Captive Brides & Spirits

"Will you ride with me?" asked Night Storm.

She knew what he asked. It was not unheard-of. A woman met a man from another tribe. They rendezvoused in secret and one day he took her from her parent’s lodge. When the tribes gathered in the fall, she would return to her people with a new husband from another tribe. But she did not know this man.
Oh, she could see his accomplishments and his strength. But who was he on the inside?

“I do not know you well enough to ride with you.”

“Riding with me is a good way to get to know me better.” His smile coaxed and the glint in his eye enticed. She wanted to accept his offer, but that was not all she wanted. The tingling in her belly told her that. She also wanted a man of her own.
But she shook her head.

“Or, I could help you look for your father.”

She must find her father and get him back to camp, and she could use his help. He had a horse, after all.
“Come,” he coaxed.

He extended his hand and Skylark stared at the broad palm and long, elegant fingers. She was so tempted, but she remained where she was. Once on his horse there was no guarantee that he would help her search. He might just take her to his tribe. And while he was handsome and finely formed, she resisted her longing. She could not deny her desire, but caution still ruled. She ground her teeth together as she considered what to do.

She shook her head.

“I could just take you,” he said.

She weighed her options. None of the warriors of other tribes had offered for her. Her aunt, Winter Moon, said it was because they did not wish a wife who had more power than they did. Yet the man before her was handsome and willing. And he did not seem afraid.

The chance she took was small and mighty all at once. He was strong. She found his face appealing with a blade of a nose and thick arching brows set above deep brown eyes that watched her every move. She admired the clean line of his jaw and how the corners of his mouth lifted under her gaze in an expression of confidence and interest…in her. It was the sort of face she would never grow tired of seeing. Her heart ached just at the sight of him. Was this the longing her aunt had described, the kind she had never felt until she looked upon this man?

But who was he really? Did he have a good heart?

“I am a medicine woman. I do not cook or tan or sew. I would make you a bad wife.”

“You do not need to cook or tan or sew.”

Skylark’s eyes narrowed. What man would wish a woman who did not perform her duties? And then it struck her.
Her mother’s warning came to her as if whispered in her ear. Skylark straightened. He already had someone to do these things.

“You already have a wife?”

His smile flickered and the pause was a little too long. “I have not yet wed.”

Not yet. She narrowed her eyes feeling the half-truth crawling over her skin like a spider. “But you have offered for one?”
“You are too clever for a woman, Skylark. Why do you not come with me? You can meet Beautiful Meadow. You two could be as sisters. She will cook and you will make strong medicines.”

Skylark backed away. She would never be a second wife. Her mother had often told her that a second wife was little better than an enemy slave. She might fare better in the hands of the Sioux than in the lodge of a woman who did not want her there.

“I will never be a second wife.”

“Then be my first wife. I will marry you first.”

“You do not even know me.”

His eyes swept over her. “My eyes tell me all I need know.”

“Then know this, I will not share a husband with another. Go back to the Black Lodges and marry your Beautiful Meadow, for I will not go with you.”

His brow lifted as if seeing her rejection as a challenge. His eyes fixed upon her and she knew in that moment what it was to be hunted. She dropped her gathering bag and ran, darting in and out of the tree trunks and leaping over fallen logs. He gave her a head start. It was several moments before she heard the horse’s hooves pounding on the soft ground.

(c) 2016, Jenna Kernan. Excerpt by permission of Harlequin LTD. TM
| Amazon | B&N | BAM

JENNA KERNAN is a Publishers Weekly bestselling author who writes riveting romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue, Western Historical fiction and paranormal romance. Jenna recently published her 25th book and received a RT TOP PICK for her APACHE PROTECTORS series title, TRIBAL LAW.  Look for her APACHE PROTECTORS mini-series, TRIBAL THUNDER beginning in January 2017.

Website    Facebook    Amazon    Twitter @JennaKernan      YouTube
Goodreads     Pinterest    Instagram    Newsletter Signup    Blogs

ANGI: What scares you?
JENNA: Hospitals.  Definitely hospitals.

ANGI: Can you tell us about your Native American interests?
JENNA: I grew up in the Catskill Mountains of New York State surrounded with the culture and history of the Iroquois Indians.  I was born in Cooperstown, which is named after the father of James Fennimore Cooper, the author of LAST OF THE MOHECIANS.  As a girl, I hunted for arrowheads in the plowed cornfields all along the Susquehanna River and I used to imagine the indigenous people there in the woods when I was exploring.  Growing up on fourteen acres of wooded land gave me a lot of territory on the hillside to explore.  My favorite place was locally called "The Indian Rocks."  I have a video that I shot from this place, a really important place to me.  It's on my website and YouTube.
ANGI: What’s your favorite Native American hero?
JENNAI'm going to give you three (One historical, one character actor and one very hunky Native American actor)

Hunky Model: Kent Edwards.  He has mixed ethnicity that includes Native American descent.  I used him as the inspiration for the physical presence of Gabe Cosen my Chief of Tribal Police in the romantic suspense, APACHE PROTECTOR'S, Book#3 titled TRIBAL LAW.

Hunky Actor: I'm using Jason Moma as my inspiration for the hero in Book #4 in my APACHE PROTECTORS: TRIBAL THUNDER mini-series.  His origins include Hawaii and credits include Game of Thrones and Red Road, where he plays a really convincing bad guy.
Historical Figures: Chief Joseph - He was a leader of the Nez Perce tribeat a time of great hardship.  He fought the US forces against overwhelming odds and resisted being forced onto reservations for as long as he could.  Facing extinction, he surrendered and upon his surrender, he famously said: "I will fight no more forever." 
He also said, "Treat all men alike. Give them the same law. Give them an even chance to live and grow."  

Native American Character Actor:  I love Chief Dan George in his role of Lone Watie in the film The Outlaw Josey Wales.  His character is so wonderfully funny and charming with just the right amount of pathos.  I'm completely in love with him in this role.  “I didn't surrender, but they took my horse and made him surrender. They have him pulling a wagon up in Kansas I bet.”

ANGI: What do you like about the hero of your book?
JENNA:   I like that he has fallen from his true path - the way of the warrior and fights very hard to return to this road. All he wants in this world is to protect and defend his people from their enemies and hunt for his tribe.

ANGI: Where do you read and how often?
JENNA: I'm often reading in the bathtub and (lately) in a beach chair facing the Gulf of Mexico. 

ANGI: What sound or noise do you love?
JENNA: I love the sound of wind in trees and the rain on the roof.

ANGI: What was the first story you remember writing?
JENNA: The Monkey and the Bird - I also illustrated this original tome although I had to dictate the story because I was six and could not yet write.  So technically, I suppose I did not write it but it is my first recorded story. 

ANGI: What's your most favorite thing to do in your NEW state?
JENNA:  The beach and the beach walks.  I am loving looking at the Gulf of Mexico every day.  The shore birds are fascinating and there is always a chance of seeing dolphin and manatees.  Future plans include more scuba diving, kayaking some of the Florida rivers and boating (just got my certification!)

ANGI: What is your biggest vice?
JENNACaffeine and pride.

ANGI’S GOTTA ASK: The theme in THE WARRIOR’S CAPTIVE BRIDE centers around being cursed. What about this subject piqued your curiosity enough to write the book?
JENNA’S GOTTA ANSWER:   In my new historical, THE WARRIOR'S CAPTIVE BRIDE, Night Storm's attempt to capture Skylark fails when he suffers the first fall in what becomes a falling sickness.  He concludes that she is a witch who has cursed.  He sets out to break her curse, determined to kill her if necessary, only to discover she alone can save him.  Together they unravel the real reason he falls.  Finding a cure will be difficult and keeping his weakness a secret, nearly impossible.

I was most interested in exploring how Native American people once explained the causes of diseases.  I learned that the Navajo have a name for falling sicknesses such as epilepsy.  They call it Moth Madness.  Have you ever seen a moths beat itself against a hot light bulb or fly into a fire?  If you have, you can understand the similarity to a seizure.   

Devils, evil spirits, witches, supernatural forces are reoccurring explanations for ailments throughout the history of mankind. 

This was wonderful fun, reading about shamans and native cures and the taboos that governed proper behavior among various tribes.  I had a great time writing THE WARRIOR'S CAPTIVE BRIDE and hope readers will enjoy reading this Western historical with both a Native American hero and heroine.  Please let me know if you enjoy this story and consider writing a review on GoodReads or Amazon.

Thanks for stopping by.  And...enjoy the adventure!

Apache Protectors: Tribal Thunder, Book #1
January 2017
Read a little, Pre-Order the book

Carter Bear Den’s first sign of trouble at the mine came in the form of a yelp from the security guard seated at the lobby reception desk. The guard’s eyes were glued to the monitor on his desk which showed a series of images from various security cameras. Carter leaned in to see what had made the man blanch.

Carter had a message to deliver. He didn’t like it, but he was duty bound to see that Amber Kitcheyan received the letter. It had been given to him by Kenshaw Little Falcon, the head of the Turquoise Guardians, his medicine society and a tribal shaman.

Now, standing beside the security desk and the uniformed boy they hired to check in visitors, Carter looked at the monitor that showed a masked gunman making steady progress along an empty corridor, and he stopped thinking and wondering. This time he saw the face of danger before it was too late.

Amber was in this building.

Apache Protectors, Book #4
FBI Field Agent Cassidy Edwards hated outdoor venues. There were just an endless number of places to secure.

A woman wearing a cropped T-shirt reached in her purse. Cassidy leaned forward for a better look as Clyne lifted his voice, decrying the carelessness with which Obella Chemicals had released the toxic mix into their water. The woman lifted a silver cylinder from her bag and for one heart-stopping moment Cassidy thought it was the barrel of a gun. She reached under her blazer, gripping her pistol as the woman fumbled with a white cord. She plugged the cord into her cell phone and the other end into the cylinder. A charger, Cassidy realized and relaxed.

That was when the three-foot-tall vase of sunflowers beside the podium exploded.

“Shots!” she shouted, and took down her assignment, diving on Clyne’s back as other agents moved before the line of dignitaries on the stage, making a human shield.

Apache Protectors, Book #3
Selena Dosela’s heart beat so hard in her chest she started gasping.

“For the love of God,” said her father from the passenger seat. “Where’s your Apache poker face?”

She pressed a hand to her forehead and blew out a breath but still felt dizzy.

“Better.” Her father, who was supposed to be home under house arrest, had crouched out of sight when they passed Gabe’s police car, but there was nowhere to hide in the small cab of her box truck.

Gabe hit his lights.

“Pull over,” said her dad.

She did, gliding on snow and ice to a stop on the shoulder. Gabe’s white SUV pulled in behind her.

Gabe Cosen, the chief of police for the Black Mountain Apache tribe, would spot her father the instant he reached her door, which was in about fifteen seconds.

“Tell me when he’s next to the rear tire.”

Selena’s heart began galloping again.

Apache Protectors, Book #2
Izzie Nosie laid low over the mare's neck hoping to make less of a target for whoever was shooting at her.
Damn, this was her land
What was going on? 
Her legs flapped as she kicked her chestnut quarter-horse, Biscuit, to greater speeds.  Who was up there shooting at her?
        She leaned to the right, touching the leather bridle to her horse's strong neck.  The signal was received and Biscuit darted between two pines, jumping the downed log that blocked escape.  She knew her pursuers were not on horseback, so she did her best to take the route hardest to maneuver on foot.  Still, she couldn't out run a bullet. 

Apache Protectors, Book #2
He wanted justice. For his family. For her. 
    Elite tracker Kino Cosen is hunting for the drug lord who murdered his father. After a decade of searching, he's finally got the Viper in his sight—until a woman gets in the way. Now Kino has a new lead. Aid worker Lea Atlaha has seen the Viper face-to-face…and lived. 
     But now Lea's a target. And while Kino thinks he's protecting her because she can help him get justice for his father, he soon realizes that she's not just another witness. As the Viper moves in for the kill, Kino has to choose between his need for vengeance, the traditions of his tribe and the woman he has grown to love. 
JENNA is giving away 2 signed copies of Native Born, Book #4 APACHE PROTECTORS series
North America Readers (signed copy) or International (digital only) giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

JENNA WANTS TO KNOW: Tell me about a Pow-Wow, visit to an American Indian Reservation or where you'd like to visit one day?

I'll go first.  I recently visited the White Mountain Apache Reservation in Arizona.  I've been to two Pow-wows, one in the West and one in the east and really enjoyed the dancing and regalia, especially the jingle dresses.  I've also visited the Museum of the American Indian in NYC and DC.

ANGI'S back next week
UP NEXT ON GLIAS:  Clover Autrey
Get Lost on GoodreadsFacebook
or @GetLostInAStory  #GetLostStories


  1. I have not seen a Pow-Wow in person, but have seen videos and went to a museum that showed Native costumes...

    1. I've been to only four. Two in the West and two in the east. They were different and similar. I love to watch the dancers in their regalia as they whirl. Go see one, Colleen, if the opportunity arises!

  2. I've actually attended two, and I spent a great deal of time with a Navajo storyteller when I was in college. I love the atmosphere and the culture and the tales. I have to get this book

    1. Oh, that sounds wonderful. I love folklore but to be able to listen to someone tell you a tale is a rare and precious thing!

    2. He was tremendous. I could have listened to him for years. He was trained by his grandfather who was trained by his. He was a knowledge keeper, and it was a blessing to listen to him.

    3. What an experience. Lucky you!

  3. We visited Monument Valley several years ago and went on a Navajo led tour. It was the highlight of the whole trip!

    1. That trip is on my "must do" list. I had time to visit the White Mountain Apache on my first trip to Arizona but ran out of time. I'm very interested in their silver work, rugs and, well, everything!

  4. I've never met any Indians the most I know about them is what I've seen and read in the museum

    1. The Museum of the American Indian in NYC and DC are both wonderful. I go there every chance I get!

  5. Glad to have you back on the blog, Jenna. We attended a couple of special Pow Wows for Boy Scouts. Very cool indeed.

    1. Thanks, Angi. Some dancers make their living at Pow-Wows like riding the rodeo circuit.

  6. Hi,

    this sounds wonderful.

    I'd love to visit everywhere, but New Zealand first.

  7. I've been to New Zealand and immediately began planning my return. A wonderful place to visit.

  8. When I lived out West I went to many Indian events. I love learning about Indian culture.

    1. There are so many festivals and gatherings out west!

  9. Me, too. For instance, I learned from a Native American man in New Mexico that the attire that is worn for festivals and ceremony is called regalia not a costume.