I would like to thank you for allowing me here today. It is truly an honor. I love the Roses of Prose and all its wonderful authors. I would like to take a moment to introduce myself.
Melinda has several books published and has been married to her wonderful husband, Tom for nearly 25 years when unexpectedly she lost her precious husband in Oct 2011. She has two remarkable children, Shaelee and Erik. She calls the state of Arizona her home. She discovered wealth is not measured in how much money she has but in how much love she shares. She worked for The Apache Messenger on the San Carlos Apache Reservation as a reporter and sales rep; currently she is a 911 dispatcher with the Gila County Sheriff’s Office in Payson, AZ. She also loves to write her stories that she hopes entices every reader.
As a young child, she loved reading and writing. Many nights she would wrap up in a blanket, daydream, while she turned the exciting pages of a book. The books would take her too many places. She loved the idea of going from the normal world in which she lived, then instantly be taken to a place far away. To her surprise, she started writing and creating her own world; a place where she could go and lose herself with just a pen and paper. She grew up with the fascination of the American Indian. Her love for them grew by leaps and bounds as she read about them from her history book. She wanted to show, in her writings, of the proud people the American Indians truly are. They show honor and respect for all living things. If she can capture just a small portion of that in her own writings then that would be an added bonus for her. Native American mysteries are her passion. She hopes to reveal in her books the uniqueness of the American Indian. The love of her family and the love for the American Indian have become focal points in her stories. She sincerely prays readers enjoy the characters she brings to life on each turning page!!!!
Again thanks for letting me visit you today. The Roses of Prose is the best bunch of authors around. I hope to visit again real soon. If you would like to learn more about me please visit my website, http://melindaelmorewriter.wix.com/melinda-elmore and my blog, http://authormelindaelmore.blogspot.com/
Walk in harmony,
DeShay gazed toward skan, sky, and cetan, hawk circled overhead. She closed her eyes when a feather brushed her hand. The feather of a hawk or eagle is sacred to the Lakota.
Slowly opening her eyes glancing down at the feather. It had faded quite a bit and parts were missing, as if they had been pulled off in a struggle. She shrugged at the thought of why the feather had been damaged but then disregarded her feelings and placed the feather in her pocket.
When she turned to set up her site, something else grabbed her attention. The distinctive odor of death. Uneasiness crept inside her but she couldn't ignore the object sparkling in with the sun's rays. Studying a mound of dirt that held the object, understanding suddenly registered – a dead body.
Cautiously approaching the unknown mound, her heart beat faster, her stomach clenched, and her mouth went dry. She covered her nose and mouth with her sleeve, trying to keep the order from gagging her. A cry of anguish escaped DeShay's lips when she realized the remains were human.
The young woman lay supine, clasping something in her hand. As DeShay came closer, she identified the object as a medicine wheel, hand painted, with an arrow in the center pointing southwest. The cause of death was not evident, at least not to DeShay.
Her mind raced, then she turned and ran toward her Jeep, heart pounding, as she leaped over the gate. She had to get her cell phone. Why hadn't she taken it with her?
Finally, her Jeep came into view. In her haste she tripped over a rock as she made her way over the bumpy ground, then jumped to her feet and ran as fast as fast as she could. Approaching her vehicle, she reached inside, grabbed the phone, and frantically dialed 9-1-1.
* * * *
"Nine-One-One, what is your emergency?"
"I'm at Eagle Nest Canyon. I came to – to, um, there's a body! A dead girl. Please, please send someone right away. Hurry!"
"Calm down and tell me your name."
"DeShay. DeShay Graywater," she answered, still out of breath from running.
"Tell me exactly where you are, Miss Graywater."
DeShay took, a deep breath, trying to calm her racing heart. She blew out the breath and said, "I'm near Eagle Nest Canyon, on a gravel road, off Highway 44, just west of Wanblee."
"Officers are en route. Stay by your vehicle until they arrive."
"I will. But tell them to please hurry!"
"They will be there as soon as they can. Remain calm, ma'am. They are on the way."
"I'll try. Thank you."
* * * *
She opened a bottle of water and took a long drink. Although relieved she had called the authorities and someone would soon arrive on the scene, she couldn't get the picture of the dead woman out of her mind.
"Everything will be okay," she whispered and wiped the sweat from her brow with the back of her trembling hand. She ran her forearm over her forehead and wiped away the sweat and willed herself to stop trembling. Her dig for today would have to wait. For now, the poor woman was more important. The feather, medicine wheel, and dead body were all connected because all were at the scene of the crime and clutched in the victim's hand.
* * * *
Her cell phone rang, interrupting her thoughts. She glanced at the screen and noticed the incoming number – 9-1-1.
"Miss Graywater? This is the nine-one-one operator. I wanted to let you know officers have been alerted to the situation and should arrive soon."
"Okay, thank you."
DeShay paced around her vehicle trying to remain calm as the first
police officer arrived. She was glad to see somebody she knew. Detective T.J.
Hawke had been with the tribal police for many years, and now he was their
"Hey DeShay. What have you found?" Hawke asked.
She smiled. On the reservation everybody called him Hawke, and off the
rez, he was well known for his stubbornness. He was very handsome. Straight
shoulder-length black hair, held by a feather at the back of his neck, set his
features. Although he possessed a slender build, his muscles were obviously
toned. He was a handsome and proud Native, one that turned heads wherever
"I know it's a female body."
"Show me exactly where she is." He reached in his car for his crime
scene investigation kit.
DeShay walked beside Hawke eager to show him what she found. She
noticed his demeanor become intense, as they drew closer to the sacred butte.
Eagle Nest Canyon was a place used by their people in search of vision quests.
"Hawke, will you have to call in the feds?"
He spared her a glance. "Yes. They're on the way. I hope you have a
"Of course I do. Do you know of anyone missing from around here, other
than Abby Winters?"
Detective Hawke stopped and bent over to pick up a rock, examining it
as he spoke. She suspected this was his way of putting her at ease." Abby
Winters' mother reported her missing about a week ago but there was nothing
to lead us to believe foul play was involved. Her mother has been involved in
the fight to protect and preserve native lands and some burial sites, which are
sacred to the Lakota. We never found anything suspicious about her
disappearance, so we thought she ran away."
DeShay look stunned. "I remember the Winters family. They fought long
and hard for the sacred sites. I recall the fight over Mato Paha, Bear Mountain,
or Bear Butte. They went against a power of unknown proportions."
Detective Hawke smiled. "Where was this site located?"
"Bear Butte is just northeast of Sturgis. It's on the National Register of
Historic Places. A tourist trail was made leading all the way to the summit.
Now most of our people don't use it because there are so many tourists."
"So many places have been taken from us." He sighed and dropped the
stone. "Let's go."
* * * *
The sun beamed down upon the butte. The bag DeShay had with her lay
just steps away. She stopped and pointed.
"She's over there in the tall grass, Hawke"
As he approached the scene, he was careful not to disturb any evidence.
The young woman's body lay supine with one knee bent. She clasped something
in her right hand that appeared to be a medicine wheel key chain.
"DeShay, we must be careful. I want you to recall everything you saw
when you pulled up to the site."
DeShay pondered the moments prior to finding the body. "Everything
looked normal. I mean if you're wondering if there were any vehicles around,
there was nothing."
"So you didn't see anybody around, or leaving?" He crouched and focused
on the body.
"No, Hawke, there was nothing.
"Okay, DeShay. This appears to be a murder and I think it's Abby Winters.
Please stand over by the sunflowers and do not come any closer. We best wait
for the feds to show up." He removed his camera from the crime scene kit and
snapped several pictures of the body. Where he saw tire tracks, he jammed
small yellow flags on wire posts into the ground. "Let's head back to the main
Sounds like an excellent suspense story, Melinda. Best of luck with sales!
Thanks for stopping by.
Melinda, Sorry to be late. I was out of town. Beautiful place Arizona. Sounds like you have a great story going. Best of luck.
Thank you for coming by. Yes Arizona is a beautiful place.
Hello, Melinda - a couple of years ago we had some nice 'chats' online, so I'm happy to meet you again! Blood on the Feather sounds great, definitely adding it to my TBR pile. Wishing you much success with it.
BLOOD ON THE FEATHER is a great read and I love Melinda's books!
Here's my review on Amazon:
What a great inspirational, suspenseful read I found in the book, BLOOD ON THE FEATHER, by one of my favorite authors, Melinda Elmore. This mysterious, magical story begins as an archaeologist, DeShay Graywater, digs for relics in a dig site near Eagle Nest Canyon in South Dakota, while looking for artifacts of the history of her people, the Lakota. She finds the body of a woman and contacts the tribal police department. Officer T. J. Hawke and Special FBI Agent Melina Wolfe work together to unravel the murder investigation of a local teenager, Abby Winters.
A romance is renewed between Hawke and Melina as they work together and also a love develops between Ryan Cronk, a tribal officer and DeShay. The investigation leads to drugs, motorcycle gangs and money, before they find the killer.
The story was a very romantic thriller, but as I read about the Native American Lakota tribe and their beliefs and traditions, I was drawn into the rich heritage and the magical imagery of the various animals that lead the characters to the killer of Abby.
The blood on a feather found at the site is very instrumental in finding the solution, and the study of the different characters of the animals in the Lakota culture weaved an inspirational quality of the medicine man beliefs such as:
The owl symbolizes wisdom
The elk is known for his strength
The spider represents the four wind of change and the four sacred directions on the medicine wheel
How the crow came to be black
The buffalo is a sign of prayer and abundance
Seeing the buffalo, the hawk, and the wolf in the same day is a sign of good fortune and love
The turtle is a symbol of Mother Earth
Butterflies indicate a need for change and symbolizes courage
The Hawk is a messanger and helps solve the mystery
I appreciated the value that everyone can learn in their own lives from reading about the Native American culture and the animal spiritual world. This book shows how God created all animal and human forms to work together for the greater good of all.
I highly recommend BLOOD ON THE FEATHER for everyone who wants to learn about Native American culture and also compassion in their own life.
Sorry to be late stopping by. I had out of town company over the weekend. What a fascinating story. I'm sure being a 911 dispatcher gave you a lot of material for your stories. Nice job!
Thanks for stopping by
Thank you for stopping by....I am so thrilled you like my books...I try to write from the heart.....
Thank you for stopping by. I am glad to hear my books are going onto the list of books to read...
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