Effective January 2014, the Blog-Zine is cosed to new posts and is going dark. The blog and its archives will stay "up," though, so please feel free to peruse the archives and discover all of the great books, authors, articles, and other features that have joined me here over the years. Thanks to all who helped make my Blog-Zine adventure a raging success! Read on!

15 January, 2013

The Thing With Feathers by Anne Sweazy-Kulju

It was the ugliest photo he had ever seen...and nothing would ever be the same again.

As the inhabitants of Cloverdale, Oregon, welcome in the twentieth century, they are not unaccustomed to hard times and thorny situations. But small communities band together for protection and hope. Heroes and villains are often difficult to decipher.

When an itinerate Baptist preacher arrives with his baby daughter and a wife lost on the trail, no one suspects what lurid secrets and heartbreak he is concealing. As the preacher sets his sights against those who might oppose him, the names and the lives of the good people of Cloverdale may not be spared.

Yet, in the midst of the machinations of a mad man, virtue and valor persists. The Thing withFeathers is known to fly through wars, depressions, and natural disasters. Will the Marshall clan and the good people of Cloverdale find it in time?
             Excerpt from The Thing With Feathers by Anne Sweazy-Kulju

The mule labored beneath the large man’s bulk as it trudged across the Idaho desert. The moon’s glow was thin and spare and his dark, retreating shape was growing less distinguishable to the woman walking many yards behind him. She did not appear to care. She had been walking for a very long time, quite swollen and struggling mightily with her intensifying labor pains. She stumbled again, but that time, she did not push on.

“Get up!” the mule rider hollered over his shoulder at the woman. He did not stop.

The young mother-to-be glared holes in the backside of the shadowy wayfarer. Her hatred of the man was nearly a tangible thing. Slowly, she reached down to the desert floor and grabbed up a scrap of wood, a bleached and splintered discard from wagon wheel spoke, left over from the heydays of the Oregon Trail. Still boring daggers at the distant rider, she jammed the wood in her mouth and bit down hard. Then she hiked up her dusty skirt, none too dainty, and laid herself down in the dirt.

A scream split the night. Other screams followed, of course, all of which seemed capable of tearing the very fabric of time with their tortured piercing. Two men were within a hundred miles of hearing those awful wails. One man, a good Samaritan by the name of Milton Blair, held the hand of the stricken woman and cried for her agony, not knowing what else to do for her. The other man, far less good, supposed the Oregon Trail had claimed yet another pitiful traveler. He held no anguish, though it was his wife who was dying.

While the young stranger ministered to Bowman’s wife, Bowman greedily surveyed the other man’s belongings through the filthy windows of his jalopy. “Are you a Bible salesman then?” Bowman asked, noting the stacks on the backseat.

“I retired as my congregation’s minister last year. Now I travel and spread the good word. You may help yourself to one of those smaller Bibles, sir.”

“How does one become a minister, if I may? How much study is there, and is there a seminary near?”

Bowman would need a profession when he reached the end of his travels, and he did not hanker for manual labor. In fact, he romanticized that he would achieve a position of greatness and respect in his future. Julius grew up angry at his circumstances in life; he’d been robbed. His father had failed to pass on the respect his name should have garnered because he’d been a mean drunk who was poor with money. But it was Julius to whom life was unfair.

This good Samaritan looked to have more than his fair share of blind luck, Julius noted. He wore nice clothing and owned a three year-old Model-T. And the man was already retired and traveling the country. The more Julius thought of it, the angrier he grew.
About the Author: Anne Sweazy-Kulju has won awards and honors for editorials and short stories, but now she writes historical fiction adventures, exclusively. Her debut novel, The Thing With Feathers, was released by Tate Publishing in September 2012. Her book, Bodie, a total thrill ride, is expected to be released in early 2013, and she is currently busy working on her next project, titled Grog Wars, which is set in 1850’s Portland, Oregon, the Shanghai capital of the world. Anne lives near Pacific City, Oregon, and divides her free time between the beach and Mount Bachelor. To learn more about Anne's upcoming projects and see what she's up to, visit her Official Website.
The Thing With Feathers is now available in print and ebook. And you know how we do it here on the Blog-Zine...pick up or download your copy today and read to tell about it! Also, follow Anne Sweazy-Kulju and The Thing With Feathers as it makes its way around the Web on an exciting Virtual Book Tour. Click HERE or on the banner below to find out when and where it will land next!


BK Walker said...

Thank you for hosting Anne today.

Monica Calangian said...

A very beautiful and well-written historical fiction. I will be looking forward to have this novel be adapted in film, too.

Congratulations, Anne.

Monica - Pit Crew

Michelle Cornwell-Jordan said...

Another great stop! Wish you continued luck!:O)


Pit Crew

Rebecca Graf said...

Hope the tour is going good for you.