Thursday, August 18, 2016

Spotlight on Alaska Books | Bonnye Matthews, 'The SealEaters, 20,000 BC'

Torq remembered the whale killers hunting the seals. The time they were on the ice with the seals and the whales came by was terrifying to him. Worse was the time the whale killers swam past their little boats chasing a seal. They caught it and tossed it in the air near them. Torq was terrified that they might toss it into the boat and then crash the boat to retrieve it. The whale killer that swam right by the edge of his boat looking him in the eyes was the most terrifying of all. It was as if the enormous animal could look right down to the secret part of his spirit where his fear lay, pull it up, examine it, and toss it away as not being worth the while. He had felt dismissed. (Bonnye Matthews, The SealEaters, 20,000 BC)

 The SealEaters, 20,000 BC is the final novel in the Winds of Change series on the peopling of the Americas before 11,700 years ago. The series, informed by five years of research, is based on the find of a spearpoint that originated in France and dated to 22,760 years ago. A scallop boat net retrieved the spearpoint and associated mammoth jaw off the coast of Virginia in 1971 under 240 feet of water. The concept of Solutrean migration was born, espoused by Dennis Stanford of the Smithsonian and Bruce Bradley of the University of Exeter. The origin of the Clovis point remains unknown. Much similarity between the Solutrean and Clovis technology exists.

The SealEaters, 20,000 BC follows a handful of desperate men who traveled the Atlantic along the ice sheets to the Americas seeking a new land. At home they were caught between mountains with war on the east and south side, encroaching ice sheets from the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Their main food source dwindled. The story tells of their exploration and migration as a possible means of the eventual creation and distribution of what became known as the Clovis Point.

“America’s preeminent writer of prehistoric history. . . . a book of hearts and minds.” –Grace Cavalieri, award-winning author, host “The Poet and the Poem” Library of Congress

“Opponents of . . . Solutrean Hypothesis base . . . criticism on . . . lack of genetic evidence. Matthews . . . transports only a handful, whose genes will inevitably dilute to invisibility.” –Attila Torkos, MD, UAE

“This outstanding "Winds of Change" series is very highly and enthusiastically recommended for personal reading lists, as well as both community and academic library Historical Fiction collections.” –Midwest Book Review, April 2016

Bonnye Matthews is a made writer, not one who dreamed of becoming an author. She considers herself occupationally a problem solver, having a multivariate occupational history. She retired to Alaska in 2005 and, since the Bering Land Bridge is the story of the peopling of the Americas, she researched to find who the first Alaskans were, seeking the first Americans. One day of research showed that what’s being taught is fantasy, not fact. With little tolerance for that practice she researched for years and then began to distill what she learned into the Winds of Change novel series. She now is creating a series of novellas, each of which will focus on a pre-Ice Age archaeological site across the Americas. There are over 400 of these. Her books, published by Publication Consultants, are available in paperback and e-book. http://booksbybonnye.com.

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