New release by Alythia Brown! Dakota Captive…
When the evil spirit of Jumlin returns with his army of Offspring, the Earth Spirits are summoned to protect the Lakota. Unbeknownst to Charli, these Earth Spirits are a sacred secret. So she probably shouldn’t have spied from behind a rock when they shifted from their animal forms, she shouldn’t have taken pictures, and she definitely shouldn’t have gotten caught. Now a hostile prisoner, Charli is forced to walk a long journey to reach the one man who can erase the knowledge of the Earth Spirits’ existence from her mind.
Naturally, Charli thinks all she needs to do is keep her big mouth shut, get her memory erased, and go home. But Jumlin’s Offspring are stalking her. Since no one can explain this unusual behavior, it becomes imperative to enter the Other World–a place where the Lakota have lived traditionally and without foreign oppression (but not without menacing dragons). Aside from being kidnapped, whisked away to a foreign world, hunted, and forced to live amongst strangers, Charli must come to terms with a new nuisance: she’s falling for one of her abductors.
Excerpt from Dakota Captive
Since I can’t seem to find it, I’ll post below. SO sorry for the delay! I always have a million emails to send from different accounts!
“Charli, you’ve been asleep for three days—” Tȟáȟčawiŋ began.
“Three days?! What the hell did you drug me with?”
“Nothing. A mild hibernation is only a natural mortal response when one enters the… Other World—”
“Oh my God, I’m dead,” I exclaimed, my throat going dry.
“Charli, please! Let me explain.” Tȟáȟčawiŋ brushed her hair away, sighed, and then unloaded a hurricane of undeniably strange information.
Apparently, Matȟó Čhaŋté no longer thought I would be safe anywhere until Jumlin and his Offspring were vanquished. Anywhere, that is, in my world.
“When our people suffered greatly under the oppression of the settlers, there came into existence the Ghost Dance Religion,” Tȟáȟčawiŋ explained. “A man named Wovoka received a message from Wakȟáŋ Tȟáŋka, the Great Spirit, that if the Indian participated in this dance and returned to his traditional way of life—by abandoning cattle ranching, farming, whites’ clothing and tools, for example—then He would return to him his sacred lands and the white people would be gone. Some even wore shirts Wovoka claimed would keep them from harm.
“But in the wake of the tragedies of Wounded Knee, the religion seemed to lose its validity—the shirts had not protected those wearing them from enemy gunfire. And so it seemed the Ghost Dance would die away with the Indian’s spirit, and he would succumb to the ways of the foreigners.
“What many didn’t know is that the Ghost Dance Religion was not just the preaching of a nostalgic man, trying to give hope to his people consumed by oppression. It was a gift. A very special and complicated gift that did, in some ways, as Wakȟáŋ Tȟáŋka had promised.
“Step outside, Charli. There are only so many things words can describe.”
Heyókȟa encouraged me with a nod just before I crawled outside. At first, nothing seemed different. The air smelled the same as it had in North Dakota. The soft soil beneath my boots as they pressed my footprint into the earth felt the same. But I was wrong.
I lifted my eyes and found myself in the heart of a village comprised of at least a hundred thípis. Butterflies cluttered the air as they danced above the heads of passing people¾men, women and children—all adorned in the traditional animal hide fashion of their ancestors. No snow covered this plush and brilliantly green land. The village lay nestled in between the small sandy beaches of a quaint stream and a vast meadow bordered by a forest. The trees were too distant to make out in thorough detail, but even from so far away, I could see they were large and twisted.
A gentle human touch brushed across my skin, and I looked down at a little girl’s sparkling eyes as she searched my face with bold curiosity. Her stout fingers tickled my arm.
“Oh, hello,” I greeted softly. The girl smiled in return until her mother ran to sweep her away, staring at me with suspicion, like I was hosting some rare and deadly disease.
Things got awkward fast. Passing people gradually stopped and gathered to form a large group, gaping at me with many silent eyes. One brusque woman grabbed my arm and began to rub at my skin with her hand.
“Ouch! Stop that!” I cried, pulling free. “What’s wrong with you?”
“They think you are painted,” Tȟáȟčawiŋ answered from behind.
“What are you talking about?” I asked with exasperation while examining my reddening arm.
“They’ve never seen a white person before. They think you are painted.”
Alythia Brown was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she now lives with her husband and their three small children. She found her inspiration to write Dakota Captive after traveling to North Dakota to return an authentic peace pipe to the Lakota Natives. The artifact had been picked up after the Massacre of Wounded Knee in 1890, and eventually ended up in the hands of one of her ancestors—who, in turn, told everyone it was a wagon spoke. Alythia is the author of two short stories, published in the Mertales anthology, and she aspires to publish many more books for children, teens, and young adults.
Dakota Captive is out now! You can find places to get it at Alythia’s site or Crescent Moon Press’s sites below!