In Spirit of the Lake, the heroine is pregnant. Learning all I could about Nez Perce customs and social living aspects centered around pregnancy and child birth back then took hours of reading books on the Nez Perce and gleaning the tidbits I found stuck in here and there. And emailing my Nez Perce contact with questions I couldn’t find in the books.
Pregnant women still did most of the chores right up until the moment they started labor. Some would have miscarriages from long periods of riding horses in the last months of pregnancy. This usually occurred during campaigns of fighting when the women and children were kept moving to stay ahead of the enemies attacking them.
If a woman was pregnant they believed her man would have bad luck hunting. She was also not allowed to see any part of a kill—blood, skinning. They feared if a pregnant woman saw this her child would be born deformed. They also didn't touch, view, or ridicule any deformed animals or humans, fearing it would cause their child the same misfortune. They didn't tie knots or do things symbolic of obstructing the birth.
A wide strip of buckskin was tied around their bellies. This was believed to protect the child. After the birth, this strip was burned or buried, giving the child a healthy, strong body. They did everything to keep the baby safe. The Nez Perce wanted to build a large, strong tribe.
This is just a miniscule picture of what I've learned and incorporated into Spirit of the Lake.
Blurb for Spirit of the Lake:
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.
You can find it in print and ebook at The Wild Rose Press or at Amazon and Kindle.
This post is part of my 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
Judy and Marianne, thank you for having me here today.
Paty is a member of RWA, EPIC, and COWG. Wild Rose Press has published nine of her books. Perfectly Good Nanny, won the 2008 EPPIE for Best Contemporary Romance. She edited for an e-publisher for four and a half years and teaches workshops at conferences, writers meetings, and online.
You can learn more about her at her blog; www.patyjager.blogspot.com her website; http://www.patyjager.net or on Facebook; https://www.facebook.com/#!/paty.jager.
Sources: Nez Perce Women in Transition, 1877-1990- Caroline James; NeeMePoo – Allen P. Slickpoo Sr. and Deward E. Walker Jr.