When I saw this opportunity I immediately emailed my best author friend and asked her to partner with me and participate. I have been dying for another opportunity to showcase her and her work! I hope you enjoy this author and her work as much as I have!
I am featuring D.E. Lamont and her novella The Way of the Eagle: An Early California Journey of Awakening. Here's all the information you need to get ready for a great new read to add to your TBR list:
The Way of the Eagle: An Early California Journey of Awakening, by D.E. Lamont, has just been honored as an Award-Winning Finalist in the Visionary Fiction category of The USA "Best Books 2011" Awards, sponsored by USA Book News.
D.E. Lamont’s book features a rare people, the Tongva, the "People of the Earth," who were the original inhabitants of Los Angeles. They were driven to near extinction over the last four and a half centuries and currently number about 2,000 descendants. Unlike other tribes, they have no reservation land to call their own. D.E. Lamont, who was raised in their homeland, wished to honor the Tongva and let more people know about them and their rich culture through her story, which is set in the period just before the encroachment of Spain.
Synopsis: In The Way of the Eagle, a young Tongva man is being held to a different path by his mysterious spiritual mentor. He struggles to understand and survive these baffling and dangerous lessons so he can finally, years late, go to the Place of the Stones and undergo his spiritual initiation into manhood ... to regain the respect of his fellow villagers, and to win the love of a girl - for he is now considered a despicable coward. But first he must pass other difficult tests. He never guesses how much his life will change before his journey is done.
Not only am I excited to share D.E. with you as an amazing author, she has become an amazing friend over the past few months - I am delighted to have come into a friendship with such an awesome person!
D.E. Lamont worked as an independent nonfiction editor from the 1980s through 2010, when she focused in on her writing. D.E. Lamont writes nonfiction under the name Daveda Lamont. She has co-authored the nonfiction books "TAKING CHARGE OF YOUR STROKE RECOVERY: A Personal Recovery Workbook" with Roger & Kathy Maxwell, and "BECOMING A TRUE CHAMPION: Achieving Athletic Excellence from the Inside Out," with Kirk Mango - due out from Rowman & Littlefield in spring 2012. She is presently working on the sequel to THE WAY OF THE EAGLE and another full-length novel.
D.E. Lamont grew up in the mushrooming residential developments of the San Fernando Valley of Southern California in the 1950s and 60s. She and her brothers explored the wild chaparral-covered hills and canyons, where they found signs of former Native American inhabitants. These discoveries excited her interest in earlier times and left her with the haunting impression that many stories about these mysterious, missing people waited to be told.
Only many years later did she learn about the original people of Los Angeles, the Tongva, who had been driven to near extinction over the last four and a half centuries by the European and other conquerors. She wished to honor the Tongva and let more people know about them through her story, which is set in the period just before the encroachment of Spain. Today roughly 2,000 descendants of the Tongva live in Southern California.
D. E. Lamont lives with her husband and beloved birds and plants in an apartment overlooking the Hudson River, which at rare, magical times transforms into a mystical rolling river of clouds--hence, the name of her indie publishing imprint Cloud River Press.
"The spiritual tale of a young Native American from the days before the Spanish arrived in California.... There is hardly a word out of place ... what is most commendable is the precision and unpretentiousness of the prose while still managing to invoke the intense quality of Tacu's visionary quest and moving nature of his movement."
- Kirkus Reviews
"A wonderful story that thoroughly entertains while teaching spiritual values and some history of an important culture in our world. It should be in every school library; it's relevant for adults but how important for our children growing up today with similar moral issues, and what an aesthetic way to help them as they struggle to find themselves and their own truths rather than just going along with the crowd. The artwork and story are in beautiful harmony."
- Mo Bairdi
"The author deftly weaves an exquisitely rich tapestry of spiritual wisdom, adorned with ornate imagery, and intertwined with the profoundly learned wealth of lives lived close to the beating heart of Mother Earth."
- Barbara Anne Dunn, recipient of the IGHA Legion of St. Francis Award for her work in equine welfare
The Way of the Eagle: An Early California Journey of Awakening by D.E. Lamont is a quick, short read but one definitely worth a reader's time.
I really enjoyed this book, and felt like it was a real tribute to a culture and a people that are worth recognizing and honoring. Like many Native American tribes, the Tongva "People of the Earth" were a people whose culture and way of life were wiped away when Europeans entered North America.
D.E. Lamont uses the story of Tacu, a young Tongva brave and his journey to manhood as a way to show readers how very special this culture was. Throughout the book, the author weaves in the spiritual beliefs of the culture and parallels them with the importance of self-reliance as shown through Tacu's journey. We follow him as he prepares to become a man, and his uncle teaches him that at those times when his own understanding surpasses something taught during the traditional initiation ceremony, he should seek approval from within himself. The message of this story is that we all need to look within ourselves for approval, rather than from those around us.
The author's writing style comes across as effortless...when I was reading, it seemed as if I were right there, finding the path to my own self-reliance along with Tacu and I imagine that is just the way the author wanted it. To put it more plainly, she certainly has a way with words!
Like with most books I read, while the story was truly amazing, one of the most beneficial and interesting parts of the book was the "About the Author" section where D.E. Lamont explains the facts behind the Tongva culture, their demise, and the efforts being made to restore it for the remaining descendents and our country.
I would be remiss if I didn't also acknowledge the illustrator of this book, Jon H. Soeder. The author states that" his contribution to The Way of the Eagle is especially meaningful not only because of the dimension his cover art and beautiful illustrations add, but because of his sensitivity to the natural world and its creatures." I would wholeheartedly agree, and add that the illustrations were done so beautifully and thoughtfully that they added the perfect element to accompany the written text.
D.E. also offers an amazing blog that I highly recommend to all readers - there is a piece she just recently wrote about how Native American spirituality and everyday life are so interwoven. It, along with the book, should be required reading for high school students...in my opinion of course!