Santa Cruz, California, October 28th, 2014

Santa Cruz, California, October 28th, 2014

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Okay, so we know WHY I write, but do we know WHAT I write?

Most TFTR readers know that I write about Navajo history, specifically The Long Walk and the prison camp near Fort Sumner, New Mexico known as Bosque Redondo, or most properly, "Hweeldi".

So, let's talk about the first story...A Dangerous Mercy.

The first book starts in 1864, in the POV (point of view-the person "telling" the story) of Tsi'tnaginnie (Sit-nah-ginnie) a Navajo silversmith whose family and clans are being marched at gunpoint from their home in Canyon de Chelly (du Shay) across the desert to Fort Sumner, New Mexico.

Then things get worse.

At the time the story takes place, Native Americans were despised by most settlers and military personnel. Absolutely DESPISED. They were seen as savages, vermin, wild creatures, blocking the God-fearing folk from progress and destiny.
But, not just in North America. The attitude of European Anglos toward indigenous peoples almost everywhere on Earth was patriarchal and superior. Africa, the South Pacific, Asia, Latin America, everywhere...white=smarter, better, more civil. thus, the darker the skin tone, the more ignorant a person was.

But hey, who built Machu Picchu? The Great Wall? Who read the stars and crossed the South Seas in outriggers? Who saw the night sky as their map?

And for many, the sad state of affairs was mostly encouraged with the blessing of whatever religious authority was around. 

So, let's review... very few Anglo-Europeans and Native Americans got along. Treachery and death had a lot to do with things. 

On both sides.

I tell the story of one family, the people they loved, and what would've happened in the land story tellers adore...the land of What If.  

Martin Sensmeier by Wolfn Photography*

Kasha Kropinski as Kemma Fallon*

What if after he's taken prisoner, Tsi'tnaginnie finds work at Hweeldi with the blacksmith, Eamon St. George? He's skilled with metals and learns the trade quickly from Eamon.
What if he becomes the brother that Eamon always wanted? 
What if kinship saw only the heart, and Tsi'tnaginnie's parents and daughter loved Eamon as one of their own?
What if Tsi'tnaginnie's worst enemy was the fort commander, Josiah Fallon? 
What if Tsi'tnaginnie's greatest love was the fort commander's daughter, Kemma?
What if the only person between Kemma, and intentional death, was Tsi'tnaginnie? 
What if the ever present evil of slavery touched Tsi'tnaginnie, and destroyed his whole world?

What if Tsi'tnaginnie's belief in God hinged on the impossible? 

Sometimes, only the impossible will do.


Here's the Pinterest link for the book:
*DISCLAIMER: These pictures are from my Pinterest boards and do not imply that either actor is involved with my work, but are meant only to provide a visual for the reader.


  1. Sounds like a beautiful story, Jennifer - can't wait to read it!! I have always sympathized with the Native American - feeling so many of them have been mistreated. My father's first cousin and his wife spent their lives as missionaries to the Seminole in Florida. My mother's father was a Swearingen - one of my ancestors is Marmaduke VanSwearingen - known to many as Blue Jacket, a white boy who was captured by the Shawnee, one of their war chiefs. He loved the Shawnee and fought to protect their land. An outdoor drama about his life - ran in Lima, Oh. for over 20 years. Some people now dispute the fact that Blue Jacket was a white man, however, Laura Frantz has studied the VanSwearingen family and feels Marmaduke IS Blue Jacket - that's good enough for me, lol!!

  2. Wow...pretty sure I just got goosebumps. I'm already in love with this story, Jennifer! And the photos bring it even more to life...truly beautiful, friend. I'm so excited for the day I can find your books on bookshelves. :)

  3. Sometimes, only the impossible will do.


  4. Uh huh ... I can't wait to hold it in my hands. And cast my eyes' vision to the pages. Uh huh.