To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Message Stick Paperback – December 26, 2008
|New from||Used from|
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
-Hackney Literary Awards Committee
"Initiates Cunningham into the ranks of respected authors such as Michael Ondaatje and Sarah Gruen."
-Dena Harris, internationally published author of Who Moved My Mouse?
"A brilliant flow of friendship, ancient wisdom, sorcery and retribution. This is not an uptown homicide but one inked with shamanic intrigue and a spiritual battle of souls."
-Dale Stacy, Diamond in the Rough
"Characters so real and memorable you won't put this book down. One of the best stories ever to lie in our laps."
-Pamela King Cable, Televenge
"Demonstrates a mastery of psychological introspection and an uncanny feel for the spirit of place. The novel hit us all very hard."
-James Jones Literary Society
"From the beginning, it's obvious we are in the hands of an exceptional writer and master storyteller. Insight into the characters, skill with language, and careful plotting are brought together in a package that explores the soul of her characters as well as the soul of a nation and its people. Cunningham has crafted a truly special book."
-Edmund R. Schubert, award-winning author Dreaming Creek
"If you enjoyed Alexander McCall Smith's series you'll enjoy this biracial Aborigine's exploration of the land, his inner feelings and who he truly is in this engaging story of Australia today."
-Patricia Canterbury, Tanner Sullivan Mysteries
From the Author
I went anyway. I had to. The life I had been leading was killing me. I was working a corporate job I hated, had been bucking for a promotion for over a year to no avail, and wasn't pursuing my true place in the world. I knew that even if I died in the outback, I would have done something meaningful in those last short months.
After purchasing a twenty-year-old Ford sedan, I set off. For months I traveled territory so rough I had to drive down the middle of the two lane road. I chewed through five tires, carried spare gasoline, and stored a two-week supply of food and water in the trunk. Every night I pulled off into some lonely patch of desert, cooked over an open fire, and slept under the stars.
One day I was traveling on a raised roadbed. There are no speed limits on the outback roads and was doing about 75. One of the tires blew. The car was thrown off the raised road and literally bounced into the desert. I could not steer or brake. As I waited for the car to slow itself down, a single tree blocked my path. It was that same tree I'd seen in my vision.
I sank into the seat. I can still feel the metal springs in the seat cushion as the car bounced again. I sank down, knowing the seatbelt would not protect me.
Then I straightened up. I decided that this was not what I wanted. I looked at the roadway. It was further away than the tree. Yet the moment I thought, That's where I want to be, the car was back on the road.
The entire experience in the outback changed me forever. Shortly after returning to the US, I left that deadly corporate job and began my career as an author. I learned that I should always make choices based on what's best for myself. I know that I have the power to survive anything...anything.
After returning to the U.S., I cashed in my 401K and started writing. This novel is one of the first things to come from that time and those lessons.
More About the Author
Laine has received additional fellowships totaling $6,250 and residency slots from the Jerome Foundation, the Vermont Studio Center, the New York Mills Cultural Center, Wildacres Center for the Humanities, the ecumenical Blowing Rock Convention Center, and regional arts councils in different states.
For seven years she chaired the advisory board for The Blotter Literary Magazine.
Her media engagements as an author and a publishing consultant include First for Women, CNN's Money, FoxNews.com, MSNBC.com, Media Bistro, dozens of regional papers including Awareness in Southern California, The Sydney Morning Herald, Die Presse (Austria's largest daily newspaper), and Insight (Australia's largest spiritual magazine).
For twenty years she has worked as a publishing consultant. Through her company, Writer's Resource, she helps fiction and nonfiction authors develop, write, revise and pitch their books to agents and publishers. In addition to ghostwriting, rewriting and editing services, she provides in-depth assistance with query letters and book proposals. Her marketing plans have resulted in Amazon bestseller status, moved over 1,000 copies of a book in 30 days, and provides self-published authors access to national bestseller lists like the New York Times and USA Today's.
Her opinion has been sought by national and international media on issues ranging from The Oprah Effect to the end of the Harry Potter series and Sarah Palin's ghostwriter. She conducts writing and marketing sessions for authors through a variety of programs. She has presented for The Loft, the nation's largest independent literary center; the National Writers Union; The Writer's Workshop in Asheville, NC; the North Carolina Writer's Network; regional writers' conferences; elementary and high schools; and independent freelance organizations.
Her spiritual and cultural programs have been booked by the City of Sacramento, CA, Guilford College, NC, First Woman Foundation at White Earth Reservation, ND, Cherokee Full Circle in NC, Oak Park Multicultural Festival in CA, regional libraries and conferences, interfaith churches, independent spiritual groups, and elementary and high schools in several states.
All of Laine's works utilize the core components of thrillers while keeping a strong focus on the elements that appeal to women. Their opening pace is strong enough to propel readers into the story while providing the character development that links readers to characters...and characters to each other. In Message Stick, a biracial Australian Aborigine is stalked across the outback by the shaman who killed his friend. The Hackney Literary Award committee called Message Stick "one of the best novels in ten years."
Laine created a collection of essays that tie into traditional Aboriginal stories. Seven Sisters: Spiritual Messages from Aboriginal Australia teaches readers that the dreaming is a timeless energy that can address modern issues with love and relationships, friendship and community, illness and joy.
Her second novel, He Drinks Poison, pits FBI agent Priya Conlin-Kumar against a serial rapist and a serial killer working the same city. Visions from The Ramayana and a passionate love relationship provide her with the power of the goddess Kali. The justice Priya metes out satisfies both the laws of man and spiritual laws.
Top Customer Reviews
‘The only thing that seems to hold any promise is an artifact Ian mailed the week he disappeared.’
In Alice Springs, Gabe discovers that the artifact is a message stick. He’s told that it is something to do with death, but he needs to find someone from the right tribe to read it. Gabe’s journey through the outback draws the attention of Dana Pukatja, a Pitjantjatjara medicine man who does not want Gabe to find the truth.
This is an interesting and at times convoluted tale. Gabe needs to become more aware of his own Aboriginal past and culture. He needs this awareness in order to understand both the world in which he finds himself, and what happened to Ian. The journey is difficult, both physically and emotionally. The supernatural also has a large role. Gabe encounters people who help him, and those who discriminate against him. Where does Gabe belong? And what about Dana Pukatja: can Gabe find the truth despite his best efforts?
‘White men, with their metal and machines and their mania for conquest, never understood Aborigines or their land.’
The vastness of the Australian outback is vividly depicted in this novel: a remote place which can be very unforgiving of those who enter it. The outback is both backdrop to the story and a character within it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It isn't easy to tell a tale that has twists and turns unlike anything commonly read. It is a feat to create a surreal world in a real world setting. Read morePublished 18 months ago by ManNamedKim
This is a novel you can't put down. It is superior on all fronts. I have a thing for lyrical writing, having unsuccessfully
used that mode in my earlier work. Read more
Dense with emotion and tension, but relieved by warmth and laughter that is the mark of deep caring relationships, The Message Stick is beautiful, painful, humbling. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Becky Parker Geist
I save my five stars for books that books that make me think so hard I can't sleep at night. I'm a sucker for all stories set in Australia any way, and this book also clearly... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Lelia Rose Foreman
This level of detail and feeling of the Outback could only come from someone who was deeply immersed in it. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Armand E. Daigle III
When is this going to be a movie?! Laine Cunningham writes this story perfectly. With her descriptive, colorful words. Read morePublished on February 5, 2014 by MrsG
Laine Cunningham has done an amazing job writing Message Stick! I never thought I could find amazing beauty and the horrific thrills of being stalked by Pitjantjatjara shaman! Read morePublished on January 20, 2014 by Kristina Reading
I met Laine in 2003, years before she published "Message Stick." We became friends over the years and every time I asked if I could "pretty please with whipped-cream... Read morePublished on August 25, 2013 by MWRoache