Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Native Americans and romantic fiction




Native Americans, anyone?




Ginger recently confessed she loved researching Native Americans. So, I thought I'd drop a few incredible resources I used for my latest release (print so far, e-book on April 3rd), FORBIDDEN ETERNITY. I've written a shamanic shape-shifting hero who has more than one chip on his shoulder. You would too if the guys you were trapped with in the Army called you Cochise, but you weren't Apache. No. Cochise (named by his peers with what he considers a name representing a phase of his life in which he made very bad choices) is Lakota.


Let's just say he can DISH IT OUT! And he can take it. ;)


Here's my model for Cochise, Mr. Drop-Dead Gorgeous Jay Tavare...




















Sorry. I, uh, forgot what I was talking about...


(Stop looking at pictures, Skhye!)


Oh, wait. I remember!




So, what's the difference between Apaches and the Lakota? You're thinking they both lived on the Great Plains, rode war ponies, counted coup, and looked down-right gorgeous and tough in loincloths... Okay, you haven't read Thomas E. Mails' DOG SOLDIER SOCIETIES OF THE PLAINS. If you want to get the arrows right by culture or understand a culture's rituals, get this book! Each Plains people's warrior societies are described in great detail. And if you're searching for a way to allow your female characters (captives or not) to wield weapons and participate in battle, this reference book will tell you who can get away with what. DOG SOLDIER SOCIETIES OF THE PLAINS is a college-level text. But it won't put you to sleep. Okay, maybe I should say it didn't lull me to sleep. ;) I've always been enthralled by Native Americans. And I've got over 80 hours of anthropology under my belt. So, the geek in me knows I'm an outlying exception to the rule on the vast continuum of delightful to boring.


Another wonderful resource for all those writing contemporaries with Native-American characters is Hyemeyohsts Storm's SEVEN ARROWS. The easiest way to explain this book is to compare it to a self-help version of something akin to the Bible. First of all, you get the low-down on the four directions, medicine arrows, medicine wheels, etc. Then Storm begins the journey of the self. Each aspect of his belief system is taught by a story he tells. Chapter by chapter, you experience the sharing of his knowledge. And it's quite moving. The Bible put me to sleep. ;)



And yet another thought-provoking read is Frederick Drimmer's CAPTURED BY INDIANS: 15 FIRSTHAND ACCOUNTS, 1750-1870. I'm a big cheerleader for underdogs. I confess! This leaves me with strange interests... But CAPTURED BY INDIANS is by no means a handful of weird tales. Rather, it a collection of 15 true stories about white captives. So, you want to know what captives thought of Native Americans? Well, they often preferred living with them. ;) Curious?



Jack Weatherford's NATIVE ROOTS: HOW THE INDIANS ENRICHED AMERICA is an essential eye-opening read for those working on historicals with Native-American characters. It's amazing how much fear and hatred was recorded in history--another expression of the bias one cannot shake in recording history.



Erdoes & Ortiz's AMERICAN INDIAN MYTHS AND LEGENDS has been around for a while. But I always flip through it when wanting to round out a character with a bit of ideology. What can this book do for you? The myths and legends are broken down by culture. Yes. You just skim the table of contents and find the tales you'll need to read. Extra information about the cultures is located at the end of the book. I've used this book so many times that I recommend anyone writing a Native-American character own a copy. Ideology really rounds out a perspective.



So what does Skhye do with this type of reference material? In FORBIDDEN ETERNITY, Cochise is a modern who man raised on a reservation, exposed to many Native-American cultures, and gained an appreciation for different peoples. By the time FORBIDDEN ETERNITY takes place, he is quite worldly. But what makes him real to me are all of the myths and legends I've studied and the touching manner Storm shares his beliefs in SEVEN ARROWS. I've acquired a wealth of knowledge through the years and hope Cochise shares a bit of that information with readers. But his story is a dark paranormal...


FORBIDDEN ETERNITY

Sometimes the forbidden proves the only cure.

In present-day Scotland, a shape-shifting shaman and a Druid embrace the forbidden to safeguard history from renegade gods bent on sabotaging history by kidnapping the Goddess of Time.

A woman Cochise despises is his only hope for a future. He has no choice except to swallow his pride and protect Druidess Mairi from a man who is blackmailing her into breaking time-travel Code by kidnapping her sister. But his presence tempts Mairi into risking her sister’s life in falling in love. A fairy hairball and a pack of Hell Hounds force the duo to hide on an astral plane where there is no resolution beyond facing their FORBIDDEN ETERNITY.



You're invited to read the 1st chapter at...





Read another story for FREE...



VOW OF SUPERSTITION: DRAGON'S BLOOD


When legends speak of passion, Lady Lainy chalks all up to superstition until forced to take Dragon’s Blood at her arranged marriage. Will the beast’s poison herald a life full of love, or will she find myth loaded with lies when facing her father’s VOW OF SUPERSTITION?
http://www.thewildrosepress.com/vow-of-superstition-dragons-blood-p-840.html



CONTEST ALERT!


And to make certain everyone has fun beyond checking out Jay's pictures today, I'm giving away a small medicine pouch to one lucky winner. I believe this one has a dream catcher on it. But something decorative nonetheless. I say "I believe" because the box it's inside is buried in my garage with the rest of my office. And I don't have time to dig out said box at the moment but will this weekend. Just leave me a comment about what draws you to Native-American tales by midnight, CST today. I'll randomly draw a winner and post the name here tomorrow.



I'd also like to note I blog about reference books at http://blog.skhyemoncrief.com/. I've been known to hold contests there. So, you get two perks for the price of one. ;)



You can also find me at:







Thanks for having me over, Ginger. ~Skhye

43 comments:

robynl said...

First off, I love Native American paintings.
I like that these strong and spiritual people managed to keep their many legends and stories alive. They passed them down through the generations. These many tales speak of life, death, and living with nature. They were in communion with nature. I find the different medicines of the Natives very interesting; they made use of what was available.

lastnerve said...

I love everything to do with native americans because first, they HOT, second I love how they are one with nature and think we could all learn something from them.

elaine cantrell said...

Enjoyed the pics very much. Thanks!

Margay said...

I think I might be too late for the contest, but I just wanted to note my appreciation of the pictures of Jay. Not only is he one of the most beautiful people in the world (he supports some great causes), he's a good actor, too. He is my picture of the ideal man - tall, dark, handsome, native...oh, sorry, I drifted off there. I was just getting in touch with my Native American roots. Love him! Thanks for the post. Margay

Becky said...

I love the post. I will have to check out some of the books that you mention Skhye. I love everything that deals with Native Americans. I love to hear about their legends and stories. I too like how they were in communion with nature. I have done a lot of research myself on Native Americans to learn more about my grandfather's background.

Skhye said...

Wow, I fall back to sleep and find I'm not the only Jay Tavare fan. I sure wish his character hadn't died in the beginning of Cold Mountian...

In FORBIDDEN ETERNITY, Cochise is trying to re-connect with his roots. He's angry and frustrated about the corner he's painted himself into. I read WHEN THE LEGENDS DIE, as a teenager. And FORBIDDEN ETERNITY somewhat reminds me of it. ;)

I totally understand the way one forgets what she's saying when talking about Jay, Margay. LOL! And he's definitely the best-looking Native-American actor around these days.

Thanks for stopping by everyone. ~Skhye

Anita Davison said...

So pleased that Ginger is watching her blood pressure today and has stepped off the soapbox for a while - cool it Ginger, you'll stress yourself out railing aginst the establishment - they all have their noses in the trough!
I also baulk at staring at photos of young men the same age as my son, it creeps me out somehow - but I'll make an exception for Jay - God he's gorgeous. Last time I was in Washington they were still building the Museum of the Native American, but I'll head right over the next time I am there. It's a fascinating culture.
Lovely post Skhye - a keeper too!

Skhye said...

Thanks, Anita. I guess I'm not a Cougar... Jay's close to my age. LOL.

And I'm glad I could get Ginger to swallow a chill pill. I try to say nothing political online because I can't stop! LOLOLOLLL

I sure wish I could wander through the Hall of the Americas! :( When our daughter is a few years older! My husband swears we're going!!! I guess I'll have to nag him about the trip. ;)

SFWriterMasha said...

Wow, Skhye, what a great collection of reference books! I see some research in my future. I've been looking for a good starting point on Native American cultures, and this seems to be it.

Skhye said...

That's great to hear, Masha. I actually have more books. I just controlled my compulsion to list them all. LOL. You know where to find me! ;) Skhye

Nightingale said...

Wow what a wonderful model for your hero! I forgot what you were talking about too! I always try to find photos to represent my heroes too. Really enjoyed the information you shared. I don't write about Native Americans but the books you mention sound extremely interesting.

Ginger Simpson said...

S,
It was my pleasure to host you today, and I totally enjoyed your information on Native Americans. Anyone who has read my novels, know I usually stick in a handsome Lakota brave, but I've yet to find any pictures of hunky heroes in my research books that even come close to the pics you posted. *lol* I think I was a squaw in another life.

You're welcome here anytime.
ginger

Donna Marie Rogers said...

Wow, that is one very fine man. ;-) My mother is a Native American fanatic. She collects dolls, and don't even get her started talking...LOL She even tried her hand at writing a romance, but unfortunately gave up. She's always been such a Cassie Edwards fan. If you can give me the names of some other authors I can suggest to her, I'd appreciate it. :-)

Kathy Otten said...

Thanks for listing all the reference books. I have an idea for a historical with a half Cheyenne hero and while it is on the back burner for now, my radar is always attentive to collecting research material. The photo's were fantastic too.

Helen Hardt said...

Oh, Skhye, I love Jay Tavare! He's the model for one of my NA heroes in a WIP. Thanks for the reference books. They sound fascinating and I'll definitely check them out. I have my step-father's old set of Time Life books on Native Americans. They've been really helpful. Great post!

Helen

Skhye said...

Kathy, you need SEVEN ARROWS if you're going to do anything remotely spiritual with your hero.

Helen, my mother had the Time Life series too. She's probably the one who nurtured my fascination in Native Americans.

Donna, grab a copy of Louis L'amour's HAUNTED MESA. And my publisher is publishing a novel by Linda LaRoque I read for Linda... FLAMES ON THE SKY. ;) I used to read those 80s historical romances like GRAY EAGLE, WHISPER ON THE WATER, & SHE WHO REMEMBERS. The O'Gears (anthropologists) have a whole series out on the Early Americans--PEOPLE OF THE SUCH-N-SUCH (like ice, water, fire, lakes, etc.). The O'Gears' series is along the line of CLAN OF THE CAVE BEAR but not as hot. LOL. I haven't read Cassie Edwards. :( Guess I should...

Well, you tempted me to ramble about Native Americans, Ginger. I really liked the TV series INTO THE WEST. Did you see it? My sister-in-law's sister-in-law is Dakota. And my sis-n-law said the indigenous peoples were quite happy with that series. Mr. Tavare was in it! ;)

Thanks, Nightingale, and to everyone who stopped by. ;) Skhye

L.L. said...

did I do something wrong??? Why did my post get deleted?

I've always felt a pull to the Native American people. I took Navajo rug weaving lessons and demonstrated the technique at craft shows.

I spent several years running corporate fundraisers for school supplies that were delivered to Cheyenne River and Standing Rock Indian Reservations.

I've been to several powwows and have always felt comfortable among The People.

There's a pull that I've not truly been able to explain. Must be something in a long forgotten past.

Tanya Hanson said...

Hi Skhye, Jay is a hottie...I also like Adam Beach. And it's an oldie but I loved the guy who played Uncas in Last of the Mohicans. I was so rooting for him.

Thanks for the great information and refences.

~Tanya
www.tanyahanson.com

L.L. said...

Whoops, forgot to say hello [again!], to you both!

I posted a link earlier. There's an upcoming pbs special that would probably be a great resource for future writing: American Experience: We Shall Remain. Check it out.

Blessings, Laura

Skhye said...

I don't know, Laura. I don't see one deleted. I've been gone all morning and just got back online. Here's your link:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/weshallremain/

I sent loads of maternity clothes and baby clothes to Standing Rock. :) I've donated toothpaste many a times too to elders in retirement "homes". Now that my grandmother is in a nursing home fulltime, I cringe at the idea of "home".

And I know about the pull... If it has anything to do with the wee-est bit of Blackfeet/Sauk or Fox ancestry I have in me, then that accounts for the impulse to learn more.

I have a few Navajo rugs from the Carson Trading post. But it's been closed down for years. :( I did visit it (uh) 20 ? years ago when visiting my grandmother in the Four Corners. She was very into driving and sightseeing. I'll never forget hiking through Chaco Canyon or visiting other Anasazi ruins. Talk about a timeless energy that fills those dwellings...

Old lordy, Tanya. You just reminded me of my mother's lusting after Uncas. LOL. She would rent LOTM every week and watch it over and over multiple times a day. My husband finally bought her a copy of the movie. LOL He said it didn't make sense that she was paying multiple rentals.

Thanks to all of you who've taken the time to shake all these memories loose from my overly-taxed memory. The 3 yr old wards off trips down memory lane! ;)

Silver James said...

I always thought Michael Horse was a cutie (back when we both were young - lol!) Jay is...*deep feminine sigh* Yeah. VERY nice.

These are some great resources, Skhye! In my family, we have three of the Five Civilized tribes covered and a huge library on the history of the Removal, Trail of Tears, and settlement here in Oklahoma. I love Hillerman's books. They are very well (and respectfully done.) I remember a book I read a long time ago called Sweetwater Saga about white captives. One chose to remain with her Cheyenne husband despite the stigma. Another one I remember is A Woman of the People http://www.tamu.edu/upress/BOOKS/1999/capps.htm which is a fictionalized telling of Cynthia Anne Parker, a little girl who is taken captive and is the mother of Quannah Parker, the Comanche chieftain.

I'll stay out of the politics, too, Skhye. I just have one thing to say: Black-footed ferrets. LOL! *bites tongue* Great blog!

Skhye said...

LOL, Silver. Thanks for stopping by and not laughing at my wee 1/64th Native-American ancestry. I'm certain it cringes when looking at the larger portion of English ancestry I had that floated over on the Mayflower. Can you imagine my inner cellular turmoil? Mom is a huge Tony Hillerman fan too. Dale Van Every's THE RED FEATHER as well as his others, including BRIDAL JOURNEY, are some of my mother's favorites. She highly recommends them (right now on the phone). LOL

Yeah, bite that tongue. :) Thanks for stopping to gab.

Lisa Logan said...

Good lord, I think my heard stopped for a moment. Could you post a warning label on these photos? LOL

I do find Native American heroes quite dashing. They are strong, their bodies sculpted by a lifetime of working the land. They possess a magic and traditions that are often lost to us city girl Heinz 57 breeds. Every stare breeds mystery and a need to understand more about what makes them tick. So bring 'em on, Tonto!

--Lisa
http://authorlisalogan.blogspot.com

Skhye said...

Thanks, Lisa. ;)

Vicky said...

Well, I love Native Americans because my step-father, who I love dearly was a Black Foot. He had wonderful stories and quite a few make believe stories that he told us kids. Of course, we believed him. Some of the stories he told us that were fiction, we didn't find out until his death, then my mother told us which ones were true and which ones were not. I have loved reading about Native Americans also. Their way of life, their loyalty and commitment to family, love of fun and the pride they all share. They amaze me to this day.

Ginger Simpson said...

Okay...Skhye and the rest of you ladies have inspired me to leave my political rants aside and return to my writing roots. Tomorrow on Friday's Fiction, I'll continue the saga of Fictional Heroes. Hope you'll join me...and I'll be blogging at Skye's place in May...strangely on the topic of how I research my novels. I think I'll have to throw out the welcome mat to Miz Skhye so she'll come back again. :)

Skhye said...

Oh, Vicky, what great memories of your grandfather. Write those stories down. Or they will be lost to time (the issue with history in my Time Guardians series).

Sure, Ginger! Just plant a seed of discussion and I'll run with it. Are you into penis gourds?

~the evil anthropologist

LuAnn said...

When I was in college, one of my professors was married to a Lakota man. She met him while doing her doctorate research at the reservation. His father was the tribe's medicine man. He came to the class and gave a lecture about life for them before and after the reservation. It was very interesting.

Skhye said...

Wow, LuAnn, how cool! I had a step-uncle who left the reservation and rode the rodeo circuit bronc riding. By the time I met him, he walked bent over and managed a dairy farm. And I highly recommend anyone driving past a reservation with a living museum to stop. There is so much to learn from people who want to share! Thanks for stopping by.

Emma Lai said...

Skyhe, you have great taste! Jay is super sexy. Thanks for all of the great reference books. I think you should consider setting up a lending library! :)

Skhye said...

OH NOOOOOOOOOOO, Emma. I loaned out a book once and never saw it again. You don't have to trick this girl twice! Nope.

Thanks for stopping by, Emma. Skhye

Mary Ricksen said...

Skhye you are an amazing talent.
I am so glad that TWRP released you into the world so we could all get the benefit of your wonderful stories and blogs!

I can't find anything much about my 1/8 familial bit of Abenaki Indian in me. They are all but gone.

Skhye said...

Hi, Mary. You're too kind as usual. ;) Are you saying you've tried researching the Abenaki? Or are you wanting to research your ancestry? Thanks for swinging by.

Carolyn Matkowsky said...

Thanks for the pictures. Wow! Definitely eye candy. The hero of my first manuscript (unsold) was Native American. I too have many books on Indian heritage. And I even read "Captured by the Indians-15 Firsthand Accounts." I never know anyone else who read that.

Carolyn Matkowsky/Cara Marsi

Skhye said...

Carolyn/Cara, I'm kind of geeky. I read things and call them case studies. That's what CAPTURED BY INDIANS is in my book. ;) Thanks for stopping by.

Skhye said...

Here's a peek at FORBIDDEN ETERNITY. Don't ruin the moment by scrolling down to the flute legend. Hear the drums. Feel the wind. Live the legend...

http://www.ilhawaii.net/~stony/296myths.html

Hywela Lyn said...

Ooh, I read this post earlier Skhye, drooled over the delectable Jay, (again) meant to leae a comment then real life got in the way (as it does.) Or perhaps I fainted clean away and forgot what I was doing. *Sigh*

Anyway, apologies for coming in late. I must read FORBIDDEN ETERNITY when it comes out, it's now gone to the top of my wish list!

I love learning about Native Americans, I especially love their philosophy and way of life, their respect and reverence for the Earth, its creatures and the natural forces. If only we had listened to to them in time, we might not now be in the mess we find ourselves in, and the threat of Climate Change and Global Warming could have been averted.

Skhye said...

So very true, Lyn. When I first studied geology, I did so because I couldn't stand what humans were doing to the planet. I picked up a few archaeology courses while finishing my BS. Anthropology really helped temper my disgust with my younger perception of reality. By the time I hit grad school, I was much wiser and making excuses for humans. But that's what anthropology does--explains human behavior cross-culturally. :) Anyhow, I've always had a respect for nature. So I agree with you wholeheartedly. Let's hope something changes for the future. Maybe it's in how we raise our children. My daughter is almost 4. She asks why "that man" (a person) threw trash along the roadside as we drive down the road. She says "he" is bad because he's killing all the plants and animals... Out of the mouth of babes! Skhye

Skhye said...

Congratulations, Robyn L. My husband picked #1. You left the first comment! You've win the medicine pouch and a wee vial of Legend Oil. Please e-mail me at skhye@skhyemoncrief.com to claim your prize. :)

Thanks to everyone who stopped by and chatted yesterday. Best of luck to you all with your wips. And thanks again, Ginger.

Val said...

My father was named Red Cedar and I am Doe walking thru cedar. I am Sault St. Marie tribe of Chippewa Indian heritage. I lived up in Michigan where they have awesome museums of Father Marquette's relationship with the natives. I am glad you posted all the info. I do feel that nature speaks to me, it is inborn in me.

Koko Brown said...

Jay Tavare...absolutely yummy!

I fell in love with him when he starred in Unbowed, an independent film based on the screenwriters grandparents.

It was about an Indian chief brought to a historically black college in the late 1800s where he falls in love with one of the female students.

Did you know that Jay has a fan site and every year he catches up with them in Vegas and hangs out with them;P

Skhye said...

Wow, Val, very cool.

Yes, Koko. I just didn't want to look too much like a closet groupie. LOL

Thanks for stopping by. Skhye

robynl said...

yippee, I won; thanks so much Skhye and Ginger for your kindness and generosity. E-mail sent Skhye.

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