The Curse of Dead Horse Canyon

Cheyenne Spirits

Fiction - Thriller - Conspiracy
426 Pages
Reviewed on 10/07/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

This book is the collaboration between two very different individuals from diverse cultures. Marcha Fox is an award winning science fiction author with a physics degree who worked for NASA for over twenty years. Upon finishing "The Curse of Dead Horse Canyon" she wanted a Native American to check it for accuracy and cultural sensitivity. Thus, she found Pete Risingsun, a fifth generation descendant of Chief Iron Shirt and an enrolled member of the Northern Cheyenne tribe. His life-long experiences include serving as a spirit helper to medicine men in ceremonial sweat lodges. Together they completed this amazing story and added the subtitle "Cheyenne Spirits."

    Book 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.

JeLF on Amazon

The Curse of Dead Horse Canyon keeps the pages turning. Partially because the characters come alive, but also because I wanted to know 'who dun it'. – In other words, who would be evil enough to willfully cause an accident with the intention of murder? The authors deal with several current issues, and mix in interesting things like Native American beliefs and astrology.
Looking forward to reading more of this trilogy!

Amazon Customer

I really loved the layout of this book. The quotes before each chapter really give you something to ponder while you read on. The characters and their development keep you interested and wanting to read on. I'm looking forward to the next books in this series!

Scott Skipper

The paramedics brought Sara back from the dead but not before her likewise deceased husband told her, “Don’t let them get away with it.” Her severe injuries include a concussion that robs her of short-term memory. Very gradually, over the course of her convalescence, disturbing images come back to her, then on a trip to visit her father and stepmother, she is nearly killed again by a hit-and-run big rig driver. Sara’s father is ex-FBI. He begins to put together a terrifying scenario of black ops and governmental misdeeds. Charley, a full blood Indian and best friend of the late husband, has suspicions. He recovers an SD card from the truck that still rests in a nearly inaccessible stream, and he notes that absolutely every other personal item has been removed by someone. Sara has another message from beyond the grave that tells her the information she needs is in the stars. She consults an astrologer who points her back to Charley. As a team they begin to piece together what is really happening and who is doing it.

The Curse of Dead Horse Canyon is a modern tale of corruption and government overreach. Marcha Fox weaves a circuitous trail of foul play that unfolds in a remote part of Colorado. It is written with rich detail, in clean, flowing prose. The author’s background gives her the technical expertise to write convincingly on many topics including, among other things, geology, fracking, astronomy, and astrology. This is the first volume of a three book series. Don’t miss it.

Amazon Customer

Marcha Fox has knocked it out of the park with The Curse of Dead Horse Canyon Cheyenne Spirit. This engaging, entertaining, well written book with a well crafted plot is simply a fun mystery. The story line was presented in such a way that I wanted to see what would happen next. This book has everything, murder, corporate greed, a conspiracy, Native American and environmental issues all well told and interesting while mixing fact with fiction and Native American legends. It was very hard for me to put down even when I was reading this for a second time (yes, it is good enough to read more than once). The research Marcha Fox and Pete Risingsun did and shared is excellent. Treat yourself to a wonderful read and get this book. You won't be disappointed!
Thank you Marcha.


This story starts with a bang and is filled with suspense and intrigue. Marcha Fox weaves environmental issues into a conspiracy that builds with each new discovery from the main characters. She is also expertly embeds astrology into guiding characters through the maze of the government mess. Co-author Pete Risingsun adds an authentic touch to the native american trials and curse of Deadhorse Canyon and Charlie's journey back to his native ways in order to uncover the conspiracy that killed his best friend.
Each character is carefully crafted and realistic as well as the center of the plot. It is a complex story that's difficult to put down. I recommend it to any reader who enjoys mystery, conspiracy and intrigue.

Robert Eggleton

The Curse of Dead Horse Canyon is a rich story that keeps you turning pages – a multi-layered conspiratorial mystery that keeps you guessing. Cheyenne beliefs, culture and practices shed light upon good and evil in a modern world of greed and capitalism, as does the Astrology expounded upon in the story. Current issues are raised, such as fracking for oil vs. environmental protection, especially as viewed by Native Americans. And, lobbyists for this or that dark web governmental policy as the details of the conspiracy unfold. At first I thought the story was one of true love lost, which it is, but it is so much more than that as the protagonist’s love seeks to fulfill her perceived duty to avenge murder. I can’t wait to read the next one in this series.

Broadway Turk Superstar

The Curse of Dead Horse Canyon by Marcha Fox is an entertaining, suspenseful and compelling novel by the accomplished Texas indie lit author. The author extends her horizons beyond the sci-fi genre upon which she established her reputation. Canyon is 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 story takes place in Belton, a small town amidst the ski resort area of Colorado where Sara and Bryan Reynolds are enjoying a drive along the countryside. Their sojourn ends in tragedy as a car accident costs Bryan his life. Will and Connie Montgomery, Sara’s parents, are there in her time of need as is Charlie Littlewolf, an Indian of Cheyenne heritage who is part of the Native American community. Charlie is suspicious of the circumstances surrounding the accident. He runs afoul of Bernard Keller, the CEO of BG Security Services, and his top gun Eddie Johannsen. Both Charlie and Sara are targeted, and she soon realizes that the problem lies in the photos she and Bryan took during their trip. Related events unfold the mystery as an illegal excavating operation is uncovered. Corporate interests place Sara and Charlie’s lives at stake. Can the Great Spirit protect Charlie Whitehorse, a Cheyenne warrior steeped in tradition? Fox’s novel is a page-turner that will keep you up all night to find out.

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. We see how urban residents, rural landowners and Indian tribes are endangered by pollution that poisons water supplies and threatens lives. There is also the element of conspiracy theory as the lengths to which corporations might protect their interests are measured. Last but not least, Fox provides us with poignant vignettes in which Charlie’s relationship with his grandfather, Eaglefeathers, is depicted. It gives us a look at the Indian subculture and a spiritual vision of what makes it so unique. It is also where the legend of Dead Horse Canyon is revealed. Fasten your seat belts, brethren.

For suspense/thriller readers, conspiracy buffs and Indian history fans, as well as her legion of sci-fi lovers, Marcha Fox’s novel is one you don’t want to miss.

Dawn Ireland

Not enough stars. This is a story with depth. Great characters. I absolutely love Charlie! Waiting for the next book in the series.


I liked this mystery and the interesting facts about the Cheyenne. It has a sequel so the mystery isn’t quite resolved in this book.

D.L. Finn on Amazon

A Riveting Read!
"The Curse of the Dead Horse Canyon: Cheyenne Spirits" is a thrilling adventure full of mystery and knowledge. This is a longer read, but I didn't notice. I loved the Colorado setting and could relate to the mining details and the aftermath because I live in an old mining town. I've seen firsthand the damage it left behind. The characters immediately pulled me in, and I had empathy for Sara when she lost her husband, and almost her own life, in a car accident in a cursed area. Her memory of what occurred was gone, but that didn't stop her from trying to find the truth. Her husband's best friend Charlie starts a journey to unravel the mystery of what happened to his friend and exploring his culture. Although I loved both characters and their mutual support, Charlie was my favorite character and storyline. I have always had a deep interest in Native American Culture and the details and history, which would usually be too much in any other story, were perfect in this book. Sara's relationship with her father and stepmother was realistic, and I especially loved her stepmother introducing her to something new, which tied in nicely to what was going on. Sara and Charlie's love for Bryan pushed them into a world of greed and corruption. This is a riveting read, and it left a lot to resolve in the upcoming books, which makes me eager for their release. I highly recommend this!

Bookworm92 on Amazon

Mystery and Intrigue
Having been interested in the Native American way of life for some time, The Curse of Deadhorse Canyon piqued my interest.

Co-authored by Marcha Fox and Pete Risingsun (a member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe), the book has elements of murder, a government conspiracy, greed, environmental issues, and Native American legends.

The writing style of the authors drew me in, with many descriptive scenes that made me feel I was right with the characters. The plot is well-paced and keeps the reader in suspense. It was also educational (not in a boring way), and I learned several things about the Cheyenne culture. The development of the main characters, Sara Reynolds and Charlie Littlewolf, is realistic.

All-in-all, this is a well-rounded story, both character and plot driven. It’s the first of a trilogy, and I look forward to the upcoming release of the second book.

Gwendolyn Plano on Amazon

Well-written and well researched
About twenty years ago, my kids and I traveled through New Mexico and Arizona, through parts of the Navajo Nation. We stopped at one small town after another and learned that many of the locales had no running water. This horrifying fact was vividly brought back as I read The Curse of Dead Horse Canyon. Though it takes place in Colorado, the story resonates with my early experience.

Author Marcha Fox and Pete Risingsun have brilliantly built a thriller around environmental injustices, corporate abuse, and nefarious government involvement. As the story evolves, readers are introduced to Native American spirituality and practices. Underlying the drama, there’s a culture clash that comes down to profits. Well researched and well written, I highly recommend this book.