Author and world traveler Robert (Bob) Downes has been inspiring readers to pursue their dreams of travel and adventure for more than three decades.
A resident of Traverse City, Michigan, Downes, 64, is the author of three nonfiction books: "Planet Backpacker" (2008)," Biking Northern Michigan" (2014), and "Travels With My Wife" (2015) and his novel, "Windigo Moon," (2017).
A native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Downes earned a B.A. in journalism from Wayne State University in Detroit in 1976.
The great love of Blue Heron and Red Bear sustain an Ojibwe clan as it struggles to survive war, famine, and the coming of foreign explorers bearing deadly diseases.
The blood feud between two rival warriors over the love of Ashagi, a strong-willed woman of great beauty and greater determination threads through this story of one Ojibwe clan on the cusp of great change. A young woman from a peaceful village, Ashagi (Blue Heron) is abducted in a raid conducted by the Sioux, the ancestral enemies of her clan, and made a concubine of a fat, slovenly chief who already has two wives. When she is rescued by Misko (Red Bear), an Ojibwe youth, the two fall in love and a lifelong bond is formed. But Nika, Misko's rival, demands that Misko surrender Ashagi to replace his brother who was killed during a raid involving the young warriors' two clans. As Nika's pride and obsession with Ashagi eats away at his sanity, greater danger for the whole Ojibwe way of life creeps ever closer.
Warfare, vengeance, supernatural monsters, and strange spirits all claw at the edges of this love triangle, but the power of the clan and the love of family and tradition helps sustain a culture on the verge of harrowing times. Beginning in 1588 and spanning twenty-five years, WINDIGO MOON encompasses warring tribes of the Upper Great Lakes, the onset of the Little Ice Age of the 1600s, the diseases introduced by foreign explorers, and, always and forever, the great love of Blue Heron and Red Bear.
Meticulously researched and beautifully written, WINDIGO MOON will appeal to fans of Kathleen O'Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear, Jean Auel, Alexander Thom, Anna Lee Waldo, and other top authors of historical fiction.