The Godmother’s Web…

11 Jun

Another Scarborough release from GSP on the Legends Promo. The Godmother’s Web.



Cindy Ellis knows about fairy godmothers. Her almost-stepdaughter is studying to be one and she is a close personal friend of Felicity Fortune, an Irish godmother. But she didn’t suspect when she picks up Grandma Webster that the elderly, seemingly lost American Indian woman in traditional dress was a magical godmother too. When a self-serving skinwalker/witch inflames tensions between neighbors and pits sisters against each other in the best fairy tale fashion, Grandma enlists Cindy’s help, along with that of a Navajo doctor, a Hopi rancher, and an unlikely champion, a dude who is related to coyotes and dreams of a home shopping network empire. Together they must defeat the evil that is threatening to destroy their world forever.

“Characterization, pacing, and folkloric expertise are all up to the series’ high standards, so Godmother-followers and others should greet this book joyfully.”—Booklist



                                                          Beauty and the Menagerie

    From the North comes the sun-haired maiden. She is changed from a mouse. She is changed into a far-flying she-eagle. She lands in Flagstaff and is changed once more into a maiden.
    Her skin is made of white shell. Her eyes are made of deep waters. Her mouth is made of cornelian. Where the sun kisses her cheek, the white shell changes to cornelian. Her hair is the color of rabbit brush blooms. Her hair is the texture of rabbit fur.
    Her body sits straight as a lance. Her touch on the rein is gentle as a warm breeze, but firm as the red rock rising around her. A valuable blanket made of soft wool and rainbows cushions her saddle. She is riding the sun’s own blue horse.
    In beauty she rides along the flowing highway. The cars flash like wish-granting fish among the eighteen-wheeled leviathans. The darting minnow motorcycles weave it into a single undulating fabric of noise and motion, this highway along which she rides.
    The highway’s banks are studded with turquoise and silver placed on bright blankets in flimsy wooden stalls by sleepy Native Americans. They have just left hogans and trailer houses down rutted paths from the stalls. Signs of painted wood that say “Half price!” “Buy here!” “Navajo made!” “You’ve Gone Too Far” and “Nice Indians” fish the highway for silver and green tourist money.
    To the south are the cities of Flagstaff and Sedona, and the land where the blue horse was born. To the west are the sacred mountains. To the Anglos and the Mexicans, they are called the San Francisco Peaks. To the Navajos they are the Sacred Mountains of the West, Light Always Glitters on Top, and are made of abalone. To the Hopi they are the place from which the kachinas dance, bringing rain and corn and other good things to the Hopi, who by and large say nothing of such matters to those who are not Hopi. To the north lies Seattle, whence the maiden came.
    To the north also lies the Grand Canyon. Within it are the Colorado River, the images on many postcards, the footprints and less fleeting reminders of many tourists, and the place where the Hopis originally came into this, the Fourth World.
    To the east are what is left of the lands of the Navajo, the Dinéh, the People and what remains of the land entrusted by the gods to the Hopi.
    To the east the maiden is looking with her deep-water eyes. To the east she is guiding her blue horse with her warm-breeze touch.
    Then from the west, where the abalone peaks stand sentinel, an old woman strides across the desert.
    She is dressed in velvet, despite the heat. Her skirt is like yellow corn pollen and does not show the dust of the desert at its bright hem. Her moccasins and her silver-trimmed blouse are the red of the canyon walls. Her hair is black obsidian and streaked with strands of white shell. With white yarn bindings it is tied into the shape of a bumblebee. At her ears, wrists, waist, fingers, and neck are strands and nuggets and beads of the purest sky-colored-turquoise. A rainbow-colored blanket is folded over one of her arms and in her hand she carries a spindle.
    Across the shimmering sands she walks, and her small moving draws the attention of the sun-haired maiden on the blue horse. The sun-haired maiden thinks the woman from the west must be nuttier than a piñon stand in Santa Fe, for, although it is late autumn, the air is hotter than a red chili ristra.
    However, the maiden has learned that some old women are not what they seem. Some of them can change Harley Davidsons into horse trailers. Some of them can create from thin air crystal horseshoes that cure a favorite pony’s lameness. And besides, the sun-haired maiden is a kind girl. She does not like to see someone’s grandmother walking in the heat like that, and she worries.
    Later, she knows she was right to worry. The old woman is a great deal of trouble, even for a sun-haired maiden on the sun’s own blue horse.


    The sun-haired maiden’s name was Cindy Ellis. She was neither Navajo, nor Hopi. She was not a citizen of the state of Arizona, the state of Utah, the state of New Mexico or the state of Colorado. Nor, strictly speaking, was she a maiden.
    In the lore of the dominant culture, her story might begin: Once upon a time there was a young woman who was as good as she was beautiful. It probably would not say that many people found such a person damned annoying, and sometimes so did Cindy. She was blessed with both a modest disposition and an embarrassment of riches of the nonmaterial sort that, in the olden days, it would have taken an entire fleet of good fairies to bestow upon her at her christening.
    It was not just that she was a good rider, a fine artist, had perfect pitch and sang like an angel. It was not merely that she was graceful as a doe, gentle as a dove, kind and thoughtful. She was good at other things too. She had a gift for languages and no math block. She could wire a house, fix the plumbing, put up sheetrock, make a cake from scratch and a wedding dress by hand.
    She also had a handsome prince. Princes don’t get where they are by being dummies and Cindy’s beauty, courage, versatility, good humor and intelligence had drawn the attention and affection of Raydir Quantrill. He was not only a prince but the King of the Alloy Rock.
    Her beauty and goodness did not annoy Raydir, of course. He was far too self-involved to be annoyed by anyone who didn’t, for instance, screw up his sound system during a recording session. But some of the less lovely females in his entourage found his new stable manager-sweetheart a bit hard to take.
    “Cindy,” said the young woman’s social worker friend, Rose Samson, when they met for lunch to discuss Rose’s bridesmaids’ dresses for her forthcoming nuptials, “it’s a classic case of you reliving your family drama, except now that your wicked stepmother and stepsisters are out of the picture you’re doing the same thing with the women in Raydir’s entourage—trying to please them instead of making them look at their own stuff.” Rose could sometimes be very firm about what other people needed to do.
    But Cindy had to admit her friend probably had a point. Trying to get her stepmother and stepsisters off her back was how she had acquired so many of her skills. There was no need for them to hire anything done when they had a live-in slave to torment.
    Cindy’s love of horses and counseling from Rose had eventually helped her escape their clutches, but she was beginning to feel she’d jumped out of the barbecue and into the four-alarm chili, as her old stable boss, Pill, used to say.
    She had no friends at Raydir’s estate except Raydir, and though he had many good points and made her heart pound like Silver’s hooves when the Lone Ranger was riding to the rescue, he could also be a major pain. Plus he was gone a lot.
    One morning after her second riding lesson, she tripped lightly between the rows of rhododendrons, madronas and weeping willows that lined the palatial estate. In her hand was a posy of wildflowers for her love, who surely would be awake by now, as it was well past his usual crack of noon rising time.
    Raydir was indeed awake. Bejeaned and bare-chested in their bower, he was hastily stuffing leather pants and T-shirts into a piece of luggage with lots of pockets. “Hi, babe,” he said, tossing in a hand-beaded vest and a pair of custom cowboy boots.
    “You’re leaving?” she asked. “I thought your gig wasn’t until the sixteenth.”

About the author:

Elizabeth Ann Scarborough is the author of 22 solo fantasy and science fiction novels, including the 1989 Nebula award winning fantasy novel, Healer’s War, loosely based on her service as an Army Nurse in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. She has collaborated thus far on 16 novels with Anne McCaffrey, six in the best selling Petaybee series and eight in the YA bestselling Acorna series.



One Response to “The Godmother’s Web…”

  1. chalaedra June 11, 2013 at 5:47 pm #

    Reblogged this on Chalaedra's Weblog and commented:

    “Characterization, pacing, and folkloric expertise are all up to the series’ high standards, so Godmother-followers and others should greet this book joyfully.”–Booklist . . . The Godmother’s Web by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough. Available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, other fine eBook vendors and Gypsy Shadow Publishing at:

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