“…The death of a thing is not the end; it’s merely a new beginning. But, it’s the backroads in life that are often the most fruitful and divine!” (From “Backroads to Bethlehem….” 2018 Debut Novel by William “Duke” Smither, Release Date Pending)
ABOUT THE BOOK:
“BACKROADS TO BETHLEHEM…” (Odysseys of the Maroon Warrior…) is a fictional narrative, inspired by actual events.
The story unfolds in 1693, during the waning days of a militaristic, fugitive slave village in Northeast Brazil and the widening landscape of Maroon Wars, in Jamaica. It taps into the patchwork of shared morality and beliefs among the myriad mix of West African tribes and the indigenous peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean.
In Colonial Northeast Brazil, we find the story’s blending of various Taino Indian and West African beliefs, and the influence of Jesuit Orders like the fictional St. Raphael Mission, contributing to the Maroon culture’s interpretations of burial customs and visitations of “shadow people” or spiritual presences.
Later, in Jamaica, as with ancient West African and Ashanti cultures, the “Silk Cotton Tree” (genus: “Ceiba pentandra”) plays an important role at the fictional village of Akrafena and the Casa Cadiz Plantation. From the “Nine Night” ceremony and beliefs in survival after death (the Afterlife) to roaming spirits of the dead which dwell inside the “Silk Cotton Tree” (a.k.a., the Spirit Tree), emitting evil spells as well as spiritual inspiration for prevailing forces which drive the various Maroon characters and conflict.
Please stay tuned for additional information about the book (projected springtime release) or simply click on the site menu to join our RSS feed…
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William “Duke” Smither (a.k.a., “Backstreet Djeli,” pen name only)