Seeds of Deception by Arlene L. Walker
A clash between Cherokee Indians and their former African slaves comes to a head in the tribal town of Feather Falls.
On the same day Sput Louie McClendon is evicted by reviled town tycoon Goliah Lynch, her husband mysteriously vanishes. Has he fallen prey to bushwhackers or timber thieves? Or is Lynch behind his disappearance?
Alone and desperate, Sput Louie turns to town elder Two Bird for help, but with racial tension between the two factions, are his intentions pure?
As Sput Louie’s frantic search for her husband intensifies, she stumbles onto a dark twisted family secret – one that could not only have devastating implications for her, but the entire town of Feather Falls.
Reviews for Seeds of Deception by Arlene L. Walker
“Seeds of Deception has characters you’ll love, a plot that pulls you in and twists you’ll never see coming.”
— Pamela Samuels Young, author of Anybody’s Daughter anf Abuse of Discretion, NAACP Image Award winner
“Hypnotic prose, vivid characters. I was blown away. A masterful first novel.”
— Dwayne Alexander Smith, author of Forty Acres, NAACP Image Award Winner
“I wish I could go back and meet all her characters again. Haven’t stopped thinking about them yet. Easily one of my favorite reads this year.” — Lisa Bobbit, reviewer, ReadInColour.com
“Ms. Walker’s writing is uninhibited and honest.”
— C. Knight, Book-a-licious Book Club
EXCERPT: Seeds of Deception by Arlene L. Walker
Goliah T. Lynch, known as Old Crow behind his back, was a man of considerable coin. He was arguably the most powerful mixed-blood in Feather Falls, being half-white and half-Cherokee. He was also the man who had owned both Sput’s and Benjamin’s families during slavery.
Sput wanted to spit bile. She knew Benjamin did as well.
That her two older sons were not around gave Sput some small solace.
“Here come the boys.” Benjamin jutted his chin towards the prairie to the left of Goliah Lynch.
She followed his nod. Sure enough, there was Hunter Big, her oldest, trailed by Archie, her middle son. They both knew of her and Benjamin’s loathing for Goliah. They’d cut their teeth on it.
Hunter Big was a bison of a man. He swung a rope-tied red fox from his left hand and carried a bow in his right.
Just like Benjamin, Hunter Big knew by heart the rise and fall of the land. He strode wide and shrewd towards them now.
Trying to keep up with him was Archie, Hunter’s twin brother. They neither looked alike nor were alike. Archie was the only member of the family who had managed to amass any schooling in his 20 years on earth. Hunter, on the other hand, saw no need for the alphabet if it couldn’t back him up in a bear fight.
The two boys flanked their parents and their youngest brother L.B. as they watched Goliah’s wagon roll to a stop.
“Osiyo.” Benjamin greeted first.
At the Cherokee greeting, Goliah flinched like he had been pinched.
“I have a hundred head of new cattle coming in,” he said, skipping any semblance of social pleasantries.
No surprise to Sput there.
“Well, suh,” Benjamin began.
What was a surprise to Sput was hearing her husband refer to this particular man as “sir.” She whipped her head around to give Benjamin a questioning stare. Was that a smile she saw stretching at his lips? A nasty shiver went down her spine, as her ire heated up. But then, she understood how desperation could make a man like Benjamin sacrifice his skin in order to save his bones.
“I — I don’t have a mule no more —” Benjamin continued.
“Cauth we ate him.” L.B. hooked his thumbs around the shoulder straps of overalls that didn’t quite reach his ankles. “He died firth. Then we ate him.”
Benjamin was not sidetracked. “But if you supply a horse,” he went on as if L.B. hadn’t said a word, “I can rope a steer, brand it, and castrate it with the best of ‘em. Never lost a steer to a snippin’ yet.”
Archie jumped right on board with the idea of any one of the McClendons being hired out. “They don’t call Pa Snippin’ Ben for nothing.”
“And Hunter here,” Benjamin pointed with a proud nod of his head, “he can break a bronco into a cow pony in no time. And Archie can rope and ride a salty one all day long,” he said, rounding out the recitation of McClendon family skills.
Goliah began a slow, guttural laugh. “I’m not looking to hire you.” His laugh grew. “I’m looking to evict you.” Read the rest of this entry »