New Release & Give-Away

Howdy!  Howdy!

Good morning, or evening!

Yes, indeed.  I have a new release out and it is book #4 in the new Medicine Man series.

And today, I’ll be giving away an e-book copy of the book to a lucky blogger.  Please leave a message.

As I often do when I have a new release out, I post an excerpt of the book, and I’ll be doing this today, also  Just as a mention, my respect for these two characters grew as the story progressed.  Both of them so different, yet both of them had so much respect for each other.

So the excerpt I’ll leave with you today comes at the very start of the novel, and is the Prologue.

 

This is the back blurb for the book:

A woman deserted.  A troubled warrior.  A passion denied. 

  1. When eighteen-year-old Czanna Fehér is forced to flee her home in Hungary, she journeys with her younger siblings and her father’s manservant to Montana in search of her cousin. Mourning for her recently deceased parents, she sings a prayer to the grand, Montana mountains.  From the first moment Stands Strong hears Czanna singing, he is transfixed.  When he meets her, he is captivated as much by her dark beauty as he is by her voice.

But, after the family’s hired guide steals their money and runs, her father’s servant leaves Czanna to go and serve justice to the man, leaving Czanna desolate and in charge.  Being of the gentry class in Hungary, Czanna knows she and her siblings cannot survive in this land without help.  When Stands Strong comes to her aid, she realizes she must trust this man.

Lakota born, though raised by the Blackfeet, Stands Strong descends from a long line of medicine men, but this legacy seems to have skipped over him.  Accepting this, he has become an expert scout.  But, when Czanna attempts to hire Stands Strong as their guide, offering him the “evil gold rock” as payment, he suggests marriage to him instead.  Czanna refuses him, even though the flame of love is burning heatedly in her heart.

Can two people from incompatible cultures ever come together?  Or are their star-guided paths meant only to briefly cross?

Warning:  A sensuous romance that might cause a desire to go West in search of love and adventure.

 

She Brings Beauty To Me

By

Karen Kay

PROLOGUE

Pest, Hungary

The Estate of József and Mária Fehér

Spring 1855

  

“Czanna, hurry.  There is no time to waste!”

“What is it, Frederic?”  Eighteen-year-old Czanna Fehér stepped from her bedroom into the grand hallway on the upper level of her family’s ancestral mansion.  By closing the heavy wooden door against her maid, who still lingered in the room, Czanna ensured her conversation with her brother would remain private.  It was important in these days after the Grand Revolution of 1848.  Even the walls had “ears.”  Indeed, since the revolution for independence had failed, their entire family was constantly on guard against spies.

Taking her brother’s outstretched hand, Czanna rushed with him down the hall, noticing details about the corridor she had always taken for granted: the white, gold-flecked marble flooring; the gold, woolen curtains and the gold hardware holding them in place; the white and gold tiles of the arched ceiling and the white columns with gold trim that supported them.

At the end of the passage loomed her favorite feature, though it stood more exactly outside the hallway.  There at the very end of the pathway stood a heavy gold-flecked glass door, opening up onto a balcony that supported a three-tiered fountain from which water fell down in every direction and at every hour of the day.  At the very top of the white fountain stood the statue of Dacso Fehér, one her noble ancestors.  And, there he reposed, captured in time, ever alert and ready to take action to defend his home, should there be a need.

Yet, she had only a moment to admire the grand walkway and its balcony because Frederic was ushering her toward the third-floor study, a room where they had often played in their youth.  He opened the door, closing it as they both hurried past the large rectangular desk that stood so stately upon a wall-to-wall woolen rug of blue and gold.  Her brother didn’t hesitate in his movements, ignoring the alcove overlooking the estate and guiding her into a corner of the room.  There he paused, and, since Frederic was acting in so clandestine a manner, Czanna prayed the acoustics of the spot would keep their conversation from being overheard.

As soon as they were both seated in the blue-and-gold chairs and were facing one another, she asked, “What has happened?”

Frederic looked cautiously around the room before he murmured, “Our parents have been arrested and are awaiting trial.”

“Arrested?  Awaiting trial?  Surely you jest!”

“I do not,” he said.  “Indeed, it is true.  There is even talk of hanging them both for their part in the rebellion of 1848.”

“No!  It cannot be true!  The new government would never go so far as to arrest a nobleman and his wife.”

Frederic reached out and took Czanna’s hand into his own as though to comfort her.  But, such consolation lasted only a moment before his gaze bore into her own, and he said, “I fear it is no lie.  Now, listen to me carefully.  Someone—and we don’t know who—has reported our parents as part of the noblemen who helped Lajos Kossuth when he was in power in 1848.  As you know, his followers, save some who escaped, have either been imprisoned or executed.”

“No!”  Czanna let out a scream.

“Sh-h-h.  Do not cry out again, Czanna.  Now, listen and hear me well.  I am working with others who supported the Kossuth revolution; we are planning to make an appeal to Emperor Franz Joseph to free our parents.  I believe we will be successful.  But, you must remain strong as I tell you this next part: our entire family, including you and me as well as our little brother and sister, could be hung along with our parents if the appeal does not go well.”

Czanna gasped.  “But, I thought the new government had proclaimed they would support the idea of freedom for all, including all those who supported the 1848 Revolution.”

“Although there is talk of this, it is not true,” replied Fredric.  “Listen carefully.  I was able to speak briefly to our father today, and we both agree you and the rest of the family must flee.  It is for your own safety and the preservation of our family.  You must leave here this very night, and you must take our younger brother and sister with you.”

“Tonight?  Leave Hungary?  Leave the only home I’ve ever known?”

“I fear you must,” answered Frederic.  “Neither I nor our father can envision any other way to keep you and the rest of our family safe.”

Czanna looked away, forcing herself to become calm.  Then, after a moment, she said softly, “Yes, of course.  I am sorry I am so shocked; it is only that—” Her voice broke.  Then, looking up at her brother, she asked, “And you?  You have mentioned our brother and sister, but what about you?  You are coming with us, are you not?”

Frederic glanced away from her, his composure hard, although a muscle twitched in his cheek.  At last, he said, “No.  I am staying here.  I fear I cannot escape with you.  There are people I am working with who also wish to free our parents, and if I am not here to help these people, our parents’ freedom is not assured.”

“Oh, I see.  You are to stay here and help our parents.  And, of course there is no one else who will work harder than you to free them.  Still, if I must leave tonight, how will I ever be able to go away unseen?  Where would I go?”

“To America.  You must go to America.”

“To America?  But, America is so far away, and I hear it is a savage land.”

“Yes, I have been given rumors to believe the same as you,” said Frederic.  “But, there are reasons why America is the only country where our father and I believe you and the rest of the family will be safe.  It is there where you will be able to hide yourself from any Hungarian spies.  I have already spoken to our father’s manservant, Henrik, and I have asked him to accompany you.  He, however, refused the coin I offered him to do it.  He said it is his duty to ensure you and our brother and sister are kept as safe as possible.  He will guide you and shelter you as much as he is able.  He also understands why I must stay here to try to free our father and our mother, and he agrees with our father and me.  He has also given me his solemn word of honor to help you and our brother and sister to reach the American frontier with as little incident as possible.  Henrik will, of course, be bringing his own daughter with him.”

“Yes, of course.  Since she is his only family, she, too, must embark upon this journey.  Although she is barely ten years and four, I believe I shall welcome her assistance very much, especially since our younger sister is still a babe.”

“Yes.  Now, listen well to me.  You and the others are to sail north on the Danube this very night, and once you are out of the city of Pest, you and the others will go by coach to the coast, there to set sail for America.  I have purchased the boarding tickets for you all on a ship sailing from the port there tomorrow.  The name of the ship is on the tickets.  I will now give them to you and not to Henrik.  Count them and ensure there are five.”  Frederic handed her the tickets.

“Yes.  There are five tickets here.”

“Good.  Now, come, I have a private box in this study where I have stored the papers you will need as well as enough gold and silver so you will be able to buy lodging and food.  Keep the money on your person at all times.  I have two strong, but light bags to serve this purpose.  Do not store the coin in a trunk or any other convenience that is separate from you, nor are you to tell anyone, including Henrik, about the treasure you will be carrying on your person.  I’m sorry.  I know this is a heavy burden I am forced to place upon you, but there is no other manner in which to ensure you will be safe from harm.  Never show what I am to give to you to another soul either—not to our younger brother and certainly not to Henrik.  I will give Henrik other monies so he will not suspect that you also carry a treasure with you.  Please bend close for what I am about to show you and tell you.  These very walls may well have ears.  I fear I am placing you now as the head of our family from this day forward.  This family now extends to both Henrik and his daughter.”

“But…about the gold and silver.  I understand what you say about showing it to no one, including Henrik.  However, Henrik has been with our family for his entire life, and he wouldn’t—”

“I trust no one,” interrupted Frederic.  “Someone reported our parents for their part in the revolution—someone who knows us and has access to our parents’ secret papers.  Because this spy is within our midst, we are all in danger.  Do you understand?  We could all be tried for treason and hung.”

“But, Frederic, since our youngest sister, Béla, is only three years old, surely it is possible for her to stay here.  After all, it will be a hard journey for her.  Is there no other way?”

“There is none.  It will be worse for her if she stays, and this is another reason why I spoke long and ardently to Henrik about the need to bring his daughter with him.  I could not have rightly placed you into the position as the head of our family if you also had to act as a nanny for Béla.  Henrik’s daughter, Lilike, will care for Béla, which will leave you free to think clearly about what is best for our family.  Do you have any other questions?”

“I…I—”

“You all must flee…and tonight.  I do not know how much time we have until the palace guards come here to arrest our entire family.”

“I…I can hardly believe it.”

“I know.”

Glancing up at Frederic’s solemn face, Czanna was startled to realize this might be the last time she would ever see her brother, unless…  “Brother, if we are all in danger, then you must come with us.  I beg you.  Come with us.”

“I cannot,” Frederic replied.  “You know I cannot.  I have it in my power to free our parents and clear our family’s name.  This means more to me than my life.  Please understand, I must stay here and fight.  But, you must go.  You must find safety in America.  Lose yourself in the wild western frontier of America.  Do not use our family name.  Trust no one.  And, under no circumstances are you to return to Hungary.”

“Never?”

“Never,” Frederic confirmed, shaking his head.  “I believe it must be so.  There seems to be no empathy in the new government towards those who strove to free the people.  But, do not fear.  There is yet a ray of light in all of this.”

“Yes?”

“Do you remember our cousin Alfred?”

Czanna nodded.  “I do.  He is about ten years older than you, I think.”

“Yes, he is older than I.  Do you remember him being a part of the Revolution, also?”

“Yes, I do,” said Czanna.  “But, he became a Hungarian forty-eighter and escaped into the American West, didn’t he?  I assume he must have changed his name in order to evade capture.”

“Yes, he did,” replied Frederic.  “But, he and I have been writing to one another these last seven years.  I wish I knew where he is located exactly in the American West.  I know only the following: he uses the English name of Old Tom Johnson and he lives within the Glacier Mountains located in the far corner of the Northwest Indian Country.  I have written to him, informing him of what is happening here to our entire family, and I have told him to watch for you and our siblings in the next few years.  But, since I do not know exactly where he makes his home in the Glacier Mountains, I am trusting you—not Henrik— to hire a guide to take you to him.”

“But, why not Henrik?”

“Let me say this one more time: someone who knows us and who has access to our papers betrayed us.  I like Henrik, same as you.  But, I trust no one except you to take our family to safety.”

Czanna nodded.

“Now, I have also written a letter that I will give to you to take to our cousin, whom you may call Tom Johnson.  I am putting this letter into your care to present to him once you locate him; plus, there is one more of our family’s possessions which is, perhaps, the most important of all I have to give you.  Our father begs you to find our cousin and give him this.”  Frederic reached inside his coat to draw out an object carefully wrapped in the finest linen.  Looking around the room, inspecting its nooks and crannies in detail, he then gave the package his attention and unwrapped the linen.

Czanna gasped.  “Why, it’s our…our—”

“Coat of arms, our Crest.  It is worth a treasure, not only because it is made of bronze, gold and silver, but because it is also a seal we must preserve.  Our father instructed me to caution you to hide it well, and, to this end, I have personally created a trap in your trunk where you may hide our seal.  When you at last find our cousin, you are to give our family’s crest to him.  It is important.  The seal must be preserved, even if our country falls.  It will also identify you to our cousin.  Our father wishes you to give our cousin the seal because, if my plea to Emperor Franz Joseph fails, our cousin would then be the oldest living member of our family.  As you well know, it is always the eldest of our family who must bear the responsibility for preserving it.  Seek out our cousin.  He will help you.  Give him my letter and the seal and ask him to help you all to disappear into the rugged country of the American West.  I fear there may well be Hungarian agents who will try to follow you.  Do you understand?”

“I do.  But, Frederic.  How can I go there and leave you here knowing…knowing…?”

Frederic again shook his head.  “I cannot go with you.  Please understand this: my duty is here.  When you arrive in America, send me word of your arrival but say nothing more.  I believe you will need to hire a coach to take you to a settlement called St. Louis.  From there, you can book passage aboard a steamboat that will take you into the depths of the American West.  Our cousin has written to me telling me he has become a fur trapper.  I admit I think it is a terrible occupation, but it is, perhaps, the only livelihood for a man in the ruggedness of America.  At least where he is now, he is not in the line of fire.  Join him there, and once you are safe from harm, use the money I have given you to buy property, if you can.  I will do my best to free our parents.  I cannot emphasize this enough: do not let anyone know you carry with you a treasure in gold and silver, nor tell another living soul about the family crest; you are not even to say a word about this to our siblings, and certainly not to Henrik.”

“But, I must have some money I can easily show and use to buy necessities.  If I am to hire a man to take us to our cousin, I must—”

“Of course you will have to carry some coin with you.  But, what I am giving you to carry on your person is more than mere coin.”

“Oh, yes, of course.  Yes.  I understand now.”

“Hear me well, and do not forget what I am about to tell you: until this is over, you can trust no one who is Hungarian, except, of course, our cousin.  Someone has betrayed us.  Now, remember these words I say to you: do not ever come back to Hungary for any reason.”

“But, Frederic, not ever?”

“Not ever.  Swear this to me now: you are never to return to Hungary.”

“But, what if—?”

“Do you swear?”

Gazing up into her brother’s solemn expression, Czanna nodded and whispered, “I swear.”

“Good.  As you know, our family is one of the noble families who sided with the Revolution.  I do not have the knowledge of what the future holds here.  But, whatever our future is to be, I and our father and mother wish you and our siblings to survive.  Make a new life for yourself, as well as for our brother and sister.  Do you understand?”
Czanna nodded.

“Good.  Now, grab your cloak, gather our siblings together and go!  Outside of what I’ve given you, take nothing else with you.”

“But, my clothes, my shoes, my—”

“They are all Hungarian made.  You must disappear.  You and our brother and sister are to have nothing with you or on you that can identity you as to whom you really are.  Now, Henrik waits outside with a coach.”

Czanna’s brother, who was probably her best friend in all the world as well as being her brother, took both her hands into his own.  Breathing in deeply, he said, “Farewell, Czanna.  I will miss you and the others.  I am sorry to burden you with so much responsibility.  If there were a way to do it, I would take the cares of the world away from you, our sister and our brother.  I, alone, would carry this weight if I could.  But, there is not a manner by which to do it.  I must free our parents.  I will write.  Look for my letters, but do not write back to me except to inform me of your journey and that you have reached America.  Know this: I will never ask where you are and you are never to tell me.  Nor will I ever ask you to go against your word and return to Hungary.  Again, I am sorry I have to burden you with this, but upon your shoulders rests the future life of our family.”

Czanna nodded, looking down and hiding, if only for a moment, the shock as well as the tears in her eyes.  It was at some length when, at last, clearing her throat, she said, “I know and I understand the burden I carry.  Farewell, Frederic.  We will see one another again.  I am certain of it.”

“Let us hope your words will hold true.”

Standing up, Frederic reached out a hand to pull Czanna to her feet.  He hugged her, and, as was tradition, he kissed her gently on each side of her face.  Then, Czanna stood to her tiptoes and, reaching up, returned the endearment.

Shaking a little, Czanna stepped back and, turning away, hurried from the study, rushing toward her younger siblings’ rooms.

“Farewell,” she called as she reached the door.

“Farewell, Czanna,” answered Frederic.  “Godspeed.”


Hail Stone (Crow) and his wife, Alvina.  Although Hail Stone was from the Crow tribe, I simply l love this photo — it looks like they might have met in one of the Wild West Shows.  It is a picture showing the love between two people regardless of their cultures.

Anyway, that’s it for today.  Do leave a comment.  And have a happy day and rest of the week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can pick up your copy of She Brings Beauty To Me here:

https://tinyurl.com/She-Brings-Beauty-To-Me

 

 

News! News! And a Chance To Win!

Howdy!  And Good Day!

Hope this blogs finds y’all doing well!

I’m sure many of you know, but am not sure every person on the blog today knows that I am venturing out into the Young Adult field.  The stories are stories of adventure set in the early 1800’s.  There is perhaps a little romance, but these are Young Adult stories and so the emphasis in these stories is about friendship.

 

This is the cover for the new book, and in case you didn’t know this already, I’m writing these stories under the pen name of Genny Cothern.

This is a link to the book:  https://tinyurl.com/Good-Eagle-and-Miss-Starling

The news is that we just published the paperback for the book today — it’s not yet up on the Amazon site, but should be there soon.  We had published the e-book in the latter part of April and after we had published it, it hit #1 on the Young Adult genre.  It was there for only a few days, but they were a great few days for me.  Yay!

But, we now have the book (a novella) of about 135 pages in paperback or 77 pages in ebook format.

So, my give-away today is for this particular e-book or if you are a winner,but want only a book in the Historical Romance genre, you may have your pick.

Leaving a post on the blog automatically enters one into the drawing.

I’ll post a blurb about the story so you can have a look at what the book is about.

THE ADVENTURES OF GOOD EAGLE AND MISS STARLING

Montana, 1847 

When my life is turned upside down, I have no one to turn to except Uncle Jed, a fur-trader who lives deep in Indian Country; a man I have never met.  I was expecting to be greeted by my Uncle Jed at a place called Fort Union, a fur-trading fort some two thousand miles above St. Louis.  But, when I finally arrive at the fort, I am met, instead, by an eighteen-year-old Indian, Good Eagle, who swears my uncle has sent him to meet me.  Would you trust this boy, a youth only two years older than my sixteen years?  I certainly didn’t and I told him so.  However, although I was polite, he took offense.

As the steamboat continues its way to my uncle’s fur-trading post, Fort Lewis, the Indian boy, Good Eagle, has declared that my heart has panther’s claws around it.  Yet, though he seems to dislike me as much as I do him, because of the promise he gave to my uncle, he has no option but to guard me.

But, when my life is threatened and Good Eagle saves me, I experience a change of heart about this young man; I decide I will “bury the hatchet” and become friends with him.  Imagine my surprise when he refuses my offer of friendship.

Can I ever change Good Eagle’s mind about becoming my friend?  Or will his first impression of me remain to forever haunt us?

 


In other news

Have just received the edits back on my latest effort, SHE BRINGS BEAUTY TO ME.  Yay!

We hope to have the new book published within 2-4 weeks (hopefully 2).

Here is a blurb of the new story:

SHE BRINGS BEAUTY TO ME 

A woman deserted.  A troubled warrior.  And time ticking down on a passion denied. 

When eighteen-year-old Czanna Fehér is forced to flee her home in Hungary in 1855, she journeys with her young brother and sister to Montana in search of her cousin. Mourning for her recently deceased parents, she sings her grief to the mountains, little knowing her song draws the attention of an unseen listener.

From the first moment Stands Strong hears Czanna singing, he is transfixed. When he meets her, he is captivated as much by her dark beauty as he is by her voice.

But, tragedy strikes Czanna’s family again when their hired guide has stolen their money and run.  Worse, her father’s servant has gone in search of the scoundrel, leaving Czanna alone, desolate and in charge.  Being of the gentry class in Hungary, Czanna knows she and her family cannot survive without help.  And, when Stands Strong appears before them, bearing food, she realizes she must trust this Indian to be their guide,

Lakota born, though raised by the Blackfeet, Stands Strong comes from a long line of medicine men, but this legacy seems to have skipped over him.  Accepting this, he has become the best scout in his tribe. But, when Czanna attempts to hire Stands Strong as a guide, offering him the “evil gold rock” as payment, he is insulted and suggests marriage to him instead. Czanna refuses him, even though the flame of passion is burning heatedly within their hearts.

Can two people from intensely opposing cultures ever come together?  Or are their star-guided paths meant only to briefly cross?

Warning:  A sensuous romance that might cause a gal to go West in search of love and adventure.

Well, that’s all for today’s blog.  Hope you have enjoyed a peek into these new stories.  By the way, I love these two new covers.  They are of different genres and they each tell a story of sorts on the cover.  Do you have a favorite?  If you do, let me know in your post.

The Last Week Hustle and a Give-Away

Howdy!

Gosh, doesn’t the title of this blog sound like a dance?  In a way, last week was a bit of a “dance,” and hustle.  And, although it’s a brand new week, the hustle continues.

So, let me begin with the news.  First, I have three (3) books on sale right now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHE STEALS MY BREATH is the first book in the Medicine Man series and is on sale for $.99.

WHITE EAGLE’S TOUCH is the second book in the Blackfoot Warrior series and is on sale for $2.99.

BRAUT DES EISERNEN WOLF’S — but wait isn’t this last book in German?  Yes, indeed, it is.  In English it is IRON WOLF’S BRIDE and it is on sale for $.99.

So this deserves a little bit of a story.

Slowly, I’m getting the Wild West series translated into German for the German market.  The Eagle and the Flame was the first book I put up on the German market.  But Iron Wolf’s Bride required a little more effort.  The original cover did not have the layered file included and so my cover artist and I decided to do a new cover similar to the old one.  And, this was the result.  I liked it a lot and so we now have this cover for Iron Wolf’s Bride in e-book format (paperbacks take several extra steps).

And so, in celebration, I’m putting this e-book on sale at $.99.

Then, in other news about chances to win give-aways, Authors XP is putting on a sale of Romantic suspense books.  And, I am participating in this event.  This book, IRON WOLF’S BRIDE is not only a Historical Romance/Native American, set in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, but it is also filled with suspense.  The event starts today, Tuesday and goes on until next Monday.  And here is the link to the event:  https://AuthorsXP.com/giveaway

And, just another bit of news, while my latest effort, SHE BRING BEAUTY TO ME, is in editing, I’m writing another Young Adult Story under the pen name of Genny Cothern.  This will be a little longer than my first Young Adult Story and its working title (what I call the book when I’m writing it), is:  THE ADVENTURE OF GOOD EAGLE AND MISS STARLING.  It is written a little differently than my Romantic Historical Books in that it is written in the first person (I saw the bird) as opposed to the 3rd person (She saw the bird.)  I think this is, perhaps, natural since these stories of true adventures I’m reading for research are all written in the 1st person.

And so, I thought I’d give you a little taste of this new Young Adult Story.  Remember, it is as yet unedited.

 

CHAPTER ONE

The Village of Saint Louis

1844

 

 

As I waited to start my passage aboard the steamboat, NIMROD, tears streamed down my face, but I did nothing to curtail them.  I knew no one here in this far west fur-trading town of St. Louis, so what did it matter if I cried?

In my gloved hand was my paid ticket from Uncle Jed, who had also financed the various and different carriages that had brought me here.  Indeed, due to bad weather, I had only arrived here on the previous evening, leaving little time for me to enjoy the town—if there were any joy to be found in this village…or anywhere.

It has been said this town is where the West begins.  But, I little cared.  Having spent little more than a few unrestful hours in a boarding house last night, I cared not for this village nor for the Western Indian Country.  After all, I was journeying into the West not by choice, but rather by need.

My name is Starling Nelson.  I was so named after the bird of English fame, the European Starling.  When I was younger, my mother had told me the story of my grandfather gifting her a pair of the birds after he had returned from one of his visits to England.  My mother, who had been quite young at the time, had fallen in love with the Starlings’ songs consisting of whistles and she had especially loved the warbling of the male bird.  And so, when I had come around— I being my parent’s only child—I had inherited the name.

However, this was all in my past.  Only the present seemed to matter now, and, unfortunately, my present no longer included my mother and father.  Sadly, my parents had perished months ago on what should have been a short day cruise on the Hudson River.  I was supposed to have gone with them, but due to a bad head cold, I had stayed behind, bed ridden.

An unexpected storm had gathered suddenly, and a bolt of lightning had struck the boat, sinking it and leaving no survivors.  I had then been left alone in a world I was ill-equipped to survive in.

Because my mother possessed no living relatives—at least none we had ever spoken about—my father’s only brother had come to my rescue, offering his home to me, he who made his living in the dreaded Indian Country.  Not that I required his guardianship.  I was a girl of sixteen, after all.  I could take care of myself, or so I had told myself, until the bills had come due, and then, having no means to pay them, I had realized how vulnerable I really was.

Imagine my surprise when I had learned my parent’s legacy to me was not to receive any of their riches, but rather, it was to instead pay my parent’s debts; added to this was the legal threat of sending me to an orphanage.  This discovery, as well as the intimidation, had plummeted me into the depths of despair and, for a time, had caused me such misery, I thought I might never recover.  Luckily, Uncle Jed —a man I had never met—had somehow discovered my plight and had paid my parent’s debts.

I had rejoiced for a time, but then had come the reality of my situation, as hunger had caused me to seek employment in an environment unfriendly to a working youngster.  Imagine my surprise when I had received a letter from Uncle Jed, inviting me to come west to live with his family.  It had said:

 

“My dearest niece,

 

“Please allow me to tell you how deeply saddened I am at the loss or your mother and my dearly beloved brother.  I have now paid your parent’s creditors and hope I have taken this burden from your shoulders.

“It has come to my notice that the League of Presbyterian Ministers recommends sending you to an orphanage where you should stay until you reach your majority.  This has been done without consulting me.  I, therefore, would like to offer you an alternate plan by opening my home to you, humble though my abode might be.

“While it is true that the West might be considered to be a rugged country, it has many advantages, which I think you would soon realize if you decide to become a part of my family here.

“My wife, who is of the Blackfeet, Pikuni, tribe, bids me to encourage you to make the journey here.  She wishes me to tell you she will be the best mother she can be to you, and she adds that all she has will be yours.

“It is my hope you will look with a kind eye upon the arrangements I have made for your journey into what is known as “Indian Country.”  The tickets I am sending you in this letter do not expire.  Should you decide to come here, you have only to book the journey, which, as you can see, awaits you.

“Know that, upon receipt of your return letter and your wish to join me here, I will make arrangements for you to be met in St. Louis by the Captain of the steamboat, NIMROD, who will be tasked with the duty to bring you safely to the post that I command  via Fort Union, a few thousand miles from Fort Benton, where I reside.  Or, if my duties do not demand my attention, I should like to meet you at Fort Union, myself.

“You may, however, wish to remain where you are, and, if this is what you think would be best, I will honor your decision.

“I look forward to your letter informing me of your wishes.”

 

Yours truly,

Your father’s brother, Uncle Jed

 

Though the mere thought of traveling into Indian Country had frightened me, to be sure, I had yet answered my uncle’s letter at once, deciding a trip into the west was preferable to remaining where I was, where the threat of being constrained into an orphanage until I reached the age of twenty and one, loomed darkly upon my future.  Besides, the environment I now found myself to be in reminded me constantly of my parents and my losing them and their love.  At present, grief ruled my life.

And so, I had accepted my uncle’s offer to relocate myself and all my worldly possessions to his home…a home he had described to me in another letter as a fur-trading post, located deeply in the heart of Indian country.

“Are ye ready to board the steamship, Lassie?  Ye be Miss Starling Nelson, are ye not?”

I gazed up at the tall, heavy-set man, who, dressed in a sailor’s coarse, dark- blue coat and a Captain’s hat, startled me.  Yet, I found myself saying, as if by rote, “I suppose I am.”

“Good, Lassie.  Good.  As soon as I seen ye, I know’d ye to be Jed Nelson’s niece.  Who else but his niece would have the golden color of hair, so like yer Uncle Jed’s?”

I simply stared at the clean-shaven man, not knowing how to respond.  But, I was saved the effort because the man was continuing to talk.

“Well, now I be knowin’ yer uncle.  A fine man.  Aye, a fine man he be.  But, let me introduce me self to ye, Lassie.  Here be a letter from yer Uncle Jed.  It be a letter of introduction, I bein’ the capt’n of this steamboat.  Name’s Edward…Edward MacKenzie, though I be no relation to Kenneth McKensie, the Bourgeois of Fort Union.  But, because I be the best steamboat capt’n on the Missouri, yer uncle trusted no one but me to get ye safely to him.  So now, if’n ye be ready to board, I’ll be seein’ ye to yer quarters.  Yer uncle’s to meet ye at Fort Union, but ye probably know this already and I be a tellin’ ye nothin’ new.”

“Yes, sir,” I said, trying my best to smile at the man.  “I did know it.  Uncle Jed sent me a letter and in it he told me a great deal about you, Mr. MacKenzie.  I am glad to meet you.  I am glad, indeed.”  

“Pleasure be all mine.  Now, this way, Lassie.  Mind where ye step now.  Would na want ye to be thrown into the Great Mississippi down thar.”  He pointed to the river with a motion of his head.

“Thank you.  I will, indeed, step carefully,” I replied.

****

Coming Soon, SHE BRINGS BEAUTY TO ME. Here is the cover of the new story, book number four (4) in the Medicine Man series.

I’ll be giving away an e-book of  the English version of IRON WOLF’S BRIDE.

Sure hope you enjoyed the blog today.  Be sure to leave a post.  I very much look forward to reading your comments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHE BRINGS BEAUTY TO ME — New Book in Editing Plus Sale! Sale!

Howdy!

And welcome, welcome to a terrific Tuesday!  Hope y’all are doing well!

Well, today I have some news!  Just typed THE END on my newest effort, SHE BRINGS BEAUTY TO ME.  Deep breath.  Of course it goes into editing now, which is a whole process all on its own.  But, it is a wonderful feeling to type those words at the end of writing a story.  So I’m going to share the cover without the words written on it — this is the full scope of the “painting.”  But it’s such a great cover, I’d like to share it.  

Hope you like it.  Okay so now for the news.  I have two series currently on sale for a short time.  The first is my most recent series, The Medicine Man Series and the second is The Lost Clan series.  All the books in these two series’ are discounted.

So let me give you some details on each series.

Starting last Monday, two of my e-book series’ went on sale:  the first is the entire three e-book Medicine Man series.  The second series is the four e-book series, The Lost Clan.  Both of these series’ are solid historical romance, Native American, but also have more of a paranormal element than what I usually write.  But, I should also say they will only be on sale for a short while.  If you’ve ever wanted to pick up either of these series’, now might be the time.

 

The Medicine Man Series

The Medicine Men: often misunderstood in our world today, these men used their faith in God, the Creator, and the Great Mystery to guide them in helping the people of their tribe.  They had an ethical code they dared not blemish.  It was known to them that if they strayed too far away from the straight and narrow path, they might lose their ability to heal those who were ill or injured.  Black Elk, medicine man of the Lakota and Fools Crows, another medicine man of the Lakota, have told the story of how difficult the narrow path was to keep.  These men never used black magic and shunned those who did.  These men were also beloved by their people and were often as important — or even more important — than the chiefs.  Because of the spiritual nature of these men, these stories, while being solid historical romance, contain more of the paranormal element than my usual stories.

 

The Lost Clan Series

Thunder—you have heard him, he is everywhere. He roars in the mountains, he shouts far out on the prairie. He strikes the high rocks, and they fall to pieces. He hits a tree, and it is broken in slivers. He strikes the people, and they die. He is bad… Yes! Yes! Of all he is most powerful; he is the one most strong. But I have not told you the worst: He sometimes steals women….—- George Bird Grinnell from his book, Blackfoot Lodge Tales

Long ago a Northwestern American Indian Tribe angered the Thunderer because of their greed.  The Thunderer’s children sought to bring peace between their father and the people of the tribe.  However, instead of peace, several warriors killed the Thunderer’s children.

The wrath of the Thunderer was quick and exact, and he would have destroyed all the people within the tribe, had not The Creator intervened.  Instead of death, The Creator decreed that the tribe would live only in the mist in a shadowy existence.  However, He also gave the people a chance to undo the curse.  Thus, within every generation a youth could to be chosen by each band of the tribe to go out into the world and do all he can to try to break the curse.

These stories are about four different young braves who are chosen by their band of the tribe to enter into the real world, and, with their every breath, try to undo the curse.  They are given only the hint from The Creator that they must show kindness to the enemy.

Well, that’s all for today!  I’d love to hear from you!

I’ll be gifting the first book in the Medicine Man series, SHE STEALS MY BREATH, to a blogger today and I’ll be gifiting the first book in the Lost Clan series, THE ANGEL AND THE WARRIOR, to a different blogger.

Come on in.  Leave a comment.

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A River Honoring Culture, by Carmen Peone

 

One of the most wonderful celebrations I’ve been to is the River Honoring near Pablo, Montana, home of the Flathead Reservation. And this is where my new release, Renewed Hope, is partially set.

This reservation includes the Bitterroot Salish, Kootenai, and Pend d’Oreilles tribes – known as the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Nation. This reservation birthed from the July 16, 1855, Treaty of Hellgate.

I first traveled to this area with my husband when he worked for Bonneville Power Administration as a liaison between BPA and tribes in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. Part of his job was attending the River Honoring celebration on the Flathead Reservation to educate youth about power transmission.

The River Honoring is an event that celebrates culture and conservation with elementary-aged children.

Twenty-two tipi stations or loops separate the trail entering the area where the event is held. Plus, a huge tent that holds bagged lunches and supplies.

Tipi stations include fishing weir making, elder stories, drumming, hydropower, Mission Valley Backcountry Horsemen, Fish and Wildlife, Forestry, water quality, fisheries, snowpack, the environment, and so much more.

About 400 4th and 5th graders learned how to maintain and respect the land and wildlife and enjoy their indigenous culture.

They also set up two traditional double ball courts and children ran, laughed, and high-fived each other.

After participating in the River Honoring for two years, I knew it had to slip into one of my stories.

As the events took place, the Flathead River surged through rolling hills, pine and juniper trees, and fields of wildflowers.

The beauty, sounds, and laughter will forever be stamped in my memory.

Giveaway!

Carmen is giving away a signed copy of Renewed Hope and a few photo cards of the Montana setting in which the story takes place. For a chance to win, leave a comment telling her what state you’d like to visit and why.

About Renewed Hope

Can they find her son in time?

Sophie Cayes is on the road to success as an artist. Until her ex-husband threatens to sue for full custody of their son. Upon learning of a guest ranch in Eastern Washington that keeps a room open for women in need, she grabs her son and bolts.

Although Chad Davis loves starting colts on the Seven Tine Guest Ranch, his goal is to have his own spread. Everything’s on course until a woman and her preschool son show up. He’s not thrilled about helping out. Until the boy comes up missing. On his watch.

Along with a tribal cop, they head back to Montana in search of the boy, knowing his dad was the one who kidnapped him. Sophie prays they find him before her ex-husband and his new wife go on the run. Taking her son with them.

About Carmen

Carmen Peone is an award-winning author of Young Adult and Inspirational Western Romantic Suspense and lives with her husband in Northeast Washington and on the Colville Confederated Indian Reservation. With the love of history and the Western woman’s lifestyle, she weaves threads of healing, hope, and horses that lead to happily ever after.

Connect with Carmen

Website and Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | BookBub | Goodreads

Sign up for her newsletter and receive her novella, Gentling the Cowboy for Free.

 

My Favorite Things — Or Books Are Friends — plus a Giveaway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let me say a big Howdy to you all!

My favorite things?  This has to be books, books and more books.  Must admit that some of my most favorite things are the books I read.

“Books become friends” is probably what I might call this blog today.  So, I thought I’d take you through the things I go through sometimes in writing a story, and also, the things I learn.

And, at the end, if you would be so kind as to keep reading, I thought I’d share a personal story about why books become friends.

Probably you are aware that for writers, these characters we create become real people to us, and, in addition, they can help us in so many different ways.  But, let me explain:

Let me start first with the hero, Eagle Heart, from SHE STEALS MY BREATH.  The title for the book comes from being inspired by many poems from John Trudell — of AIM and Rock & Roll fame.  But the hero of this story came to me at a time when things were not so easy for me.

And so, as it was in the Indian days of ole, this hero entered into my dreams, calming some fears in my life at that moment in time.  His care and concern for the heroine in the story was really somewhat based on the care that he showed me in my dreams.  It was this hero who encouraged me to research and write about the Medicine Man of old.  Now, this might seem strange that a hero talks to the author.  But, if you have a chance to talk to many writers, they will probably tell you the characters in these books take on a life of their own and often they do talk to a writer.  Also, sometimes they resist my attempts to write a scene they feel is out of character for them.  I’ve learned over the years to pay attention to this.

In the book, SHE CAPTURES MY HEART, the hero of this story, Gray Falcon, showed me what exactly a medicine man was all about when his concept of right and wrong was challenged.  Instead of caving, however, he made light of the problem, and he brought humor (as did the heroine) into the story.  Strangely, the humor came at a time when it seemed there wasn’t too much to laugh about.  These two (the hero and heroine) often gave me the giggles when I was writing the book.

In the book, BLUE THUNDER AND THE FLOWER, the hero’s struggle in a world foreign to him brought about some understanding of what those men faced so long ago and how they coped with what was thrown at them and how they went on to make a good life for themselves despite many trials and tribulations.

In the book, IRON WOLF’S BRIDE, this hero stunned me with his determination to keep his marriage alive, regardless of the lies and “road-blocks” set in his path.  This hero refused to believe the worst of the heroine and also gave me many insights into the Indian character of old because he realized there was foul play afoot and went about discovering it.  And, his determination and “smarts” to figure it all out impressed me.  He never gave up.  I thought it was a good lesson to learn.

In GRAY HAWK’S LADY, I was treated to a hero, who, despite his anger at what heroine had done to him, did not sink to treating her in a bad way.  In fact, he went on to give her respect, even protected her from others’ gossip.  It was also this book I was writing when I met my husband, and Gray Hawk was quite willing to re-enact our first kiss, which is written in the pages of that book.  Because of his care for this heroine who had, at first, treated him in a bad way, both she and I fell in love with his character.

These are some of the stories where the hero of the story has taken over and has somehow changed my perspective about something.  And, I love how, when the characters change, I do, too.  Another such character was Strikes Fast in the third book in the medicine man series.  This hero was in need of redemption.  Though a warrior through and through, he had once been on the medicine path, a road fraught with many temptations, one of them taking revenge, which he took too far.  I learned many things from this story of the hero and heroine, one of them being the value of good friends and family.  I hadn’t expected this part of the story, but I grew into loving what they loved because of its importance to these characters.

And now, for a story about romance and romance books in general and why they are one of my most favorite things:

Long ago, when I had very small children (they were both babies, really), there was a time when my husband (my ex) was often out of town.  He was doing internships and so finance was scarce.  So, it was up to me to somehow take care of the babies and all this entails, including “bringing home the bacon,” so to speak.  It was at this time when I discovered the real treasure of romance books.  They calmed me, helped me to get a good night’s sleep and helped to keep me going.  Also, I made some very good friends along the way, too, and romance books became a wonderful friend.

Life got better, of course.  But, I’ve never forgotten that time, nor the simple pleasure the books provided.  Interestingly, one of my daughters tells me one of her finest memories from that time period is  going to sleep while I was reading a book.  From this, I’ve realized that sometimes all one needs is a good story to get a person through a tough time in life.  It’s one of the main reasons I write.

Well, that’s all for today.  Am hoping you enjoyed the blog on this terrifically fine Tuesday and, if you did, please leave a comment about your own favorite things.  Oh, I almost forgot.  When you leave a comment, you’ll automatically be entered into the drawing for one of my e-books–your choice.  See the Giveaway Guidelines to the right for the rules.

 

Why Did People Call the American Indian’s Hue in their Skin Red?

Howdy!

Welcome to 2024!  Ya-hoo!

Hope y’all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s and hope you’re getting “all your ducks in order,” to begin the New Year.

I know I’m not there, yet, but I’m trying to get organized.

Before I get started with today’s post, I’ll be giving away two (2) e-books of my newest 25th Year Anniversary book, War Cloud’s Passion, to two bloggers today.  So, please do leave me your thoughts.

Well, I thought I’d share some interesting things about the color of skin and why, perhaps, people have called the Native Americans of this country the Red Man.  I’ve been doing lots of research lately and ran across something concerning — of all things — the Egyptians.  The question was asked: Why did the Egyptians show in their paintings the correct skin color for many other races, but painted their own people red?  I’ll give you a  hint right here from the start.  The Egyptians were a very godly people and their meditation brought them closer and closer to the Creator, and, since the color of red denotes a well body and a good mind, as well as a closeness to God, could this be the reason for the reddish hue?

In the picture above, one can easily see the skin color as a dark/brownish red.  There are others, also.

As you can see to the left, the skin color is not white, yellow, black or even brown.  Rather, it’s a reddish brown.

As you probably know if you’ve watched television or western movies, the American Indian has been referred to as being red in skin color.

So I thought I’d show you some pictures of the American Indians and their skin color which looks closely like that of the Egyptians.

As you can see from this picture, these American Indians don’t look strictly “brown.”  It’s a reddish brown.

Even today the medicine wheel shows the different color of the different races of mankind: yellow, black, white and red.

So let me give you some more photos from the past.

 

 

 

 

Okay, so now you’ve seen the pictures, let me tell you what I have read about the reddish hue in skin color:

The reddish skin color from the Egyptians was noted to be red because of their deep breathing and meditation.  The reddish skin color — according to what I’ve read in a book about the Egyptians — is due to the health of the blood and the spiritual nature and awareness of the individual.  It denotes a fellowship with God, the Creator, and an awareness of being a part of His Creation.

History shows us there have been many conjectures told about why the red color; some have said it’s due to sunburn and other accounts have told the story of the red paint that the American Indians were fond of.  But, is this really true?

Could it be that the deeply spiritual native of the American Indian– still alive today — has caused the healthy and beautiful hue of red in their skin color?

It’s something to ponder and as I discovered this fact about the Egyptians, I began to wonder if the same were true of the American Indian.  We know very well about the American Indian being close to nature and to God.  Could it be that, like the Egyptians, the American Indian has shown his closeness to Creation and to God by the subtle and beautiful red hue of his skin?

I think so.  Perhaps it would be of great worth for us all to study well the traditions and lore of the American Indians passed down to them from their ancestors since “time out of mind.”

What do you think?

Here is the new cover for the 25th Year Anniversary book of War Cloud’s Passion.  And here’s link to the book at Amazon if you’d like to purchase it.

https://tinyurl.com/warcloudspassion

Angela Christina Archer and Those Hidden Gems of History

The Fillies are thrilled to have Angela Archer aka London James come to talk about the incredible hidden gems in history. She has a giveaway as well.

Imagine being yanked from the comfort of your home (or, in most cases, your wagon) and thrust into an unfamiliar world where you don’t speak the language, understand the customs, or recognize the faces around you. It’s the stuff of novels, and yet, it was the reality that a lot of women faced when Native American tribes captured them.

I first stumbled upon these captivating tales while researching for my book, “A Terrible Glory,” which delves into the fascinating history of the Battle of Little Bighorn. The more I learned, the more I realized that these women’s stories were not just an essential part of history but also a testament to the incredible strength of the human spirit. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed reading about them; they were like hidden gems waiting to be unearthed, revealing their hardships, incredible strength, and resilience.

In the late 1800s, Native American tribes captured European and Euro-American women for various reasons – revenge, warfare, alliances, and even survival. These women, who were forcibly taken from their homes, faced unimaginable hardships. Yet, amidst the struggles, they had a spirit that defied even my imagination. Many of these women were adopted into the tribes that had captured them. They were given new names and began to assimilate into the tribe’s way of life, learning the language, traditions, and skills of the tribe.

Take the story of Cynthia Ann Parker, for instance. Captured by the Comanche tribe in Texas in 1836, she eventually became an integral part of the tribe. She married a Comanche chief and raised a family. Like many others, her transformation shows the incredible journey these women embarked upon during their captivity.

I won’t deny that many women didn’t have the same outcome. There were cases of abuse and murder, the dark side to the light side, just as with everything in history. But for some, the initial trauma of capture gave way to a period of learning and adaptation. Most of the women even brought their own skills with them, such as farming, cooking, and homemaking, to their captor’s communities, and, in return, they absorbed valuable survival skills and gained a profound understanding of Native American customs.

Olive Oatman’s story stands out as an example. Captured by the Yavapai tribe in Arizona in the 1850s, she was eventually adopted by the Mojave tribe. During her time with the Mojave, she learned how to adapt to the harsh desert environment and even embraced traditional tattooing as a part of her identity.

When some captives were eventually released or rescued, they faced the arduous task of reintegrating into society. The transition was far from smooth, as they had become deeply assimilated into their captor’s culture. Their own communities often viewed them with suspicion, fearing they had become too “Indian.”

Sarah Wakefield’s story is a testament to this struggle. Captured during the Dakota War of 1862, she defended the Dakota people during the trials that followed. Her actions led to accusations of treason and hostility from some in her own community.

And then there’s Mary Jemison, the famous author who was taken captive by the Seneca tribe during the French and Indian War. She chose to live the rest of her life as a Seneca woman and became known as “The White Woman of the Genesee.” Her story reflects the profound transformation captivity could have on one’s sense of self and belonging.

These women’s stories, so rich in detail and emotion, represent a complex and often overlooked chapter in American history. Not to mention, they challenge our preconceived notions about Native American-European relations.

In the end, they were remarkable survivors and often lived in two worlds, and their lives remind us of the resilience and the capacity for cultural exchange and understanding, even in the most challenging circumstances.

Question time! What part of the Native American history/culture interests you the most?

Leave a comment, and you might win an e-book copy of A Terrible Glory!

BOOK BLURB:

“It is observed that in any great endeavor, it is not enough for a person to depend solely on himself.” ~ Lakota Proverb

They called it a terrible glory and the last great battle for the American West. While the battle of the Little Bighorn was the last stand by Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer against the Lakota tribes, to Lily Sinclair, it was the last stand between her old life and her new beginning.

After her in-laws squander away the family fortune, Lily and her husband, Alfred, head west to the mountains of Montana, the only land available to poor people and far away from the debts haunting them. When a band of Cherokee warriors attacks their wagon train along the way, they kill her husband and take her captive, selling her to a Lakota tribe for the price of several horses.

Widowed Lakota warrior Tahatan has vowed never to take another bride after his wife’s death. However, he soon finds himself forced into a marriage with the outspoken, yellow-haired Yankee who challenges every thought in his head.

With Custer’s sights set on the hidden gold in the depths of the Black Hills, the Colonel begins his warpath on the tribe villages. Can Lily overcome the demons of her past and defend Tahatan and his people? Or will she betray them all for the actions against her dead husband?

This book was previously published with the title: “Through the Eyes of a Captive”. When I first started writing under Angela Christina Archer, I thought I would write Historical Romance forever. I have since changed genres, and with this change, my Historical Romance titles now bear the name London James and are predominantly Clean & Wholesome, often graced with light Christian elements. “Through the Eyes of a Captive” has been re-envisioned under this lens and has been revised and edited. *****THAT SAID, I HAVE TO ISSUE A WORD OF CAUTION: this work delves deeper and darker than typical London James titles. Centered on the Battle of Little Bighorn, it paints a realistic, sometimes stark picture of hardships, fights over land, and war, including its toll on children. Despite its serious themes, there’s no profanity or explicit content.

AMAZON

Social Links:

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Angela Archer Website

London James Website 

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Thanksgiving and the American Indian Plus a Giveaway

Howdy!

Welcome, welcome to another terrific Tuesday.

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

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

And how about the touch of the Fall atmosphere upon one’s skin? And don’t you love the sounds of autumn?  Cold nights and warm blankets, football games announcing the players; the sounds of cheerleaders and marching bands; long practices — even the quiet sound of leaves falling to the ground.  How I love it.

Of course, to the people who lived close to the earth in our not-so-distant past, the look and feel of Fall was as beloved then as it is today.  So much was this the case that the Eastern American Indians devoted an entire festival of fun and merriment to Autumn — and that festival was called the Harvest Festival.

Naturally, we are all pretty much aware that our Thanksgiving has a lot to do with the colonists’ association of the Eastern Indian tribes, and in particular Squanto who helped the new people who had come into this country.  Although sometimes the history of our Thanksgiving is attributed to an English celebration, I’d like to put forth a differing point of view, if I might.  At the end of this blog I’d love you to tell me your point of view..

When the colonists first came to this country, history tells us that the colonists were escaping religious persecution, and, indeed, this is true.  But a deep dive into history also reveals that many people came to America as slaves or indentured servants because England was at that time emptying its prisons.  But, regardless of why they came to America, we also know that their first winter in the new world saw the colonists ill-prepared for what was to come and many of those people suffered that first winter.

Seeing this, a particular American Indian man and a Native American tribe decided to help these colonists and taught them about the earth and how to plant the corn, beans and squash so they could obtain a bountiful harvest.  They showed them the best hunting grounds also, as they went about trying to help these people survive.

The particular man who came to the aid of the colonists was Squanto, who had been captured by the English and brought to Spain.  He somehow found his way to the monks in England, who, in turn, helped Squanto to return to his home.  Some versions of this story say Squanto escaped incarceration in England and in doing so, was discovered by the monks.  Some say he was sold to the monks as a slave.

But, whatever was the cause, Squanto came to live with the monks in England and was taught how to speak and how to read and write English.  Imagine the colonists’ surprise when an Indian stepped out of the woods and spoke English to them.

Because of the American Indians’ help and their teaching the colonists how to plant the food that would grow in the soil of New England, as well as the Eastern American Indians sharing the knowledge of the best hunting grounds, when Harvest came, the Indians and the colonists had a bountiful harvest and they came together to celebrate what the Indians called the Harvest Festival.  Th colonists came to call the same celebration Thanksgiving.

It is written the Indians bought much food to the colonists:  deer meat, turkeys, corn, squash, beans and shared it all with their new friends, the colonists.  And the colonists, in turn, shared what they had with the Indians.  Also, there were many games and much fun celebrated on this first Thanksgiving which were common to the Harvest Festival of the American Indian tribes.

Now, the Harvest Festival was only one of six festivals of the Eastern American Indians.  It was part of an ancient celebration wherein He who was and still is known as the Creator, was thanked for a good harvest season

Before the Harvest Festival began, the women would have already harvested the corn, beans and squash.  Much of it would be dried.  Corn husks were made into many different items, such as dolls, rugs and mats.  Did you know that the dolls didn’t have faces?  It was also a time to gather more nuts and berries.  Men were busy, too, with hunting far away.  Bear, moose, beaver were all sought after and hunted.  When the Festival began, there would be much celebration, such as dancing, speeches and prayer.  And of course — food.  From the American Indian point of view, it was this particular festival that was shared with the newcomers to this continent.

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

Thanksgiving to me is also about family.  Besides Christmas, which has many other distractions, for me Thanksgiving centers in on family.

SHE PAINTS MY SOUL is my most recent release — only a few months ago.  In this particular book, besides it being a tale of romance and adventure, there is a strong element of family in this story.

The hero and heroine in this book are who they are in the story because of what has happened to them and their families.  The hero is ruined by what happened to his family, and he has completely lost his way.  The heroine, never having had a family, yearns to marry and create a family of her own.

And so, because I think of Thanksgiving as a celebration of family, I’ll be giving away an two e-book copies of SHE PAINTS MY SOUL.

Leaving a comment enters one into the drawing — just please refer our Giveaway Guidelines — over to the right of this page.

And so, in closing I’d like to ask your opinion.  Do you think the roots of our Thanksgiving comes from a celebration that is found only in England, or do you think it comes from our American Indian heritage and their Harvest Festival?  Is it uniquely American with its roots in Native America?  Or do you think it might a combination of the two?

For me, I think our Thanksgiving has deep roots in Native America, not necessarily England, and that the ancient celebration of the Harvest Festival is still celebrated as a time of giving our thanks to God, The Creator, for the gift of plenty that was and is to be found within this country.

Thank you for reading, for coming to the blog today and for being loyal readers of the Petticoats and Pistols blog.

Happy Thanksgiving.

 

A New Venture into the World of Short Stories

Howdy!

And good morning!

Well, I guess it was earlier this year when our wonderful blog creator, Pam Crooks, wrote to me to ask me if I might contribute a short story to their anthology.  (I hope that’s the right word.)

Short stories have never been my niche.  I tend to be “long winded” and need a little space in order to collect my thoughts.  And, I love the freedom of setting up the story and having what seems to me to be lots of time to tell the story properly.  But, I told Pam I’d try.  The upshot of this was that I did write a short story, which is still in the anthology you can find here on the blog, and found it was a little easier to write than I had thought it would be.

My considerations on not writing short stories have been that every word counts (forgetting that this is true in a long novel, too).  But, I do much, much research for my stories and so I have my mind full of true stories from the early days of the traders first coming into Blackfeet Country as told by James Willard Schultz.  I tell these true stories to my grandchildren often when I pick them up from school, and, because they seem to like them (they often request a story from me), I thought that maybe I could use what I have learned from these early accounts  to write a romantic fiction story, based on these tales from the early 1800’s.

Lo and behold, I found it to be fun…not the grind I had thought it would be.

Now, over the years, I’ve taken a few of the beginning parts of a couple of my stories (where the hero and heroine are children or teens) and have made them into little books of my own making for my grandchildren.  With recent editing of these and getting two of them together for the book, I’ve now published a book of three Historical Native American Romance short stories for teens and young adults.

They are sweet stories of first love, but also tell of some of the real and true dangers the Indians encountered in our long ago past.  And so, I’ve now published all three of these stories in a book entitled, THE COURTSHIP OF MEDICINE PAINT, using the pen name of Genny Cothern.  They are stories from the early days in the wild west and the first story of Medicine Paint is based on two true stories, though highly fictionalized.

The other two stories are MOON WOLF AND MISS ALICE and RED HAWK AND THE MERMAID.

Here is the link:  https://tinyurl.com/thecourtshipofmedicinepaint

Because this is a new venture for me, it sure would warm my heart if you’d go over and have a look.  Soon, I hope to have the book in paperback, also.

Now, to other news — if you are on my newsletter list, you’ll know the the entire MEDICINE MAN Series is going on sale on the 12th (Thursday).  But only for a few days.

Book #1, SHE STEALS MY BREATH will be on sale for $.99 cents — Book #1

SHE CAPTURES MY HEART will be on sale for $2.99 — Book #2

and my latest book, SHE PAINTS MY SOUL will be on sale for $3.99.

 

This is the link to the series page:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09X4V1HRT?tag=pettpist-20

And now for a recipe I promised to post to the blog in my newsletter today.  For those of you who are not on my newsletter list, let me repeat a little segment from it:

This recipe comes from the book, COOKING WITH SPIRIT, North American INDIAN Food and Fact by Darcey Williamson and Lisa Railsback.
Plains Pemmican (Traditional)
“Dry long, thin strips of buffalo meat.  Pound meat to a coarse powder.  Cut raw fat into walnut-sized pieces and melt over slow fire.  Pour fat over pounded meat and mix in some dried serviceberries.  Mix it well and pack in parfleches.”
     As many of you might know, when men were going to be going on the war trail or were going to make a long journey, they carried pemmican with them.  It was a nourishing food and could sustain a warrior through many weeks of being away from home — depending upon how long he was going to be away and how much he was able to carry with him.  Often, in my books, the hero of the story shares his pemmican or dried meat with the heroine.
     I’ve never made pemmican, but I’ve mirrored it when I am going on a long car ride and then I use dried meat, butter or coconut oil and usually raisins or other dried fruit.  It is not only delicious, it keeps one alert and very importantly…awake.
So I promised to share my own recipe for dried meat.
Here it is:
     In the old days, they dried meat over a low fire or in a smoke house.  Since I don’t have either of those, I marinade very thinly sliced beef in an equal combination of red wine and traditionally made soy sauce, covering the meat completely.  (I use Ohsawa Nama Shoyu Unpasteurized Soy Sauce.)  I marinade this in the refrigerator (because sometimes I forget about it.)  Usually I marinade it for several days.  Then I dehydrate it in a dehydrator until it cracks when you pick it up and tear it.  (Dehydrating it until it cracks was an instruction my sister on the Blackfeet reservation gave me on when it is properly dried.)  Don’t worry about the wine in the marinade.  By the time the jerky — or dried meat — is done, the alcohol from the wine is gone.  It usually takes 2-4 or more days to dry it.
     Very easy to make (you can often get the meat already sliced thin) and very delicious, nourishing and very satisfying.  It’s from this kind of dried meat that pemmican is made.
     Well, that’s all for today.  Hope you enjoyed the blog and hope you’ll go and check out the new short story book, THE COURTSHIP OF MEDICINE WOLF.  Let me know what you think, and, as always, thank you so much for coming to the blog today and for commenting.