An Award Winning Novel Set In
The Appalachian Frontier
The Appalachian Frontier
A peace was felt for many years in the Southern Appalachian Mountains following the American Revolution and the creation of America. A time when settlers and native Cherokee lived somewhat of a peaceful and enjoyable life among one another. Families married in to families and a community was building of sorts throughout the mountains of what is now North Georgia. Friendships were made and families became dependent on one another to maintain a civilized society. The Creek moved on and the Indian wars had ceased. The native Cherokee became the principal nation and desired peace. It was a time when boys both immigrant and native could be boys and experience the adventures the mountains had for them in relative safety. This is a story of Jeb Collins of the Choestoe Valley and Wolf, a native Cherokee Indian of purebred descent who also called the valley home, and their adventures on the ridges, hollers and streams of a land time was holding still.
One of a Series of Books
The Boy Who Danced with Rabbits is a great starting point for the series I am calling “Home from Choestoe”. It is planned as a trilogy with the second book now available and the third book halfway through completion. The second book is titled “Living Where The Rabbits Dance” and the third book is expected to be released sometime shortly after the first of the year in 2019, and will conclude the fantastic adventures of Jeb and Wolf.
The second book of the three opens when Jeb and Wolf have aged some and their adventures become a little more “independent” of the adults in their lives. It begins with them camped alone just east of Levelland Mountain in upper Choestoe “huntin’ hawgs” for late winter meat while using only their short bows and some good sharp flint arrows. They find adventure not planned and are forced to make decisions which many “grow’d folk” might have trouble settling on. It will conclude as “intruders” start trailin’ through the mountains eventually causing much trouble for the local Cherokee. It will include the introduction of a new character and will leave the reader in great anticipation of what happens to the Cherokee post gold rush when the U.S. government forcibly remove them from their beloved mountain home. Many will recognize this time as the historic “Trail of Tears”.
The Boy Who Danced with Rabbits by J.R. Collins is now available!
Based on historical events about a young boy who grows up with the Cherokee Indians, it is written as a narrative and is told, in a voice that will stay with you forever, by the main character after he has aged ninety years. Jebediah Collins was born on a cold and snowy night, late in the winter of 1815, at the base of Ben’s Knob Mountain, in a valley called Choestoe (a Cherokee name you say the way the Indians do, Cho-E-Sto-E). This area is now the northeastern part of Georgia, the southern end of the Appalachian Mountains.
A time when the Cherokee Indians still lived and thrived in their beloved mountain home, years before their forced removal by the U.S. government under the direction of President Andrew Jackson, many European settlers found a life in these mountains. Living among the local natives, each people learned and adapted aspects of societal culture from the other.
Thompson and Celia Collins, parents of young Jeb, are direct descendants of Irish immigrants who settled in Choestoe during the escalation of the American Revolution. Friendship and dependence developed between the settlers and their Cherokee neighbors, and such is the case for the Collins family.
Written in the dialect, style and vernacular of the mountain folk, Jeb paints a picture of his utmost humble beginnings, life during those times, and especially of his family’s friendship with Dancing Bear’s Cherokee family.
A very spiritual book, both Christian and Native American, The Boy Who Danced with Rabbits seeps into your soul, igniting a desire to know these people and to mimic their ways through their deep love and devotion, loyalty, and concern they show one another.
J.R. Collins was raised in the valley he so passionately writes about. A descendant of the first pilgrims to the area, he proudly claims heritage and roots through the people of the Appalachian Mountains that settled in the Choestoe Valley sometime in the latter part of the 1700’s. Born in 1962, he grew up hunting and traveling the ridges of Choestoe.
Previously a Director of Advertising for The North Georgia News, after having worked as a writer for sports stories and special events, J.R. Collins is a graduate of Young Harris College, and is currently working on the third book in the “Home from Choestoe” series.