Where The Rain Is Made Receives Recommended Read from Black Raven Erotic Cafe!
CHAPTER ONE BELOW!
Where The Rain Is Made by Keta Diablo
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Genre: Historical, Erotic, Paranormal Romance
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Summary: A decadent-looking savage has captured Francesca DuVall and her brother, Marsh. Now she must spend every waking moment planning an escape. However, she didn’t count on the powerful draw of desire interfering with her scheme in the camp of the brutal Cheyenne dog soldiers. Ethan Gray is a curator at a national museum . . . most of the time, but when he travels through time to help his beloved People he becomes Meko, leader of the most revered and feared tribe of the plains. Although their worlds are decades apart Meko can’t resist the dark beauty he kidnapped during a raid. He has many battles to fight but none he wants to win more than the one that will capture Cesca’s heart forever. From the windswept plains of Colorado and the harsh life of a Dog Soldier to the placid life of a curator their love was fueled by passion and kindled by destiny.
The Blackraven’s Review: Where The Rain Is Made by Keta Diablo is an intense, sensual, compelling, adventurous story that will have you biting your nails while sitting on the edge of your seat begging for more with the turn of every page. Ms. Diablo has created a captivating story with characters that will quickly win your heart. There is so much compassion, conflict, and a battle of wills in this story that you can’t help but root for the underdog, which are the Cheyenne dog soldiers. It’s obvious that Ms. Diablo did her homework when developing this fascinating, yet eye-opening story regarding the Indians and the white man’s battle over land.
Ethan Gray (a.k.a. Meko) who travels through time to help his people had me in awe from the very beginning. He’s intelligent, strong, loyal, honorable, and extremely decadent. I can understand why Francesca struggled not to fall in love with such a sensual man. The passion and love that he has for his people and Francesca will simply take your breath away. He is torn between the people he loves and the woman he loves and although they come from different worlds, when they’re together, it’s as though time stands still. It is a truly mesmerizing relationship. I admired Ethan (a.k.a. Meko) throughout the entire book when considering the burden that he carried in regards to knowing not only the fate of his people, but ultimately, his own fate. There were times that it was just heart wrenching.
Francesca is feisty, strong-willed, loyal and fearless when it comes to protecting the people that she love and in the beginning, it’s her younger brother Marsh. The dynamics between the two siblings will make you envious and weep all at the same time for the trials and tribulations that they’ll endure to survive. Francesca’s strength and compassion to adapt to her surroundings had me admiring the woman with the turn of every page. I loved her relationship with Brown Wing who is wise beyond her years. The more I read, the more I enjoyed the story and didn’t want it to end.
Ms. Diablo has created a tantalizing story in Where The Rain Is Made and I can’t wait to find out more about these characters. I hope that this is the first book in the series. HINT! HINT! If you’re looking for a heartfelt, compassionate, adventurous story that’s sensual, yet informative and eye opening in regards to the Cheyenne culture, then Where The Rain Is Made is the book to read. I will definitely recommend it to my friends.
Rated 5 Ravens and a Recommended Read by The Blackraven!
Chapter OnePresent Day
Ethan Gray rose from his dingy cot for the tenth time and paced the small area of his jail cell. He’d survived another night. The thin, hard mattress didn’t faze him, nor did the cold, sterile white walls and matching sink and stool. The metal bars were another matter. He hated being penned; needed to feel the warmth of the sun on his face, breathe fresh air. The onslaught of a hard-driven rain chilling him to the bone would be preferable to caging him like an animal.
Next year he’d spend his vacation in a friendlier city, and one closer to home -- Washington, D.C. He thought about his job as Assistant Curator at one of the finest museums in the country. The position provided him with the opportunity to see and touch everything he cherished artifacts of the Cheyenne people.
He’d have a lot of explaining to do if his superiors found out he spent two nights in jail again. Hell, by now a copy of the police report from that minor scuffle in Deadwood last year would be in the Judge’s hands. One road-bump at a time, he told himself while limping about his cell.
Despite what it looked like, he’d try to convince the Judge he didn’t go looking for the fight. The judge would ask him what brought him to Montana. Easily explained. He never missed the yearly powwows or a chance to shake hands with old friends, watch the ceremonial dances, and smoke the pipe.
A fickle breeze snuck through the barred window in his cell. Jesus, he could barely tolerate his own stench. What he wouldn’t give for a change of clothing and a bar of soap before he appeared before the Judge. At the moment, a transient moving from shelter to shelter put him to shame.
His only visitor had been a geriatric doctor scrounged up from God knew where. Arthritic fingers had poked around his torso and head before he delivered his assessment to the sheriff. “He’ll live.”
Damn, he shouldn’t have stopped in this flea-bitten town for a cold beer, and he should have kept minding his own business when the platinum blond with the big breasts sidled up to him at the bar. She’d asked for a light before three men surrounded them—blathering idiots well into their liquor and itching for trouble. A flicker of fire sparked in the man’s pupils, so fleeting most wouldn’t have noticed. Ethan’s life, however, depended on his ability to recognize danger.
The woman knew the cowboy, had called him by name before she warned the bowlegged saddle-jumper to stay the hell out of her life. The feral beast awoke in Ethan when the man lunged and wrapped his hands around her throat.
Cowboy shouldn’t have done that.
Chairs flew through the air, and next bodies. By the time the fisticuffs ended, it looked more like a firestorm had blown through than a bar fight. Ethan had dusted himself off and strolled to the bar to finish his drink. The next thing he knew, a freight train roared in his head and white lights exploded behind his lids. He’d awakened in this damn jail cell with the cold-fingered doctor poking around his bruised body.
Ethan stopped his pacing long enough to cock his ear toward the hallway. Yep, as suspected, the soft padding of footsteps, moccasins to be exact.
Moments later, the sheriff stood before the iron bars, unable to hide his smart-ass smirk.
“You got company. You also got ten minutes before you appear in front of the Judge. Make it quick.”
Ethan knew about his visitor the moment the woman stepped through the sheriff’s front door. Stands-In-Light, the ancient medicine woman of the Cheyenne, wrapped her spiny hands around the bars when the man walked away. “Heightened senses come in handy now and again.”
“It’s good to see you again so soon, Esteemed One.”
The same yellow blanket she wore at the powwow clung to her slender shoulders, and today her long, silver plaits were braided and interspersed with colorful beads. Her face looked the same though, still time-worn after eighty years beneath a pitiless sun.
“Yes, well, I didn’t expect to find you here.” She scanned the jail cell. “In any event, the spirits call out for you, I Am The Wind.”
Ethan had lived the last ten years of his life between this world and another. At twenty-five years of age, the Council considered him a seasoned veteran. He knew why he’d been chosen—his love for the Cheyenne and family connections.
His brother, Noah, was a time wanderer, his grandmother a member of the Sacred Council of Arrows. Even without the family associations, he wouldn’t have questioned his duty to the People. Never. He’d do whatever the Sacred Council asked for his People, his grandmother’s People, one and the same.
He often wondered if the blood of his ancestors triggered his violent streak, so forceful at times he thought he might implode from the pressure. He’d made a vow to never call forth the virulent brutality, but rather embrace the feral demon when it reared its ugly head.
He looked beyond the window in his cell before meeting her gaze again. “I’ve heard their pleas in my dreams, old one.”
She took in his bruised body, her dark eyes settling on the gauze strips wrapped around his torso. “It’s not a journey of peace this time but one of great violence and sorrow for the Tsitsistas.
Tsitsistas - the Cheyenne. He nodded and released a drawn-out breath.
“Sweet Medicine’s prophecy has arrived. Though we have welcomed the white-eye with open arms, he’s like the fox, a trickster that smiles while stealing the hen from under your nose.”
Ethan glanced around the metal pen and decided her visit couldn’t have come at a better time. “I see many soldiers in my visions, and blood—endless blood.”
“You cannot change events.” Her voice a whisper, she closed her eyes for a moment, perhaps seeking the same visions. “If you accept the mission you’ll save as many Cheyenne as possible.”
He paused and thought about the danger, but only for a second. “What else will the Sacred Council require of me this time?”
“You must resurrect your battle skills from past lives, lead them, and . . . .” Her voice faltered. “Cry with them in times of sorrow.”
He sensed she had more to say, but common courtesy and a lifetime of knowing Cheyenne custom compelled him to wait.
Stands-In-Light’s eyes took on an insightful gleam. “What else do you see while you chase dreams?"
He saw her as clearly as the fingers on his hand. “A woman with hair the color of the magpie and eyes greener than pine needles.”
“Your visions reveal the truth.”
The significance of the metaphors hadn’t been revealed to him, but his journey to the past this time would be cataclysmic. He felt it with every drop of blood in his veins, every breath passing through his lungs. “What of me? Will I be allowed to return to my life here?”
“You always have the choice, Ethan, but remember the decision must be made in the whisper of a breath.”
Her words struck a chord of sarcasm. “Before I die, you mean?”
She withdrew her crooked fingers from beneath the blanket with a solemn nod and handed him an object through the bars. He turned the familiar relic over in his hand—a time-honored whistle made from the wing bone of an eagle. The spirit of Maheo washed over him, like it always did when he communed with the People.
“They won’t know you’ve returned from the future.” She tucked the blanket securely about her shoulders. “The same as before.”
He wasn’t certain how it worked, but whenever he returned to the People, life picked up where it had left off. No one, not even the tribal holy man, knew he’d been gone.
“Are you ready, I Am The Wind?” She glanced over her shoulder as if to confirm not a soul could hear their conversation. “The Sacred Council waits.”
“What of you?” He peered through the bars and followed her gaze. “What will you tell my jailers after I’m gone?”
“I’m not called Stands-In-Light without reason.” She shrugged. “I’ll be gone before they realize it.”
His thoughts shifted to the moments ahead. Soon he’d be standing in front of the Sacred Council. The usual formalities would play out, and then he’d be asked if he’d accept. He knew he would. He always did.
Spreading his feet, he allowed his arms to fall at his sides and drew a deep breath. “I’m ready.”
She closed her eyes, lifted her face skyward and began the deep, reverent chant:
"I walk alone on the edge of time,
traveling far and near.
Born of the sun, kissed by the wind,
the call of the raven screams in my ear."
His vision blurred and the metal bars twisted, reminding him of slippery, silver cobras. Ribbons of scarlet and midnight black detonated behind his eyes before a rush of blood surged through his brain. The hammering began, slowly at first with a gradual ascent to volatile. Fascination gripped him when his arms went numb and shifted into massive, black wings. Soon his spine launched into spasms, every beleaguered ligament and muscle stretching as if ripped from their vertebrae. The familiar burning in his chest spiraled up his throat, spreading outward like a white-hot flame.
The power of the raven to surged through his veins. He tumbled through a dark tunnel faster than a meteor falling from the sky, struggling to emerge on the other side.
Brother to the open sky, ally to the distant sun, he’d soar above the clouds to where the rain is made.
* * *
Ethan stood before The Sacred Council of Arrows, acclimatizing his vision to the shattered fragments before him. Physically spent, his heart trying to dispel the ventricular contractions, he fought to school his breathing. He couldn’t count the number of times he’d traveled through time, yet the incredible impact it had on his body to revert from man to raven or vice versa still astounded him. To undergo the process twice in one day would tax his body beyond measure.
Drawing on endless hours of training, he collected his wits, mindful of the usual scents in the sacred burial ground--moldering, ancient smells of the dead. With the exception of Stands-In-Light, the Council was an assembly of corpses resurrected from the grave to serve the People.
He stood along the Tongue River, like he had so many times in past lives. Present life too. For centuries the Tongue had wandered for miles through Montana and Wyoming, yet today, not one remnant of the Cheyenne’s sacred burial ground remained. Therein lay the beauty of meeting the Council here.
Seo’ộtse, dead spirits, sat on the ground before him. He studied each one individually: Vo’kaa’e, known in the white man’s tongue as White Lances; Kâhamaxe, his Cheyenne name meaning The Stick; Wolf That Speaks, a dignified, mystical guide; Stands-In-Light, the High Priestess; and three others, The Pacer, Man-Who-Paints-His-Shirt-Black, and Whirlwind, the father of all ghostly souls. Not a time traveler among them, but prior tribal members empowered to send wanderers through time to help the People.
White Lances rose. “Ethan, Stands-In-Light summoned you, gave you the basics of the mission?”
“Yes, Vo’kaa’e.” Ethan shoved his trembling hands, a result of the transformation, into the pockets of his trousers. “If I accept, I’ll be sent back to a turbulent time, one of death and great sorrow.”
White Lances nodded.
“What messages do I carry this time?”
The Stick lifted his head, his obsidian eyes glinting beneath the crescent moon. “For one,
Black Kettle should move his village.”
Ethan had studied the history, knew impending tragedy hovered over Black Kettle’s camp.
“It will be my honor to persuade him.”
“Battles will be waged, villages destroyed and the Dog Soldiers will retaliate.” The Pacer’s sorrowful voice drifted across the stagnant air. “Many will die.” Ethan met the man’s eyes and saw the flicker of pain before he looked away.
“You will lead them, of course.” Man-Who-Paints-His-Shirt-Black offered a subtle smile.
“Perhaps it will relieve the pent up rage in your heart.”
“That brawl in the bar. I didn’t seek.”
Black Shirt waved him off.
Her tone unrepentant, her chin resting in her hand, Stands-In-Light spoke. “The Council reminds you, a leader guides with a calm spirit, a commanding presence. If you are to guide the People through the chaos, it’s imperative you harness your fury until it calls out from the battlefield.”
“Yes, High Priestess.”
“You are a valued wanderer, “Whirlwind interjected. “It’s always our hope you return safe and sound.”
Ethan choked back a laugh, the reason behind the compliment clear. “So I’m alive to accept the next mission?”
Heads nodded in unison.
White Lances slumped to the ground. “Do you accept, I Am The Wind?”
“I do, Sacred Council.”
“Refresh an old man’s memory. What name do the People call you?”
His question came as no surprise. Kâhamaxe often forgot minor details. “Meko, noble one.”
“Ah, yes, the word for leader.” The man pinched his forehead as if to blame a headache for his forgetfulness. “You’re excused now, Meko.”
Ethan offered a deferential bow and turned to leave when Stands-In-Light’s austere voice stopped him. “We spoke earlier of dreams?”
“Dreams . . . yes.”
“Mind you don’t sacrifice the interests of the People to chase them.”
A warm, alien emotion crawled through his gut. “Yes, High Priestess.”
Ethan removed his hands from his pockets, clasped them behind his back and fixed his eyes on the invisible burial platforms. A unified chant rose in the room, the same lament Stands-In-Light invoked while visiting him in jail. In short time, he’d be among the People in the sacred land of his ancestors―a Dog Soldier, the most revered warrior of the Cheyenne.
His last thought before leaving his present life concerned his prized garden. Who would water the flowers and herbs in his absence?