A French soldier-of-fortune and a Quapaw Indian bride personify Old and New World cultures at the explosive moment of first contact in the wilds of French Louisiana.

First published by Bantam in 1986, WOMAN CALLED ARKANSAS has since been reissued under The Authors Guild back-in-print imprimatur.

No other fiction has mined the gold in the rich colonial history of this little State chosen by explorer Robert La Salle to locate the first European settlement on the Lower Mississippi.

The novel aims to do for Arkansas what Michener did for “Hawaii,” "Texas," and “Alaska.” It is informed by de Tonti’s own letters and journal-- a best-seller in its day that inspired thousands of Europeans to go west-- while serving as second-in-command on the 17th century La Salle Expedition to survey the vast American territory claimed by King Louis XIV. Other journals, Crown documents, letters & maps set the solid historical foundation in one of the most formative-- and least remembered-- periods of American history.

Kathe Robin, senior editor of Romantic Times wrote this review of the original Bantam title, RIVER OF DESTINY:

Arkansas Times Magazine, January 1987 reviewed WOMAN CALLED ARKANSAS novel under its original title...

“Bantam Books recently published a fast-paced paperback historical romance called ”River of Destiny” by Pat Winter who lives on a mountgain in Searcy County. It’s a checkout-counter classic, with a cover picturing a buxom Indian maiden who looks like Sophia Loren… The story is set in the late Sixteen Hundreds. The leading characters are a Quapaw “princess” names Weeononka and Henri de Tonti, the French explorer who founded Arkansas Post and is called the Father of Arkansas. She was beautiful… he was handsome, true-hearted, shy, and a war hero with an artificial hand. In spite of this, [the novel] is a lot of fun, is well-written, and maintains a credible historical perspective… Winter has done quite a bit of research on the period, but she doesn’t let it get in the way of her story…”

Winter is a daughter of the Mississippi, born in Tennessee, raised in Little Rock, transplanted to Southern California just in time to avoid the Central High segregation conflict. A graduate of USC and UCLA with a masters in broadcast journalism, Winter was a reporter for The San Diego Union and KFWB All-News Radio in Los Angeles before selling a movie idea that developed into the ABC TV movie-of-the-week “SOMEONE I TOUCHED.” She quite her day job and spent years in Manhattan tech writing and authoring magazine articles, screenplays and novels, including "WOMAN CALLED ARKANSAS," her first historical. Four other Winter novels were published by Bantam Books and other paperback houses as detailed elsewhere on this Authors Guild website.

Home now is the word-hunter, settling in the Ozarks to finish the Mississippi Cycle, a narrative history of the River from Pre-Columbian times to the Civil War.

A chapter-by-chapter sequel, MADEMOISELLE ARKANSAS, is plotted that takes Weeononka to France with the first of King Louis “savages” to be lodged in the zoo at Versailles. Her wilderness knowledge help her survive the famine and economic collapse that followed the Sun King’s demise. She makes a fortune gambling on the Mississippi Bubble, and returns to La Louisianne a wealthy woman just as the colony passes from French to Spanish rule, and finally into United States ownership as the entire middle third of the nation that is today more than a dozen states, one of which is Arkansas.

De Tonti's left hand scrawl was a joke at the French Ministry of Marine, which received his letters, notes, journals and maps. This one, reproduced on the book's cover, shows the Mississippi River in blue below the Oyo, the Indian name for the Ohio River. Some of his notes are written upside down because de Tonti was moving from North to South. Impossible to read at this resolution is the name of the river marked in yellow-- "Riv du Tonti du Arkansca." All the watershed of the Arkansas was deeded to de Tonti by a grateful La Salle. The note in the left bottom corner says "sketch of the Miffiffipy."

More stories by Pat Winter...

Book I in the Mississippi Saga, available in hard-copy and Kindle at Amazon.
Book II in The Mississippi Saga... 322-years before Columbus, a Welsh sea captain sails west in the wake of the Vikings to save a remnant of his family from destruction by the Norman-English King Henry. Originally published by Bantam Books Inc. (ISBN 0-553-28277-8). Reissued by The Authors Guild, and on sale at Amazon.com (ISBN:0-595-16532-X)
Book III in The Mississippi Saga.... to ensure survival of his New World colony, Madoc joins Shawnee Indian allies, which provokes Iroquois enemies farther north on the Mississippi River. Original Bantam Books title (ISBN: 0-553-28521-1) is reissued by The Authors Guild, available at Amazon.com (ISBN: 0-595-16536-2)
Book V in the Mississippi Saga...A French soldier of fortune and a Quapaw Indian woman risk everything for love in the wilds of French Louisiana. Original Bantam Books title: "River of Destiny" (ISBN 0-553-2586-9), reissued by The Authors Guild under the Author's original title WOMAN CALLED ARKANSAS (ISBN 0-595-14029-7)
A commercial actress gets more than she bargained for when she telepathically hooks up with a TV star revived after near-death experience in a case of stolen identity that ends in madness, murder and ironic new life for both of them. DRIVER is also 109-page screenplay listed on TriggerStreet, and adapted from the Pinnacle Books novel (ISBN: 0-523-41278-9)
Science Fiction
Short Story first published under the byline Pat De Graw in the 1970 paperback anthology Infinity One, by Lancer Books, Inc. with stories by Asimov, Dick, Bester & Ballard. Human orphans raised by a surrogate mechanical mother invent a religion to explain their circumstances. The original story Inside Mother, is the core story, one of 2-dozen log entries stored in the mechanical mother's computer database that is the unpublished 150,000-word novel LOG OF THE DOG, (See works-in-progress on the Home page) Inside Mother was reprinted in the paperback anthology for German students of English with footnoted lexicon, “Fremdsprachentexte: Science Fiction Stories 1” edited by Herausgegeben von Dieter Wessels, Philipp Reclam jun. Stuttgart, Germany, Universal-Bibliothek Nr. 9156 [2] 1983/ISBN 3-15-009156-X
When human astronauts invade his asteriodal home, a telepathic creature steals a radio to connect his silent child with his community. Short story published April 1973 in Analog Science Fact Science Fiction Magazine, under married name Pat DeGraw.