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Comanche Spirit Talker Novel
I Am From Idaho Book Humor Growing Up Rural Idaho

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In The Shadow of Spirit Mountain

Novel, thriller, haunted theater

Rachael gets her first look at the Coleman Theater and Spirit Mountain

A hallucination; it had to be. What other explanation could there be for a woman in a long white dress along a lonely stretch of mountain road that just – vanishes? It had been a grueling drive from Amarillo to the Rocky Mountains of Idaho. Rachael had been fading off and had to stop to clear her head. Her mother would have insisted it was a spirit trying to make contact. Being a Comanche Spirit Talker, her mother had believed in that sort of thing. Rachael had always dismissed it as superstition.

On her way to her first job after college, Rachael would be forced to redefine her ideas of the world. She was about to enter the old gold mining town of Copper Creek to restore the historic Coleman theater in a larger effort to save the town. Rachael is about to find out that things in this historic town located at the base of Spirit Mountain are not what they seem, and there are deeply buried secrets. As dreams of the lady in white and Rachael’s recently deceased father start to warn of an impending disaster, Rachael will be forced to face her beliefs regarding superstition and true Indian spiritualism. She must find answers to the future that are hidden in the past before it is too late – for Rachael and the town.

Weaved into a modern-day mystery/thriller are Native American lore, Indian spirituality, and the fate of Chinese immigrants in the 19th century.

                                                                     In the Shadow of Spirit Mountain Core Strengths

                                                                               A Literary Mystery/Thriller Novel

 

Rachael Greystone is a strong, self-confident woman starting her career as a historic preservationist. However, her father unexpectedly passed away, and Rachael is still in shock. Complicating her grief is a conflict Rachael has with her mother and their shared heritage. Rachael's mother is not only an American Indian but also a Spirit Talker, as the descendent of Mukwoorʉ, a 19th-century Penateka Comanche Chief and medicine man in Central Texas. However, Rachael has considered spirit talker abilities superstition since she was a child trying to fit into white society. As Rachael approaches her first job restoring the Coleman Theater in the small mountain town of Copper Creek, she slowly realizes that she may have misjudged her mother's ability to communicate with spirits. In dreams and visions, Rachael discovers that she has inherited those abilities.

 

I believe a book that will stand the test of time has to work on several levels: philosophical, knowledge, and entertainment.

 

Philosophical:

On a primary level, In the Shadow is about dealing with loss and letting go. The protagonist, Rachael, has just lost her father. In addition, Dan Ackerman, one of the main characters, has lost his fiancé, Linda. In a dream, Linda tells Rachael:

"When people you love die, you build a wall around yourself. You use bricks of remorse, guilt, anger, the things you wish you had said, the things you wish you had never said. You think if you build the wall strong enough, maybe it will keep you safe from the hurt and pain. But sometimes that wall also keeps the person you lost a prisoner. That can be the worst part. Then you are both trapped."

 

Later in the book, Charlie, the one remaining Chinese descendant in Copper Creek, must decide whether the remains of his ancestors should be left alone in a collapsed tunnel or reburied in the graveyard. He replies:

"Miss Rachael, my mother took me to the remembering stones many times. She would say, "Let the earth eat the flesh. The bones have no honor. Your ancestors have gone. Only remember their stories. And she would tell me the story of each one many times so I would remember."

 

Knowledge:

The part of writing this novel I enjoyed the most was the research into Native American beliefs and the Chinese immigrants' contributions despite their tragic treatment in the 1800s. The unique part of In the Shadow is the perspective of past events that is contrary to current trends:

Rachael refutes the current trends that people in the present must atone for what their race did centuries ago and destroy history instead of learning from it.

 

Entertainment:

Finally is the entertainment value. In the Shadow has paranormal elements. Rachael has prophetic dreams and sometimes carries parts of those visions into the real world (the smell of smoke, a thorn picked up in the graveyard during an image).

Having grown up in Idaho myself, In the Shadow describes a mountain mining town that most people will never visit.

There are unique thrills, such as a runaway gold train, a gothic theater with secret rooms and passages, old mine tunnels, and mysterious murals. There are also mysteries, such as who trapped Rachael and Chuck in a tunnel? Is there a curse on Spirit Mountain, and how does it relate to current events? What links the flooding of the tunnels in 1900 to an impending disaster? And finally, there is some humor exchanged between several characters.

Spirit Talker

Ancient Indian Map on Deer Skin

Rachael Greystone is cleaning out her father’s office at the university when she discovers a secret drawer in his desk containing an enigmatic artifact. Before passing away from a heart attack, her father, James Greystone, had been on the trail of a discovery that, as he wrote in his notebook, would change archeology and how we view evolution and the world. However, before his death, he had become secretive, and his notes did not divulge the significance of the artifact.

Rachael has come home to develop her abilities as a Comanche Spirit Talker, which imparts the ability to live events that have happened in the past and sense events in the future. After discovering the notebook, she decides to continue her father’s quest. However, someone else is after the artifact and keenly interested in what Rachael finds. A lab assistant is almost killed, and the artifact is stolen. With the help of a graduate student, Ben, he and Rachael must race across the continent to find the secrete behind the artifact before it is too late for Rachael or the world.

I Am From Idaho

Book I Am From Idaho, Humor, Growing Up stories

Chapters Include:

Child on Go-cart

The Mason Jar

The Go-Cart

The Ice Sled

Map Reading and Life 101

Idaho Pond with Raft and Kids

The Day I Flew

The Farm Truck

The Tank

The Cave Part 1 & 2

The Christmas to Remember

The Go-Cart Junkyard, humor
Child runing from bees humor
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