Wednesday, July 10, 2013


By Guest Author, Kat Flannery

While writing LAKOTA HONOR I did a ton of research. When writing a historical novel there are certain elements that need to be correct. With this particular novel I needed to know where the Lakota natives originated from, their language, what they ate and their remedies for ailments and injuries.  

What I admire the most about the Lakota Natives was that they never left things to waste. When hunting buffalo they used everything on the animal including the bone marrow. The same can be said for herbs and roots the Lakota took what they needed.

Below are just a few of the natural remedies I researched and what they were used for.

Wild Sage
PejiHota ape Blaskaska—Flat leaked sage—Wild Sage
Leaves are boiled and drank for upset stomach, and colds.
This plant was also used for religious ceremonies.

Purple Mallow
Pejuta NatiyaziLya—Incense for head—Purple Mallow
This was an important plant for the Lakota. When the root was burned the smoke was inhaled for head colds, or used to bathe aching muscles. The patient stands with a blanket over their heads in front of hot coals in which the plant is laid on top. The patient then inhales the smoke into their lungs for relief of their symptoms. Known to smell like coconut.

Sinkpe tawote—Muskrats food—Sweet Flag or Bitterroot
This is the Lakota’s most traditional medicine. Found in the shallow parts of lakes and rivers.
The plant has been used to cure almost every known ill, but its dominant uses are for cold congestion, sore throat, and upset stomach. The root can be chewed or drank.

Slippery Elm
Pe’ tuntunpa—Slippery Elm
Found in elm trees, the bark is used for numerous illnesses. The bark is ground into a powder and added to water makes a paste to spread onto burns, skin wounds, cold sores, boils, abscesses and toothaches. Placed in a cup of boiling water the Lakota people would drink it to help with ulcers, sore throats, stomach ailments.

Witch Hazel
Witch Hazel
This was used for inflammation and swelling. Some tribes boiled the leaves and rubbed them onto the legs of tribesmen who were participating in sporting games. Boiled twigs were used to cure aching muscles.

Bestselling Western Romance author, Kat Flannery takes you on an exciting journey with the release of her new Historical Paranormal Romance, LAKOTA HONOR.

Fate has brought them together, but will a promise tear them apart?

In the small town of Willow Creek, Colorado, Nora Rushton spends most of her days locked up in her home with a father who resents her and fighting off unwanted marriage proposals from the wealthy Elwood Calhoun. Marked as a witch, Nora must hide her healing powers from those who wish to destroy all the witkowin—crazy women. What she doesn't know is that a bounty hunter is hot on her trail.
Lakota native Otakatay has an obligation to fulfill. He has been hired to kill the witkowin. In a time when race and difference are a threat and innocence holds no ground, courage, love and honor will bring Nora and Otakatay together as they fight for their freedom. Will the desire to fulfill his promise drive Otakatay to kill Nora? Or will the kindness he sees in her blue eyes push him to be the man he once was?

"Transport back to the old west with this paranormal historical, and its alpha hero, and a heroine hiding her secret talents."
—Shannon Donnelly, author of the Mackenzie Solomon Urban Fantasy series

"Ms. Flannery doesn’t shy away from writing gritty scenes or about unpleasant topics…That’s what good writing is all about—bringing out strong emotions in a reader."
—Peggy L. Henderson, bestselling author of the Yellowstone Romance Series

"Those who relish the conflict of a heroic half-breed trapped between the white man's world and the Indian will fall in love with LAKOTA HONOR."
—Cindy Nord, author of No Greater Glory

"LAKOTA HONOR weaves a fast paced and beautiful prose that lures you through every chapter and leaves you wanting more."
—Erika Knudsen, paranormal author of Monarchy of Blood

Colorado Mountains, 1880

The blade slicing his throat made no sound, but the dead body hitting the ground did. With no time to stop, he hurried through the dark tunnel until he reached the ladder leading out of the shaft.
 He’d been two hundred feet below ground for ten days, with no food and little water. Weak and woozy, he stared up the ladder. He’d have to climb it and it wasn’t going to be easy. He wiped the bloody blade on his torn pants and placed it between his teeth. Scraped knuckles and unwashed hands gripped the wooden rung.
The earth swayed. He closed his eyes and forced the spinning in his head to cease. One thin bronzed leg lifted and came down wobbly. He waited until his leg stopped shaking before he climbed another rung. Each step caused pain, but was paired with determination. He made it to the top faster than he’d thought he would. The sky was black and the air was cool, but fresh. Thank goodness it was fresh.
 He took two long breaths before he emerged from the hole. The smell from below ground still lingered in his nostrils; unwashed bodies, feces and mangy rats. His stomach pitched. He tugged at the rope around his hands. There had been no time to chew the thick bands around his wrists when he’d planned his escape. It was better to run than crawl, and he chewed through the strips that bound his feet instead. There would be time to free his wrists later.
He pressed his body against the mountain and inched toward the shack. He frowned. A guard stood at the entrance to where they were. The blade from the knife pinched his lip, cutting the thin skin and he tasted blood. He needed to get in there. He needed to say goodbye. He needed to make a promise.
 The tower bell rang mercilessly. There was no time left. He pushed away from the rocky wall, dropped the knife from his mouth into his bound hands, aimed and threw it. The dagger dug into the man’s chest. He ran over, pulled the blade from the guard and quickly slid it across his throat. The guard bled out in seconds.
He tapped the barred window on the north side of the dilapidated shack. The time seemed to stretch. He glanced at the large house not fifty yards from where he stood. He would come back, and he would kill the bastard inside.
He tapped again, harder this time, and heard the weak steps of those like him shuffling from inside. The window slid open, and a small hand slipped out.
Toksha ake—I shall see you again,” he whispered in Lakota.
The hand squeezed his once, twice and on the third time held tight before it let go and disappeared inside the room.
A tear slipped from his dark eyes, and his hand, still on the window sill, balled into a fist. He swallowed past the sob and felt the burn in his throat. His chest ached for what he was leaving behind. He would survive, and he would return.
Men shouted to his right, and he crouched down low. He took one last look around and fled into the cover of the forest.

Author Kat Flannery
Kat Flannery has loved writing ever since she was a girl. She is often seen jotting her ideas down in a little black book. When not writing, or researching, Kat enjoys snuggling on her couch with a hot chocolate and a great book.

Her first novel, CHASING CLOVERS became an Amazon’s bestseller in Historical and Western romance. LAKOTA HONOR is Kat’s second book, and she is currently hard at work on the third.

When not focusing on her creative passions, Kat is busy with her three boys and doting husband.


  1. Kat, I love learning about natural remedies. Thank you for the photos, too, because I've heard of most of the remedies you mention, but had no idea what the plant looked like. Great post.

  2. Wow! What an excerpt, quite vivid and tense.
    I'm sure you know most of these remedies are still used today, and often found in health food stores and even in cosmetics sections of stores. They are truly time-worn, well-used remedies. We sometimes think we're so smart, when our forefathers and ancestors, and the Native Americans used them all along.
    Interesting stuff--all of us can benefit from your research.

    Thank you for being our guest, and much luck on the sale of your book.

  3. Great post- I've read about bitterroot in a lot of historicals and I never knew what it looked like- you book sounds great!!

  4. Hi Kat, I love this post. One of my offbeat heroes is Lakota and I loved learning and writing about him. I really respect them and how they approached life. These herbs are good to know about.

    Thanks for coming for a visit today. So nice to meet you. :)

  5. Kat, I've got LAKOTA HONOR in my TBR pile and can't wait to get to it. Thanks so much for sharing this herbal lore! "Mother Earth provides" long as Man keeps his greedy, grubby paws out of the equation. ;-)

  6. Kat, this is really interesting. I think it was pretty bad that we've forgotten how to use the natural herbs. I believe they're better for us than anything "modern medicine" can invent.

    I remember my Mama boiling up rabbit tobacco for us in the winter and making a tea. It helped with our colds and sore throat. Gosh, I can't even find rabbit tobacco today!

    The "old timey" knowledge was much wiser, in my book. Thank you for such an insightful post. :)

  7. Hi Kat, It's good to be reminded from time to time about how much we once knew and have let go. Good luck with the book. I enjoyed the exerpt. Anne Stenhouse

  8. Hi Kat! Thanks for such an interesting post. I've always been fascinated by how people learned to use native plants for various purposes. Hope LAKOTA HONOR is selling like gangbusters!

  9. Hi Kat! That's what I admire so about the Native Americans, they did use everything and had such a vast knowledge of the plants and how they could heal. I have a book I used when writing my spirit trilogy that helped me discover natural remedies for their ailments.

    Interesting post!

  10. Kat, I enjoyed your post so much. Thank you for sharing your research with us; I learned alot. Also, I am super excited about reading your book. The excerpt from LAKOTA HONOR was wonderful and I am "hooked". - Ashley

  11. Wow - sounds like a great book. I love someone who does a lot of research to back up what they write.

  12. Wonderful post and great excerpt! Thanks for the information and best wishes for many more sales!

  13. Hi Kat,
    Stories about Native Americans fascinate me and I've done research on the Lakota, Zuni and Navajo people. Very interesting. My husband and I are about to take another trip through Colorado into Utah and will pass by some of the reservations. Hopefully we'll have time to stop.

    Your story sounds like my kind of read. Will have to get a copy. Much luck to you with your writing.

  14. Great post and great excerpt! Thanks for sharing your research with us. Lakota Honor is on my TBR list.

  15. What terrific information, Kat. I love learning about the native tribes and how closely they lived with the earth and took care of her. Good post. Congrats on the book.

  16. I really enjoyed reading your research on Lakota medicine. A well researched book gives the story a heaping dose of reality. as a reader, I love that. Lakota Honor is bound to be a huge success.
    all the best to you.

  17. Thank you all so very much for you kind comments about the post and the excerpt for Lakota Honor. I love to research and most times find myself with more information than I need to have. The Lakota Sioux are a fascinating people with their way of life, Spiritual outlook and their ability to preserve their food. I learned so much while researching for LH and your comments just warm my heart. Thank you.
    Have a wonderful day! <3


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