Welcome to Sugarbeat’s Books – The Home of the Romance Novel!
Today I am welcoming M.B. Tosi to the blog. She is the author of the recently released The Sacred Path of Tears, a historical romance. Just from the blurb that I found on M.B.’s blog, I find this book quite intriguing! Something that is a bit different from what is common in Historical Romances. Please read further and learn more about this author and her writing!
Barb – Tell us a little bit about yourself.
M.B. – I was born in South Dakota. Some of my earliest memories are seeing the Sioux reservation, the beauty and sacredness of Mt. Rushmore, the wide open plains with blowing tumbleweed, and the herds of buffalo as we drove our car along the state roads. It must have made an impression on me because I like to write about that part of the country and Native American culture.
We later moved east where I lived in the Washington, D.C. area twice, and Bucks County, Pennsylvania. I have a bachelor’s degree in journalism from The Ohio State University, worked as the editor of a weekly newspaper, and eventually moved to Toledo, Ohio where I received a master’s degree in education from The University of Toledo. Throughout the years, I’ve been a freelance editor of non-fiction books and a piano teacher. I’ve also raised three children and now have three grandchildren (and an adorable King Charles Cavalier Spaniel named Ava).
Barb – Tell us about your new book.
M.B. – The Sacred Path of Tears is the first book in The Indian Path Series. Each book in the series focuses on a different Native American tribe during the Indian Wars in the late 1800s, and the lives of fictional characters are woven into the true events. The theme of The Indian Path Series is finding life’s purpose and a path of peace, love, courage, and faith in times of trouble.
The Sacred Path of Tears is a journal written by a young Cheyenne Indian woman, nicknamed Mokee, during the Indian Wars in Kansas. After Mokee and her companion observe the Sand Creek Massacre, they warn the other Indian camps along the Smoky Hill River. They take cover in a barn near Salina, Kansas, where they are discovered by a widow and her two sons.
Mokee’s companion leaves to join the fight against the white soldiers but hating war, Mokee, with her lighter coloring, gains a safe haven with the widow’s family. She finds a mentor in the well-educated widow and embraces the opportunity to read and write English. As her life unfolds, Mokee is torn between two worlds at war and the two men she loves, one a white settler and the other, her companion who has become Cheyenne Dog Soldier. Though war is her constant shadow, Mokee tries to find the purpose for her life and a path of peace in her war-torn world.
For too long, Native Americans, the first Americans, have been left out of the dialog in America. In my own small way, I want to bring them back into the dialog through The Indian Path Series. As American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said, “If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.”
Barb – Do you have a favorite character or are they all your favorites in some fashion?
M.B. – In The Sacred Path of Tears, my main character, Mokee, of course, is one of my favorites. She is a sweet young Cheyenne girl struggling to make sense of her world at war after the Sand Creek Massacre. Most importantly, she is courageous and continually tries to do what is right.
As much as I love Mokee, it is incredibly fun to write irascible, crusty characters, and that describes Red Wolf. He is a Cheyenne interpreter and scout for the military whose life becomes entwined with Mokee’s. I do have another favorite character too, but I don’t want to give away any secrets about the two men Mokee loves and how she is torn between their love.
Barb – What is your favorite scene in the book?
M.B. – One of my favorite scenes is toward the end of the book, and it is represented by the beautiful cover picture on The Sacred Path of Tears. Mokee fears that her friend Red Wolf is dead, and suddenly he appears in the distance on his black stallion. With abandonment and joy, she runs barefooted through the meadow toward him. Although the shadow of war still follows her, but she is filled with hope upon discovering that her friend has survived.
Barb – What type of scene do you find the most difficult to write?
M.B. It was very difficult for me to write about the atrocities of the Sand Creek Massacre. When you’re writing a historical book, you have to focus on being accurate with historical facts, no matter how emotional they are. When I read the Congressional testimony of actual witnesses to the massacre, I wept as I wrote about man’s inhumanity towards man. It was very moving!
Barb – What part of writing do you enjoy the most? What do you find the least enjoyable?
M.B. – The most fun part of being an author is the actual writing, and the most tedious part is editing. I love so many things about writing. I love creating characters that are courageous and struggling to make sense of their world, just like we are today. I love showing how the ordinary among us may actually be extraordinary unsung heroes. And as I said before, I love to create irascible characters that have warm hearts.
I’m particularly intrigued writing scenes of friction between two people who love each other, yet who are stubbornly resisting their love as I’ve always found love to be a bumpy road. Like many authors, I especially love writing love scenes as it brings a sense of joy to see two people come together to face the world’s challenges.
Because of the historical setting of my books, it’s important to bring in battles which affect the characters. I think it’s very difficult to find a balance between staying accurate to historical facts and not giving overly gruesome details.
Barb – What do you do when you aren’t writing?
M.B. – I actually have been a piano teacher for 35 years. I love my students and teaching, and I try to share with my students the joy I feel for music. I’ve always felt that music is the true language of the universe, which is maybe an unusual statement for a writer. Many people don’t know I trained to be a concert pianist when I was younger. When I want to unwind, I play piano, and sometimes I even like to write music. I love going with friends to symphonies, musical theater, and pop concerts.
Conversely, and maybe it’s because I’m a Gemini with two different personalities, I love football. I always watch Ohio State football games, and I’m a big Pittsburgh Steelers fan. I like working out, and I try to swim and go walking as much as I can. I also try to visit my children and grandchildren frequently as none of them live in my hometown, and I’m a Deacon in my church.
My ideal vacation would be relaxing on a beautiful beach with soft white sand or going on a cruise through northern Europe. I’m a real homebody for the most part, and I love to garden. My adorable (and quirky) King Charles Cavalier Spaniel named Ava is my biggest distraction when I’m writing. She continuously interrupts me for hugs.
Barb – What book is on your nightstand?
M.B. – I love to work on my manuscripts at night, so I don’t usually read then. I like a variety of books though. I enjoyed reading the Harry Potter and also the Twilight series. Both series were very unique and well-written, and I loved the character development. I also enjoyed Stephanie Meyers’ The Host as it was so unusual. Over the years, I think I read every book by LaVyrle Spencer as I really enjoyed her writing style.
You’ll probably think this odd for a fiction writer, but I usually read non-fiction books, particularly spiritual books. In addition to The Bible, some of my favorite books are: The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, The Purpose Driven Life by Dr. Rick Warren, 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace and Living the Wisdom of the TAO, both by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, Many Lives, Many Masters, by Brian L. Weiss, MD, and Journey of Souls and Destiny of Souls by Michael Newton, PhD.
Barb – If you could ask your readers one question, what would it be?
M.B. – Individually, I would like to hear the thing that makes each reader the proudest – how each one has overcome an obstacle, a problem, or a challenge and through it all has become a better person. I’m also curious about what led each person to that moment of realization of how to solve a problem. These are the characters I write about, characters just like my readers who are everyday heroes. Although my characters lived more than a century ago, they struggle with many of the same issues we face today.
Barb – What project is next for you?
M.B. – The second book in The Indian Path Series will be out early in 2012. It’s called The Secret Path of Destiny and is about the Comanche Indians in Texas. A young disabled German-American girl, named Isolde, and her destitute mother reach out for a lifeline being offered by a widower in the German town of Fredericksburg, Texas. The year is 1865, and the two travel from New York City through the aftermath of the Civil War. But another war is brewing, this time with Native Americans. And Isolde and her mother are heading right into the heart of Comancheria, the homeland of the Comanche.
It is not the Comanche Isolde fears, but her mother’s new employer, who becomes her stepfather. Isolde realizes he is a cunning man and not who he pretends to be. As the situation worsens, Isolde is forced to make a life changing decision to escape, and she dangerously seeks refuge with a Comanche who befriends her, but later joins a warring band of Comanche. Her malevolent stepfather pursues her across Texas, turning her life upside down. In the midst of all her troubles, Isolde’s faith sustains her, and she unexpectedly finds the love that has always eluded her. Eventually, Isolde accepts the difficult circumstances of her life, and she realizes destiny is often hidden from view because the path is sometimes rocky.
I really hope you are as excited as I am in revisiting the history of our country during the Indian Wars and the actual events that occurred. But the real story is about you and me. As my characters overcome the adversity that faces them in a different time period, what are the obstacles we face today and how do we find the courage to find the right path in life? Even though many of us seem ordinary or weak to those around us, will we find the inner strength like Isolde to be extraordinary and face our challenges?
Barb – How can your readers keep in touch with you?
M.B. – I love hearing from my readers, and I try to answer all my e-mails. My website is http://www.mbtosi.com. There is a Contact tab on my website, and you can e-mail me directly from there. I can also be contacted on Twitter (@AuthorMBTosi) and on Facebook (Author M.B. Tosi).
Barb – Anything else you’d like to add?
M.B. – My goal is to write about inspiring characters that have courage, faith, and hope like my readers. I would love for my readers to inspire me with their personal stories of courage and facing challenges and overcoming obstacles. Who knows? Maybe I’ll base a character in one of my new books on one of you.
I’d like to thank M.B. for dropping by and sharing such wonderful information with us about her new book!
AUTHOR M.B. TOSI
M.B. Tosi is the author of a new historical romance fiction book, The Sacred Path of Tears, which is part of The Indian Path Series. The book is available in soft or hard covers, and e-book formats at amazon.com, barnes&noble.com, westbowpress.com, and other online retailers, and it can also be ordered through local booksellers. Follow Author M.B. Tosi on Twitter and Facebook, and please visit her website, MBTosi.com. It contains monthly posts, information about her series and new book coming out early in 2012, a sample chapter and synopsis of The Sacred Path of Tears, and contact and order information.
The Sacred Path of Tearsis a journal written by a youngCheyenne Indian woman, nicknamed Mokee, during the Indian Wars in Kansas inthe late 1860s. After Mokee and her companion observe the Sand Creek Massacre,they warn the other Indian camps along the Smoky Hill River. They take cover in abarn near Salina, Kansas, where they are discovered by a widow and her two sons.Mokee’s companion leaves to join the fight against the white soldiers but hating war,Mokee, with her lighter coloring, gains a safe haven with the widow’s family. Shefinds a mentor in the well-educated widow and embraces the opportunity to read andwrite English. As her life unfolds, Mokee is torn between two worlds at war and thetwo men she loves, one a white settler and the other her companion, who has becomea Cheyenne Dog Soldier. Though war is her constant shadow, Mokee tries to find thepurpose for her life and a path of peace in her war-torn world.