T’on Ma Series = 62 down, 38 to go

11 Jul

I’m not sure I’m what one would traditionally call a history buff, but I enjoy visiting historical sites and learning about historical events, and in particular, how events affected individual lives. When I was searching for a book for the historical fiction category, I came across Kuy Syan Joshua. I plowed through the book fairly quickly, as it was an interesting and engaging read. I’ve always had an affinity for the Civil War, as well as for the Native American way of life.

When I reached the end of the book, I was floored that it didn’t resolve a number of the storylines in the book. I was very much relieved when I looked up the author, Magnolia Belle, and found that this book was one in a series of three. I quickly downloaded and consumed the third book, Little Wolf Ranch, followed briskly by the first, T’on Ma.

The series features Lana Cooper, the daughter of a homesteader in the mid 19th century. One day while bathing in the river, she is startled by a Kiowa warrior watching her intently. Over time, she and the warrior, Two Hawks, visit with one another out of sight of her family, who does not approve and are frightened by the idea of their teenage daughter being involved with someone of such an unfamiliar culture. The two soon fall in love, and she, who Two Hawks calls “my heart,” must choose between continuing in the life that is expected of her or giving up the only life she has ever known to become his squaw. Two Hawks love is captured here:

T’on Ma had her arms wrapped tightly around his waist as she lifted her head for his kisses. He leaned down, touching her sweet lips with his own, when she burst like a raindrop, splashing on hard earth, and turned into a stream of water flowing toward the east.

Into Lana’s life soon comes an army officer, Liam O’Connell. As events unfold, Lana reluctantly decides she cannot be with Two Hawks and marries Liam. But when Liam’s rich Southern family travels to the fort where they live to meet his new bride, the reality of her new life quickly comes crashing in on her. His parents raised Liam to enter the military and then enter a life of politics – one which requires a wife to build a home with servants and slaves, throw parties to entertain friends and constituents, and be the consummate political spouse.

During this time, Two Hawks has been on a path to self destruction since the day Lana told him they could not be together. He and his band have been raiding horses and burning homesteads up and down the frontier. They are eventually captured by Liam and his men, taken to the fort and sentenced to hang. Lana, unable to bear the thought of her truest love dying, frees the warriors without her husband finding out. While unlocking the stockade, she whispers to Two Hawks that it is always him who she has loved most.

After the warriors escape, Lana commits to staying with Liam and honoring the commitment she made. When he receives orders to transfer to Boston, he puts her on a wagon to Georgia to stay with her parents for a couple of weeks and learn the ways of a proper Southern wife. While on the way, the wagon picks up a young woman traveling alone. Lana gives her one of her dresses and lets her wear her wedding ring after she admires it. In the meantime, a storm quickly rolls in, causing the wagon to tumble down a ravine. The two soldiers and the young woman are killed, and when Liam finds the wagon, it is assumed the dead young woman is Lana, with a body damaged beyond recognition wearing Lana’s dress and wedding ring. In the meantime, Lana had been found by a band of Indians and taken to a powwow, where she eventually is found by Two Hawks.

With her family and her husband believing her dead, Lana, also known as T’on Ma (Water Woman) makes a life-changing decision to become Two Hawks wife. She finds her acceptance into the tribe difficult and challenging. Eventually, she finds acceptance and, with Two Hawks, raises her family, one daughter and three sons, one of which was born eight months after their marriage and is actually Liam’s son. When the children are older, the happy family finds their way of life threatened by whites, and treaties promised by the whites continue to be violated. In one battle, Two Hawks is killed, and eventually Kuy Syan Joshua is arrested and sent to the fort. This brings him in contact with Liam and his two daughters from his second marriage.

The remainder of the story is Lana reconnecting with her remaining family members and finding love with Liam again. There are many more adventures in these books. I’m very glad that I came across this series.

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