Monday, January 21, 2019

The Story of the Formidable Cheyenne Dog Soldiers

Thanks for stopping by today. 

I'm fascinated by American history, especially history concerning the Native American tribes from days-gone-by. At one time, I did extensive research about the Cheyenne Dog Soldiers. My 12 year old son was especially intrigued by this tribe of Indians. We spent hours at the library (he loved visiting the library) learning about their customs and beliefs, their life on the Plains.
Before long, my son moved on to another area of interest (I think it was mobsters. lol) and here I was with notebooks of information about the Dog Soldiers. That's when I decided to write WHERE THE RAIN IS MADE. All the tribes knew rain, thunder and lightning came from the sky, but the Cheyenne believed their god, MATEO, lived in the place we call heaven, or where the rain is made. Thus, the title of my book.

Here are some fascinating facts about the tribe and the formidable Dog Soldiers. 
The dog soldiers were an elite group of military, the last line of defense for the People. The fierce warriors in this society were greatly esteemed and outfitted with a particular sash. Each member also carried a sacred arrow. When in battle, they impaled one end of the sash (outfitted with a stake) to the ground and slung the other end around their torso. Once they stake was driven into the dirt, that meant no surrender, they would fight to the death. They had a song (chant) that only the dog soldiers could sing. I imagine it went something like this:

A journalist's depiction of the formidable Dog Soldiers:

"The awesome warriors (Cheyenne Dog Soldiers) were armed to the teeth with revolvers and bows ... proud, haughty, defiant as should become those who are to grant favors, not beg them."

Ohio reporter covering negotiations at Medicine Lodge, Kansas on October 27, 1867

They also believed in ghosts or spirits they called Seotses. The People feared dead spirits and would do anything to avoid the cemetery at night or lonely places outside the safety of their villages. Some said the Seotses lived in the burial ground or in villages the tribe had deserted when they moved on. Only the dog soldiers would return to the old campsites - they were not afraid of Seotses, or anything else that crossed their paths.

All this information gave me great fodder for Where the Rain is Made.  I imagined a Sacred Council of Arrows assembled by the dead elders of the tribe (Seotses). The Council looked out for the People and sent time travelers back to warn them of impending danger or bloody battles on the horizon. The time travelers had several rules: 1) Never change the course of history, but work as a mentor, advisor to the People, encourage them to move camps to avoid impending doom. 2) Never fall in love with anyone from the past. One day, the time traveler would return to his home and the life he once led. His/her survival was paramount so he could travel back in time again to help the People, albeit to another time and place.
In Where the Rain is Made, Ethan Gray is a museum curator in Washington, DC with deep ties to his Cheyenne people. But when he's sent back in time by the Council he transforms into MEKO a fierce warrior and the leader of the Dog Soldiers. 

I loved, loved writing Where the Rain Is Made and cherished every single piece of research I came across. If you like history about Native American tribes, or love passion, suspense and ghost stories, I hope you'll give the book a chance.

My most recent review 
"Highly Recommended. A love that transcends time — a compelling, time-traveling romance poised between modern day and the gut-wrenching conflict between the Cheyenne and the Blue Coats. Where The Rain is Made was a surprising blend of genres. While solidly building on a foundation of romance, it is so much more. The paranormal aspect of time travel and shamanism is painted realistically and establishes the authenticity of the story while allowing modern-day influences to be brought into a past time through the hero's modern perspective. 5 Stars" 
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Thanks so much for stopping by to read about the Dog Soldiers and Where the Rain is Made.

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