Hello readers of P&P. I am always thrilled to be invited to write something for your – hopefully – reading pleasure. I have always loved our westward expansion and in high school every term paper and book report I did was on our Native Americans and the old west. Especially, after I fell in love with Jeff Chandler when he played Cochise in BROKEN AROW. Now that goes back, some, but he inspired me like no one else ever did. I was 12 years old at the time when you develop crushes on movie stars. Later as an adult I had a chance to visit the very places I had written about. I even visited the place where Cochise had one of his strongholds.
I never planned to write a book but when my son dared me to do it one day, I accepted his dare. I knew if I wrote anything it would be about Apaches and Cochise would be in there somewhere. When I sat down to write “Apache Moon,” I didn’t realize how much history I had absorbed or learned over the years and the book just flowed out of me and was finished in three months. When I finished it and asked my son to read it, I waited breathlessly for his opinion. His only comment was,” It reads like a book.” So much for a fan in the family!
But once I started the book of my heart, I found I could not stop and it ended up a trilogy. When it got published, the title was changed to APACHE WARRIOR and the publisher wanted it to end with the hero, Kayto, and heroine, Amanda, getting married in the first book. I agreed, but it broke my heart. Later, I had so many requests for the “rest of the story” and “what happened to the other characters in the book,’ that I finally did the sequels, APACHE PROMISE, and APACHE WINTER. They are both up on the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes and Noble NOOK as of June 7, 2011.
While in all my books the underlying story is a romance, I have included actual historical events and some notable persons from the time period. I researched the Apache Life-Way, their beliefs and customs and tried to be as accurate as possible in depicting them in a positive light. In fact, I probably lean more to the Apache’s viewpoint rather than the white man’s many times. With in the three books I try to show that Love knows no color, creed or race. It happens in the heart, when and where you least expect it, and if allowed to grow, it can conquer differences in culture, hatred, and personal loss.
APACHE WARRIOR begins the saga of a Baltimore belle and a Chiricahua brave caught up in a taboo love that has the power to heal or harm a broken people. The Civil War is about to break out in the east leaving two sisters alone in a city filling up with strangers and military personnel after the tragic death of their parents. They feel their only hope in an uncle who went west in the California gold rush and is now living in Tucson, Arizona. It is a perilous journey for two young ladies but they go anyway. Their stagecoach is stopped at Apache Pass and the leader, Kayto, who plans to give Amanda to his mother as a slave, takes Amanda. Her defiance of him and her poking one of his braves in the belly with her parasol arouses his interest and later his desire. Because of her independent ways and broad-mindedness instilled in her by her father, she refuses to be treated as a slave and wins Kayto’s whole family over. Kayto and Amanda fall in love in spite of their differences only to be torn apart when Cochise is betrayed by a white army officer and goes on a relentless war of revenge for the next 11 years.
APACHE PROMISE, book 2, continues the story of the star-crossed lovers and the years following Cochise’s declaration to rid the southwest of all white-eyes. It also develops the love story of the sister, Candice, and the gambler, Damon Knight, who was on the stage with the girls. Kayto and Amanda have two poignant meetings during this time but know they cannot be together for now. Promises are made but they may not be able to be kept with the land on fire.
APACHE WINTER, book 3, tells of the sad, closing chapters in the life of the Chiricahuas. It is the end of the wild and free Apache. In 1870, a former army scout, prospector, and rancher, Tom Jeffords, comes to Tucson. For ten years no white man has seen Cochise and lived to tell about it. Disgusted with the conflict and the destruction of so much life and property, Jeffords decides to go see Cochise, personally, alone. His meeting is a real historical event and I have read several accounts of it and have written it the way I’d like to think it went. It changed the course of history and General Oliver O. Howard was able to secure an honorable peace from President Grant for the Chiricahuas to have their own land and their own Apache police force instead of the U. S. Army governing them. Tom Jeffords did actually become the first Indian Agent on Cochise’s reservation, as he would have no other. In my story, Tom prevails upon Amanda to become the first schoolteacher and she and Kayto are finally reunited. This was a little untrue on my part as the Apache children were brutally ripped from their families and sent east to a boarding school in Carlisle, PA where they were stripped of everything they knew and were made to conform to a white man’s world.
My second paperback book, NAVAJO NIGHT, dealt with a Navajo Holy man and a white preacher’s daughter caught up in a tragic period in their struggle with the white man’s encroachment, called “The Long Walk.” It was when General Carlton rounded up 4000 Navajos and marched them south to a barren plain called the Bosque Redondo in southern New Mexico in an attempt to Americanize and Christianize the Navajos. The experiment eventually failed and after four years, the Navajos were allowed to the return to the four corners area where they reside today.
If anyone has any questions, I’d be happy to answer them. I will give away a free copy of either APACHE WARRIOR or NAVAJO NIGHT and several bookmarks to one lucky commenter today. Thank you for reading my post. http://www.carolanndidier.com/