Friday, May 02, 2014

Women of the Shoshone Nation - 1835 by Deanna Jewel

Back in the late ‘90s, I visited my brother where he lived in Dubois Wyoming, nine thousand feet up in the Rockies, near Yellowstone National Park. Dubois is a small town of probably just over one thousand people by now, but in the ‘90s there was about 850. There were, and still are, wooden walk-ways downtown, hitching post where cowboys can tie their horse while they run into a shop or two. A herd of cattle crossing the road had stopped traffic the day we arrived and I realized that people from the east had no idea how much of the old west was still alive and thriving, just not in the same way the big cities were.

As I roamed the area of petroglyphs with my brother in Whiskey Basin, dodging a tumbleweed or two, somehow I sensed a past among the spirit world because they talked to me…okay fine, maybe it was the characters making themselves known at the time. Native American history was vibrant in the area so I did lots of research to find as much as I could about the local Shoshone Nation that dwelled along the Wind River before the white man arrived.

My characters fed me bits and pieces of a story they wanted told and Never Surrender was born but not published until 2010. I read about the Shoshone, how they lived, how they hunted, how they survived and how they loved. The women intrigued me the most as I read how hard they worked to pack up their family to move to a warmer area for winter and then move them back to a cooler area for summer. These women never complained as they packed their parfleches to pile onto the travois pulled by a horse and what didn’t fit, they carried on their own back, walking with the children, while the men rode, always on the lookout for intruders.

The Shoshone people didn’t live in teepees like many other tribes; they covered their homes with sticks, leaves and branches gathered by the women and children.

Not only did the women do the cooking, they did all the hide preparation so clothing and bed covers could be made. On their hands and knees, they used sharpened bones to scrape the fat from the skins and realized that urine from the animal bladder, mixed together with animal blood, helped to breakdown the membrane so the hides could be tanned easier. The women staked the hides to the ground, making the scraping easier. Once cleaned, more of their mixture softened the hide as they rubbed it in before placing it over a fire pit to dry. Another bit of information I gleaned was that urine basted over cooking meat helped to tenderize it…ewww!

The hide tanning scenario intrigued me enough that I had to include it into my story, but my character couldn’t stomach the smell, yet was forced to continue, crawl away to retch into the bushes, and return. The tribal women were immune to the odor, unlike my heroine. Both my character and I garnered a new respect for the work ethic of all Native American women. They held the families together, made warm clothes and blankets, taught their children to be good providers via skills they passed down and were still able to comfort their men.

I truly enjoyed the research for writing my time travel, Never Surrender, and hope when you read it, you’re taken back to 1835 to stand beside these women of the west. Even more, I hope that I portrayed the true colors of the Shoshone Nation. They still live in and around Dubois, raising their families and working hard to keep tradition alive. I’m currently working on the sequel to Never Surrender - the tentative title being Final Surrender. I’ve not decided on a title yet so do feel free to email me or join me on FaceBook to let me know your thoughts on a title. More info on the books can be found on my websites below. Thank you for stopping in to read with us.


Deanna Jewel lives in the Pacific Northwest and has been writing multi-genre romance since 1991. She is married to a retired captain of the fire department. He’s also owned his own businesses for 23 years. They have two Siamese cats: Zoie and Sinbad, who keep them entertained. Deanna has enjoyed reading historical romance novels for over thirty years, camping with her family, and traveling.

She writes to draw the reader into the story to experience what the characters feel, to show both the hero's and heroine's points of view, and to take the reader away from their every day stress to a place not yet visited.

A trip to Dubois, Wyoming, south of Yellowstone, inspired her time-travel novel. The landscape and town locations described in NEVER SURRENDER are real. Jon Daley, a professor at Boise State University, translated the Shoshone language that you will find in the book. This novel won an Honorable Mention in the 2008 Quill Awards at

NO TURNING BACK, her historical romance, takes place in England, 1778, was released in April 2010, and is available in print, eBook and iBook for download to your electronic readers.

Her newest novel, WHISPERS AT GHOST POINT, released in late December, 2012. Whispers takes place at an abandoned lighthouse in Wilmington, NC and is the sequel to No Turning Back. The characters are reincarnated into the present. Join Dana as she learns about her past while working toward her future. The dangers that lurk at an abandoned lighthouse pull her into a past she was unaware of but also involves a man she's never this lifetime!

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Deanna Jewel said...

Hi Paty! It's great to be back. Thanks for having me this weekend. Readers, I hope you enjoyed learning about the women of the Shoshone Nation. Grab your copy of Never Surrender - I'm working on the sequel now! Thank you for stopping in.

Anonymous said...

Hi Deanna,
Your book looks great I will be getting it very soon. Thank you Paty for the introduction to a new author.

Anonymous said...

Hi Deanna,
Your book sounds great I will be picking it up very soon. Thank you Paty for the introduction to an author I haven't read before.
Kristin Betthauser

squiresj said...

I know this author. Loved interview. I would love to read and review that book. I am partial to books on Indians as I am part Cherokee and Black foot.
jrs362 at Hotmail dot com

rbooth43 said...

Thanks Deanna and Paty!
Rebecca Booth

rbooth43 said...

Thanks Deanna and Paty!
Rebecca B.