Category: Native American

A Walk Down Memory Lane

Howdy!

Hope y’all had a great weekend and are biting at the bit to start the new week.  Well, at least happy to be getting back into the swing of things.

Hope you will all bear with me as I blog again about Grandfather George Randall.  George wasn’t actually any blood relation to my husband or me, but he was a good friend.  He lived with us for about 15-17 years, I can’t recall the exact number now.  And when we moved East, George, being family to us by then, came with us.

After George died, Starr Miller, a good friend and reader, did some research on some of George’s acting parts, and so I thought I would share some good memories of Grandfather George once again.

 

Over to the left here is a picture taken of George and me when we were traveling back from the Stars in the Desert celebration.  Although I don’t quite remember the date of this event, I believe is was somewhere in the late 90’s.

One would think I would remember his tribe, but I don’t exactly recall it.  Goodness, I do have to work on my memory.  I do believe that it might have been the Ojibway  or Ojibwe tribe in the Northern Mid-West.  George and I became friends when a friend of mine, Maria Ferrara, and I were working to establish a literacy project on the Blackfeet reservation.  That’s when I was introduced to George.

Off to the left is another picture taken when George and I were at the Stars in the Desert event in New Mexico.  And off to the right is a picture of George with Maria Ferrara when we were on the Blackfeet reservation in Montana.

The Following is a partial listing of some of George’s movies and television appearances.  This partial list was put together by Starr Miller and her family — many, many thanks to Starr and family for their work on this.

 
 
ConAir
Wakan – George appeared as Grampa White Owl
Durango Kids – George played the part of Doc
The Magnificent Seven TV Series – In this TV Series, his part was Shamon 
Yellow Wooden Ring – as Takota (I so love this name, Takota)
Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman – as Little Thunder
Scalps — we don’t know more about the part he play in this movie
The Indian in the Cupboard —  George played the part of the old chief who died suddenly
 

Off to the right here, is George — of course standing next to the pretty girl.  We used to kid George that he had a girl in every port (so to speak).  Indeed, once George told us a story about him patiently awaiting a bus, when a woman suddenly rushed up to him (one he didn’t know) and suddenly kissed him, right there in the street, stating she thought he was so handsome.

Well, I hope you have enjoyed the blog today.  A friend of George’s in the Los Angeles area, is putting together a “Go Fund Me” page in order to help pay for George’s Memorial and burial — or in this case paying the fee to obtain his ashes, since cremation was George’s wish.

We miss George in many different ways.  We don’t have the heart yet to go through all his things, and we still have the door to his room closed (as he liked it to be), in honor of him.  We also know that George is in a good place, and will bring much joy to those wherever he may be.

Would love to hear any comments you have today on the blog, any memories you have of your elders, or grandparents or of your dearly departed loved ones.  So be sure to come on in.  Also, in honor of George, I’ll be giving away a paperback book of SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE, which is part of the Blackfoot Warrior Series.  It was really while working on the literacy project on the Blackfeet reservation where my husband and I became friends with George. 

Of course, all our rules for give-aways apply — they are listed here on our site over to the right of the page.  But please do come on in and if you please, share some of your own thoughts and experiences with me.

 

 

Updated: May 6, 2019 — 8:10 am

Old Feuds and New Loves…

 

This is a win it before you can buy it kind of day.

I have a wonderful new Love Inspired Western due to release next month and the members of the Love Inspired Book Club (through Reader’s Service) already have this book and I’m so glad that these thousands of early readers are loving it…

It’s a beautiful story. The one we’ve been waiting for, the third Fitzgerald sister has come to Idaho and she doesn’t come meek and mild.

No, ma’am.

Charlotte Fitzgerald may have been raised as a cossetted little Southern Belle but she’s hit the wall now that her no-good father stranded his daughters with no money, no jobs and a tractor load of debt… not to mention he kind of ran the family’s good name through a wood chipper, then a meat grinder for good measure…

But Charlotte’s a game one. She’s finished veterinary school with an internship in horse care and she’s been raised around Fitzgerald horses from the cradle. If there’s one thing Char knows, it’s horses… and now she knows how to provide their medical care, so that’s a big plus in a northern region that’s embracing all kinds of new ranches, including her uncle’s multi-million dollar operation that she’ll get a part of if she can work from the ranch for one year.

One year is nothing to Char… she’s ready to spread her wings and fly with her brand new (and heavily mortgaged) mobile veterinary van, the likes of which Shepherd’s Crossing has never seen… but not everyone who’s taken to horses takes to Fitzgeralds and when Charlotte is called in to pass judgment on a group of badly neglected horses… and disagrees with the older, established vet in the area… she sets herself up for a fight. And when the handsome Native American horse breeder agrees with her, and saves a horse his family shares a bad history with, the stakes get higher.

Trust doesn’t come easy to Char… And honesty is clutch with Isaiah so can he see the past for what it is before it ruins the present?  And is Char willing to give him a second chance after all she’s been through?

 

This is a great story of two strong people with vigorous roots and how sometimes those roots can twist and turn the wrong way, strangling the tree… but with the right care and trimming, even the threatened tree can thrive.

 

(Sorry, we’re having technical difficulties, the picture comes through as broken no matter which one I use or where I put it… silly blog! A bit temperamental today, I’d say! Here’s a link so you can see this great cover: LINK TO HEALING THE COWBOY’S HEART! )

 

Does forgiveness come easy to you? Or do you have to dig deep to move beyond things?

Give me a comment below and let’s talk grudge-holding and forgiveness. I came from a long line of grudgeholders on the Herne and Logan sides of the family, and those folks made the Hatfields and McCoys look like Mr. Rogers Neighborhood… so you know what I’m talking about!

I don’t hold grudges. It’s like the most unhealthy thing you can do, it’s so destructive to relationships but mostly to us. To our hearts, our souls, our mental health. Forgive and move on…

Life’s too short to be a tempest in a teapot!

Good-bye Grandfather George

Howdy!

It’s been two weeks and two days since Grandfather George — George Randall — passed away.  He was five weeks short of turning 99 years old.

I thought I’d dedicate this post to George and tell you a little about his adventurous life.

This picture off to the left was taken at our house in Los Angeles when George turned 90 years old.  The woman with him is George’s adopted daughter.

George is not a blood relative of ours,  But in the Native American Tradition of calling all of one’s elders Grandfather or Grandmother,  we addressed him as Grandfather.

Some time around 2000, George came to us looking for a place to live.  Although we didn’t have an extra room, we did have a fully stocked Motor Home.  Because he often told me that he did best as a loner, he was happy to claim the motor home as his own.  That began our fifteen or more years of enjoying George’s company.

George was American Indian from his father’s side of the family, I believe, and as a young man, he spent an adventurous life traveling across the country.  He used to tell me that he called this period of his life his “ho-bo” days.

But that life became boring to him, and he turned to mining in the desert of California.  Now, my husband and his brother had once been miners, and so George and my husband shared many stories with me of their mining days with me.

Off to the right here is a picture of George in 2015, at a family outing.  Looks like a cold day, doesn’t it?

George told me once that he was a loner, and although my husband and I often encouraged him to talk about himself, it was like trying to squeeze sap from the bark of a tree. 

He married and he loved his wife dearly, but there were no children from that marriage.  When she passed away, long before I knew George, George developed an interest in acting, and, since he lived in the LA area, that became the center of his life.

Off to the left here is another picture of George at the same family outing.

George loved acting, and it was his dream to help others learn the art and craft of acting.  There are many people today who enjoy film careers because of the classes that George gave at Celebrity Center, Church of Scientology, in Hollywood, CA.  He was proud of his accomplishments and the people that he helped to become actors and actresses.  I’ve tried to find a listing of all his films in his belongings, but so far, I have a very incomplete listing — and Googling it didn’t seem to help.  So let me tell you about some of the films and TV appearances that I know about.

 

Here is another family picture that includes George.  George was the old Indian man who fell over dead in the movie, “The Indian in the Cupboard.”  He also had a role in the movie, “Con-Air.”   Some of his TV appearances included roles in “Medicine Woman,” which was a popular show in the 1980’s and 1990’s.  What I’m hoping is that some of those actors who knew George’s acting career, might see this post and tell me a little about other roles that he enjoyed.

I first became friends with George in the late 1990’s, when my husband and I were working with some representatives of the Blackfeet on the Blackfeet Reservation to establish a literacy project.

George volunteered his time and efforts at helping with this project, and he made several trips to the Blackfeet reservation and was present at their Grand Opening.  His efforts and his willingness to help without asking for anything in return endeared him to mine and many others’ hearts.  And to this day, we will always be grateful for his help.

Here is a picture snapped at a book signing in 2010 in southern California.  There was a time when Grandfather George was taking many, many pictures.

When we moved to the East Coast, Grandfather George decided to come with us, since we all felt as though he had become part of the family.  Some things to know about George was that he was drug-free, had a good grip on his memory and loved to walk, although for about the last year, he no longer tried to negotiate any stairs.  He kept his mental capabilities in good order and really, up until the last month of his life, he was in good physical health.  As an aside, George told us once that he attributed his long life to the fact that he did not believe in doctors, and that he stayed away from them.  He was also drug-free.

The picture to the right here is probably the latest picture we have of George, taken when we all (including our dog) took a trip to Montana.

There will be a memorial service for George at Celebrity Center, Church of Scientology, in Hollywood, CA.  The exact time and day of the service is yet to be determined, but for any of you who live in the LA area, please feel free to contact the Church for more information on when that service will be.

In the words of L. Ron Hubbard, who was a good friend to George:

“Goodbye, our dear George,

Goodbye.

We’ll miss you, you know.

Let the body now

Draw away

To be consumed to ashes

And to dust

in earthly and in cleanly fire

To be no more, no more….

“Come friends,

George is all right

And he is gone.

We have our work

To do. And George has his.

He will be welcome there.

To Man!”

L. Ron Hubbard

 

 

Updated: April 7, 2019 — 8:30 am

Where Has All the History Gone?

“Where has all the history gone? Long time passing…

Where has all the history gone? Long time ago….”  (parody, Peter, Paul and Mary “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”)

I’m wearing a mix of hats today! My history-loving bonnet AND a modern day cowboy hat because this upcoming Love Inspired book is a contemporary Western romance with a great, tough heroine and a SWOON-WORTHY hero… that I hope you love!!!!

We live in different times.

When I look at middle grade and junior high history lessons now, they are very different from what I was taught… what my kids were taught… and what my grandchildren and friends’ children now see.

History is history. But it can be viewed through varied perspectives.

It is rife with mistakes, horror, trials and triumph. It is never one-sided. From the earliest written times and the earliest Biblical references, man has been as inclined to sin as the sparks to fly upward.

People lust for power. For sex. For money. And for some it is never enough, the head rush of being powerful, sexual and rich only adds oxygen to an already fuel-rich fire… and they want more.

That said, there are other sides to history as well. 

My Celtic heritage on the Logan side faced rough odds. For nearly nine centuries the Vikings ruled Ireland after defeating the Celts in the first century A.D. 900 years + or -…. When the Irish king Brian Boru waged a successful battle against them, the Viking power over Ireland was razed, but then came the Normans…. and centuries of English domination and rule when Irish land was taken from the Irish and doled out to English landowners… and the Irish pushed to less fertile lands or turned into share-holders. From Cromwell’s reign of terror from 1649 on, Irish Catholics were slaughtered, tortured and jailed and/or excised from their lands. A few generations later came the potato famine, a scourge that starved a nation but pushed many to a new opportunity, here in America or Australia.

Ireland wasn’t the only country that England claimed and re-distributed, of course. Our own America was formed in some large part by land grants given to English aristocrats. There was no or little thought given to the American Indians/Native Americans because the idea of “owning” land and distributing it through a legal process wasn’t part of their culture.

 

An ocean apart, and huge differences in formation of culture, science, language, mathematics… So when America “bought” the west in the Louisiana purchase, it seemed normal to the government. This had been the European model for hundreds and hundreds of years. 

Of course it didn’t seem one bit normal to the Natives occupying American prairies or mountains or woodlands, did it? 

It was an abomination. A threat.  Much like Ireland and other countries that were invaded and taken over by expansionist nations, their claims fell on the deaf ears of the more powerful.

Studying history, we can see the both sides…. Downton Abbey, one of the most watched and loved shows on modern TV showed the ups and downs of a prestigious English family as their days waned in light of a rising middle class. But those same rich people, hundreds of years before, helped fund expeditions to new lands and opened travel and opportunity, the very beginning that forged our land. America. The United States… and then we fought for that freedom and did the unthinkable…

WE WON.

And began our western expansion a few dozen years later.

Writing a modern-day Western with Native American characters isn’t easy. I tackled this in “Healing the Cowboy’s Heart”, my upcoming release from Love Inspired books…. how a Nez Perce family that chose land instead of the reservation (an option offered and chosen by some) can feel out of step with the past, and at odds with the present when the land they owned and sold is now worth millions…

And did you know that the Nez Perce tribe (a total misnomer because they never had pierced noses…) embraced the Christian faith quickly because they believed in one God, the Father Almighty already… So immersing themselves into the Christian faith didn’t require a leap… but giving up their land, their autonomy was a really hard thing to do. And like Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” where young girls drive a dynamic that kills innocent people, young warriors launched an attack that resulted in a tragic war between the American army and the Nez Perce… A tragic story spawned by foolhardy, angry teens.

The American West is an ever-changing dynamic, but even so, romance and families and faith and cowboys make up a lot of that dynamic. There is something downright good about working the land and forging a life from it… and yes, there are winners and losers in war. There are things that happen that should never have happened. There is a cruelty in some men that can sicken the normal loving, caring person. But when we look and see that is the exception– not the rule– that’s when we realize we can learn from history. We should study history. And we should take and open view…

But we shouldn’t change history to fit our current narrative.

For every teacher that decries the explorers that first crossed the ocean, there’s a home they go to. An address they claim. A house or an apartment and a car or a subway or something linking them to the USA.

Without that history, those explorers, those navigators and those aristocratic land grants and land purchases, we wouldn’t exist here today.

Someone would.

Once discovered, it was clear that powerful countries would have their day and their say in this new land. History does that… it repeats itself quite often, so telling this story of a Nez Perce hero, a man whose work and passion is to re-develop the beloved and esteemed Appaloosa the Nez Perce made famous… and the horse doctor whose family bought up land… land that is now worth millions… and the anger that simmers over old wrongs and tragic mistakes.

This is what I hope when readers enjoy this story… that they’ll see a beautiful romance! A great love story. A story that makes them sigh, smile, and sigh some more. Here’s a link to this upcoming book on Amazon:  HEALING THE COWBOY’S HEART BY RUTH LOGAN HERNE

I’m giving away two copies today (when they arrive on my doorstep) so that you can read the book and offer your opinion, dear readers… I hope what you see is a well-told modern story where the past can trip the heels of the present, but where faith, hope and love stand strong.

What’s your take on history, friends? I’m on the road today, traveling to Baltimore for the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat, so I might not get on until later… But everyone who comments will be in the drawing for these two “Win ’em before you can buy ’em” books!

 

It Started With a Song

Howdy!

Did you know that I have often referred to the book, SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE, as my “musical?”  No, not like a musical you might see on television or the movies — if you open up the book, it doesn’t play a song, and yet, in many ways, I’ve often thought of it as my musical.  Interestingly, it is also based on a myth.

Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/SOARING-EAGLES-EMBRACE-Legendary-Warriors-ebook/dp/B074LWHB7W/ref=sr_1_3?crid=32UQUEUDYDX91&keywords=soaring+eagle%27s+embrace+by+karen+kay&qid=1552252142&s=digital-text&sprefix=SOARING+EAGLE%27S+EMBRA%2Caps%2C171&sr=1-3-catcorr&tag=pettpist-20

A rather long link, huh?

SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE, from the Legendary Warriors Series, is inspired by a myth of a hunter and a daughter 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.

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 print of a circle in the grasses of the prairie 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, three sisters alight from the basket and dance around it in a circle.  Red Hawk watches this for many nights until one night he realizes that he  has fallen 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 again 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.

 

Now, what does this have to do with music and with a song?  Well, maybe a lot.  This book, SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE, starts out with a song and the legend, and it ends with a song, incorporating, also, the legend.

In my youth, I used to watch Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald movies on television.  I was enchanted with them, and with their music, which is operetta.  Not full opera, but a light taste of it. My characters, I must admit, are drawn from both Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy’s personalities.  Sometime in the future I might do a blog on these two people.  They were in love, but never married, and it appears as if they were prevented from marrying.  Perhaps that’s only a theory, but there appears to be some truth to it.

But that aside, I thought I’d leave you all a link to some great Native American music.  The group is Brule’.  This is a band of the Sioux tribe.  It is extremely inspiring music, and so I’d leave you this for today.  Please enjoy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtwFkV-C6_A

I’ll be giving away an e-book copy of SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE today to some lucky blogger, so I would encourage you to leave a comment — please see the Giveaway Guidelines over to the right here for our rules that govern giveaways, and be sure to come back in a few days to see if you are a winner.

What do you think?  Is it possible to create a musical with text?

Updated: March 11, 2019 — 7:34 am

The Very Personal Story of Gray Hawk’s Lady

Howdy!

Since we are coming up very soon on Valentine’s Day, I thought we might talk about love, and, if you will bear with me, I thought I’d tell you a bit about my own very personal story of finding love.  The year was 1995 — late in the year — and my third book, PROUD WOLF’S WOMAN had recently been turned in to AVON/HarperCollins for editing.  As I awaited the editing process, my attention went to another story and I had begun work on that.  That story is GRAY HAWK’S LADY.

My own tale began with a kiss.  But let me backtrack.  I had in 1992-1993 gone through a divorce and had come back to California, because at that time I had considered California like my home.  Unfortunately for me, I jumped right into a relationship that was very bad for…many reasons.  After that relationship, I wanted nothing to do with men, love, marriage again.  Sigh…

So I was on my own and definitely enjoying being on my own.  One of my best friends (whom I had known since 1970) was pushing me to go on a blind date.  I didn’t want to go and I told her I wanted nothing to do with men, relationships, marriage, dating…nothing….

But she insisted and I found my self consenting to one date.  That was in January of 1996.  GRAY HAWK’S LADY was due to my publisher (AVON) in July of 1996, but I had plenty of time to write it and had, indeed, started writing it when I went on this first date.

So off I went on this first ever in my life blind date.  The gentleman picked me up at my house and I noticed he was wearing cowboy boots, and, since I am interested in the West and Cowboys and Indians, this was great.  He was also born and raised in Montana, and I was very interested in Montana because the story of GRAY HAWK’ S LADY was to take place in Montana.

The date was good — okay.  We went out to eat, but I was left with the impression that he wasn’t really interested in me.  So, I put it behind me.  He never called, never asked me back out and never told me what was happening and so eventually, just to end my wondering about it, I called my friend, told her I was sorry it hadn’t worked out and … well, so long sort of thing.  To my surprise she wouldn’t let it go — I had just wanted to put it behind me.  She said, “Oh, no, he’s really interested in you.”  and I said, “Oh, no, I don’t think so.  Let’s just relegate that date to the past and go on from here.”  And she said, “No, I’m sure he really liked you.”

I had no idea that she would call his brother.  I am told that they talked, and that the upshot of it was that Paul then called me and asked me for another date.  Well, it had been a good first date, I thought, and he was a nice gentleman and perhaps we could be friends.  So I accepted.

Goodness!  Little did I know what was in store.  On the second date, we were both more relaxed, held hands, and I thought, okay, we’ll be friends.  He took me home, walked me to the door and just as I was about ready to go inside, he took me in his arms and kissed me.  Now, this was quite some kiss.  He meant it. And I became very aware of that.   His hands caressed my cheeks, my eyes, my face, my hair, my neck. It went on and on and on, and when he was done, I felt as though my world was spinning — but in a good way.  Afterwards I stared at him and for the first time, I thought to myself, “Who is this man who can make me pay attention to him with no more than a kiss?”

Well, that was that.  We had a date the next week, and within 2-3 weeks, I had moved in with him and we were married in May 1996.  Our first date was February 3rd 1996.  So it definitely was a whirlwind romance.

Now you may be wondering what this has to do with the book, GRAY HAWK’S LADY.  Well, a lot, I’m afraid.  As I mentioned earlier, I was in the middle of writing that book, and I fell so deeply in love with this man, who is now my husband, that of course that love was written all over the printed pages of GRAY HAWK’S LADY.  That first kiss and my emotional reaction to it is recorded in that work.  Also, my gradual coming to understand that this man was the most important man in my life is in that book.  His calmness, his teasing, his care…it’s all written there as I fell head over heels in love.

Did I mention that my earring (the night of that first kiss) fell off — and I have pierced ears…!

In May of this year, we will have been married 23 years.  Interestingly, I still have the pictures of our wedding on my website http://www.novels-by-KarenKay.com — can’t bring myself to take them down, even though 23 years more or less have gone by now.  People sometimes write to me and congratulate me on my recent marriage — and I smile.  To me, in many ways, it does seem like a recent marriage, as I fall in love with this man all over again every day.

I’ll tell you true that I love this man with all my heart — and as the years have gone by, that love does not diminish; it grows and grows and grows.   He stole my heart with that first kiss.  (I’ll knock on wood here.)  As the — gee, was it the Ronettes that once sang the song, “And Then He Kissed Me,” —  it has always seemed to me that it started with that kiss.    Ah, sweet!

I hope you’ve enjoyed the blog today and I hope you’ll come in and leave a message.  I would love to hear about your own personal love stories.

Will I be giving away GRAY HAWK’S LADY today as a Valentine’s Day Gift?  You bet I will.  I’ll be gifting that book to 2 (two) lucky readers today, so please don’t hesitate to leave a comment.  Please know, also, that all rules for Giveaways apply — they are listed off to the right here of the page — at the very top. 

And please remember to check back on Wednesday or Thursday evening to see if you are a winner!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

http://www.amazon.com/Gray-Hawks-Lady-Blackfoot-Warriors-ebook/dp/B0723B3VCM/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1549300185&sr=8-3&keywords=gray+hawk%27s+lady+by+karen+kay%3C%2Fp%3E&tag=pettpist-20

Updated: February 5, 2019 — 9:02 am

Pets — Then and Now

Howdy!

Welcome to the New Year!  May this new year bring all good things.  Did you make any new New Year’s Resolutions?

Must admit that I have not done so, yet — mostly because my schedule is rather long each day and rather intense.  Somewhere along the line this year, I hope to garner out a little bit of free time in which to think about the last year and what I’d like to do differently.

But, be that the case, if you have made resolutions and would like to share them, I would love to hear about them.  Might give me some ideas. 

Well, today I thought we might talk a little bit about our pets — today and yesterday.

Did you know that many of my pets help me to write books?  It really is true.  Over to the left here is my little boy, Georgie.  Georgie is a rescue that I found when I was away from home, in Florida.  He was so tiny when I found him, I realized that something must have happened to his mother.  He was living by eating the plant life in the area, and he was completely wild.

So I sat with him outside (he, always at a distance) and fed him and talked to him each night.  Then one night he followed me into my rented room, and that was it.  He’s been with me ever since.

Georgie helped me to write the book, BLACK EAGLE.  He helped by lying next to me as I was writing, and by listening to me as I explained the plot to him.  Sometimes he’d give me weird looks if he didn’t understand something, and I’d go in an “fix” that section. 

 

Then we have Midnight Thunder.  Midnight was another rescue that my brother-in-law found at a gas station.  Midnight was begging for food, and he gained not only food, but a home.  My brother-in-law gave him to me.  Midnight sat with me through the writing of the book, NIGHT THUNDER’S BRIDE, and in fact that title was picked because my brother-in-law found Midnight Thunder at night, thus the title of the book is inspired by Midnight, or maybe it was the other way around — not sure.  Although he is no longer with us, he was lost to us twice, and each time we found him.  But the last time we found him, he had been found and taken to a shelter.  We discovered him there.  But in order to take him back from the shelter, he had to receive a round of shots, which disagreed with him very much.  He was already rather old, and he got very sick after receiving those shots, I’m afraid, and…well the rest doesn’t need to be stated.  He was quite a wonderful cat.  He got on well with all of our neighbors, including dogs and cats.  In fact, many of our neighbors didn’t know us well, but they certainly knew Midnight.  We miss him to this day.

Next we come to Sierra.  Sierra was originally my daughter’s pet, but she was unable to keep her while she was in college, and so she gave her to me.  Sierra acted like a princess and we even called her princess.  Do you see in this picture that there is a crown above her head?  We didn’t put that there.  Interesting that the photograph captured that.  Sierra helped me write the book, THE PRINCESS AND THE WOLF.  The personality of Princess Sierra in the book was, indeed, drawn from the personality of Sierra.

 

Then there is Kali.  The picture to the left is of me as a child, with a cat on my lap.  Many of my early photos include me holding dogs or cats.  Well, this picture isn’t of Kali, but the only online picture I have of Kali is on my website under tours — and all that info is protected and so I can’t lift it — but here is the url:  http://novels-by-karenkay.com/tours-photos/booktour-and-special-friends-july-2003/.  If you scroll down, Kali is the calico in a basket.

The heroine in the book, SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE is drawn from Kali.  The heroine’s name is Kali and the character’s personality was caught not only from my cat, but from a movie actress from the 30’s that I admired very much.  Kali was another rescue — again from Florida.  She had been abandoned by her family when they moved.  I was out for a walk and she followed me 8-9 blocks to my motel.  She became mine, and was with us many, many years.

Over to the left here is Robere.  Robere was another rescue by my husband from the pound.  Unfortunately, he was with us only a little while and he died fairly young.  We believe that he might have been poisoned by our neighbors, but we aren’t certain.  All we know is that one night he got sick, and the next day he was gone.

He was a sweet, sweet, sweet, beautiful boy.  His legacy is caught in my new book, BRAVE WOLF AND THE LADY.  That main character is a combination of Robere’s personality and an artist that I admire very much, who was known to be a very sweet and kind gentlemen.

Then we have our dogs, both of them were rescues from the Blackfeet reservation.  These dogs discovered us while we were on the reservation with a project called, SOMETHING CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT.  They adopted us, and when it came time for us to go home, we couldn’t leave them behind.

Yoda, the one in front, had almost died on the reservation when he bit into an electric cable.  My husband brought him back around, and he was never far from my husband’s side after that.  Wolf, as we call the rather large collie — who also has some other breed of dog that’s very big — is a sweetie pie.  So sweet, in fact, that he loves everybody.  To this day, there are two female dogs in the neighborhood that claim Wolf as their own sweetheart.

In the world of the North American Indian, there are many accounts of pets.  I’ve read of pet deer, pet wolves, pet coyotes, pet birds, and of course some of smartest horses ever known.  I’ve even read of Crows who have been known to have saved several different war parties from harm by warning them of the enemy.

One of the most interesting accounts of those long-ago pets is that of a pet wolf who went out with his master on war raids.  This was the inspiration for the wolf’s personality in the book, WOLF SHADOW’S PROMISE.

Well, I hope you have enjoyed our little get-together today.  I’d love to hear your stories of your pets and how they have influenced you.  Oh, and did I mention that I’ve be giving away an e-book of the winner’s choice to some lucky blogger.  So come on in and leave a message.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Updated: January 8, 2019 — 8:05 am

Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas! My Gift to You, an Old, Old Iroquois Legend — Also Free e-book Giveaway

It’s Christmas Time!  It’s a season for giving.  And today I will be giving away not only a free e-book of my latest release, BRAVE WOLF AND THE LADY, but I’ll also be giving away another free e-book of the first in this series, THE PRINCESS AND THE WOLF. So come on in, leave a comment, and also please sure to check back here for the winners on either Wednesday or Thursday evening.

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 this beautiful story, an ancient, timeless, American Indian Legend. I was late today making the post, and so I’ve posted the legend that I told you last year, but this year, because I’m late, I’m first going to tell you a beautiful story of The Gift of the Creator.  This story is taken from the book, LEGENDS OF THE IROQUIOS, by Tehanetorens.  Enjoy!

 

Long, long ago, an old, old man came into an Iroquois Village.  He was tired and hungry, and his clothing was tattered and torn.  As he walked through the village, he came first to a longhouse of the Turtle Clan.  Pulling on the entryway, he asked for food and lodging for the night.  But he was turned away because he looked to be an old beggar, and he was instructed to go away.

Next the old man came to the longhouse that had the symbol of a snipe on the house — a snipe is a kind of wading bird.  Again, he pulled back on the entryway and he asked for food.  But like before, he was scolded and turned away.  He moved on.

He walked on to the longhouses of many of the other clans, including the Wolf, the Eagle, Beaver and more.  Each time he asked for food and lodging, but each time he was turned away.

Exhausted now, the old man came at last to the very last longhouse in the Iroquois Village.  Pulling back on the cover across the entrance, he was met by an old woman.  Again, he asked for food and lodging for the night.

However, this time the old woman took pity on him, and asked him to come inside, where she treated him to a hearty meal, and invited him to stay for the night.  She made him welcome, giving him warm clothing and warm bedding.

However, the next day, the man was very ill, and he asked the woman to please help him by going into the forest and gathering the roots of a plant.

This she did for him.  When she returned, he guided her on how to make a soup and a tea from the plant, which he then consumed.  Soon he was well.  But it wasn’t long before he became ill once more, and again, he instructed the woman to go out into the forest and to gather the stalk of yet another plant.  This she did.  Again, he instructed her how to make a tea of it, which, when he drank the tea, he became well.

Over and over again, the man became sick, and sent the woman into the forest to pick different herbs and plants, and each time, when he drank the tea, he became well.  One day, the woman came home to the longhouse and found that the old man had become a handsome, young man. 

The old woman became frightened, but the young man told her to be calm.  He told her that he was the Creator, and that because of her kindness to him, he was going to bestow upon her, and the Bear Clan, a wonderful gift: the gift of healing.   And so it came to be.  The old woman became the most respected member of that tribe, and from that day forward, the Bear Clan, and all within it became the Keepers of the Medicine.  The lesson learned is that kindness, empathy, and good-will are always rewarded.  We may not always see it, as did the old woman in this story, and yet, we will, in our own way, be rewarded.

And now comes the story that is so beautiful to read about at this time of year.

 

This is the tale of a girl who married her one, true, love, a man who was 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 story reminds me of a legend from one of my books, Soaring Eagle’s Embrace, which is now in e-books.  Although the story of Soaring Eagle’s Embrace is based on a similar legend as the one I’m telling you today, it is a little different.  Mainly in Soaring Eagle’s Embrace, it was the young man who fell in love with a star.  Okay, that said, let’s pretend we are sitting around a fire in a warm, warm teepee.  The scent of smoke is strong in the air, and loved ones surround us as we wrap ourselves in warm blankets.  And so the storyteller begins:

Long ago, there were two sisters, one whose name was Earth and the other’s 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 onto the plains 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 rescue her, and though he loved his son deeply, he gave to his wife the only gift 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, short and simple though it is.  I thought it was quite beautiful.

I’ll be giving away a free e-book of BRAVE WOLF AND THE LADY to some lucky blogger.  I’ll also be giving away a free e-book of THE PRINCESS AND THE WOLF to some lucky blogger.  Please do read the Giveaway Guidelines that govern our give-aways — off to the right side of the page.

 BRAVE WOLF AND THE LADY is my most recent book.  By the way, the paperback is reduced in price from $14.99 to $11.99 for the Holiday season.

 

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THE PRINCESS AND THE WOLF is on sale for the Holiday season for $.99, and the paperback is on sale for $11.99, as well.

The picture below and to the right is of myself and my husband with Chief Mountain in the background, the setting in the book, SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE — on the Blackfeet reservation.

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

Updated: December 4, 2018 — 9:45 am

The Holiday Season — And So It Begins

Howdy!

And Welcome to the Tuesday Blog. 

In keeping with the spirit of Thanksgiving and the start of the Holiday Season, it seems to me it would be a good idea to give away a free e-book of my most recent release, Brave Wolf and the Lady to some lucky blogger.  All that needs to be done to enter into the drawing is to leave a comment here.  By the way, please refer to the Giveaway Guidelines that govern all our giveaways.  It’s off to the right here.

Well, today I thought we might talk about love, seeing as how this is the season of love — what’s it all about?  At this time of year, with the holidays and all the out-of-mind busy-ness that we seem to get in to — I thought it might be good to take time out and have a look at  a subject that we all…well, that we all love.  Love.

14-smooch1.jpgIt seems to me that there’s all sorts of different kinds of love.  There’s the obvious kind — the kind that we all write about, the absolute beauty of love and romance and the coming together of two souls to create new life.  I’m speaking of course about the love of a man and a woman, the love of family, the love of children.  May this love always flourish and prosper in our society — I only say that because, it’s become my opinion that the family is really under attack.  But I digress.  Oh, by the way the picture to the left is of myself and my husband and the background is the Grand Canyon.

Okay, so are there other kinds of love?  I think so.

7-pic[1]

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1-LORA-1[1]There’s of course the love between friends?  That’s love, too, isn’t it?  I know you’ll all agree that we would, indeed, be strange beings if we didn’t have a close circle of friends that we love with all our hearts.  But it’s different kind of love, isn’t it?  However, just because it’s the love between friends doesn’t  make it any less a deep and abiding love.10-greiman[1]

There’s also the love for mankind in general — the love of those in other parts of the world that might be having a difficult time.11-thousandoaks[1]  For instance,Untitled-16[1] many of our American Indian people on the reservations.

And how about the love we have for other life forms?  Our pets, for instance.  That’s most definitely love, too.         dogs space 1

 Love.  If I were to define love, I’d take a page from friend and author, L. Ron Hubbard, and say that it seems to me that it is an intense feeling of admiration directed toward someone or something.  It doesn’t ask for anything, it is either freely given or it’s not really love.  It’s not a dominating or controlling force.  Not love.  Not by definition.

It’s more about giving than receiving, sharing instead of using another.

But so far I’m leaving out one of the greatest love stories of all time.  Can you guess what story that is?

Our joy at this time of year is because of this love story.  Even our calendars are a celebration of this love story and of this one man’s life.  It has been said and shown through historical writings that because of this man and because of his teachings of love, that he freed a whole people from bondage, a people who had been utterly enslaved.  It’s said and it’s written that he brought a true civilizing force to the world, and that this force was to love and to treat ones fellow man, even ones own enemies, as one might like to be treated oneself.   It’s said also that he saved mankind itself from doom because of this love story.  One of my prayers at this time of year will be that the world at large learn again this lesson, a lesson given so freely so long ago …

Love…  I’d really like to hear your own love stories and your thoughts in general about love, so please do leave a message.  By the way, the picture below is of myself and the one man in my life whom I love with all my heart.  May you all have a very, happy Thanksgiving and a very Merry Christmas!

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Updated: November 5, 2018 — 4:52 pm

Autumn Beauty, Seasons of Celebration and Give-Away

Yummmmm…  Autumn — crisp air, scented delicately with falling leaves and the smoke from wood stoves;  Cinnamon and fresh apple cider, pumpkin pie, turkey and cranberry sauce, apple pie, the last of the corn on the cob…

And what about the “feels” of autumn? Traipsing through leaves, racking them up and jumping in them; picking up a leaf and tracing its pattern; warm days, cool nights, the pleasure of feeling Mother Earth prepare for a few months’ sleep.

And how about the sounds of autumn?  Cold nights and warm blankets, football games announcing the players; the sounds of cheerleaders and marching bands; long practices — even the quiet sound of leaves falling to the ground.  How I love it.

thanksgivingOf course, to the people who lived close to the earth in our not-so-distant past, these senses that declared this time of year were all very beloved, much as they are loved today.  So much was this the case that the Iroquois devoted an entire festival of fun and merriment to autumn — and that festival was called the Harvest Festival.

Naturally, we are all pretty much aware that our Thanksgiving comes from the Eastern Indians, and in particular Squanto — and if you didn’t know about Squanto, I would highly recommend the movie, Squanto, starring a young and dreamy Adam Beach.  Sigh…

Autumn was very much loved by Native Americans.  In fact, it was one of many, many ceremonies honoring the seasons of the earth, and Thanksgiving (still a few month’s away) was part of an ancient celebration of the American Indians to give Thanks to He who is known as the Creator.

Now this autumn ceremony was common to all Eastern tribes.  And as I’ve already mentioned, these ceremonies tended to follow the different seasons.

The Iroquois celebrated six festivals, wherein they gave thanks to the Creator for all they had.  These festivals would open usually with speeches by leaders, teachers, and elders.  And of course there was much dancing, which was done not only for the fun of simply dancing, but it was also a sense of worship.  It was thought that because the Creator needed some sort of amusement, He gave the people dancing.  Let me tell you a little about some of these celebrations.

In spring — early March — it was time to collect together tree bark and sap – this was needed to repair houses and other things, such as canoes, bowls, etc.   Spring was also the time for planting.  This was the maple festival.  Next was the Planting festival.  Here prayers were sent to the Creator to bless their seed.

The Iroquois’ main food source was corn, beans and squash (the three sisters), and of course deer meat or other meat when available.  Family gardens were separated by borders that were broad and grassy — they would even camp on these borders and sometimes they were raise watch towers.

The next festival of the Iroquois was the Strawberry Festival.  This is where the people gave thanks to the Creator for their many fruits (like strawberries).  It was summertime.  The women gathered wild nuts and other foods, while the men hunted, fished and provided various meats for cooking.  Again, each festival was greeted with much dancing and merriment.  Did you know that the some Iroquois believed the way to the Creator was paved with strawberries?

The festival after that was the Green Corn Festival.  Again, the people thanked the Creator for the bounty of food that had been raised all through the summer.  Dancers danced to please the Creator and musicians sang and beat the drum.  Again there were many speeches to honor the people and the Creator.  There were team sports.  Lacrosse was the game that was most admired and it was played with great abandon by the men.  Women played games, too, and often their games were as competitive as the men’s.

The festival following that was…are you ready?  You’re right — The Harvest Festival.  By this time the women had harvested the corn, beans and squash.  Much of it would be dried.  Much went to feed families.  Husks were made into many different items.  Dolls, rugs, mats.  Did you know that the dolls didn’t have faces?  Now was the time to gather more nuts and berries.  Men were busy, too, hunting far away.  Bear, moose, beaver were all sought after and hunted.  Again, there was much celebration.  Dancing, speeches, prayer.  And of course — food.  It was this particular festival that was shared with the newcomers to this continent.

Can you guess what the next festival was?  Although this is a Christmas tree, it was not a celebration of Christmas — but if you guessed this, you were very close.  The next and last festival of the year was New Year’s.  At this time, a white dog was sacrificed as a gift to the Creator.  This was also a time for renewing the mind and body.  (Does that not remind you of our New Year’s resolutions?)  At this time, the False Face Society members would wear masks to help others to cleanse themselves of their bad minds and restore only their good minds.  There was again much celebration, much dancing, much merriment and enjoyment as each person would settle in for the long winter ahead of them.

The First Americans indeed did give this country very much, not only its festivals which we still remember to this day, but also it gave to this nation a fighting spirit for freedom.  In these times when there seems to be a forgetfulness about our American roots, it is wonderful to remember that the American Indian and the Love of Freedom went hand-in-hand.  What seems interesting to me is that our Thanksgiving festival still honors the custom of giving thanks for those gifts that He, The Creator, has given us.  To the American Indian all of these festivals contained this special element — that of giving Thanks to our Maker.

Perhaps it’s only because this one festival — Thanksgiving — was shared by American Indian and Colonist alike that set the tone of Thanksgiving for future generations.  And I do believe that the love of autumn and giving thanks for that which belongs to us has its roots in The Harvest Festival, so beloved to the Eastern Indian Tribes.

What do you think?

I’ll be giving away a free e-book of SENECA SURRENDER, to some lucky blogger — Giveaway Guidelines are off to the right here on the main webpage, and they apply to all our giveaways — so please do read them. Now, the book, Seneca Surrender, is set in the autumn, in upper state New York.  The time is around the 1750’s — The French and Indian War.  Now, I did deliberately set the novel at this time of year, because I think that I have never seen an autumn quite like those that one sees here in the East.  So very beautiful, and so SENECA SURRENDER, as well as the book, BLACK EAGLE, honor this time of year.  Here’s the link to go and read an excerpt:  http://www.amazon.com/Seneca-Surrender-Warriors-Iroquois-Book-ebook/dp/B07HXTN4B1/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1539032028&sr=8-1&keywords=seneca+surrender+by+karen+kay%3C%2Fp%3E&tag=pettpist-20

Hope you will enjoy!

Updated: October 8, 2018 — 4:09 pm