Title: Blood On The Feather
Author: Melinda Elmore
Release Date: 09/15/2011
Publisher: Dancing With Bear Publishing
Blurb: Archeologist DeShay Graywater finds much more than she is looking for on a dig on Lakota Sioux land. When detective TJ Hawke and FBI agent Melina Wolfe team up to investigate the murder of a young Sioux woman, much more than the case, and their shared past, present problems.
Adventure, Native culture, and mystery combine in Blood On The Feather to make this a romantic thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat and your heart pounding.
Welcome to Sizzling Releases, Melinda Elmore. I’m so pleased you could join me today. What is your Sizzling Release?
It is a romantic suspense, title Blood on the Feather
What is Blood On The Feather all about?
A young aspiring Lakota writer is found murdered on the reservation. It will take a lot of work for the local Tribal Officer T.J. Hawke and FBI Agent Melina Wolfe to uncover the web of deceit to find out why this young lady was killed.
That sounds like a great story. How did you come up with the idea?
My love for all Native American tribes grabs my heart and pulls me to write the stories. This story in particular was close to my heart for the Lakota and of course, for Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull.
As a multi-published author, what advice do you have for those just beginning a career as a writer?
First, I would like to say it is difficult and time consuming but if you truly want to become a published author the key is to never give up. No matter how many rejections you get, tuck it under your belt and keep going.
Tell the readers about your backlist.
My first book, Native Dreams came out in 2008 and it is not about any particular tribe. It is the love between two people and the struggles they endure at the hands of the white man.
My second book, Native Spirit was published this last February. It is not on a particular tribe either. It is about the struggles the American Indian dealt with when the white man captured them.
Blood on the Feather is my third book, and I consider it a romantic suspense. I have many more books in the works.
What are you working on now?
I am currently working on a mystery novel that has Apache and Navajo culture in it. I am using a lot of their culture and beliefs. I plan on making this a series. There are numerous murders occurring on the reservation and there are clues being left for the Tribal Officer but when his close friend falls victim and ends up in the ICU, it turns personal.
Do you have an evil day job, if so, how do you find time to write?
Yes, I do have a day job. I am a 911 dispatcher. I find the time every day to write because it is my heart and soul. Even if it’s just a page.
What is your creative process?
First thing I do when I start a book, is I research and research. Then I sit down and put the characters together on paper. From there I use my imagination and before long, they come to life.
What does your family and friends think about you being a published author?
My family is my biggest fans. My wonderful husband of 24 years encourages me all the way and does all the house work and cooking so I will have time to write. Wonderful man. My son and daughter say they have a cool mom. As far as friends, most that I attended school with say, “Wow you really made something of yourself.” So all in all, everybody is great and encouraging.
September and the promise of fall—finally! What is your favorite season?
My favorite seasons are Spring and Fall. It's cooler in Arizona then.
The holidays will be here soon (too soon for me!) and it seems they get here earlier each year. From September through January it's one holiday after another. Does this time of year stress you out?
No, I love the holidays. Christmas is my favorite. It’s a time to come together with my family and celebrate the birth of our Creator.
Thank you so much for being here. Is there anything else you’d like the readers to know?
Well thank you for having me. I would like to say thanks to all my fans, you are the greatest.
And before we go, how 'bout a juicy excerpt from Blood On The Feather?
Oh sure, here you go!
"Confirmed blood match ninety-nine point nine percent match for Abby Winters. Also positive for drugs in her blood."
Now he would have to contact Abby's mother again. The most dreaded part of his job but to add more anxiety to the situation, he had to tell Mrs. Winters' that drugs were in her daughter's body.
Hawke set his cup on the table and rubbed the heels of his palms in his eyes. Sleep. He needed sleep. No doubt it would only come in fits and starts until this case was solved.
"Does anybody have any ideas? Somebody killed this young woman and we have to find out why."
His heart hurt and he knew he would go to the end of the world to bring justice for Abby and her family.
"We must speak to Missus Winters. She may give us an idea of who could have done this," Agent Wolfe said, folding her arms.
Hawke glanced at DeShay, who sat quietly. Her eyes darted back and forth as if her thoughts ran wild, remembering, searching, and calculating.
"Who could have done this to such a young, aspiring person? Abby was known on the reservation as a girl who strived to do the best she could. She wanted to be a writer. There was no way she would be doing drugs." DeShay shook her head. "No way. I'm betting that she was at the wrong place at the wrong time. There would be nobody wanted her harmed."
"Do you have any ideas who, since you remember some of the battles her mother was involved with?" Hawke asked.
At first, DeShay's words seemed to stick in her throat, then she cleared her throat. "Abby's mother had several disagreements with a lot of people. At the time of Abby's disappearance her mother was going up against a company called Double A Industries. They wanted some land near the Black Hills area to build a big housing development.
"After Abby disappeared, her mother lost all interest in the project. The company never started any work on the site but it's just a thought. They had big plans. The map I saw revealed not only a housing development, but also a golf course with a hunting lodge for the rich.
"Amy Winters fought hard against it because she knew it would not benefit our people."
Agent Wolfe leaned forward in her chair. "DeShay, do you know if Abby had a job?"
"Yes, she worked for Ian Guidara. He owns a restaurant in Cactus
Springs. I believe the name of it is Guidara's Steak House. Rumors were she was dating the owner."
Agent Wolfe and Detective Hawke's eyes locked. "Are you thinking what I'm thinking? If Abby was dating the owner, he may have the clue to solving this murder because he would be closest to her and know who she knows."
"I agree Hawke, we must start with the boyfriend first, and see where that leads us," Melina said.
Hawke closed his eyes and offered a prayer to the Creator and Spirits. "Please place a hand over my people and guide us in the right direction. For the one who walks the Red Road will always make the right choices. Thank you Creator."