When the warriors returned and found the devastation, the tribe's medicine man, Black Cloud, placed a curse on the site.
A century and a half later, a scandalous Top Secret project is under construction in the same Colorado wilderness. Bryan Reynolds discovers that its roots lie in the same greed, corruption, and exploitation of the Earth that precipitated the curse. But before he can expose what he's found, he's killed in a suspicious accident that his wife, Sara, miraculously survives. Her memory of where they were or what they'd discovered, however, is gone.
Neither Sara nor Bryan's life-long Cheyenne friend, Charlie Littlewolf, will rest until they find out what Bryan discovered that resulted in his death.
Charlie is acutely aware that the only way to solve the mystery is through connecting with the grandfather spirits. To do so he must return to his roots and the teachings of his medicine man grandfather. His journey back to the Cheyenne way includes ancient rituals and ceremonies that guide him and Sara to the answers they seek.
As a descendant of Black Cloud, his destiny is deeply embedded in the fulfillment of the original curse, which was triggered by what Bryan discovered. Charlie's quest has only just begun.
A government conspiracy lies at the core of the story, though this first volume of the trilogy concentrates on Sara and Charlie discovering what Bryan knew that got him killed.
Modern man's disregard for the environment, which conflicts with Native American philosophies of animism and of honoring the Earth, plays an important part. Past pollution caused by 19th century mining is inherent to the story as well as contemporary activities such as fracking.
Various paranormal and supernatural elements including detailed descriptions of Cheyenne rituals and ceremonies such as the sacred red pipe, ceremonial fasting, and the sweat lodge are included. The Cheyenne's name for the Great Spirit is Maheo, who is referred to throughout. There are numerous other-worldly situations included, based on the experiences of the story's Cheyenne co-author. While the story is fictitious, these depictions are authentic.
Modern technology plays a significant role in juxtaposition to traditional Native American elements. Astronomy and the ancient art and science of western astrology play roles as well in helping direct Sara and Charlie to the answers they need. In essence this saga's theme includes the collision of two disparate cultures and their respective attitudes toward the Earth, one of which is honor, the other exploitation.
These complexities are what expanded this story into a trilogy. Native American history is touched upon, but will be covered in greater detail in subsequent volumes.
About the author
Marcha Fox earned a Bachelor's Degree in physics from Utah State University in 1987, which led to a 20+ year career at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Her interests expand far beyond the world of aerospace and hard science, however. The esoteric realm of metaphysics and all things weird and wonderful hold her interest as well.
Forever fascinated by the heavens, when her attempt to debunk astrology backfired, she pursued knowledge in that field as well. She graduated from the International Academy of Astrology's professional development program in 2012 and created ValkyrieAstrology.com. Much of the popular website's informational content can be found in "Whobeda's Guide to Basic Astrology."
Her previous fiction work includes her epic Star Trails Tetralogy series which has been highly acclaimed for its family-oriented plot as well as its palatable and accurate science content. More information can be found on StarTrailsSaga.com.
Born in Peekskill, New York, she has lived in California, Utah, and Texas in the course of raising her family. She has six grown children, numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Besides writing, she pampers two Bengal cats and a sassy tuxedo while trying to keep up with her astrology clients, home, yard, friends, family, and of course, writing.
PETE RISINGSUN (Moohtaveanohe - Blackhawk) is an enrolled member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe. He is recognized as a Ceremonial Man who is well-versed in his tribe's ceremonies and traditions of the Creator's circle of life. His experience includes serving as a spirit helper to medicine men in ceremonial sweat lodges, where traditional procedures are meticulously followed. Sweat lodge keepers earn their right to function in that role. After completing his vow to fast four times at Novavose, he earns four paints, each of which has important ceremonial significance.
Pete is a proud fifth generation descendant of Chief Iron Shirt, his great-great-grandfather, who was a lodge keeper and powerful medicine man who lived to be 98 years old. At 95, he still rode his white horse to the Busby, Montana fair.
Pete was born in 1950, the eighth child of ten, and raised on a small ranch east of Busby, Montana, where he became a horseman and hunter at a very young age. When he was twelve, he shot his first deer and also caught a young bald eagle. He and his uncle, David Seminole, raised it in a large cage for three years. They took four tail feathers for Pete's traditional dancing bustle and then set the eagle free. This uncle taught him traditional dancing as well as how to ride a horse.
After graduating high school in 1968 he attended Montana State University for four years, then was offered a position with Exxon as an employee relations director overseas. He turned it down, instead completing a three-year apprenticeship in plant operations and working in that capacity for one additional year in Billings, Montana. Working in a refinery a hundred miles from home combined with the discomforts of shift-work made him crave the smell of fresh air as well as getting outside astride a good horse.
Years before, his uncle, Ted Risingsun, told him, "You younger Cheyennes with education need to come home and help your people. Do not forget where you came from." Thus, when he was offered a job as adult education director for the Northern Cheyenne Tribe back home in Lame Deer, he accepted, grateful to see Billings and the refinery fade away in the rear-view mirror.
Upon returning to the reservation, Pete also bred championship American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) horses, guaranteeing he'd have a good ride available whenever he wanted. He also raised black angus cattle.
His Uncle Ted further encouraged him to follow in his footsteps and become a Tribal Council member. He heeded his advice and served on the Council for six years. In addition, Pete's leadership includes being the first Northern Cheyenne elected as a Rosebud County Commissioner, a position he held from January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2012.
He's the proud father of one daughter, Echo Raine, who blessed him with two very special grandchildren, Sierra Star and Skyler Seven. He's teaching his grandson about the Cheyenne way of life, which has so far included a sweat lodge and cloth ceremony. Upon graduating from high school, Skyler plans to attend college to earn a degree in a technological field.
Pete is currently retired, but stays busy co-writing the remaining volumes in The Curse of Dead Horse Canyon series as well as making and selling sweet grass braids, a sacred plant used in various ceremonies. The profits are shared with Skyler's college fund.
Regarding his experience with this story, he states, "My hope is for the reader to enjoy this book as much as I have enjoyed being the co-author. I write in the spirit of truth based on my spiritual life experiences as a spirit helper to medicine men in the ceremonial sweat lodge. Thank you, Isadore Whitewolf, Cliff Eaglefeathers and Ben Armentrout for your help and friendship."