Category: Legends

The Spirit of the Wolf — The American Indian Scout

Howdy! And welcome to another Tuesday blog. Before I go into the most interesting part of the blog and tell you about the awesome abilities of the American Indian scouts of old, I wanted to mention that I’ll be giving away an ebook of THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF. Just leave a comment and you are automatically entered into the drawing for the book — remember to look over the Giveaway Guidelines at the right side of this page.

One other important point:  I rely on you to come to the blog tomorrow (Wednesday — usually at night) or Thursday to see if you have won.  Unlike some other sites, we don’t necessarily contact you if you are the winner.  So please do check back.
apachescout4The reason why I’m giving away the ebook, THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF is because it is a book about a hero who is, among other things, a scout.  In researching this profession, I ran across some extremely interesting abilities that these men of old had.  Now, I find it interesting, indeed, that these men could tell from a mere trail the thoughts, health, etc. of the man/woman/animal who had left that trail.  This information, some of which I’ll quote, comes from the book, THE WAY OF THE SCOUT, by Tom Brown, Jr., a man, who as a young boy was taken under the wing of an old Apache scout, and who was trained by that man as a scout.
 Grandfather is what Mr. Brown called this old Apache scout.  So this passage is from this book.“(Grandfather) defined the tracking that we had done as typical or novice tracking, but the tracking of the scout was defined as master tracking.  Even at the onset, the difference became obvious.  Grandfather told us that the earth was like an open book, filled with stories.  These stories were written not only in the softest ground but also on every other type of soil even on rock…”arikarascoutMr. Brown goes on to say, “To this day, the greatest tracking thrill of my life was when Grandfather first showed me how to read track “compressions” in impossible soils and on solid rock…”And here is where one really begins to learn about the old American Indian Scouts (those scouts who worked for the United States army were not the scouts of old). Anyway, again, another quote from THE WAY OF THE SCOUT, “You must stop looking at the tracks as lifeless depressions in the ground. Instead, and you have noticed inside of the track is a tiny landscape.  There are hills, valleys, peaks, ridges, domes, pocks, and countless other little features.  These features the scouts developed into a science, that which they call the ‘pressure releases.’  It is through these pressure releases that the scout can know everything about the animal or man that he is tracking.  The scouts of my clan could identify and define over four thousand of these pressure releases, and I know of no peoples of the earth that have been able to do the same.

curlycrowscoutMr. Brown goes on to explain in his book how these pressure releases can be read and identified, and he goes on to say that because man or animals are stabilized by their feet on the ground, they are always in motion and always having to keep balance — even to the tiniest of moves.  It’s because of this constant need to keep balance and shift that produces the “pressure releases.”IndianScouts2Mr. Brown also says that he and his friend, Rick, who was learning about tracking also, would start to identify their own moods and look at the pressure releases and note the difference between that mood and some other emotion — and study their own tracks — he says that everyone became a source of study.

He even mentions that “Grandfather taught us to expand our awareness and tracking beyond even that level.  He would stand beside a tree, point to a missing limb and ask, “How long ago was this done?  What did it and how?  What direction did the cutter come from?  Was his axe or saw dull or sharp, was he right- or left-handed, what degree of strength did he have?  Grandfather told us that we should always hold one question in our minds at all times:  What is this telling me?”

Charles EastmanIndian&boyscoutsBy the way, the picture to the left is a picture of a young Charles Eastman, a Sioux Indian, who became a lawyer for his people.  I believe (please correct me if I am wrong) that it was Charles Eastman who had a hand in establishing the Boy Scouts long, long ago.  If he didn’t establish it, he certainly helped to create it.  Charles Eastman also wrote several books with the help of his wife, whom he met in collage.  She was white.  I believe some time ago, there was a television story concerning Charles Eastman and his wife, and I believe that Adam Beach played the part of Charles Eastman.  This was an interesting fact to learn for me, because I have never really known that the Boy Scouts came to us from the American Indian — I had never stopped to consider it until I read about it from either one of Charles Eastman’s books or another book.

adambeachascharleseastmanAt the left here is a picture of Adam Beach playing Charles Eastman.  : )

Well, that’s all for today.  Next blog I’d like to tell you a little about the water dance of the scout.  Did you know there was such a thing?  I can’t help but think sometimes that it is a shame that one culture coming in will often destroy the culture that is there already.  There is so much we could have learned from the American Indian of old.  I always look forward to these blogs so that I can tell you a little about what I’ve learned because I think it so vital to keep these things alive.

SpiritoftheWolf-The-R -- first draftAnd so today, I’m giving away a free e-book of THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF, one of my stories that delves deeply into the scout and how this influences the heroine of the story.

So come on in, leave a comment, and let me know what you think of this very vital role of the American Indian culture, the Scout.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075Q76CYJ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1505744070&sr=8-2&keywords=The+Spirit+of+the+Wolf+by+Karen+kay&tag=pettpist-20

Updated: September 19, 2017 — 6:40 am

Native American Legends of the Eclipse

 

Legends of the EclipseWhat an historic event is taking place today! Here at Wildflower Junction, I want to talk about the fascinating legends of the eclipse that came by way of our Native Americans.

The earliest record of a solar eclipse — recorded on clay tablets in Babylonia — took place on May 3, 1375 BCE. They predicted it, so it can be assumed people had been studying them even earlier.

Many ancient cultures have fascinating legends to explain what happens during an eclipse. Beasts and demons swallow the sun. Many cultures thought it meant that the gods were angry with humanity. Yet many Native American legends had a different spin…

Tewa (Pueblo) Native Americans of New Mexico:  The angry sun was leaving the sky to visit his home in the underworld.

Pomo Band of Northern California: A bear is eating the sun. To get the bear to stop and leave, the people must make as much noise as they can until it gets scared and runs away. Some of the Cherokee have this legend also, but instead of a bear, they attribute it to a frog eating the sun.

Tlingit Tribe of Alaska:  The sun and moon were getting together to create more children which were the stars and planets.

Legends of the Eclipse

The Cree (Canada, North Dakota, Montana), the Menomini (Wisconsin), the Choctaw (Southeastern U.S.) tribes:  A boy has trapped the sun in a net because it burned him or a favorite robe. He refuses to release it. An animal then comes along and chews the net open.

The Cherokee (southern Allegheny mountains, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama): Many years ago, the daughter of the sun was killed and the sun became dark in her grief. Seven men were charged with the task to go to the land of ghosts and bring back the daughter. They did so, placing her in a box for travel. The girl begged to see out and finally the men lifted the lid, releasing a flash of red. This became the world’s first cardinal. Then, still trying to bring back the sun, the people sent dancers to dance before the sun. Finally, the sun peeked out and the upper and lower worlds were once again in balance.

Legends of the Eclipse

The Algonquin Tribe (Michigan, Ontario, Quebec):  A young boy, seeing an unusual track in the snow, decided to set his snare and catch the animal. The track belonged to the sun, and the next day when the sun came by, it was caught in the snare. The next day, the sun didn’t rise, and the earth was dark. The people found out about the boy’s snare and went to free the sun, but couldn’t get near it without getting burned. Many other animals tried to cut the cord too. Finally, the mouse was able to cut the cord with his teeth and release the sun. That is why, to this day, the mouse’s teeth are brown.

From my home, I can expect to see about 87% of the eclipse, with the deepest darkness at 1:15pm CDT.

If you are reading this early in the day, check HERE to find out the best time for you to see the peak darkness in your area.  However, unless you have purchased special glasses DO NOT look directly at the sun!

Do you have any “eclipse” legends from your own heritage?

What will YOU be doing when the eclipse happens?

I hope you take the time to experience it and feel a bit of awe and wonder!

 

Kathryn’s newest release!

Twin sisters say “I do” in the Wild West!

Sweet, sassy and double the trouble ~ twins Mary and Maggie
sign contracts to become mail-order brides
with every intention of escaping before the actual wedding!

Pick up your copy at

HARLEQUIN  |  AMAZON 

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LONE ARROW’S PRIDE, Excerpt and Free E-book Give-away

Howdy!

LONE ARROW’S PRIDE was just uploaded to Amazon Kindle and Amazon KindleUnlimited.  Always I remember this book because on one of my visits to the Crow Reservation (in Montana), a friend of mine, Jeff Rides-the-bear asked me why I didn’t do any stories about the Crow.  My answer was that because the Crow language is the first language (before English) for the Crow people, it scared me a little because my efforts might not be exactly right.  Hearing this, Jeff  volunteered to help me with the language and he and another fellow on the reservation looked over all of the Crow words used in the story to make sure they were correct.  And so was born the book, LONE ARROW’S PRIDE — which is a light-hearted romance.  In writing this book, I took some actual legends from the Superstitious Mountains and brought some of that legend to the Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming.

I will be offering a free e-book to one of the bloggers today, so do leave a comment.

Buried treasure shines brightest in the dark…

The Legendary Warriors, Book 2

Ten years after she survived a cholera epidemic that wiped out her entire wagon train, Carolyn White is on a quest to shake off the bad luck that follows her everywhere and which now threatens her adopted family. The unending string of mishaps can have only one source: the gold piece that she, in childish innocence and wonder, once took from a stolen cache.

She tells herself her journey to Crow Country is merely to put the piece back in the cave where she found it. Yet in her heart, she knows it’s the memory of Lone Arrow, the boy who sheltered her there. The boy whose face, now that of a man’s, inhabits her dreams.

Lone Arrow’s anger knows no bounds. Anger with the white woman he suspects isn’t being truthful to him. Anger with himself that he cannot ignore the beauty who captured his heart even as a boy. Though trust is in short supply, he can’t deny his burning need for her. Whatever else she may be, she is his destiny.

 

LONE ARROW’S PRIDE

 

It started harmlessly enough. A bee buzzed around Carolyn’s face and fingers, most likely because honey still clung to her in those places.

Darn. She hated these little bees. She swished at the insect, but the little bugger wouldn’t leave her alone. She could stick a few of her fingers in her mouth to wash off the honey, she supposed, but she hated to do that. What with petting the horse, keeping hold of the reins and pushing aside bushes in their way, Carolyn’s fingers were filthy, covered with bits of dirt and dust…and they were sticky.

Wait, she had put her handkerchief into her bag only a few moments ago, and it was within her reach. It would take her only a second to get it.

Hating to bother Pretty Moon, Carolyn leaned down to open her bag. Unfortunately, she brought up her leg slightly as she turned, not realizing until too late that the movement hit the bee, which had already landed on the horse.

The bee stung the horse, who then reared, and Carolyn, already twisted in her seat, could not hold on. She flew off the horse’s back, sailed through the air and came down with a plop, landing in a boggy mire of dirty water.

“Ouch!” Lifting a mud-soaked hand out in front of her face, she wiggled her fingers and toes; at least everything still seemed to work.

And perhaps the entire incident would not have been so bad if it hadn’t been for Pretty Moon. The other woman stood beside her, laughing.

Carolyn smoothed a lock of hair from her face and grimaced as she watched a rivulet of muddy water slide down its length.

“Go ahead and laugh,” Carolyn called to her. “I know I would, too, if someone looked as silly as I must. Although, don’t you think that one of us should go after the horse? He’s carrying all our supplies, and the mule’s following him.”

Pretty Moon nodded, although she made no move to go after the animal.

Carolyn came slowly to her feet, her bonnet flopping down over her forehead. She tried to push it back from her face, but it kept collapsing forward, splattering even more mud and gunk on her.

Her antics caused Pretty Moon to giggle even more furiously than before, one hand thrown up over her mouth.

Drat, Carolyn thought, she was wet from her neck clear down to the tips of her toes; her skirt and petticoats, now muddy and slimy, clung to her legs like oily rags, and her boots gushed murky water with each step she took. Even her bodice was drooping.

“Oh, no,” she said. “Look at me. I’m going to have to change into another skirt.”

Pretty Moon nodded, trying her best to keep from smiling. “Pretty Moon,” she pointed to herself, “will take mule…and catch…horse. Does…white friend have…other dress?”

“One,” Carolyn said. “I didn’t bring many of them, since I figured we’d do some laundry along the way.”  But she hadn’t thought she’d need to do it so soon.  “If you’ll go and fetch the pony,” continued Carolyn, “I’ll slip out of these clothes. Maybe there is some clear water here where I can wash the skirt.”

“There…” Pretty Moon pointed in the direction of a small stream. “Pretty Moon…go…get horse.”

“Yes,” Carolyn agreed. “Please.”

In answer, Pretty Moon turned around and took off, chasing after their single mode of transportation.
Carolyn took a step forward, only to trip over her own skirt.

Goodness, it was one thing after another. Maybe she should step out of the skirt so she didn’t keep tangling herself up in it.

Reaching down, she began to undo each of the buttons which held the skirt in place. So intent was she upon her task that she was unaware for the moment of the things going on around her. Perhaps that was why she didn’t see it.

Something poked her in the backside.

Turning around, she saw the reason at once. A buffalo calf had come up behind her. Curious, she reached out a hand toward it.

“You’re a cute little fellow,” she said with a smile. “Where’s your mother?”

As if in answer, the little guy switched its tail.

“Well,” she said, pulling the skirt down around her feet. “It’s been nice talking to you, and you’re a sweet little thing, but I really have to be going. I’d like this skirt to be washed before Pretty Moon comes back.”

Carolyn took a step. With one foot precariously raised, she lost her balance and fell backward…right into the calf.

It cried, and as Carolyn pitched to the ground, the calf collapsed over her.

Goodness, but the little guy was acting like a baby. It whined and cried as though she had done it bodily harm.

Carolyn tried to extricate herself from underneath the calf. Praise be, but it sure did weigh a great deal. She shoved against him, but she could not budge him.

“Would you move off me?” Exasperated, the question came out as more complaint than question.

The calf merely let out another moan. Goodness gracious!

Unfortunately, another buffalo, perhaps the calf’s mother, was making its way toward them, a little too quickly.

But Carolyn barely noticed. She had her own problems. The calf could not get up, and she could not move it, either. Its feet had become entangled, and the more it struggled, the more ensnared it became.
Carolyn sent a helpless glance up toward the heavens. What was she to do? As she tried once more to move and could not, she realized that she was going to have to help the little buffalo get to its feet. Leaning over, she touched its hairy legs and began to set its feet out, one over another.

There, now. She almost had it. In another moment, she would have the calf back on its feet, and gain her own legs out from underneath it.

Miserably, she noted as she glanced around her, she had drawn a crowd. Four buffalo had come to stand over her, looking down at her as though she were the latest in Wild West entertainment.

In little time, however, the calf was back on its own legs, and Carolyn was able to struggle to her feet. Taking a deep breath and stepping completely out of her skirt and petticoats, she paced around the other buffalo that had come to watch her.

They reminded her of cows somehow. Big, dangerous, wild cows, yes, but cows nevertheless.

The stream that Pretty Moon had pointed out was only a short distance away, and Carolyn paced quickly toward it, unaware that the calf followed her. And so it was that Carolyn had little knowledge that the calf’s mother followed it, and that the other buffalo began to follow the mother, keeping to its quickened pace.

Soon a few buffalo tramped by her. Then several more.

Carolyn did notice that the animals appeared to be moving a little too fast. But she didn’t think much about it; certainly it was no reason to glance behind her.

Unaware of what was beginning to take place, Carolyn picked up her pace. In truth, she began to run toward the stream. She had almost made it, too, when it happened.

The buffalo, which had begun to surround her, were beginning to pass by quickly, their speed perhaps matching her own. And at last, Carolyn thought to glance over her shoulder.

Dear Lord, she thought as she took it all in. How had this happened? The entire herd was beginning to follow her and the calf. Worse, unless she did something soon, she might likely be trampled to death.

But if they were following her, would they also stop if she did?

The little guy behind her let out another whimper as the bigger animals pushed past them. Carolyn turned around, her gaze falling onto the baby. At least he wasn’t running away from her. Carolyn fell to her knees before him, throwing her arms around the animal. Could he possibly be her lifeline?

Would the other buffalo be aware of them, perhaps even watch out for him, making a path around him?

As the thunder of pounding hoofs began to drown out even this disturbing thought, Carolyn could only pray that it would be so.

##############################################################

 

Lone Arrow was not happy. It was an understatement.

How could the white woman have left the fort as she had? After he had forbidden it?

And Pretty Moon; what did she have to do with the white woman’s escape? Did the two of them think it a mere game to defy their men?

Their men?

Raising up from the ground where he had been squatting over the women’s trail, Lone Arrow snorted at the thought. He was not her man; she was not his woman.

Staring off in the direction the women had taken, he tried to speculate on what was in the white woman’s mind. From her tracks, here in the sand, he could tell that she was agitated. What he did not understand was why the women were not bothering to cover their trail, nor the direction of their path.

Did they think no one would come after them?

Perhaps the white men at the fort might be content to let them go. But he…

That was another thing. How had Carolyn convinced the soldiers not to follow them? She must have done something, for the bluecoats were making no moves to send out a rescue party.

Lone Arrow looked off into the distance, and he figured that from the freshness of the tracks, he and his friend were only a half day behind them. In the meantime, his pony snorted and shoved her nose under Lone Arrow’s hand.

“Easy, girl,” he said, whereupon, without thinking, he began to pat the animal.

Why weren’t the women traveling more quickly?

Obviously they wanted to be found.  Why?

Lone Arrow scowled. Who knew the workings of a woman’s mind. As the old ones had often said, “Do not try to understand them. Simply love and protect them.”

Shrugging, he signaled to his friend, telling him to move on ahead. And Lone Arrow, jumping up to regain his seat atop his pony, refused to try to make sense of these clues he found.

At least the women were not far ahead of them. If he and his friend rode hard, they should catch up to the women by the time the sun was highest in the sky.

Hopefully, The-girl-who-runs-with-bears and Pretty Moon had met with no trouble, although that seemed unlikely. This was, after all, The-girl-who-runs-with-bears. She seemed to be involved in more accidents than any single person he had ever known.

He could only hope that Pretty Moon would be alert enough to rescue her, since Lone Arrow was certain that his white woman would need it.

His white woman?

Lone Arrow pulled his brows together, frowning, as an abrupt realization came over him. He was worried about her…really worried about her…

Lone Arrow heard the thunder of buffalo hooves in the distance. It meant that the herd was in the throes of a running stampede.

His stomach turned over at the sound. Why? There was nothing to fear there; nothing unusual.

Or was there?

He stared down at the imprints in the ground, which told him a story. He did not like this. He did not understand it, either. Why would the women’s path lead them in the direction of a stampeding herd? Pretty Moon would have avoided contact with the buffalo, if at all possible.

It had to be the inexperience of The-girl-who-runs-with-bears. She did not know the ways of the plains well enough to discern danger. He had observed this in her too many times in the past not to be aware of it now.

Pulling back on his buckskin reins, Lone Arrow stared straight ahead of him. What was wrong? Why did he feel as though he were on the verge of toppling over the precipice of some high cliff.

Glancing over his shoulder at his friend Big Elk, Lone Arrow gave him to understand that they needed to hurry.

Why this was so, he did not know. It was only that he had a bad feeling about this.

He saw her at once, heard her scream, even over the beating of buffalo hooves.

How she had managed to situate herself in the midst of a stampeding buffalo herd, he might never know. But it was of little value to ponder it.

This time, he thought, The-girl-who-runs-with-bears had gone too far. This time her antics had gotten her into more than a simple stumble over herself.

This was serious. She could be killed.

The sudden realization brought on a sense of panic within him, and alarm swept through him like a tide of black fear.

He had to do something.

For she must live. For herself; for him.

Ho! There it was. In this moment of stark unreality, one thing stood out clearly. He had feelings for this woman; raw, carnal yearnings.

And so it was with no sense of surprise that, perhaps for the first time, Lone Arrow admitted the truth. His own happiness, his own future, was irrefutably wound up with that of The-girl-who-runs-with-bears.

Turning toward Big Elk, who was watching him, Lone Arrow signed that the rescue of the white woman was to be his concern alone. Big Elk should go and find his own wife.

And while Big Elk spun about, Lone Arrow pressed his war pony forward, into the herd of buffalo.

“A-la-pee,” he called the Appaloosa by her name, which meant in the Crow language “Grass Fire.” “We will have to rescue her, do you understand?” The pony whinnied and shook her head, and Lone Arrow continued, saying, “Step sure of foot, my friend.”

The animal snorted, as though it understood every word he had said, and Lone Arrow thanked his medicine, as well as his spirit protector, that he’d had the foresight at the start of this journey to ride out on his best mount.

At least, thought Lone Arrow, the herd was not in a full run…yet. But if the animals caught the human scent or had the least inducement, they might stampede…and then there would be no hope…for her…for him.

He had to get to her quickly.

“Délaah! Go!” Lone Arrow shouted to his pony over the noise of the herd. But the encouragement was hardly needed. A-la-pee sensed the excitement and began to squeeze her way into the herd, avoiding oncoming buffalo, and heading toward the girl.

Had The-girl-who-runs-with-bears seen them? Did she know that help was on the way? No, she could not, he answered his own question. Her head was down.

And what was that she was holding? A calf?

Lone Arrow silently congratulated her on her wisdom. Even the mean-tempered, old bulls would skirt around the calf, protecting it.

“Carolyn!” he shouted over the noise of striking hooves.

He had been right. She had not noticed him, for she stared up at him quickly, sending him a startled glance, and as she did so, he added, “Take my hand.”

Her eyes looked big and white in her face as she swung around to glance up at him, and he heard her mutter, “Lone Arrow” as though she did not believe she was seeing correctly. “You’ve come after me.”

He nodded. “I come. Now, give me your hand.”

She did so at once, and he pulled her up behind him.

“Hold on to me,” he instructed, although he might not have bothered. She grabbed hold of him instinctively. “Do not let go of me no matter what happens. Do you understand?”

She nodded. And he began to ease A-la-pee out of the herd.

Trained to respond to knee pressure alone, and sensing her master’s intention, the Appaloosa needed little direction. She sidestepped her way out of the buffalo herd, pressing toward the edge of it, dodging one buffalo after another, avoiding the horns of an ill-tempered bull, moving ever closer to safety.

In truth, she had almost cleared the herd completely when a particular buffalo bull spun about toward them.

Lone Arrow saw the animal at once, witnessed its turn and, at the sight, felt his heart jump up into his throat. Recognition of the animal made his spirits sink. This was not good; not at all.

This was not the sort of bull who bluffed a charge at the enemy, attempting only to make his foe go away. This buffalo was a special type of animal. Lean and skinny, its mangy mane hung down over its eyes bluntly, as though its coarse hair had been cut that way. This alone made the animal easy to identify.
This was the type of buffalo that never charged unless it meant to kill you; it never gave up. And it had put its sights on them.

A-la-pee must have seen the animal at the same time as Lone Arrow, for she had made a series of moves, away from its charge. Lone Arrow could feel her desire to run, and he struggled to hold her back.

Lone Arrow’s muscles bulged under his exertion, and it was with little more than personal willpower that he forced A-la-pee to retreat, while ever so gradually winding her way to the side of the herd.

Still, the buffalo charged.

Another turn by his mount kept them out of the bull’s reach. Unfortunately, the pony and riders faced the oncoming charge of the rest of the herd as well. There was a moment of confusion, as the entire world seemed to be coming down around them, and Lone Arrow could feel A-la-pee’s panic.

Had he saved The-girl-who-runs-with-bears only to be killed together?

“Ap-xi-sshe.” He used an endearment to calm the animal. “We will survive this. You are the best war pony a man ever had.”

A-la-pee raised her head as the buffalo made yet another rush at them.

The Appaloosa dodged at the perfect moment, swinging around to confront the bull. Another step, another pace or two, another dodge from the oncoming bull, and they were free at last.

But the buffalo followed them, making another charge. It was at this moment that Lone Arrow let A-la-pee have her rein, and so quickly did she spin away from the herd, to run across the prairie, that one might have thought a demon were after her.

And perhaps it was true.

Lone Arrow glanced over his shoulder, noting that the buffalo was giving them chase. And though Lone Arrow knew the huge animal’s speed was no match for his pony, he still experienced a moment of concern.

Soon, however, A-la-pee put more distance between them and danger, and Lone Arrow watched—again over his shoulder—as the bull stopped, the huge beast pawing the ground in frustration. And then, as though realizing it had done all it could do, it turned tail and headed back toward the herd.

Seeing this, Lone Arrow drew a deep breath. It was only then that he allowed himself a moment of relief.
A very short moment, for he would not let himself rest. He could not. Guiding his mount up onto higher ground, he wasn’t satisfied until they had put more than a few hills and gullies between themselves and that buffalo.

At last, Lone Arrow drew back on the reins, bringing A-la-pee to a halt.

Jumping down from his seat, Lone Arrow threw the buckskin reins onto the ground, expressing his foul mood. Never, not ever, could he remember being so upset with another human being. Never had a woman given him reason to lose his temper like this.

Striding back and forth in front of Carolyn, who was still atop the Appaloosa, Lone Arrow quipped, “You—you were supposed to go home! This land, my country”—he extended his arms in a circle—“is a dangerous place for people who do not know the ways of it. Do you realize what would have happened to you, soon…very soon, if I had not come for you?”

She did not answer, which only incited him further, for she looked innocent, much too innocent. And it was this, her attitude, that was more than he could stand.

Did she not understand that she had almost lost her life?

He continued, “How did you manage to get into the middle of that herd?”

He watched her gulp, as though she attempted to answer, but no words formed on her lips. Narrowing his eyes at her, he beheld her fear, watched as she seemed to choke on mere syllables, but he was not inclined to spare her the tiniest bit of sympathy. Instead, he carried on, saying, “Where is Pretty Moon?”

The white woman pointed, although again she said nothing; it was as though fear had taken hold of her voice.

But not so for Lone Arrow. “What were you thinking?” he said. “You will never find that cave and help your family if you get yourself killed. Do you not know this?”

She nodded.

“Then why did you leave without me?”

That question, more than anything, seemed to stir a spark of life in her, for she narrowed her eyes at him, raised a well-arched brow and spat, “Without—you?”

He crossed his arms over his chest, muttering only, “Humph! Éeh, yes. Without me.”

“You, you—you…”

He jerked his head slightly to the left, while she tipped her chin defiantly toward the sky.

And then, as though she had at last found her tongue, she began, “You, Lone Arrow, made it abundantly clear that you would not take me where I need to go.” As though she gained inspiration by speaking, she jumped down from the Appaloosa, her feet hitting solid ground with a dull thud. She even took a step toward him before she continued: “Is it my fault that you chose to ignore me? Is it my fault that you are bullheaded and stubborn? Is it my fault that you can’t seem to trust me?

“No, it’s not,” she answered her own questions. “And it’s certainly not a sign of weakness on my part that I seek a way to get to the mountains without you. And don’t think you can talk me out of going there, or Pretty Moon, either, for that matter. I’m determined to get there. And she is, too…I think,” Carolyn added, although Lone Arrow had to strain to hear this last.

However, all he uttered in response to her was, “Humph!” before he said, “Where are the rest of your clothes?”

A look of shock passed over her features as she gazed down at herself. Mayhap she had forgotten that she stood before him in no more than calf-length drawers and corset.

Ignoring her red-faced countenance, he went on to say, “Pretty Moon knows not this cave that you seek or where it is.”

Carolyn appeared to recover quickly enough, and placing her hands on her hips, she said, “But I do. I’ll recognize it again when I see it.”

He squinted his eyes at her. “Will you?” he asked.

A glimmer of doubt crossed over her features, but he said nothing. At last, bringing his arms down to his sides, hands clenched in fists, he took one step toward her, saying, “You are not to defy me again, do you understand?”

She did not appear to take orders well, he observed, for she stood straighter and countered, “I will do as I please. You are not my lord and master.”

“Am I not?”

She shook her head.

“Ho,” he said, “and what happened to your marriage proposal? Have you forgotten it so soon?”

That simple statement seemed to startle her. Her glance dropped to the ground. And Lone Arrow was silently congratulating himself on his cleverness, when she said, “You have already told me what you think of me.”

Again Lone Arrow experienced a moment of anxiety, though of a different sort and, for a moment, his stomach knotted up. Had he told this woman of his concern for her? How could he, when he had only just become cognizant of it himself?

“Please,” she said, “don’t rub my nose in it. I understand perfectly that you do not wish to have anything to do with me. Do me a favor, please. Truth be known, I would consider it an act of kindness if you would simply go away and…”

Go away? Strangely enough, relief flooded his system. He had not revealed himself to her after all.

“…And leave me and Pretty Moon alone.”

Leave her alone? After that hair-raising rescue?

It was with some revelation that Lone Arrow realized he could no more leave this woman alone than he could stop the wind from blowing. But he had no intention of telling her that. And with good reason.
And so, he uttered, “Pretty Moon’s husband might have something to say about what she does, as well he should.”

Carolyn tilted her head, sending him a glare. “Perhaps,” she said. “But I think she is running away from him.”

Lone Arrow uttered a grunt beneath his breath, while aloud, he commented, “He is here with her now. He will take her back with him, and you will follow me.”

“I will not.”

“You have not the choice.”

“I have every choice.”

Lone Arrow set his feet together in a stance as natural to him as the act of breathing: feet not too close together or too far apart; weight on one foot while the other was thrust slightly forward. One hand at his side, the other holding his bow, which had previously been hanging from his shoulder. It was a way of holding himself, a position and a manner which said, “Do not tamper with me.” As if to complete the image, he commanded, “You and Pretty Moon are not to go anywhere alone. It is obvious that you will only get into trouble. I forbid it.”

Lone Arrow was happy with himself, though he carefully hid such satisfaction from her. And why should he not feel some elation? He had done well so far; curbing his anger toward her. He was even instilling caution within her with his well-chosen words.

Yet his self-appreciation died a quick, silent death. For when she spoke, despite the fact that she should have shown him deference, she seemed completely unaffected by him. She even went so far as to utter, “You, Lone Arrow, have no right to forbid me anything.”

Why that statement should bother him, he did not know. Yet it did all the same.

He narrowed his eyes at her but did not reply at once. And it was with some feeling of surprise that he realized he itched to shake some sense into her. But of course he would not do it. As the elders always said, only a coward or a man of little character would use physical force on a woman or on anyone who could not fight back.

Yet, for all his good intentions, Lone Arrow could not curb his tongue, not quite. And though he knew he should think the thought through, perhaps a little more thoroughly, he found himself uttering, as though in challenge, “Then I accept.”

Color slowly drained from her face, and she stared at him as though he had gone mad. She asked, “You what?”

He did not move a muscle; he merely stated again as calmly as possible, “I have decided that I will accept your proposal.”

“M-my…what?”

He gritted his teeth. “I will marry you.”

He watched as her throat worked against itself, as though she did not know whether to swallow or to speak. At some length, she said, “You…you wish to…marry me?” She raised her eyes to his. “Really?”

He nodded.

“Then…you…have some…feelings for me?”

He did not budge. He did not even blink, and he said, “And as your husband, I will forbid you to go any further in search of this cave.”

“Oh,” she uttered. He watched as darkness fell over her features. “I see,” she continued. “Well, then I guess I will not marry you, after all, because there is nothing—not a single thing that you can do that will make me stop my search.”

He stepped forward. “I could tie you up,” he stated, though he made no move to do it. Instead, he reached out to push a lock of her hair away from her face.

She knocked his hand away. “And I will only get loose and come out here again. The only thing you would gain is time. But because I have so little of that, by doing such a thing, you could cause the ruin of my family.”

“I? I have not caused their ruin now, nor will I cause it in the future, no matter what I do. Others cannot live your life for you.”

“And yet, you rescued me today.”

He shrugged, seeing no harm in admitting the obvious.

“Yet, you would keep me from rescuing my family?”

“That is different.” He watched as the wind blew that same lock of her hair forward, and once more he reached out to tuck it behind her ear.

This time, however, she did not whack his hand away, though she did say, “How is it different? A rescue is a rescue, whether it be from bears or buffalo or a land-hungry banker. You would deny me the right to help another? The same right that you take for granted?”

He sighed. Why was it so hard to win an argument with this woman?

“Lone Arrow”—she reached up and grabbed his fingers with her own—“I once offered you the only gift I have to give to a man. Now you accept my proposal, but only in exchange for my obedience to you. Somewhere in between, there must be a compromise we could make. Marry me, but take me to the cave.”

One touch.

That was all it had taken. One touch of her hand and his body came to instant alert. He supposed he could remove his fingers from her own, but the will to do so was not there within him.

He said, “That is no compromise at all, and well you know it. It would be more like my surrender. Besides, I could make you marry me.”

She shook back her hair. “I think not.”

“I can prove it to you.” He took a step forward.

She shook her head.

And that’s when it happened. He kissed her.

LONE ARROW’S PRIDE

By Karen Kay

https://www.amazon.com/LONE-ARROWS-PRIDE-Legendary-Warriors-ebook/dp/B0745KNRPK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1500951783&sr=8-1&keywords=lone+arrow%27s+pride+by+karen+kay&tag=pettpist-20

Updated: July 24, 2017 — 10:35 pm

CROP CIRCLES & LEGENDS OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN (Plus free give-away)

Howdy!

Strange title, eh?  Or maybe not.   THE ANGEL AND THE WARRIOR from the Lost Clan Series is based on a myth that is common throughout the American Indian myths — tribe to tribe.  The story of the Thunderer.

But there’s another legend that caught my interest early on — and it is the one I thought I’d discuss with you today.  At the time I came upon this myth, I knew nothing about crop circles — had never heard of them — but this legend, and my knowledge of crop circles has left some questions in my mind — and I thought I’d tell you about them.

SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE, from the Legendary Warriors Series, is based in no small degree upon the myth of a hunter and the daughters of the Star People.  The book, SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE actually starts with the hero and heroine and the legend as it is told in Native American lore.  Interestingly, I found this myth not in just one tribe — but several — and the thing is, it was told almost (but not quite) identically, tribe to tribe.  The legend I’m about to tell you is from the Shawnee.stortell[1]

I believe that the name of the hero (it’s from a children’s book that I’m quoting) is Red Hawk, and the name of the book is RED HAWK AND THE SKY SISTERS by Gloria Dominic and Charles Reasoner.  Again, this legend is repeated in several different tribes — although the hero’s name is often different.

Red Hawk is a great hunter.  But he is puzzled because he sees the same thing in the prairie each time he goes to hunt.  It is a circle — a perfect circle — but there are no paths leading up to it — or going away from it.  There is evidence that something was there and made the circle — but how?  Red Hawk decides to spend the night, hiding himself from view.

51GoIbPuXOL._SL110_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-sm,TopRight,10,-13_OU01_[1]And so he does.  He discovers by hiding himself, that a basket gently falls to the earth and that there is singing from feminine voices.  As the basket comes to land softly on the earth, the sisters alight from the basket and dance around it in a circle.  Red Hawk watches this for many nights until one night he falls in love with one of the sisters — the youngest I believe.  And so, once again hiding himself, he waits until the sisters are about to get into the basket and go back into the sky — but suddenly he jumps out from his hiding place and captures the woman of his heart.

They marry and are happy, but she misses her home in the sky (she is a star).  They have a  child and she wishes to take the child and return to visit her home in the sky.  Our hero lets her go, but keeps the child with him, hoping that the child will be enough to cause her to return.  When she doesn’t return, our hero again captures her, and she falls in love with him all over and they live happily ever after.

th[1]I did find that the ending varies a bit from tribe to tribe, and I’m uncertain of how this book ends the story — I have this book, but of course, needing to find it for this post, the book eludes me.  : )

So what does this have to do with crop circles and aliens.  Well, I found it very interesting that crop circles seem similar and are also tied to aliens — here’s a link, if you’ve never heard of crop circles:  https://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/cutting/cropcirc.htm

Here is a picture of an actual crop circle — where the crops have been bent back without any footprints to or from the circle.   They are usually made at night — and made within one night.

Although attributed to more modern times, it’s interesting to me that our legend goes back centuries — to come to us today — to perhaps make the crop circle even more mysterious.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the post today.  And I hope I’ve created some interest in the American Indian legend.   Oh, and by the way, what do you think of the legend and the crop circles in general?

I’ll be giving away an e-book copy of SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE today to some lucky blogger — please see the Giveaway Guidelines over to the right here for our rules that govern giveaways.  Oh, also I wanted you all to know that LAKOTA SURRENDER, PROUD WOLF’S WOMAN, BLACK EAGLE and SENECA SURRENDER are now on KindleUnlimited.  If you are a part of that, you can now read those books for free.  Nice, huh?…

 

Updated: April 24, 2017 — 10:56 am

They Said What?

There’s nothing like looking back at the Old West through the words of those who lived it. There were some real characters back them, and here are a few actual quotes to prove it.

Words to Live By

  • “Never run a bluff with a six-gun.”– Bat Masterson
  • “As a good horse is not very apt to jump over a bank, if left to guide himself, I let mine pick his own way.”-Buffalo Bill
  • “Why should I obtain by force that which I can obtain by cheating?”-Doc Holliday
  • “Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.” –Wyatt Earp
  • “Shoot first and never miss.” – Bat Masterson

Setting the Record Straight

  • “They say I killed six or seven men for snoring. It ain’t true. I only killed one man for snoring.” – John Wesley Hardin

Famous Last Words

  • “If a man knows anything, he ought to die with it in him.” -Sam Bass
  • “Can’t you hurry this up a bit? I hear they eat dinner in Hades at twelve sharp and I don’t aim to be late.” – Black Jack Ketchum
  • “Let the record show I’ve killed 51 men. Let ’er rip.” Deacon Jim Miller, professional killer
  • “Suppose, suppose …” Wyatt Earp
  • “I see a good many enemies around, and mighty few friends.”-Bill Longley

Calamity Jane

 Girls with Guns

  • “I figure, if a girl wants to be a legend, she should just go ahead and be one.” -Calamity Jane
  • “A pair of six-shooters beats a pair of sixes.” -Belle Starr
  • “I never killed unless I was compelled to.” -Belle Starr
  • “I ain’t afraid to love a man. I ain’t afraid to shoot him either.”-Annie Oakley

Now That’s Mighty Thoughtful

  • “I didn’t want to send him to hell on an empty stomach.”- Clay Allison after killing a man at dinner

The Hangman Speaketh

  • “I never hanged a man that didn’t deserve it.” Judge Parker’s hangman George Maledon
  • “We never did hang the wrong one but once or twice, and them fellers needed to be hung anyhow jes’ on general principles.”- nameless judge

 That Fighting Spirit

  • “Well, if there ain’t going to be any rules, let’s get the fight started.” -Butch Cassidy
  • “I want results when I fight.”- Frank James

  Reaching for the Stars

  • “All my life I wanted to be a bank robber. Carry a gun and wear a mask. Now that it’s happened I guess I’m just about the best bank robber they ever had. And I sure am happy.” -John Dillinger

 Okay now it’s your turn. 

What saying or words of wisdom would you like to be remembered for?

 

There’s a new sheriff in town and she almost always gets her man!

A Match Made in Texas

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Updated: March 19, 2017 — 7:43 am

An Old, Old American Indian Legend — My Christmas Gift to You

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It’s Christmas Time!  Please let me remind you — because I’ll be doing a free give-away today — to be sure to check back here at the blog on Wednesday or Thursday to see who is the winner.   Remember, we here at the Junction don’t contact you.  So please check back either tomorrow or the next day to see if you are the winner.  The books I’ll be giving away are Soaring Eagle’s Embrace, the mass market paperback version of the book, and Seneca Surrender, e-book.

Well, I’ve been thinking and thinking of what I could possibly blog today, since Christmas was not a celebrated holiday for Native Americans before the arrival of priests into this land called Turtle Island.  One of my most favorite Christmas memories is being told a story the night before Christmas in an attempt to get me to go to sleep.  It didn’t work very well (getting me to go to sleep).  But it is a wonderful memory.

And so I thought I’d regale you with a story.  Hopefully I won’t put you to sleep with this story.

This is the story of the girl who married a star.  It’s origin is Sioux — I don’t know if that’s Lakota or Dakota or Nakota.  All three are Sioux, just different dialects.  By the way this story comes to us from the book, Favorite North American Indian Legends, printed by Dover.  Before I start, I wanted to say that this legend reminds me of a similar one I used in Soaring Eagle’s Embrace, which is the book I’ll be giving away today.

Okay that said, imagine yourself in the long, long ago, all warm and cozy, curled up in front of a fire with your relatives sitting around you.  The Old Story Teller has arrived, and all is quiet as the story teller begins:

Long ago, there were two sisters, one whose name was Earth and the others name was Water.  This was at a time when all people and animals were in close communication with each other and so the animals supplied the sisters with all their needs.

 One night the sky was clear and beautiful and both sisters looked up to the sky through their wigwam — comment, now we know that this was most likely the Dakota since they were living in Wigwams — anyway, they looked up through the hole in their wigwam and admired the beautiful stars.

Earth said to her sister that she’d had a dream about a handsome young man and that she thought he might be a star.  Water responded saying that she, too, had seen a man in her dreams who was a brave man.

The sisters chose stars that they thought might be these men that they had dreamed of.  Water chose the brightest star for her husband.  Earth chose a little star that twinkled.

Then they slept.  When they awoke, they were in the land of the Sky.  The stars were, indeed, people.  Now it happened that the man that water chose was an older warrior and that the man that Earth chose was a young, handsome man.  Both sisters married these men and they were very happy.

One day the sisters went out to dig turnips (a much favored food at this time in history).  Both of their husbands warned them not to strike the ground too hard.  But Earth, in her haste to dig the turnips, struck the ground so hard that she fell through the sky to the ground.

Earth was found and cared for by two older people who tried to help her.  But she was so upset about losing her husband that all she did is cry.  She could not even see her husband in the sky because he had blackened his face because he was now a widower.  Earth waited and waited for him to come to her, but he could not.  However, he did give her a most precious gift.

That night when she went to sleep, she dreamed of a beautiful red star.  It had never been in the sky before.  She knew at once that it was her son.

When she awoke, she found a handsome boy by her side — her son.  Although Earth’s husband could not come to get her again, and though he loved his son deeply, he gave to his wife the only thing that he could — their son, Star Boy.  It was a gift from his heart.

‘Tis the season of giving.  I hope you have enjoyed this story.  I thought it was quite beautiful.

Now one more thing before I end.

Seneca Surrender was just recently released in October in ebook and Tradepaper — from Prairie Rose Publications.  Below is the cover.   I’ll be giving away a free copy of Seneca Surrender in ebook format today to some lucky blogger.   So that’s two chances you have to win a free book.  All you have to do to enter into the drawing is to leave a comment.  But please, over to right here is our Giveaway Guidelines.  Please do have a look at them.  The rules are few, but are important — so give them a read.

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The picture to the right is of my husband and myself with Chief Mountain in the background, the setting for Soaring Eagle’s Embrace — this is on the Blackfeet reservation.

And so from my heart to yours, I wish you a very Merry Christmas!

 

Updated: December 5, 2016 — 10:23 pm

El Muerto: The Headless Horseman of Texas

Kathleen Rice Adams header

First published in 1820, Washington Irving’s short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” has been terrifying children for almost 200 years. Though the tale of a hapless schoolmaster’s midnight gallop through the New York woods made the phrase “headless horseman” a household term in America, by the time Irving’s story appeared headless horsemen had been staples of European folklore for centuries. German, Irish, Scandinavian, and English legends all offered versions of the ghoulish phantoms, who usually were said to appear to proud, arrogant people as a warning.

headless horsemanTexas has its own gruesome headless horseman legend. Unlike Irving’s unforgettable spook, though, Texas’s headless horseman rode among the living once upon a time.

Some say he still does.

In the summer of 1850, a Mexican bandido by the name of Vidal made an egregious error: He and several compadres rustled a sizable herd of horses from several ranches south of San Antonio. One of the ranches belonged to Texas Ranger Creed Taylor, a veteran of the Texas War for Independence and a man not inclined to forgive his enemies. (Taylor later would be one of the participants in the Sutton-Taylor Feud, a bloody, years-long running gun battle that resulted in four times as many deaths as the better-known fracas between the Hatfields and McCoys.)

Rustling cattle already had earned Vidal’s head a dead-or-alive bounty. Stealing a Texas Ranger’s horses was the proverbial last straw. Together with fellow Ranger William A.A. “Big Foot” Wallace and another local rancher, Taylor set out to put a stop to Vidal’s unbearable insolence.

The Headless Horseman: A Strange Tale of Texas, 1865

Capt. Mayne Reid’s version of a Texas Legend, published in 1865, received a mention in Charles Dickens’s final novel, Our Mutual Friend.

As a group, the early Texas Rangers were hard men. Tasked with protecting an enormous patch of land rife with outlaws and Indians, the early Rangers were expert trackers, accomplished gunmen, and not opposed to meting out immediate — and often brutal — “frontier justice.” Vidal was about to discover that in a very personal way.

After tracking the bandidos to their camp, Taylor, Wallace, and the third man mounted a surprise attack while the outlaws were asleep. Killing the desperados was not enough for Taylor and Wallace, though. The entire Ranger force was fed up with the rash of rustling plaguing Texas at the time. Not even leaving bodies hanging from trees or hacking them to pieces and using the bits for predator bait had made a strong enough statement.

So, Wallace got creative. After beheading Vidal, he secured the corpse upright on the back of the wildest of the rustled horses, lashed the bandido’s hands to the saddle horn and his feet to the stirrups, and tied the stirrups beneath the animal’s belly. Just to make sure anyone who saw the ghoulish specter got the message, he looped a rawhide thong through the head’s jaws and around Vidal’s sombrero, and slung the bloody bundle from the saddle’s pommel. Then Wallace and his friends sent the terrified mustang galloping off into the night.

William A.A. "Big Foot" Wallace, ca. 1872

Big Foot Wallace, ca. 1872

Not long thereafter, vaqueros began to report seeing a headless horseman rampaging through the scrub on a dark, wild horse. As sightings spread, some claimed flames shot from the animal’s nostrils and lightning bolts from its hooves. Bullets seemed to have no effect on the grisly marauder. They dubbed the apparition el Muerto — the dead man — and attributed all sorts of evil and misfortune to the mysterious rider.

Eventually, a posse of cowboys brought down the horse at a watering hole near Ben Bolt, Texas. By then the dried-up body had been riddled with bullets and arrows, and the head had shriveled in the sun. The posse laid Vidal’s remains to rest in an unmarked grave on the La Trinidad Ranch. Only then did Wallace and Taylor take public credit for the deed. The episode contributed to Wallace’s reputation and had the intended effect on rustling.

Even the revelation of the truth behind the legend did not end el Muerto’s reign of terror. Until nearby Fort Inge was decommissioned in 1869, soldiers reported seeing a headless rider roaming the countryside around Uvalde, near Taylor’s ranch. Thirty years later, a rise in the ground 250 miles to the southeast, near San Patricio, Texas, was christened Headless Horseman Hill after a wagon train reported an encounter with el Muerto. A sighting occurred in 1917 outside San Diego, Texas, and another near Freer in 1969.

El Muerto reportedly still roams the mesquite-covered range in Duval, Jim Wells, and Live Oak counties — still fearsome, still headless, and still reminding those who see him that Texas Rangers didn’t come by their tough-hombre reputation by accident.

bat flourish

Robbing Banks Stealing HeartsI haven’t written any tales about headless horsemen — yet — but ghosts play a significant role in one of my short novellas. Family Tradition is one of two stories that compose Robbing Banks, Stealing Hearts.

Everyone should have career at which they excel. At failing to commit crimes, nobody is better than Laredo and Tombstone Hawkins. Maybe they can bumble their way into love.

Family Tradition
Haunted by his kin’s tradition of spectacular failure, bank robber Tombstone Hawkins is honor-bound to prove his family tree produced at least one bad apple. When carnival fortuneteller Pansy Gilchrist tries to help, she accidentally summons a pair of dishonest-to-goodness ghosts. Getting into the spirit of a crime is one thing…but how do you get the spirits out?

 

Here’s a brief excerpt:

Stone blinked at the apparitions. If not for Madame Minerva’s confirmation, he’d have sworn he was seeing things—and he hadn’t touched a drop of whiskey in weeks.

He eased backward a step.

So did she, sidling up next to him until her hipbone collided with his leg.

The two ghosts floated around the table, one on each side, and planted themselves close enough for Stone to poke a hand through either misty shape. Forcing a swallow down his throat, he squinted at the nearest. He’d been on the receiving end of that old man’s irritated glare far too often.

Heart racing fast enough to outrun a mule with a butt full of buckshot, Stone faded back another step.

The fake gypsy stayed with him, as though she were glued to his side.

The gauzy forms kept pace.

“Emile?” Madame Minerva’s voice squeaked like a schoolgirl’s.

Even on a ghost, disappointment was easy to spot. A pained frown gripped one apparition’s face. “I’m not part of the con any longer, Pansy. You can’t call me father just once?”

Stone ducked his head and tossed the woman a sidelong glance. “Pansy?”

“Said Tombstone,” she hissed.

The second ghost spoke up, his voice strangely hollow but recognizable. “Boy, you got nothin’ to say to your ol’ pop?”

“I uh… I…” Stone’s tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth.

Thank God, Emile picked up the conversation. “I see my little girl is keeping the family tradition alive.”

“I am.” Pansy’s breathy whisper carried a hint of tears. “Oh, Emile, I wish you had stayed.”

“I’ve been here all along. You just haven’t looked for me before.” Emile’s specter extended a hand to cup his daughter’s cheek. Pansy leaned into the phantom caress.

Stone snatched her before she toppled over. Too late, he discovered she weighed little more than a ghost herself. His grab yanked her off her feet and slammed her into his chest.

He exercised quite a bit more care setting her back on the dirt floor.

 

 

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A Walk in the Country by Charlene Sands

Charlene-with-Books

As I watched CMA’s Music Festival from the comfort of my own home the other evening, I was smiling and singing along with the artists as they sashayed across a stage that reached thousands in the audience and millions through their television screens.

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Jimmie Rodgers

Hank_Williams_MGM_Records_-_cropped

Hank Williams

Gosh, I love country music so much that it never occurred to me that there were so many different variations of what was once known as hillbilly music.   As I delved into country music’s bright history, I learned that this new form of music derived in the southern United States was brought forth in the 1920’s and originated in Atlanta, Georgia, not Nashville, Tennessee.  It has been argued that Atlanta be known for the birth of Country Music.  Country music was delivered by way of working class Americans bringing their own backgrounds and culture to the city by blending popular songs, Irish and Celtic fiddle tunes, blues, cowboy songs and traditional ballads.  And nearly a century later country music has climbed the ranks to become the most listened to rush hour music during the evening commute, coming a close second to the most listened to morning rush hour commute.

 

 

Some of the most renowned artists of the 1920’s were “Fiddlin’ John Carson in 1923 (Okey Records) and Samantha Bumgarner in 1924 (Columbia Records) and then in 1927 RCA Victor Records (remember them?) recorded the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers. During the Great Depression radio sales were down, but country music became a very popular form of entertainment with “barn dance” shows that transmitted all over the South and from Chicago to California. In 1925 the Grand Ole Opry made its debut from Nashville and it continues on in glorious fashion today.Grand_Ole_Opry

The first commercial recordings of what was considered country music were “Arkansas Traveler” and “Turkey in the Straw” on June 30, 1922, for Victor Records and released in April 1923.  Columbia began issuing records with “hillbilly” music (series 15000D “Old Familiar Tunes”) as early as 1924.[8]

And later, the popularity of movie westerns only seemed to spur on (pardon the pun) the country music industry.   But like everything else in the world, country music evolved and branched off into different genres from bluegrass to gospel, from hillbilly to country boogie, from honkytonk to rockabilly and country rock.  In 1956 the number two, three and four songs on Billboard’s charts for that year were Elvis Presley, “Heartbreak Hotel“; Johnny Cash, “I Walk the Line“; and Carl Perkins, “Blue Suede Shoes“.[45]

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash

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Willie Nelson helped coin the genre “country outlaw” and megastars like Taylor Swift have delivered us “pop country.”  While Carrie Underwood (my favorite female vocalist) has been branded a “country rock” musician.   I might also mention icons such as Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, Kenny Rogers and Barbara Mandrell, who all made an indelible mark on country music.carrie-underwood

Do you remember Barbara Mandrell sayin’  “I was country when country wasn’t cool.”

So much music, so little time!

Do you like country music?  What type of country appeals to you most? And if you could meet one of the legends of country either living or dead, who would you choose?    Can you guess who I’d choose?  Play along for a chance to win a copy of one of my available backlist books of your choice! Winner chosen at random on Saturday so be sure to check back! 

 (PS, not Carrie, although I would love to meet her!)

Grand Ole Opry pic by Deirdre 11:55, 27 February 2007 (UTC) – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Twins for the Texan_Sand

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Updated: August 8, 2016 — 2:51 pm

Crop Circles, Aliens and The American Indian Myth

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Strange title, eh?  Or maybe not.  An entire series of my books, THE LOST CLAN, is based on a myth that is common throughout the American Indian myths — tribe to tribe.  The story of the Thunderer.

I will be giving away a mass market copy and an e-book copy of the book, SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE today to two lucky bloggers.  So do come on in an leave a comment.  All rules for give-aways here at Petticoats and Pistols appy — they are linked on the home page.  When you have a moment, give them a read.  Pretty easy.

Okay, back to myths.  There is another myth that caught my interest early on — and it is the one I thought I’d discuss with you today.  At the time I came upon this American Indian myth, I knew nothing about crop circles — had never heard of them — but this myth in the Americas brings these things so closely to mind.

The book, SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE, is based in no small degree upon this myth, and the book actually starts with the hero and heroine and the myth.  Interestingly, I found this myth not in just one tribe — but several — and the thing is, it was told almost (but not quite) identically.  The myth I’m about to tell you is from the Shawnee.stortell[1]

I believe that the name of the hero (it’s from a children’s book that I’m quoting) is Red Hawk, and the name of the book is RED HAWK AND THE SKY SISTERS by Gloria Dominic and Charles Reasoner.  Again, this legend is repeated in several different tribes — although the hero’s name is often different.

Red Hawk is a great hunter.  But he is puzzled because he sees the same pattern of a circle imprinted in the prairie grasses each time he goes to hunt.  It is a perfect circle — but there are no paths leading up to it — or going away from it.  There is evidence that something was there and made the circle — but how?  Red Hawk decides to spend the night, hiding himself from view.

51GoIbPuXOL._SL110_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-sm,TopRight,10,-13_OU01_[1]And so he does.  He discovers by hiding himself, that a basket gently falls to the earth and that there is singing from feminine voices.  As the basket comes to land softly on the earth, the sisters alight from the basket and dance around it in a circle.  Red Hawk watches this for many nights until one night he falls in love with one of the sisters — the youngest I believe.  And so, once again hiding himself, he waits until the sisters are about to get into the basket and go back into the sky — but suddenly he jumps out from his hiding place and captures the woman of his heart.

They marry and are happy, but she misses her home in the sky (she is a star).  They have a  child and she wishes to take the child and return to visit her home in the sky.  Our hero lets her go, but keeps the child with him, hoping that the child will be enough to cause her to return.  When she doesn’t return, our hero again captures her, and she falls in love with him all over and they live happily ever after.

th[1]I did find that the ending varies a bit from tribe to tribe, and I’m uncertain of how this book ends the story — I have this book, but of course, needing to find it for this post, the book eludes me.  : )

So what does this have to do with crop circles and aliens.  Well, I found it very interesting that crop circles seem similar and are also tied to aliens — here’s a link, if you’ve never heard of crop circles:  https://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/cutting/cropcirc.htm

flower[1]Here is a picture of an actual crop circle — where the crops have been bent back without any footprints to or from the circle.   They are usually made at night — and made within one night.

Although attributed to more modern times, it’s interesting to me that our legend goes back centuries — to come to us today — to perhaps make the crop circle even more mysterious.

SoaringEaglesEmbrace72LGHope you’ve enjoyed the post today.  And I hope I’ve created some interest in the American Indian myth.

Here’s the link to buy SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE.

https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/4345/soaring-eagles-embrace

And don’t forget, my newest release, BLACK EAGLE is on sale right now, also.  Here’s that link:  https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5640/black-eagle

BlackEagle72lg

Updated: June 6, 2016 — 9:37 pm
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