Mom to mom, I’m already siding with her. Shoved out from his son’s life? I don’t think so. Of course, it can’t be that easy, right?
The story is Ruins, Legacy by Janie Franz, an LGBT, Occult novel.
Kate Ferguson’s life is crumbling around her as she is shoved out of her ten-year-old son’s life as he prepares for his testing to be the next shaman. Relegated to babysitting a pregnant woman she doesn’t even know in an unfamiliar place, she is bombarded by her son’s growing abilities and her own, dark secrets, strange revelations, spiritual trials, and an intriguing female ranch hand who challenges everything she knows.
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If you live in Australia, you can get the book at Angus & Robertson:
Toni was in her late-forties, maybe, tall, stocky, and native but had more refined features than those of the local pueblo tribes or the Hopi, or even the Navajo. A wide intricately-worked, silver band pulled her shoulder-length hair off her face. She wore jeans, boots, and a loose, blue striped shirt that covered any evidence she was female. If Kate hadn’t heard her speak, she would have thought she was just another male rancher.
Toni extended her hand, and Kate took it, feeling the same rough weathered palm that Dutch had. She spoke her name as she looked at Toni’s eyes, finding them a deep blue and quite unique in such a native face. Briefly, those eyes flashed wide as if there was some message or recognition in their contact. Surprisingly, Kate didn’t pick up anything, except a sense of trust.
Meet the Character
Here with me we have Toni Houston. Hi Toni, and thank you for being here. I understand your last name has an unusual pronunciation.
Oh that? [Shifts in her chair, pulling the hem of her blue jeans farther down her boot on the leg propped across her knee.] It’s not so unusual. It’s pronounced “How-ston.” Not like the Texas town.
You are a ranch hand in Janie Franz’ new book, Ruins: Legacy. Are there many women ranch hands in this country?
[Swings her leg down to the floor and leans in closer.] There have always been women working ranches. Often it’s been because they had to do the work themselves because their menfolk weren’t around or had died. Some of us, though, just like the work. Dutch had been working her ranch for years alone before I came along. It’s honest work.
Did you grow up around horses?
[Smiles.] Actually, not for my first years. I lived in western New York. My uncle taught me to ride on my grandmother’s land there when I was 10. I went to live with her around that time. But I learned a lot more as an adult with Dutch. She has a natural sense about the animals. Lately, I have been doing all of the horse duties there. Arizona has cold winters but not like they have in New York.
You taught on the university level in New York, didn’t you?
[Eases slowly back into her chair, pausing before answering.] I did. I was an assistant professor of Indian Studies.
Tell us about Kate Ferguson. What did you think of her when you first met her on Dutch’s ranch.
[Looks down to cover a smile. Then raises her head.] I thought she was another White tourist in a group playing natives. That was a messed up bunch of costuming, covering Meso-America and some kind of local tribe I never saw before! I couldn’t figure out who they were supposed to be, but the lot of them were native and Mexican and—and that boy! So lost and not knowing what a gift he carried inside him. [Looks away as she pauses. Then turns back and says in a voice that was almost haunted.] Kate was as isolated that child and maybe just as messed up as all that costuming.
Why do you say that?
[Crosses her leg over her knee again and folds her arms across her chest.] It’s not mine to say.
Can you tell me—
Excuse me. But are we done here? I think if you have any more questions, you should ask Kate or talk to that author lady, Janie somebody or other. They’ll tell you more.
Janie Franz comes from a long line of liars and storytellers with roots deep in east Tennessee. Her work is honed by the frigid winters of the Northern Plains and the high desert and mountains of New Mexico and influenced by her degree in anthropology. She is an author, professional speaker, editor, ghostwriter, and the acquisitions editor for MuseItUp Publishing. Previously, she ran her own online music publication (Refrain Magazine). She was an agent/publicist for a groove/funk band, a radio announcer, and a yoga/relaxation instructor. She is the author of twelve novels, a freelance writing manual, co-author of two wedding how-to books, and a self-help book, Standing Strong: Honoring the Unexpected Changes in Our Lives. Refrain, the second book of The Lost Song trilogy, was a Top 10 Finisher, Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy, 2013 Preditors & Editors Reader Poll. She writes fantasy, archaeology thrillers, paranormal, and contemporaries. In her spare time, you’ll find her on a dance floor.