Monday, September 4, 2023


Deborah J Ledford is the award-winning author of the Native American Eva “Lightning Dance” Duran Series, and the Smoky Mountain Inquest Series. Part Eastern Band Cherokee, she is an Agatha Award winner, The Hillerman Sky Award Finalist, and two-time Anthony Award Finalist for Best Audiobooks Crescendo and Causing Chaos. Ledford lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and an awesome Ausky.

She applied the Page 69 Test to Redemption, Book 1 of the Eva “Lightning Dance” Duran Native American series, and reported the following:
Page 69 hits a lot of the core tribulations for the entire Redemption novel.

The need and desire to be accepted by not only family but an entire tribe of people on the verge of completely releasing two of their members is key on this single page:
“You’re probably right. But why punish Kai? He said he hasn’t been invited here since his dad died.”

“He’s the boy of that Navajo who killed Rufina, Juliani, and Crucita. If Paloma had never met that man—” His words ceased, as if he thought finishing the sentence would take more power away from him.

“Everyone else loved Ahiga. He was a gentle giant . . . Like you in so many ways.”

At that comment, Santiago snorted his disgust.

“Santi, the crash wasn’t his fault.”

“Maybe not.”

Eva puffed out an exasperated breath. “I can’t talk to you anymore.” She stomped away, then changing her mind, strode back to him, hands clenched into fists. She warned herself to wait a beat before she said, “She’s your sister. Kai’s your direct blood. How is it so easy to turn your back? What you’re doing is shameful. Everyone on the rez follows your example. You’re a spokesman for the council... Maybe you’re the one to blame.”

He folded his arms tight across his chest, studied his boots, belligerence in his bearing.

Eva hoped she had embarrassed him. That maybe he realized this too.

“She broke my heart, Lightning Dance. Over and over.”

Eva barely heard the words. Soft, tinged with agony.
The anger and distrust Santiago holds for his sister is a visceral pain, shared by many of the characters, throughout the Redemption journey, as they attempt to redeem past indiscretions in order to be welcomed back by the Taos Pueblo tribe.
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Q&A with Deborah J Ledford.

--Marshal Zeringue