The Curse of Dead Horse Canyon: Cheyenne Spirits (Book I)

In 1879 a drunken hoard of silver miners raided a Cheyenne village while the tribe’s warriors hunted buffalo. A small band of young braves, not yet old enough to join the hunt, escaped and rode for help. Their efforts failed when they were discovered by the raiders, who ran them over a cliff along with all the tribe’s horses that had been left behind.

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 the scandalous government project Bryan discovered. Charlie’s quest has only just begun.

Book Trailer

Pre-Release Review

A thriller that focuses on corporate crime and ecological issues while enlightening us on the state of the Indian community in Colorado and its relevance in the modern world. . . The author’s signature style is evident as she combines expert storytelling with carefully-researched subplots that weave character-driven pacing alongside a fact-filled backdrop. Fox, a NASA veteran and science scholar, gives us an informative overview of the mining industry and fracking issues that have compromised the environment in Colorado. –John Reinhard Dizon

Five-Star Readers’ Favorite Review

Reviewed By Susan Sewell for Readers’ Favorite

Conspiracy and murder have taken place in the Colorado Rocky Mountains in the chilling thriller, The Curse of Dead Horse Canyon (Cheyenne Spirits) by Marcha Fox and Pete Risingsun. Both of them dying at the scene of a car wreck, Sara Reynolds watches her husband Bryan go into the light just before returning to her body. Before he moves into the light, Bryan requests that Sara expose those who murdered him. However, when Sara awakens in the hospital, she has no memories relating to the day their pickup plummeted down the side of the mountain. As her health improves, the feeling that the wreck wasn’t an accident persists. When she is once again the victim of another near-fatal accident, Sara realizes someone wants her dead. Why is Sara being targeted? Had Bryan’s computer hacking skills unearthed a deadly secret that someone thinks Sara knows?

Brimming with drama and suspense, The Curse of Dead Horse Canyon (Cheyenne Spirits) by Marcha Fox and Pete Risingsun is the first book in an exciting new series. Opening with a heart-rending scene, the story captured my interest from the outset. Infused with a sense of danger, the intricate plot and dramatic storyline create a breathtaking and intense story. Containing a fascinating combination of Cheyenne and Dine spiritual practices seasoned with astrology, the novel is educational as well as entertaining. The Cheyenne fasting vigil, spirit animals, and the medicine wheel combined with astrology readings are intriguing aspects of the story that are genuine and authentic. It is 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.

Book Excellence Award

The Curse of Dead Horse Canyon: Cheyenne Spirits received an additional honor when it was judged a finalist in the prestigious Book Excellence Award competition. Founded in Toronto, Canada, the Book Excellence Awards comprises an international book awards competition dedicated to recognizing both independent and traditionally published authors for excellence in writing, design, and overall market appeal. Previous Winners and Finalists of the Book Excellence Awards have been New York Times’ best-sellers, spoken at the United Nations and TEDx, and have had their books optioned by movie studios. It’s an honor to be numbered among them.

Page Turner Award Winner!

The Curse of Dead Horse Canyon: Cheyenne Spirits was a winner in the international Page Turner Award competition! The Page Turner Awards, sponsored by ProWritingAid and Campfire, offers authors, writers, and screenwriters the chance to enter the first 10 pages of their writing project, where a judging panel of literary experts and film producers will read the work. Thousands of books are submitted, so it is a huge honor to be among the few chosen winners. It was exciting to progress from being a finalist, to the Long List, to the Short List, and finally the winners’ circle.


It is truly humbling that this story has garnered so much recognition. Pete and I knew we had a great story, but this outside validation is very gratifying. Its latest award is the Fall 2021 Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for cross-cultural thrillers from the National Association of Book Entrepreneurs (NABE). Each year, for the past 40 years, NABE has selected some of the finest books published by their members for this honor. The award draws attention to high quality stories to assist libraries and bookstores in their selections.

Silver Medal Global Book Awards

The Global Awards aim to discover new talent as well as recognize fine examples of self-published books. As such, we hope they will give self-published authors the recognition they deserve, whether that is in their writing creativity, or in the way they have marketed their books to attract new readers.

In this modern age of self-publishing, books need to be appraised not only by their content and writing style, but also by the way they present and market themselves to the prospective buyer, whether that is in the good ratings it has on important stores like Amazon, its book cover and description, or the number of reviews it has collected. They must also appeal to new readers so part of the evaluation included a survey asking avid readers to select the top 5 books they enjoyed the most. The awards are grouped by category (or genre) and divided into Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Award Finalists. “The Curse of Dead Horse Canyon: Cheyenne Spirits”received the Silver Medal in the Westerns category.

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Electronic: ISBN 978-1-7334186-1-4 Available from: Axis360; Gardners; Odilio; OverDrive; Library Direct

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Print: ISBN 978-1-7334186-0-7 Available from: Ingram

The Curse of Dead Horse Canyon: Cheyenne Spirits (Dead Horse Canyon, #1)