Part of a series: Cassie Edwards 1: The First Post | Cassie Edwards 2: Savage Longings | Cassie Edwards Part 3: Running Fox | Cassie Edwards Part 4: Savage Moon | Cassie Edwards Part 5: Savage Beloved | Follow-up: Penguin (Part 1?) | Official Statement from Signet | AP Article Contains Response from Edwards | RWA Responds to Allegations | A centralized document for the Cassie Edwards situation
So my friend Kate (not to be confused with HaikuKatie of Nebula Haiku fame) was in desperate need of new reading material recently, and since she’d never read any romance novels before, I decided to throw some at her to see what she thought, since she’s a Classicist and an SF/F geek. I gave her examples of what I thought were the best (Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase), the most popular (Dark Lover by J.R. Ward) and the worst (Shadow Bear by Cassie Edwards) of the genre.
Shadow Bear introduced poor Kate to all-new levels of pain—she’d never encountered a book in which ellipses and exclamation marks were abused with quite that much abandon, or in which the characters spoke in Glossary with such distressing consistency. What especially caught her eye, however, were the didactic passages in the book. They were written in a distinctly different voice, and out of idle curiosity, she decided to Google certain phrases and sentences.
The results were…interesting. Kate was able to find large chunks of text from a few sources that seemed to have been inserted into Shadow Bear with little to no modification, mostly from Land of the Spotted Eagle by Luther Standing Bear and, I shit you not, an article about black-footed ferrets from the Defenders of Wildlife.
After we’d picked ourselves up from the floor (seriously: ferrets! Hee!), and since we’re suckers for punishment, Kate and I promptly ran to Powell’s to obtain more Edwards novels and spent pretty much all of Saturday afternoon and evening combing through four novels to see if we could find any more Eerie Similarities. No, we didn’t have anything better to do with ourselves. Yes, our dorkery and geekiness are legion. Yes, we’re masochistic fools. (Four Cassie Edwards novels in less than 12 hours! FOUR! Aieeee.)
Presented below are the results of our compare-n-contrast exercise—identical information has been sent to Penguin Group and Dorchester Publishing, and if they make any sort of public statement, we’ll let you know. Keep in mind, we found all this out with minimal effort. Kate and I didn’t bother to hit the libraries; we mostly depended on the Grace of Google to shower its bounty upon us.
And to all the legal-type people for Companies What Publish Books and the Legal Counsel of a Certain Author of Native American Romances who may be taking an interest in this here particular page: please note that we’re not making accusations of any sort. We’re merely providing evidence of Startling and Eerie Similarities between these Cassie Edwards novels and certain texts published prior to the Edwards books.
Et naturellement, all excerpts are quoted under fair use provisions of United States copyright law. All text in the table below = transcribed verbatim from the sources with full attribution and links to the source material; however, the occasional typo may have snuck in here and there, for which we apologize in advance.
|Shadow Bear by Cassie Edwards (2007, ISBN 978-0-451-22174-2, Signet)
|“In my vision, I also saw the fields of sunflowers that are beloved by our Lakota people all scorched, the flowers no longer able to reach their faces toward the sun. I saw buffalo trapped amid flames.” She paused, swallowed hard, then said, “The sunflower and buffalo are two beloved symbols of our Lakota people. The sun is essential to all health and life. In spring, summer, and winter, rays are welcome. In the spring, its warmth brings forth new grass; in summer its heat cures the skins, dries the meat, and preserves food for storage. The buffalo are all and everything to the existence of the Lakota.” p. 6-7
|So the sunflower and the buffalo were two beloved symbols of the Lakota. So first, last, and throughout existence, the Lakota knew that the sun was essential to health and to all life. In spring, summer, and winter its rays were welcome. In the spring its warmth brought forth new grass; in the summer its heat cured the skins, dried the meat, and preserved food for storage, and in the winter the Lakotas bathed their bodies in the sunshine, stripping themselves just as they did to bathe in the streams. Standing Bear, Luther. Land of the Spotted Eagle. 2006 p.49
|He rode from the village, a sadness grabbing at his heart. After a while he saw several buffalo wandering through a field of sunflowers, lolling their heads as they walked. Loving the sunflowers so much, some of the animals had uprooted the plants and had wound them about their necks, letting sprays dangle from their horns. p. 10-11
|And strange it is, but the buffalo loved the simple and odorless sunflower just as did the Lakota. These great beasts wandered through the sunflower fields, wallowing their heads among them. Sometimes they uprooted the plants and wound them about their necks, letting sprays dangle from their left horns. Id., p. 49
|She knew now that meat was the main article of food for the Lakota. It was their staff of life and eaten at all meals. p. 148
|Meat was the main article of food, the staff of life, eaten at all meals and in all seasons. Id., p. 53
|Soup was their universal dish. She had enjoyed all the varieties of meat, corn, and even squash as big as the paunch of a buffalo, all very sweet from the hot ashes of the fire. p. 148
|Whether meat was fresh or dry, it was usually boiled, for soup was the universal dish of the Lakota, being liked by young, middle-aged, and old. Id., p. 54
|Shiona had watched as the intestines of a buffalo that one warrior had chanced to find were thoroughly cleaned by his wife, looped over the end of a stick and roasted to a crispy brown over the hot outdoor fire. Another woman had made her meat more enticing, their strips having been braided and looped in a chain stitch before putting it in the flames of the fire for roasting. p. 147-48
|The intestines of the buffalo were thoroughly cleaned, looped over the end of a stick, and roasted to a crispy brown over a hot coal fire, or again, as if to make this good dish more enticing, the strips were braided or looped in chain-stitch before putting over the fire. Id., p. 54
|Shiona had grimaced at learning that the brains of animals were used to thicken soup, and that tripe, either boiled or roasted, was a favorite dish. p. 148
|Brains were used to thicken the soup, and tripe, either boiled or roasted, was a favorite dish. Id., p. 54
|This was the most welcome season of the year… their fruit season. Chokeberries, grapes, plums, currants, strawberries, and gooseberries grew plentiful in the woods and alongside the river and streams. One of the first fruits to ripen was the wazusteca, strawberries. Then the wild plums would ripen and fall to the ground. The women would gather them, dry them, and put them in storage for winter food. Later, in the fall, after the first frost, the fruit of the wild rose would turn red and make a delicious food, sweet raw or cooked. p. 8
|The most welcome season of the year was the fruit season when the chokeberry, grape, plum, currant, strawberry and gooseberry all grew plentifully in the woods along the streams. We feasted on these delicious fruits, sharing them with the bears, raccoons, muskrats, and beavers. The coyote even ate the wild plums that ripened and fell to the ground. The women gathered these fruits and dried them, putting them in storage for winter food. One of the first fruits of the year to ripen was the wazusteca, or strawberry, while very soon after came the wild currant… The fruit of the wild rose, which turned red in the late fall after the first frost, made a delicious food. It was very sweet either raw or cooked. Id., p. 59
|“You do have much to learn, but not all sexually,” Shadow Bear said. He reached for one of her hands as the fire burned softly in the fire pit. “As one of my people, you will learn that every day begins with a salute to the sun, and as a bringer of light, it is recognized whether its face is visible or whether it is hidden by a clouded sky.” p. 198-199
|Every day for the Lakota began with a salute to the sun, and as a bringer of light, it was recognized, whether its face was visible or whether it was hidden by a clouded sky. Id., p. 47
|“That is because there is no kneeling, nor words spoken, nor hands raised, but in every Lakota heart there is just a thought of tribute,” Shadow Bear proudly explained. He turned to her so that their eyes met. “You will learn that no assembly of our people is required for that tribute, either. Each and every person, on his own account, holds his own moment of worship.” p. 199
|There was no kneeling, no words were spoken, and no hands were raised, but in every heart was just a thought of a tribute. No assembly ceremonies were held in the morning, each and every person on his own account holding his moment of worship. Id., p. 47
|He nodded toward the closed entrance flap. “Outside, you will notice that further recognition is given the sun by the erection of the Lakota village with every tepee door facing the east,” he said. p. 199
|Further recognition was given the sun by the erection of the villages with every tipi door facing the east. Id., p. 47
|“The arrows used to wound my brother and that took your loved ones from you were not made from this shrub. Our Lakota hunting arrows are made with its three feathers and finished with the down that comes from under the tail feathers of a bird.” He drew his hand from her. “The two red wavering lines, the symbol of lightning, are always painted from the feathered end and halfway to the arrow tip.” p. 213 “The arrow I described is mainly used for hunting. That is the reason the arrow is grooved to the tip. That allows the blood to flow free from the body of the downed animal, thereby humanely hastening death.” p.215
|The best specimen of Lakota hunting arrow had three feathers finished with a fluff of down that came from under the tail feathers of the bird. Two red wavering lines, the symbol of lightning, were painted from the feathered end halfway to the arrow tip, but grooved the rest of the way to the tip so as to allow the blood to flow freely from the body of the animal, thereby hastening death. Id., p. 20
|“A bright painted lodge, fine blankets, stacks of beadwork and plush robes and food speak of good living,” he said, taking her by an elbow, ushering her inside the tepee. “This is all yours.” p. 202
|“And to those from the southern camps, the new, bright-painted lodges, the many good bows and guns, the fine blankets, and the stacks of beadwork in almost every lodge spoke of good living.” Sandoz, Mari. Crazy Horse: Strange Man of the Oglalas. 2004 p. 128
|“In their own way, they are a peaceful enough animal,” Shadow Bear said… “They are so named because of their dark legs.” “They are so small, surely weighing only about two pounds and measuring two feet from tip to tail,” Shiona said. “While alone in my father's study one day, after seeing a family of ferrets from afar in the nearby woods, I took one of my father's books from his library and read up on them. They were an interesting study. I discovered they are related to minks and otters. It is said that their closest relations are European ferrets and Siberian polecats. Researchers theorize that polecats crossed the land bridge that once linked Siberia and Alaska, to establish the New World population.” p. 220
|“Black-footed ferrets, so-named because of their dark legs, weigh about two pounds and measure two feet from tip to tail. Related to mink and otters, they are North America's only native ferret (and a different species than the ferrets kept as pets). Their closest relatives are European ferrets and Siberian polecats. Researchers theorize polecats crossed the land bridge that once linked Siberia and Alaska to establish the New World population.” Tolme, Paul. “Toughing it Out in the Badlands,” Defenders Magazine, Summer 2005.
|“What I have observed of them, myself, is that these tiny animals breed in early spring when the males roam the night in search of females,” Shadow Bear said, watching as the last of the ferrets bounded off and disappeared amid the bushes away from where they had first been spotted. “Mothers typically give birth to three kits in early summer and raise their young alone in abandoned prairie dog burrows.” p. 220-221
|“The animals breed in March and April, when males roam the night in search of females. Mothers typically give birth to three kits in June, and raise their young alone in abandoned prairie dog burrows.” Id.
|“I read that ferrets stalk and kill prairie dogs during the night. Using their keen sense of smell and whiskers to guide them through pitch-black burrows, ferrets suffocate the sleeping prey, an impressive feat considering the two species are about the same weight,” Shiona said, shivering at the thought, for to her one animal was as cute and precious as the next. It was a shame that any had to die to sustain the other. p. 221
|“Ferrets stalk and kill prairie dogs during the night. Using their keen sense of smell and whiskers to guide them through pitch-black burrows, ferrets clamp a suffocation bite on their sleeping prey — an impressive feat, considering that the two species are about the same weight.” Id.
|“In turn, coyotes, badgers, and owls prey on ferrets, whose life span in the wild is often less than two winters,” Shadow Bear explained. “They have a short, quick life.” p. 221
|Coyotes, badgers and owls in turn prey on ferrets, whose lifespan in the wild is often less than two years. “It's a tough and quick life,” Livieri says. Id.