction. But, worst of all, he and Pearl Hand must walk boldly into de Soto’s camp and engage the cunning monster in a desperate game of wits that will decide the fate of a continent.

Powerful and pulsing with authenticity, A Searing Wind is an unforgettable tale of humanity and cruelty, passion and ignorance—and of historical events burned into America’s history and soul.
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