Often, the tragic story and ultimate demise of these proud People has been misconstrued when retelling our history. HOLDING ON TO HEAVEN and DARK NIGHT OF THE MOON are fiction novels loosely based on the Dakota Wars in Minnesota. They're also about twins, Lauren and Sage, separated at birth but reunited 20 years later when fate steps in.
Dakota War of 1862
The Santee Sioux or Dakotas of Western Minnesota rebelled on August 17, 1862 after the Agency traders wouldn't distribute them their food supplies, they were accounted for. After pillaging part of the nearby village of New Ulm and attacks on Fort Ridgely, from which the whites suffered severe losses, and the victorious Battle of Birch Coulee on September 2, the Indians were eventually defeated on September 23 in the Battle of Wood Lake. Most of the warriors who took part in the fighting escaped to the west and north into Dakota Territory to continue the conflict, while the remaining Santees surrendered on September 26 at Camp Release to the US Army. In the following war-trials 303 Indians were sentenced to death of which, after closer investigation from Washington, eventually 38 were hung on December 26 in the Town of Mankato in America's largest mass-execution.
Setup and Excerpt: Renegade warriors have raided the ranch. Full Circle. Lauren has survived but refuses to allow the leader to mutilate her loved ones.
High-pitched shrieks reached Lauren's ears. Warriors pranced their ponies around the yard, bloody scalps dangling from their spears. The leader stood at the top of the porch steps, his obsidian eyes hard and cruel; his face impassive. Lauren came to her feet, head up, chin out, and faced him.
Dressed in caramel buckskin pants and high-top moccasins, he struck a terrifying pose. A dark blue vest covered his torso, adorned with beads in the shape of an oak tree and acorns. A breechcloth of the same fabric hung from his narrow waist and over his right shoulder, a pouch made of buckskin and porcupine quills danced beneath the glare of the sun. Three black and white feathers stuck out from behind his left ear, lying flat against his shiny, black hair. His dark eyes pierced her with a sinister glare.
She glanced to the rifle propped against his left shoulder―the one he used moments ago to kill Uncle Mason and Aunt Estelle. Their eyes locked again. She trembled beneath his bold perusal but he remained as still as a marble statue. With a flick of his wrist, he set his warriors into motion. Racing toward the outbuildings, they lit the torches in their hands, their bloodcurdling screams bringing Lauren to her knees.
The hostile looked down at her aunt and uncle before capturing her gaze again. Although terrified of the hatchet he lifted skyward, she stepped in front of her loved one's bodies. She would not surrender to their mutilation, not while she drew breath. A brief flicker of admiration passed through his eyes when he lowered the hatchet and gave a brief nod.
About Holding On To Heaven (Book 1)
Brothers in love with the same woman—one the father to her child, the other her husband. Civil War has crumbled a nation, and the Dakota Sioux are on the warpath. While the blazing fires of revolt ravage the countryside, twins, Lauren and Sage McCain are ensnared amid the flames of destiny.
Family betrayal, heart-stopping danger, and passionate love, a love that crosses all boundaries and forges all cultures.
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Dark Night of the Moon, Book 2
Wolf Shifter book/Western