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Tessa's Dance (The Medicine Valley Series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

David Edward Walker
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $11.95
Kindle Price: $4.99
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Book Description

WINNER, BRONZE MEDAL, 2013 INDEPENDENT PUBLISHER BOOK AWARDS. Volume I of two in the Medicine Valley Series. 'Signal Peak', Volume II in the series, was released in November, 2013, took a Bronze Medal in Foreword Reviews IndieFab Book of the Year Awards and is a Finalist in the Nancy Pearl Literary Awards sponsored by Pacific Northwest Writers Association. In 'Tessa's Dance,' a strong-hearted Yakama Indian girl and a mixed blood psychologist ride a wild horse past methamphetamine and gang-violence to discover friendship, healing, and the importance of tradition. The fragile bond between Tessa Miyanashatawit, a fifteen-year-old Yakama girl and  psychologist Dr. Ret Barlow  has begun to heal both of them. Things fall apart when Tessa is arrested for alcohol abuse. Barlow forces her into treatment, and she vows never to speak to him again. With the support of Auntie Elisi and grandfather Arnold's gift of Ámashitum, a wild horse, Barlow might be able to help Tessa again- that is, as long as her gang-involved boyfriend, Parker Heslah, doesn't succeed in scaring him off. Parker and his crew have been running guns for 'Cowboy' Jack Brie, her mother's ex-boyfriend, and Tessa's childhood abuser. Soon Brie reenters Tessa's world, threatening her family, especially  baby half-sister, Ce Ce. Now Barlow's trying to step in, unaware that Brie sees him coming.


Editorial Reviews

Review

 "Two novels so grounded that they will resonate with familiarity for anyone who lives with the beautiful and maddening daily realities of 'Indian' life . . . two books that deal with all the issues of tragedy, psychological healing, and cultural and language revitalization that are necessary in the wake of centuries of genocidal efforts to destroy our Nations and Peoples. If all that appeals to you, then you'll love Tessa's Dance and Signal Peak." -Steven Newcomb, Indian Country Today
"Reading Tessa's Dance blurs the line between dreamtime and what is known as realtime. Tessa makes the dream become real in each moment with each line of the book."   -Eduardo Duran, PhD, author of Healing the Soul Wound, Buddha in Red Face, and Native American Post-Colonial Psychology
"Remarkable and enthralling . . . This deserves to be read by everyone in this country!" -Paula Caplan, Ph.D., author of When Johnny and Jane Come Marching Home  and They Say You're Crazy 
"This is a beautiful, well-written 'novel' that is all too real. I enjoyed it immensely on so many levels." -Gina Nikkel, Ph.D., President & CEO, Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care 
"Depicts much of reality on all reservations and the life we have come to know and the things we battle with from day to day." -Margaret Strong, Puyallup/Yakama 
"An amazing job of describing (really accurately) the stupidity of the system allegedly designed to help the native population . . . and then the book turns into a real, honest-to-God thriller- a book you can't put down until the last line." -Anthony Stanton, MD, Consulting Psychiatrist, Suquamish Tribe

About the Author

'Tessa's Dance,' Volume I in the Medicine Valley Series, is the first of David Edward Walker's novels, and garnered a Bronze Medal from the 2013 Independent Publisher Book Awards for Multicultural/Young Adult Fiction. 'Signal Peak', Volume II in the series, was released in November, 2013, took a Bronze Medal in Foreword Reviews IndieFab Book of the Year Awards and is a Finalist in the Nancy Pearl Literary Awards sponsored by Pacific Northwest Writers Association. David grew up in the Detroit area, working as a cab driver, record store clerk, and order taker in a flavor factory. He earned a doctorate degree at University of Detroit in 1992 and is a licensed psychologist. In 2000, David moved with his family to central Washington to work with the Indian Health Service. He  continues to consult with the 14 Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation.  David is also a poet and singer-songwriter. In the 1990s, he toured under the pseudonym 'David Folks,' releasing two CDs, 'Roadside Park' and 'Refusing to View', and garnering college airplay across the U.S.. He worked with the Dreamcatchers arts project to benefit Native American causes, and  shared the stage with such luminaries as Rodney Crowell, Richie Havens, and Richard Shindell. His songs "draw his audience into a warm space of feeling and introspection, which he supports with elegant moral ambition," according to 'Music Hound Guide to Folk Music'. He released a third  CD, the Bahá'i-inspired disc, 'Summoning the Possible, in 2010 under the pseudonym 'David Folks Walker.' David claims his 'mixed-blood' Missouri Cherokee heritage through Barlow, Gibson, and Alexander families. He currently lives with his family in the International District of Seattle. You can visit his external website at tessasdance.com.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1700 KB
  • Print Length: 324 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 061572583X
  • Publisher: thoughtful publishing company (January 16, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AA5CHHO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #585,520 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and intriguing January 26, 2013
Format:Paperback
This novel incorporates both the exciting action of a thriller novel with the thoughtful reality of a biography. I didn't know that Indian reservations today are still operating under a fifties mentality of "I know what's best for you" authority. This system is absolutely designed to cause failure rather than success for the population it claims to help. I was shocked. I was very engaged with the mental process of the clinical psychiatrist with a Cherokee ancestor who attempts to deal with his Yakama clients in a professional manner while also staying true to his intuition and his feelings of compassion. This is a fascinating and intriguing read.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moving and Inspirational January 2, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I started reading Tessa's Dance as research for my own suspense novel, Bend Me, Shape Me which has a main character who is half Yakama though she lives in Chicago. Since Dave Walker has spent so much time working with people from the Yakama Nation, I hoped his unique perspective would give me a realistic portrayal of life on the reservation. In this regard, I was not disappointed.

Not only does Tessa's Dance paint a picture of the setting and culture, he also breathes life into the characters and makes you care about what is happening to them. I was not expecting a mystery-like plot element when I started reading but since that is my usual genre preference, I was happy to find one in this book. Gangs and gun-running add a suspense element that worked really well as a side dish to this feast for the brain.

The real story, though, was Tessa's struggle to overcome not only her past, but the baggage of an abused culture passed down from one generation to the next. The relationship between Tessa and Dr. Ret Barlow grows naturally and is cathartic for them both. I would love to read more about both of them and think there is a potential for Ret, at least, to tell us more about his experiences in western Washington.

The only reason I did not give Tessa's Dance five stars is because the Kindle version, at least, had several editing and format errors like those often found in self-published books. There were not enough of them to detract from my enjoyment or appreciation for the story, but as a writer who also does freelance editing, I found myself wishing at times I'd had a chance to do a thorough proofread before the book went live.

Debra R. Borys
Author of the Street Stories suspense series
[...]
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tessa's Dance January 25, 2013
Format:Paperback
David Walker is a superb storyteller of the highest caliber who kept this reader unable to put the book down once he had started reading it. Dr.Walker writes from personal experience painting a very accurate and believable picture of what life on an Indian reservation is truly like. The reader is allowed to draw his/her own conclusions about the crimes against humanity that our dominant culture continues to perpetrate against the indigenous peoples of our country. In addition to a brilliant and spellbinding story line and superb writing, the author's ability to create complex, real flesh and blood characters is truly extraordinary. Dr. Walker paints his characters with all their stengths and human frailties and does this with passion and compassion. In the process of reading the book for pleasure, the reader receives a valuable cross-cultural education without perhaps even realizing it. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a great story and especially to those interested in embracing the common humanity which binds us all. I look forward to the author's next novel.

The artwork by Seth Walker captures the heart and soul of the novel in a haunting and almost mystical manner.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Powerful Tale February 1, 2014
Format:Paperback
"Tessa's Dance" was a fantastic book. The character's were real and flawed and the language and setting of the reservation was clearly written from experience and research. The Drama pulled in and I found myself reading it every night. To anyone who is interested in politics, complex characters and history this book is for you. It is a fiction that pulls so much from reality that one cannot help but feel a part of the world.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and touching January 27, 2014
Format:Paperback
Tessa's Dance is a powerful excursion into the heart and soul of a relationship between a dedicated therapist and a teenage Native American girl as they both try and navigate the difficulties of reservation life today. This story is poignant, thought provoking, and compelling in its characters, scenery, and plot. Dave Walker subtly elaborates the challenges of bureaucracy as it collides with the lives of real people trying to live with dignity and grace in a truly formidable world. The entire novel has a profound sense of reality.
I would highly recommend reading Tessa's Dance to anyone--and particularly to anyone interested in Native American culture today.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it! December 9, 2013
Format:Paperback
I loved this book and highly recommend it. David is a gifted writer –setting up the story such that I felt I was right there like a fly on the wall eavesdropping on the drama and yearning to help change an unfair system! He cleverly intertwined history and political advocacy with intrigue, love, family, and humor…all in just the right doses. This is a story that must be shared so change can occur. I’m excited to see what else comes from this new author.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read.
Enjoyable mix of mystery, romance, and current events. Editing needs work. Sigh ... so much of this in the kindle editions.
Published 2 months ago by L. Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
Very insightful. We all are from the same earth, but this books helped me understand how to fit together will all who are in it!
Published 4 months ago by frug
4.0 out of 5 stars ok
good story- could have done without the soap box commentary on the abuse of indians in the reservations, but it did not ruin the story.
Published 5 months ago by tickgirl
5.0 out of 5 stars living off the REZ
This first book gives readers a glimpse of what it is like to try and live with the old customs of the"First People" in today's
society.
Published 6 months ago by Yvonne
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Look at Indian culture and how it leads its people through...
Based on prior knowledge of the author, I picked up this book with some apprehension. I was pretty sure I was going to get another lecture on how badly we, even now are treating... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Harry L. Gubbins
4.0 out of 5 stars Hope it is good
Arrived on my Kindle very efficiently and effortlessly. I have not read the book but it was highly recommended by a friend. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Judith Carrick
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read!
I read this book in 1 day. I could not put it down. It is a must read for every American. This book provides a bird's eye view of a part of America that is mired in oppression,... Read more
Published 15 months ago by toni whitegrass
4.0 out of 5 stars refreshing
Very good descroptions and well filled out story lines. I would be interested to hear further sides to her story.
Published 18 months ago by melo
5.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling and Enlightening
David Walker has written an enthralling and enlightening novel that takes you into the world of the Yakima people and completely immerses you in their culture on the reservation. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Colleen
5.0 out of 5 stars Tessa's Dance
I could not put Tessa's Dance down. It is a very well crafted book. I found the plot engaging, the pacing perfect, and connected with the characters (especially Ret who is a kind... Read more
Published 20 months ago by dharmarchitect
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More About the Author

'Tessa's Dance,' Volume I in the Medicine Valley Series, is the first of David Edward Walker's novels, and garnered a Bronze Medal from the 2013 Independent Publisher Book Awards for Multicultural/Young Adult Fiction. 'Signal Peak', Volume II in the series, was released in November, 2013, and won a Bronze Medal in Foreword Reviews IndieFab Book of the Year Awards for multicultural fiction. Signal Peak is also a Finalist in the 2014 Nancy Pearl Literary Awards sponsored by the Pacific Northwest Writers Association.

David grew up in the Detroit area, working as a cab driver, record store clerk, and order taker in a flavor factory. He earned a doctorate degree at University of Detroit in 1992 and is a licensed psychologist. In 2000, David moved with his family to central Washington to work with the Indian Health Service. He continues to consult with the 14 Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation. A scholar, passionate speaker, and fierce critic of mental health practices in Indian Country, he contributed a chapter entitled "ADHD as the new 'feeblemindedness' of American Indian children" for 'Critical New Perspectives on ADHD' (Routledge) which won the 2006 NASAN Academic Book Award in the UK. His 2012 article with Albert Galves exposed the pseudoscience of ADHD for readers of 'Ethical Human Psychology & Psychiatry' journal. David's new chapter tracing the destructive legacy of 'race mental hygiene' in Indian Country is currently in peer review for an upcoming book on indigenous historical trauma being prepared for Arizona State University.

David is also a poet and singer-songwriter. In the 1990s, he toured under the pseudonym 'David Folks,' releasing two CDs, 'Roadside Park' and 'Refusing to View', and garnering college airplay across the U.S. He worked with the Dreamcatchers arts project to benefit Native American causes and shared the stage with such luminaries as Rodney Crowell, Richie Havens, and Richard Shindell. His songs "draw his audience into a warm space of feeling and introspection, which he supports with elegant moral ambition," according to 'Music Hound Guide to Folk Music'. He released a third CD, the Bahá'i-inspired disc, 'Summoning the Possible, in 2010 under the pseudonym 'David Folks Walker.' David claims his 'mixed-blood' Missouri Cherokee heritage through Barlow, Gibson, and Alexander families. He currently lives with his family in the International District of Seattle. You can visit his external website at www.tessasdance.com.

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