The Raven’s Daughter
By- Peggy A. Wheeler
Genre- Fantasy, Adventure
Publication Date-February 29th
A Murdering Monster and a Myth Come to Life
After a police shootout where she killed a man, criminologist Maggie Tall Bear Sloan retires from the force to enjoy peace and quiet in rural California. When sets of young twins are murdered in her town, the local sheriff recruits her to solve the gruesome killings.
But to catch a killer, Maggie either accepts her true nature as a “pukkukwerek” —the shapeshifting monster killer of Yurok legend—or more children will die.
As the manhunt intensifies and her own family is threatened, Maggie will do whatever it takes to keep them safe. Whether she’s awake or asleep dreaming, Maggie is faced with a difficult choice: embrace her heritage—even if it means turning into myth itself—or deny that heritage and lose everything.
Please share a brief bio/history on each of the main characters, this can include a physical description, likes/dislikes, personality quirks, etc.
Maggie Tall Bear Sloan
She’s half Yurok and half Irish (her father was an Orangeman in Belfast who died in a car bombing during “The Troubles” when Maggie was small.) Her mother, who raised her, is steeped in the Yurok culture, and does her best to teach Maggie the customs, lore, mythology, of her people, but Maggie resists. She is more attached to her Irish heritage and denies or ignores her Native heritage. Maggie has a twin brother, Danny, who is just the opposite from Maggie. He’s completely immersed in the Yurok culture, and does not identify with his Irish heritage. They are opposites in other ways, too, and often argue.
Maggie is in her late 40s, and is tall, with long black hair with gray streaks that she wears in a thick braid that falls to her waist. She’s in pretty good shape for a woman approaching middle-age, and she’s beautiful but in a natural way. She tends to wear old jeans, ripped up vans, and no make-up.
She was born in the fictional “Wild River County,” in a little town of 3,000 called “Wicklow” in the Trinity Alps in Northern California. She left to go to school in Los Angeles, UCLA, then to Washington D.C. to study criminal science at American University. She was solicited for the FBI, but decided not to join. She worked at a Detective and Profiler for the Oakland Police Department, but retired early when after a series of child murders she shot the wrong suspect. All Maggie wants to do is live in her little A-Frame cabin on the river, raise chickens, keep a garden, learn herbology, and study Irish Gaelic, but she’s pulled reluctantly back into the reserves to help solve child murders in her town, and since her nieces fit the killer profile exactly, she feels compelled to help.
Although she’s a criminal profiler, she’s a terrible judge of character when it comes to men in her life. She has a series of failed affairs, including with a married UCLA professor, with whom she has a child who dies at birth. She never quite gets over that.
She drinks too much, has a temper, has a mouth like a truck driver, and doesn’t have much of a sense of humor, but she is compassionate and smart. She pretty much stays to herself with the exception of her brother and his family, and her two best friends, a witch who owns a haunted bookstore/coffee house in town, and the sheriff. She’s known both her entire life.
Maggie shapeshifts into a green-eyed raven from Yurok legend, but refuses to believe her transitions are anything other than dreams, and ravens follow her everywhere.
Town sheriff and lifelong friend to Maggie and her family. His mother was an abusive schizophrenic. Jake would spend time at the Sloans to get away from his mother. He is a little shorter than Maggie likes her men, and he’s bit craggy, and rough around the edges, but is in pretty good shape and is attractive in his own way. He has a peculiar habit of raking his fingers through his hair when under stress.
Jake, the same age as Maggie, has been in love with Maggie since they were both in the eighth grade, but Maggie never returns his affection. After she leaves town to attend UCLA, Jake meets a lovely woman. They marry, but she contracts breast cancer and dies. Once he has worked through his initial grief, Jake sets his intention back on Maggie, and when she retires and returns to Wicklow, he pursues her again. She rebuffs his advances, and he’s heartbroken.
When a series of child murders occur in Wicklow, Jake talks Maggie into joining the reserves to work with him on the case, so they end up working very close together.
Jake is more moderate and easy-going than Maggie. He’s got a good sense of humor. He drinks, but not to excess. He’s well-grounded. His only real weakness is his passion for Maggie. He lives alone in a small house behind the sheriff’s station, with meager belongings, because like Maggie, he doesn’t much care for material things.
He’s getting weary of being the sheriff. He thinks he’s getting too old for the job, and would like to retire to write crime novels.
About the Author
Peggy A. Wheeler is published under the names of Peggy A. Wheeler, Peggy Wheeler and Peggy Dembicer. Her non-fiction articles and poetry have appeared in a number of national
magazines and anthologies. She has written for Llewellyn Worldwide. Most recently, she her short story Mama’s Special Stew appears in WOMEN WRITING THE WEIRD II: Dreadful
Daughters, by Dog Horn Press.
Her B.A. in English Literature is from U.C.L.A. Her M.A. in English with a Creative Writing emphasis is from California State University at Northridge. While attending U.C.L.A., Peggy
was one of only twelve students (and the only undergraduate) chosen to study with Robert Pinsky, former Poet Laureate of the United States. She won first prize awards for two of her
poems from an Evergreen Women’s Press nation wide poetry contest. Her poetry received honorable mentions from the judges of a Los Angeles Poetry Festival and The Academy of
American Poets. Peggy’s poem Du Fu was nominated for a Rhysling award for Best Science Fiction Poem. Her manuscript for THE RAVEN’S DAUGHTER was a top ten finalist in the 2014 CCC Great Novel contest.
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