parnormal guest author series, spring 2013
To celebrate spring I’m inviting fellow paranormal authors to write guest posts for Thursdays Bite and today I’m excited to welcome innovative author VS Nelson to Jessica Aspen Writes. Not only does VS write paranormal, but it’s paranormal with a Native American twist. I’m fascinated by selkies and never knew they are part of a Native American tradition as well as Celtic. Read on and discover…
NATIVE AMERICAN SELKIES
I was recently asked if my Native American version of the Selkie was based upon real Native American myths or did I make it up. Believe me when I tell you, Selkies are just as real to Native American’s as they are to the Celtic people. You will find myths and stories of these shape shifting water creatures throughout our Native lands, especially within tribes on coastal waters. The Selkie myth although called by different names changes throughout the various Native peoples but you will find them if you know what you are looking for.
Rafe Martin first wrote about the Native version of the Selkie in his, The Boy Who Lived with Seals, in his children’s book. I used this book more than once teaching Native myths to my elementary students. Although, Martin never uses the word Selkie in his description, it is evident what he is referring to.
In book one of my Sekhmet’s Guardians series, Eternal Lovers, I have tried to explain the variations of the shape shifting Selkie as seen through the eyes of different native people around the globe.
Here is an insert from that book.
“Then he came across the stories of the Selkies. The Selkie stories changed as they crossed Europe from Scotland to Wales and through Sweden. In Scotland, the Selkie was described as a seal who took the form of a human woman to seduce men. The stories in Wales showed both sexes as Selkies and it appeared that was where the stories from which the merman and mermaid originated from. He read on further as the stories were leading him from one reference to another.
He was fascinated with what he read in some ancient tales from Sweden. He discovered stories portraying the Selkie as a fairy or water sprite like creature who took the form of many different animals, but most often took the form of sea creatures because of their love of water. They were gentle and kind in nature and possessed a love for all living creatures. The female in her human form was considerably petite in nature with delicate features. Their hair ranged from Blond to shades of red to dark brown. It was said that many a fisherman would take a Selkie as their bride as they were faithful and loving in every way.
The Selkie bride had many skills including a psychic link to her mate. She would know his thoughts and be able to run to his aid should he fall upon danger. Stories continued to tell the tale of fishermen mated to Selkies, who out to sea came upon a storm putting their ship in danger. The female Selkie wife would sense this, change form and swim out to sea in order to save him and the crew. Other stories told of farmers who were in accidents away from their home on land. The Selkie wife would change into a type of bird or fast moving animal, what ever creature would provide the means to get her to mate in time to save him.
The male Selkie in his human form was described as an incredibly large man, robust in muscle and excessively handsome, who had little difficulty seducing human women. At one time, it was believed they had seductive powers which they used on their human prey, but later, it was believed it was only because of their great looks and build that attracted the women to them.
It was believed male Selkies would seek out those females who were dissatisfied with their romantic and sexual life and fill the woman with pleasures beyond their wildest fantasies. The stories went on to talk of Selkie males taking human wives and would remain faithful to them for the remainder of their life.
The male and female Selkies often times would outlive their human mates. In mourning the loss of a human mate, the Selkie would return to the sea or near by water mass, taking their seal or other water creature form and not return to land. They would live out their lives in sorrow taking comfort in their natural habitat.
The Selkies could mate and often times the children of the Selkie would possess some, but not all the traits of the full blooded Selkie. The stories told of these half breed, half human children were quite different across the land, but they all had things in common. These children, regardless if they could change form or not, possessed incredible swimming abilities. They had incredible speed in water just as their Selkie parent.
Reading on, Lance found additional links mostly associated with the Chinook Native Americans who proclaimed a herd of Selkies moved into their area.
Lance believed he found what they were looking for. All the things he read made perfect sense–there was no doubt in his mind, Jennifer had to be part Selkie.” excerpt from The Boy Who Lived With Seals by Rafe Martin, illus. by David Shannon
END OF READING
The Native American Selkie creatures continue on into book two of the series, Eternal Nights which is scheduled for release May 1st. Two half-breed Native American-Selkie sisters and their full blooded Selkie father take center stage once again.
With each passing day, Jessica’s consciousness grew stronger. For twenty years, she was content to remain as she was—trapped inside another. The life she led came to an abrupt end the moment she laid eyes on Raphael. At first, she suspected they were destined to be together–his gentle touch confirmed it. Although he didn’t know it, he ignited waves of a fiery passion that burned deep into her soul. It became brighter every day, giving her the strength she needed. Somehow she would find a way to free herself from her grandmother’s powerful magic.
For weeks she managed to enter his dream state where they interacted with one another as if they were awake. Although no real physical activity took place, he took her to the heights of passion she had only dreamed about. Where they on inside another dimension? She believed so. His mind saw her as she should be–a woman walking on two legs with two arms to hold him and a body that was made for loving only him.
To have a human body again was more than she had ever hoped for.
SNIPPET: ETERNAL NIGHTS
Hours later, with stars twinkling over head and a bright full moon, Raphael and Jessica walked barefoot out on the long cedar dock that overlooked Jennifer’s favorite cove. They sat, dangling their feet in the cool water, enjoying the quiet surroundings after a day packed with travel and entertaining others.
“Jessica, there are some things we need to talk about,” Raphael said, sadness seeping into his vocal cords as he spoke.
She didn’t want him to be sad–not now–not ever. Turning her head she looked at him, waiting for him to continue.
“When… After Jen did the separation…”
“Raphael, I think I know what is bothering you… you think I don’t remember you saving my life but I do… It’s what saved me, Ray.”
“Ray? Since when did I become Ray?”
“The minute I first laid eyes on you back at the animal rescue center. You were my ray of hope, my ray of inspiration, the one that gave me the strength to fight for what I believed to be my destiny.
“And now that you here?”
There was a questioning tone to his voice–one she wasn’t sure she liked. His attitude was towards her was changing. Something is off. Had all of it been a lie? For over a week they remained by each other’s side. He never left her alone for more than a few minutes the entire time they were in the mountains. Was everything they encountered, night after night, while he slept a lie? Was it just some fantasy she created in her own mind to give her the strength she needed to overcome her grandmother’s magic? Was he just being kind to her out of some sense of obligation or for his love for Nowaki?
“You’re not sorry about offering your life force to me, are you?” She questioned silently, trying to hide her panic.
“Oh no, I was just afraid that you didn’t remember and that you might be uncomfortable with the idea… I don’t want any secrets between us… and I don’t want you to feel like you are being forced into a relationship you may not want…”
Want? Was he kidding? Ray is everything… my reason for living, for existing.
“After thinking about it, I don’t think that little action bound you to me… You do know that you are free to make your own decisions on where you want to live… who you want to be with…”
Is that why he hadn’t touched her this past week? He wanted her to choose someone else. It had never dawned on her until now, he might not want her. She fought back the tears as she stood up, slid out of Alice’s grey sweat suit and dove deep into the icy dark water.
In the mountains on the day they visited the cabin where she was born, Jennifer told her of her experiences as a Selkie. Jen had always had a love for water but said, “Never before embracing her Selkie side, did she truly know what it meant to be one with the water.” To be emerged and comforted by the depths of the deepest pools was something she was longing for–needed this very instant. No wonder broken hearted Selkies sought comfort at the bottom of the ocean. The minute she dove in she felt the water protecting and comforting her like a mother’s womb–like Nowaki had for so many years.
She wasn’t sure where this water would take her–hopefully somewhere away from here–away from all the pain she was feeling. Perhaps she would eventually find the great ocean Jennifer talked about–perhaps she would find others of her kind where she could live out her days. Why, oh why did I take Ray’s gift? The wounds would have killed me and I would have been spared from this agony.
BIO – author V.S.Nelson
Being a Native American woman and a Scorpio, author V.S. Nelson has always had a fondness for history, mythology, the occult, and the unexplained events which have occurred on this world we call home. It was no wonder she found herself writing a paranormal series.
Raised on authors like H.G. Wells and Jules Verne and coming from a long line of oral storytellers, Ms. Nelson work has been defined as innovative and fresh. She will take you by the hand and lead you into the depths of her imagination as if you are sitting next to her on the couch one minute and alive within her fantasy world the next.
She has always enjoyed reading stories with strong relationships and happy-ever-after-endings and it is reflected in her work. Even her commercial fiction, Sins of a Man, the Memoirs of a Mafia Hit man, is layered with romantic elements. I’ve heard her say she is in love with love more than once and that too is echoed in her stories.
Landing in Arizona, after an exciting teaching career, which took her to the Middle East for several years, she lives in Arizona where she spends most of her time making love to her computer while writing, editing or researching, seven to ten hours a day. The days she’s not writing, you will find her with her critique partners, attending or presenting a workshop or at a RWA (Romance Writers of America) meeting. She’s extremely active in three RWA chapters in addition to her other associations.
She enjoys hearing from readers, fans and people with similar interests. They are more than welcome to contact her through her website http://www.authorvsnelson.com