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Foredestined Summer

It's 1920, and although Swift McKinley, an American Indian raised in a white family on a Wisconsin dairy farm, is accustomed to his non-white status, he no longer can remain silent about his lifelong love for his blonde neighbor. To his great joy, Aurie Petersen not only reciprocates his feelings, she insists they will marry, despite her father's bitter opposition. Swift is astounded when he inherits an arid farm in North Dakota, and his foster siblings turn on him. Devastated by loss and rejection, the sensitive youth decides it will be best for Aurie if he leaves without telling her. Aurie, however, is both psychic and determined. She has "seen" their future in the dark eyes of her beloved, and they WILL be together, even if she has to follow him on horseback all the way to North Dakota. Choosing its moment, Fate intervenes, separating the young lovers and setting them on different paths to maturity and the family Aurie "knows" they are destined to create.

A Hard Shell Word Factory Release


C.J. Winters

     C.J. Winters was always more interested in Tomorrow than Yesterday. Then she discovered the American Past offers a wealth of backgrounds for some of her offbeat story ideas. Combining such backgrounds with her fascination for the extra-normal has led to ten-and-a-half books published or soon to be published by Hard Shell Word Factory. Show-Me Murder is a paranormal cozy mystery trio. Right Man Wrong Time, Sleighride, Moon Night, and A Star in the Earth are paranormal romances. The love stories of four generations of an American family unfold in Foredestined Summer, Fires of War and Winter, A Dazzling Spring and Autumn in Cranky Otter. Still to come is a contemporary romance, Mai's Ties, and half of a paranormal anthology, Deadknots. C.J. also has eight short stories included in five anthologies.

     Iowa born-raised-educated and Missouri seasoned, earth-bound C.J. feels compelled to follow her characters through their times, lifetimes, and the gauzy curtains separating them. Although she lives in the Kansas City, Missouri, area, she prefer rustic settings for her stories. Creating intense relationships and helping them unfold through intriguing, subtle or whimsical interplay is her idea of fun. She says, "Story plotting is like weight-lifting for the brain. You collect puzzle pieces and then find places to fit them."

     About herself, C.J. says, "My fantasy life began early, through movies more than books. Star-struck, I played Western roles on my pony, and kept a nightly serial story going in my head at bedtime, naturally casting myself as the heroine.

     "When my career as a copywriter ended, I began writing a different form of fiction--love stories with a different twist than those being published at the time. Then along came e-publishing, and a new, limitless niche opened. Admittedly self-indulgent, I first write to entertain myself, and it looks like I'm addicted to a life of fiction!"

     For more, visit my website, www.cjwinters.com

Reviews

4 1/2 flames-rare find

"Foredestined Summer is a truly unique story of love, growth and maturity of a young couple struggling to be together in the 1920's despite racism and adversity. If you're looking for something new and a bit different without the needless pages and pages of background history weighting you down, C.J. Winter's Foredestined Summer is just what you're looking for. Highly recommended."

Sandee McCann -- Word Museum



Overall rating: 4.25

"I found Foredestined Summer to be a quick paced story with enough intrigue to make you want to keep reading but not enough to make you white knuckled rather along the lines of an old Agatha Christie kind of puzzler. C.J. Winters gets your mind to working with this one. "

Lori Graham -- Once Upon a Romance



5 stars!

"Foredestined Summer is a beautiful love story. Winters successful demonstrates the false impressions and prejudice of people. She also demonstrates greed. I have always had so much respect for the American Indian that I cringe to think they were so mistreated. How sad that people look at the outside rather than the inside. The plot is well-written and flows smoothly. The characters are well-developed. I like the characters and thought Aurie and Swift worked well together. Fans of romance will not want to miss this one."

Debra Gaynor -- Review Your Book
Excerpt


Chapter One

Wisconsin, 1920

RAIN DRUMMED ON the shed roof, making little plopping sounds where it leaked onto the wooden floor. Slouched against the cobwebbed back wall, Swift McKinley smothered a moan. Oh, God. Sweetheart, why'd you have to come here now? I can't take any more….

"G' wan," he said, bolstering the command with a languid wave. "Don' wan compn'y. Not…t'day."

Aurie Petersen peered down at the tanned youth, in the gloom nearly invisible except for his white shirt. "You don't have any choice, mister," she said tartly. "In case you haven't noticed, it's pouring out there." She moved to escape a steady drip from the leaking roof, and flapped her long wet skirt against her legs in a futile attempt to dry it. A moment later she stepped closer, eyes narrowed and sniffing the air like a bird dog. "Why, Swift McKinley," she gasped. "You're drunk!"

He snorted. "Don' take a woman long…start soundin' like a tem…tempernance lady."

Aurie squatted beside him, long, ropey strands of rain-darkened blonde hair clinging to her neck and soaked gingham shoulders. "Oh, Swift—" She faltered, then added softly, "This is no way to handle your hurt.".

"How'd you know? In't your ma thas gone." Swift pushed himself more upright and squinted at her. "What're you doin' here an'way?"

"Our best sow got through a hole in the fence. Papa's afraid she'll pig and lose the litter. He went North, Mama went west and I came south to look for her. The rain blew up so fast, I ran in here to wait it out."

Swift hiccuped and slapped the floor beside him. "Siddown." The next hiccup turned into a bark of laughter. "Jus' hope a rat doesn' run up your leg."

"I think not," Aurie said, prim and starched. She stood and backed toward the open doorway. "You know I can't abide drunkenness, whatever the reason."

Swift thrust his head forward from his thick shoulders and a brush of coal-black hair fell across his eyes. "My, aren't we the prop'r one?" he taunted, like he'd done most of their lives. "T'wasn't always tha' way, though, was it, Pretty Aurie?"

Memories triggered by his private pet name for her warmed Aurie's cheeks. All through childhood, she and her neighbors— Swift, his sister Edie and brothers Harry and Emmet— had romped and played together like puppies. Then one by one, the elder McKinleys had slipped into adolescence, leaving only Swift, six months older than Aurie, to race her across the hilly green pastures. The summer she turned twelve, Swift— half shy, half bold— had kissed her for the first time. After that, he claimed a kiss every time she lost a race to him, until they were fourteen. That year, Mama gave Aurie a stern warning about such behavior, and Aurie suspected Swift had received a similar one, because he never challenged her to another race.

Thunder rolled overhead, and the rain fell in sheets. Aurie couldn't make out the fence posts that marked the line between the McKinley and Petersen farms. She glanced down at her sodden dress, and noticing the way it clung to her body, moved from the dim light into the shadow beside the door.

Swift snickered. "Wha'sa matter, missy," he said in a sloppy parody of a gossipy town woman of Irish descent, "afeared the Injun'll 'ave 'is way wi' ye?"

"If you weren't in such sorry shape, Mister Smart Mouth," she snapped, "I'd pitch you right out into the rain to sober up." Thunder boomed overhead and she jumped. "But we're stuck here, so we might as well be civil. It must be almost five o'clock. I hope Mama and Papa found the sow and aren't worrying about me."

Swift lumbered to his feet, one hand stabbing at the wall for balance, and moved toward the door.

"Edie will fuss if you go back to the house in this condition," scolded Aurie.

"Yes," he said in an odd, musing voice. "Now Ma's gone, Edie runs th' house…"

"And you and Harry the farm," Aurie finished.