Tag Archives: Cherokees

Horace Kephart. Smoky Mountain Magic. Gatlinburg, TN: Great Smoky Mountain Association, 2009.

Horace Kephart on the summit of Mount Kephart, courtesy of the National Park Service

Horace Kephart, known as one of the fathers of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, was a prolific writer and naturalist. He is well known for his nonfiction works on camping and the inhabitants of the southern Appalachians, but it was not until 2009 that his great- great-granddaughter and her husband were able to publish his long-lost novel, Smoky Mountain Magic. Originally written in 1929, the novel draws deeply on Kephart’s years of experience living in and wandering through the Smokies.

It’s 1925, and a young man from New York arrives on the outskirts of Kittuwa (Bryson City) in the Smoky Mountains. John Cabarrus has been away for fifteen years, but has finally returned to claim the land that is rightfully his. But his property is still in possession of the wicked W. G. Matlock, the greedy businessman who stole it from Cabarrus’ grandfather, so John must keep his intentions secret. Unfortunately, a local troublemaker sees Cabarrus on the property, possibly panning for gold. Matlock finds out, and goes after the prodigal son with a vengeance.

Marian Wentworth, a young woman visiting relatives in Kittuwa while on holiday from college, is immediately drawn to the mysterious, handsome Cabarrus. She soon discovers his family’s sad tale, and Cabarrus tells her the whole truth- he isn’t searching for gold, but for beryllium, uranium, and other mineral deposits in high demand as science advances. If he can find enough, his career and fortune will be made and he can regain his grandfather’s prized land from the scheming Matlock. Marian is determined to help, so the two young people search the mountains together for this precious treasure. Along the way, they encounter witches, the Little People, gum-chewing teenagers, mythical beasts, ornery dogs, the Cherokee, and magical crystals.

In this fascinating glimpse into the colliding cultures of the Roaring Twenties and the still wild back woods of the Great Smoky Mountains, Horace Kephart has written a masterful portrayal of the mountain folk, the Cherokee, and the land itself. Readers of adventure, natural science, and early twentieth century literature will all be delighted.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill library’s catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Kephart, Horace, Mountains, Suspense/Thriller, Swain

Marian Nichols. House of Riddles. New York: Xlibris, 2007.

Raven and Shane Hawkins are newlyweds honeymooning near Boone, North Carolina when they see an advertisement for a dilapidated mansion. Curious and feeling spontaneous, the couple travel south to Swain County, where they purchase the estate for a mere $6500. As their families visit and they explore the house, it quickly becomes clear that something isn’t right. There are odd noises and phone calls, an hour sometimes passes but only feels like a few minutes, and strange shapes and shadows appear. When Raven finds a mysterious parchment containing indecipherable writing hidden in one of the doors, she knows she must call her great-grandfather, Blackfox, to help her and Shane solve the puzzle. A full Cherokee, Blackfox is an ancient and wise person, although he struggles with broken English. Blackfox realizes immediately that the mansion is a holy place, and is filled with restless spirits. With her great-grandfather’s help, Raven and Shane uncover secret chambers and passages, finding treasure along the way. Unfortunately they also find bodies, which Blackfox declares explain their ghostly encounters.

A homeless man called Rusty arrives at their door looking for the former owners of the house, and Shane and Raven take pity on him, inviting him to stay. But Rusty’s presence only increases the strange phenomena, and as the newlyweds uncover more about the violent history of the mansion, Raven also uncovers more about her Cherokee family’s sad past, acting as a translator for the spirits of those long gone. Featuring many surprises and thrills, including an actual raven with the power of speech, this novel engages in an interesting characterization of the Cherokee.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2007, Horror, Mountains, Nichols, Marian, Suspense/Thriller, Swain

Lori Copeland. The One Who Waits for Me. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2011.

Captain Pierce Montgomery, Second Lieutenant Samuel “Preach” Madison, and First Lieutenant Gray Eagle are three veterans traveling home to North Carolina after the Civil War. They cannot wait to get home to their family, the promise of peace, and the taste of sweet tea.

Beth and Joanie Jornigan are two sisters who have just undertaken the heartbreaking task of burying their parents. Although their hearts are heavy, the sisters see their parents’ deaths as an opportunity to flee their horrendous Uncle Walt and his son, Bear. Uncle Walt forced the Jornigans to work the farm, treating them as farmhands, not kin, and threatened to marry Beth to Bear while neglecting Joanie’s health. To add a touch of finality to this chapter of their lives, the Jornigan sisters torch their shanty as they leave the farm.

The soldiers’ plans for returning home are upended when they happen upon an enormous field fire. As they try to rescue survivors, they save the Jornigan sisters. Over the next few days, as the men help the sisters and another field hand (whose baby they just delivered) flee an angry Walt, the men begin to realize the impact these women will have on their lives. Romantic interests are formed, and Beth’s negative impression of men is challenged. Beth also realizes the power of prayer and the presence of a higher power.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Copeland, Lori, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Religious/Inspirational

Jeanne Webster. Strays. Fawnskin, CA: Personhood Press, 2011.

Jane is deeply unhappy. At 24, just starting out in life, she feels as though she has come to the end of the road. She lives with a smothering boyfriend in Atlanta, a city she dislikes, putting her dreams of being an author on hold just to make ends meet. She exists, but she does not live, no matter how hard she tries or prays for some kind of sign. No one answers. Things disintegrate further when she looses her job. With only a few hundred dollars in her bank account and feeling lost, she heads north to a cabin in the Smoky Mountains to regroup and get her life back on track. One wet, rainy day, she stops at a mountain outlook, thinking that if God is anywhere, surely she will find Him here. But the silence is louder than ever. Enraged and frightened, she pleads, screams, and threatens whatever is out there until a chance misstep sends her crashing onto the stony outcrop.

Waking with a large, throbbing lump, Jane is at first frightened and then bewildered to find that she has developed an interesting gift: she can understand the speech of animals and plants. Soon, a guide arrives: a tough and capable but compassionate stray mutt who calls himself Max. With Max as her companion, Jane slowly learns about the power that has always existed within her to change, to choose, and to fill her life with meaning. Together they wander the mountains, speaking with ancient trees, animals, and insects who share their purpose and wisdom with the two strays.

Jeanne Webster, a certified life coach, has written a narrative that is both a novel and a guide for those of us seeking our own passion and authenticity as human beings. Based around Native American stories she heard as a child, the plot is heavily focused on Jane’s, and by extension the reader’s, inner journey. As Jane finds her truth through the wisdom of the natural world, we begin to believe that such a transformation is possible for us as well. Readers will be particularly charmed by the sweet and lovable Max, a familiar figure of wisdom and grace to any friend of dogs.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Mountains, Religious/Inspirational, Webster, Jeanne

Lois Gladys Leppard. The Mandie Collection, Volume Five. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 2011.

This volume of three Mandie novels picks up where the previous volume left off.  Mandie is still on her European tour in Mandie and the Fiery Rescue.  She’s in Ireland, where, egged on by Jonathan, she is determined to find out whether or not leprechauns exist.  She meets an Irish girl, Molly, who is also looking for a leprechaun, and they team up for a series of adventures.  When tragedy strikes, Mandie’s grandmother volunteers to take Molly to America, and the expanded entourage sails to America in Mandie and the Angle’s Secret.  Mandie is back in North Carolina in Mandie and the Dangerous Imposters.  Mandie is traveling yet again.  This time it’s a quick visit before school starts to Uncle Ned and Aunt Sallie’s where Mandie learns of opposition to a school that is being built for the Cherokees.  In all the novels in this volume Mandie shows her curiosity, her open heart, and a talent for getting into–and then surviving–dangerous scrapes.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Children & Young Adults, Leppard, Lois Gladys, Mountains, Mystery

Elizabeth Towles. The Long Night Moon. Lady Lake, FL: Fireside Publications, 2009.

Darcie Edglon is a stereotypical teenage girl: she thinks mostly about boys, followed closely by shopping. But her whole world turns upside-down one terrible day in the spring of 1974 when her parents are killed in a car accident outside their hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. Her big brother, nineteen-year-old Ian, is suddenly in charge of the family. Strangely, he orders her to pack her things and drives a mystified Darcie out to the family house in the mountains, a spacious retreat known as Qualla’s Folly. When they arrive, Ian reveals that he knows Darcie’s shocking secret, one she tried to keep from both him and their parents. He intends to follow through with their parents’ plan to confine her in the mountain house, safe from gossip that might ruin the prominent Edglon name. Darcie is furious, but at least there is a distraction in the form of the quiet Native American handyman, Wa’si. Darcie is certain that all she has to do is ply him with her myriad charms and Wa’si will be her plaything. But the tall, dark and handsome Cherokee has a tragic past, and his stoic politeness presents a unique problem to a girl used to having her own way. But a reluctant lover is not the only difficulty Darcie faces. Left alone at Qualla’s Folly when her brother returns to school, the pampered teen must transform herself into a strong, self-reliant woman if she is to survive her shameful secret, the multiple dangers of the mountains, and maybe even find true happiness.

This suspenseful, surprising tale is the perfect addition to a blanket and beach umbrella on a relaxing summer weekend by the ocean!

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

 

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2009, Macon, Mecklenburg, Mountains, Piedmont, Romance/Relationship, Towles, Elizabeth

Sarah Martin Byrd. Guardian Spirit. Athens, OH: Lucky Press, 2011.

Survival for Millie and her two young children, Sadie and Sammy, requires thoughtful planning, strong willpower, and magic. When Millie finally musters the courage to leave her abusive husband, Brad, in Texas and to hide in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, she knows that she is walking into a world of uncertainty. Brad is likely to look for her with a vengeance, so Millie must distrust most people. The medication she needs for her cancer treatment makes using aliases impossible. Finally, nearly a quarter century has passed since she saw her beloved grandmother, Ann. Is she still alive? Will she want to see her long-lost granddaughter? Will contacting Ann put her life in danger?

As Millie, Sadie, and Sam make a cozy home in Ann’s abandoned cabin, Millie introduces her children to the nature of the mountains. Life goes well until Brad begins to hunt for his family and locates Ann.  The family appears to be in jeopardy, and it would be if it were not for Millie’s new doctor, Dr. Townsend. He has been having strange visions of the family, and his elderly Cherokee grandmother tells him about links between the Trail of Tears and Millie’s family’s ordeal. Dr. Townsend and his grandmother are with Millie, Ann, and the children when Brad finds them, and they protect them. When Sadie and Sammy witness their father’s inexplicable disappearance, they realize that their mother was right: there is magic in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Byrd, Sarah Martin, Children & Young Adults, Mountains, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Suspense/Thriller

Bill Whitworth. Butterfly Girl. Alexander, NC: Alexander Books, 2010.

White Shoals appears to be a peaceful town in the scenic mountains of North Carolina,  but appearances can be deceiving.  Jason Duke has been the sheriff for less than a year, and when an anonymous caller reports a body near the edge of a mountain stream, he has his first murder case.  The victim is a young woman with a butterfly tattoo on one of her legs; determining who she is and how and why she died takes the sheriff into dangerous territory.  The head of the county commissioners, Kirk Mallory, is a real estate developer who pressures the sheriff to find the killer fast and thus minimize the negative publicity that the town is receiving.  Mallory’s interference is almost to be expected, but the sheriff is surprised when someone at the other end of the town’s social spectrum, the old country shopkeeper Amos Hawkins, warns him not to stir up something he can’t handle.  By degrees, multiple stories unfold–of a college student who went with Mr. Wrong; of a greedy, dishonest developer; of a man who hid his insanity behind a veneer of respectability; of meth makers taking advantage of the cover that the mountains provide; and  of a community in the midst of change.  Intermixed with these disturbing matters are the stories of Jason Duke’s working relationship with his deputy Shaun Standingdeer and the sheriff’s romance with local woman.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Mountains, Mystery, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Whitworth, Bill

Leanna Sain. Return to Nowhere. Kingsport, TN: Twilight Times Books, 2009.

Twenty-two years have passed since Emma Franklin walked through an iron gate to enter 1827 and to leave 2004 and her “modern-day” life behind forever. In that time, has married Gavin MacKinley, had six children, and never regretted crossing into a new century.

Now her tomboyish eighteen-year old daughter, Charlotte, has become transfixed by the magical gate. Charlotte is at a crossroads in her life. She’s known as “Doc Charlie” to everyone in MacKinley, North Carolina, and becoming a physician has always been her dream. Unfortunately, the Boston medical school where she hoped to go rejects her. Charlie’s parents tell her that she is to marry James MacGregor, the Scottish nephew of Gavin’s best friend, who they have never met. And the MacKinleys’ land is threatened by their aggressive neighbors, the Freemans. Sadly, the Freemans’ extreme measures result in the deaths of two of Charlie’s closest confidants.

Charlie feels the need to escape the pressure and heartache of the last few days. She decides to pass through the gate during the full moon intending to learn medicinal practices of early Cherokees. After spending a few days in 1819 learning about Indian herbal remedies (and warning her new friends of the Trail of Tears), Charlie returns home just as typhoid fever breaks out in MacKinley. She must put her new skills to the test, which means tending to the hated Freemans. When the fear and illness pass, Charlie has a chance to meet MacKinley’s new pastor – Jamie MacGregor! They quickly become devoted to each other, and Charlie is able to enjoy her two loves: medicine and Jamie.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2009, Henderson, Historical, Mountains, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Sain, Leanna, Science Fiction/Fantasy

Lois Gladys Leppard. The Mandie Collection, Volume Three. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 2008.

This selection of novels in the Mandie series follows the heroine chronologically.  As Mandie and the Holiday Surprise opens, Mandie is back at school in Asheville, eager to return home for the Christmas holidays.  Mandie’s nemesis, April Snow, attempts to get Mandie in trouble by letting Mandie’s cat, Snowball, out of her room.  But Mandie and Snowball are both soon free to leave for home.  The mountains are beautiful at Christmas and there is a mystery (stolen presents and strange footprints in the snow), but there are bigger developments.  Mandie’s mother is pregnant.  Mandie does not take this news well, but soon she is distracted by an important invitation. President McKinley has heard of Mandie’s work on the hospital and has invited her to the forthcoming inauguration for his second term.

In the other novels in this volume, Mandie and the Washington Nightmare, Mandie and the Shipboard Mystery, and Mandie and the Foreign Spies, Mandie is in new places–Washington, DC, on an ocean-liner bound for Europe, and in London.  But first she has to return from school and accept that she will no longer be her mother’s only child (Mandie and the Midnight Journey).

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2008, Buncombe, Children & Young Adults, Leppard, Lois Gladys, Macon, Mountains, Mystery, Novels in Series