It is a pleasure to be here and I thank Marilyn for hosting me!
I’m a native Marylander, but set my novel “Touching the Moon” in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The book has a strong Native American component and readers are always curious as to why I chose to incorporate that theme in my novel.
Back in the 1800s, my great-great grandmother and her husband walked from the Black Hills of South Dakota to Maryland. She was Sioux. I set my story there to honor her, and I do my best to be as authentic as I can when portraying Sioux rite and ritual in my novel.
Finding authentic material is tough. The sacred rites are sacred and not shared with outsiders. Information is passed on verbally, but only to the Sioux community itself. Little is written down. Marilyn mentions this very real issue in her first Tempe Crabtree novel “Deadly Omen”.
In my story, I incorporate a Sioux "Making Relatives" ceremony. It is both complicated and multi-faceted and I researched this topic exhaustively to try and hit very close to the spirit of this rite in prose.
In this scene, Gray Walker is inviting his love interest to become a member of the Sioux Nation. Julie has a couple of concerns: adopting an entire nation of relatives overnight and sharing a tipi with Gray. She has discovered that, in the past, sharing a buffalo robe was an act of matrimony.
“I need to be clear, here,” said Gray. “You are being asked to join because you gave where you saw a need. That’s what this ceremony is all about…taking care of one another…lending a helping hand…making a difference.”
“I’m very flattered, Gray. Thank you,” she said quietly. “But help me to better understand. What is expected of me if I accept this invitation? Are there duties and obligations?”
“Ah, Julie, in this ceremony, we are committing to you, not the other way around. As part of the Sioux Nation, you will have ‘human resources’. If you ever have a need, we will do our best to answer the shortfall.”
She nodded. “What happens at the ceremony?”
“I will give you a gift. It would be appropriate for you to give me one in return. The Sioux abide by a steadfast rule. We feed the hungry, clothe the naked and shelter the homeless. Any gift that is symbolic of that spirit would be appropriate.”
“It’s like Christmas?”
“Yes,” he continued. “But, there is more to this than gift giving. As your sponsor, I will feed you a piece of buffalo meat from my hand. You will also feed me. It’s a symbolic gesture of care and protection.”
“Like the cake ritual at a wedding?”
“Yes, but afterwards, there is feasting, tremendous feasting. Everyone will try to stuff you full.”
He nodded. “Like Thanksgiving.”
Julie laughed and her laughter was low and easy and relaxed. He smiled with her.
“Will you accept?”
Julie took a deep breath, then nodded.
“Good,” he said. “I’ll pick you up Saturday morning and bring you back Monday evening.”
“How long is this ceremony?”
“I will need you for three days and two nights.”
“Where will we stay?”
“In my tipi.”
“That’s a very public statement.” Her voice was heavy and concerned. “Everyone is going to scream ‘buffalo robe!’”
He chuckled low and deep.
“You laugh! How can you laugh?”
“I like the idea.”
“Touching the Moon” is a novel of romantic suspense with a paranormal twist. If you’d like to read more, the first chapter is posted on my website: www.lisamairey.com Do stop on by! And thanks for having me here today!
Touching the Moon
Lisa M. Airey
Genre: Romantic Suspense with a Paranormal Twist
Publisher: Aakenbaaken & Kent, NY
Number of pages: 272
Word Count: 89K
Cover Artist: www.reese-winslow.com
A gifted healer with a genetic secret and a haunted past, Julie Hastings takes her new veterinary degree to South Dakota hoping to bury memories of a physically abusive stepfather and unprotective mother.
Although intending to lead a quiet life, she finds herself relentlessly pursued by two unwelcome suitors: the Chief of Police and a powerful member of the Sioux Indian Nation.
The man she chooses shatters her world-view.
Her stepfather taught her that not all monsters run on four legs. Now Julie must face another truth—some beasts are good.
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/-4drhhDLcSU
About the Author:
Lisa has worked in the wine industry for 20 years, the most recent eight in education with the Society of Wine Educators and the French Wine Society. In these roles, she has authored and/or edited wine study manuals and developed or expanded certification programs for the wine trade.
In her free-time, she writes fiction...naturally, with a glass of wine at the elbow.
She is a Maryland Master Gardener and puts that training into practice in her sizable vegetable garden. To assist her, she has recruited the services of a very helpful staff: two Chinese geese, two mini-Rex rabbits and 2,000 red wigglers (worms)…all of which are “master composters”. An adopted feral cat guards the perimeters and keeps the groundhogs at bay. She resides in Monkton, Maryland.