Message From The Author

Author's Message

Something exciting is up from my Silhouette Special Editions, beginning with Morgans Rescue and continuing through The Cougar. Major Mike Houston is indeed more than what he appears to be!

For years Id been plotting a romance series known as the Jaguar Clan. Heres the story of how it finally came about. In 1991 I was invited to speak at a conference in Sao Paulo on homeopathy and medical astrology. Afterward, our host took us for a week-long trek into the Amazon jungle. What ensued was an adventure beyond fiction!

I come from Eastern Cherokee blood and my father was a shaman down through the lineage of his family. One of the strong motifs of my people is that we believe that we have spirit guardiansmuch like angelsbut they take the form of animals. A year before my trip to Brazil, I was told in a meditation that I would acquire Jaguar medicine. Medicine is a term that means skill, but little did I realize what that would really mean!

In the old days of my people, a medicine person in training always acquired his or her medicine by having an actual confrontation with the animal. I figured that Id acquire this exotic medicine in a dream state or on a vision quest, which I took yearly. The joke was on me: only three hours down the Amazon River, I felt, intuitively, that a jaguar was around. The first morning, at dawn, I got up with my husband Dave and we went for a long walk.

Down by a stream, about a mile from the village, was a dilapidated wooden bridge. Sitting in front of that bridge was a male jaguar looking at us expectantlyas if hed been anticipating our arrival! To see a wild jaguar was rare, we understood, for jaguars were on the endangered species list in South America. At that moment I felt the jaguar touching my mindand my heart. I felt compelled to go down there and meet with him. Dave thought I was crazy, but knowing enough of my background, he reluctantly let me go.

Amazingly, I was allowed to pet the jaguar and he led me down to the stream where Dave and I sluiced water over his beautiful gold and black crescent coat. I asked Dave to run back to the village and get the camera, and in the meantime I backed off and squatted in the grass about six feet away. The jaguar lay down on the bank to lick its paws dry and I sang it my personal song in honor of our meeting. When I finished, I felt him getting ready to pounce on me. It was then that my memory of acquiring animal medicine came back: students call the animal to them, ask for a trade of medicine. If they are lucky and in harmony with themselves, they trade spirits and walk away unharmedbut this is not always the case. I knew, as I stared into that jaguars gold and black eyes, that I was in a life-or-death test.

Something very mystical happened to me in those intervening moments, that trading of spirits. The jaguar froze meI couldnt move, for hed stolen my spirit. It took all of my knowledge, strength and discipline to call my spirit back to my body. The instant I did, I knew the cat would leap. I slammed back into my body, thrust my knees upward and I leaped into the air. I did a hundred and eighty degree turn and hit the dirt bank at a dead run. I heard a thunking sound behind me. Breathless, I glanced over my shoulder as I scrambled up the bank. The jaguar was pacing angrily in the place where Id been squatting only seconds before! I tore across the bridge, running so hard that everything omething was a blur. I ran into Dave on the hill.

I knew I had to get a photo. I went back fearfully, but knowing because I got the upper hand on the spirit trade I could command the jaguar not to attack me. I hung out over the edge of the bridge and told the jaguar to lay down beneath me, which he did. Dave had one shot left in the cameraand now you can see for yourself that this is no tall tale!

It is because of this episode in 1991, the Jaguar Clan book series, was born. The first book, HEART OF THE JAGUAR (Jan. 99, Silh.) is about Major Mike Houston and Dr. Ann Parsons, who work for Morgan Trayhern and Perseus. I hope you enjoy the passion and cliff-hanging adventure of this Morgans Mercenaries offering. If you do, the next book, INCA, isnt far behind!

My editor Lynda Curnyn and I would LOVE to hear how you like this new series. Please send comments to: Eileen Nauman, P.O. Box 2513, Cottonwood, AZ 86326 or e-mail me at docbones@sedona.net


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