Our Ancestor’s Blood

the canaryEver wonder if you inherited more than eye color from your ancestors? Growing up I was constantly compared to both dead and alive relatives in looks and temperament. You’re just like your grandmother, was often said to me, the words dripping with disgust. It just so happened that I really liked that grandmother and we had a similar relationship as Zoe and her grandmother Ellie have in my book The Canary.

Here is an excerpt from that book which will be released soon:

The Canary

I feel her presence. It’s as though her mind and mine are connected. I smell the dust of the road as the horse’s trotting hooves stir it into the air that I breath. The maleness of the driver of the wagon wafts over me. His love envelops me. This is the man I want to spend the rest of my life with.

His dark hair, blue eyes and slight Irish brogue mesmerize me. I know nothing about breeding horses for it is his love and dream not mine, but I know about how to acquire the means for him to fulfill his dream. And that I will do so that our grandchildren and their grandchildren’s children and so on for generations to come will enjoy the land and the legacy that I have helped to make their heritage.

With our blood running through their veins, they will build their own dreams on the foundation of what we have begun.


She found her oldest granddaughter, Zoe, in the study of the huge log home that she had lived in, on and off for most of her life. Zoe sat in the large leather chair facing the stone fireplace. Her eyes were focused on a painting of her great, great, great grandmother, Annabelle. So strong was her concentration that she hadn’t even heard her grandmother, Eleanor speak when she called her name.

“If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were talking to her, the way you’re smiling.”

“I believe her spirit was talking to me,” Zoe whispered.

“Grandma, when are you going to tell me the story about her? I want the real story, not what you can read on the Internet. You said that you would tell me someday. I think that day is today. It’s just you and me all week. Mother and father won’t be here and neither will my sister.”

Eleanor smiled at her.

“You have the same smile she had, grandma. Do I have that smile?”

“Yes you do and you have her same gorgeous looks and natural music abilities as well.”

“Mother and father said I should not mention her while their snooty friends are around, but I want to know where I came from. I want to know how she became one of the richest and most influential women in California in the 1800s. I want to know the real story.”

“And you have a right to know it. Where shall I begin?” Eleanor said as she sat in the other leather chair facing Annabelle’s painting.

Ellie smiled at her seventeen year old granddaughter and then began speaking as though she was being given the words from the lady in the painting herself. “She was about your age when she was sent by her mother to the city to visit with her aunt Dottie. Her name was Annabelle and she was my great great grandmother. Her story is sad but she would say to the contrary. She lived with her parents Chester and Sara Ford in a small village of log cabins, which were common for families of lumberjacks in the northwest.


“This is the horse that won The National for me. The one that had his way with Tilly’s mother. So it’s not surprising that she beat all of Ryan’s horses in a race. It’s in her blood but she’s not papered.”

“She’s kind of like I am,” Zoe said. “She comes from what society calls a whore, but has the talent, intelligence and drive of royalty.”

About The Thunderbirds Cover

My painting called “The Journey Home” inspired the cover for the newly released book, Beneath and Beyond: The Thunderbirds. This was not the original painting choice, but when the time came to submit a picture for the cover to the publisher, this one mysteriously surfaced. I painted it about 15 years ago…before I came to Arizona and long before I wrote the book. Strange forces at work.

The painting tells a story which parallels the stories in the book. It is my belief after studying many myths and legends that the feathers of birds worn by ancient indigenous people was a tribute to the craft flown by the tall white beings who came from another universe to help the people on Earth. Notice the tiny figures ascending who inspired my naming the painting “The Journey Home”, which could also parallel the Native American event called “The Long Walk”, explained in the book. As you read the book occasionally glance at the cover and feel the story as though watching a movie.

The Story Behind Althea

Althea appeared in my life a long time ago as a spirit guide. She has worked with me for quite a number of years helping me through one transition after another. Her guidance through the years has been invaluable, stern but kind. When deciding on a name for my main female character, she seemed a natural choice.

Althea’s personality is patterned after a number of people I have known. For example, at one time I had many clients in the Chicago area. Some of them had family situations similar to Althea’s in the book.

Her experience in Mexico was my experience. By the way the murderer at the top of the sun pyramid came to me (drove 100 miles) for a past life regression. During the hypnotherapy session, he started crying because he saw himself killing me on that pyramid those many decades ago. I had never met the man before nor have I seen him since. I guess our karma is finished.

Althea’s insecurities in relationships could be typical of any twenty year old. As Althea’s character develops so does her self-confidence. In the sequel to the Hidden City, Althea’s character shows an inner strength that is not apparent in the first book.

I would greatly appreciate your questions and comments on the characters in the book and how you saw them.

The Story Behind Tashi

The main character in my book, Beneath and Beyond, is named Tashi. In the story he is a Tibetan who grows up in a Himalayan village. When I was visiting Tibet, I had the privilege of meeting another author whose name was Tashi. We shared some homemade chang while we talked and I learned more about him.

Tashi had quite a colorful history, which included being a concubine for a lama to spending some time in a Chinese prison under Mai se dung. For a while to avoid prison, he came and lived in the United States, but he could not stand being away from his beloved Tibet. Once out of prison, he got on with his life and was instrumental in bringing schools to remote areas of Tibet.

He spoke beautiful English, which helped me as I am foreign language challenged. His first comment to me at the door was: “It’s good to see you again.” I would have found this greeting strange if I had not just that morning told someone in our small group of American travelers that coming to Tibet was like coming home.

Even though Tashi’s main personality was patterned after Tashi, the author, my fictional character is a combination of many people I met on my adventure in Tibet, the rooftop of the world.