Category Archives: Native American

The Hopi Stories

LFP is proud to announce the publication of Scapegoat, the first of several award-winning stories by Susan J. Kroupa set in Hopi Indian culture.

Kroupa lived and taught on the Hopi and Navajo reservations and studied Hopi language and history. During that time, she wrote freelance features for the Arizona Republic, High Country News, and American Forests on Hopi and environmental issues. In addition, she taped interviews with Hopi elders recounting some of the history and traditions of the people. Praised for their lyrical description of Hopi culture, compelling characters, and poignant storylines,  these works offer a moving tribute to the enduring power of the human spirit.

Scapegoat. FINAL1600A boy. A quest. A terrible sacrifice

Nine-year old Tiyo, the last member of the rainmaker clan in his village, has no memory of the great war, but he sees the aftermath in thirsty, drought-stricken land. Just as he used to see it etched on the face of his mother, before her strength slipped away like water soaking into sand. Devastated by her death, Tiyo now tends his uncle’s goat herd. When a doe gives birth to pure white kid, Tiyo cares for her and names her Nuva—Snow. Soon, Tiyo and Nuva are inseparable. But the drought worsens and the village chief tells Tiyo only one hope remains. A member of the rainmaker clan must fill a gourd from the sipapuni, the sacred pool where the world began, and beg Paloloqang, the water serpent to send rain. A dangerous quest in the best of times, but Tiyo can’t refuse to go when his people face starvation. And so, Tiyo and Nuva cross the great desert to the sacred pool, only to find it leads them into greater danger, to a valley of death, where Renegades, who prey on human flesh, guard the water. With the burden of his villagers’ fate resting upon him, Tiyo must find a way to fill the gourd. But will the cost be more than he can bear?

Originally published  in Realms of Fantasy, Scapegoat tells a powerful coming of age story in a post-apocalyptic setting rich with insight into Hopi Indian culture and mythology.

Available on Kindle, Nook, and in all formats on Smashwords.

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Filed under Books, Fantasy, Hopi, Native American, Stories

Harden Times

Read the “story behind the story” about our newest ebook , a reprint of Susan J. Kroupa’s award-winning story, “Harden Times.”

One horse. Two strangers who each desperately need it.

Rachel sits alone in her house and watches the city around her slowly disintegrates, depopulated from a deadly plague. Like most good Mormons, she has a year’s supply of food and clothing in her basement, saved for “hard times.” She had prepared to survive a disaster, never imaging the worst disaster of all might be to survive—alone. And then a horse, a bay mare, trots into her yard and into her heart.

But someone else needs the horse as well, a ten-year old Navajo boy. Johnny Calico, his adopted family now all dead, lives by his wits, eating the food left in empty houses, and hiding from the Church officials who want to consolidate the population into a smaller area. He sees the horse as a lifeline, a means to return to his relatives on the reservation in Northern Arizona. Even as Rachel feeds and brushes the horse, finding purpose in her life for the first time since the Death, Johnny plots to steal it.

First published in Realms of Fantasy (2001), “Harden Times” was later reprinted in Irreantum. It also won an award in the 1999 Utah Arts Council Contest, where the judge, author Ron Carlson, praised the story for its “clear and forceful” writing, and for the characters, “both close to the end of their ropes, tentative, fearful, yet both refusing to let go of hope.”

Now available on Kindle, Nook, and in a wide variety of formats on Smashwords.

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Filed under Native American, Science Fiction, Stories

Tricky Coyote

Changing Shapes Changes Nothing

Nobody wants a coyote for an animal guide, least of all Jimmy Shupla. Coyotes are the trickiest of the animals, always getting themselves in trouble. But at every turn in his life—most of them bad—Jimmy sees a coyote lurking nearby. Then his mother makes him move from his grandparents’ home on the Hopi reservation to go live in Apache Junction. Lonely, sweltering in the desert heat, and bullied at school, Jimmy discovers he has more in common with coyotes than he could ever imagine. But will the discovery save or destroy him?

Written by award-winning author Susan J. Kroupa, who has lived and worked on both the Navajo and Hopi reservations, this poignant story of a boy caught in the crossfire of change reverberates with choices we all must make as to what forces will guide our lives.

Available on Kindle, Nook, and in all formats on Smashwords.

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Filed under Fantasy, Native American, Stories