Teaser: RAVEN HEART
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And for today, a teaser chapter from RAVEN HEART, the first Alaskan Totems paranormal romance by Murphy Lawless! :)
RAVEN HEART: CHAPTER ONE
A surveyor’s mark, hot glowing orange, cut a line across an arm’s length of mountain stone. The paint splashed a few pieces of loose rock, but not enough to wipe it out if Elena knocked them away. Farther down the mountain, where grey stone turned to loose scree, another mark could be overturned entirely, but it wouldn’t make any difference. The surveys were done, and the development rights for the land had been put up for lease.
The federal government had given Alaskan natives more of their land back than any other Native American tribes—and that was a problem right there, given their land back—but this whole swath of mountain, traditional Tlingit hunting and gathering territory, still fell under federal lands, all the way out into the bay, and it turned out there was oil in them thar waters.
Elena Peratrovich’s mother, and her mother before her, had been fighting to get the land recognized as Tlingit territory for decades, long before anybody discovered oil, and today, they’d lost for good. No one in the tribe had the money to buy up the resource rights, and that meant the profits from oil and fishing development would benefit…well, someone else. As always.
So Elena had come to the mountain to say goodbye, to look out over the bay and the forests before oil platforms and cruise ships became eyesores on the glacier blue waters. She’d hiked up with the sunset around ten o’clock the evening before, and sat on the mountain through the long dusk and the few, hours of night. The horizon, never truly dark, began to brighten with grey again before three, and by four, soft gold light turned the sky pale behind the mountains. Shafts of brightness threw color on the mountainside, gradually illuminating scraggly brown and green moss, and stretching for the spruce forest that made up the range’s tree line. Farther down the stubborn spruce gave way to leafy trees and fern-filled undergrowth, Alaska’s all-but-unknown rain forests providing trees of massive size, even up to the cedars that had once made up the southeastern tribes’ traditional houses.