My name is Pale, cause when I was born there were whispers that I might not survive the winter. Sure enough, I got bronchitis so bad that the doctors wouldn’t let me leave the hospital for weeks.
My old man was a descendant of the Scottish hill folk that have lived in the mountains for generations. As a young man, he went to the big city looking for his bride. When they met, it was love at first sight. It didn't even matter that he was ten years older than his little honey bear. The old timers in my family often remarked that theirs was a love to transcend the ages.
I grew up running around barefoot in the vast expanse of the Appalachian Mountains. We spent long hot summer days swimming in raging rivers, collecting arrowheads and other tiny fossils, as well as running free in the forest. Sometimes, we'd even bump into hikers, dressed to the nines and wearing thick hiking boots. The outsiders would always freak to out see young teens running barefoot in the mountains. Mostly we just thought them foolish for carrying such heavy packs to do them for a day long hike. City slickers. That's what we called them. To foolish to scare off a bear or find some pine nuts to eat. We worried about them, and sometimes the boys would shadow them to keep them safe.”
I spent many a day with my brothers and sisters swinging on the vines that grew off huge black walnut trees, while my pap worked on his car in the shade. Just before dark he'd whistle to call us all down from the trees and we'd load up the trunk with bucket after bucket of black walnuts. He'd remind us time and time again, "Those be good eaten', so scoop em all up."
We crossed paths with the local natives on a fairly regular basis, since their tribal lands butted right up against the twelve mountain region. Neither the hill folk nor the natives cared much for taking time out of their lives to go down the cities below. The city was a dangerous place for our kind. Local sheriffs mostly left us to work out our own problems, but we all knew the rules changed when we crossed the city line. Lawmen have always been hawkish on our kind, but town gossips, Child Protective Services, Truancy Officers, Revenuers, and haters of every stripe were the real problems down below. The hill folk and natives alike preferred to keep to the hills and traded with each other to avoid going to town when we could.
These stories closely mirror my real life experiences growing up in the wilds, with a loving family and neighbors who knew how to take care of each other. While the whole wide world ignored us, we lived and loved and spawned generations of folks who knew how to live in harmony with nature. Come, take a peek into our world. The Twelve Mountain series is teaming with nostalgia, romance, action and adventure.
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Rescued By The Ranger
by Pale Moonlight
Cassandra woke from her restless sleep in a panic, only to discover their plane going down. Surviving with a small group of women, she finds herself deep in the wilds of the Appalachian Mountains. When rescue comes, it's in the form of a small group of handsome rangers. Each woman rides at the back of a brave, finding it nearly impossible to avoid kindling a little romance with the playful males.
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