Wednesday, March 28, 2012


I thought it impossible, but Keta Diablo has surpassed HOLDING ON TO HEAVEN with the sequel, DARK NIGHT OF THE MOON. What a story!

Lauren McCain Gatlin is married to Brand Gatlin, but in love with his brother Creed. She married Brand when she learned she was pregnant with Creed’s child after Creed had left to fight in the Civil War. Through a terrifying ordeal in the first book, Lauren found her twin after being separated at birth. The midwife who delivered the twin girls told the McCain parents that only one twin lived, and kidnapped Sage McCain.

Winapaya may have
resembled Winnebego
Chief Ha-Zah-Zach-Kah
In the meantime, Sage married to Winapaya, from the peaceful Winnebago tribe associated with the more ferocious Sioux. Sage and Winapaya have two children and another on the way.

Lauren, her father, and her son Finn live with her Aunt Estelle and their servants. Sage and Winapaya live not too far away with the man Sage thought of as her Norwegian grandfather, Peter Pa. Lauren’s mother-in-law Polly Gatlin lives nearby also. No, no, don't be confused; when you read the book it all falls into place

The initial problem is that Brand is missing and presumed dead in the Sioux uprising that killed so many of Lauren's family and friends near New Ulm months ago. But Brand’s body has not been found. Lauren and her mother-in-law cannot give up hope that Brand is alive. I dare not reveal more to you for fear of spoiling your pleasure when you read this book. Let me assure you there are many surprises in store for readers.

Set in Minnesota in 1862, this riveting story is filled with beautiful imagery and vivid descriptions. Ms Diablo obviously immersed herself deeply into research for her work, and it rings true to the reader. I loved the characterizations, which ranged from humorous, stiff-necked, and honorable to evil. I also cheered for the mystical wolf. One of the characters is Crooked Back, a Winnebago woman healer who helps Sage. To show she has no fear of death, she chants:

I am part of the earth and stars
And the gusts of far and near
Of lush valleys and snow-crested mountains
Of flora, and fauna, and deer.

Not being a student of the Sioux, I don’t know if that is an authentic chant or not, but it certainly seems so in context of the book. In fact, everything regarding pioneer life, the Sioux, and the era rings authentic.

Although you will enjoy this stand alone book without reading the first book, the flow is so beautiful if you have begun with HOLDING ON TO HEAVEN and follow with DARK NIGHT OF THE MOON.

They are available from Amazon here:



If you missed Monday’s post, please scroll down and read about author Keta Diablo.

Please return Friday or this weekend for a visit with another fine author, Maggie Toussaint.

I'm Slinging Words with Joan Reeves at Come by if you can.

Thanks for stopping by!

1 comment:

Caroline Clemmons said...

Keta, I truly enjoyed this book and it's predecessor. Keep them coming!