Page 115 She [Miss Shugart-teacher] got up from her desk and walked between the rows. “As you know, after the Civil War, some of those soldiers came right here to Fort Steele, to protect the men who built the railroad. Students, raise your hand if someone in your family fought in the Civil War.”

. . . “Phyllis, you had your hand raised,” Miss Shugart said. Felícita stood up and said,” Our great-grandfather Jose del Carmel Cardenas fought for the Union at the Battle of Valverde.”

ANNOTATION: This is one of my ancestor’s papers showing he was entitled to a pension from the United States government for his service during the Civil War. The map shows where he fought in New Mexico.

Civil War pension application




Page 50 (a letter from Margarita’s grandmother, Cruzita Cardenas Sandoval, who stayed in New Mexico and is learning English.)

July 15, 1934

Dear Margarita,

      Thanks to God the family is together. I am busy with Blanca. She give me much milk to make cheese. I sell all my cheese to the artists who paint pictures of our mountains.

ANNOTATION: As a child we visited my great-grandmother in El Carmen, New Mexico where she milked her white goat and gave us warm goat milk to drink. I was turned off from drinking any milk for a long while after that experience. However, now I wish I could get raw goat’s milk to make fresh goat cheese like you find in rural areas of New Mexico.

white goat


Page 8 . . . and he [Alberto] sang a song called “Beyond the Blue Horizon,” which he said he heard on the radio.

ANNOTATION: In my research for songs from the 1930s, I discovered this tune was made popular by Jeanette MacDonald and would have most likely still have been played on the radio in 1934. The song also became popular in recent times. I played the song for our granddaughter, Emily, and asked if she had heard it. IMG_0007She hadn’t, but I said I was going to put the song in the story in homage to her 2018 graduation from Horizon High School. IMG_1038My editor suggested I cut the reference, but I explained that Alberto might have tried to show how savvy he was with pop culture of the times and might have sung it to his family. The reference to the song stayed in the story!



Page 5 Claudette kicked up a trail of dust as she moved down the dirt roads. Abuela held her gold-colored statue of Mary, the Queen of Heaven, on her lap, but she should have been holding Nuestra Señora de los Dolores—because it seemed like our hearts too were pierced by swords.

ANNOTATION: My great-grandmother, Rufina (Maldonado) Maes brought her statue of Saint Mary to Fort Steele when she moved from New Mexico to Wyoming. It now belongs to my aunt, Phyllis (Sandoval) Aguilar Torres.

Virgin Mary



Countdown from Fifteen. . .

Two of my friends  guessed that the green chile ristra I made would turn red by October 1, 2018. Because it was very warm in Colorado, the ristra actually turned completely red by September 27, 2018. They were the closest to guessing the actual date and will each win a free autographed copy of The Wind Called My Name.

I will be making some fabulous chile dishes from these dried chiles! Be sure and read my book to learn what I say about chile ristras.

red chile

The Rest of the Story

When I was growing up, our radio dial was always tuned to Paul Harvey. Later he had a program called The Rest of the Story which proved Paul Harvey was also a great history teacher because in about three minutes, he told us little known stories about people, events, and things. I’d like to share some short scenes behind the scenes that give you a little more insight into The Wind Called My Name.

The pages and texts refer to the Advance Reader’s Copy (ARC) but the finished book texts should be very close to these pages. The ANNOTATIONS are the rest of the story along with some pictures. I’ll do a countdown each day until my book’s official birthdate, October 30, 2018.  Stand by for news!