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This Book is in Good Condition. Clean Copy With Light Amount of Wear. 100% Guaranteed. Summary: Huntsville, Alabama lies at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains. It is a city of historical contrasts, at once Antebellum South as well as a modern concourse of technical prowess, a research and development center for the U.S. Army and NASA. And here is where the McNallys call home. They are successful professionals with civilian careers on Redstone Arsenal, but their success belies a foundering marriage. Jared, an engineer, is emotionally distant. His wife, Melissa, an intellectual property lawyer, pursues an affair to fill the void left by her husband. Tipping the scales of their flimsy bond is an old journal the couple discovers in a trunk, one of a young man, Jacob Thompson. In the 1830s his father owned the plantation Fiery Hill, the original boundary of which includes fifty acres now marking the McNally's home. Within the diary, Jacob professes a love for a slave girl named Nika, an African brought forcibly to America, not only with chains, but with a secret and dangerous legacy. "I saw Nika for the first time at the auction to which my father brought me," Jacob's diary paints sorrowfully with regret. "She was beautiful, dark skinned, ebony eyed, and 11 years old. And I was only 12. Now six years later, anyone can see she has bewitched me.I cannot admit to my emotions or my intents, especially to my family but also to my friends, the only ones I have, and they are my father's property." The McNallys' decisions, influenced by fate or chance, impact not only the direction of their relationship, but also this forbidden love from the past. Regardless, all paths to answers in Shadow of The Conjurer lead through a surprising source, an enigmatic West African legend borne in the tribal myths of the Mande. Buchnummer des Verkäufers

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Inhaltsangabe: The McNallys reside in the same house but live separate lives. Jared, an engineer, is emotionally distant. Melissa, an intellectual property lawyer, pursues an affair to fill the void left by her husband.

Whether their bankrupt relationship can be healed rests in events that start in a rundown slave cemetery on their property in the Appalachian foothills of North Alabama. The unmarked grave of a slave leads them to a journal, a journal not of facts but of emotion. It is a diary from the 1830s of a young man whose father, Jeremiah Thompson, was a cotton king, the owner of the plantation 'Fiery Hill' upon which the McNally home was built.

Odd occurrence builds to mystery, then to a terrible realization that they are the target of something that should have remained in the ground as the journal reveals the secret of Jeremiah's son, Jacob.

"I saw Nika for the first time at the auction to which my father brought me," Jacob's diary paints sorrowfully with regret. "She was beautiful, dark skinned, ebony eyed, and 11 years old. And I was only 12. Now six years later, anyone can see she has bewitched me...I cannot admit to my emotions or my intents, especially to my family but also to my friends, the only ones I have, and they are my father's property."

The McNallys' decisions impact not only the direction of their relationship, but also this forbidden love from the past. Regardless, all paths to answers in Shadow of The Conjurer lead through a surprising source, an enigmatic West African legend borne in the tribal myths of the Mande.

Vom Autor: My wife, Bonny, and I live on a small acreage in North Alabama near the vibrant city of Huntsville. It lies at the foothills of the Appalachians, just as in my novel, Shadow of The Conjurer.

However, very interesting to me (and I hope to you) is the fact that our home is built on the heart of an old plantation whose descendents, both black and white, still live in the area. I have had the pleasure of meeting members of both groups. They have a remarkable respect for their mutual history. Despite the sadder aspects of its cultural and historical roots, that respect reflects the families' ability to move on, especially as time reveals our nation has been made stronger by change, sometimes long in coming. Importantly for me, I like to think that respect has survived because all of us in our human frailty are also strong in our ability to love and to forgive.

While Bonny and I cannot share their olden history, the fact and daily reminders of their existence brings us closer in a kind of familial way, much like the protagonists in my novel.

We thank them for their warm embrace.

Shadow of The Conjurer is at its heart a gothic fantasy, but it is also a love story. My daughter, Stephanie, caused me to ponder that 'rich brocade' before I started putting 'pen to paper' (or computer key to finger if you like). She accurately pointed out that a supernatural story about a fictional romance between the son of plantation owner and a slave girl would not only require an accurate historical background, but that background would be rooted both in America and Africa.

So I researched as I outlined. Read more before I wrote. Consequently, though numerous internet and library sources were studied, a handful of books were especially helpful.

To bring about a more complex story I read into the legends of the Mande (the tribe from whom the Conjurer's slave girl, Nika, is taken). The Mande, or Mandingo as popularly recounted, are a large group of West African people (as well as a term relating to the region and language) encompassing several related tribes such as the Malinke, the Dogon, and the Bambara. Despite Islam's deep inroads starting in the twelfth century, their mythology has survived, still substantial, still robust. I want to acknowledge Yves Bonnefoy's American, African, and Old European Mythologies, a wonderful and detailed compilation of these and other myths and legends around the world. Though it is an academic work, its background was lovingly compiled from a number of sources and written so a layman can understand its abundance.

To appreciate and fashion a more realistic portrayal of slave life on a cotton plantation in 1830s Alabama, I drew heavily from the following two source materials, John W. Blassingame's The Slave Community, Plantation Life in the Antebellum South, and T. Lindsay and Julie P. Baker's compilation, The WPA Oklahoma Slave Narratives.
 
Blassingame's work has gained widespread acknowledgment as pioneering the study of slave life in the South, especially so because it describes such from the slave's perspective. I deeply desired a realistic and empathetic brush of their life for the reader. If I have done that, I must credit Dr. Blassingame's remarkable and vivid work.
 
From 1935 to 1939 Franklin Roosevelt's administration sponsored The Federal Writer's Project (FWP). Though its driving force was employment (it was the Depression), the effort employed thousands of writers, editors, historians, and researchers in an honorable effort to not only foment cultural awareness, but to especially capture the plight of the socially deprived. One of the most meritorious of their efforts was the Slave Narratives.  Field workers for the FWP took word-for-word transcripts of the narratives of individual Americans who were slaves as by 1930 survivors of that era were living out their last years. In many cases the transcripts were based on actual sound recordings.  The individual transcripts selected by the Bakers from FDR's ground-breaking and history-saving work reflect the daily applications and tone of slave lives, revealing linguistics, thought, and action that would otherwise have been lost to history.
 
I took an unusual step during my writing. I wanted to clearly present the chasm in cultures and language between the plantation owner's son, Jacob, and the newly servile Africans. On the internet I found a Mande translator that was written in approximately 1837 by an English Methodist missionary and scholar, the Reverend R. Maxwell Macbrair. He had other works printed between 1839 and 1863. Though I tried to substantiate the accuracy in Rev. Macbrair's translation, I was unsuccessful. Nevertheless, I used his pamphlet as well as some of the translations of Professor Bonnefoy (his compilation translated under the direction of Dr. Wendy Doniger, University of Chicago) to articulate a kind of conversation in Mande with English translations included. I also used Rev. Macbrair's translation to select the name of the slave girl, Nika, who falls in love with Jacob.

Finally, I want to thank my family for supporting me during the time it took to write and edit the novel. Special thanks should be given to my daughter, Jennifer Jones, a design graphics artist, for lending her artistic talents to the jacket cover. Another daughter, Erin, offered a drawing of one of the scenes which is on my author's page at ArdentWriterPress.com. I also want to thank my wife, Bonny, who spent some torturous time reading my unedited story as well as other family members who read my story and offered comments.  Though next time I will spend more time on the edits before handing it to Bonny, her feedback was especially helpful in the editing process.

So to Life and to Love is this book dedicated, whether Family, Friend, Spouse, or Lover. May you all feel Welcome as you read Shadow of The Conjurer.

Regards, Steve Gierhart

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Buchbeschreibung Ardent Writer Press, LLC, The, 2012. Buchzustand: Good. N/A. Ships from Reno, NV. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Buchnummer des Verkäufers GRP91410626

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Buchbeschreibung Ardent Writer Press, LLC, United States, 2012. Paperback. Buchzustand: New. Jennifer Gierhart Jones (illustrator). 231 x 188 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Shadow of The Conjurer - The Antebellum South Intersects the Present in a Gothic Supernatural Fantasy of Love and Redemption Huntsville, Alabama lies at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains. It is a city of historical contrasts, at once Antebellum South as well as a modern concourse of technical prowess, a research and development center for the U.S. Army and NASA. And here is where the McNallys call home. They are successful professionals with civilian careers with the U.S. Army on Redstone Arsenal, but their success belies a foundering marriage. Jared, an engineer, is emotionally distant. His wife, Melissa, an intellectual property lawyer, pursues an affair to fill the void left by her husband. Tipping the scales of their flimsy bond is a journal of a young man, Jacob Thompson. In the 1830s his father, Jeremiah, owned the plantation Fiery Hill, the original boundary of which includes fifty acres now marking the McNally s home. Within the diary, Jacob professes a love for a slave girl named Nika, an African brought forcibly to America, not only with chains, but with a secret and dangerous legacy. That legacy is resurrected, and for unknown reasons targets the McNallys. As a result, Jacob and Nika s past intersect with Jared and Melissa s present as all paths lead through an enigmatic African legend borne in the tribal myths of the Mande. Buchnummer des Verkäufers AAV9781938667015

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Buchbeschreibung Ardent Writer Press, LLC, United States, 2012. Paperback. Buchzustand: New. Jennifer Gierhart Jones (illustrator). 231 x 188 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Shadow of The Conjurer - The Antebellum South Intersects the Present in a Gothic Supernatural Fantasy of Love and Redemption Huntsville, Alabama lies at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains. It is a city of historical contrasts, at once Antebellum South as well as a modern concourse of technical prowess, a research and development center for the U.S. Army and NASA. And here is where the McNallys call home. They are successful professionals with civilian careers with the U.S. Army on Redstone Arsenal, but their success belies a foundering marriage. Jared, an engineer, is emotionally distant. His wife, Melissa, an intellectual property lawyer, pursues an affair to fill the void left by her husband. Tipping the scales of their flimsy bond is a journal of a young man, Jacob Thompson. In the 1830s his father, Jeremiah, owned the plantation Fiery Hill, the original boundary of which includes fifty acres now marking the McNally s home. Within the diary, Jacob professes a love for a slave girl named Nika, an African brought forcibly to America, not only with chains, but with a secret and dangerous legacy. That legacy is resurrected, and for unknown reasons targets the McNallys. As a result, Jacob and Nika s past intersect with Jared and Melissa s present as all paths lead through an enigmatic African legend borne in the tribal myths of the Mande. Buchnummer des Verkäufers AAV9781938667015

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