Monday, December 30, 2013

Extinct Pleistocene Mammals in Ghosts of the Heart!!!

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The hunters stopped to rest, gazing at the beautiful sight of the meadow. Several hunters started pointing across the meadow at what appeared to be a large brown rock. It was an unusual rock since it appeared to be moving. The hunters jabbered amongst themselves, watching and pointing at this strange sight. Chayton wanted a closer look and found a place where the hunters could jump from boulder to boulder across the roaring river. The other hunters followed Chayton, sneaking across the soggy meadow and hiding behind trees and willow bushes where they could find them. Chayton quietly stalked this odd-looking rock, keeping the wind in his face and moving in harmony with the blowing tree limbs and bushes.

Chayton hoped that this rock-like thing did not hear the sound of his moccasins sinking in the muddy soil. The other hunters mimicked Chayton’s movements, only taking a step when he did. When the hunters reached this strange rock, they stared in amazement. They had heard the stories around the
campfire about such an animal. None of the hunters had ever seen anything that compared to the size of this animal. The magnificence of the animal stunned Chayton. He took a step forward and his moccasin disappeared into the smelly mire of the boggy meadow. The other hunters crouched down
behind anything they could find while gazing up at the humongous animal in front of them.

“This is the animal Tarca Sapa spoke about,” Keya whispered to Chayton.

Ai, – Yes,” Chayton murmured, never taking his eyes off the beast.

Crouching low to the ground, Chayton waited for another wind gust and synchronizing his movement with it, he took a step forward. The other hunters moved when he moved, their moccasins sinking in the organic rich mud. Behind a stand of willow bushes, Chayton craned his neck upward...


Above is a short outtake from my new prehistoric thriller Ghosts of the Heart. In this particular scene, a prehistoric hunting party discovered a large animal that none of the hunters had ever seen before. The hunters had all heard the campfire stories and legends about this animal, but meeting one face-to-face was a lot more intimidating than any of the hunters had expected.   

When I wrote Ghosts of the Heart, I took some liberty with what we currently know about the prehistory of North America. My only defense to this liberty is in the name of fiction. I am sure that some readers may criticize me for doing this, but here is what I did and a tiny bit of justification. In Ghosts of the Heart, I added an extinct Pleistocene animal that may not have still existed at the time this adventure took place. The remains of this extinct animal have not yet been found with associated artifacts from the time of the Folsom People. That is not to say that this evidence won't turn up sometime in the future, but as of right now, the evidence is not there. Let's look at this closer in the next few paragraphs.   

At archaeological sites, investigators do everything possible to determine the dates of the site occupation  and for any human or animals that they may have found. How likely is it that any given investigator finds the last member of an extinct animal species in their archaeological site? For that matter, how likely is it that they have found one of the last ten or twenty members of an extinct animal species? Not likely and here is why.

First of all, the conditions have to be just right for any animal to be preserved in the fossil record. Most prehistoric human or animal remains have simply decayed away, not leaving any evidence of their existence in the fossil record. Now, let's say, the animal actually becomes fossilized. How likely is it that someone actual discovers the fossil remains where it has been buried? Not very likely is my answer. Finding the remains of an extinct animal is about as random as throwing darts at a map of North America and hoping that your dart hits a possible location for a fossilized extinct animal. 

Now, let's assume that extinct animal remains somehow became fossilized and then by chance, were found by archaeological investigators. How likely is it that this particular fossilized animal is the last member of its extinct species?  My answer is not likely at all and secondly, how would the investigator ever know if it was one of the last members of that species?        

There is a very low probability of finding the fossilized remains for an extinct animal species and an even lower probability that the fossilized animal remains represent the last member of an extinct animal species. Now, we add another low probability that we find the fossilized animal remains associated with human artifacts. Even if we do,, how do we know if these fossilized animal remains were the last member of an extinct species? Perhaps, the species went on to live another thousands years, who knows? The archaeologist won't know if those fossilized animal remains were the last member of that extinct animal species. So, as far as using an extinct species in Ghosts of the Heart, who knows, maybe someday the archaeological evidence will back up the story.         

 You might be asking what extinct Pleistocene species did I use in Ghosts of the Heart? Well, for that answer, you are going to have to read Ghosts of the Heart.

Shadows on the Trail and Ghosts of the Heart by John Bradford Branney are available at Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and better booksellers around the globe. 

 

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Friday, December 27, 2013

Monday, December 16, 2013

Ghosts of the Heart by John Bradford Branney - European Press Release!


       America’s Prehistory Brought Dramatically to Life in Stunning New Book!
 

Ghosts of the Heart, the second installment in the Shadows on the Trail Trilogy.
 
The latest novel by bestselling author John Bradford Branney dramatically portrays
Prehistoric America at the end of the last Ice Age.

As a result of huge pressure from fans of the first book in the Shadows on the Trail Trilogy,
Mirador Publishing have brought forward the publication date of the second book, Ghosts of the
Heart, just in time for Christmas. This latest instalment picks up from where the original novel
Shadows on the Trail left off and continues saga of the Folsom People, a prehistoric tribe of
hunter-gatherers.

Hailed for its accurate depiction of life on the prairies and mountains of prehistoric Colorado,
Ghosts of the Heart is a fast-paced read that accurately builds on clues from the archaeological
record and oral traditions practiced by early Americans.

“We are thrilled to be bringing out this latest instalment so early,” said Sarah Luddington,
Mirador Publishing’s Commissioning Editor. “John has a knack for bringing this era to life and
combines an incredible eye for historical detail with a thoroughly engaging story.”

The story covers the tumultuous changes and disasters that plagued these primitive people and
highlights the difficulties faced in trying to exist in such a hostile environment. Branney’s
attention to historical accuracy is extraordinary and even includes three genuine indigenous
languages within the narrative.

“I was born and raised in Wyoming and have been searching for evidence of prehistoric man for
most of my life,” said John. “I’ve assembled a collection of several thousand prehistoric artifacts
dating back to around 13,000 years ago in the Pleistocene Epoch.”

John Bradford Branney holds a geology degree and MBA from the University of Wyoming and
the University of Colorado, respectively. John currently lives in Houston Texas with his wife,
Theresa. Ghosts of the Heart is the third published book by Branney.

Mirador Publishing continue their support of new authors and are proud to present John Bradford
Branney as an author to watch out for.

For more information visit the author at Shadows on the Trail Trilogy by John Bradford Branney
on Facebook and at his blog at http://johnbbranney3.blogspot.com/.

Ghosts of the Heart is available in all good bookshops and online retailers both in paperback and
eBook formats. Mirador Publishing may be contacted via their website at
www.miradorpublishing.com

Shadows on the Trail, the first book in the Trilogy.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Ghosts of the Heart - A Return to the Controversial Vero Site!

Ghosts of the Heart by John Bradford Branney - return to the
end of the Ice Age! Ghosts of the Heart available at better booksellers! 
A Return to the Controversial Vero Site

Monday, December 9, 2013

New Novel from Author John Bradford Branney Portrays a Violent Prehistoric America!


Ghosts of the Heart available in paperback and e book from better booksellers. 
 
Readers have anxiously awaited the second novel in the Shadows on the Trail Trilogy and Mirador Publishing and John Bradford Branney have just released it! Ghosts of the Heart picks up where the original novel Shadows on the Trail left off, the ongoing adventure of the Folsom People, a prehistoric tribe of hunter-gatherers. The Folsom People’s journey to the idyllic North Country continues as they make their way across the dangerous prairies and mountains of prehistoric Colorado.
 
Ghosts of the Heart is well researched and a fast-paced read that accurately depicts clues from the archaeological record and oral traditions practiced by early Americans. The characters in Ghosts of the Heart face extreme climatic changes and natural catastrophic events that create a rapidly changing world for them. In the book, readers will witness complicated alliances and relationships between three culturally different prehistoric tribes. Another treat by the author is utilizing three actual indigenous languages and lineages to differentiate between the three prehistoric tribes.

The reader also receives a front row glimpse into the perceptions that prehistoric people may have had with natural disasters, such as wildfires, tornadoes, snow blizzards, and flash floods. The emotionally exciting, fear invoking descriptions of these natural phenomena provides insight into the fears and frustrations these prehistoric peoples faced with forces completely out of their control and for which they had no explanation or understanding.

Ghosts of the Heart laces its often violent and hostile subject matter with humour and ‘heart’, a description borrowed from the title of the book and demonstrated throughout the pages of the book. The reader will find it easy to identify with the characters in this novel. After reading Ghosts of the Heart, readers will anxiously await the third novel of the trilogy, the true mark of a successful series.

John Bradford Branney was born and raised in Wyoming and has been searching for evidence of prehistoric man for most of his life. He has assembled a collection of several thousand prehistoric artifacts dating back to around 13,000 years ago in the Pleistocene Epoch. The author holds a geology degree and MBA from the University of Wyoming and the University of Colorado, respectively. John currently lives in Houston Texas with his wife, Theresa. Ghosts of the Heart is the third published book for Branney.

For more information, visit the author at Shadows on the Trail Trilogy by John Bradford Branney on Facebook and at his blog at http://johnbbranney3.blogspot.com/.

Ghosts of the Heart is available in all good bookshops and online retailers both in paperback and eBook formats. Mirador Publishing may be contacted via their website at www.miradorpublishing.com

 

 

 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Sequel to SHADOWS ON THE TRAIL released by Mirador Publishing

 

Ghosts of the Heart is now available at Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com,
and other better booksellers in paperback and e book formats.

The seed for the original story in my prehistoric novel called Shadows on the Trail sprouted on an early summer morning in 2010 on a northern Colorado ranch where I found an Ice Age tool made by prehistoric man from a red and gray striped rock found only in a prehistoric rock quarry in Texas. As I stared at this prehistoric tool made by one of the First Americans, several questions raced through my mind. How did a prehistoric tool made from Texas rock end up in a prehistoric campsite in northern Colorado? Who made this tool? What was he or she like? What happened on the journey from Texas to northern Colorado? Since it was impossible for me to find out the answers to these questions, I wrote my own version of the historical journey in the novel Shadows on the Trail.       

     As the Folsom People began their journey from present-day Texas to the idyllic North Country, they faced much adversity and their adventure quickly outgrew the pages of Shadows on the Trail. The Folsom People’s adventure now continues with the second book in the trilogy called Ghosts of the Heart, which takes place on the prairies and mountains of present-day Colorado at the end of the Ice Age. It was a time of drought, rising temperatures, and mammal extinctions. It was also a time when small bands of humans competed to survive in a harsh and unpredictable world. Here is a brief outtake from Ghosts of the Heart;
 
 

 

The snowstorm caught the hunters halfway down the rocky plateau. It began with a few light snowflakes streaming past the hunters, but soon the snowflakes became heavier and wetter, turning the scattered rocks and tundra into a slippery mess. The winds intensified, pushing the hunters down the plateau. The snowfall increased even further, reducing the hunters’ ability to see as they wound their way through the maze of boulders on the sloppy tundra surface. 
The wind velocity increased and the snowfall escalated, dumping and blowing deep snow across the surface of the plateau. With visibility gone, the two hunters drifted apart, heading in separate directions across the plateau. Avonaco, still hanging onto the deer carcass, continued walking in a direction he thought was east. He finally stopped to make sure Hexaka was still behind him and found he was alone. Leaning into the wind, Avonaco surveyed the whiteout conditions of the plateau.
“HEXAKA! HEXAKA!” Avonaco screamed, his voice lost in the shrieking roar of the howling wind. Unable to locate Hexaka, Avonaco searched for a landmark he recognized. In the midst of the heavy snowfall, he caught a glimpse of something dark in the midst of the blowing snow. He trudged towards it and came to an area of the plateau where humongous limestone blocks surrounded him. He slowly walked forward, confused and not having any idea which direction he was traveling.  
 
                I hope you enjoy Ghosts of the Heart!