Gardner Sibling Trilogy Media Kit
Author: Carmen Peone
Genre: Young Adul
Gardner Sibling Trilogy: Delbert’s Weir, Hannah’s Journey, Lillian’s Legacy
In a time when the west was still untamed, sixteen-year-old Delbert Gardner leads two friends into the backcountry for a three-day adventure. Little did they know three days of hunting and fishing would turn into eight days of near starvation, injury and illness. When hope of returning home seems out of reach, Delbert recalls watching his Native American friends construct a fishing weir and sets out to build one himself. To him, it is the only way out.
In the mountains of northeast Washington, sixteen-year-old Hannah Gardner fights for her childhood dream––to race horses with her adopted Indian Aunt Spupaleena. Her mother fears Hannah will get hurt. Frustrated with her daughter’s rebellious spirit, she threatens to send her away to Montana to live with an aunt Hannah’s never met.
To escape this perceived punishment, Hannah runs away to the Sinyekst village along the Columbia River to train with Spupaleena. After Hannah’s first race, an Indian boy pulls her off her horse and spews threats. When Running Elk comes to her rescue, Hannah plans their life together and possible marriage. Will this be the pathway to her freedom?
Lillian’s Legacy, Will Rogers Medallion Award
Lillian Gardner, a healer in the making using natural medicines, is certain she is the black sheep of the family. In an attempt to prove she is of value, she sets off into the wilds of Eastern Washington and Indian Territory with Doctor Mali Maddox, an elderly Welsh female physician whose husband has recently passed away. She hopes to marry her knowledge of herbal remedies learned from her mother and an Indian healer with new ways of western medicine. Will Lillian discover her true calling? Will she be respected as a female physician in training?
He watched the leaves of the quaking aspen ripple in the breeze as if to encourage him. “Get up. Keep going,” is what they seemed to say. His mind flashed images of him watching Pekam. He and some other men walked up a stream and pushed fish toward traps. The same traps he’d made.
Delbert jumped to his feet and sprinted to camp. He shook each tent, even his own in the wake of excitement and yelled, “Get up!”
Jed popped his head out first, a grumpy frown on his face.
Ross attempted to open his blinking eyes.
“Come on. Get dressed. Daylights a burnin’. We’ve got work to do.”
Ross rolled over on his back and groaned. “What’re you babbling about?”
“The traps are empty, but I have a plan.” Delbert shook the tents until the boys crawled out. “Pekam spoke to me. No, God did, through Pekam.”
Jed’s sleepy eyes strained to focus. “What?”
“This better be worth it,” Ross sneered.
“I was sure there would be fish in at least one of them. But listen, when I was young, I saw Pekam and his pals walk up a creek toward different types of fish traps filling ‘em pretty fast. I think we should try it. It’s like herding cattle, but with fish. In water.”
“Now?” Jed complained. “Can’t we at least give the horses a drink first?”
Delbert turned his attention to Jed. “When did you start caring about the horses’ well-being?” Delbert felt hair on the back of his neck spike outward, so he spoke in a calm, slow tone, “Did you hear me?”
“Yes, I heard you. Did you hear me? It’s early. I wanna finish sleepin’.”
“Sure ya do.” Ross walked off.
“Hey, we can water the horses. Then how ‘bout trying to catch some breakfast. How’d ya like worms for breakfast? If you’re really fast, maybe you can snatch a grasshopper or two with a flick of your tongue. I’ll start callin’ ya frog, or does toad suit ya? Or would ya like to go on a Sunday afternoon stroll?” Delbert felt his patience leave his body as quickly as his last meal disappeared from his fish-oiled fingers.
Ross glared at him.
Delbert held out his hands. “You got a better idea? We’re outta of food. You think it’s gonna magically drop on our plates, cooked and all?” His tone sounded as impatient as a hungry wolf.
“Well, no…” Ross slouched and rubbed his eyes.
“Well, let’s get goin’.” Delbert marched toward the beach. He sat on the cool, damp sand, tore off his boots, and rolled up his pants. He slid the tip of his toe in and shivered.
Jed grunted and followed. He sat beside Delbert and peeled off his socks.
Ross straggled behind. He sat a spell before he yanked off his boots and rolled up his pants, grumbling about the injustice. “Maybe we need to cut off the legs of our britches. I have a feeling we may be in there–a lot.” He tilted his head toward the creek.
Delbert stared at his bare feet. No need to stir those two up any more than they already are. “Okay. Let’s walk downstream a ways, check things out, and meander back up.”
“Yep.” Ross’s eyebrow twitched. “Whatever you say, boss.”
Ross’ll be eatin’ his words soon enough.
“Hannah Gardner!” Mama’s footsteps kept the same pace as Uncle Pekam’s hand drum during ceremonies. “What are you doing?”
“Think about what I have said.” Wind Chaser shoved my wrist, turned, and trotted away.
I dismounted and wiped the sweat off my brow with the sleeve of my shirtwaist.
“What are you wearing? Britches under your new calico skirt? This is absurd! No lady dresses nor acts in this manner. No daughter of mine, that is. Who is that boy and didn’t your pa and I tell you no more racing?” Mama set her hands on her hips. Her slight frame was no comparison for the growl in her voice.
My gaze dropped to the ground. “Yes, ma’am, you did tell me no more racing.” I pushed dirt around with the toe of my boot. “But I know I can ride as well as Aunt Spupaleena––”
“Hannah! Listen to me.” Mama placed a hand on my shoulder. “You know we are not like the Sinyekst. They come from the Arrow Lakes way up north in Canada. They are strong and––”
“And I’m just as––” “That’s not what I mean.” Mama sighed. “We love them like family even though we are not blood. But we have different customs and practices. They have their ways and we have ours. No better, simply different. And yes, you are an accomplished rider. Darling, there is no future for a young lady like you to race horses. Your future is with a husband and raising children. That’s the way things are. Please––”
“No! Those are your plans, not mine. You know I’d rather be in a saddle than bent over an iron stove, stirring a pot of beans.” I rubbed my wrist. “Yes, someday I want to have a husband and children, but for now, I wanna race. I know how to garden, quilt, sew, tend to the sick. You’ve taught me those skills. Let me do this before I choose to settle down.”
It was almost dark when Lillian found the doctor’s camp. A small fire danced across the rocks surrounding it.
“Doctor Maddox?” She slid off her horse and strode closer. A figure leaned against a tall ponderosa pine.
“Mali?” She tied Asa to a tree limb and crept over to the woman. Was it too late? Had the woman died before they could work together? Before she could learn her form of
medicine? She placed a hand on the woman’s warm shoulder and gently shook her. “Doctor Maddox?”
The woman jumped and screamed, sending Lillian tumbling backward.
“Oh, my, pardon my fright!” Doctor Maddox crawled to Lillian’s side. “Are you all right?” She examined the girl, brushing dirt and debris from her arms and dress.
Lillian laughed. “Yes, I am. I thought you were dead!”
“Ma flin da fi, sorry to have startled you. I was merely resting my eyes.” The doctor smiled. “Have you changed your mind?”
Lillian rose to her knees, nodding. “I have. I want to learn your ways of medicine. To help people in need. Learn what the contraption you gave me is. Speaking of…!” She stopped to catch her breath and fetch the wooden instrument, holding it out to the doctor. “What is
Doctor Maddox took it from her and caressed the wooden tube. “This was my husband’s stethoscope.” For a moment she held the monaural device to her heart. “It’s made of the finest cherry wood one can find.”
“Why would you give it to me?”
Doctor Maddox smiled. “Because I knew you needed to check your own heart. It seems to beat with young, vigorous life, but there is something holding you back. I
can see it in your eyes. Hear it in your voice. A missing spark of youth.”
Lillian dropped her chin. “I suppose so.”
“Did you tell your folks you were joining me?”
“They will know soon enough.” Lillian hugged herself. “Like you said, I’m a woman now. Can I not make my own decisions?”
“And how would you feel if they left and did not inform you?” Doctor Maddox rose.
Lillian shrugged. “My brother knows.” She pushed to her feet, brushed dirt from her hands.
“Mm. It is a good thing I have already spoken with them,” Doctor Maddox said. “In the future, I expect you to be frank with me. I will not tolerate any degree of conniving.” Her expression softened. “Now, I am tired and need to rest. It will be a long day’s travel tomorrow.”
“Yes, ma’am,” Lillian said, feeling foolish for her devious behavior. The doctor spread out her bedroll. “You better take care of your horse and get some sleep. We will have a
long day tomorrow.”
Lillian unsaddled Asa, led him to the river for a drink, and tied him to the trunk of a tree near a patch of grass. What kind of proof would she need? She spread her blanket on the ground, using the horse blanket as a pillow, and laid down. Twinkling stars shone brightly. Her mind raced with wonder. Who would be their first patient? What kind of adventure was before them? Then fear pricked at her. Would they come across thugs or bandits as her father had? Would any of them try to harm them? For what seemed like hours, her mind fiddled with
various scenarios. Then finally her eyelids grew heavy.
Carmen Peone, an award-winning author, has lived in Northeast Washington, on the Colville Confederated Indian Reservation since 1988 with tribal member husband, Joe, gleaning knowledge from family and friends. She had worked with tribal elder, Marguerite Ensminger, for three years learning the Arrow Lakes- Sinyekst-Language and various cultural traditions and legends. She owns and trains her horses and competed in Mountain Trail Competitions. With a degree in psychology, the thought of writing never entered her mind until she married her husband and they moved to the reservation after college. She came to love the people and their heritage and wants to create a legacy for her sons and their families.
Links to Social Media:
Website and blog: http://carmenpeone.com/
About me: http://carmenpeone.com/about/
Barns and Noble:
Readers of Delbert’s Weir will enjoy the journey they take with the main character as he struggles to prove himself in this historical fiction novel. The author’s knowledge of Native American culture helps her paint a vivid picture of the setting, placing the reader right in the action. The supporting characters are realistic and add to the depth of the story. The plot carries many exciting twists that keeps the reader intrigued. The book delves into the insecurities of youth….insecurities that are very relatable to youth today. As Delbert navigates his way through this adventure, we watch as he transforms as a person. Delbert’s Weir is both entertaining and engaging. I would highly recommend this book to readers of all ages. ~Jill Fifer, Retired Librarian and Educator
Since I’ve read Carmen’s first YA trilogy (starting with Change of Heart), it was fun to see she included Spupaleena in Delbert’s story as an admired aunt.
The book begins with descriptive, emotional passages that set the scene for the adventure three boys are planning. Delbert Gardner and his two friends want to learn about traditional native hunting and fishing methods from his American Indian friend, Pekam. Delbert also wants to earn his Pa’s approval. The three boys set out into Northeast Washington Territory in the mid-1800s to test their knowledge and skills.
What they planned as a fun excursion quickly turns into trials and opportunities for personal growth.
Carmen’s writing makes you feel like you are there with the boys, experiencing the days in the wilderness right along with them. Because she includes their flaws and fears, the characters are very relatable.
If you’re searching for a good historical YA book – or just one that combines clean entertainment with good life lessons, check out Delbert’s Weir. I, for one, am glad this is book one in the trilogy. That means there will be more books in the series to enjoy! ~ Shanna Hatfield, USA Today bestselling author
Full of courage, humor, and dealing with human frailty, this is an 1870 historical coming of age experience as 16-year-old Delbert and his friends hoped for a backcountry adventure with their Native American friend. But it turns into a fight for survival. Practical survival skill tips in this story for readers on how to take care of yourself in a forest wilderness situation. The author writes from her background of Colville tribe reservation life, knowing the cultural traditions and legends, as well as the language. A fun, inspiring read for all ages, especially early teens.
~ Best Selling Author Janet Chester Bly
Hannah’s Journey is a coming-of-age story about a defiant young girl who seeks to follow her heart’s desires. The story takes the reader on Hannah’s struggle for equality and dignity as she fights for the right to race horses with the boys. Details of tribal culture, food and daily life bring to life what it was like to be a young Native American in southwestern Washington in 1870, forced to share the land with white settlers. The story is more powerful because while these young people attend to the serious business of survival, they retain a playfulness and humor that is contagious and entertaining. This story flows like a western two-step; the pacing is as memorizing as the story. Clearly, Carmen Peone lives within the culture she writes about, because the story is shaded with authenticity. Subtle back-story devises create a desire to read the entire series, but the story feels complete on its own. Subtle mention of sex and reproduction is expressed through the point of view of the young protagonist. Appropriate for middle grade and older readers, and adult readers who seek a deeper understanding of Indian culture.
––Anne Schroeder, Award-winning author.
Carmen Peone’s expert horsemanship and knowledge of northeast Washington territory shines through in the second of her Gardner Sibling Trilogy, Hannah’s Journey. At sixteen, Hannah is the oldest child of a mid-1800’s pioneering ranch family. Hannah’s burning desire to race horses with her adopted Indian Aunt Spupaleena is a constant worry to her parents. They fear not only that she ll be injured, but that their daughter is not preparing herself for the expected future role of wife, homemaker, and mother. Hannah’s parents aren’t the only ones against her racing. The Indian boys resent her barging into their sport. Not only is she a girl, but a white girl. The only encouragement she gets is from Aunt Spupaleena and Spupaleena’s brother Pekam. Heedless of others opinion, Hannah participants in a difficult, dangerous race. Not only is there danger in the race itself riding horseback fast on uneven terrain but also enduring vengeful rough treatment from other racers. It’s a bold, bloody event.
Hannah’s parents, frustrated and worried about their daughter’s rebellious behavior, threaten to send her to live with an aunt in Montana, a fate totally unacceptable to Hannah. She runs away to the Sinyekst village along the Columbia River, the village of her Aunt Spupaleena. Hannah’s Journey delves into many of life’s challenges, especially of a young girl with non-traditional dreams. Along the way she must learn to exercise patience, to have faith, to slow down and pray for guidance. She learns that life comes with compromise, and sacrifice. Life isn’t easy and for someone with extraordinary desires, it’s even more difficult. I found Hannah’s Journey an absorbing, well-written book, a story intriguing to a wide audience. The author speaks with authority about Indian history, and the Sinyekst people. Peone is knowledgeable about the northeast Washington area, the Columbia River and the diverse area surrounding it. Many of this novel’s characters have appeared in the author’s previous books (The Heart Trilogy), but the transition into this second book of the Gardner Sibling Trilogy is smooth and stands alone. ––Mary Trimble, Award-winning author.
Another good YA story from Carmen Peone! Readers can identify with Lillian who feels she can’t live up to her older sister’s accomplishments. She follows a woman doctor on a journey of self-discovery to carve out a life of her own, and discover God’s plan for her. Danger, trials, and doubts lead to growth and maturity as she finds her legacy of hope. ~reader review
Fascinating book, I was never bored not once, I cared about each character, and the development of Lillian as she learned about herself and reached an understanding of family and faith and never give up . The history of herbs and their healing powers sprinkled thru out the story was authentic and added to the rich development of the story. ~reader review
As I closed the final chapter I spent some time pondering how hardy people needed to be in 1875 just to survive. ~Sherry Waldrip, award-winning author, speaker
Even though this was the third book in the trilogy I didn’t feel lost, I am definitely going to buy them and read them with my daughter! Thank you Carmen for writing books that engage all ages! ~reader review
Native American, historical, young adult fiction, horses, horse racing, Washington Tribe, Colville Tribes, Sinixt, Lakes, western