|Nez Perce Camp|
Eliza and Michelle, Thank you for having me here!
Spirit of the Lake is the second book of a trilogy set among the Nez Perce Indians of NE Oregon. The Lake Nimiipuu as they called themselves wintered and summered in the Wallowa Valley where I grew up.
To write this trilogy I had to study and research the Nez Perce Indians in the 17 and 1800's.
The children of Nez Perce families were taught by their grandparents. The grandfathers taught the boys how to make weapons, hunt, fish, track, and fight. Grandmothers taught the girls how to take care of their families, do the chores, and help their men. The elders passed down the stories of the trickster coyote and how "The People" came to be. By reading books of their legends I learned how the legends taught the children basic truths about life and how to conduct themselves to be good Nez Perce.
This isolation served a purpose. They held private discussions about personal problems and conditions of health, exchanged views on herbal medicine, and composed songs. They cooked their own meals in the lodge and didn't touch anything outside nor could they attend any ceremonies during this time.
They used buffalo hides with the fur still on for menstruation pads or buckskin and milkweed. The pads were put in a hole in the middle of the dwelling and buried.
In Spirit of the Lake, Dove, a young maiden who becomes pregnant from an attack by a Whiteman, is sent to live with the old woman to keep her from speaking of the incident and causing trouble. The story takes place after the treaty of 1863 that took away the Wallowa Nez Perce's land but wasn't signed by the Wallowa Nez Perce. Because they could be removed from their land at any time against their will, the leader's worked hard, sometimes too hard, to keep peace between their people and the Whitemen moving into the valley.
Here is the blurb and an excerpt.
As they travel on their quest for justice, Dove reveals spiritual abilities yet unknown in her people, ensnaring Wewukiye’s respect and awe. But can love between a mortal and a spirit grow without consequences?
Wewukiye tugged her hand, drawing her closer. His warm breath puffed against her ear.
"You need only think of me and you will have strength."
His soft silky voice floated through her body like a hot drink.
Dove swallowed the lump in her throat and asked, "When will I see you again?" The thought of sleeping on the hard ground next to the fire in Crazy One's dwelling didn't sound near as inviting as using his lap to rest her head.
The days and nights grew colder; to be wrapped in his arms would warm her through and through.
"You will find me at the meadow every day when the sun is directly overhead." He brushed his lips against her ear.
She closed her eyes, relishing the silky feel of his lips and the heat of his touch.
"Think of me," whispered through her head.
Dove opened her eyes. She stood alone. Her palm still warm from their clasped hands, her ear ringing with his whisper.
This post is part of a blog tour. Leave a comment on as many of my guest blogs at you can and the person who travels with me the most will receive an autographed copy of Spirit of the Lake, a sweatshirt, and cowboy chocolate. To find all the places I’m visiting go to my blog: www.patyjager.blogspot.com The contest runs from May 18th – May 29th covering thirteen blogs. I'll notify the winner on May 30th. In the event of a tie, I will draw a name.
To read more about the spirit trilogy or my other books visit my website: www.patyjager.net
Thank you for having me here today!