In 1855, risking everything for a chance at happiness, two women—separated by class, race, and geographic distance – travel to the rugged plains of Indian Territory where their lives intersect in a stunning explosion of danger, death, and revenge. Download Today: http://amzn.com/0962401234
A Thousand Steps Cast of Characters
Tama: A beautiful fugitive determined to live free.
Elinore: An active abolitionist on a mission to find happiness.
Julee: A girl with no past who seeks a future among the Indians.
Hakan: A proud man entrusted with the survival of his people.
Thorne: A man obsessed with claiming what he owns.
From the snow-covered mountains of North Carolina to the untamed wilds of Indian Territory, “A Thousand Steps” takes readers on a perilous quest for freedom, truth, and love.
On the third night of her capture, the door of the shed finally burst open. Tama stirred, groaned, and then turned her face away from the intrusive lamp light. Her body ached, her head throbbed, and the welts and gashes on her wrists and ankles from the weight of the heavy manacles flared in pain. However, she forced herself to sit up, and then scooted as far into a corner as she could, afraid, yet curious about who was coming through the door.
The shadowy figure held a burning oil lamp that spread light into the dark space. Cautiously, Tama leaned out from the shadows and gasped. Her visitor was a woman – dressed in a coarse cotton night coat over a filmy gown – and her long yellow hair spread over her shoulders. Her pale eyes were set like smooth stones in her stark white face, and Tama recognized her as the woman in the tiny oval painting on Zachary’s desk.
“Get up, you whoring slut,” the woman demanded, rushing closer. Her opaque eyes flared as she kicked at Tama, using one foot, and then the other to pound Tama’s flesh with the hard leather of her shoes. “Get up or I will set this lamp to you and be happy to watch you burn.”
With great difficulty, Tama stood, raising dark eyes to the woman’s pale ones.
“You’ll not be sharing my husband’s bed again, you daughter of a dog,” she vowed, putting the lamp so close to Tama’s face the flame danced around Tama’s wildly matted hair.
“I was never in your husband’s bed,” Tama dared to object, determined to defend her last shed of pride.
“Liar!” Zachary’s wife kicked Tama harder, making her cotton night coat flap like the wings of a pigeon as she raised her leg to strike repeatedly. “You stinking savage. I know your kind. Consorting with Indians for food and favors to elevate your stinking half-breed self from the low-life nigger you are. Well, your disgusting behavior with my husband is over.” The wife spat into the dirt, then threw a heavy iron key at Tama, striking her in the middle of her chest. Then she grabbed a handful of Tama’s hair and pulled her face up to hers. “Unlock your shackles and get the hell off this place,” she hissed through gritted teeth. “You take your filthy belongings and your whoring self out of here and get as far away as you can by daylight.” She gave Tama’s hair another hard yank; then the pale-eyed woman threw Tama’s cloth bundle at her. “And you’d better run fast because if you get caught and they bring you back alive, I will personally whip you to death.”
Rainwater filled Tama’s moccasins, weighing her down, yet easing the pain that was throbbing in her legs. As she sloshed through tall grass, two words bounced around in her head. Fort Gibson. She had no idea how far away the new Indian homeland might be, but whether it took a thousand steps or a million steps to get there, she was going to find Hakan and never part from him again. Driven by her love for Hakan and an unflinching determination to remain free, Tama continued to walk until her strength gave out. Collapsing beneath a thick-trunked tree, she fell into a near-unconscious sleep.
( The Story Continues… )
© 2013 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Anita Bunkley. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this promotional excerpt.
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ISBN-10: 0962401234 | ISBN-13: 978-0962401237
About the Author
During Anita Bunkley’s twenty-plus years of writing she has created much-needed and welcome literature that takes readers into periods of history from the Afro-centric point of view. Reviewers and fans refer to her novels as sweeping sagas that are extremely entertaining — embraced for their historical accuracy, strong romantic themes, and vivid characterizations of black people, especially women, in periods of history not widely showcased in literary works. A member of the TEXAS INSTITUTE OF LETTERS, Anita lives in Houston, Texas. She is represented by Marcil-O’Farrell Literary LLC. NY, NY.