We've Got It Easy, Even when we think we don't...
A good friend reminded me that blogging sometimes needs to be about more than book excerpts and competitions. I was honored when Mirella Patzer, an author of significant historical knowledge cited me as an authority on the old west. I stopped and thought about it, and realized I really am. I've spent countless hours reading about the Lakota Sioux, researching their tribal traditions and rituals, and studying the trials and tribulations that pioneer men and women faced. For every book I've written, I've spent hours researching contraptions, sayings, language, and more. I may not be a "true" authority, but I sure know a lot more now than I did when I began writing historical novels. Such is the case for White Heart, Lakota Spirit, the book I'm featuring today.
This morning, I bemoaned the fact that I needed to change our bedding. While I slipped on clean sheets then stuffed the "used" ones (I started to type "soiled" but that conjured up a big ewwww) into the washing machine, I realized how very spoiled our generation is.
Had I lived in the old west, I might not have owned anything that resembled a mattress. Although by the 1800s, beds raised off the ground were commonplace to avoid insects and rodents, poor pioneers often slept on straw covered with quilts or blankets. Rough wooden frames with crisscrossed rope created the foundation. Feather beds were common only among those wealthy enough to have access to down feathers. In some cases, straw was sewn into a bag, and cleaning the bedding meant dragging the heavy sack outside and beating the dust from it. Same for anything that covered the wood or dirt flooring. No Hoovers or Dust Devils then!
As I added detergent to my washing machine, I thought about the women of the old west who at one time beat their clothing clean on rocks, and later marveled at the invention of a scrub board and a wringing device. Oh, talk about thanking God for my life. Do you know that in some third world countries, women still do laundry this way? Don't you feel lucky?
White Heart, Lakota Spirit is a stand-alone continuation of Prairie Peace and follows my deep respect and love for the Lakota Sioux. Grace Cummings and her family are camped near the Black Hills while her father and brother search for gold. Their camp is attacked by a young band of Lakota and Grace is the only survivor. Travel with her back to the Sioux village and see how it feels to be in her shoes...or in this case, her bare and bleeding feet.
Six young warriors rode into camp—their faces and horses painted for war. Shock and confusion jolted Lone Eagle at seeing his nephew, Little Elk, among them. Where had the group been? He had no idea they’d left the village. He shoved his way through the throng.
His gaze shifted to the white woman tethered and stumbling behind the Appaloosa of his nephew’s closest friend, Black Crow. Each faltering step testified to her exhaustion. She struggled to remain standing. Her chin lifted momentarily, and she looked directly at Lone Eagle. Long blonde hair hung in matted strands.
Her blue eyes, barely visible beneath the dirty tresses, were wide with fright. One sleeve of her soiled dress hung in tatters down her arm, and crimson chafe marks marred her wrists. Raw and weeping red spots peeked through the veil of dust on her bare feet.
Rage burned within Lone Eagle. He stood in the path of Black Crow’s horse and raised his hand. “As your Chief, I demand to know what you have done.”
Thank you for joining me on my blog tour. White Heart, Lakota Spirit is available at http://www.eternalpress.biz or on Amazon.com for your Kindle or die-hard print people. I hope you enjoyed my visit today and can join me tomorrow night on Kat's Blogtalk Radio http://www.blogtalkradio.com/katholmes1212 where I'll be discussing my first Young Adult, Shortcomings.
SPICE UP YOUR LIFE WITH GINGER
2009 EPIC Nominee
LRC 2009 Best Historical Winner