I hope you enjoyed meeting Ron Falling-Leaf and Lenora Ottertooth. My intent was to make these characters human and relatable, while highlighting the story of the Lenape people in New Jersey. While I thought that like Parmelia and Bodean, Ron and Lenora would depart at the end of the story and return to their home, they surprised me by wanting to stick around.

The history of the Lenape and their cultural beliefs were gleaned from Kraft’s tomb of a book. This is truly the definitive guide.

Kraft, H. C. (2001). The Lenape-Delaware Indian Heritage 10,000 BC to AD 2000. Lenape Books.

All dialogue written in the Southern Unami dialect was taken from this source. Any errors are my own.

Lenape Talking Dictionary. (2002). Retrieved January 23, 2016, from

Current and historic Native American views on suicide were derived from the works below.

EchoHawk, M. (1997). Suicide: Individual, Cultural, International Perspectives. In A. A. Leenaars, R. W. Maris, & Y. Takahashi (Eds.), (pp. 50–59). New York, NY: The Guilford Press.

Lester, D. (1997). Suicide: Individual, Cultural, International Perspectives. In A. A. Leenaars, R. W. Maris, & Y. Takahashi (Eds.), (pp. 53–38). New York, NY: The Guilford Press.

Please note that the use of a rope or sash belt (or webbing, in the case of the story) during the birthing process is likely not a Lenape practice. In the article below, the sash belt is referred to as a common Native American tradition and the Navajo are specifically cited as using this as an aid during child birth. Modern hospitals near reservations even install sash belts in the ceilings of the obstetric units to help the mothers. I thought this idea had a lot of merit and wanted to include it, despite the fact that this was probably not historically or culturally accurate. However, it did not seem beyond the pale that displaced tribes meeting in Oklahoma might share ideas and certain practices might be adopted.

Crime Scene Clean Up
Much of the details for Fia’s new job were taken from the book by Reavill about the crime scene clean up company, Aftermath. The cleanup process for the fancy car was taken from Aftermath’s website.

Reavill, G. (2007). Aftermath, Inc.: Cleaning Up After CSI Goes Home (Hardcover). New York: Gotham Books.

Coffin Birth
Holy crap, it’s real. If you would like to learn more about this interesting phenomenon, please refer to the citations below.

Hawkes, S. C. (1975). An Anglo-Saxon obstetric calamity from Kingsworthy, Hampshire. Medical and Biological Illustration, 25, 47–51.

Wikipedia Coffin Birth. (2016). Retrieved from

Tom Quick
The story of Tom Quick and how to interpret his murderous actions were taken from the articles below. Being that a descendant categorized him as a psychopath, I felt no qualms in also doing so. The story about the butchered Lenape family was taken from “Tom Quick Indian Slayer, Hero or Serial Killer.” The quote from Tom Quick’s mother (about how he couldn’t be held responsible for his actions because witnessing the killing of his father “turned his head”) is real. The obelisk dedicated to his memory as an Indian Slayer is also real, as was the damage inflicted upon it by parties unknown. The repaired monument remains in storage.

Bertland, D. N. (1975). The Minisink: A Chronicle of One of America’s First and Last Frontiers. Port Jervis, NY: Four-county Task Force on the Tocks Island Dam Project.

Cohen, D. S. (1983). The Folklore and Folklife of New Jersey. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.

Hulse, D. (2003). What to do about Tom Quick. The River Reporter. Milford, PA. Retrieved from

Tom Quick Indian Slayer, Hero or Serial Killer. (n.d.). Retrieved November 18, 2016, from Quick2.html

The True Story of Tom Quick, Indian Fighter and Westfall Relative. (n.d.). Retrieved November 18, 2016, from Quick1.html

Hostages in Medieval Times
Treatment of hostages during the Middle Ages is described in the Beachcombing article. The story of the boy hostage who was beheaded due to his father’s unbridled ambition is based on the sad tale of Conchobar Mac Murchadha.

Beachcombing. (2012). Hostage Taking in Ancient and Medieval Times. Retrieved June 7, 2017, from

GENi. (2015). Conchobar Mac Murchadha. Retrieved June 7, 2017, from

Wikipedia. (2017). Diarmait Mac Murchada. Retrieved June 7, 2017, from

Child Labor
The kiss of death and mistreatment of children in textile mills is real.

Labor, U. S. D. of. (n.d.). State Investigations. Retrieved June 20, 2017, from

Goose’s Surf Speak Dialect
Goose’s impenetrable manner of speaking is taken from the work below. Honestly, writing his dialogue was harder than writing for He-Who-Counseled-the-Chief.

Gralle, T. (1991). The Surfin’ary: A Dictionary of Surfing Terms and Surfspeak. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press.

Murphy’s Quantum Law and Corollary
Used with the kind permission of Paul Dickson, Eric S. Raymond and Gary L. Steele Jr. The original quotes can be found in the two references cited below, although no one quite knows where the bit about pregnancy came from.

Dickson, P. (1981). The Official Rules. New York City: Delacorte Press.

Raymond, E. S., & Steele, G. L. (1991). The New Hacker’s Dictionary. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Search and Rescue
While many of the locations described are real, no actual case histories of searches are used in Soul Scent. The descriptions of the searches are drawn from my imagination and conglomerations of personal experiences, as well as stories related to me by SAR friends. Having been part of the search community for over 10 years, I am committed to protecting the privacy of the missing and their families. Zackie (true name Zackie-O), Jax, and Simber were real search dogs and are included in the story with the permission of the handlers. All of these canines served the Search and Rescue Teams of Warren County. Their appearances and personalities were depicted as accurately as I could manage. Their handlers in the story are completely fictitious.

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