News Media

For Immediate Release:        Aug. 27, 2013

Contact:          Marilyn Bay Wentz, author of Prairie Grace  303-594-3827-cell

Prairie Grace Depicts Events Leading up to Sand Creek Massacre

Colorado Native’s Researched Fictional Account Will Educate and Entertain

 STRASBURG, COLO.—In Prairie Grace, the clash of white and Native cultures in 1864 Colorado Territory is told through the eyes of throw-caution-to-the wind frontierswoman Georgia MacBaye and Cheyenne brave Gray Wolf, who is cast into the white world when his uncle, Chief Lean Bear, seeks help for him from Georgia’s mother, a well-known “healer.” When Lean Bear (actual historic figure) returns nearly a year later to retrieve his nephew, he explains that he was delayed by a trip to Washington, D.C., where he and other Cheyenne and Arapaho chiefs met the Great White Father (President Abraham Lincoln), a documented event.

“Prairie Grace demonstrates the worst and the best of humanity,” said debut novelist Marilyn Bay Wentz, Strasburg, Colo. “It accurately depicts both the Indian depredations and the ruthless U.S. government/military campaigns to eliminate the Native Americans and their perceived threat to the whites.”

Extensive research enabled the author to write realistic dialog between fictional and actual characters. Historic events, including the Colorado gold rush, the Denver flood of 1864, the Hungate murders, the slaughter of innocent Indians in small villages, settlement on the Purgatory River in southern Colorado, and the treaties of Fort Laramie and Fort Wise are woven into the storyline. Historical figures Lean Bear, Bull Bear, Roman Nose, One-Eye, Beaver aka George Bent, Black Kettle, Tall Bull, Cheyenne captive Laura Roper, Issac Van Wormer, Indian Agent Samuel Colley, Edward Wynkoop, Silas Soule, Governor Evans, and Col. John Chivington all make appearances in Prairie Grace.

Prairie Grace accurately depicts daily life and attitudes of people during this time, without being simplistic or stereotypical. The author’s expertise in agriculture, use of herbal and nutritional remedies and horse training provide believable descriptions of settler life.

This fast-moving novel culminates with the Sand Creek Massacre when Colonel John Chivington led a U.S. Army assault on an encampment of peaceful Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians in present day southeastern Colorado on Nov. 29, 1864, massacring an estimated 130 Indians, at least 100 of them women and children.

Marilyn Bay Wentz grew up on a farm near Eaton, Colo., not far from where her great-great grandparents homesteaded. She has written hundreds of news releases and articles for agricultural organizations and other clients. Prairie Grace will be available December 2013 in bookstores and online.


Please contact the author to review Prairie Grace electronically. A limited number of paper copies are available, as well.