I am so excited to have Margaret Coel here for a visit today!
A Conversation with Margaret Coel on the latest Wind River mystery, Winter’s Child
(Post provided by publicist.)
Where do you get your ideas? Every author hears that question a lot. Out of the blue, is my answer. Writing a series means I am always waiting for an idea to drop out of the blue for the next Father John O’Malley/Vicky Holden adventure. The idea for Winter’s Child did just that a number of years ago when I stumbled across the photo of an Arapaho couple, taken about 1920. They wore traditional Arapaho clothing, headdresses and beaded necklaces, and stared poker-faced into the camera as if a camera wasn’t the most curious thing they had ever encountered.
An Arapaho couple, except that the woman wasn’t Arapaho. She was white. Married to an Arapaho man named John Brokenhorn and living on the Wind River Reservation.
Whoa! I said to myself. A white woman who had become Arapaho? How did that come about? This was the idea that eventually led to Winter’s Child.
What I found out about the woman was that she had been born Elizabeth Fletcher, the youngest child of a white family, who called her Lizzie. In 1865, the Fletcher family was crossing the plains when Cheyennes and Arapahos attacked their wagons and captured two-year-old Lizzie. From that moment her life changed into one her family could not have imagined. She grew up Cheyenne, but she married an Arapaho and began living with the Arapahos, eventually going with them to the Wind River Reservation. She became Arapaho.
The idea of a white-Arapaho never left me. A couple years ago, I started thinking again about Lizzie Brokenhorn and wondering what it must have been like for her to assume a new identity, become someone else. She may have been very young when she was captured, yet everyday she had to see the whiteness of her skin, the reddish blond color of her hair and know that she was different. She was someone else.
I started asking the what if questions: What if a white child appeared on the reservation today and became Arapaho? Where did this child come from? Who had brought her to the reservation and why? Where was her white family? Now that she identified as Arapaho, what would become of her? And the last what if question was this: what might two white girls who lived a century apart have in common?
The more I thought about the idea, the more I realized I had hit upon a mystery wrapped inside an enigma wrapped inside—well, another mystery. There were mysteries all around for Father John and Vicky to untangle, and plenty of reasons someone might not want them to succeed. In fact, might do whatever it took, including murder, to keep the secrets of the past hidden.
Not the least of the mysteries Father John and Vicky must confront is that of identity. Are we more than who we think we are? Do we create our identities, or do our identities create us? When we find ourselves in places or circumstances we had never planned, as is the case with both Father John and Vicky, how do we plot our way forward?
Big questions to ponder, but those are the kind of questions that draw Father John and Vicky into the story and keep them involved until they find the answers. The questions certainly kept me involved as I wrote the story—or rather, as the story seemed to unfold on its own—and I hope they will keep you involved as you go along on this adventure.
Winter’s Child (A Wind River Mystery)
20th in Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (September 6, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Hardcover: 304 pages
E-Book ASIN: B0191WS018
Margaret Coel’s New York Times bestselling series continues as Arapaho attorney Vicky Holden and Father John O’Malley discover that a centuries-old mystery is tied to a modern-day crime on the Wind River Reservation…
In the midst of a blizzard, Myra and Eldon Little Shield found an abandoned baby on their doorstep and brought her inside. Five years later, no one has come back to claim the little girl now known as Mary Anne Little Shield. But now that she’s old enough to start school, her foster parents fear social services will take her—a white child—away from them.
Determined to adopt Mary Anne, the Little Shields hire lawyer Clint Hopkins, who wants Vicky as cocounsel on the case. But before their meeting can take place, a black truck deliberately runs Hopkins down in the street.
Enlisting Father John to help investigate who would kill to stop the child’s adoption, Vicky unravels a connection between the five-year-old girl and a missing alcoholic Arapaho wanted for robbery—only to uncover one of the darkest secrets in Wind River’s history…
Find out more about Margaret Coel and her books on her webpage here.
Click on covers for more book info or to purchase from Amazon.
Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
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Contest Will End October 8, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
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Comments on “Special Guest – Margaret Coel – Author of Winter’s Child – #Giveaway too! @BerkleyMystery”
This book sounds so good I had entered at i think the virtual on Jennifer Faye’s site and was hoping that i could read and review so again fingers are trying to cross for this one again
Oh my this book sounds so good. I would love the chance to read it.
I have enjoyed other books written by Margaret Coel, and this one sounds just as intriguing as the others I have read. Thank you.
From the information in your blog, this book tells me it will be one I won’t want to put down. Thank you for the introduction to Winters Child and Margaret Coel. I’m sure I will want to read more of Ms. Coel’s books. firstname.lastname@example.org
What a fascinating plot line! I haven’t previously read any books by Margaret Coel and would love to read this one!
I am so intrigued by the premise of this book I really want to read it. Would love to win! Have this book on my Amazon wish list and Goodreads want to read list! Thank you for this chance.
I have not read any of your books yet, and appreciate Lori introducing us to you ~
This sounds like an intriguing story. It’s interesting to hear how the idea got started for you.
sounds like a good read.
This sounds like a book I would really enjoy. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.
This novel is intriguing. The novels are all wonderful.
This is a new author to me, I don’t know how I missed reading any of her books. This book looks amazing, looking forward to reading.
I’m fairly new to this series but I love it! I hope to collect and read all the books.
I want to read it!
Nice post, I’d love to win and read the book!
Lovely post. Would love to read this. Sooner. Rather than later. Thanks for the chance to do so
Great blurb has me eager to read this one.
I’m excited to discover this author, joined her email newsletter and added Winter’s Child to my Goodreads want to read bookshelf. This looks like a fun read with the ways of the Arapaho Indians contrasted with non-Indians and that the child was dropped off at a church doorstep. Ancestry interests me and my mom has given many talks and written newspaper articles on her own history, her grandparents and local small town Ohio history.
Really looking forward to this one. That cover art’s great too, I can just feel that cold, winter evening. Thanks for the chance to win.
This sounds soooo good!!! I would love to read this series. Thanks for having the giveaway.
I already had your book on my Goodread’s list of “my books to read” before this contest. It sounds so good, and I love books relating to our American Indians. Thank you for writing this one. I hope to win so I can keep it and also share it with my daughter.
What a fascinating book! Thanks for sharing the inspiration for your story. I have added it to my Goodreads list.
The books look great!
I love your books. I can’t wait to read this one. Thank you for the chance to win and for having such a nice giveaway!
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