Saturday, October 20, 2012

My Fetish Collection -- Zuni Fetishes That Is!

When I mention I have a fetish collection, I get odd looks. After I explain I collect Zuni fetishes, small animal carvings often believed to have magical powers, they grin and say, "Oh."

Both the Zuni and Navajo make fetishes, but the Zuni are famous for theirs.  In the 1970s the Navajo began copying and passing theirs off as Zuni which has been a problem ever since. "When a carving has been blessed during  a Zuni Medicine ceremony at the winter solstice, it becomes a fetish and is considered sacred."(1) Otherwise they are basically a rock carving but are referred to as fetishes. Also, fetishes need to be fed. Those who carry theirs in a pocket usually sprinkle a little cornmeal in it for food.

Because of their size, they are not signed and when you purchase one it's best to ask for some type of authentication. Usually it's a small card. Today some artisans are signing theirs. If you decide to purchase a few, research and become familiar with the names of the Zuni craftsmen. If you visit the Zuni Reservation, individuals selling carvings independently may approach you. Depending on what you're looking for, you might get a good deal. The reservation is filled with artists.

Very old, early fetishes are crudely made, many are hard to recognize as the animal they represent. They're very valuable, especially to the Zuni community.

My fetishes are collected merely for their beauty and artistic qualities and have no religious connotation for me. I enjoy looking at them in my china cabinet.

My research on the Zuni Indians and Chaco Canyon for Flames on the Sky, the second book in The Turquoise Legacy, spurred my interest in the small animal carvings. They were perfect for adding mystery and mysticism to the story and special attributes to the hero and heroine. Lonan Stone's fetish is the bear, the protector--his job is to protect the hunter who's hair spits fire--Madison. In the journey he and heroine, Madison Evans must travel back in time to fulfill an ancient prophecy. Madison is given a badger fetish to wear around her neck at all times. It represents aggressiveness and perseverance and it will help her use her inner resources when the time comes.

To the left are pictures of my second and third purchases--Lonan's bear and Madison's badger. Both have turquoise strapped to their backs. Some have feathers and other adornment.

Here is a short excerpt from Flames on the Sky. It takes place the first time Madison and Lonan travel back to 1000 AD together and encounter the ancient Anasazi. Lonan walks down the cliff path to meet the warriors but insists Madison stay where she is.

Once in the circle, their fighters moved back to allow the Elders to approach. Madison could see they were talking, but couldn’t hear and it sounded liked gibberish. Suddenly, she heard Lonan shout. There was a struggle and his arms were grabbed from behind and tied.

Panic inched up her spine. She had to do something. He wasn’t supposed to face this task alone. It was hers and he was her protector. Lonan struggled and kicked out with his feet knocking several people down. The badger fetish at the pulse point of her neck grew warm, reminding her the figure represented fierceness.

Someone swung their war club, hitting Lonan on the head. He fell like a tree. Stunned, she stared down in horror. Oh, God. What am I going to do? Please help me.

Lonan’s lookalike strode toward the path that led up the cliff. Rage consumed her, her scream of fury and panic echoed off the canyon walls. She knocked her hat off, removed the clip holding her hair up, and using her fingers scrubbed the mass into a wild bird’s nest. The sun was behind her, so no doubt her head looked on fire.

At her scream, the warrior stopped. Hat hanging against her back, she started down the cliff, picking up speed until like an angry bull she met the man head-on, her momentum knocking him on his butt. She went down with him, but was on her feet, running before he could recover.

Yelling and chanting like the crazy witch woman she’d become, she snarled and snapped at people in her way. No one challenged her, but let her pass, mouths agape. She dropped beside Lonan, pulled the large knife from the scabbard in his boot and cut the bonds on his wrist. His head wound wasn’t bad but bleeding profusely. She had nothing with which to staunch the blood. Afraid to turn her back on her audience for more than a second, she stood and strode around him, swinging the big knife warningly, growling at anyone rash enough to test her. If they did, she knew without a doubt she’d kill to protect Lonan. 

Here are my raven and porcupine. They are significant in my newest release, A Stolen Chance. 

Here's a blurb:

Mystery and danger lead two people on a path of discovery.

Running from an ex husband bent on revenge, Susan Lawton finds refuge at a small motel along old Route 66 in Siesta, New Mexico. Albuquerque police detective Carson Rhodes can’t live with the atrocity he committed, so he resigns his commission and returns home to run the haunted Siesta Motel and Café. As they battle their demons, and locate a lost Zuni treasure, will Susan and Carson win their war against evil and will a lasting love be their reward?

Reference: (1)

For a chance to win a PDF copy of Flames on the Sky, leave a comment and tell me what the white bear fetish is known for.

Thanks for reading and writing!


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Stolen Chance out Early and Free!

Woot!!! A Stolen Chance is out EARLY! It's part of the KDP select through amazon. Right now it is FREE for PRIME members and 4.99 for non-members. The link is here.

I hope you'll get your copy asap!

Happy Reading and Writing!


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Release Date for A Stolen Chance

I'm still floating on cloud 9 due to my cover for A Stolen Chance and then yesterday I got a release date. Yea! It is January 9, 2013. That's just three months away. So, now I need to decide what to give away as a contest prize to celebrate. I usually give away a piece of jewelry so would like to continue that tradition. If you have any ideas, please let me know. For ideas look back at my last post that includes a blurb for A Stolen Chance.

Since my story involves Zuni fetishes, I've decided I need to blog about them and share my small collection. Stay tuned. I hope to get it posted by the end of this week.
My book Flames on the Sky also used Zuni fetishes. In my next post, I'll explain the significance of the ones in Flames, but you'll have to wait to lean about the ones used in A Stolen Chance. Here is the blurb.

The Anasazi whispered of this evil and of the

woman who could defeat it.
Fire, sky, and stone must unite to fulfill an ancient prophecy.

Madison Evans inherits a turquoise locket, travels to New Mexico, and discovers the stone dates back to the Chacoan Anasazi. When she's attacked, parks ranger Lonan Stone, of Chacoan ancestry, fears Madison's turquoise is a missing twin of the revered Fallen Skystone, an egg size piece of turquoise on display in Albuquerque. The mystical stone is missing two slivers – one’s in Madison’s necklace, the others whereabouts unknown, but if united by evil they can destroy.

Madison and Lonan are part of a 1000 year old prophecy to save Chaco Canyon. Thrust back in time, they meet a witch, solve a murder, fall in love, and imprison a 1000 year old evil spirit. Their mission complete, can these two people from different cultures blend their lives as the prophecy predicted?


Madison felt as if she’d traveled to the Twilight Zone. Lilly’s claims were preposterous, but, she couldn’t deny what she’d seen on the cliff face or the dreams.

“Yes, you need to tell me about the dreams. They started at the time you received the necklace, right?”

Madison nodded. “How did you know?”

“I assumed the ancient Elders would haunt you, but when Lonan called yesterday, I knew so for a fact.” Her smile was sympathetic. “Tell me about them.”

Lilly’s eyes lit with excitement as Madison talked. When she finished, the older woman leaned back and closed her eyes.

Lonan’s brow was furrowed, his mouth pinched. “What did you mean when you said, ‘You are the one.’?”

She pierced him with an intent look. “Did not Madison say you were the very image of the warrior in her dream? The prophecy requires that someone from the past, which is you, son, be chosen to be Madison’s protector.” Lilly turned to Madison.

Oh, no. I don’t think I want to hear this. She held up her hands and shook her head. “No—”

“Yes, Madison, with hair of fire, whether you like it or not, the Gods chose you, someone from the future, to find the third stone and reunite the twins with the mother stone. Together, you two will find a way to consign the evil one to the pit below mother earth where he belongs.” Flames on The Sky

You can purchase a copy in both ebook and paperback at

Thanks for reading!