Leave it to the Serpent people to steal everything, including Jake’s parents. Determined to find them, Jake seeks out his next-door neighbors, the Twin’s Ashley and Elijah. Together with Merwin, a mysterious stranger of the Order of Rasputin, they begin a journey of discovery and fear, of a people called the Summer People, and their age-old enemies the sibilant.
The Summer People- Book One
From page one this book grabs you and refuse to let you loose! The scenic descriptions rival any other. I honestly felt like I was dropped into the world of Jake, Ash and Eli taking part in their adventure. I can’t wait for the next part of this amazing tale!
Once again, Book Two, leaves me stunned. The plot thickens and the magic grows as this tale unfolds into a great story! I can’t wait for book three, and to figure out how the group is all connected as we dive deeper into the pages of this amazingly beautiful series.
Pick up your copy today on iTunes, Audible and Kindle or Paperback!- Click here: https://smusing.com/
The History of the Summer People really begins with the Romani- as they share common roots and history. If you look through historical records, the first real mention of the Summer People, first appears in the writings of Theophanes the Confessor in AD 803. Theophanes wrote that Emperor Nikephoros I had the help of the “Atsingani” to put down a riot with their “knowledge of magic”. From there, the “Atsingani” seem to vanish from history- until now- with the release of my series- The Summer People.
Please visit my website at: https://smusing.com/ for lots of amazing stories, as well as the first three books of the Summer People!
A partial reprint of the wiki article has been added below.
The Romani have been described by Diana Muir Appelbaum as unique among peoples because they have never identified themselves with a territory; they have no tradition of an ancient and distant homeland from which their ancestors migrated, nor do they claim the right to national sovereignty in any of the lands where they reside. Rather, Romani identity is bound up with the ideal of freedom expressed, in part, in having no ties to a homeland.The absence of traditional origin stories and of a written history has meant that the origin and early history of the Romani people was long an enigma. Indian origin was suggested on linguistic grounds as early as the late 18th century.
One theory suggests that the name ultimately derives from a form ḍōmba– ‘man of low caste living by singing and music’, attested in Classical Sanskrit. Many also believe that Gypsies are descendants of Dalit because of the word zingaro (ατσίγγανος) (untouchable) that was used to designate gypsies in Greece . An alternative view is that the ancestors of the Romani were part of the military in Northern India. When there were invasions by Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi and these soldiers were defeated, they were moved west with their families into the Byzantine Empire between AD 1000 and 1030.
Until the mid-to-late 18th century, theories of the origin of the Romani were mostly speculative. In 1782, Johann Christian Christoph Rüdiger published his research that pointed out the relationship between the Romani language and Hindustani. Subsequent work supported the hypothesis that Romani shared a common origin with the Indo-Aryan languages of Northern India, with Romani grouping most closely with Sinhalese in a recent study.
Domari was once thought to be the “sister language” of Romani, the two languages having split after the departure from the South Asia, but more recent research suggests that the differences between them are significant enough to treat them as two separate languages within the Central zone (Hindustani) Saraiki language group of languages. The Dom and the Rom are therefore likely to be descendants of two different migration waves from the Indian subcontinent, separated by several centuries.
Further evidence for the South Asian origin of the Romanies came in the late 1990s. Researchers doing DNA analysis discovered that Romani populations carried large frequencies of particular Y chromosomes (inherited paternally) and mitochondrial DNA (inherited maternally) that otherwise exist only in populations from South Asia.
47.3% of Romani men carry Y chromosomes of haplogroup H-M82 which is rare outside South Asia. Mitochondrial haplogroup M, most common in Indian subjects and rare outside Southern Asia, accounts for nearly 30% of Romani people. A more detailed study of Polish Roma shows this to be of the M5 lineage, which is specific to India. Moreover, a form of the inherited disorder congenital myasthenia is found in Romani subjects. This form of the disorder, caused by the 1267delG mutation, is otherwise known only in subjects of Indian ancestry. This is considered to be the best evidence of the Indian ancestry of the Romanis.
The Romanis have been described as “a conglomerate of genetically isolated founder populations”. The number of common Mendelian disorders found among Romanis from all over Europe indicates “a common origin and founder effect“. See also this table:
A study from 2001 by Gresham et al. suggests “a limited number of related founders, compatible with a small group of migrants splitting from a distinct caste or tribal group”. Also the study pointed out that “genetic drift and different levels and sources of admixture, appear to have played a role in the subsequent differentiation of populations”. The same study found that “a single lineage … found across Romani populations, accounts for almost one-third of Romani males.
A 2004 study by Morar et al. concluded that the Romanies are “a founder population of common origins that has subsequently split into multiple socially divergent and geographically dispersed Gypsy groups”. The same study revealed that this population “was founded approximately 32–40 generations ago, with secondary and tertiary founder events occurring approximately 16–25 generations ago”.
According to a genetic study on The Phylogeography of Y-Chromosome Haplogroup H1a1a-M82 in 2012, the ancestors of present scheduled tribes and scheduled caste populations of northern India, traditionally referred to collectively as the Ḍoma, are the likely ancestral populations of modern European Roma.
A mtdna or ydna study provides valuable information but a limitation of these studies is that they represent only one instantiation of the genealogical process. Autosomal data permits simultaneous analysis of multiple lineages, which can provide novel information about population history. According to a genetic study on autosomal data on Roma the source of South Asian Ancestry in Roma is North-West India. The two populations showing closest relatedness to Roma were Gujaratis. The classical and mtDNA genetic markers suggested the closest affinity of the Roma with Rajput and Sindhi populations from Rajasthan and the Punjab respectively.
Many ancient historians mention a tribe by the name of Sigynnae (Tsigani) on various locations in Europe. Early records of itinerant populations from India begin as early as the Sassanid period. Donald Kenrick notes the first recorded presence of Zott in Baghdad in AD 420, Khaneikin in AD 834.
Contemporary scholars have suggested one of the first written references to the Romanies, under the term “Atsingani“, (derived from the Greekἀτσίγγανοι – atsinganoi), dates from the Byzantine era during a time of famine in the 9th century. In the year AD 800, Saint Athanasia gave food to “foreigners called the Atsingani” near Thrace. Later, in AD 803, Theophanes the Confessor wrote that Emperor Nikephoros I had the help of the “Atsingani” to put down a riot with their “knowledge of magic”. However, the Atsingani were a Manichean sect that disappeared from chronicles in the 11th century. “Atsinganoi” was used to refer to itinerant fortune tellers, ventriloquists and wizards who visited the Emperor Constantine IX in the year 1054.
The hagiographical text, The Life of St. George the Anchorite, mentions that the “Atsingani” were called on by Constantine to help rid his forests of the wild animals which were killing off his livestock.
Recent Review: 5 out of 5 stars- Visually gripping! March 15, 2019 Format: Paperback From page one this book grabs you and refuse to let you loose! The scenic descriptions rival any other. I honestly felt like I was dropped into the world of Jake, Ash and Eli taking part in their adventure. I can’t wait for the next part of this amazing tale!
But wait, there’s more! During the beta trials, etc. I was contacted by no less than (4) audio book narrators to turn this little beauty, into an Audible Book! (And it doesn’t even have any ratings yet- it’s so new to the world.) All this in less than a day of it’s ‘non-official’ eBook release! As such, I am pleased to announce I have signed a contract with the amazingly talented Rachael Sparrow to produce The Summer People- Book One. (Currently, it looks like late March or early April 2019 for the Audible Release!)
Rachael Sparrow is a voice actor whose voice has been heard on a variety of national commercials, video games, educational training videos and podcasts, from Amazon, Amazon Alexa, Xfinity and Google, to the Video Game Fairy, Cross of Redemption. Voicing “The Summer People” will mark her debut, full-length audio book.
As a Platinum member of voices.com, Rachael’s work was recently spotlighted, and she was interviewed as a mentor for new voice artists. Rachael is also the proud director of Sing! Voice Studio, where she trains and coaches young singers and actors. Rachael lives with her husband and two children in Bucks County, PA.
I am honored to have her tackle this project, and cannot wait to hear the final product.
Leave it to the Serpent people to steal everything, including Jake’s parents. Determined to find them, he seeks out his next-door neighbors, the Twin’s Ashley and Elijah. Together with Merwin, a mysterious stranger of the Order of Rasputin, they begin a journey of discovery and fear, of a people called the Summer People and their age-old enemies, the sibilant.
“To create peace the Summer People basically gave up their king,” Ashley said. “put in him shackles and chains, carried him off to the Sibilant homeland, a dark and terrible place with lots of screaming and pain. That’s the only way the Sibilant would stop fighting.” She leaned in then, began whispering. “According to stories, he’s still there today, waiting to be freed. Waiting for a hero to be born.” Eyes narrowing, “Waiting times such as these.”
“Time such as these?” he asked. “What’s so special about these times?” “You,” Ash replied, eyes narrowing. Grabbing his hand. “It’s you, Jake! He’s been waiting all this time for you!”
Fireplace crackling, hands and feet bundled beneath mounds of warm blankets, Jake couldn’t remember a time he’d ever been so warm.
Then again, thanks to being lost
in the woods with Ash and Eli, he couldn’t remember a time he’d been so cold,
Just in time. Three little words his father and mother kept
saying to them over and over again.
They told the cops, ‘just in
They told a couple of neighbors
who had joined in the hunt with his parents, ‘just in time.’ With those three little words their whole
world seemed to be all tied up.
“We got to you all just in
time,” his mother had said in the woods, dropping the flashlight she’d been
carrying in an effort to rush in and swoop him up in her arms, (which kind of
embarrassed him in front of Ash) tears streaming down her cheeks, eyes all red
and swollen. In that moment it occurred
to him, what a mother’s unconditional love felt like. It felt like being smothered up in your
mother’s arms, her tears making your cheek wet, all the while swinging you from
side to side like a rag doll.
He hoped he never made her that
His father, only seconds behind
his mother, had also rushed in. Disclaimer, a father’s love is different from
a mother’s. It shows itself as a hand
roughly mussing up your hair and a turned away face followed by the general
clearing of the throat. “‘Bout damn
time,” his father managed. (Father’s hug
would come later, when no one else was around or watching.)
Being a guy was so funny
At this particular moment,
though, his father was in the kitchen talking to the remaining cops, shooing
out the last of the neighbors, while his mother was on the phone with the Twins’
parents, all the while fixing the three of them, mugs of hot chocolate.
“Nice place,” stated Eli. He was currently bundled up next to Ash. Along with Jake, they were currently in the
living room, a large comfy room dominated by a flat screen television off to
their right, and a large crackling fireplace in the middle of the east wall
radiating bounds of heat. A series of
two divans and a loveseat were arranged in a wide, welcoming u-shape in front
of the fireplace.
The walls of the room were pale
yellow trimmed in white, and were covered in framed photographs of all shapes
and sizes, showing all sorts of Jake’s relatives and family pictures. Some of the pictures were in color, some in black
and white. One in particular showed Jake,
his mom and dad, all scrunched together on a brilliant spring day outside of
their home, with lakes in the foreground and mountains in the background.
Others showed the entire family
standing in front of famous landmarks like Mt. Rushmore and the Statue of
Liberty, hamming it up for the camera.
Others still captured him in his favorite Dr. Seuss PJ’s- he must have
been all of three at the time, flashing his one-of-a-kind smile and large brown
In other words, the room was
filled with family shots, lots and lots of family shots.
“Thanks,” Jake said.
A moment of silence followed by
a heavy sigh. “How mad do you think your
parents are?” Eli asked, trying to peak around the corner and down the long
hallway leading into the kitchen. From
their current location, all they could see was Jake’s mother still on the phone
in the kitchen, red-rimmed eyes and tear-streaked cheeks, hand held up in front
of the phone’s mouthpiece.
A crease of worry streaked Jake’s brow. “Not too mad,” Jake replied, trying to put a smile on things. “Mom mainly cried, and Dad patted me on the back a lot. Right now I think they’re more scared than anything else. How mad do you think your parents are going to be?” That was the big question, the sixty-four thousand dollar question. He had never met Ash or Eli’s parents before. So he had no idea how they were going to handle the events of the evening, other than the fact the Twins would probably be banned from ever leaving their home again, let alone visit him. After all, Ash and Eli were being home-schooled- homeschooling parents could be weird.
Ash answered before her brother
could speak, “We’ll just have to wait and see,” she said, scooping up a
knick-knack on the side table next to the fireplace. It was a world globe, the kind teachers kept
in most classrooms. This one was really
old though, the varnish coating the continents and seas, yellowed and cracked
About that time the front door
opened and closed, bringing with it the sound of whistling winds.
“We’ve got to get our story
straight,” Ash said, leaning in close, eyes swallowing his. Setting the globe down, she grabbed hold of
Eli’s hand and pulled him close.
“What do you mean… story
straight?” asked Jake. In that moment
Ash’s eyes took on a fearsomely wicked gleam.
“About what we saw out there, before
the adults found us.”
He was confused by what she was
“The faerie fire…” Eli added,
eyes mirroring his sister’s.
As he spoke Jake quickly peeked
around the corner toward the kitchen; his mom had hung up the phone and was
conferring quietly with his father.
Neither one looking their direction.
At the mere mention of faerie
fire, Jake felt the butterflies in his stomach start up all over again. He’d been so happy to be rescued he’d almost
forgotten all about them. “But we should
tell our parents, right?” Even though he
didn’t sound so sure at the moment. I think they need to know.
“We can’t,” she said. “It’s got
to be our little secret.” At his hesitation,
she went on. “You know how adults can
ruin things they don’t understand. They’ll
say we made it all up, or that we can’t hang around each other anymore.” She suddenly seemed to grow older. “I say we make a pact, a pact to never say
anything to anyone, ever, about how the faerie fire brought your parents to us…
pinky swear.” As she said this she jabbed her little finger into the space
between them. Eli immediately wrapped
his little finger around hers; they were now waiting on him.
At first he was confused, then afraid,
then angry. After all, did the faerie
fire, or whatever Eli had called them, the ‘twilight
twigs’, really lead to his parents finding them? He didn’t think so, hence the anger, and all
the other feelings.
He was being asked to lie…
As he thought about all the ways
he should get up and go into the kitchen and tell his parent’s everything, he
didn’t, something about the light in Ash’s eyes.
Calm seemed to fill him,
quieting the voices, soothing the feelings.
On second thought, maybe the
lights had led them to safety. Maybe it
was the fire that brought his parents to find them after all, a sort of blazing
one’s own way, sort of thing.
“So, I’ll ask again, are you
with us or not?” Eli pressed, even as the front door opened and closed, bringing
with it the jumbled voices of two different persons arriving and asking if
their kids were okay.
The Twins’ parents had arrived.
“Hurry Jake,” Ash grinned, yanking
on Eli’s little finger. “It won’t make a
difference either way,” she said, all serious like, “whether we found them or
they found us thanks to the ‘magic.’ At
least this way it’s something only the three of us will ever know about, no grown-ups
Jake liked that last part; after
all, the grown-ups around him had already killed enough ‘magic’ in his
lifetime, no Tooth Fairy, the existence of Santa Claus becoming questionable… “It’s a deal,” he said, hooking both their
pinkies with his, “and it remains our little secret.”
The smile that Ash flashed him
as he said this was enough to warm him all the way to the tips of his toes.
Meanwhile, back in the kitchen
it had grown awfully quiet.
Curious, Jake leaned forward to
catch a glimpse of his mom and the Twins’ mom hugging each other. Their dads were standing side by side; heads
leaned in, one toward the other, in deep conversation. Probably
discussing our punishment, Jake thought.
It was the first time ever, that
Jake had seen either one of his new neighbors’ parents.
The Twins’ mom looked an awful
lot like Ash, only older; her hair shorter and darker, what his mom would have
called auburn, or autumn brown. Her
eyes, though, looked an awful lot like his mother’s at the moment, red and
streaky, and her face was still puffy from crying.
It was there, though, the
similarities between the two mothers pretty much ended. The Twins’ mom was much taller than his mom;
in fact, the Twins’ mom had to stoop over just to hug his mom. She also dressed fancier, even for being this
late; she wore a light gray suit jacket over a pink top, gray slacks and a pair
of white UGG snow boots.
His mom still wore sweats, the
same sweats from this morning.
The Twins’ dad, on the other
hand, was tall and muscular with dark wavy hair, almost black, with a face like
a hawk. As Jake was studying him, the Twins’
father turned to stare down the hallway leading into the living room. He was looking right at them, and his gaze
was absolutely piercing.
Jake managed a feeble wave- one
that was not returned.
It was then that Jake realized
something else, that his dad was almost the exact opposite of the Twins’, a
good six inches shorter and a lot heavier, what his mom liked to call her ‘chubby
little husband,’ whose once red hair was now all but gone. At the same time, his dad was pretty solid
too, a real fighter if he needed to be.
And he was sure that in a wrestling match, hands down, his dad could
beat anyone, including the Twins’ dad.
and low to the ground, built like dynamite.
After all, didn’t most powerful things come in small
packages? At least that’s what his dad
liked to say.
Turning toward his two new
friends, Jake managed a hollow smile.
After witnessing the seriousness in all their parents’ faces he added,
“It’s a good thing we made that pact,” he said.
“From the looks of it, we’re all going to be grounded till we’re at