Case Longstreet, an Apache Tribesman who learned the ways of the white
men, follows a secret plan to destroy his enemies. He is unprepared to
fall in love with a daughter of the frontier. Libby Ashford has gone
west to find freedom. Together, they fight for their bold dream of love
-- and defy both worlds.
Blossom Author: Constance Bennett Description Case Longstreet, an Apache Tribesman who learned the ways of the white men, follows a secret plan to destroy his enemies. He is unprepared to fall in love with a daughter of the frontier. Libby Ashford has gone west to find freedom. Together, they fight for their bold dream of love -- and defy both worlds. Excerpt One Apacheria, in the white man's year 1847 Hidden deep in the shadows of branches, He Stalks the Gray Wolf crouched by the river, studying the reflection of the full moon that shimmered on the water at the fork of Cottonwoods Joining. The river was quiet, its voice soft as it spoke to the moon. Gray Wolf strained to hear its words, for the river was wise, and tonight it was wisdom Gray Wolf sought. On the opposite shore, beyond the trees, he could see the waning campfires of the Many Mountains band, and behind him he knew that identical fires burned inside and out of the Red Canyon wickiups. The two camps reflected each other as the water reflected the moon; so alike, and yet so very far apart. Would it always be so? Gray Wolf wondered bleakly, remembering all the great and noble speeches he had heard at the peace council that day. Some had advocated peace; others had shouted that there could be no peace. Gray Wolf's people had been at war with the Many Mountains band for longer than any of the elders on either side could remember. If this meeting of the warring bands did not resolve the conflict, the petty, futile feud would continue. But Gray Wolf did not believe the feud would last for many more generations. In his heart he knew that if all the bands of the White Mountain Apache did not unite as one, there would soon be no Apache left. His people had an enemy lying in wait that was far more powerful than any single tribe, even more fearsome than the hated Mexicans, who had made war on the Apache for a dozen generations. The White Eyes were coming, and they did not understand that this was Apache land, that the Apache were a proud people. Gray Wolf considered himself a fearless warrior, and there were many in his band who agreed. But it would take more than bravery to hold back the White Eyes. There had to be a way to make his people see that, and so he had come to the river to ask the spirits to tell him how. Behind him, Gray Wolf heard a rustle of leaves so soft it might only have been a trick of the wind. He tensed, waiting to see who approached, and then relaxed again when a faint tinkle of beads and a rustle of buckskin identified the intruder. "You should not be here, Mother," he said quietly without turning. "My father has had a difficult day, and he will want you beside him." The wife of the Red Canyon chief knelt beside her son. "Your father is in council with the elders and will not miss me for some time, I think." She reached out with a mother's hand to stroke Gray Wolf's hair. "You are troubled tonight." Her show of affection was hardly proper, but Gray Wolf did not pull away. Instead, he smiled and lightly chided her. "If my friends see us, they will taunt me mercilessly and ask if I still suck at my mother's breast." Round Maiden smiled. "Your friends would not dare taunt you, for they know how swift and sure your vengeance would be. They know that, like your father, you are a great warrior." "Great warriors' mothers do not stroke their sons' hair and speak to them as though they were children." Round Maiden withdrew her hand and sighed. "Very well, I shall not treat you as my son." Gray Wolf turned to her, and his eyes smiled with love and respect. "Now you go too far." She looked at her strong, handsome son, and pride swelled in her heart. "Tell me what troubles you, my son. Author Bio Constance Bennett Constance Bennett is the award winning, best-selling author of twenty<br><br>contemporary and historical romances. A native of Missouri, she spent<br><br>four years in Los Angeles performing live theatre and studying film and<br><br>television acting before returning home to launch her writing career in<br><br>1985. Her Harlequin Superromances, Playing by the Rules and<br><br>Thinking of You, were both nominated by Romantic Times as Best<br><br>Superromance in their respective years of publication, and<br><br>Playing by the Rules went on to win a Romantic Times achievement<br><br>award as best Romantic Mystery of 1990. Two years later, Bennett<br><br>received the first of her two prestigious Rita Award nominations from<br><br>Romance Writers of America. Her Berkley/Diamond historical,<br><br>Blossom, was nominated for a Rita in 1992, and in 1995 her<br><br>Harlequin Superromance Single... with Children was nominated as<br><br>Best Contemporary Category Romance. That book was also her first<br><br>Waldenbooks bestseller.
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