Wind Catcher – Book 1

chosen wind catcher-1Winner: Mom’s Choice Award Honoring Excellence
Winner: 2015 Beverly Hills Book Award Best YA Fiction
Winner: Awesome Indies Seal of Approval
Gold Medal Winner: 2015 Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal Winner

Lies. Betrayal. Destiny. A choice that changes everything.

My name is Juliet Wildfire Stone, and I am special. I see visions and hear voices, and I have no idea what they mean.

When someone murders medicine men in my sleepy Arizona town, I can’t help but worry my crazy grandfather is involved. He’s a medicine man and more than a just a little eccentric. He likes to tell me stories about the Great Wind Spirit and Coyote, but none of it makes any sense. I thought I knew the truth, but in order to clear his name I dive into his alien world and uncover an ancient secret society formed over two hundred years ago to keep me safe—me! And I can’t help but to start to wonder whether there’s some truth to those old stories my grandfather has been telling me.

I just want to be an average sixteen-year-old girl, but apparently I’ve never been average. Could never be average. I didn’t know it before, but I’m a Chosen, and those voices I’ve been hearing… well, they’re not just “voices.” I’ve started to develop abilities, but they might not be enough. A powerful entity called a Seeker is hunting me and he’s close—really close.

I thought I knew the answers but truth is, I don’t. Betrayed by those I love, I must choose to run or risk everything in order to fulfill my destiny. I hope I make the right choice. Don’t you?

Co-authored with my amazing and talented daughter, Erynn Altabef.

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In this first novel by a father-and-daughter team, a Native American girl must accept her special gifts in order to fight an evil that threatens the human race.

One of the paradoxes of the teenage years is that just when kids are encouraged to be individuals, all they really want to do is fit in with the rest of the crowd. That’s the problem faced by Native American teenager Juliet Wildfire Stone. She gets little help from her largely absent, workaholic single mother, or her mystical grandfather, Sicheii, who communicates better with the wind than with his granddaughter. Things become infinitely more complicated when a series of murders appear to lead back to Sicheii. He soon tells her that she’s a being called the Chosen, who must save the human race from a terrible fate. As a result, a reluctant Juliet must jettison the idea of normalcy and accept her destiny before dark forces can triumph. This is an enjoyable read for all ages that goes by as fast as the authors can unspool it, without needless subplot detours. The teenage characters’ realism stands out, quite possibly because of the younger Altabef’s input. Juliet and her friends talk as real-life teens would (“Want to cut today? It’s too sunny to go to school”), and readers never get the sense that an author is forcing the teens’ words and actions. The character of Sicheii, meanwhile, often references wind and sky spirits and talks in riddles, but his mysticism is critical to the story, so readers will forgive his oddities. The story is also shot through with wry humor; for example, Juliet got her middle name because a wildfire was in the news when she was born, and she’s grateful that it wasn’t a garbage strike, instead. Although the book does rely upon the hoary plot device of a “chosen one,” the writing’s freshness overcomes the clichéd plot. It shouldn’t stop readers from trimming their sails and letting the story blow them away.

Sharp writing and realistic characters triumph over a timeworn theme.

KIRKUS REVIEW

“This book was absolutely wonderful. I felt all of the emotions that Juliet felt and was so enraptured with the book.” ~ Savannah Edelen (Teen Reviewer), Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews – 5 Stars

“Wind Catcher stands out from the crowd.  It’s… a powerful young adult adventure steeped in Native American legend and tradition, fueled by a feisty female protagonist who refuses to take the easy way out whether it comes to belief, truth, or love.” –Donovan, eBook Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

“Wind Catcher is a suspenseful, wonderfully written story that will capture your attention and hold it prisoner. A book that you won’t want to escape from. Brava!” ~ Stephen Fisher, Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews – 5 Stars

“A page turning thrill a minute, Wind Catcher kept me guessing until it’s final pages. Age appropriate YA literature at its best. Don’t miss it!” Judy Murphy, Master School Librarian

“I loved the book! It was an adventure- mystery and I loved it! It’s a mix of love and murder!
It was sooooo good!” Eliza Abady, Masters Middle School Student

“Wind Catcher is one of the best thrillers for YA that I have read in some time… If I hadn’t had to eat and sleep, I would have read it right through without stopping. It is just that good!” Bookends

“All in all, Wind Catcher was a gripping novel with a totally different plot that takes readers for an interesting journey. In addition to learning more about Native American culture as a whole, I was intrigued with the plot itself and the idea of someone being Chosen and fulfilling a destiny she has no choice to face.” Book Bratz

“Overall, I was insanely happy with the way Wind Catcher turned out! I was hooked from the very first pages and found myself reading this story in less than two days. I already know I am going to have a really hard time making it till November for book two, but I will probably find myself re-reading book one to make the wait a little easier.” Read to My Heart’s Content

“I totally enjoyed Wind Catcher. I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys suspense or thriller novels. I gave it 5 stars out of 5. I’m looking forward to book 2 of this series.” Shelf Full of Books

Reviewed By Savannah Edelen (Teen Reviewer) for Readers’ Favorite

Wind Catcher: A Chosen Novel by Jeff Altabef and Erynn Altabef is a wonderful novel about a young mixed Native American girl named Juliet Stone. At her birth she became the chosen one. The one who would defeat the seeker, who wanted to destroy all of mankind, and starting with all of her friends and family unless she is strong enough to prevent it. Confused and thinking she is going crazy, Juliet works to calm the voices in her head. Now murders are beginning to happen and she knows all of the victims. To make it worse, her grandfather might be involved in the murders. Everyone is lying to her left and right and it is up to Juliet to find out who she can trust.

This book was absolutely wonderful. I felt all of the emotions that Juliet felt and was so enraptured with the book. I absolutely can’t wait until I get a chance to read the next book in the series. My favorite part in the book was when Juliet finally found out the truth. It gave me a great sense of relief that she wasn’t being lied to anymore. Not only are all the pieces of the mystery starting to fall into place, but the pieces are finally beginning to make sense. The confusion that Juliet felt goes away and you want to keep reading as the book goes on. I was actually kind of disappointed when the book ended.

Diane Donnovan, Ebook Reviewer for Midwest Book Review

The theme sounds simple: sixteen-year-old half-Indian Juliet just wants to be a normal teenage – but she can’t, because she is the Chosen, with all the powers and responsibilities that come with the position. Her abilities to hear voices and see visions have always troubled her and her grandfather Sicheii’s words have been puzzling and unhelpful.

All this is about to change in Wind Catcher, the first book of the ‘Chosen’ series that takes Juliet’s troubled world and ramps it up to a whole new level when she discovers a series of lies has shrouded her true purpose in the world.

On the face of it, the plot sounds familiar: teen angst, epic quest, self-discovery, supernatural forces, even Native American influences. But as with any story, it’s all about how it’s handled and, especially in the case of teen stories, it’s all about building characterization and creating a compelling adventure: both keys to attracting and retaining young adult readers.

And Juliet’s dilemma holds these facets in droves.

First of all, her family is loving yet not united in its perception of the non-Indian world and its powers: “Your mom is headstrong. She puts too much faith in white medicine. It’s better to look deeper into the state of someone’s spirit than treat symptoms, but that’s not the intent of this story.”

Neither is it united in its interactions: her mother and grandfather have a prickly relationship and Juliet is often caught in the middle, captivated by his stories and reality which are often negated by her mother’s responses: “I raced to the kitchen and asked Mom about his story. She bristled. Their relationship was best described as a seesaw, one end frosty and bitter, the other warm and loving. They argued often then, the seesaw tilting firmly in the frosty direction. She told me he had made up the story and for me not to worry about it. I wasn’t sure what to believe.”

This latest instance, however, holds far more implications for her life than any conflict between parental units, because it pivots on whether her life has been a series of lies – and Juliet suspects the truth is something far more than has been presented to her.

As she becomes involved in her school’s story of her kidnapping, designed to alter unusual facts about her experience, and comes to believe Sicheii has involved her in something dangerous and deadly, she’s ever on a quest to find the truth at the heart of these deceptions and half-stories – and that’s the pulse of Wind Catcher, which revolves around this journey and its constantly-changing paths.

As with any epic, the protagonist faces some difficult decisions: in this case, decisions that have immediate consequences: “You have a decision to make, a side to take. If you choose poorly, they will all die a horrible death…Trust me; everyone you care about will meet a grisly end. Choose wisely and a world of riches will be yours, and they all will live.”

As she confronts the mysterious Seeker and at last faces what seems to be the truth, Juliet comes to know the motivations and concerns of everyone involved in her process: “Truth is a tricky thing. Some people think there are absolute truths that are always correct. That’s foolish. Truth depends upon your perspective. My truth might be different from Troy’s, which may be very different from Katie’s. Who knows what the Seeker’s truth is? I’m not sure I want to know, but finding out his truth is the only way I will survive this.”

But this story is not only about Juliet finding the truth at last (though much of its plot revolves around that): it’s about what she’ll choose to do with that truth once she uncovers it.

Many young adult books revolve around young adult decision-making processes, but the joy and excitement fueling Wind Catcher is that Juliet’s search for truth doesn’t end with its emergence, but with the bigger picture of what she’ll choose to do with it. That’s the heartbeat of a powerful saga that fully immerses readers in all the possible scenarios that can stem from one’s choices in life – and the reason why Wind Catcher stands out from the crowd. (It’s obvious others are coming to believe this, also: Wind Catcher has won the Awesome Indies Seal of Approval and a Mom’s Choice Award.)

It’s the heartbeat of a powerful young adult adventure steeped in Native American legend and tradition, fueled by a feisty female protagonist who refuses to take the easy way out whether it comes to belief, truth, or love, and who faces down kidnapping, betrayal, and an ultimate choice. Add in a growing circle of supportive friendships and you have a story that is vivid, engrossing – and (so you’ll be forewarned) ends in a cliffhanger, ready for Book Two.

Reviewed By Stephen Fisher for Readers’ Favorite

Wind Catcher: A Chosen Novel by Jeff and Erynn Altabef is an urban fantasy that takes place in the US southwest. Civilization has come to a Native American reservation in the form of a casino. With it comes the merging of two worlds that produces Juliet Wildfire Stone, raised by her mother and grandfather whom she calls Shiceii. As a medicine man, he has been her spiritual guide her whole life. When Juliet is 15, her mother goes on a business trip, leaving her alone for the first time in her life. Although Shiceii will be there, she skips school for the very first time with her lifelong best friend, Troy.

The adventure begins after they leave the park near Devil’s Peak. They start to panic when they hear sirens, but when the police race by, they follow them to the house of her grandfather’s old friend. A murder investigation commences when they find his body, and Shiceii is their main suspect. Voices and images that she cannot understand flood Juliet’s head. It seems that everyone she’s known her whole life has been keeping secrets from her. She embarks on a quest to discover the truth of her heritage at all costs

Jeff and Erynn Altabef tell this tale from Juliet’s point of view. Her struggles, thoughts and feelings jump off the page when her life turns into an uproar. Imagine finding out that you are the chosen one, and the fate of everything you hold dear depends on you and you alone. Wind Catcher is a suspenseful, wonderfully written story that will capture your attention and hold it prisoner. A book that you won’t want to escape from. Brava!

Bookends

Wind Catcher is one of the best thrillers for YA that I have read in some time. The main protagonist, Juliet, finds herself in the middle of a struggle to cope with her dual identity, white girl and Native American while trying to fit in with her white peers. When her grandfather begins to teach Juliet the values of her Native American inheritance, strange and frightening things began to take place; things that lure her into another realm. If I hadn’t had to eat and sleep, I would have read it right through without stopping. It is just that good!

Jeff and Erynn are a father and daughter writing team. Wind Catcher is A Chosen Novel that has the stamp of the Awesome Indies Approved.

Kirkus Reviews

This is an enjoyable read for all ages that goes by as fast as the authors can unspool it, without needless subplot detours. The teenage characters’ realism stands out, quite possibly because of the younger Altabef’s input.

Savannah Edelen (Teen Reviewer), Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews – 5 Stars

This book was absolutely wonderful. I felt all of the emotions that Juliet felt and was so enraptured with the book.

Donovan, eBook Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

Wind Catcher stands out from the crowd.  It’s… a powerful young adult adventure steeped in Native American legend and tradition, fueled by a feisty female protagonist who refuses to take the easy way out whether it comes to belief, truth, or love.

Stephen Fisher, Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews – 5 Stars

Wind Catcher is a suspenseful, wonderfully written story that will capture your attention and hold it prisoner. A book that you won’t want to escape from. Brava!

Judy Murphy, Master School Librarian

A page turning thrill a minute, Wind Catcher kept me guessing until it’s final pages. Age appropriate YA literature at its best. Don’t miss it!

Eliza Abady, Masters Middle School Student

I loved the book! It was an adventure- mystery and I loved it! It’s a mix of love and murder!
It was sooooo good!

Bookends

Wind Catcher is one of the best thrillers for YA that I have read in some time… If I hadn’t had to eat and sleep, I would have read it right through without stopping. It is just that good!

Book Bratz

All in all, Wind Catcher was a gripping novel with a totally different plot that takes readers for an interesting journey. In addition to learning more about Native American culture as a whole, I was intrigued with the plot itself and the idea of someone being Chosen and fulfilling a destiny she has no choice to face.

Read to My Heart’s Content

Overall, I was insanely happy with the way Wind Catcher turned out! I was hooked from the very first pages and found myself reading this story in less than two days. I already know I am going to have a really hard time making it till November for book two, but I will probably find myself re-reading book one to make the wait a little easier.

Shelf Full of Books

I totally enjoyed Wind Catcher. I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys suspense or thriller novels. I gave it 5 stars out of 5. I’m looking forward to book 2 of this series.

Kirkus Reviews

This is an enjoyable read for all ages that goes by as fast as the authors can unspool it, without needless subplot detours. The teenage characters’ realism stands out, quite possibly because of the younger Altabef’s input.

Savannah Edelen (Teen Reviewer), Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews – 5 Stars

This book was absolutely wonderful. I felt all of the emotions that Juliet felt and was so enraptured with the book.

Donovan, eBook Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

Wind Catcher stands out from the crowd.  It’s… a powerful young adult adventure steeped in Native American legend and tradition, fueled by a feisty female protagonist who refuses to take the easy way out whether it comes to belief, truth, or love.

Stephen Fisher, Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews – 5 Stars

Wind Catcher is a suspenseful, wonderfully written story that will capture your attention and hold it prisoner. A book that you won’t want to escape from. Brava!

Judy Murphy, Master School Librarian

A page turning thrill a minute, Wind Catcher kept me guessing until it’s final pages. Age appropriate YA literature at its best. Don’t miss it!

Eliza Abady, Masters Middle School Student

I loved the book! It was an adventure- mystery and I loved it! It’s a mix of love and murder!
It was sooooo good!

Bookends

Wind Catcher is one of the best thrillers for YA that I have read in some time… If I hadn’t had to eat and sleep, I would have read it right through without stopping. It is just that good!

Book Bratz

All in all, Wind Catcher was a gripping novel with a totally different plot that takes readers for an interesting journey. In addition to learning more about Native American culture as a whole, I was intrigued with the plot itself and the idea of someone being Chosen and fulfilling a destiny she has no choice to face.

Read to My Heart’s Content

Overall, I was insanely happy with the way Wind Catcher turned out! I was hooked from the very first pages and found myself reading this story in less than two days. I already know I am going to have a really hard time making it till November for book two, but I will probably find myself re-reading book one to make the wait a little easier.

Shelf Full of Books

I totally enjoyed Wind Catcher. I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys suspense or thriller novels. I gave it 5 stars out of 5. I’m looking forward to book 2 of this series.