Thursday, March 28, 2019

Our Story BEFORE The Story ~ Sand Creek Serenade

Sadie: Hello, everyone. I am Sadie Hoppner. Doctor Sadie Hoppner, that is. Perhaps you find it odd that a twenty-two-year-old woman like myself would become a doctor in 1864, but I’ve never wanted anything more in my life. Many of my relatives were or are doctors or nurses, so I guess the love of medicine and the healing arts is in our family blood.

Five Kills: And I am Five Kills of the Tsitsistas People, or as you might call us…the Shy-anne. I have lived twenty-five summers, but only the last fifteen have been among my mother’s people. My first ten summers, I lived with my white father in a…how do you say…house?...far from the Tsitsistas.

Sadie: I guess you could say the love of medicine was what brought my dear mama and papa together. Papa apprenticed under Dr. Garnett, my grandfather. Mama served as grandfather’s nurse, so she and papa spent a lot of time together, fell in love, and eventually married. They adored each other, or so Papa tells me. Unfortunately, I never knew Mama. She died bringing me into this world.

Five Kills: Those first ten summers were a happy time for me. Despite the many differences between my mother and father’s worlds, they loved each other. My father was a hunter and a trapper. Every day, he filled my belly with the savory meats he brought home, and every night, he filled my mind with stories of great adventures and brave feats in battle.

Sadie: I don’t remember exactly when it began, but as I grew, I started to read papa’s medical texts. Knowing that their joint love of medicine connected Mama and Papa, reading those texts helped me feel a connection to Mama as well. When I began asking Papa questions, he would sit me on his knee and help me understand the words and concepts. I grew to love that time with him, and it eventually turned into a formal apprenticeship.

Five Kills: Father shared many stories. They were written down in books, but his favorite stories were written in a special book, much larger than the others. The stories in the special book told of White Man’s God and His relationship to His people. The stories from that book lived in my mind and heart long after Father died and I went to live with the Tsitsistas. My mother’s people had other stories to tell, and Father’s stories faded in my memory.

Sadie: Before my formal training was complete, Papa fell ill. He did his best to prepare me as a doctor, but the sickness took him before either of us felt I was ready to wear the title. So…God bless him…my older brother, Ben, also a doctor, asked special permission for me to come live at Fort Lyon where he serves as the army surgeon. I packed up Papa’s texts and a few other belongings, moved across the territory, and completed my apprenticeship under my big brother’s watchful eye. That’s how I came to be at the fort while Major Ned Wynkoop worked to broker a peace treaty with Five Kills’ people.

Five Kills: When the Tsitsistas chief, Black Kettle, went to Tall Chief Wynkoop to ask for peace with the Army, we were told to camp alongside the Army fort. It was there that I saw this woman. (I have never called her Say-dee. I call her Trilling Bird, for she is pretty and her voice is soothing, like a bird’s song). The first day that I saw her, she had books. Large books like Father’s special one. I wanted very much to see them and try to remember the stories Father told me, but the soldiers were too quick to send me away, back to the Tsitsistas camp. But I vowed to return.

Sadie: Yes, he did—and caused quite a stir when he came. But we’ve probably said enough, Five Kills. They can read the rest of our story themselves by purchasing a copy of Sand Creek Serenade. I’m told the “link” (whatever that is) is below. And one lucky person will win a paperback copy of our story by commenting on our conversation here.

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My Story Title:   Sand Creek Serenade

My Story Genre:  Christian Western Historical Romance

My Story Released:   March 14, 2019

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The Author of My Story:    Jennifer Uhlarik

 Jennifer Uhlarik discovered the western genre as a pre-teen when she swiped the only “horse” book she found on her older brother’s bookshelf. A new love was born. Across the next ten years, she devoured Louis L’Amour westerns and fell in love with the genre. In college at the University of Tampa, she began penning her own story of the Old West. Armed with a B.A. in writing, she has finaled and won in numerous writing competitions, and been on the ECPA best-seller list numerous times. In addition to writing, she has held jobs as a private business owner, a schoolteacher, a marketing director, and her favorite—a full-time homemaker. Jennifer is active in American Christian Fiction Writers and lifetime member of the Florida Writers Association. She lives near Tampa, Florida, with her husband, college-aged son, and four fur children.

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  Get Connected:

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WHERE can the book be purchased?


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The author will be honored to gift a winner a signed copy of
Sand Creek Serenade.
Be sure to leave a comment with an email address where you can be reached should you win.


Paula said...

This is great. I love reading backstories of characters almost as much as the stories themselves. It gives me a sense of who they are, where they came from and why they do certain things or act certain ways. Jennifer, you're a great writer and I look forward to reading more of your stories in the future! said...

I loved reading about early pioneer days, forts, Indian tribes and their way of life. What a great book! Sadie and Five Kills romance grew in spite of hatred and ignorant beliefs. A beautiful love story amidst much strife and hardships. Looking forward to Dr. Ben's story. said...

I'm so glad Five Kills and Sadie Hoppner came to visit the blog - and - I appreciate their telling of their STORY BEFORE THE STORY -

Thank you for taking time from your VERY BUSY SCHEDULE to share them with us here at

May this be a rewarding experience for you and your characters! *smile*

Jennifer Uhlarik said...

Paula, thank you so much for stopping by to read about Sadie and Five Kills. They are favorites of mine! Glad you got a glimpse into their lives. ;)

Jennifer Uhlarik said...

Dixiegran, thank you so much! I'm so glad to know you loved the story. I'm working on Ben's story, so keep an eye out! It's coming.

Jennifer Uhlarik said...

Thank you so much, Joy, for having me! This was such a fun blog post, and it's always exciting to share about my stories and meet new readers!

Margie Harris said...

Thank you for the background. I loved your book even though it made me angry and made me cry. It gave me a late night as I had to keep reading.

Jennifer Uhlarik said...

Hi Margie, I'm so glad you stopped by. Yes, the history of the Sand Creek Massacre has that potential to make you angry for what happened and sad for those who were attacked. It truly is a heartbreaking event. That said, I'm glad you enjoyed the story! Thank you so much for letting me know.

Jennifer Uhlarik said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jarm Del Boccio said...

It does give us a deeper understanding of the plot and characters. Well done, Jennifer!

Jennifer Uhlarik said...

Thank you so much, Jarm! I appreciate you stopping by. ;)

Deb Gardner Allard said...

I love this type of story, especially about Native Americans. Thank you for sharing on Joy’s blog. I’ll post on FB, Twitter, and Pinterest if I can. 💗 said...



Has won a signed copy of SAND CREEK SERENADE

Jennifer, I'll get you her contact information ASAP..

THIS WAS A TREMENDOUS POST! Thanks again for participating in this project!