Sunday, May 10, 2015

Strong Female Characters


The stories I had been told about an Irish trader, James Adair, and his unusual adventures among the Native American tribes in the 1700s had so intrigued me I could hardly wait to start writing a fictional account of just such a man. I knew the woman to steal his heart had to be special. She had to be strong and determined. She had to be brave, firm in her believes, and she had to be a match for him.

I knew very little about the Cherokee woman of that time. Let’s face it, a historical romance can be a bit fantastical, but I wanted the Cherokee woman that would steal James Fitzgerald’s, my fictional James Adair character, heart to be true to the culture of the Cherokee people. In James’ own writings, I soon learned the Cherokee woman and the place she held within the Cherokee culture was one of  great respect and honor. Here are some interesting facts I learned not only from James Adair’s writings, but from numerous other sources.

Cherokee women, it seems to me, were the core of the village. Women in Cherokee society were equal to men. The highest rank a woman could earn was the title of Ghigau, “Beloved Woman”, also translated  “War Woman”. The Beloved woman sat in council as an equal. She had a voice and could vote in the General Council. As Beloved Woman she held a place of leadership for the women’s council. She prepared and served the ceremonial black drink, and held the duty of ambassador of peace-negotiator. She could also save the life of a prisoner already condemned to be executed.

Though Beloved Woman was the highest position a woman could hold, all women were respected as equals as they carried out their duties within the tribe. They took lead in the execution of prisoners, which was their right as mothers. They had the right to claim prisoners as slaves, adopt them as kin, or condemn them to death.

Clan kinship followed the mother’s family and it was the duty of an uncle on the mother’s side to teach a son how to hunt and fish and perform certain tribal duties. Children were born into the mother’s tribe, not the father’s.

The clan, in Cherokee society, was your family. Marrying within your clan was strictly prohibited.  However, outside of her own clan a Cherokee woman had full right to marry any man she chose, be he Beloved Warrior from her tribe, a warrior outside her tribe, trader, or frontiersman. Women were totally free to choose.

Women owned the home and the furnishings. If the man she married turned out not to be the man of her dreams she was free to divorce her husband by placing all his things outside the house.

Also on her list of duties,  women cared for the young, cooked and tended the home as well as the fields. She wove baskets, tanned skins and some even went on the warpath with their husbands.

Wilma Pearl Mankiller, principal chief for ten years from 1985 to 1995

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Charm: An Amazing Story of a Little Black CatCharm: An Amazing Story of a Little Black Cat by Leyla Atke
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Charm: An Amazing Story of a Little Black Cat
This is an emotional story about a beloved pet. Love and loss and healing are lessons we all must learn. This story covers all three in a way that any child or adult can appreciate. I am impressed by the way Leyla Atke expressed the painful feeling of sadness, loss and guilt to finally acceptance and forgiveness and then love for a new pet. The loss of beloved pets is something every child and parent must face. This touching story can help in the process of acceptance and recovery.

Pick up you copy at Amazon  http://www.amazon.com/Charm-Amazing-Story-Little-Black-ebook/dp/B00NL7Z63K/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr&qid



View all my reviews

Thursday, April 9, 2015

My Review of Winter Bride by Caroline Clemmons

Winter Bride is Caroline Clemmon’s latest addition to her Stone Mountain Texas Series. I read this book in one sitting. Winter Bride is not a short story, it is just that absorbing! I could not put it down!
Winter Bride (Stone Mountain, Texas)
The story opens with Sheriff Butch Parrish rushing to the livery to save a woman from a brutal beating by her husband. Her husband is gone by the time Butch arrives to find a gruesomely battered Glenna Tucker.
Despite the poor woman’s seriously injured condition, she manages to tell him her husband is likely on his way home where her sister and children are trapped with no transportation and without food. She begs the sheriff to help them.
Sheriff Parrish packs supplies and hurries out to the small farm the family is leasing from Zach Stone.
If you have read the Men of Stone Mountain stories, you will remember handsome Zach Stone from Book Two.
HIGH STAKES BRIDE (A Stone Mountain Texas Book 2)
Okay… I digress! Back to the story.

 The sheriff is unable to track down the scoundrel on his way to the farmhouse and is shot by the villain. In spite of his injuries, he does rescue Glenna Tucker’s sister, Kendra, eight-year-old Caleb, and his two younger sisters, Mittie, and Abby. Every man in Kendra’s life has been no better than her brother-in-law. This lack of fatherly support, though it molded her into a strong, dependable, independent woman, sadly also caused her to have a distrust for all men.
Kendra loves her nieces and nephew and is determined she will open her own business and provide for her family. Her fear is her brother-in-law will return to steal away his son and murder anyone standing in his way.
Sheriff Parrish is there to give her the support she needs and unbidden her trust for the handsome sheriff grows. Butch Parrish still mourns the loss of his wife. He is not ready to love again. Yet the three children touch a place in his heart that he cannot ignore and his attraction to Kendra is simply undeniable. As he supports Kendra in purchasing a business and home for her family as well as watching over the family’s well-being and keeping the peace in town, his admiration and love for her grows. I do not want to put in any spoilers, but I do have to say if you enjoy Caroline’s books, you will love this one. Ms. Clemmon’s writing style is unmistakable. Her stories are filled with a love and warmth that leaves you running to Amazon to look for more of her work, and there are many to choose from. Author Caroline Clemmons knocked another one out of the park with Winter Bride. This story is filled with personal growth, budding love and the hometown and family interaction that I so enjoy in her books. I would give Winter Bride an easy 5 Stars.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Cherokee Rose and the Trail of Tears

QUICK REMINDER!!  Today 3/11/15, is the last day to download a free copy of Raven's Passion.   http://www.amazon.com/Ravens-Passion-Series-Book-ebook/dp/B00KMYA6UI/

The Legend of the Cherokee Rose

My Passion Series is one book away from taking place during the Trail of Tears. The story started in the mid 1700s with New Moon, a female Cherokee warrior, and James Fitzgerald, an English agent. I enjoyed every aspect of research on that project. Same with Raven’s Passion and Passion’s Price.
I am now looking at a story taking place in one of our nation’s saddest and most unjust times, The Trail of Tears. In my research I rediscovered facts I had not thought about for a long time. I don’t think it is well understood today that in the early 1800s in Georgia,  Cherokee families owned homes on farms and even plantations. They built roads, and sawmills, and blacksmith shops. They farmed their land and encouraged missionaries to set up schools to educate their children in the English language. They used a syllabary, characters representing syllables, developed by a Cherokee man named Sequoyah to encourage literacy while encouraging the retention of their own rich culture.
The struggle was hard to maintain their freedom and their land. In 1830 gold was found on Cherokee land and the Indian removal act was passed.  In 1832, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Cherokee. Chief Justice John Marshall ruled that the Cherokee Nation was sovereign, making the removal laws invalid. The Cherokee would have to agree to removal in a treaty for such a thing to ever happen. The treaty then would have to be ratified by the Senate. Even so, 1832 saw the encroachment into Cherokee land with the land lottery.  I can’t think of words that could accurately describe the pain and sorrow suffered by the brave and noble People that called this home for ages beyond memory.  


In 1835 a minority, 500 out of 17,000 not truly representing the Cherokee Nation, signed The Treaty of New Echota. This act alone gave Jackson the legal document he needed to remove the Cherokee. Ratification of the treaty by the United States Senate sealed the fate of the Cherokee. General Winfield Scott, arrived at New Echota on May 17, 1838 with 7000 men. Early that summer General Scott and the United States Army began the invasion of the Cherokee Nation.
The forced removal and the bitter journey was brutal. About 4000 Cherokee died as a result of the removal. The rout they took became known as "The Trail of Tears" or, as a direct translation from Cherokee, "The Trail Where They Cried" ("Nunna daul Tsuny").

The Legend of the Cherokee Rose was born on this Trail of Tears...

 The mothers of the Cherokee grieved so much that the chiefs prayed for a sign to lift the mother's spirits and give them strength to care for their children. From that day forward, a beautiful new flower, a rose, grew wherever a mother's tear fell to the ground. The rose is white, for the mother's tears. It has a gold center, for the gold taken from the Cherokee lands, and seven leaves on each stem that represent the seven Cherokee clans that made the journey. To this day, the Cherokee Rose prospers along the route of the "Trail of Tears".






Sunday, March 8, 2015

Free Days for book 2 and book 3 of Passion Series

This is your chance to get two Great Stories for Free.




https://storycartel.com/books/passions-price-book-3-in-passion-series


Passion's Price is free in exchange for an honest rearview at Story Cartel for the next 20 days.

Dawn's free-spirited lifestyle was like a breath of fresh air to the people in London.

Passion’s Price takes place in England in the mid 18th. century. Golden Dawn is half white, half Cherokee. From her father she inherited gently curling blond hair, strikingly blue eyes and the appearance of sweet naivety. Her spirit however, inherited from her warrior mother, is that of a Cherokee warrior and is completely out of place in the sophisticated English culture. She has no problem appearing lady-like when she needs to, but at night she dresses as a ragtag, dirty, homeless boy and fearlessly searches the back-streets and alleyways for clues leading to the identity of the person threatening the life of the man she loves.

Dawn’s vision of a warehouse fire and gunshots cracking through the darkness of night warn Dawn her Passion will exact a Price.

Will Passion carry her through to the end, or will she pay Passion’s Price?


Also Raven's Passion at Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Ravens-Passion-Book-2-ebook/dp/B00KMYA6UI/






Sunday, March 1, 2015

http://www.tsu.co/AuthMaryAdair

I want to invite all my friends to meet me at Tsu.co
My short code http://www.tsu.co/AuthMaryAdair
Have you heard of tsu.co? It is a new social media that sounds like it is going to be very popular. It looks like FB or Google+, and you can actually earn a little money on ads. I am new to it and don’t know how that part works, but it sounds a little like AdSense on your blog to me. What I like about it is that they seem to be strongly against spam and keeping their members secure.
You have to be invited and have a member’s short code to get in and join. I hope to see you there. If you look around and decide you don’t want to stay just don’t sign up.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Show with a “Tell”

Show, don’t tell. Ever heard that? How ‘bout, Show with a “tell”?

Definition of "A Tell"…Tweeked only a little to fit my point :)

A "tell" in poker(a novel) is a detectable change in a player's (character’s) behavior or demeanor that gives clues to that player's(character’s) assessment of his hand (state of mind). A player (reader) gains an advantage (a deeper understanding and interest) if he observes and understands the meaning of another player's (character’s) "tell", particularly if the "tell" is unconscious and reliable.

Like most authors, even before I seriously started writing, I loved to read. I didn’t realize it then, but the one most engaging aspect of the story was how I could get to know my favorite character. I liked being able to recognize that little ‘tell’ that clued me in on what he felt, or was thinking or what he might do, before the characters in the story figured it out. As I realized the small nuances of the author’s skill in showing the story I became more and more intrigued by the art and wanted to try my own hand at story telling.

Here are a couple of example from one of my favorite authors.
 Caroline Clemmons
Brazos Bride: Men of Stone Mountain Texas (A Stone Mountain Texas Book 1)
Zach rubbed his chin while he thought it over, slapped Joel on the back. "Hate to interrupt this much fun, but it couldn't hurt to cover Micah’s back. Some of his good neighbors might take him being alone as a gift." He leaned his shovel near Micah’s and mounted his horse.

From GABE KINCAID by Caroline Clemons
Gabe Kincaid (The Kincaids Book 4) “My, what a hotbed of crime we circus folk are. Did Zara talk?”

“Not a word.” He (Gabe Kincaid) screwed up his face and tugged at his ear. “Well, none that I can use in mixed company. Matter of fact, I learned a few new curse words. Ben’s (the sheriff) determined to keep at her until he gets sentences that don’t insult his parentage or suggest movement impossible for the human body.”

Sometime, especially if you want to add a little mystery or a bit of humor, you have to build on the ‘tell’. In my story, Passion’s Price, I have a character (William Montgomery, aka, Willy) who, though he tries to present himself with a devil-may-care personality, is actually quite high strung, evidenced by his pulling Boading Balls from his pocket and twirling them nervously within his hand causing an irritating clanking notice at the most inopportune times...

Excerpts from Passion’s Price.Passion's Price (Passion Series Book 3) William’s annoying habit tells on him.

Lady Gaylord took the opening to jump in. "We wanted to speak to you about Dawn."

"Yes," Lady Montgomery took up when the other stopped to take a breath. And so the discussion continued as it always did with these two; one starting and the other finishing the thought, leaving Raven with no recourse but to glance from one to the other.

"She is becoming quite popular, dear." Lady Montgomery watched several young men vie for a dance with Dawn.

"We know you are making arrangements to send her home, but she deserves a proper coming out," Lady Gaylord added.

"It would be a shame to send her home so soon," Lady Montgomery finished. "Her father has promised us for years that he would allow her a visit as soon as she was old enough. James knows what good care we have taken of you. This is the perfect time."

"Yes, of course. Just look at her. And to think she arrived just in time to attend this ball in honor of your birthday." Lady Gaylord placed a plump hand to her bosom and sighed.

William no longer pretended indifference to his grandmothers as the Baoding Balls slid more rapidly within his palm, the chiming increasing with his agitation.

"Yes, you must allow her to stay longer, at least until the Golden Lady returns."

"She will occupy a room upstairs. It will remain hers for as long as she likes."

"She likes the room." Lady Gaylord nodded and added, "And she and Sara get along well."

"Yes, they did. Sara can be her personal maid while she is here. I think they will both like that very much."

"Yes, I agree."

Lady Montgomery patted Raven's arm. "And, of course, your room is always ready any time you want to visit, same as Willie's."

Out of habit, William softly choked out, "Don't call me that, Gran."

Lady Gaylord laid her hand over William's. "Put those annoying balls away, dear. They are only going to get you into trouble."

William blinked in confusion, but did as he was told.

Much later, that little nervous trait causes William a lot of pain.
Excerpt:

Lady Montgomery said, "Oh, it's those horrid chiming balls of Willie's. I had just told him they would get him in trouble. Victoria and I have told him time and again to stop playing with the infernal things. He refused to listen and see where it's landed him."

Her confused rambling gave Raven a chance to compose himself, though the content of her jumbled speech distracted him. He walked slowly around the two on the floor and retrieved a mug from the cupboard.

"I don't understand." He looked down at William. "Maybe you should explain."

William looked up at him. "What Gran said is true. Dawn charged in here and kicked my Baoding Balls right out of my hand. I'm not sure how I got here. Um, you'll be glad to hear the Golden Lady is in port."

"Tell the truth." Dawn pressed the blade against William's throat. "Your chiming balls just told on you."

"What's all this talk about balls?" Lady Gaylord said as she entered from the garden, her arms laden with freshly cut flowers.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Passion's Vision Receives Reader's Favorite Award

I have been so busy with writing and promotion and all the things authors get all tangled into, that I finally realized I had not blogged about Passion's Vision receiving a Reader's Favorite Award. Can you imagine forgetting to blog about something that exciting and wonderful?

Well,... Reader's Favorite is a prestigious International Award. They have several awards they give out to numerous genres. Passion's Vision was awarded 2014 Finalist in Historical Fiction. I just have to post my Award. Believe me, it is in a beautiful frame hanging in my office.

I also wanted to post a site that features great books of every genre with links to purchase. Just click the link, of course it goes to Passion's Vision, but at the top of the page you can navigate to your favorite genre.
http://buff.ly/1xcXxWl 

Don't forget, Raven's Passion will be on special at Amazon 12/25 to 12/31/14 at Amazon Kindle for .99cents

http://www.amazon.com/Ravens-Passion-Book-2-ebook/dp/B00KMYA6UI/ref=



Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Native American Christmas


The stories I am writing for the Passion’s Series take place in the 1700s and my characters are Native American Cherokees. While researching for my Native American novels I came across some amazing information about Native American celebrations. Before the white man came to their land they had no knowledge of Christian teachings. As the missionaries introduced them to Christian traditions, the Native Americans found that the story of Christmas and Christ’s birth sounded similar to some of their own tribal prophecies and considered the familiarity of the message of Jesus with their own truths handed down by their ancestors.

Many Native Americans in North America did observe a celebration near Christmas time, that we call the Winter Solstice.  The Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year and falls on December 21-22. It was celebrated in the Americas long before European influence arrived. Different Native American tribes associate different beliefs and rituals with it.
For example, the Hopi tribal celebrations are meant to give aid and direction to the sun which is ready to return and give strength to new life. Their ceremony is called Soyal and lasts for 20 days. During this time there is prayer stick making, purification and other rituals, and is concluded with a rabbit hunt a great feast and many blessings.
There is a  Native American story of a brave named, Handsome Fellow. He could be called a Native American Santa. He is a handsome brave who wears white buckskins, and brings gifts to Indian children. Other gift bringers come at different times of the year, often in the summertime. What intrigues me the most about the Native American culture is their love for giving. The gift bringing and giving element is always a part of the American Indian culture, whatever the occasion is for a gathering.
I was struck by the words of  Looks for Buffalo, an Oglala Sioux spiritual leader, the full-blood Oglala grandson of Chief Red Cloud and White Cow Killer, and a Cheyenne Oglala leader, as he explains the meaning of Christmas to the traditional Indian people of the Americas. The following words are his own words:

"Traditional American Indians are raised to respect the Christian Star and the birth of the first Indian Spiritual Leader. He was a Star Person and Avatar. His name was Jesus. He was a Hebrew, a Red Man. He received his education from the wilderness. John the Baptist, Moses, and other excellent teachers that came before Jesus provided an educational foundation with the Holistic Method."

"Everyday is our Christmas. Every meal is our Christmas. At every meal we take a little portion of the food we are eating, and we offer it to the spirit world on behalf of the four legged, and the winged, and the two legged. We pray--not the way most Christians pray-- but we thank the Grandfathers, the Spirit, and the Guardian Angel."

"The Indian Culture is actually grounded in the traditions of a Roving Angel. The life-ways of Roving Angels are actually the way Indian People live. They hold out their hands and help the sick and the needy. They feed and clothe the poor. We have high respect for the avatar because we believe that it is in giving that we receive."

"We are taught as Traditional children that we have abundance. The Creator has given us everything: the water, the air we breathe, the earth as our flesh, and our energy force: our heart. We are thankful every day. We pray early in the morning, before sunrise, to the morning star, and the evening star. We pray for our relatives who are in the universe that someday they will come. We also pray that the Great Spirit's son will live again."

"To the Indian People Christmas is every day and they don't believe in taking without asking. Herbs are prayed over before being gathered by asking the plant for permission to take some cuttings. An offer of tobacco is made to the plant in gratitude. We do not pull the herb out by its roots, but cut the plant even with the surface of the earth, so that another generation will be born its place."

"It is really important that these ways never be lost. And to this day we feed the elders, we feed the family on Christmas day, we honor Saint Nicholas. We explain to the little children that to receive a gift is to enjoy it, and when the enjoyment is gone, they are pass it on to the another child, so that they, too, can enjoy it. If a child gets a doll, that doll will change hands about eight times in a year, from one child to another."

"Every day is Christmas in Indian Country. Daily living is centered around the spirit of giving and walking the Red Road. Walking the Red Road means making everything you do a spiritual act. If your neighbor, John Running Deer, needs a potato masher; and you have one that you are not using, you offer him yours in the spirit of giving. It doesn't matter if it is Christmas or not."

"If neighbors or strangers stop over to visit at your house, we offer them dinner. We bring out the T-Bone steak, not the cabbage. If we don't have enough, we send someone in the family out to get some more and mention nothing of the inconvenience to our guests. The more one gives, the more spiritual we become. The Christ Consciousness, the same spirit of giving that is present at Christmas, is present every day in Indian Country."

Looks For Buffalo resides on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and can be contacted at (605)867-5762 or P.O. Box 150, Pine Ridge, SD 57770. He is a contributor to www.ewebtribe.com.
I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas, filled with many blessings and lots of giving.

Above Photos from Google Commons.



                               Passion's Vision (Passion Series Book 1)
                               Raven's Passion (Passion Series Book 2)
                               Passion's Price (Passion Series Book 3)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Welcome to Featured Guest Blogger, Monica LaSarre


Welcome to Featured Guest Blogger, Monica LaSarre.

I am grateful to the very talented Mary Adair for the opportunity to share a few words on her blog. I’ve enjoyed her Passion series immensely and am honored to have her as a supporter of my recently published children’s novel, Japer Penzey: International Boy Detective, The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis.


Let me cut right to the chase regarding what I hope you’ll take away from this blog post: I’ve discovered the fountain of youth and it’s not at the gym, or in a bottle of wrinkle cream, or hidden deep in the jungles of Africa. It’s at your finger tips. Its name is “Children’s Literature”.


I’m almost 40, writing is my second career (I worked in non-profit health care and transfusion medicine for decades), I’m a mom of two really great kids, and I love to read. I’m not different from many of you, most likely. We are adults, we have responsibilities, reading is a good way to relax and squeeze some extra joy out of life, but we read adult books (adult fiction, romances, non-fiction). I was in that boat too.


For many reasons, a few of which I’ll share momentarily, I found I had a burning desire to write a novel for kids. And I have to say, writing it has become a fountain of youth for me in so many ways. Since writing this novel, I laugh a lot more, I look at the world through a simpler gaze, and I’m a bit more unencumbered and gravitate towards adventure and learning with the wide-eyed expectation of a child. Through the experience, I’ve learned an amazing fact: children are simpler, happier beings and the way they look at the world is beautiful and enviable. Now, one of my favorite things to share with my reading friends is how I’ve come to appreciate mixing in children’s literature as a reading choice for myself. Beyond my book alone (which many adults are enjoying as a fountain of youth as well!), I enjoy reading classic children’s literature and books geared towards younger readers. I challenge you to try it. You will feel younger, I promise you.


A few things about my book: First, I wrote it to be read-aloud friendly. Sadly, so many children’s chapter books aren’t. I would see my kids’ eyes glaze over at long, descriptive, beautifully written passages in the books I would read to them, and wish there were more chapter books that kept them engaged. I found so few read-aloud friendly books; I decided to write my own. As an author, I’m compelled to share in my stories some valuable tools for helping our children grow into conscientious, thoughtful, compassionate people. Through my own love of culture and travel and sharing those passions with my kids, Jasper Penzey’s story was born.


A 9-year old international boy detective, Jasper has never known his mother. He moves to Greece with his history professor father and for the first time in his young life he has the opportunity to view another culture and another part of the world. He is pulled into a mystery involving the location of the lost civilization of Atlantis, which surprisingly exposes him to clues indicating his mother is out there somewhere in the wide world, and he would give anything to find her and know her. Filled with age-appropriate morals and quips, Jasper’s tale illustrates the power of bedtime stories, that people worldwide are different and special in their own way, and that history and mystery can be a lot of fun.


Ideal for readers aged 7-12 and for all adults wanting to discover their own fountain of youth, I’m pleased to share Jasper Penzey’s story with you. The first in an 8-book series, Book 2 takes place in Panama and will be published in early 2015. I hope you’ll join me on this adventure and share Jasper’s story with all the readers in your life, young and old. I give away a free book (children’s literature) daily (on average) on my Facebook page, so join me there as well. I love fan mail and dialogue with readers via my website, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I hope to get to know you and interact with you based on our shared love of reading and all things books.



These photos were taken while on a family vacation. Both were taken on the island of Santorini, both in the exact spots that became scenes in the book. One  taken on a boat to the temple island, the other one in Amoudi where Jasper saw the best sunset.
M.A.A.    Thank you, Monica for guesting my blog today. I agree with you totally, nothing brings back the feeling of youth like the antics and laughter of children. The whole world is a new and wonderful place when seen through the eyes of a child. I loved book one and will be waiting anxiously for the book two. Please come back and share with me when Jasper's next adventure is published.

Links:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Jasper-Penzey-International-Detective-Atlantis-ebook/dp/B00OR2NFXG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1418065773&sr=8-1&keywords=Monica+LaSarre

My website: http://www.monicalasarre.com