Good morning! I'm Skhye Moncrief.
And I'm known for rambling about reference books at Skhye's Blog. So, I thought I'd talk about my latest release with some good reference material. ;)
My shamanic shape-shifting hero 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. 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. ;)
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 another 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.
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...
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: FORBIDDEN ETERNITY
And... Skhye's FREE READ:
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?
"Arthur is a masterpiece..." He of the Fiery Sword's King Arthur ~Diane Mason, The Romance Studio
Thanks for having me over, Alisha! ~Skhye