What is a Shaman, Anyway?
The official definition is “a person regarded as having access to, and influence in, the world of good and evil spirits, esp. among some peoples of northern Asia and North America. Typically such people enter a trance state during a ritual, and practice divination and healing.” For some North American indigenous people, the name “shaman” is not used, since it was a created name given by others. They prefer the words for medicine man in their own languages. But many modern shamans are perfectly comfortable with the term. Schools now even exist where one can study to be a shaman, with the goal of providing metaphysical healings upon graduation.
The origin of shamanistic peoples is fascinating. We can learn of the spread of humanity through either the Bering Strait, or, as the Hopi believe, by crossing the Atlantic via now submerged islands. As the spread of shamanism is traced by anthropologists through early pre-History, we can see how it dies out in many places (including all of Europe) with the spread of agriculture. Did all of our early ancestors believe in spirits, believe that everything, down to even the rocks, possesses a spiritual power? Did we all originate from these more ecstatic and spirit-focused societies, where the work was more communal and less hierarchical? I like to think that we did, and that the modern Native American still has a lot to show us about how we can connect with nature and ourselves.
The Shaman’s Temptation:
Madeleine Greenway, perfectionist and analyst for Surety Bank, has no place in her rigidly organized life for something as unpredictable as a man, much less a Native American shaman. Sent to the White Mountain reservation to help the tribe finance its new casino, she meets Tak, a proud, beautiful Apache, and finds herself surrounded by something magical in the Arizona desert. His touch becomes a passport to otherworldly bliss, and the strange coyote she sees makes her question what’s real. But it’s the amazing sex with Tak that makes Madeleine lose sight of her goal—to guarantee that Surety Bank’s investment in the casino won’t fail.
Last in a long line of shaman shape-shifters, Tak Nah-Kah-Yen has sworn a vow of celibacy to his gods. But Madeleine’s lithe body and honeyed lips compel him to forswear his pledge, claiming her for his own. His passion for her overshadows his link to his gods at a time when he most needs their help. Desperate to find funding for the casino and lift his people out of poverty, he’d accepted start-up money from less than savory sources who are willing to kill to guarantee their profit—the profit Madeleine’s bank jeopardizes…
Her vision expanded and swam. She felt faint and wondered if she was dehydrated, for surely she was seeing a mirage. There, perhaps twenty paces before her, was the man from her dream, as if he had materialized from behind a cactus. She had to be hallucinating. He wore only jeans, his feet barefoot on the rocky ground, even more beautiful than in her dream. His skin shimmered in the waking sun, beads of sweat forming across his brow. High cheekbones led her gaze straight to his deep brown eyes. She walked to him slowly, eliminating the distance between them, wanting to touch him and find out if he was real or if she were still asleep. She stood before him and opened her mouth as if to speak, but instead, he reached out and traced the outline of her lips with his thumb. This was no mirage. She should have been shocked by the touch of this stranger, but it was if she were entranced, her body responding to him as if they were already lovers.
He pushed his thumb between her wet, open lips. She sucked slightly, tasting the salty tang of man. This was real. He was real. Warmth coursed through her, and she knew the wetness between her legs was not from her run. Small beads of sweated glinted on his skin, and she reached out to explore his heaving chest with her hands, his muscles warm and taut beneath her fingertips. God, he was beautiful. He held the back of her neck with one hand, pulling her to him. She closed her eyes, ready to be kissed, her lips open, waiting. Every cell in her body felt the nearness of him, felt his touch on her neck.
“Tell me your name.” His voice was smooth like honey poured into warm tea.
“Madeleine,” she whispered, her fingers moving over his chest.
He stroked the back of her neck and she waited, expectant, for his lips to descend. But then he moved his hands from her, softly, so softly, and a gentle wind caressed her skin. She opened her eyes. He was gone.
Erin has been writing her entire life, but only recently found her voice in the paranormal romance world. She's an avowed chocoholic, loves travel and good tea, and finds her inner peace by meditating and writing. Find her most on Twitter!