Jan-nell the bowdancer, now pregnant with her second child, and her daughter, Mira-nell, trek up a mountain where bards’ tales have said a village of warrior women exists. Jan-nell makes this trip in winter—and in her condition—in order to find a place for Mira-nell where the child’s precocious abilities will be accepted. The women on the mountain, though, are not fighters or even man-haters. They have chosen to live apart from the world in a village of only women, led by a sisterhood of hunters. Chandro, a beautiful trackfinder, rescues Jan-nell and her daughter, offering them a home and the promise of love.
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In the firelight after their brief meal, they wedged their sacks in a corner where the boulder met the mountain face and stood their water jugs beside them. The night had turned chilly, and their meager fire offered little warmth. Jan-nell had intended to spread their cloaks on the ground and stretch out to sleep, but she knew the mountain rock would rob them both of warmth. She braced her back against the boulder and then stretched an arm to Mira-nell. "Come rest your head on my lap—or what there is of it," she coaxed, and her child nestled against her.
Jan-nell spread Mira-nell's cloak further over her wee body and then covered her with part of her own. As she stroked the little girl's head, the babe within kicked.
Mira-nell giggled and raised her head. "The babe will be a bowdancer too, Mother."
"No doubt. Or maybe an expert apple tree climber as you, my sweet."
When Mira-nell returned her head to her mother's lap, she said, "If we had a cook pot, Mother, we could have made some tea."
"We were not foresightful, were we?"
Jan-nell remembered the stewpot Khrin had acquired for them soon after their paths had crossed. It had been a pot he had earned through great torment to his body and soul. She remembered the days they had lingered by a stream, cooking off the land and the water, roasting fish, making tea and crayfish soup, blending found ingredients with herbs, sharing their skills and songs and dances, coming to know each other's stories and finding each other's hearts.
Fat tears formed in her eyes. What was she doing here? What had she left behind?
Soundtrack by Chris O’Brien of Enchanted Ape (http://www.enchantedape.com/) and Matthew Probst of Gypsy Lumberjacks (http://www.gypsylumberjacks.com/)
Read the reviews!
"What I love about this series is that the characters are not simply beautiful in physically intriguing ways. They also have a great deal of substance. When a pair is drawn together, it is often to solve or relieve a deep personal struggle, if only for a few fleeting moments, and the effects ripple through the community in such beautiful ways."
--The Pagan and The Pen Book Reviews
"Warrior Women is a well-written, beautiful story of friendship and love."
--The Book Connection (preview)
Janie Franz comes from a long line of liars and storytellers with roots deep in east Tennessee. Honed by the frigid Northern Plains and a degree in anthropology, her writing skill and curiosity have generated thousands of feature and cover articles over a vast range of topics for more than a hundred regional, national, and international publications for over a decade.
She has co-written two books with Texas wedding DJ, Bill Cox (The Ultimate Wedding Ceremony Book and The Ultimate Wedding Reception Book), and has self-published a writing manual, Freelance Writing: It’s a Business, Stupid!
She runs her own online music publication, Refrain Magazine (http://www.refrainmagazine.com/), is a book and music reviewer, and was a radio announcer, a booking agent/publicist for a groove/funk band, and a yoga/relaxation instructor
The first three books of The Bowdancer Saga comprise her first published works of fiction.
Visit Janie online at http://thebowdancersaga.wordpress.com/.