Published: February 2019
past is a dangerous place in this fast-paced time travel novel…
Spears is a skeptical producer for a TV investigative news team. So when her
grandmother claims a Cherokee Indian woman is living on a neighboring farm, she
dismisses it as early Alzheimer’s. Because, obviously, there is no farm nearby.
Not in the present anyway. But when she follows Nana’s lead, Kathryn is
transported back in time to the year 1840 where she finds a young Cherokee
woman left behind when her family marched west on the Trail of Tears.
Water is ensnared in a perilous struggle to keep her ancestral lands against a
violent white man who claims the farm, and then claims her as well. Desperate
to help her new friend, Kathryn becomes entangled in a battle between good and
evil with much higher stakes than she imagines.
of these young women falls in love with a man from her own time, but there are
threats, both seen and unseen, that could cost them their lives.
you Forest Water?” I whispered.
nodded, a hint of surprise in her expression.
that your husband?” I said.
answer was a tired sigh.
you visited by a white-haired woman a few minutes ago?”
warned Old Grandmother to stay away. You must also.”
laid the baby on the blanket, got to her feet and pushed a narrow door open at
the back of the hut where I’d first entered. She slipped outside, returning
with a fig in her hand.
must eat this and travel through the doorway,” she said, placing it in my hand.
have so many questions.”
locked eyes with me as though trying to look into my soul. Having apparently
come to a decision, she squatted beside the blanket, folding it back to reveal
a layer of pine straw. Scraping the pine straw aside exposed the lid of a large
metal box. She lifted the heavy lid and pulled out a leather pouch. From the
pouch, she withdrew a book, opened it and ripped a handful of blank pages from
the back. She stuffed the loose pages back inside the pouch, returned it to the
box, closed the lid and covered it with the pine straw and blanket. Then she
handed me the book.
must go,” she whispered, eyes blazing.
gestured for me to put the fig in my mouth as she tugged the shawl from my
reluctantly placed the fruit between my teeth and passed through the small
overwhelmed me as the buzzing in my ears returned, momentarily blocking out all
other sound. I found myself standing in the clearing, the fig half-chewed in my
mouth. I whirled around to discover the hut no longer existed. My muscles felt
as though I’d run a marathon. Not willing to trust my wobbly legs, I remained
motionless, dazed by what had just happened.
were two possibilities – the figs contained some kind of psychedelic substance,
causing me to have the same hallucination Nana had, possibly by virtue of power
of suggestion. Or I had traveled back in time. Which was so freaky that my skin
tingled. In my business, skepticism was ingrained. I wasn’t easily taken in by
a ruse. What I thought had happened could not possibly be the truth.
looked all around the clearing for the young woman who called herself Forest
Water. Then, to be sure the shack didn’t still exist, I walked back and forth
over the spot where it had been. There was nothing there.
I remembered the book. It was solid in my hands, the brown leather smooth to
the touch. The book was real. The place was real. And as much as the rational
part of my brain rebelled against the idea, I knew I had somehow visited the
impatient to know the story of the mysterious dark-haired beauty, I made my way
to a large rock on the riverbank. I untied the strap holding the book closed
and opened it with care. So many words, perhaps written with a fountain pen or
a quill, the letters sometimes puddled with excess ink, sometimes as thin as a
strand of hair. The ink was black, the paper a cream color and rough to the
touch. But the words were not in English. I had no idea what language or
alphabet I was looking at. Some of the letters were familiar, but many looked
like Arabic or Greek.
flipping the pages, I discovered the entire book was written in this foreign
language. Completely inaccessible to me. I had to talk with Nana.
worked for many years as a radio reporter and news anchor, with a couple of
brief forays into TV news along the way.
Her experience as a journalist shows up in some of her novels. She also dabbled in acting in college and
community theater. She uses those experiences in some of her books as well.
novels are fast-paced stories featuring young women facing serious challenges
set against the backdrop of some thorny issues. She writes time travel, magical
realism, historical fiction and climate fiction – all with a dollop of romance.
up, she was a middle child and lived in Japan and Okinawa where her Army dad
was stationed. She graduated from the
University of North Carolina at Pembroke with a degree in Journalism and