Growing up in an area rich in Native American history has made me curious and empathetic to the band of Nez Perce who summered in Wallowa County many generations before Lewis and Clark entered their lives.
The Wallowa, or Lake Nimiipuu as they call themselves, are a band of the Nez Perce(Nimiipuu) who moved like nomads across the Pacific NW and into the plains with the seasons. They wintered along the Imnaha River in the lower warmer regions of Wallowa County, spent the early spring in the camas meadows of Idaho, and summered at Wallowa Valley, fishing the Columbia in the fall and returning to their winter home before the snows became too treacherous. The warriors and some of the women went out on hunting expeditions to the plains for buffalo.
They were nomadic, but they had a fierce love of the land in their hearts.
Spirit of the Mountain, the first book of the trilogy, shows their love of the lake area and how they came to carry it so deeply within them. The heroine, in this book, carries the mountain in her heart and when she falls for the spirit who looks after the mountain and its occupants, she loses her heart to him as well. (I will give one lucky commenter an ebook of this book. So leave a comment to get entered in the drawing.)
Spirit of the Lake, is the second book in the trilogy. This book deals with the Whiteman encroaching on their land and the way the Nimiipuu are willing to look the other way to avoid being forcefully taken from their home.
Spirit of the Sky, is the third and final book in the saga of the sibling spirits and the freedom of the Nimiipuu. This book takes place during the exodus of the non-treaty Nez Perce.
The spirit entity in these books is all a figment of my imagination, but it felt real to me. My fascination with the Native American culture, their healing herbs, chants, legends, myths, and vision quest all primed my imagination when I came up with the spirit siblings who are the main characters in the books.
In the first book, Spirit of the Mountain, I use the vision quest as the means to bring the chief's daughter to talk with a white wolf, the hero and spirit of the mountain. In her vision quest, her weyakin (the spirit who visits her) is a white wolf. So when her life is thrown upside down by her believing her vision quest means she must marry a warrior from the enemy Blackfeet tribe, she feels talking to the wounded white wolf she encounters is natural. When he turns into a handsome warrior, doing her duty becomes harder as she must leave the mountain and spirit of her heart.
The second book, Spirit of the Lake, has Wewukiye (Bull Elk) as the hero. He is the white wolf's younger brother and a spirit as well. He lives in the lake as the antlered legend who comes out of the lake and takes bad children. Yet he is the fun loving practical joker of the three sibling spirits. In his book, he befriends a Nimiipuu maiden who has been raped by a White man and becomes pregnant, but the band believes she is not telling the truth to avoid trouble and perhaps being tossed from their land because the treaty of '68 was not signed by Old Joseph, yet the government believes the other chiefs who signed spoke for all the Nez Perce.
Sa-qan (Bald Eagle) is the youngest of the three. She soars in the sky above all the Nimiipuu land watching over them. In the third book, Spirit of the Sky, she is desperately trying to keep the Nimiipuu from annihilation as the U.S. Army chases them from their homes on a four month, 1400 mile trek where they fall short of freedom and end up on reservations far from home. During the campaign she falls in love with a cavalry officer and together they try to save the Nimiipuu.
This spirit trilogy is my proverbial book of my heart. I spent countless hours on research to make sure the Nez Perce culture is correct in the books and the historical information is accurate.
Blurb for Spirit of the Mountain
Evil spirits, star-crossed lovers, and duty…which will prevail?
Wren, the daughter of a Nimiipuu chief, loves the mountain and her people—the Lake Nimmipuu. When a warrior from the enemy Blackleg tribe asks for her hand in marriage to bring peace between the tribes, she knows it is how she must fulfill her vision quest. But she is torn between duty and her breaking heart.
Himiin, as spirit of the mountain, watches over all the creatures on his mountain, including the Nimiipuu. When Wren shows no fear of him as a white wolf, he listens to her secret fears and loses his heart to the mortal maiden. Respecting her people’s beliefs, he must watch her leave the mountain with the Blackleg warrior.
When an evil spirit threatens Wren’s life, Himiin rushes to save her. But to leave the mountain means he’ll turn to smoke…
Blurb for Spirit of the Lake
Can a spirit set upon this earth to see to the good of the Nimiipuu stay true to justice when revenge burns in his heart?
Wewukiye, the lake spirit, saves a Nimiipuu maiden from drowning and bringing shame to herself and her family. Learning her people ignored her accusations against a White man who took her body, leaving her pregnant,Wewukiye vows to help her through the birth and to prove the White man’s deceit.
Dove slowly heals her heart and her distrust as Wewukiye, the warrior with hair the color of the sun, believes in her and helps her restore her faith in her people and herself.
On their quest for justice, Dove reveals spiritual abilities, ensnaring Wewukiye’s respect and awe. But will these abilities seal their future or tear them apart?
Blurb for Spirit of the Sky
Can enemies not only work for peace but find love?
Sa-qan, a Nimiipuu eagle spirit, must take a human form to save her mortal niece when the Nimiipuu are forced from their land by the U.S. Army. Sa-qan strives to remain true to her spirit world and her people, but finding an ally in a Cavalry Officer has unraveled her beliefs.
During battle with the Nimiipuu, Lt. Wade Watts finds a blonde woman hiding a Nez Perce child. He believes she is a captive when her intelligent eyes reveal she understands his language. Yet she refuses his help. Their paths cross several times during the skirmishes, and he finds she is his savior when renegade warriors wound him.
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About the Author
Award-winning author Paty Jager and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon. On her road to publication she wrote freelance articles for two local newspapers and enjoyed her job with the County Extension service as a 4-H Program Assistant. Raising hay and cattle, riding horses, and battling rattlesnakes, she not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.
Her first book was published in 2006 by Wild Rose Press since then she has published seventeen novels, two anthologies, and five novellas. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Her penchant for research takes her on side trips that eventually turn into yet another story.
Learn more about Paty
-- at her blog Writing into the Sunset
-- at her website http://www.patyjager.net
-- on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/#!/paty.jager
-- at Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1005334.Paty_Jager
-- on twitter @patyjag.