Tuesday, February 20, 2018

New Book Coming & Navajo Myth

I am so happy! I just sent Tempting Adam off to my editor. Cover art is also being designed by Kim Killion. I hope to publish this 7th book in my Romancing the Guardians series within the next two weeks. Yay! Then I’ll hurry on with the finale in book 8, tentatively titled The Great Joining.

As some of you know, this continuing series centers around seven characters who possess psychic powers and a set of secret scroll handed down through time from their Tuatha de Danaan ancestors. The de Danaan were a legendary race of demi-gods according to Irish mythology. Reading about them gave me the idea for the Guardians saga.
Bobby C. Hawkins; https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en

However, the Navajo people, their homeland and mythology also became increasingly important as this series progressed. I’ve talked about Canyon de Chelly, heart of the Navajo Nation before. It’s a haven for the Guardians that will come under attack by their enemies in book 8. Today I’d like to give you a quick peek at Navajo beliefs and one character who appears in many of their myths: naughty Coyote.

The Navajo creation myth (Dineʼ Bahane') describes the primeval rise of the Navajo people and forms the basis for their traditional way of life. The story begins with the Nilch'i Diyin (Holy Wind) being created, the mists of lights arising through darkness to animate and bring purpose to the four Diyin Dineʼé (Holy People), supernatural and sacred beings in three different lower worlds. All these things happened before the Earth was created and humans only existed in spiritual form.

According to the myth, the Fourth World produced the first physical humans, who in turn, gave birth to the Hero Twins. The twins had many adventures helping to rid the world of various monsters. Multiple batches of modern humans were created a number of times in the Fourth World and the Diyin Dineʼé gave them ceremonies which are still practiced today.

This is a simplification of the actual creation myth. You can read it in detail here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Din%C3%A9_Bahane%CA%BC

Coyote howling, wikipedia public domain

Now meet Coyote (mąʼii in Navajo). Although he is a trouble-maker, he is one of the most important and revered characters in Navajo mythology. Coyote's ceremonial name is Áłtsé hashké which means "first scolder". In Navajo tradition, Coyote appears in creation myths, teaching stories and healing ceremonies.

One story caught my eye, not only because it teaches a good lesson but because in it, Coyote tangles with a horn toad. Also known as horned frogs (they're actually lizards) they are the mascot for Texas Christian University. Located here in Fort Worth, TCU is my daughter’s alma mater, and hubby and I are huge fans when football season rolls around.

Okay, here is part of the tale. I don’t dare share the whole piece for fear of copyright infringement. But you can read the rest & more coyote stories here: http://www.lapahie.com/Mythology.cfm
Horned frog (lizard) wikipedia public domain

 Coyote and the Horned Toad

By Harrison Lapahie Jr.
Horned Toad was very busy in her cornfield, where the corn was just ripening. Coyote came to her and said, "Please give me some of your delicious corn." "No," said Horned Toad. Coyote asked her four times; then she picked some corn for him.

"Corn is very hard to raise," Horned Toad told him. "We have to hoe the weeds away from it and pick off the bugs and worms that want to eat it. We even have to water it during dry weather. I can't afford to give all my corn away."

Coyote kept begging. Horned Toad said he couldn't have any more.

Then Coyote ran out into the field and-pulled off a big ear of corn, stripped the husks away and began eating the kernels. Horned Toad grabbed one end of the ear, and, when he gulped it down. Coyote also gulped Horned Toad down inside him.

Since she wasn't there to scold him, he ate all the corn he could hold. Then he lay down in the shade. He felt very lazy, but when he heard birds flying down to eat the corn, he raised his head and shouted at them. "Go away! Don't bother my corn," he shouted "Don't you know it takes work to raise corn? I have to hoe it and water it, and all that."

Down inside him, Horned Toad made some sort of noise. Horned Toad was very angry with Coyote and wanted to do something to get even with him. As she lay inside Coyote's stomach, she called, "Hey, Cousin!" Coyote jumped up and looked around to see who was calling. He saw nobody, and he lay down again. The second time he heard someone calling, he jumped up again and ran around the edge of the cornfield, looking for the person whose voice he had heard.

This happened four times. The fourth time that Horned Toad called, Coyote realized where the sound was coming from and he looked down at his stomach and asked, "Is that you making noises inside me?" "Yes," replied Horned Toad. "I'm going to take a little walk down here and see what I can find."

Soon Coyote began to feel strange, and he told Horned Toad to lie down and be still. Instead, Horned Toad continued to walk around, and she tugged at different parts of Coyote's insides.

Lyn Horner is a multi-published, award-winning author of western historical romance and romantic suspense novels, all spiced with paranormal elements. She is a former fashion illustrator and art instructor who resides in Fort Worth, Texas – “Where the West Begins” - with her husband and a gaggle of very spoiled cats. As well as crafting passionate love stories, Lyn enjoys reading, gardening, visiting with family and friends, and cuddling her furry, four-legged children.

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/Y3aotC
Newsletter:  Lyn’s Romance Gazette http://eepurl.com/bMYkeX
Website:  Lyn Horner’s Corner 


  1. Sounds really interesting, Lynn. I've long been fascinated by Navajo spiritual beliefs and have a lot of books on them. The book I have coming next, with beta readers right now, has some on the Navajo and on the land there. It was my favorite part of writing this one. I look forward to reading yours using that fascinating mythology.

    1. Hi Rain, nice to hear from you. The Navajo and other Native American cultures hold many beliefs we ought to take seriously IMO. I hope to work in some of their traditional outlooks in the conclusion of my Guardians series. I also look forward to reading your new book.

    2. The other really interesting people are the Hopi. I find Native American myths really fascinating. :)

    3. Yes, the Hopi's belief in "star people" is especially intriguing to me.

  2. Lyn, I love Navajo myths. We've read all the Tony Hillerman books. As well, we've visited the ruins of Chaco Canyon, Canyon de Chelly, Mesa Verde, and many other ruins of the anasazi.I didn't realize your daughter was a TCU ex. Both our daughters received their Bachelor degrees from TCU. I look forward to your next book.

  3. Caroline, Ken and I are planning a trip to Canyon de Chelly this spring. I want to see with my own eyes the place I have written about in several books and which is the setting for the final Guardians book. I can't wait!

    Glad to know you're a TCU parent. I didn't know your daughters went there. Mine got her degree in 1998. She majored in geology. It's a great school. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I feel sorry for the coyote with that bossy horn toad in its stomach making a fuss. The Navajo, like most indigenous Americans, have some great stories to tell from their culture. I loved the one you told here.
    Congratulations on your forthcoming book in your series, Lyn. I am certain it will be well received.
    All good things to you.

    1. LOL Coyote learned a good lesson but feel a bit sorry for him too. Thanks for your good wishes!

  5. Now I must read the rest of that myth.

    How can we avoid not bringing our American Indians into our stories of the old west? We can't! And anyone who does, is ignoring a major part of the the West's history.

    1. Well said, E. Too often we only hear about Indian raids and battles with the Army. We owe a great deal to all Native American cultures.


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