09 October 2014

Excerpt Thursday: FAVORITE DAUGHTER (Part One) by Paula Margulies

This week, we're pleased to welcome author PAULA MARGULIES with her newest release, FAVORITE DAUGHTER, Part One of a series. Join us again on Sunday for an author interview, with more details about the story behind the story. One lucky visitor in the United States will get a free copy of Favorite Daughter. Be sure to leave your email address in the comments of today's post or Sunday's author interview for a chance to win. Winner(s) are contacted privately by email. Here's the blurb.

Set in the time of the Jamestown settlement and the English explorer John Smith, Favorite Daughter, Part One recounts the story of Chief Powhatan's daughter, Pocahontas, as she prepares to take her place as one of our nation's earliest leading women. Pocahontas tells the story from her point of view and invites readers to experience her native world when strangers appear on the shores near her village. From forging a relationship with the charismatic Smith, to experiencing love for the first time and creating a role for herself in her father’s plans for peace, this young girl takes us on a poignant and harrowing journey through the turbulent events of her life. Eventually betrayed by all of the men she loves, Pocahontas matures into a heroine of tremendous nobility, courage, and heart.

Praise for Favorite Daughter 

The novel has received early praise from the historical fiction community, including historical fiction author, Mary Volmer, and former HarperCollins editor and historical fiction author, Kelly McNees,  who writes, "The lyrical prose and complex characters of Favorite Daughter, Part One breathe vivid life into the remote place and time of Pocahontas's story. In Margulies's hands, this fabled girl becomes a flesh-and-blood woman, who seeks not just to be a dutiful daughter but to explore, fearlessly, the world beyond her village. I loved every page."

They say that on the eve of my birth, in the Time of Geese Flying, during the English year 1595, a white owl appeared in our tribal village of Werowocomoco. The bird soared across the icy Pamaunk River and flew into the longhouse where my mother, first wife of the Great Chief Powhatan, lay curled on a bed of mats, laboring to bring me into the world. As I finally emerged, bloody and squirming into the capable hands of my mother’s sisters, the owl left its spot in the rafters and escaped into the cold night through a hole in the roof. While the women of our tribe wiped me clean and laid me on a soft piece of deerskin, a single feather drifted down from above. The women say that I reached out and clutched the bit of down in my tiny hand and, afterward, my infant lips relaxed in a calm, knowing smile.
            My mother named me Matoaka, the word that means little snow feather.
            The members of our tribe called me by my formal name, Amonute, or sacred daughter.           
            When I came of age, my father gave me my mother’s name, Pocahontas, or playful, wanton one. 
            Many years later, when I became a Christian and married an English man, I was called Rebecca, the word meaning faithful wife. It was a name I carried with me over great waters to my final resting place in the land of the white people.
            Which one is my real name? They are all mine, and none can ever be separated from the person I ultimately became. But whether I did justice to them, I call on the Great Spirit, Ahone, and my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to render final judgment.
            Whether I deserved any of them, I leave for you to decide.

Learn more about author Paula Margulies.
Paula Margulies is the owner of Paula Margulies Communications, a public relations firm for authors and artists. She has received numerous awards for her essays and works of fiction, including her historical novel, Favorite Daughter, Part One, her first novel, Coyote Heart, and her short story collection, Face Value: Collected Stories. She has been awarded artist residencies at Caldera, Red Cinder Artist Colony, the Vermont Studio Center, and Centrum. Margulies resides in San Diego, California. For more information, please visit www.paulamargulies.com.