Category: Native American

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

THE ANGEL AND THE WARRIOR, Free E-Book Give-away

Howdy!  And welcome to the Tuesday blog.

Steadily, I’ve been engaged in getting my books put up at Amazon KindleUnlimited.  When my publishing company closed their doors, I had to scramble a bit.  At present twelve of my books are now up at KindleUnlimited and so if you are a member there, you can read the book there for free.  But I’m also giving away a free copy of the book today.  Now, there is a restriction.  It is limited to the United States only.  There are also the rules for free give-away — over to the right here — that govern our give-aways, so please do give that a read.

AngelAndTheWarrior-The-CoverSometimes there’s a problem because some sites out there contact you to ensure you know you’ve won.  But we don’t normally do that here.  We rely on you to come back in a day or two to see if you are the winner.  If you have won, instructions will be given on how to contact me so that the book can be sent to you.  But you must contact me in order to claim your prize.

Off to the left here is the e-book cover of the give-away book.

All right.  So with that said, let’s have a look at what I consider to be one of the most fascinating parts of this book, and of this series. This is the first book in THE LOST CLAN series.  Now, this series is set not only within historical times, but within the framework  of American Indian Mythology.  There are a couple of characters in this series of four books which are caught in all four books, and one of those characters is the Thunderer.

The Thunder Being (or sometimes referred to as the Thunder Bird or Thunder God or Thunderer) is central to these stories.   His anger has been stirred up by acts of violence against himself and his children by a clan that is part of the Blackfoot Indians – The Lost Clan.  Interestingly, the Thunder thCACKC4HUBeing plays a dominant role in most Native American tribes — perhaps because when one is living so closely to nature, the Thunderer, who can produce so much damage, would be a subject of much legend.  In this series of books, the Lost Clan has been  relegated into the “mist” by the Creator, who intervened on the people’s behalf when the Thunderer became bent on destroying every single member of the clan.  Imprisoned within that mist, each band of the Clan is given a chance within every new generation to choose a boy to go out into the real world.  That boy is charged with the task of undoing the curse, thus freeing his people from what would be an everlasting punishment (they are neither real, nor dead).  But, not only must the boy be brave and intelligent (there are puzzles to solve within every book), he must also show kindness to an enemy.

th[2]Let’s have a look at the Thunderer and some of the different tales about this being.  In Blackfeet lore, the Thunderer often steals women.  He can take the image of a very large bird — his wings creating the thunder and his eyes shooting out the lightning.  In Lakota lore, if one dreams about the Thunder god, he becomes a backwards person.   He must do everything backwards.  He washes in sand, become dirty in water, walks backwards, says exactly what he doesn’t mean, etc., etc.  The dream is so powerful that it is thought that if one fails to do these things, he courts certain death.  In THE ANGEL AND THE WARRIOR, the hero is one of these boys who is charged with the task of freeing his people.  He is desperate because he only has until his 30th birthday to undo the curse, and the hero of the story is 29, with only a few months left to accomplish this task.  Relying on visions and dreams, he is drawn toward a woman with hair the color of starlight.  But he regards her and his growing feelings toward her, as little more than a distraction, and great suspicion.

thumbnail[5]There is also a legend of the Thunder Being in the Iroquois Nation.  In this legend, a young woman becomes the bride of the Thunderer and through him saves her village from a huge snake that burrows under her village, thus endangering the lives of everyone in her village.  There is still another legend about the Thunderer which you can watch on the Movie called Dream Makers — well, I think that’s the name of the movie (if I am wrong about that name, please do correct me).   In this legend, which is also an Eastern Indian tribe, a young woman marries the Thunderer and goes to live with him in the above world.  But she is returned to her own world when she becomes pregnant with his child.

stortell[1]What is very, very interesting to me is how many and how vast are the stories and legends that abounded in Native America.  Though we often hear or even study the ancient lore of the Greeks, seldom do we read much our own myths — the mythology that belongs intimately with this land we call America — which by the way, to the Native Americans on the East Coast, America is known as Turtle Island.   Fascinatingly, there is a story for almost every creature on this continent, from the crow to the sparrow to the coyote (the trickster), the wolf and bear.  There are legends about the stars, the Big Dipper hosts legends about the Great Bear (Iroquois) and the Seven Brothers and their sister (Cheyenne and Blackfeet).  There are still other tales about the Morning Star and the Evening Star and marriages between the Gods and mortals.

Do you, like me, love these kinds of stories?

In closing, I thought I’d post a short excerpt from the book.

THE ANGEL AND THE WARRIOR, by Karen Kay

AngelAndTheWarrior-The-CoverEXCERPT

He stared at her, and in his eyes, Angelia thought she saw a spark of…laughter?

“After all, what trouble could there be, since a man and his wife are often seen alone together?”

Angelia wasn’t certain she had heard Swift Hawk correctly. “What was that again?”

He shrugged. “What?”

“What you just said.”

He gave her a perfectly innocent look and repeated, “Your brother is over by that ridge, trying to discover who trails him.”

“No, not that—that other thing.”

“You mean about my wife and I being alone?”

“That’s it. That’s the one. Your wife? You have a wife?” she asked, feeling more than a little confused.

He said, “Certainly I have a wife.”

She sent him a sideways scowl. “I don’t believe you. Where is this person?”

He grinned. “Right here beside me.”

“Wait a minute. How can I be your wife?”

“Very easily, I think.”

Angelia sat for a moment, dazed. How could this be? On one hand, she was cheered that Swift Hawk was, indeed, very much interested in her. On the other hand, she realized she should have been worrying less and practicing more of exactly what she should say to this man.

Was this what he’d meant when he’d said they belonged to one another? Marriage?

Aloud, she said, “Swift Hawk, have I missed something? I don’t remember a marriage ceremony between us.”

Swift Hawk frowned. “You do not remember? And yet recalling those moments we spent together is forever here.” He pointed to his head, and then to his heart.

“Moments? What are you talking about?”

“You do not remember.” He tsk-tsked.

Angelia grimaced, placing a hand on her forehead, as if to ease the spinning sensation. “There must be something here I don’t understand, because I don’t recall a thing.”

“Ah, then I should refresh your memory. But…surely you do not wish me to do this…” he made a mock glance around him, “…where others might overhear us, or see us.”

“Swift Hawk, please. Be serious.”

“I am.”

She shook her head. “Have you gone crazy?”

“Perhaps, for my wife treats me as though I am nothing more to her than a…” he drew his brows together, looking for all the world as if he were in deep thought, “…friend.”

“You are a friend.”

Haa’he, that I am…plus more. Now, I have something else to tell you, and for a moment, I would ask that we forget all this, switch our duties and I will be a teacher and you will be my pupil.”

“Why?” she asked, still feeling bewildered and having difficulty following his line of thought.

“Because I have a problem in mathematics for you.”

“Swift Hawk, please, we are not doing our lessons now. We are having a discussion about…about…”

Swift Hawk shrugged. “All right. If you do not wish to hear this problem, I will not bore you with it.”

Angelia blew out her breath. “Very well. Tell me.”

“No, I do not wish to disturb you with it…at least not now.”

She sighed heavily. “I’m sorry, all right? I… It’s only that you’ve said some things that have…surprised me, things I don’t understand, and frankly, you’re speaking about a subject that must be discussed by us in greater detail. But by all means, let me hear this problem that you have with mathematics first.”

He ignored the sarcasm in her voice and gave her a look that could have been innocent, but it wasn’t. Before she could decide what he was up to, he said, “Tell me, what is the result when you add a man, a woman, and a morning spent together in each other’s arms?”

“Shh. Swift Hawk. What are you doing? Say that quietly.”

“Very well.” Lowering his voice, he whispered, “What do you get when you add—”

“I heard you the first time. Swift Hawk, really, it…it…wasn’t like that… It was…” She stopped, for she seemed incapable of uttering another word.

Now was the time. Now she should tell him.

Angelia opened her mouth to speak, took a deep breath, then held it. How in the name of good heaven could she begin?

She shut her mouth, thinking, summoning her nerve to say what must be said.

Swift Hawk leaned in toward her. “Ah, I can see that you understand. Now you must observe that all of these things, added together, equals a marriage, does it not?”

“No, it—” Angelia shook her head, exhaling sharply. “It does not equal marriage. There was no ceremony.” She said every word distinctively. “But let’s not quibble. Not now. Not here, where we might be overhead. Besides, we forget that Julian might be in trouble. Now, if you would be so kind as to lead me to my brother, I would be much beholden.”

“How beholden?”

Angelia rolled her eyes. “Please, will you take me to him?”

“Yes, my wife,” said Swift Hawk seriously, though she could have sworn that a corner of his mouth lifted upward in a smile. “Truly, my wife, I will do anything you say.”

“Please, if you must say that, say it softly.”

“Very well.” Leaning up onto his elbows, Swift Hawk spoke quietly, for her ears alone, “Yes, my wife. I am yours to command, my wife.”

Angelia raised an eyebrow. “You are mine to command?”

“It is so.”

“Good. Then I command you not to speak to me of this again.”

Smiling, Swift Hawk inclined his head. “Very well. I will show you instead how eager I am to please you.” He held out a hand toward her.

Angelia rolled away. “Swift Hawk!” she uttered sharply, under her breath. “Stop this at once. Just…just take me to my brother.”

“Yes, my wife. Anything you say, my wife…”

 

THE ANGEL AND THE WARRIOR by Karen Kay

 

 

Updated: September 4, 2017 — 9:44 pm

It Started With a Song — American Indian Style

Howdy!

SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE has been re-released on KindleUnlimited and I thought I’d tell you a little about the back story for this book, for it is based on a myth.

Here is the link:  https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_3_21?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=soaring+eagle%27s+embrace+by+karen+kay&sprefix=SOARING+EAGLE%27S+EMBRA%2Caps%2C171&crid=32UQUEUDYDX91&rh=n%3A133140011%2Ck%3Asoaring+eagle%27s+embrace+by+karen+kay&tag=pettpist-20

Rather long link, huh?

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.

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.  : )

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

Now, I thought I’d leave you all a link to some 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.

https://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 — please see the Giveaway Guidelines over to the right here for our rules that govern giveaways.

Updated: August 22, 2017 — 8:06 pm

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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Western Heroes and Heroines

 

 

 

By Karen Kay and Phyliss Miranda

Howdy!  And welcome to another fabulous Tuesday.  And we have with us today best-selling author, and fellow filly, Phyliss Miranda!  Welcome to the Tuesday — and birthday — blog.  Happy Birthday to P & P!  Happy Birthday to P & P!  Happy Birthday Dear P & P, Happy Birthday to us.  (And many more…)

For the birthday bash, Phyliss and I decided to talk a little bit about Western Heroes.  And, as you know, there were many, many Western Heroes, real and fictional.  But today, we’re only going to look at 10 of them. So let’s get started.

Sitting Bull:  Sitting Bull was a Hunkpapa Lakota Indian (Sioux).  He was a Medicine Man and Holy Man.  He led his people during their struggle with the United States government policies.  He actually didn’t fight in the Custer Fight, but he did lead many of his people into Canada after that fight.  Did you know that he also toured with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, and that he considered Annie Oakley (or Little Sure Shot as he named her) an adopted daughter?  A sterling example of a man who put the welfare of his people before his own.

Chief Joseph:  Chief Joseph was a Nez Perce Chief who tried to lead his people out of danger after tensions arose between his own people and the white people.  He tried to bring his people to safety into Canada.  His retreat is considered to this day to be one of the greatest military strategies ever conceived by man.  His name is In-mut-too-yah-lat-lat, and means Thunder coming up over the land from the water (from Indians.org).

Sacagawea:  Sacagawea was a Lemhi Shoshone Indian.  She was married to Toussaint Charbonneau, a Frenchman who had been hired by Lewis and Clark as an interpreter — but only after they learned that his wife, Sacagawea, spoke Shoshone, and they needed her help with the Shoshone tribe during expedition into Indian country.  Sacagawea was pregnant when Lewis and Clark set out upon their expedition and she gave birth to a healthy boy during the expedition.  Clark called her Janey.  Without her help, their expedition might have failed due to the Shoshone’s antagonism toward invaders into their country.  She is an American Legend.

Crazy Horse:  Crazy Horse was an Oglala Lakota Indian (Sioux), who was a contemporary of Sitting Bull, and who joined Sitting Bull in leading the opposition to the reservation system.  Crazy Horse was known as being an extraordinarily handsome man, not overly tall in statue, but he was depicted as being a gentle, handsome, and courteous young man.  Crazy Horse was born a warrior and led his people in their struggle remain free men and women.  He is chiefly credited with the success of the Battle of the Little Big Horn.  He remains a hero to this very day.

Red Cloud:  Red Cloud was another Oglala Lakota Indian (Sioux).  Red Cloud is best known for what is called Red Cloud’s War.  The Bozeman Trail was destroying Indian life and Indian hunting grounds, and when no meeting of mind’s could be found, Red Cloud led an attack that is known as one of the most successful attacks on the miliary, causing the military forts along this route to close.

And Now for Phyliss’s post.

Bat Masterson was born in Quebec, Canada and his birth name was Bartalomiew. After being raised in New York, he ended up in Wichita, Kansas, where he met Wyatt Earp and they became staunch friends. Both being rough, tough buffalo hunters they became “crack shots”. Although Masterson was alleged to have been a part of the shoot-out at the O.K. Corral, he wasn’t, as he had left two days prior to return to Dodge City.

Calamity Jane definitely was part prime and proper Pioneer Woman and a wild and wooly Woman of the West. From 1878 to mid-1800’s, she appeared in nearly twenty Deadwood Dick dime novels.

One of the most famous of all fictional characters was Roy Rogers and Trigger, his golden Palomino. Here’s a few facts of interest:  Roy Rogers was a Master Mason. He played Wild Bill Hickok, William F. Cody (Buffalo Bill) and Jesse James, three of the West’s greatest legends.

After the closure of the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum in Branson, Missouri, cable network RFD-TV purchased Roy’s dog Bullet who had been preserved after his death for $35,000.00; while Trigger (who was also preserved) was sold for $266,000.00. Trigger had a double Trigger, Jr..   Dale Evans wrote Happy Trails.

Of interest, Wyatt Earp’s Colt .45 revolved, he carried to the famous shootout at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, was sold at auction in 2014 for $225,000.00.

 

“Texas Panhandle, 1881 …

Not only was he tired, hungry, and dirty, but technically, Hayden McGraw guessed, he was still on suspension from the Texas Rangers. The last thing he needed was to become involved in the quarrel that seemed to be brewing in Buffalo Spring, Texas. It wasn’t any of his concern … yet.”

First paragraph to my story “One Woman, One Ranger” in “Give Me a Texas Ranger” anthology by Linda Broday, Jodi Thomas, the late DeWanna Pace and me. The picture was taken at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco, Texas, where our book was put on display in the “Writing the Ranger” exhibit, along with stories and comic books by many famous fictional and real heroes.

Who is your favorite fictional or real cowboy?

And who is your favorite American Indian hero?

Karen Kay will be giving away a free Tradepaper copy of SENECA SURRENDER to one lucky blogger today, and one mass market copy of SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE to another lucky blogger.

Product Details

 

To one lucky reader who leaves a comment, Phyliss is giving away both a copy of Give Me a Texas Ranger and a gift card from Bath & Body Works.

 Don’t forget to enter the giant birthday bash giveaway (separate from this daily giveaway).

You can find all the details along with the entry form HERE

     

    

 

Updated: August 8, 2017 — 11:45 am

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

WAR CLOUD’S PASSION/Goldie Locks & the Three Bears

Howdy!

And welcome to another beautiful Tuesday.  I say beautiful because where I am, we have  powder blue sky and some fluffy clouds — a gorgeous day.  Oh, by the way, the give-away book today is the mass market version (print copy) of WAR CLOUD’S PASSION.

Okay, okay.  You might be wondering what a serious book (and this book encompasses a rather serious topic) — and Goldie Locks & the Three Bears might have in common?  Well, I’ll attempt to answer that in this blog.

Don’t know if I’ve ever told this story in detail — it’s kinda the “story behind the story,” but…only kinda.  Off to the right here is the Kindle version of War Cloud’s Passion.  It is the newest book up on KindleUnlimited if you are a member of KU.

It’s not often that I read my own books.  I don’t like to, mostly because I’m so critical of my own work.  But because my husband and I had just uploaded this book to KindleUnlimited, I read a page or two and found…a typo.  Probably it was a typo from the conversion of the mass market version of the book to Kindle.  But because of that typo, I decided to read the book through again — just in case.

War Cloud’s Passion is a story about War Cloud, an “outlaw” Cheyenne War Chief, who after attacking a train in order to free his younger brother, finds himself saddled with several orphans and Anna, the heroine of the story.

In writing this book, my brother-in-law had an idea.  Now, my brother-in-law, Bob, was quite a character, and he loved to laugh.  So one night as I sat around the living room talking about the story line of the newest book I was writing, he had a suggestion:  Why not insert a line or two about Goldie Locks and the Three Bears?  He thought the idea would be hilarious — given the more serious topic of the book.  I mean after all, the heroine’s hair color was a kind of golden blond.

Well, I thought about it and thought about it, and because he’d made me laugh and see the humor in it, I found a place in the book where I could make mention of Goldie Locks and the Three Bears.

My editor didn’t quite like the mention of three bears, but I convinced her to keep the line in, anyway (not telling her why).  For a while I ran contests to see if anyone could find the reference, and a few people did.  But then, life went on and I sort of forgot about it.

But as I was reading this book the other night, there it was — subtle, but there it was.

It made my husband and I smile, because Bob was a very dear part of our family.  It was an uplifting moment.  Here’s a link to some pictures of Bob and my husband, Paul and me.  http://novels-by-karenkay.com/toursphotos/2008-tour-pictures-dedicated-to-robert-bailey/2008-tour-pictures-dedicated-to-robert-bailey-part-iii/

And so I’m giving away a free copy of the mass market edition of WAR CLOUD’S PASSION.  A word to the winner:  the sentence (and it’s only one sentence, I believe) is toward the end of the book — not the very end, but about 3/4’s-7/8’s of the way through.  Look for it there.  I’ll leave you with some more pictures of Bob, my mother-in-law, Paul and me.

Updated: July 11, 2017 — 1:16 pm

Learning to Love the Camas Root

I grew up in the Palouse area of Idaho, close to the Camas Prairie, and when I was in the third grade, while we were studying the Nez Perce Indians, I ate a cookie made with camas root flour. I can taste it to this day–and not in a good way.  It might have been the cook, it might have been the camas root flour. I don’t know, but that cookie did not agree with me. Interestingly, Lewis and Clark had a similar experience.

Before I tell you about Lewis and Clark, let me give you some background on the camas root. The camas is a blue flowering plant. It’s really quite beautiful and although there are several Camas Prairies, my Camas Prairie is an area in north central Idaho where the Nez Perce gathered camas roots for thousands of years.

The camas root is really a bulb, and it’s higher in protein that some fish. The native peoples would dig the root with sticks or parts of antlers in the early summer months. The time varied depending on the altitude. After the harvest, the camas roots were cooked in earthen ovens. The roots that were not eaten were dried for later consumption. Dried camas root lasted for years. There are stories of travelers eating camas roots that were more than thirty years old.

It was very important to only harvest the blue camas bulbs, because the white camas bulbs, which are also nutritious, closely resembled another species of camas known as White Death. The White Death could be lethal if enough was consumed, so white camas plants were generally avoided.

 So what happened to Lewis and Clark?

When the explorers reached the Weippe Prairie in Idaho in September of 1805, they were essentially starving. The Nez Perce fed the men camas roots, which were described as “sweet and good to the taste”. They were also very high in fiber and very hard on the starving men’s digestive systems.  The men fell ill with vomiting, diarrhea and gas. Captain Clark wrote, “Capt Lewis Scercely able to ride on a jentle horse which was furnishd by the Chief. Several men So unwell that they were Compelled to lie on the Side of the road for Some time others obliged to be put on horses.” The sickness lasted over five days, during which time the less weak men took care of the sicker men while making five canoes to travel the Clearwater River. Those guys were tough.

Later it was discovered that fermented camas made a decent beer and the men felt friendlier toward the root. Eventually, their bodies adapted. The men came to like the camas root and took a large supply with them when then traveled down the Clearwater in October 1805.

In researching the camas, I’ve learned that the roasted bulbs taste similar to pumpkin and sweet potato, both of which I hated as a kid, and that, I believe, was the source of my issues with the root. I would try a camas flour cookie again, given the chance. And hopefully, like Lewis and Clark, I would come to appreciate this historically valuable food source.

The Story Behind the Story of GRAY HAWK’S LADY

Howdy & Good Day!

Whether you’re joining us in the morning, afternoon or evening, welcome!

Today I thought I’d tell the story of the writing of the book, GRAY HAWK’S LADY, a tale deeply enshrined in my heart.  This story has just recently been re-released at Amazon, and because it is so special to me, I thought I’d give away a free ebook of the story today to some lucky blogger.

GrayHawksLady_v1Believe it or not, the story starts with a kiss.  But let me backtrack.  I had in 1992-1993 gone through a divorce and had come back to California, because I’ve considered it home ever since I was 18 and fell in love with it.  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…

The year was now 1995 and 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.  I had a book due to my publisher in July of 1996, but had plenty of time to write it and had, indeed, started writing it when I went on this first date.

family1[1]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 being very 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 since 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 put the whole thing behind us.”  And she said, “No, I’m sure he really liked you.”

30002_391822494010_760039010_4043017_7176149_n[1]So she called his brother, who then talked to him, and the upshot of it all 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, I thought.  So I accepted.

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, it was quite some kiss.  He meant it. And I was more than ready to receive it.   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 a little drunk.  I think I stared at him and for the first time, I said to myself, “Who is this man?”  Indeed, I wanted more.

roadtr40[1]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.  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 Samhain_RWA2012_IMG_0292_Webemotional 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.  Over to the right here is a recent photo of us.

14-smooch[1]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 were married for 21 years.  Interestingly enough 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 21 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 told him recently (only a few days ago) that for me it seems as if our time together has been like a fairy-tale romance (again, knock on wood).

galler6[1]I love this man with all my heart — and as the years have gone by, that love grows and grows and grows.   He stole my heart with that first kiss and that love goes on and on and on.  (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.  Again, I’ll be giving away a free copy of this ebook to some lucky blogger, so do leave a message.GrayHawksLady_v1

And if you haven’t done so before, pick up your copy of GRAY HAWK’S LADY today!

https://www.amazon.com/Gray-Hawks-Lady-Blackfoot-Warriors-ebook/dp/B0723B3VCM/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1497836377&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=GRAY+HAWK%27S+LADY+by+Karen+Kay&tag=pettpist-20

Updated: June 18, 2017 — 8:44 pm

SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE, Excerpt & Free Give-Away

Howdy!

WHITE EAGLE’S TOUCH — one of my best selling books — is going to be — sometime this week — released by Amazon in e-book format.  And although we authors might never admit to having a favorite book,  well…gotta say that this book is one of my favorites.  So, I thought I’d tell you a little of the background that went in to the making of that book.

I love this cover by the way.

WHITE EAGLE’S TOUCH starts with my love of a rather spoiled, head-strong heroine — one who is really quite soft-hearted, but for reasons explained in the book, she harbors opinions that are far from flattering.  In the story, the heroine, Katrina, is blond-haired, stubborn, almost out of funds and is demanding her inheritance in order that she might marry into royalty.  She has also grown up without ever knowing her parents — who perished out West — or her uncle, who holds the purse-strings to her inheritance.

In other words, she has some reason to be spoiled, because she’s grown up without love — with a succession of nannies.

There are problems — mainly that her uncle will not release her funds until she comes West and parades her fiance in front of him for his approval.  I must admit that it really is a lot to ask of a young woman who has known only the comforts of New York City — still it was rather fun to play around with her outrage.

Of course her uncle doesn’t show up at the scheduled rendezvous — he sends his friend — who is almost like a son to him — White Eagle — to bring her to him.

Of course the story goes on from there — spoiled, rich-girl meets handsome, yet determined young Indian warrior.

Now, the truth of the matter is that the character of Katrina was patterned after my daughter, Trina, who is definitely not blond.  Not that Trina is spoiled, but at the writing of this story, Trina was a teenager — about nineteen, I believe — and she definitely had her likes and dislikes.  Off to the side here is a picture of Trina with her daughter and my granddaughter, Lila.  But patterning the heroine after my daughter really gave me a deeper understanding of my character, Katrina’s, personality — it also helped me to love this character, even when she is at her wit’s end.

In writing this book, I often had pictures of clothing and what the heroine might have looked like at that time.  Off to the left here is a picture of that period’s clothing.  I love this clothing, I must admit and sometimes wish we could go back to an age where women looked so very feminine.  Now this picture to the left really — in my mind — has the look of my heroine at this time.  A little bored, a little spoiled, always well dressed and trying to do the right thing — although in the West, my heroine’s efforts are sometimes clumsy and humorous — as she tries to “fit in.”

As for the hero, another one of my loves — I’ve always held a passion for a hero who brooks no argument, yet who is kind and generous — and who is waiting patiently for the heroine to come to her senses.

There is one scene in this book that I particularly like.  It was a scene where the hero, along with his friend, concoct a scheme to send Katrina’s fiance packing.  At the writing of this book, I had just the previous year, married my husband, Paul.  When I married Paul, however, I also discovered that he was extremely close to his brother, Bob — this picture to the right is of Bob and Paul — Paul is the one sitting down.  But this particular scene was about these two fellows and what they would do if they were there to rid themselves of this very unwanted person, and send him packing for home.

Interestingly, that “friend” of White Eagle is Night Thunder who has a book of his own — next in this series.

To end I thought I’d show you a picture of the original cover for WHITE EAGLE’S TOUCH.  The reason I have to show you is that this cover is also one of my most favorite covers.

WHITE EAGLE’S TOUCH

Excerpt

By Karen Kay

 

It took the Indians less than an hour to fabricate the boat, it being scantily constructed of several buffalo hides stretched over a crude framework of willow branches, the willow being the closest wood to hand. A paddle had been made from a few tree limbs, too, and within little time, Katrina observed many of their party’s supplies neatly stowed within the bull boat, although Katrina took note that it was only the marquess’s things.

White Eagle motioned the marquess forward just as Katrina began to set foot into the boat. But White Eagle motioned her away, despite her protest, making signals to his friends to bring forward the marquess…and his dogs. White Eagle turned to Katrina. “You will ride in the wagon across the river.”

“But I don’t wish to wet my dress, and I might if I don’t…”

White Eagle looked sternly at her, and she fell silent, as he clearly had meant her to. She watched as the marquess sauntered toward them.

“Ah, finally,” the marquess said to White Eagle as he stepped into the boat, “you savages are recognizing your betters. It is about time.”

“Humph!” was the guttural response from White Eagle as he motioned to his friends, and, at a signal, the marquess’s hounds joined him in the crude structure.

White Eagle beckoned to Good Dancer to come forward, and after some counseling, Good Dancer strode toward the water, taking the rope of the boat in his hand and leading the craft into the water.

He began to swim ahead of the boat, tugging the craft out into the swirling currents.
No sooner had the marquess set out in the boat, when White Eagle directed both Katrina and Rebecca into the wagon.

The women seated themselves and immediately, upon doing so, the marquess’s two men—who had been driving the wagon—started the horses forward, into the swift-rushing currents. This being done, White Eagle and Night Thunder took hold of the rest of the horses and began guiding those animals, too, across the water.

No one appeared to notice the bull boat being led farther and farther downstream, away from the main party; not even the marquess, who, it would seem, was busily engaged in gazing at the sky and sipping the wine he had managed to bring with him.

Trouble hit without warning. One of the ponies pulling the wagon stepped into a pool of quicksand and jerked on his bridle, unseating the drivers and shooting them forward. The horse next to it reared, becoming entrenched, itself, in the mire and only the fast action of the two drivers saved the wagon from the same fate. The men righted themselves and whipped at the ponies, cursing them in a more colorful language than Katrina would have liked to hear, but the driver’s efforts were to no avail; the poor ponies could not extricate themselves, not with their burdens of bridle and harness.

One of the horses tried to rear again, its action tilting the wagon off kilter. Off slid the marquess’s baggage and particulars as well as her Saratoga, all tossed into the sandy murk of the quicksand and, had the two women not been holding on to their seats, they would have been flung overboard, too.

Katrina screamed; Rebecca, also.

The two women held onto one another as readily as they did to the wagon, and Katrina, as the wagon sank deeper and deeper, decided it would be better to jump for freedom, rather than sink into the muck of the sand.

“We’re going to jump off this wagon,” she yelled above the noise of the ponies and drivers’ cursing.

“I can’t,” came Rebecca’s reply. “I’m afraid.”

Katrina took her maid’s hand. “We’ll do it together, all right? It’s better than staying here. Now, ready, one, two, three.”

The two of them jumped, landing in the sandy marsh instead of sanctuary, their feet sinking quickly into the wash.

Both women shrieked.

Suddenly it was over. Strong hands caught hold of Katrina and pulled her out, bringing her up and onto a horse.

Barely able to hold on to the pony, she looked up into White Eagle’s face. She didn’t say a word, nor did he, as he nestled her against him.

“Rebecca…is she…?”

“She is fine. My friend has her. Hold on to me,” he said, and as soon as he ensured she had a firm grip upon him, White Eagle whipped the pony into the fury of the river, forcing the animal to swim against the current and, it would seem, against all odds.

Onward, across the river, defying the swirling water and eddies, they swam, the pony’s body, except for his head, completely submerged.

The currents unseated them, and White Eagle barely held on to the pony by its tail, though he never took one arm from around her.

Soon, the other shoreline beckoned, and, within moments, the pony leapt to its feet, White Eagle able to do the same almost as quickly.

But he didn’t waste any time. “Wait here,” was the only instruction he gave her as he spun back toward his pony, the animal heaving with exhaustion. Still, White Eagle jumped back onto his mount and guided it once more into the water, Katrina watching him cross over, to the other side.

Good Dancer and Night Thunder had already rushed to the wagon, Night Thunder having deposited Rebecca safely on solid ground much as White Eagle had done with Katrina but, rather than chance the danger of the river, Night Thunder had settled Rebecca upon the safety of the eastern shore of the river, the opposite shore from where Katrina now stood.
Katrina looked around her to see if she could find any sign of the bull boat, but there was nothing to be found; as best she could tell, the marquess had not landed upon this same shoreline.

Yet there stood Good Dancer, trying to extricate the wagon. And he had been the one leading the bull boat. Where were the Englishman and his dogs? Had they been set adrift?

Far from being alarming, the thought was…amusing.

Katrina returned her attention to the ponies and the wagon.

It took the labors of all three Indians and the marquess’s two men finally to extricate the animals from the quicksand.

But they did it at last, with the least possible damage to the wagon, the ponies or the men…although much of the marquess’s clothing sank further and further into the sandy wallow.

The Indians and the two servants sprawled for the moment upon the sandy shore…but on the opposite side of the river. And no one seemed in any hurry to see to the marquess and his concerns, wherever he was.

Almost an hour passed, an hour during which the Indians sat up and smoked, working over something, while the white men rested. Katrina had tried to communicate to them all by shouting across the distance of the river. But it was almost impossible—nothing could be heard over the noise of the river. The most she learned was that Rebecca remained unhurt.

Finally, the Indians arose; to go in search of the marquess, she supposed.

More time passed, White Eagle no longer within sight, and Katrina’s clothes had almost dried upon her by the time the Indians returned, the marquess and his dogs trailing behind them. But what had happened to the marquess? He stood drenched from head to foot, while the Indians, in contrast, remained amazingly dry.

And then she saw that White Eagle did not return with the others.

“Where is White Eagle?” Katrina yelled across the stream, but no one could hear her.
She tried again, “Has something happened to White Eagle?”

Panic rose up within her. Surely, he wasn’t hurt, was he?

Without realizing what she did, she started toward the river, more willing to face it than remain in ignorance. She had no more than stepped foot in the water when from behind her, came a voice, saying, “Stay here.”

She recognized that baritone timbre and she turned.

“White Eagle,” she breathed out in relief, “you are all right.”

He nodded. “I am here. I am unhurt.”

“And the others?”

“They are fine.”

“But what are they doing over there, on the opposite shore? And why aren’t they crossing the river?”

“They are not all coming.”

“What? Not coming?”

“The Englishman refuses to travel any further.” White Eagle smiled slightly. “He said something about the expense of his suits and his silks and not liking all this adventure. They are turning back.”

“I see. I’m not surprised.” She paused, a thought occurring to her. “Did the marquess mention how he intended to pay for his stay upon returning to Fort Union?”

White Eagle shrugged.

“And what about Rebecca? Why is she still over there? When will you and the other guides be bringing her across the river?”

White Eagle looked off in the distance, avoiding Katrina’s eyes. He said, “Your friend will be going back to the fort, too.”
“No!” Katrina responded at once. “You can’t, she can’t. She has no one to watch over her and protect her there. Either I must go with her or she must be brought to me.”

“Night Thunder has promised to keep her safe.”

“Night Thunder? But he—”

“He will guard her and see to her needs.”

“But—”

“Someone must go with the Englishmen and guide them back to the fort. They are as helpless as newborn babes.”

“But what has that to do with Rebecca? She must stay with me. I would worry about her otherwise, and—”

“Have you not noticed the looks shared between my friend and yours? It is better they stay together. Do not worry. Night Thunder will be with her. This I can promise you.”

“Do you? I still don’t like this, and what do you mean by the looks shared between them? I—”

“It has been decided.”

“Well, you can un-decide it.”

White Eagle, his lips turning up into a grin, seemed to be amused by Katrina’s determination. “Do you worry about a chaperon? Is that what bothers you? Do not. Good Dancer and his wife will join us as soon as the others have started back to the fort.” White Eagle crossed his arms over his chest. “Do you think I would take you on this long trip without another female companion? And with us as yet unmarried?”

“As yet?”

“Humph,” was all the answer she received from this man.

“Perhaps it is for the best.” Katrina looked away from White Eagle, glancing out across the river. “This trail could well prove dangerous, and I wouldn’t want Rebecca risking her life unnecessarily. So mayhap you are correct in your judgment.”

“Humph,” he uttered again, and though she was fast beginning to tire of this standard response from him, she said nothing about it, gazing instead toward Rebecca and calling out, “I will miss you.”

Katrina waved, and Rebecca returned the gesture.

“I will miss you too,” Rebecca cried back. “If I could, I would be with you.”

Katrina smiled and mouthed the words, “I know,” and, turning about, she began to follow White Eagle up the steep incline, to the bluff just above the river.

They were dodging stickers and thorny plants when she heard White Eagle say, in a rather offhand manner, “Did I mention to you that your Englishman agreed, giving me his word of honor, to end your engagement and promised not to cause you any further trouble over this?”

Katrina could barely believe that she was hearing correctly. She opened her mouth to say “No, you did not,” but nothing issued forth. And so she did the only thing afforded her in her situation.

She stared at his back as he moved ahead of her, simply stared…

WHITE EAGLE’S TOUCH

by

Karen Kay

Well, that’s all for today.

Do come on in and leave a comment.  That’s all you have to do to enter into the contest.  And of course the Giveaway Guidelines all apply.  Remember to check back tomorrow to see if you are the winner.

 

 

Updated: June 5, 2017 — 12:43 pm
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