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D. J. (Don) Stephens

D. J. Stephens

D J (Don) Stephens lives in Elgin, IL a suburb of Chicago with his wife of 38 years. He spent nearly 10 years in the Military. While on active duty in the Service, Don competed as a member of a Division rifle team and parachuted for a Post skydiving team. Don has been involved in the computer industry for nearly forty years doing everything from computer programming to Company President. An avid hunter, Don enjoys the outdoors, especially when he is into a hunt.

The inspiration for Bearkiller, published in 2004, came to him after a "deja vu" experience, the sense that he had been someplace before; an idea he tied into his love for hunting.

Do you believe in reincarnation? On a solo elk hunt in the Rocky Mountains, Jeff Barkil discovers something very peculiar. Although he’s never even seen this place before, he seems to know all the landmarks. Somehow he’s able to guess exactly what is in the next valley or over the next hill. Dismissing these amazing perceptions as a fluke, he carries on with his hunt — until he is attacked by a vicious grizzly. Using a great deal of natural skill and determination, Barkil manages to kill the bear and survive. But he is badly injured; he feels close to death.

While he is trying to clear his head, he discovers that he has traveled two hundred years back in time and a hunting party of Blackfoot Indians has taken him to their village to honor him for his bravery. Soon he is regarded as a splendid warrior and is given the name Bearkiller. In the boy’s subsequent adventures, stealing horses, and waging war against the Shoshone and the Sioux, he encounters and learns the landmarks he will recognize over two hundred years later as Jeff Barkil.

The life of an Indian in the 1780’s was often brief. One day in a fierce battle, the old grizzly wounds are reopened and he is defeated. With blood pouring out of his body, Bearkiller lies down to die and wakes up in a Forest Service rescue helicopter as Jeff Barkil. As the events of his life as an Indian slip rapidly from his mind, Jeff Barkil wonders if what he experienced was real. Was he dreaming? Or was he reliving a past life?

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In 2005, Don’s second novel, Halo, based on a Special Operations parachute jump, was published. Don has experienced parachuting and spent time in the military during the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Berlin Crisis. Much of his experience in the military helped to inspire this book.
His third novel, Death Rider, an historical western, was published in 2008. Brodie Jones is a scout for the US Army until an encounter with the Apaches changes his life.
Currently Don is working on his fourth novel, a sequel to Halo.

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