KAREN KAY aka GEN BAILEY is the multi-published author of American Indian Historical Romances. She has written for such prestigious publishers as AVON/HarperCollins, Berkley/Penguin/Putnam and Samhain Publishing. KAREN KAY’S great grandmother was Choctaw Indian and Kay is honored to be able to write about the American Indian Culture.
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So, today, I thought I’d tackle a subject of some interest, since this woman is actually a great American heroine. I’m talking about Pocahontas. And, I’ll be giving away a free copy of THE ANGEL AND THE WARRIOR today. Just look off to the right here, please, for the rules regarding out give-aways.
Before I start, let me ask you a question: Do you believe the Disney story of Pocahontas? Or some version of it?
I did, well at least I did until I did some research into the actual story of Pocahontas. So, if you don’t mind dropping down a rabbit hole, come along with me in this fascinating subject that has been given a spin so as to cover up an actual murder of this true, American heroine.
Pocahontas’ real name, by the way, was Matoaka — which means “flower between two streams. Now, before I go on, let me do a disclaimer: this post in no way pretends to “know it all,” about this very definite heroine, but I think we might be able to set the story straight, at least a little.
To the left here is probably the most true picture (painting) that we have of Pocahontas. Now, this will probably be the subject of two or three blogs, simply because there’s just too much info to get into one blog. The information that I’m going to be telling you about comes from the book THE TRUE STORY OF POCAHONTES, by Dr. Linwood “Little Bear” Custalow and Angela L;. Daniel “Silver Star.” This story that I’m about to present to you is one that is the story that has been passed down orally for hundreds of years by the priests of the Powhatan tribe (Pocahontas’ tribe). It is the story of Pocahontas as told by her own people. It is the story passed down by the tribe’s quiakros — or the chosen few of the tribe, who have spent their lives in learning. One fact that I’m going to say here at the start of this post, mostly because it fascinated me, is that Pocahontas did not die of something. She died for something. And, she did not die of smallpox as is generally reported. She was murdered.
But, as is said in Blackfeet Country, I get ahead of myself. Let’s continue. Pocahontas was indeed a princess. She was born to the paramount chief, Chief Powhatan Wahunsenaca. She was born to Wahunsenaca’s first wife, the wife of his heart late in life. Her mother died giving birth to her — and interestingly enough, her mother’s name was Pocahontas. Wahunsenaca had truly loved his wife and when she died, he showered the love that he’d had for her upon his newborn child. Pocahontas means, by the way “Laughing and joyous one.” As mentioned in the book, the story of Pocahontas is a story of love — not the love between her and John Smith — but rather the story of a father and daughter’s love for one another and for their people. Pocahontas had many older brothers and sisters — many were already married so that caring for the young child was not a problem. She grew up being nursed by several different women of the tribe, which according to the book, might be one reason why her ties to her people were so strong.
To the left here is the more European version of the above painting of Pocahontas and her child. Notice the smiles painted on the faces and the lack of dark circles under her eyes.
Pocahontas was only 10 years old when the colonists stared to arrive in 1607. Because she was the daughter of the paramount chief, she was watched over very, very closely. No running around wild for her. Captain John Smith was 27 years old when he arrived in the New World. The Powhatan tribe was made up of 6 different tribes, with other tribes in its alliance, as well. There were other chiefs, but Powhatan Wahunsenaca was the paramount chief. They all spoke the Algonquain language. Part of the politics of the day was to bring into the tribe an alliance with other peoples and other tribes. Thus, although the Powhatan could have destroyed the colonists at any time, they did not. Instead, they sought to ally the newcomers to them. Perhaps, looking back on history, this was their true mistake.
John Smith — about 6 months after their arrival in the New World — went to explore the countryside. Warriors out hunting for food, discovered him and his party and after a skirmish ensued, Smith was taken captive. Because the English used “thunder sticks” to kill the Indians, the people were afeared of them and were beginning to think of the English as though they were a deity. This next is from the book quoted above — I found it highly interesting: “Smith would pretend to come into a village in a friendly manner. When he was in close proximity to the chief of the village, he would put his pistol to the chief’s head, demanding a ransom of food in exchange for the chief’s release. Smith and his men would proceed to take all the corn and food in the village. As they left, Smith would throw down a few blue beads, claiming to have “traded” with the Powhatan people.”
Does that sound like a man that a young girl would fall in love with? When Smith was taken to Wahunsenaca, it is uncertain whether Pocahontas met Smith at this time or not. Wahunsenaca asked John Smith why the English had come here, to which John Smith replied that they had come to this land to escape the Spanish. Now, the Indians of this country had some trouble with the Spanish, already. In fact they called the Spanish, “sons of the devil..” Remember that Spanish ships would patrol the coasts of the Atlantic coast, sometimes capturing Native people. Relations between the Spanish and the Powhatan were hostile. A little known fact: the word “Indian” does not come from Columbus’ error. Rather it comes from the Spanish word, “indio” meaning to walk with God. I like that meaning.
It is said that Wahunsenaca truly liked John Smith. It was his plan to bring John Smith into the tribe and make him part of the tribe in an effort to consolidate their friendship against the Spanish. Then if the Spanish did come in, they would be faced with the English-Powhatan people. According to Pocahontas’ people, “Although Smith alleged years later that Pocahontas saved his life during the four-day ceremony in the process of his being made a Powhatan werowance, his life was never in danger. His life did not need saving.” A werowance was a commander — male. Also, at this time, Pocahontas was a child. Children were not allowed to attend these kinds of ceremony. The priests would not have allowed Pocahontas to be at the ceremony. After the ceremony, not only was John Smith considered to be a member of the Powhatan tribe, but the entire English colony was considered to be members, too.
In fact, when Smith returned to the English fort, it was the English who tried to kill him. He was put on trial and was sentenced to death. It was Christopher Newport’s arrival in the colony that saved John Smith.
Because the English were now considered part of the tribe, Wahunsenaca sent envoys with food to the Jamestown colony. Because he now trusted John Smith, he allowed his favorite daughter, Pocahontas, to accompany the envoy. Although she was closely watched and chaperoned during these excursions, the colonists became familiar with her, and they associated Pocahontas with the food — not the powerful chief who was in fact sending it. Thus, the rumor that Pocahontas brought food to the colonists against her father’s will, is dispelled as untrue.
What Pocahontas was at this time was a symbol of peace. She was not a spy as some historians have liked to believe. It was during the summer of 1609 that relations between the Powhatan tribe and the English began to deteriorate. Smith entered into villages rudely and with full arms, demanding and taking food. In some instances, he left the Powhatans with no food for the winter. As a matter of fact, this is the speech preserved that Wahunsenaca said to Smith.
“Why do you take by force (that which) you may quickly have by love? Or to destroy them that provide you food? What can you get by war when we can hide our provision and fly to the woods?” Yet John Smith continued to force arms upon the villages in order to take all their food stores, again leaving behind a few beads as though he had traded for the supplies. Maybe he was simply a bully and it’s all he knew. Smith continued to allege that Wahunsenaca wanted to kill him. However, if this were true, it would have been done without apology or explanation. Yet, it wasn’t. Why? Because Smith was considered to be part of the tribe.
Danger came to the Powhatan tribes in the form of rape. In Powhatan society, the children went naked in the summer and women were bare-breasted. It was part of their dress, and did not excite the men in particular because it was such a common sight. Rape was not permitted in Powhatan society. Often the women of the tribe would offer themselves to the English to prevent them from raping their children. Because the English had guns, this was all they could do. Whenever the English would come to the village, the elders would often take the children and hide them in the woods. As more and more English colonists arrived, the atrocities began to grow. Children were often taken to be slaves to the English. The women were simply raped. The Powhatan became shocked at the behavior of the English and set up guards to determine when they were coming to their villages. For their own part, the English kept expecting some sort of retribution by the Powhatan. Neither Wahunsenaca nor Pocahontas had seen John Smith since 1609 and they were told that he was dead. Wahunsenaca discontinued allowing Pocahontas to go to Jamestown. It was no longer safe.
Well, that’s all we have time and space for today. I hope you’ll bear with me and come seek out my post next month as I’ll be discussing Pocahontas’s coming of age. Her marriage to Kocoum, her abduction and her subsequent marriage to John Rolfe. And last but not least, her murder. Why she was murdered and who did the deed, or at least who was responsible for it. Facts, all. Facts that have been hidden all these years which have only recently been brought to light by the people of Pocahontas’s own tribe. I hope you have enjoyed this excursion into history and a look at this very brave heroine. The enormity of her bravery and what she gave up and its cost to her, we’ll go over in my next post (Lord willing).
So, what do you think? Did you already know this, or does this shed a different light on history. It is said, that what is written of history is written by the victors. This has, indeed, been true in the case of Pocahontas. Thank heaven for oral tradition and keeping the truth alive against all odds. So come on in and tell me what you think. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.
Hope your July 4th celebration was wonderful. July is such a terrific month, isn’t it? Because this is the month of our country’s Declaration of ’76, I’m putting two of my books (which I call my freedom books) on sale for $.99 cents throughout the month of July. Those books are BLACK EAGLE and SENECA SURRENDER. Usually I give this little warning concerning these two books, which is that these two books are a little more sensuous than my usual Historical Romances.
Then, PROUD WOLF’S WOMAN has just been released in its 25th Anniversary Edition. This book has been out of print for about 25 years and is now back in print.
There’s really quite a bit of editing and that sort of thing that goes into these Anniversary books. Often, when the books were converted from mass market books to e-books, there were errors due to the conversion. So the extra editing is to find those errors and correct them. It’s a beautiful edition and is on sale for $3.99 — regularly priced at $4.99. The paperback edition is also on sale for $9.99. Recently we’ve put our paperback books on sale from $13.99 to $9.99 because with this unusual world situation, sometimes it’s nice to lose ourselves in a story that ends happily.
So, in celebration of this book coming back into print after about 25 years, I’ll leave you with this excerpt and back blurb from the book. Hope you will enjoy.
He rescued her from slavery…now he is captive to desire.
Lakota Warriors, Book 2
Stolen from a cruel husband by the savage Kiowa, Julia Wilson’s life has gone from bad to worse. Just when she has reached the end of her endurance, salvation rides into camp. Neeheeowee, a proud Cheyenne brave who once filled her young heart with romantic dreams, has come to save her from everything—except the flames of desire that still burn.
Bitter and intent on vengeance against the man who killed his wife and unborn child, Neeheeowee has no room in his heart for love. His captured ponies and treasured robes were supposed to be traded for Kiowa weapons. Instead, to his annoyance, he must trade everything for his old friend’s life.
Hard as he tries to hang on to his anger at being set off his mission, he cannot deny that he yearns for the woman whose gentle, healing presence reminds him that happiness might exist beyond revenge. Her lips tease him with passion he dare not risk, for those who are long dead still haunt him. To take the love she offers risks his honor—perhaps his very life.
Warning: Sensuous romance might cause one to go West to find one’s own true love.
Enjoy this excerpt from PROUD WOLF’S WOMAN
They had been traveling that way for some time now, and always, after they had reached the Arkansas River, there had been buffalo. But before that, before they had reached the river, there had been nothing.
She remembered again the harshness of the last few weeks of traveling. It had been a cruel trek across what she now came to realize had been the Jornada, or Horn Alley, as the Americans called it: a desert march.
She remembered being glad to drink of the chalky white substance Neeheeowee had called mahpe, not even caring anymore if the water might be contaminated.
It was also during this time that she’d become aware that they traveled the Santa Fe Trail, and she remembered wondering if she might come across white travelers. So far, though, she had seen no one…up until now.
She looked down again upon the scene below her, her gaze taking in the herd of buffalo that seemed to stretch out to the horizon. Sometimes she and Neeheeowee had been forced to move amongst those numerous herds these past few days, Neeheeowee seemingly at ease over it, Julia half-afraid of the huge beasts. Often they would follow a buffalo trail, seeking out the hollows where buffalo had lain down and rolled over and over, these spots dotting the flat, endless land as though they were shimmering aqua beads strung out on a necklace of brown and green grasses.
It was in these hollows that she and Neeheeowee would water the pony and stock up on their own water supply, if low.
She smiled, watching the sun as it began to set in the western sky, the magnificence of color there, the golds and pinks, the reds and oranges, unlike anything she’d ever seen, and as Julia watched it, she experienced a sense of well-being that was as pleasurable as it was unusual. There was something about this limitless space that did something to her: the prairie that looked more silver than green under the hot, spring sun; the grasses that waved in the wind; the expanse of sky and high clouds. Even the air seemed magnified in purity, and she breathed it in now with a satisfied sigh.
She listened to the wind, the breeze blowing the faraway sounds of the trailblazers to her.
She supposed she might have gone down there to them, since they camped so close by, but she didn’t and she wouldn’t, content to continue her travels with her Indian companion, her proud wolf.
Yes, that was how she had come to think of Neeheeowee now: Proud Wolf. It was difficult not to picture him this way; not when he tilted his head a certain way, sometimes looking down his nose at her, although she knew it was all a facade.
She wondered again at how the white man had ever come to think of the Indian woman as a slave. Clearly there were divisions of labor as to the men’s and women’s work, but Neeheeowee did not balk at taking on her tasks when she didn’t know them or couldn’t do them.
And never did he scold her nor make her feel his inferior. Never.
In truth, she had never felt so cherished.
Still, there was something else: She had never asked, she had not thought to, but she had come to understand that Neeheeowee was taking her back to Fort Leavenworth. Another chivalrous move on his part.
She straightened up, away from the tree, looking out upon the camp that Neeheeowee had pitched. Stretched out beneath a canopy of cottonwood trees, their site disappeared into the landscape. And she knew it would take more than a little expertise for anyone, even an Indian, to find their camp.
She had noticed that Neeheeowee made no moves to light a fire this night, and Julia could only assume that was because of the close presence of the pioneers. And though she had come to realize that Neeheeowee did not much fear the white man, he did go out of his way to avoid them.
She glanced over to Neeheeowee now and watched him as he worked at camp chores, untying his bow, working over the wood, even chipping away at an arrowhead and shaft. These actions had become so commonplace to her of late, she barely even noticed him doing them.
As though aware of her scrutiny, Neeheeowee inclined his head just slightly before turning it quickly to his left, a gesture which had become familiar to Julia, and she couldn’t help but believe it an Indian custom, with some meaning to it.
He looked over to her, his expression stoic, unreadable.
“Ta-naestse,” he said, making a gesture toward her, indicating her voice. With a lift of his shoulders, he gave her to understand that he asked a question and Julia realized she had been humming, something she’d not been aware of until this moment. She stopped, but he motioned her to continue and then, possibly by way of a compliment, he smiled.
Julia was immediately captivated; so rarely did he honor her with such an expression.
She smiled back and continued to hum in tune along with the lazy fiddle, whose notes drifted up to them from the pioneer camp below. She knew the song being played down there and had she felt more at ease she might have sung along, but, being a little self-conscious, she contented herself with a mere hum.
At length, she rose, wandering to the edge of the ridge and there, looked over to the pioneer camp. Dusk had fallen all around her, bringing with it the scent of the pioneers’ campfire, the soft feel of evening air, and the nightly squawk of prairie hawks. Also, too, were the sounds of laughter and of happy music which filtered up to her. All at once, a sense of melancholy overcame her, and Julia wondered at the cause. Perhaps it was only her desire to be near to the things she had once known, or perhaps it was simply the melancholy which she had heard so often attached itself to the prairie traveler.
Whatever the cause, Julia began to recall the dances, the jigs, the excitement of being young, unattached, and in love, the thrill of being asked to dance by the most handsome of beaus.
Caught up in her reminiscence, she swayed to the rhythm of a jig, her feet finding their way into the simple steps of the dance. And all at once, she twirled once, again, until at length she spread her arms, spinning round and round, the leather fringe of her gown flowing outward and swaying like so much prairie grass in the wind.
She smiled as a slower waltz took over the beat and melody, remembering when she’d danced to this very song not so long ago.
And without even thinking about it, she curtsied as though to a suitor.
“Oh, my, yes,” she said to this most handsome of imaginary partners. “I’d be more than happy to accept this dance.”
Her arms came up to rest on her partner’s strong, invisible shoulders as he began to twirl her around and around the carpet of prairie grass, the hard earth beneath her feet her dance floor, the darkened sky overhead her ballroom.
“Are you planning to ask me to walk with you in the garden after the dance?” Julia asked into her shadowy partner’s ear, throwing her head back while the dark curls of her hair fell down around her waist.
She giggled as she pretended her fanciful partner’s reply, deeming it to be a most naughty of answers, and she feigned a blush, saying softly, “Why sir, how dare you speak to me as such.”
But when she smiled, it took the edge off her words, so that the dreamy figure holding her continued to whisper to her, the words so terribly naughty, it made Julia laugh.
She reached down, to sweep the train of her fictitious gown over her arm and then it happened.
Neeheeowee stood before her, stepping into her arms as though he were her fancied prince, his very real arms encircling her, his hand over hers.
His steps were smooth and slow, his look at her intense under the beginning shadows of a softened night.
She matched his steps, looking up to meet his gaze.
The moon appeared as an imperfect disk in the soft hush of evening, its radiance already beaming down, basking them in a glow of silvery light, and, as she looked up to him, Julia thought Neeheeowee more handsome than anyone of her acquaintance, and at this moment he bore more traits of what is considered the civilized man than anyone else, white or red.
Her one hand rested over his smooth shoulder, her other hand he clasped tightly within his own and he twirled her around their ballroom of softened prairie grass and hushed, moon-filled night. They danced as though to the tune of a hundred violins with thousands of spectators watching, yet they danced only for themselves.
The music from below had long ago ceased to play, but not so these two dancers. They swept around the circle there on the ridge, each twirl bringing her closer and closer into his arms, neither one aware that they danced to none other than the music of their own hearts.
His head came breathlessly close to hers, his lips hovering over her own and Julia, looking up, begged him silently for his kiss, her gaze pleading, her lips trembling.
She didn’t have to wait. As he completed the one last twirl, his lips pressed sweetly over hers and Julia responded as though she had waited all her life for this moment, or more particularly, seven and one-half years.
Well, today I thought we might look at the poet, philosopher and performer who was — in his younger days — a political activist for his tribe. That man is John Trudell.
John Trudell’s life was so full and he accomplished so many things that I don’t believe I could really do his story justice with one simple blog. But I’ll try.
John Trudell was an Indian Activist who was the spokesperson for the Occupation of Alcatraz in the early 1970’s. One of the quotes from his first wife that I found so stunning was when he told his wife that they were going to the Alcatraz Occupation, she told him she was afraid she’d get cold feet. His response was, “Wear socks.”
He was also a part of the American Indian Movement, also in the 1970’s.
He tells the story of his father and how he and his father and mother came to be married. His father was Lakota and his mother was Mexican. John said in an interview that his father literally stole his mother and rode away with her on horseback. But they loved one another and the marriage worked.
John was briefly in the Navy, but it didn’t appear that this held great interest for him and he soon returned to the reservation. He met his second wife, Tina, in 1971 and in 1972 they became a couple. It was a troubling time to be on an Indian Reservation. There had been some shoot-outs and tensions were high on the Pine Ridge Reservation in So. Dakota. In February of 1979, John was engaged in protests in Washington DC. On the 11th of February, he burned an American Flag on the steps of the FBI building in protest of the injustices to the American Indian people. Within 12 hours after that event, his wife, Tina, and their three children and Tina’s mother were killed in a sudden fire in their home on her reservation in Death Valley. Tina was also pregnant at the time.
John said in interviews that he had to die, too, in order to get through each day after his family’s death. But he also said that Tina’s parting gift to him was the gift of her poetry. She was the poet in the family. He said in interview that it was she who encouraged him to write down his thoughts, and to write them down using poetry. It was her parting gift to him.
And so he did begin to write. His poems were often heart-felt and sometimes they were fiery and full of passion for life and for his people. He became involved in reading his poetry in public places, and on one occasion, he met Jessie Ed Davis, a Kiowa guitarist, who said that he could put John’s poems to music. And thus began the poetry from John Trudell’s heart and the many concerts that you can still see online.
John has influenced many Native American artists. I’ve only recently discovered John’s work, but I have found it profound. So I’m going to show you some quotes of his that I find inspirational.
You can still find his concerts and his talks and interviews on the internet. John became, or perhaps he always was, philosophical, and his wisdom was often sought after by many people of all different races. This last quote, off to the left here is probably my favorite of his quotes, if only because I find this very profound in today’s world, which has become more than a little strange.
I’ve said this to my closest friends, and I’ll tell you this today in this blog. Whatever else we as a people are involved in, I believe we are in a spiritual war against some dark forces. I admit that I’ve heard this saying over and over and over, but I never really understood it until recently. But I believe that this is what John was saying when he said “protect your spirit”: In this life, one has many choices, but if one chooses the path of violence, theft, and the stripping of another’s God-given rights and happiness, all in the attainment of some materialistic goal, one is looking at one’s eternity as though one were painting oneself into a corner — and, it seems to me that in doing those things which bring harm to another, one is not “protecting one’s spirit.” I guess he was saying that one has the choice spiritually…and maybe that’s what he means by “Protect your spirit….”
John Trudell died in 2015. He left behind him a legacy of beauty, of music and poetry. He also left behind him a philosophy that I believe enriches one’s soul.
Well, that’s all for today. I hope you enjoyed the blog. Often, I think of the American Indian Hero as having lived in the long ago past. But John Trudell was a modern hero. At least that is my opinion of him.
What do you think? I’d love to hear from you.
Am offering a free download of the book, LAKOTA SURRENDER today in honor of John Trudell, a wonderful poet, philosopher and a Lakota Indian. This is a download from BookFunnel and will be up only for the next fews days. Grab it while you can: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/uq6ti9a1kw
Hope y’all had a terrific day today — and for all those of us who have these days running together nowadays…at least we have remembered what day it is today.
Anyway, we do have a winner for the free e-book of THE EAGLE AND THE FLAME. We have two winners, actually (sometimes when I draw out a person’s name, I get two pieces of paper at the same time.)
So, those winners are:
Bill Koon Jr.
Dawn & Bill, if you would please email me privately with the address that you use at Amazon to buy things (NOT your Kindle address), I can get the book sent to you — it will come directly from Amazon. My email address is: email@example.com
Congratulations to you both and many, many thanks to all those who came to the blog and who left a message.
Well, I’m a little late — don’t know what has happened to my time clock. Seems that all the days are running into one another.
Hope y’all will forgive me.
Well, because I’m so late, I’ll give away an e-book of the new book, THE EAGLE AND THE FLAME, so hopefully you can come on in and leave a comment and get into the drawing for the free book.
Excerpt: THE EAGLE AND THE FLAME by Karen Kay
THE EAGLE AND THE FLAME
A vision foretold his tribe’s doom. Is the flame-haired beauty the trickster or his true love?
Lucinda Glenforest’s father, a general who’d fought in the Indian Wars, taught his flame-haired daughter to out-shoot even the best men the military could put up against her. When Luci’s sister is seduced and abandoned, it’s up to Luci to defend her honor in a duel. Although she wins, the humiliated captain and his powerful family vow vengeance. The sister’s only hope is to flee and hide until their father returns from his overseas mission. Out of money, Luci hatches a plan to disguise herself as a boy and use her sharpshooting skills in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.
The chief of the Assiniboine tribe has a terrifying vision, that someone called the deceiver, or trickster, spells doom for the children of his tribe. He enlists Charles Wind Eagle to join Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, in hopes of appealing to the President of the United States for help, and to find and stop the deceiver. When Wind Eagle is paired with a girl whom he knows is disguised as a boy, he believes she might be the deceiver. Still, she stirs his heart in ways he must resist, for he has a secret that can never be told, nor ignored. And Luci can never forget that her father would destroy Wind Eagle if she were to fall in love with him.
Forced to work together, they can’t deny their growing attraction. Will Luci and Wind Eagle find a way through the lies to find true love? Or will they be consumed by the passion of deception and slander?
Warning: A sensuous romance that might cause a girl to join the rodeo in order to find true love.
“With any wood, you must look for as straight a piece of it as possible. Try to find one that is free of offshoots and knots. You will want as large a log as you can find and is easy to manage.”
“But I thought that one had to fell a tree to get the wood needed for a bow.”
“Sometimes, that is true,” he replied. “But this wood that surrounds our camp is full of large branches that have only recently fallen, and these will do. Over there—” he pointed, “do you see that big one?”
She nodded and followed him toward it. He picked it up and presented it to her.
“Do you perceive that it is still wet? Would make bad firewood, but good material for bow. Do you have a large, firm piece of flint?”
“Here, use mine.” He pushed a piece of flint into her hand, where she stared at it, dumbfounded.
“Ah…all right,” she acknowledged. “But, couldn’t I just go out and buy a bow and some arrows? If not from your people, there might be a store in this big city that would carry what I need.”
“Not good. Do we compete Indian-style, fairly matched, or do you wish to cheat?”
“Think well on what I ask, for your answer will determine your character, I think.”
It was a serious question, yet within his gaze, his eyes twinkled as though he were sharing a good joke with her. Even one side of his lips slanted upward, in a half-hearted grin.
She sighed. It would appear that learning to shoot a bow and arrow as accurately as he did was going to be a little harder, and require more work than she had assumed. Yet, she would not be turned away, and she would not be bested by him on a personal basis. Angling him a sharp stare, she confessed, “I suppose I would rather buy a bow and some arrows, but, if that is cheating and if that gives me an unfair advantage over you, a man who has shot a bow and arrow for all his life,” she continued sarcastically, “then I will do all I can to make a bow and some arrows as you instruct, but—be warned.” She turned the sarcasm in her voice into as low and as stern a manner as she could, saying, “I don’t trust you. There is a light in your eyes that makes me doubt your sincerity. Although we have only just met, there are now many times when I have seen humor in your manner as you speak to me. Do you think that I am stupid?”
“Hiyá, I do not.” He laughed, the action making light of his words. “But,” he continued after a bit, “I believe that you might be hiding a truth that I have yet to discover.”
“Baaa…” She made the sound as she blew out a disgusted breath. Nevertheless, she looked away from him.
“That is what I suspect, but come, we will let the future tell us the truth. For now, let us set to work and make that bow. Then I will instruct you on the best way to create arrows that shoot straight every time. Are you ready to begin?”
She glanced up at him suspiciously, if only because he had given in to her doubts about him much too quickly. All she said, however, was, “Yes, let’s start.”
For answer, he merely winked at her, and, clearing a spot on the ground on which they were to work, he showed her how to use the flint he had given her as a tool to separate the bark from the wood. And, as the sun arose in the eastern sky, showering her in its light, she threw herself into the chore, ignoring for the moment that the task was labor intensive and that the temperature was getting hotter, and hotter….
“The day is warm,” he observed after they had been working over the making of the bow for several hours. It was true. Had he deliberately given her a seat in the sun, while he basked in the shade? Even now, she could feel the beads of sweat that were gathering over her brow, several making paths down her face, and dripping down the end of her nose.
“Why don’t you do as I do,” he suggested, “and take off your shirt?”
She glanced up at him to witness again that ever-present gleam of humor in his eye. As her gaze met his, he again winked at her. She looked away. Why did he seem to be so perpetually in a good mood? And why did he appear to be continuously laughing at her? Hadn’t her father said that these people were glum and sullen? She didn’t answer his question.
He continued, “Let us take our leave from this task and journey to the water that is hidden from the many eyes of the Showman’s performers. There we could cool off from this heat by swimming as nature intended, as naked as the day we were born.”
Momentarily, she paused, shocked. At last, however, she managed to mutter, “Ah…no thanks.”
“No?” Again that note of humor entered into his expression. “Then perhaps we might journey to the arena, where we can both show each other the strength of our skills.”
The idea of ceasing this project, if only for a moment, seemed to her to be a gift from the gods, and she at once agreed, saying, “Yes. That would be most welcome.”
“Then come, follow me,” he encouraged, rising to his feet. “I will show you the way to the arena that the Showman uses for his exhibition. That place is somewhat distant from here.”
“Yes, good. How many weeks do we have for practice before the show begins?”
“Several, I believe. Do you worry about that?”
“Absolutely not. I am certain I can learn to shoot an arrow as well as you in only a week.” She frowned at him as she sarcastically added, “Although you have had a lifetime to perfect your skill.”
His only answer to her ill-humor was a round of what appeared to be good-hearted laughter, and, truth be known, it was given at her expense….
Hope y’all are doing well in this weird world. Who would’ve ever thought the entire world would shut down? All I can say is that I hope y’all are surviving well in this time period and that when it’s over, you’ll go on to do even better than before.
Almost from the start of this, I started putting a few of my books on sale. Many have gone from $5,99 to .99 cents. ALL of my paperback books have gone from (we started this about 2 months ago) $14.99 to $9.99. My newest book, THE EAGLE AND THE FLAME, will be put on sale soon — we just uploaded it to Amazon and it’s going to their editing at the moment. But, when it comes on, it will NOT be put on sale at $14,99, but rather at $9.99.
In truth, the reason I started doing this right from the beginning is that often when one is frightened or bored or uncertain, a romance book can raise them up a little and often put a smile on their face. So, here we go. This is a list of the books that are on sale for .99 cents right now or read for free on KindleUnlimited:
So the books on sale for .99 cents are: Gray Hawk’s Lady; White Eagle’s Touch; Night Thunder’s Bride; War Cloud’s Passion; Lone Arrow’s Pride; Soaring Eagle’s Embrace; Wolf Shadow’s Promise; The Angel and the Warrior; The Spirit of the Wolf; Red Hawk’s Woman and The Last Warrior; Black Eagle; Seneca Surrender
All of these books (except for Lakota Surrender) are priced at .99 cents or can be read for free on Kindle Unlimited. The book, LAKOTA SURRENDER is on sale for $3.99. This is a special edition, newly edited book that is the 25th Anniversary Edition of that book.
As I said all of my books that are in paperback are also on sale for $9.99. They used to sell at $14.99, but we’re trying to reduce those prices as much as we can so that if you read only paperback books, you’ll also have a sale. These paperback books on sale for $9.99 are: Lakota Surrender; The Angel and the Warrior; The Spirit of the Wolf; Red Hawk’s Woman; The Last Warrior; Seneca Surrender; The Princess and the Wolf; and Brave Wolf and the Lady. Lakota Surrender is also on sale in e-book for $3.99.
So if there are any of these books that you haven’t read, now might be the time to pick one up.
But my blogs wouldn’t really be a blog if I didn’t give away at least one book for free. And so, today, I’m giving away an e-book of my latest release, THE EAGLE AND THE FLAME, to one of today’s bloggers.
On another note, I’m wondering how y’all are doing during this time period. Are you reading a lot? Doing gardening? Cleaning the house? Doing all those little things in the yard or around the house that we seldom have time to do?
Would love to hear how you’re doing during this time period and any suggestions you might pass along to the rest of us as to how to keep in touch with others in this time of enforced social distancing. We, as people, i think thrive on our associations with others, our conversations, talking back and forth, sharing jokes and sharing even our heartbreaks. If you’d like to share things you’re doing, how you’re doing, I’d love to hear it.
May we all come out of this time period a little wiser, a little more aware and a little bit better off for the experience. Remember that this, too, will pass.
In keeping with the traditional Blackfeet Give-away, each person who came and left a comment yesterday will receive a free e-book from the Blackfoot Warrior series. I’ve sent you all emails, so do let me hear from you, as the books come directly from Amazon.
Additionally, I did a drawing for the handmade Blackfeet earrings and that winner is:
Glenda, if you could contact me directly at karenkay(at)startmail(dot)com — that would be good, as these will need to be sent to you via the mail. Thank you all for coming to the special honoring blog yesterday. I loved all your comments.
About 3-4 weeks ago, I learned that a good friend of mine, Steve Reevis had passed away. He passed on in December of 2017. Unfortunately, for me, I was unaware of this because when I moved away from LA, his family and mine lost contract. Steve was a Native American Actor, and he appeared in many films. Probably my favorite film of his was “The Last of the Dogmen,” where Steve played the major Native American role. I will leave a list of many of his films at the end of this blog.
Steve was only 55 years old when he passed, much too young to leave this world. In 1999, Steve helped me and my husband and a few other friends to set up a literacy project on the Blackfeet reservation. This was the first time I had met Steve. He was a very handsome young man, he was quiet, yet when he did speak, we listened, for he was also a wise young man. Steve never asked for anything in return for the help he gave us, his main concern being to help his people.
In truth, I was shocked when I learned of his passing, and so I thought that today, I would hostess a give-away in the style of the Blackfeet in Montana. (I am adopted Blackfeet.)
I’ll be giving away many books today, so do leave a message so that you can enter into the give-away. I’ll also be giving away a pair of Blackfeet made earrings. Now, let me show you some pictures of a fundraiser that we did with Steve and his beautiful wife, Macile, in a Walmart in 1999. All of my Blackfoot Warrior series (three books total) will also be on sale for a week for 99 cents in honor of Steve. (See below for the links to those books.)
The picture to the left here is of Steve when he was speaking at the fundraiser. This event also included many romance authors from the Orange County Romance Writers Association. At the event, we had a local drum group, who also donated all of their time and their musical art for the literacy project.
Off to the right here is a picture of Steve in a conversation with Maria Ferrara, who helped to fund raise for the project and was instrumental in getting the project off the ground. Without her help, there would have been no project.
As you can see here, Steve is listening intently to Maria, and this is one of my favorite pictures from that time.
To the left here are several people connected to the project. From left to right are: Mark Reed; Maria Ferrara; Jeff Butler; Harold Dusty Bull; Kinder Hunt; Steve Reevis; Macile Reevis; George Randall; Toni Running Fisher; Saginaw Grant; Yours truly.
And again, to the left is Harold Dusty Bull, who was In Charge of the Project. In the background to the left is Steve and on the right is Mark Reed, from the Iroquois/Mohawk tribe, I believe.
Both Harold and Steve grew up on the Blackfeet Reservation in Browning, Montana.
To the left here is Steve dancing. Steve was a grass dancer.
And, to the right is a couples dance. Here is Steve and Macile; behind them are Harold Dusty Bull and the founder and head of the H.E.L.P. project (Hollywood Education and Literacy Project), Kinder Hunt. Pulling up the rear in the picture is Saginaw Grant and Toni Running Fisher.
Also, there was Blackfeet style Indian bread and tacos — made by Toni Running Fisher.
To the right here is another view of Steve and Macile dancing the Couples Dance, with Saginaw Grant and Toni Running Fisher not too far behind them.
Here also is a view of some of the men who gave in the drum who gave us the music so the dancers could dance. To the left is another picture of Steve dancing.
To the left here is Steve speaking, and in his hand he holds an eagle feather fan.
To the right is Steve’s beautiful wife, Macile. Macile, by the way, has her own clothing line of Native American clothing.
To the left here is a picture snapped of us when we were visiting the L. Ron Hubbard Author Services Center in Hollywood, CA. From left to right are:
Paul Bailey (my husband); Harold Dusty Bull; Steve Reevis; Macile Reevis and her daughter; me; Toni Running Fisher and her husband Kevin. By the way, the dress I’m wearing in this picture is one of Macile Reevis’ creations.
And lastly, here we all are: the authors, the Drum, Steve and Macile (off to the left).
The event was very successful and the HELP literacy project was also a success on the Reservation, and was up and running there for many years.
I will miss my friend, Steve Reevis. Somehow, I thought he would always be here, alive and well, and I wish that I hadn’t lost touch with his family when my own family moved East. Steve once said to me in a passing conversation, “Why do you think all those warriors in the past would risk their lives?” I didn’t know and said so. Steve then said, “Because they knew they would live again.”
Somewhere, in some other time and place, perhaps, I feel that Steve is still with us, and is, even now, the cause of someone else’s joy and happiness. Good-bye, Steve. You are missed. But I know that wherever you are, those who are with you, love you.
All of the Blackfoot Warrior Series books are on sale for .99 in honor of Steve. Those books are: