Cedar Woman

Debra Shiveley Welch

99¢ on Kindle 

Winner of the Best Native American Fiction Award 2011, Cedar Woman is a powerful book filled with courage, romance and the beliefs, ceremonies and language of the Lakota Sioux.

Travel with her to Columbus, Ohio as she rebuilds her life, and the lives of her family. Join her in the sweat lodge as she follows Zitka Mine to the fifth step of the edge of the world to find her father's soul.

Join her at powwow where she meets her half side. Consultant Julie Spotted Eagle Horse, descendant of Chief Spotted Eagle and Crazy Horse.

“When Tankse (elder sister) approached me about writing a novel from a Native American woman's point of view, I had serious reservations. Too often we, as Native people, are romanticized or stereotyped into the same tired versions of what people think we are, the forgotten people or forgotten race, because so many fall for the stereotypes of us often portrayed in Hollywood movies, sports team mascots, and history books, not realizing that we are still here. We are over 500 culturally and linguistically distinct nations strong. We are still here - and still dancing. So when asked if I was okay with her writing the book, and if I would act as a consultant, I had to pray to decide if such a project should go forward and if I felt worthy of adding my voice to such a project. Finally I talked over my fears with Debra, my brother and Spiritual Adviser Joe Red Bear, ultimately deciding to participate. In Cedar Woman, Debra has bypassed a lot of the usual hype and BS often associated with Native culture, producing an honest, clear eyed look at who we really are, albeit through a fictional character. She deliberately decided to not show the darker side of our culture: something I appreciate! I especially love how thorough she was in researching the subject matter, and I deeply admire her dedication to giving a more realistic look into our culture, including much of our Lakota language and several of our favorite recipes! While I realize that, unless you have lived as a Native, either on or off the rez, you will never completely understand what it is to be Native. I think that Debra has a pretty good handle on who and what we as Native people are really about. And, thankfully, she did not rely on just my voice alone. The resulting story is one I am proud to say I was a part of, and I am proud to call her my Sister By Choice. Hecetu welo, mitakuye oyapi. I have spoken, it is so. I am finished. Mitakuye oyasin, all my relations. Julie Spotted Eagle Horse Martineau ”

“Cedar Woman struck me very early on with the powerful emotions a reader could feel from just the written word. It grabs you so quickly that even events early on make you feel WITH the characters, not FOR them. I know that men may not be her target audience, but you GUYS will be missing out on something extraordinary if you pass over this book. The inclusion of a plethora of Native American words and phrases was done in such a seamless manner that the reader stops seeing them as you become engrossed in this story. A translation is provided in footnotes, but you no longer find yourself looking after a while. You are simply too engrossed in the story and it almost seems to make itself understood when some of the Native Sioux words appear in the dialog. Throughout the story, I was struck by how similar yet different cultures that live side-by-side can be. Having a very good friend who is a member of one of the Pacific Northwest tribes, I recalled early on our struggles to communicate because our styles were so oddly different. This story gives you a look at a love story from a cultural perspective that you may not even realize exists. The one thought that came over and over as I read was that this book is The Notebook for a Native American audience. Having enjoyed some wonderful films that I would have missed otherwise, I can attest to the striking difference in films from and about the Native Americans and our own. This story is ripe for a Native film maker to scoop up. (See Skins to really understand what I am trying to say here.) Cedar Woman by Debra Shiveley Welch is a wonderful story that will make you feel things with the characters as you read. Ladies will love this, and guys...if you want to score some huge points, make this the first book on your Couples reading list and share in it together.”

“I am not sure I have used the word enthralled to describe how I felt about a book in a very long time but in this case it is an understatement. I loved it, I didn't want it to end and I will miss these characters. I, like many women, am so excited when I find a book with the story of a woman who is strong, captivating and intelligent. It makes me sit up and say, yes, these are the women I know, the women I want my daughters to be, the women I want my granddaughters to read about. I found it here within the pages of Cedar Woman. The story revolves around a native American woman who builds her life on her love of family, her culture, religion, faith and most of all belief in herself. The lovely part of this story is that it doesn't matter if your beliefs center around the burning of sage or the smell of incense on Sunday morning, The Great Spirit or The Trinity it is easy to understand the role faith plays in this story. But I would not consider this a religious book. It is a book of strength and character but gives us a beautiful insight into the native American religious beliefs. Since so many have already done a synopsis of the story within their reviews I am going to concentrate on the writing and the flow of the story. Ms. Welch has not only given us characters to believe in, she has made them believable. Not always an easy task. Lena is a woman you can sit down at the kitchen table over a cup of coffee and talk about life, men, children, family and the goings on of your neighborhood. She would be a friend you could count on. When an author creates someone who touches your heart and makes you feel at home with you know you are reading a skillfully created novel. The writing flows with ease and style, keeping the reader engaged and moving forward without having to look back to see what was missed. The dialogue is realistic and moves the story forward at the correct pacing blending in with the narration effortlessly. We are given a dictionary at the end of the novel for explanation of native words which was helpful but for most of the time the words were added so well within the context of the sentences they were self-explanatory. I found the native American words to be fun and interesting with a chance to learn some new phrases to add to my everyday speech. Also, as a bonus, there are several recipes at the end of the book that look delicious. I have a none-too-secret love of fry bread so I am going to try it at home. This is a book we recommend highly and will be asking our friends, neighbors and daughters to read. Not only for the wonderful story but also for the educational value. We have read dozens of books with Native American culture but this is one of the few that have brought it to life with so much finesse. Karen Bryant Doering, Parent's Little Black Book”

About Debra Shiveley Welch

Debra Shiveley Welch was born in Columbus, Ohio and has lived in the Greater Columbus area all of her life. She now resides in Central Ohio with her husband, Mark, and their son, Christopher, also a traditionally published author. 

Debra is an Amazon Best Selling Author of 14 books and the recipient of the FaithWriter’s Gold Seal of Approval, Books & Authors Award of Excellence recipient, Books & Authors Best Non Fiction Book – 2007, AllBooks Reviews Editor’s Choice 2010 and Books & Authors Best Native American Fiction 2011.

Her books include: Cedar Woman recounts the story of a daughter of the Lakota Sioux who opens the first Native American restaurant in Central Ohio and won Books & Authors...

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