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A Healing Touch by @LizArnoldAuthor is a Christmas and Holiday Festival pick #romance #giveaway

Title: A Healing Touch

Author: Liz Arnold

Genre: Historical Romance

Book Blurb:

Doctor Hilliard: Medicine Woman. Snakebites or smallpox, saving people, including herself, is what Molly Hilliard does best, and she intends on being a doctor in the Northwest Territory, except he guide is causing all sorts of problems of the heart.

In post-revolutionary America, Molly Hilliard wants to be more than an herbal healer, and she answers the lure of adventure on the Ohio River and journeys to the Northwest Territory seeking the freedom to set up a medical practice. Along the way, she tries to hire Romney Applewood as a guide, but he is going the opposite direction. After ten years as a captive of the Delaware Indians, Romney wants to get as far east as possible to forget his past and avoid the bounty on his head for taking part in raids upon settlers’ homes. Something about the way she sacrifices herself to heal others, and something about the way he endures the difficulties he encounters because of his tormented past, links them in more than their quest as they blaze new trails in their lives and on America’s frontier.


Part Two: Dark Moon Walker


Northwest Territory, seven months earlier

August 1795

“You are free to go, Dark Moon Walker,” Running Bear said solemnly.

Romney blinked in the bright morning sunlight, holding tight to the emotions swirling wildly in his gut. The corners of his mouth twitched as Running Bear offered him permission to leave his home of the last ten years. His love-hate feelings for his adoptive family threatened to taint this important moment. After ten summers with the Delawares as a captive and a son, freedom awaited. But it meant leaving the village and the people who had helped him grow into a strong young man. Now, a Treaty signed by the elders in a meeting far away from here gave him the power to make his own decisions for the first time in many years.

“I must find my sister and bring together what is left of our broken family,” Romney replied trying not to betray the emotions raging in his heart. He wondered at the disappointment flickering in his adopted father’s eyes. Running Bear nodded and Romney Applewood, known as Dark Moon Walker by these people, knew it was time to leave. The thought of never seeing these faces again slipped through his mind, and a knot gathered at the base of his throat.

“Always, you will count the Delawares among your family, our son. They will not harm you, nor you they, for the rest of your days. Go, brave one, and even though your living tested you at times, you have grown into a warrior that we are proud to call brother and son.” Running Bear took Romney’s arm in a firm, comforting grip. “The Great Spirit watches over you.”

He looked beyond Running Bear to the others huddling nearby, each bearing a grim face as they accepted Dark Moon Walker’s departure. They knew his story. They knew his pain of not knowing what happened to his little sister ten years ago when their braves raided his family’s homestead in western Kentucky. More than one tribe participated in the raid, so no one knew if Sarah Jane had gone with the Shawnees, the Wyandot, or the Wabash that night. The Delawares took Romney one way, and Sarah Jane disappeared in another direction. His guilt over not protecting her as they played in the woods that day and not keeping her close after their capture, haunted his every moment since.

The boy grew into an angry young man who faced challenge with vengeance and protected his adoptive family with undeniable bravery. He’d had no other choice until now. Free to return to an unfamiliar world, his thoughts filled with the face of his baby sister. Would he recognize her ten years later? Did she remember her brother Romney? Did she even want to? He dashed away the concern that she might not be alive.

Romney threw his pack over the pony Running Bear gave him three years ago and hoisted himself onto the horse’s back. His muscled legs kneed the animal’s sides as he tugged on the reins and sauntered away from the somber group. No hand waving or fond farewells. Only the sounds of the horse stepping over the rocky ground filled the summer air.

“Dark Moon Walker,” called Running Bear.

Romney stopped and turned. His father held up two unfamiliar items. “These are yours. I have protected them since you came to us. I know not what they mean, but they belong to you.”

Running Bear handed Romney a small leather bag with something that felt like round stones inside and a decorated animal horn with a leather string laced through two holes bored through the point as if it had been worn as a necklace. Romney took the things and looked at them with questioning eyes. He decided to examine everything later and nudged his horse forward. Romney did not look back again.

There were good times, but also ugly moments at the hands of the Delawares when they first brought him to camp as an eleven-year-old boy. He eventually understood the ordeal as the Delaware way of forming a man from a child and testing his will to survive. In truth, he outlasted all the pain and humiliation with one goal in mind. He lived to find his little sister, not to be a Delaware brave.

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Share a holiday family tradition:

Playing board games all night after the big meal of the day.

Why is your featured book perfect to get readers in the holiday mood?

When it’s cold outside and adventure is tough, it’s a good book to cozy up with and follow the pioneers of early America as they carve out a future on the rivers and trails.

Giveaway –

Enter to win a $75 Amazon (US or Canada) Gift Card.

You must have an active Amazon US or Amazon Canada account to be eligible. Open internationally.

Runs December 1 – 31

Drawing will be held on January 3, 2023.

Author Biography:

Liz wrote her first story for publication at age ten. It was a play put on by the fifth-grade class. It was a western romance about a heroine who needed help wrangling an unscrupulous banker set on stealing her family’s ranch. Today, she writes strong female protagonists with agency but also a desire for love and happiness. Liz taught college English for fifteen years before deciding to go full-time as an author. Currently, she’s working on book two in a trilogy of historical romance novels set in the Northwest Territory in the late 1700s before Ohio became a state. She is a member of multiple writing organizations and loves to hear from readers.

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Dec 29, 2022

My fave tradition is watching Christmas movies with my kids


Rita Wray
Rita Wray
Dec 21, 2022

Sounds like a good book.


N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Dec 21, 2022

Thank you, Liz, for sharing your book in our Christmas and Holiday Book Festival!

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