Characters Welcome: Phoebe Wynne

Characters Welcome is pleased to introduce Phoebe Wynne, one of the original James Towne colonists who disappeared into the mists. Here she is in her own words…

My name is Phoebe Wynne. I originally hail from Dorset, England. In 1609, I sailed the Atlantic with my momma to James Towne, Virginia. Poppa was on another ship and was lost at sea. Unfortunately, our arrival coincided with what the colonists called the “Starving Time.”

By some means that I can’t comprehend, I traveled through a mist and found myself in the twenty-first century to tell my tale. I have lived in this time for three years, but the recent news reports of cannibalism at James Towne returned the horrors of that terrible winter to the forefront of my mind. Not a horse nor dog roamed the colony, and the skeleton discovered was only one of many corpses dug up and eaten.

Master Collins committed the greatest of sins. He hated his wife and killed her, saying that she had died. Then he cut her up, salted her, and satisfied his hunger. For his crime, he was burned at the stake. Whilst the other colonists were engaged in the execution, Momma and I slipped out of the fort unseen.

Once outside, we met the Paspahegh Indians, members of the Powhatan chiefdom. Contrary to what we had learnt from the colonists, the warriors were not “savages.” They did not believe in killing or raping women and children. The tribe saved us from starving along with our comrades and adopted us as one of their own. ‘Twas amongst them that I learnt the ways of wisakon, the art of healing, and became a cunning woman like my momma.

When I traveled to the twenty-first century, I met Detective Lee Crowley. He looks so much like a Paspahegh warrior that I immediately thought of him as a friend. No one initially believed my tale that I hailed from the seventeenth century, and Lee’s ex-wife, a psychologist, was assigned to my case to discover the truth.

Through hypnosis, Shae helped me recall what trauma I had endured. Her therapy worked for awhile, but I felt a stronger connection to Lee. When I was around him, I sensed his frustration of being caught betwixt two cultures. Adopted as a toddler, he had no idea what tribe he belonged to and kept a collection of artifacts from various tribes. In response to his questions about the past, I showed him the dreaming.

At first, he was skeptical that the dreaming could be a passageway betwixt two worlds, but the more we participated in the misty connection, the more he believed. He saw the world I had experienced firsthand, and as a result, he learnt more about his own culture and became curious to discover more.

We grew closer.

Shae dismissed the dreaming as the equivalent of hypnosis and worried that I lived in a fantasy world. I attempted to prove to her from where and whence I hailed. Yet, only Lee believed me.

The world of the seventeenth century was fraught with danger. Colonists killed Indians, and in turn, they retaliated. More and more people came from England and soon the native people were outnumbered. Some like to believe the English possessed superior weapons, but matchlock rifles were of little consequence to Powhatan bowmen. Sheer numbers overwhelmed them.

Then, there was disease. The colonists brought influenza, measles, and small pox to name a few. ‘Twasn’t ’til I lived in the twenty-first century that I fully understood the native people had no immunities to the introduced maladies. As a cunning woman, I tended those who became sick and watched many of them die. My world nearly crumbled lacking the necessary medicines to save the ones I loved.

Against my will, I was eventually returned to colonial life. So much had changed in the intervening years. E’en so, cunning women were often feared and believed to be witches. In modern times, most believe that Virginia was free from witch trials. I’m living proof to the contrary, and The Dreaming: Walks Through Mist is my story.

Bio: Kim Murphy lives in Virginia, where she absorbs the scenery, rich culture, and history of the area. When she’s not researching, attending author events, or writing, she can be found hiking with her Belgian sheepdogs, Saber and Phoebe. Although Saber is quite different from the Belgian in Whispers from the Grave, he was named after the dog in the book. And yes, Phoebe was named after the character, Phoebe Wynne. The Dreaming: Walks Through Mist has won the Next Generation Indie Book Award and an Honorable Mention from ForeWord magazine.


Walks Through Mist

by: Kim Murphy

Witch trials in Virginia? Salem wasn’t the first…Psychologist Shae Howard treats a patient who claims to recall nothing of the current century. Under hypnosis, Phoebe Wynne tells an astonishing tale of an ocean crossing to Colonial Jamestown, followed by near starvation and a daring escape to a nearby Indian tribe.Although Shae’s ex-husband, seasoned police detective Lee Crowley, is intrigued by Phoebe’s story, he remains skeptical regarding her claim that she’s from the seventeenth century. A Native American himself, he does, however, admit to feeling a kinship with Phoebe. How is it that she seems to understand his pain and anger at being caught between two cultures?Phoebe shows Lee “the dreaming,” which reveals a misty world where the Powhatan people and Colonial Jamestown come to life… and connects him to his own past. Is Phoebe delusional? A witch? Or has she indeed traveled through time?

The Dreaming series:
Walks Through Mist
Wind Talker (coming 2014)

Whispers series:
Whispers from the Grave
Whispers Through Time

Promise & Honor trilogy:
Promise & Honor
Honor & Glory
Glory & Promise

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