Native Pride

The baby is my Great Grandmother, Ella "Tootsie" Rhoan.

My newest Harlequin Romantic Suspense series, Native Country, which hits stores July and August, has special meaning to me. My maternal ancestors hail directly from Yosemite National Park and many photos in the museum feature members of my family. It’s a special honor to share Native blood and I’m overjoyed to finally tap into that resource with this new series. Although this series is set on the Hoh reservation in Washington state, the pride those feel with share Native American ancestry remains the same. I am continually amazed by those who have integrated their culture into their daily lives so that their Native voices are not lost.

I dedicated this series to my great grandmother Ella and my maternal grandfather Orval. My great grandmother was an amazing woman, tough enough to raise more than 10 children and countless grandchildren, and yet patient enough to try and teach a reluctant girl their Native language. I regret not embracing my culture at such an early age.

My grandfather Orval is a special human being, who throughout my life, has been a constant source of wisdom and kindness, not to mention hilarity, as he has a corny sense of humor that never failed to make me laugh or at the very least, smile. I’ve been blessed in my family, without a doubt.

I wanted to bring a sense of family and fierce loyalty to this series and I hope I achieved that goal. Readers will have to let me know.

I just returned from RWA National in New York and although I didn’t win in the RITA category I was nominated (category series adventure/suspense) I had a wonderful time and I can’t wait for next year in Anaheim. Of course, one of the perks of RWA conference is the copious amount of free books that you come home with! So in the spirit of generosity, and to celebrate the release of my new series, I want to give away free books, too!

To one lucky poster, I will give away a set of my Native Country series. All you have to do is leave a comment on my blog and at the end of the week, I’ll draw a winner. To get the conversation started, tell me, how do you celebrate your heritage? Where do your ancestors hail? Let’s share!

Looking forward to your posts!

Warmly,

Kimberly Van Meter

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