Introducing Nothing But Echoes, the latest suspense novel from creative Anne Montgomery.
In 1939, archaeologists uncovered a tomb at the Northern Arizona site called Ridge Ruin. The man, bedecked in fine turquoise jewelry and intricate bead work, was surrounded by wooden swords with handles carved into animal hooves and human hands. The Hopi workers stepped back from the grave, knowing what the Moochiwimi sticks meant. This man, buried nine hundred years earlier, was a magician.
Former television journalist Kate Butler hangs on to her investigative reporting career by writing freelance magazine articles. Her research on The Magician shows he bore some European facial characteristics and physical qualities that made him different from the people who buried him. Her quest to discover The Magician’s origin carries her back to a time when the high desert world was shattered by the birth of a volcano and into the present-day dangers of archaeological looting where black market sales of antiquities can lead to murder.
The man screamed again. The kwewu never paused. The animal tore at the one causing the pain. Massive jaws clamped down on the woman’s upper arm, breaking skin as the wolf dragged her to the dirt floor.
Badger dropped his hold on the man’s injured arm, and for a moment stood rooted in place, unable to move, unsure of what he was seeing. A giant white wolf—was the creature animal or spirit? Then he saw the arrow sticking from the creature’s side and knew it was of flesh, blood, and bone. Kaya’s screams drove Badger toward the animal, which now had her pinned to the floor. Bloody saliva dripped onto the healer’s face as she tried to push the creature away. An awful growl rose in the animal’s throat.
“Ahhkk!” The sound emanating from Badger was almost as terrifying as the rage of the wolf. The animal turned toward this new threat, a human who stood close to her master. The kwewu leaped away from the woman on the floor into Badger’s outstretched arms. The big man tucked in his chin, protecting his throat, and squeezed with every ounce of strength in his massive arms. The wolf writhed, scratching his naked torso with her nails, and caught the lobe of his right ear in her teeth. A crimson river streamed down Badger’s neck as he crushed the beast to his chest.
The kwewu cried out, but that was not the reason Badger relaxed his grip.
“No! No!” The blue-eyed man yelled. “Down!” Holding his injured arm, he tried to stand, but wobbled back onto the bed.
Badger again tightened his grip on the wolf, fully intending to crush the thing to death. Strangely, the animal had gone limp. Still, its eyes were open. Then the animal looked at the blue-eyed man and began to whimper.
Badger knitted his brow, unsure of what to do next. Kaya sat up, holding the wound on her upper arm, blood seeping between her fingers. Seeing the damage the wolf inflicted, the blood smearing Kaya’s face, Badger intensified his hold on the animal.
Deer Runner suddenly appeared in the doorway with two other hunters. He leveled an obsidian-tipped arrow at the wolf.
“Drop the animal, Badger! I cannot shoot. Get out of the way!”
The big man turned with the creature in his arms then let the wolf fall to the ground.
“No! Please do not kill her!” The blue-eyed man cried in a language only he understood. He righted himself and staggered, falling down and covering the kwewu with his body. The wolf heaved with exhaustion, breath coming in ragged gasps as he buried his face in her bloodied white fur.
Deer Runner drew the arrow back as the group of villagers swelled at the doorway.
Sarah Book Publishing
When she can, Anne indulges in her passions: rock collecting, scuba diving, football refereeing, and playing her guitar.
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