Jason Lee Willis is an author who teaches high school English, indigenous studies, creative writing, and mythology, but every morning during the school year, he wakes up at five a.m. to write a thousand words. Jason grew up in South Dakota and currently lives in Minnesota, where he lives the life of a hobbit by gardening, writing, walking around barefoot, wearing vests, fishing, and going on adventures with his wife Julie.
The Fire Handler
1897: In the pine forests of central Minnesota lives the surviving family of the Wijigan Clan, a branch of the Chippewa Indian nation that has survived a cross-continent exodus to arrive at their destination--Lake Manitou. Yet at the turn of the 19th Century, the United States government is trying to remove the Chippewa from prime logging lands through extortion and mandated boarding schools. Lily Asibikaashi, who lives a simple life with her mother and younger brother, has already rejected her culture and wants to become a public school teacher. But when her brother is forcibly taken to a distant boarding school, Lily becomes the last link between the mysterious past and unfulfilled prophecy. Despite her misgivings, Lily is trained as a Wabeno, a Fire Handler, and is given secrets others are willing to murder to discover. If her family is to survive, Lily will have to choose between past and future, duty and dream, faith and family. 1988: Stories of a horned serpent that lives below the lake are still told around campfires, but for Levi MacPherson, his nightmares warn him some of the old legends might be true. To learn about his past, he seeks out his great-grandmother Lily, who seems to be clinging to life just to share her stories. Lily teaches him about the Seven Fires Prophecies, the magic of the Dream Catcher, and his darkest family secrets. She also reveals that her power as a Fire Handler accidentally woke the evil Manitou, and to fully defeat it, Levi must also be trained as she once was by her grandfather. Will Levi destroy the centuries-old prophecy, or will he fulfill it?