Saturday, November 5, 2011

Meet my guest--Kristy McCaffrey

I'm pleased to introduce Kristy McCaffrey, Western Historical Romance author. To celebrate the release of her exciting Wings of the West Series, Kristy tells us about the Comanche, the Native American tribe that dominates her books. I hope you find this as fascinating as I. Few authors use this group because of their great fierceness, a trait that does not make them as sympathetic as some other tribes. But I feel an affinity with Kristy--I have written one NA story, and I also used the Comanche. I hope you learn something here you did not know. ~*~Celia~*~ 
The Comanche Indians 
By Kristy McCaffrey

The Comanche Indians likely originated somewhere north of the headwaters of the Arkansas River in the mountainous country of what is now Colorado and Wyoming, but it was in Texas that this most feared Plains tribe made their mark. They battled Spaniards, Mexicans, Texans, and Americans, as well as the original Indian residents, among them the Apache and the Tonkawas. Until 1875 they were the most difficult adversary the Texans dealt with, carrying off what loot they could and burning the rest, and frequently killing or capturing men, women, and children.
 The Comanche were hunter-gatherers who acquired the horse in the early 1700’s, allowing for greater mobility. As they migrated into Texas, as well as southern Kansas, eastern New Mexico, southern Colorado, northeastern Arizona and all of Oklahoma their population greatly increased due to the abundance of buffalo, the migration of Shoshone (of whom the Comanche were related) and the integration of captive women and children.

            Warfare was a major component of Comanche life. Raids into the Mexican state of Chihuahua for horses, captives, and weapons were usually done during a full moon, when the Comanche could see to ride, and this led to the term “Comanche Moon.”

 Comanche groups were advised by a small number of leaders, including the peace chief, the war chief and members of counsel. Comanche men did most of the hunting—considered a principal source of honor—and all fighting in the wars. The women managed the tasks of cooking, skinning animals, setting up camp, rearing the children, and transporting the household goods.
            Comanche ate buffalo, elk, black bear, pronghorn, and deer. During scarce times they ate wild mustangs, their own ponies, or raided ranches for longhorn cattle. Men wore a breechcloth with a leather belt, deerskin leggings, and moccasins. Women wore long deerskin dresses and moccasins. In winter both donned warm buffalo robes.

 Because they constantly travelled, they didn’t use pottery that could easily break. They made nearly everything from the buffalo, crafting tools, household goods, and weapons from the animal’s horns, hide and bones.

            The most famous Comanche was Quanah Parker. Born around 1850, he was the son of a Comanche Chief named Peta Nocona and Cynthia Ann Parker, a white girl who’d been taken captive in 1836. In 1860 Cynthia Ann was recaptured along with her daughter, but after living with the Comanche for 24 years she was unable to adjust to life among white people. She died four years later following the death of her daughter.

 Quanah led his tribe of Kwahadi Comanche in a bloody war against the U.S. government, refusing to surrender from 1867-1875. Finally, with his people weary and starving, he acquiesced, leading the last free band of Comanche to Fort Sill, a reservation in Oklahoma. Although Quanah refused to become like the white men, he had the foresight to understand them. He learned English, became a reservation judge, and lobbied Congress for the cause of the Comanche Nation. He died in 1911 and was buried beside his mother, whose body had been reinterred at Ft. Sill Military Cemetery. Quanah Parker had become a true Texas hero.
            Today the headquarters for the Comanche Nation is in Lawton, Oklahoma and operates many businesses and a college.
Kristy McCaffrey writes historical western romances. The first book in her Wings of the West Series, The Wren, features a heroine returning to her Texas home after living as a Comanche captive for ten years. Visit Kristy online at

THE WREN: Molly Hart returns to find love with Texas Ranger Matt Ryan.
THE DOVE: Claire Waters and Logan Ryan are reunited at the White Dove Saloon.

These novels are available as separate books, or in one MegaBook:

~*~*~*~Kristy, thank you for being my guest. Your post was so interesting--just the kind of information I love, and since I've researched the Comanche, too, I enjoyed reading your account. Excellent job. Readers, please leave a comment for Kristy, and check out her books.

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas  


  1. Kristy, an interesting post. I did not know the Comanche headquarters were in Lawton. I've been to Fort Sill and Lawton when my husband was testing equipment there for the military. My mom grew up about sixty miles from Lawton, so I love learning about the area. I also love Native American lore. Thanks for sharing a fascinating post. Now I have to buy your books.

  2. Fascinating post, Kristy. I enjoyed every word and learned much about a tribe I had always heard only negative things about before now. Good luck with your books. I hope you continue to research and write about these people. Linda

  3. Thanks Caroline and Linda! I found them fascinating to research.

  4. Hi Kristy and Celia,

    I always love to learn more about Indian history. Thanks for sharing some of your research!

  5. Hi Kristy and Celia, I love learning about the West. Living in the south as I do, the West has undeniable mystique. Kristy are you related to Anne McCaffrey? Best of luck with your western series.


  6. What a wonderful and informative blog, Kristy. The story of Cynthia Ann Parker was so sad. I wonder, did you base your story on her life as your inspiration?
    A book with two stories in it is quite a bargain.
    I wish you all the best.

  7. Hi LK, Maggie and Sarah:
    I'm a big fan of Anne McCaffrey and her Pern books. Not sure if I'm related. McCaffrey is my married name. My husband has quite a big family and originated in Ireland, so very possible. :-)

    I indirectly used the Cynthia Ann Parker story in my book. (And yes, her story is quite sad). I based much of my heroine's (Molly) captivity on a fictional book called "A Woman of the People" by Benjamin Capps. He wrote it in 1922and based his story on Parker's experiences. In the end I came to appreciate the Comanche and their way of life and I tried to convey that through Molly and her experiences. There were some bad ones but also some good.

  8. Great post, Kristy! The Comanche certainly have a rich heritage. I've always felt sorry for Cynthia Ann Parker, who made a good life for herself, only to have it taken away.

  9. Hi Jacquie,
    Thanks for stopping by! In retrospect it seems clear that Cynthia Ann Parker should be been allowed to stay with the Comanche. She loved them and they'd become her family. But child abductions were horrifying then just as they are today. Lawmen thought they were helping when they came across white captives, and in many cases they were. No easy answers.

  10. Hi Kristy. I love learning about the history of our Native Americans. As a Camp Fire Girl leader for thirteen years, we did a lot of working with their crafts and customs. I loved it. I had a Sioux name of TuTu Pakwa which means the green frog. (Don't ask). Their history is so rich that it's a shame more isn't taught.

    Your stories sound great. I am glad to have had the chance to get to know you today. Best of luck with lots of sales. :)

  11. Thank you Paisley. Appreciate you stopping by!

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