Message From The Author
Lindsay McKenna Introduces MORGAN'S MERCENARIES
Lindsay McKenna is an extraordinary persona fact which will not surprise the fans of her 50-plus books. But in addition to being an extremely talented author, shes also a homeopathic healer, a Cherokee medicine woman, and a practitioner of South American Jaguar medicine, which utilizes metaphysical and spiritual power. Her latest novel, MORGANS MERCENARIES: HEART OF THE WARRIOR, explores all of these fascinating subjects as it tells the sizzling, heart-touching love story of Incaa powerful Brazilian warrior woman, who is also a sexual innocent and Roan Storm Walker, the Native American soldier who grows to value her more than his own life.
When I interviewed Lindsay, she was in Machu Picchu, Peru, continuing her research for future Heart books, the first in the series was Mike Houstons story, Heart of the Jaguar (Jan. 99); HEART OF STONE (Mar. 01) the story of Maya, a Black Jaguar clan member, will complete the trilogy. But for all those whove come to love Mike, Inca and Roan, and Maya, fear notthere will be four more books set in this region, and three of them spin off from HEART OF STONE.
When Lindsay first traveled to the Amazon, for a medical conference in Brazil in 1991, she met the real life jaguar who inspired the series. After the conference, while exploring the jungle down river, Lindsay and her husband Dave encountered one of theseextremely rareblack and gold big cats. When she saw him, Lindsay recounts, I felt the jaguar touching my mindand my heart. I felt compelled to go down there and meet him. Amazingly, the jaguar not only let Lindsay pet him, he also splashed in the stream with herand they then traded spirits, which Lindsay explains is an old, as well as modern, Native American term for human and animal exchanging their spirits and energy with each other. She continues, One of the strong motifs of my people [the Cherokee] is that we believe we have spirit guardiansmuch like angelsbut they take the form of animals. Her encounter with the jaguar began her initiation into South American jaguar medicine and mysticism, a personal journey of unfoldment that continues to unveil itself over time.
Her heroine, Inca, is a member of the Jaguar clan, which is essentially a community of healers. Inca, however, is a warrior as well, she fights to protect both the Amazon rain forest and the people who live there. Incas home is this jungle, among giant trees with 6 to 8 foot tall roots and wild orchids, not to mention creatures like the lethal bushmaster snake, which will literally chase down its victims. Lindsay comments, "I hope that my love, my sense of how rare and beautiful this womb of Mother Earth really is, continues to be conveyed in Inca's story."
In Morgan's Mercenaries: Heart Of The Warrior, Inca joins Morgan's Mercenaries to try and shut down the drug lords who not only sell death and addiction worldwide but also enslave the Amazonian Indians to produce their raw product, coca. Far from a plot device, this is a horrifyingly realistic scenario. Lindsay explains, The entire social schema in the Amazon is a death warrant for the Indians who live there. The history of murdering Indians in the Amazon is not just drug runners who enslave them, force them to grow or pick coca leaves to make cocaine, but the miners who seek gold and gemstones are ruthless with them as well. There is a sickening history of Brazilians from Manaus going down river to murder villages -- hundreds of men, women, and children. It's a chilling, ongoing event.
Inca is a unique heroine in romance, though Lindsay describes her as an archetypal woman, both a warrior and a healer. She continues, I believe that every one of us women ARE warriors, modern-day ones, who are in a constant state of battle for our own status as equals, as a gender, and also, being a mother, defending and nurturing and loving our children. We must be very strong, resilient, flexible and enduring. I believe Inca portrays all these complex qualities that we, as women, also have but may not realize consciously on a daily basis.
It makes sense that Lindsay's latest heroine would be a warrior, since she virtually created the the military romance subgenre back in 1983, with Captive of Fate (Silhouette Special Edition). She herself served as a meteorologist in the air wing of the Navy, and her father is also a Navy veteran. She explains, ":I know the pressures, the rigors, the demands and the awful hardships [military people] face, especially if they have a family and children. My heart is with the military and the sacrifices our men and women make on behalf of our country. I'm not apologetic about holding them up as my heroes and heroines, because they are. I write from experience!"
The next in the series, HEART OF STONE, is about Maya, a helicopter pilot and Black Jaguar clan member. This clan is dedicated to protecting people worldwide; they stand toe-to-toe with the bad guys, Lindsay says, the trouble-shooters, so to speak. Like Mike Houston, Maya is on the front lines, in a military sense. She is a fully empowered woman warrior, with a heart, with a spirit and vision to help those who need protecting and defending. Inca and Maya, however, are worlds apart. The two clans do things a lot differently, and I hope readers will continue to explore this territory with me, and be entertained as well.
Lindsay's novels are only one facet of a life devoted to healing and spiritual exploration as a homeopathic practitioner, she also works with and creates flower and gem essences to cure people who are ill or in pain. They may just be her most far-reaching cure, however, as Lindsay declares, "I believe that writing romances is underscoring the greatest healer of them all: Love."
You can e-mail Lindsay at email@example.com, or write her at P.O. Box 2513, Cottonwood, AZ 86326.
Abridged Excerpt: HEART OF THE WARRIOR
Stop here, Inca said, and held up her hand. They halted near the edge of the rain forest. Before them was a Yanomami village of around fifty people. A mother with a baby hurried forward. Inca murmured to the mother soothingly, and took the baby, who was no more than two months old, into her arms.
The mothers wailing and sobbing continued unabatedthe pleading in her voice didnt need any translation for Roan. Narrowing his eyes, he saw darkness begin to gather around and above Inca. Then, quickly, the smoky mist began to take shape as it eased down across Incas form. Roan stared hard. It was the jaguar! He saw the jaguar apparition completely engulf Incas upper body. It was superimposed upon her and he could see both simultaneously. Instead of Inca, he saw the jaguars massive flat head, sun-gold eyes and tiny black constricted pupils. A wave of energy hit Roan, and it reminded him of standing out in knee-high surf in the ocean and being struck by a larger, far more powerful wave.
Roan tried to keep his concentration on the baby Inca held gently
to her breast. At one point, she turned the child on his back and blew gently into his opened mouth. The sobs of the mother continued. Her face was streaked with tears, her eyes filled with agony as she begged Inca to save her dying baby.
Blinking, unsure of what he was perceiving, Roan saw golden light coming out of Incas and the jaguars mouth simultaneously. He saw the golden threads move into the infants slack mouth and fill his tiny form, which began to sparkle and throb with life.
As Inca raised her head, her eyes still closed, Roan saw the jaguar disappear. Instantly it was gone, as was the smoky cloud the animal had come out of. All Roan saw was Inca and the baby. Holding his breath, along with the rest of the villagers, he realized he was watching a miracle take place. As Inca slowly opened her willow-green eyes, the infant in her hands moved and gave a weak cry. And then the babys cry no longer wavered, but was strong and lusty.
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