Thursday, November 19, 2009
Thursday Excerpt - River Passage by p.m.terrell
Today I have the honor of featuring my dear friend and mentor, p.m.terrell, and her latest book, River Passage!
Excerpt from River Passage by p.m.terrell:
The Watauga Settlement, 1775
They appeared at dawn, rising like apparitions through the mist. The morning dew clung to their bronzed bodies as their sinewy arms sliced paddles through the water in a rhythmic motion borne of hours of toil. They moved silently on the glistening current, their black eyes alert, ever searching for others along the shore and in the gathering canoes. When at last they rounded the final bend, they were greeted with the ghostly vision of braves pulling ashore, their lean, taut bodies gliding out of the vessels, their flat, bare feet touching the cold ground without leaving as much as a footprint on the pristine shore. The canoes were lined up wordlessly, their wooden bodies pressed side by side as dozens and then hundreds gathered.
The men greeted one another with a quiet nod, their eyes meeting for the briefest of moments before they began trotting through the thickening woods. Their figures seemed to morph from the very tree trunks that concealed them into a forest that came alive with their bodies, the branches swaying ever so slightly as they completed a journey across lands where their forefathers’ spirits still roamed.
Their feet found the paths as if they had minds of their own, as if their toes could see the brambles and pine straw stretched out before them, freeing their dark, brooding eyes to stare straight ahead at the scores of men before them. They knew without so much as a glance behind them that others followed in their steps, and that all would gather at the place the white men called Sycamore Shoals…
p.m.terrell is the internationally acclaimed author of 11 books, including four computer books, one non-fiction for authors, and four contemporary suspense/thrillers. But her most popular books are her historical suspense/adventures inspired by the true story of Mary Neely: Songbirds are Free and River Passage. A full-time author since 2002, terrell followed in Mary’s footsteps as she joined the river expedition westward from Virginia to Fort Nashborough (present-day Nashville, TN) and again after her capture by Shawnee warriors, when she was taken hundreds of miles from home before she eventually escaped. Photographs and video from her trips are found at Mary Neely and her author web site is pmterrell
The trip should have taken four weeks. More than 200 people set out for Fort Nashborough in November 1779, expecting to arrive by Christmas. Instead, the survivors limped into Fort Nashborough almost five months later with a harrowing tale. Their river passage had been watched by Dragging Canoe, the leader of the Chickamauga Indians, who attacked them in wave after wave as they struggled westward. Four teenagers were captured, more than 26 were killed, and countless others wounded. In addition, they’d faced frostbite, near starvation, and a small pox outbreak. Mary Neely was on board one of the flatboats with nine brothers and sisters and their mother, and it would be a journey she could never forget.
River Passage has been determined to be so historically accurate that the Nashville Government Metropolitan Archives has admitted the original manuscript into their Archives for future researchers and historians.
At Amazon and at all fine book stores. Free shipping at pmterrell and Mary Neely