Releasing on 3/7/11
Book 3 in the seriesRecovering from their wounds, Black Shell and Pearl Hand race the invader Hernando de Soto westward. The fires of Mabila have destroyed most of de Soto’s supplies, and cost him dearly in horses and irreplaceable men. But just ahead lie the greatest warriors in Black Shell’s world, and the people who exiled him in disgrace—the Chicaza. Desperate to earn redemption, Black Shell is thrust face-to-face with the cunning de Soto and locked in a deadly game of wits that will determine the fate of their world. But who’s the bigger threat—de Soto or Black Shell’s poisonous and unforgiving kin? If Black Shell, Pearl Hand, and their loyal dogs can win the battle of Chicaza, the Spanish invader will be broken forever. As Horned Serpent and the terrible Piasa gambled so long ago, in the end, everything hinges on Black Shell—but at what staggering cost?
From New York Times bestselling novelists W. Michael and Kathleen O’Neal Gear comes the first book in a landmark new series that paints a vivid portrait of the devastating clash of cultures during the blood-drenched years that followed Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto’s landing in “La Florida” in 1539—as seen entirely through the eyes of two courageous Native Americans.
Black Shell, an exiled Chickasaw trader, is fascinated by the pale, bearded newcomers who call themselves “Kristianos,” and not even the counsel of Pearl Hand, the beautiful, extraordinary woman who has consented to be his mate, can dissuade him. Only after a firsthand lesson in Kristiano brutality does Black Shell fully comprehend the dangers these invaders pose to his people’s way of life. And while his first instinct is to run far from the Kristianos, Black Shell has been called to a greater destiny—by the Spirit Being known as Horned Serpent. With Pearl Hand by his side, Black Shell must find a way to unite the disparate tribes and settlements of his native land and overcome the merciless armies of de Soto. . . .
An itinerant trader and outcast from his tribe, Black Shell was swept into the Spirit World and returned a transformed man. Now, carrying his white-feathered trader’s staff, he devotes his life to a sacred mission that only the tall, beautiful Pearl Hand—his lover, confidant and wife—truly understands. Black Shell has seen what the incomprehensibly violent, shining-armored invaders are capable of doing to his world and knows that if his people are to survive, he and his “Orphans,” a small band of fierce warriors, must kill as many Kristianos as they can.W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O’Neal Gear are the authors of Fire the Sky and Coming of the Storm, the second and first book in the Contact series, as well as more than twenty international bestsellers that have been translated into twenty-three languages. Their novel People of the Raven won the Golden Spur Award in 2005. In addition to writing both fiction and nonfiction together and separately, the Gears operate an anthropological research company called Wind River Archeological Consultants and raise buffalo on their ranch in northern Wyoming. They welcome readers to their website at www.gear-gear.com.
After being fought to a standstill by the courageous Apalachee Nation, de Soto has changed his tactics. He will employ promises of peace to accomplish what cannot be achieved by violence alone. Lured by a young man’s tale of gold and aided by an arrogant princess’s treachery, he makes his way through the beautiful southeastern landscape. One by one, the ancient Nations fall victim to his lies as rulers and commoners alike are tricked into enslavement. In spite of the price de Soto has placed on his head, Black Shell shadows the Kristiano advance and finds that his own legend precedes him. Some will heed Black Shell’s strategies of sacrifice and deception. Others will ignore him—and suffer unspeakable horrors as a result.
In this moving, vivid portrait of a lost American civilization and a powerful love between a man and a woman, the Gears illuminate a little-understood time in our history, as this bloody conflict between two peoples hurtles toward an apocalyptic battle that may change the course of the war forever. . . .
The giveaway consists of book 1 and 2 being in paperback form, and book 3 will be a hardcover. Open to US only. Please leave your email with a comment if you are interested in entering the giveaway. Giveaway ends 3/5/12 at 12PM EST.