FIG Blog Tour Day #3

The Perfect Novel to Celebrate Native American Heritage Month!

“The Curse of Dead Horse Canyon: Cheyenne Spirits”

by Marcha Fox and Pete Risingsun

“…an exceptional novel complete with conspiracy, intrigue, and murder that will enthrall everyone who has an affinity for suspenseful thrillers with just a smidgen of the paranormal.”

–Readers’ Favorite 5-star review


Charlie Littlewolf knows there’s something suspicious about the accident that killed his best friend. Determined to solve the mystery, he must return to a way of life he’s shunned for decades. Will the Cheyenne grandfather spirits respond before a black ops team kills him, too?


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April 20, Friday

7:50 p.m.

When Charlie arrived home that evening he turned on the single lightbulb slung from the rafters, then knelt before the chest at the foot of his bed and lifted the lid. A whiff of cedar and tobacco greeted him, triggering a host of memories. Snuggled beneath a blanket reposed his grandfather’s medicine bundle, wrapped in a buffalo calf hide.

Many years had passed since he’d so much as touched sacred things. As his hand rested upon it, an admonition shot through him like an arrow. Ignoring spiritual matters had failed to make the void inside his heart go away. His hands trembled as he lifted out the bundle and hugged it to his chest.

Time exists only for those tied to Earth. For eternal matters it is never too late.

He paused as his psyche absorbed the impression.

It felt right.

It was time to humble himself and connect with the Spirits. Where Eaglefeathers, Bryan, his father, and answers resided.

He got up and sat on his bed where he untied the sinew, then unfolded it beside him, revealing several buckskin pouches. One of the larger ones contained offering tobacco. In addition he found red, blue, black, white, and yellow earth paints, prayer cloths in seven colors, sun dance medicine pouches, and big medicine.

All played important roles in sacred ceremonies. He held each for a moment to recall its purpose. Such were able to release the truth.


The Cheyenne, known in their own language as the Tseteshestahese, had a specific way to attain it. His eyes shifted to the pipe bag hanging above the fireplace. His grandfather called it the sacred red pipe and promised it would carry his prayers to the Creator, who spoke only truth and would not deceive.

Grandson, life has hardships. You must turn to Maheo for guidance in your everyday life. You will become a pipe keeper. It will lead your life and bless you with wisdom from Maheo.

The words carried import he’d previously resisted. He retrieved the bag and opened it, releasing more memory-stirring scents— burnt tobacco, seared wood, and leather. The bowl and stem, an ash tree branch to clean it, and another tobacco pouch were inside.

While the Great Spirit heard all sincere prayers, some answers came more easily than others. Spirit animals, totems, and even plants delivered inspiration to find answers from within.

More serious inquiries that required deeper insights or specific direction demanded such supplications be performed with ritual and ceremony.

Maheo was bound to respond to such requests.

He set the pipe bag down with the bundle and other items, then returned to the chest. A smile formed unbidden when he spotted the red cloth roll that contained his badger hide.

Badger was a revered spirit animal who lived underground and granted special access to Novavose, the Sacred Mountain. To summon his help, he would need it, too. He unrolled it enough to caress its fur, then rolled it back up and set it aside with the pipe.

The prompting at the site had been clear.

Eaglefeathers handed down his pipe to him, and the badger hide was a gift to commemorate the first time he attended a sun dance. He placed them on the kitchen table, then returned the other items to the bundle and put it back in the chest.

The tobacco pouch on the mantle issued another reminder. He picked it up and went outside to make an offering with his evening prayers.


Marcha Fox

Marcha Fox earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from Utah State University in 1987, which facilitated 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.

When her attempt to debunk astrology backfired, she pursued knowledge in that field. She graduated from the International Academy of Astrology’s professional development program in 2012 and is the sole proprietor of Much of the popular website’s 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 STEM-friendly science content described in detail on

Born in Peekskill, New York, she has lived in California, Utah, and Texas in the course of raising her family of six children, now grown. Besides writing, she pampers her two cats, maintains an active astrology practice of international clients, and tries to keep up with her home, yard, friends, and family.

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Pete Risingsun

Pete Risingsun is an enrolled member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe who has served as a spirit helper to medicine men in ceremonial sweat lodges. He’s a proud fifth generation descendant of Chief Iron Shirt, who was a lodge keeper and powerful medicine man.

Born in 1950, he was raised on a small ranch east of Busby, Montana. He attended Montana State University, then worked for Exxon in Billings, Montana for a year before returning home to the reservation as adult education director for the Northern Cheyenne tribe where he also raised black angus cattle and bred championship Quarter horses. He has served as a Tribal Council member and was the first Northern Cheyenne elected to serve as a Rosebud County Commissioner.

He’s the proud father of one daughter and grandfather to two. Pete is currently retired, but in addition to co-writing The Curse of Dead Horse Canyon: Cheyenne Spirits” he makes and sells sweet grass braids, a sacred plant used in various ceremonies.

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