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The Third Aleyn James Novel

Sequel to Dry Rain

A Tale of Spanish Florida

1621 — 1623

Heat Lightning & Nor'easter.jpg

The Second James Family Novel
Sequel to Thunder Snow &Dry Rain

In the depths of the fourteenth century, the once-mighty Mayan civilization faced its demise at the hands of Spanish invaders. The Spanish conquest led to the fall of the last Mayan strongholds, forcing the priests of the vanquished K'iche' religion, devoted to the Feathered Serpent Tohil, into hiding in the mountains. Despite their defeat, these priests continued to practice their ancient rituals in secret, driven by the dark demands of their god, Tohil, who thirsted for blood sacrifice. Anointing their victims with vibrant blue dye, the priests prepared them for the gruesome ritual. The chosen ones were led to an altar, their hearts ripped from their chests by the Aj, a high-ranking Mayan death priestess. As the lifeblood gushed forth, the heads were severed, to be mounted on spikes as a macabre offering to their deity. The desecrated bodies were then discarded, carelessly thrown down the temple steps, destined for a nearby lime pit.


Centuries later, in the 17th century, the Spanish empire reigned supreme over vast territories, including the enigmatic Mesoamerica. It was during this time that a Spanish conquistador, bearing witness to the horrifying rituals of the Mayan priests, managed to escape their clutches. In awe and disbelief, he relayed his tale to the astonished governor of Cartagena. Driven by a mix of religious fervor and curiosity, the governor rallied a military expedition to eradicate the mountain sanctuary and its Mayan inhabitants. The assault resulted in the massacre of many Mayans, and those unfortunate enough to survive were captured and condemned to a life of slavery. Among the captives were Bel, a eunuch, Mal, a death priestess, and a young devotee of the mysterious Mayan religion, known to the others only as the Acolyte.


Their lives took an unexpected turn when they found themselves in the slave market of San Agustín, Florida. It was there that Acoona, a native American woman, discovered them huddled together in the darkness, occasionally illuminated by the flickering flashes of heat lightning on the horizon. From that fateful encounter, the tale of Aleyn James and Acoona Stonefire began, embarking on a journey filled with unforeseen twists and unwelcome surprises. Imprisonment, narrow escapes, encounters with wild animals, the ravages of a massive hurricane, salvaged Spanish treasure, and heartbreaking losses would test their resilience and strain their newfound bonds of friendship and trust. Yet, amidst the hardships, there were also moments of renewal, as they built unlikely alliances and took daring risks, occasionally triumphing against the odds.


Just as they believed their adventure was drawing to a close, bidding farewell to the Mayans and setting their course northward in search of Squanto and Samoset, fate had other plans in store. Instead, they found themselves in the three-year-old Plymouth colony, where the vacant Indian village of Patuxet stood. Here, they would be thrust into a whole new escapade, as the story shifted gears to focus on Aleyn and Acoona's children, navigating the challenges of growing up in an evolving New England, a land aptly named by Captain John Smith.


In "Nor'easter," the saga of the James family unfolds further, with Aleyn, Acoona, Alan, and Tara, as well as Aleyn's loyal friend Haley and their new companion Galen. After their treacherous journey from Spanish Florida, Aleyn's pinnace, Virginia, meets its demise on the treacherous outer banks of Cape Cod. Forced to assimilate into the fledgling colony of New Plymouth, Aleyn and Acoona gracefully age as they establish their new life as farmers. Meanwhile, their children, Alan and Tara, take center stage, grappling with the growing tensions between the English settlers and the indigenous tribes, witnessing the horrors of the Pequot War, and experiencing the tumultuous birth pangs of a nation striving to find its identity.

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