The Bowdancer is Book One of the Saga, and I thoroughly enjoyed Janie Franz’s story, published by Muse It Up Press. Any reader will be happy to know there will be more in her series. Let me tell you about the heroine, Jan-nell. She is a young healer and keeper of village lore. She must find the child who will be the next bowdancer or a man worthy of love. When a village wedding is interrupted by four stranger, Jan-nell treats the injuries of one of them.
The leader of these men, Bastin, is an arrogant, intelligent rogue who also is searching for an equal. His presence questions the bowdancer’s life choice and stirs more than her mind.
The arrow flamed in a yellow arc across the night sky, like a trailing star portending some great event. And in truth it did this night, the night of the Great Moon of Full Summer. This night the bowdancer’s arrow signaled a solemn rite and a village celebration—the union of Merin, the tall horserider, and Co-rell, the blonde chosen-daughter of Wise Woman Dan-da-nell.
They were often seen among the white mares in the meadow. Merin’s long hair flowed behind him as he raced to grab a handful of yellow-white horse mane nearly the same color as his own. He would swing himself upon a sleek back of one of the mares and come racing to scoop Co-rell high onto the horse with him, cradling her in his arms like a happy squealing child.
Jan-nell, the bowdancer, knocked the last burning signal arrow against her bowstring. She smiled as her mind composed the quatrains of an idyll to the horserider and his bride: white against white like playful doves, spirit folk.
When she released the arrow to call in the stragglers from the outlying farms, she shook her head and altered her imagery. No, not spirit folk, just sleek horses riding the meadows enjoying the fullness of coupling and sweet grass. But this young stallion and his mare would grace the village children’s tales and lessons. Jan-nell would see to that. Co-rell and Merin were the stuff of legends. She would gladly give the young ones a dream. They need not know that Merin could not speak a sentence without coloring the shade of a retiring sun and much preferred the silent movements of horses to men.
Jan-nell had spent too many early mornings drilling Merin in the wedding words he was to speak to Co-rell. There were only five short speeches, but they were impossible for him to remember, much less speak them to a woman. Finally, on this wedding morn, he had been able to say the words to Jan-nell without much stumbling. She did not know if he could repeat them at moon-rise to Co-rell.
Jan-nell frowned as she ducked into her solitary thatched hut some little distance from the village edge. She wondered why she remained with such simple wits. From a shelf above the stone fireplace she had laid with her own hands, she brought down a pot of scented oil and set it on the hearth to warm. Taking a small piece of cloth, she wiped the smoke from her large bow.
About Janie Franz
Janie Franz comes from a long line of Southern liars and storytellers. She told other people’s stories as a freelance journalist for many years. With Texas wedding DJ, Bill Cox, she co-wrote The Ultimate Wedding Ceremony Book and The Ultimate Wedding Reception Book, and then self-published a writing manual, Freelance Writing: It’s a Business, Stupid! She also published an online music publication, was an agent/publicist for a groove/funk band, a radio announcer, and a yoga/relaxation instructor.
Currently, she is writing her tweveth novel and a self-help book, Starting Over: Becoming a Woman of Power.
Questions for Janie Franz
- Level of schooling: I have a BA in Anthropology.
- Birthplace: I was born in a tiny town in Tennessee that if you drove through it with someone and reached down to pick up your purse, you’d miss it.
- Currently residing in: I currently live in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I couldn’t get away from mountains. They are different from those near my birth but mountains just the same.
- Favorite place to visit: I’m torn between two cities in the Deep South. Savannah GA and New Orleans LA. They both hold such charm and hospitality.
- Favorite food: A beef, bean, and rice burrito with green sauce with lots of sour cream and a margarita. I’m a product of my new environment.