Dancing with the Golden Bear

DANCING WITH THE GOLDEN BEAR is the third in Win Blevins Rendezvous Series.  Jedidiah Smith takes a group of mountain men into Mexican California, all searching for riches.When the enigmatic Jedediah Smith, greatest of the mountain men, puts together a brigade of trappers for an expedition into the unknown territory of Mexican California, Sam Morgan joyfully joins up. With his Crow Indian wife Meadowlark and his coyote pup at his side, Sam sees the expedition as a chance for adventure — and wealth.

Captain Smith leads the group south in search of the Buenaventura, a great river believed to connect the Great Salt Lake to California.

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When the river proves to be a myth, the trek toward the Pacific becomes a test of sheer will. Struggling through the Mojave Desert, a land of sand and scrub in which game is practically nonexistent and water a rarity, their lives are saved several times by strange bands of naked Indians who share food with the starving trappers.

Like ghosts they struggle into the San Gabriel Mission in southern California and there recuperate, but the Mexican government eyes them with suspicion and Sam and his companions are forced to flee back into the Mojave.

When Meadowlark falls ill, Sam learns the poignant meaning of the words of his mentor, Hannibal McKye: “Life is like a golden bear. It’s magnificent, it’s beautiful, and it bites.”

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Author Reviews

“Win Blevins has long since won his place among the West’s very best.” —Tony Hillerman

“No one writes about the westering experience better than Win Blevins. He has a poet’s way with words and imagery to match the wilderness reality. …Blevins has re-created that long-ago world where the improbable was commonplace, and where courage and audacity made anything possible.” — Lucia St. Clair Robson, author of Ghost Warrior.

Professional Reviews

“His gritty fiction brings to mind the the fur-trading novels of Frederick Manfred (Lord Grizzly, 1954) and Vardis Fisher(Mountain Man).” —Kirkus Reviews on Beauty for Ashes, Rendezvous Series

“An entertaining, vivid portrait of frontier America as seen through the eyes of an impressionable youth.”–Booklist on So Wild A Dream

“So Wild a Dream is a fabulous beginning of what promises to become a classic series that will be on college reading lists in history classes studying the fur trade era.” —Roundup Magazine

“One of the finest novels to come out of the American West in a long time…an amazing book, grandly conceived, beautifully written…”– Dallas Morning News on Stone Song

“Blevins possesses a rare skill in masterfully telling a story-to-paper. He is a true storyteller in the tradition of Native people.” — Lee Francis, Associate Professor of Native American Studies, University of New Mexico

Reader Reviews

Blevins is capable of expressing the most romantic, the warmest, also the cruelest emotions imaginable, and maintaining the perspective of his protagonist.

“I only recently became acquainted with Blevins through his earlier BEAUTY FOR ASHES, and am hungry for more. I’ll admit right off; I listened to audiotape of this book, and hated for it to come to an end. It is so rich and the characters extravagant and totally believable. Also a glimpse of life in Spanish California of the 1820’s I’d never been exposed to.” – G. Whitesides

Nice… reading the rest of the series now.” — Julie Reader

I really enjoyed the adventure – and Win really helps place the reader in the shoes of a young “boy” on his way to becoming a man.” – Mike Jacobs

Enjoyable journey and you gain a new view on the “fathers of the country.” Nice read!” — Ronald E. Gieck

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