Friday, June 7, 2013

The Pipe Woman Chronicles by Lynne Cantwell Blog Tour - Guest Post, Giveaway and Series Information

 Today I welcome Lynne Cantwell to Now is Gone.  Lynne recently released the fifth and final book in The Pipe Woman Chronicles, a series full of magic and mythology.  I have not yet read these books, but have heard really wonderful things about them, and they are in my queue to read and review.  Today I have a bunch of great stuff!  I have a guest post from Lynne, I have a GIVEAWAY (we all love those!), and I'll be providing you information about the series and each book.  So, without further ado... let's hear from Lynne!

How Indian Culture Got Into the Pipe Woman Chronicles
By Lynne Cantwell

A lot of people, when you scratch the surface, have some kind of quirk – some habit or interest they’re passionate about that rarely sees the light of day.  I’m not talking about racy stuff, necessarily – just things that are hard to work into most day-to-day conversations.

Take, for example, me.  For the past couple of decades, I’ve been a casual student of Native American culture and spirituality.  My interest is partly personal; I’m a teeny bit Native American, but I don’t know which tribe – only that it’s one of the three that lived in Michigan.  On the census forms from the early 1900s that I have seen, all of my ancestors claim to be white – which made sense to a cousin when I remarked about it to her. “It was bad enough that we were Irish!” she told me. 

And too, I’m old enough to remember when the American Indian Movement took over Wounded Knee in South Dakota in the mid-1970s.  It has always both saddened and angered me that whites treated the Indians so badly as they pushed westward, robbing them of both their land and a lot of their culture in the process.

Somewhere along the line, I began reading books by Native Americans: The Sacred Pipe by Joseph Epes Brown, Fools Crow by James Welch, God is Red by Vine Deloria Jr., and others.  I found myself drawn to the story of White Buffalo Calf Pipe Woman, who taught the Lakota their seven sacred ceremonies.  And when I began planning the series that eventually became the Pipe Woman Chronicles, I knew I had to use that story in some way.  But I wanted to Naomi Witherspoon to live in Denver, because I had lived there myself, and the Lakota never lived in Colorado.  So I studied up on the Utes, who did.  I found a terrific book called Ute Indian Arts and Culture that was produced as a companion volume to an exhibit at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center in 2000, and that gave me a lot of insights.  That’s how Joseph Curtis and his grandfather became Ute. 

But I also had to know specifics about the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, because I knew Naomi would have to go there to find her father.  I hit the jackpot the day I ran across Oglala Religion by William K. Powers in a used bookstore.  It  had details not just about Lakota spirituality, but about living conditions and political friction on the reservation.  The information was somewhat dated, but some time on the Internet filled in the blanks for me.

My discovery of the Blackfeet mediation technique that Naomi uses was another case of serendipity.  I was looking through my local library’s catalog for books on mediation, and Akak’stiman by Reg Crowshoe and Sybille Manneschmidt jumped out at me.  The authors’ model emphasizes that every participant in the mediation circle is on the same level – one person’s position is no more important than anyone else’s, and all input is valued and welcomed.  I decided that was perfect for the big meeting between White Buffalo Calf Pipe Woman and Jehovah.

I know that I’ve been walking a fine line with this series, dealing with a lot of cultures that I’m not part of – and not just the Native American ones.  Another character, Jack Rivers, is Chicano; and in Annealed, an African woman and an Aboriginal woman figure in a couple of scenes.  I’ve tried very hard not to insult or offend anyone, and to emphasize, most of all, that we are all human.

About the Author: Lynne Cantwell

Lynne Cantwell has been writing fiction since the second grade, when the kid who sat in front of her showed her a book he had written, and she thought, "I could do that." The result was Susie and the Talking Doll, a picture book, illustrated by the author, about a girl who owned a doll that not only could talk, but could carry on conversations. The book had dialogue but no paragraph breaks. Today, after a twenty-year career in broadcast journalism and a master's degree in fiction writing from Johns Hopkins University (or perhaps despite the master's degree), Lynne is still writing fantasy. In addition, she is a contributing author at Indies Unlimited and writes a monthly post for The Indie Exchange.

Stalk Lynne at the following places.

Thanks, Lynne!  Now I'm going to put in a brief synopsis of each book, to give you a better idea of what each is about.  For your convenience, I have linked to Amazon from the title of each book, so you can just click on over to pick it up.

The winter solstice 2012 won't be the end of the world. It will be the beginning of the end....

Naomi has a pretty sweet life. Respected as a skilled mediator, she has an almost uncanny knack for getting people on both sides of a dispute to agree. And her handsome boyfriend Brock has just proposed to her. But a white buffalo calf is bowing to her in her dreams. And who is the Native American man who has been following her around?

Naomi doesn’t know it, but things are about to change.

Naomi’s having a bad week. She’s already overwhelmed by setting up her solo mediation practice and second-guessing her relationship with Joseph. An old acquaintance seems to be setting up shop down the road from their friend Charlie’s ranch. And Charlie has a new pal: a filmmaker who might be the Investigator – except that he doesn’t exactly believe in teamwork.

Then a jaguar attacks her in downtown Denver

Ah, winter in South Dakota…

Naomi’s caught some kind of bug, and she hasn’t seen Joseph in weeks. But she lets Shannon drag her on vacation: a road trip to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to find Naomi’s father. There, they find more than they bargained for: a dream wolf, a mysterious walled compound that might or might not belong to Loki, and a lot of snow.

Shannon certainly knows how to show a friend a good time.

Denial is not just a river in Egypt…

Naomi Witherspoon, back home in Denver after her “vacation” in South Dakota, has amassed a catalog of things she doesn’t want to think about. Her due date is just around the corner, but she has yet to buy a single diaper – let alone look for a bigger place for her, her boyfriend Joseph, and the baby. Speaking of housing problems, Joseph’s grandfather is in failing health and needs to move out of his wickiup, but the old man won’t budge. Naomi and Joseph may have found a replacement for their woo-woo teammate/nemesis Jack in TV reporter Antonia Greco – but Antonia comes with her own set of problems, not least of which is that she’s dating Naomi’s ex-fiance, Brock. Meanwhile, Jack has escaped from the Mexican drug lord who owns him, and the thugs sent to find him aren’t above roughing people up.

Best of all, Naomi hasn’t shared any of this with her mother, who wants to sell her house in Indiana and move to Colorado.

It’s zero hour…

Naomi has just two weeks to find a new home for Joseph's grandfather. The old Ute shaman is fighting for his life against a mysterious injection of toxin he received at the hands of the Norse Trickster god Loki. If Naomi is to defeat Loki once and for all, she must learn what it is he seeks under the old man's wickiup.

She has just one week before she must mediate between the Earth's pagan gods and goddesses and the Christian God. If her efforts fail, all of humankind will suffer the consequences.

And her baby is due any day.

In this, the fifth and final book of the Pipe Woman Chronicles, Naomi is in a race against the clock to balance the demands of her body, her family, and her friends – and she must do it while the whole world is watching.

I hope you have enjoyed learning more about this series.  As a reward for all your time, here's a great giveaway you can sign up for, and have a chance of winning the whole series!

Thanks for reading, and watch in the future for my reviews of these books.  Here's the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Now is Gone is not responsible for distributing any prizes; I am simply hosting for this tour)


  1. WOW!! Such a fabulous post... THANK you so much!! WOOT!

  2. Thanks for featuring my post and the Pipe Woman Chronicles today, Katy! I hope you enjoy the books. :)

    1. Thanks, Lynne! I'm looking forward to reading them; just not sure when I'll have time. :-) But they sound like the sort of thing I really enjoy!

  3. These sound go...Pipe Woman Chronicles! Would love to win!

    1. Good luck! I'm hoping to read them sooner than later, they sound like the sort of thing I'll like.


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