This book and the world where it takes place would simply not exist without my daughters. They created creatures and characters that I then had to work into one world and plot line. They inspired me and prodded me. Together we got to experience what some people only get to dream of. By the sheer force of our imaginations and will, we created something. That is an experience I will never forget and a lesson that will stay with them their entire lives. The lesson to believe in your Gifts and learn to use them is mirrored in the novel.

It all started one night at two a.m. when my oldest daughter awoke from a bad dream and came to our bed seeking comfort. Half asleep, I told her the tale of a young girl and her talking horse named Dalminyo (that looked a lot like one she’d just ridden on a visit to Idaho). There was a growling sound in the dark, and I told her she had to get past the evil monster Dale-K (my snoring husband, Dale, sleeping next to me) to save her sister.  I described her and Dalminyo running through a field of red flowers (a scene depicted in a large canvas I painted that hangs in our living room). The next morning she asked if I could write down the story so that we would never forget. And could we please put all of our family in the tale, as they all live so far away and we rarely get to see them.  Scooby, our cairn terrier couldn’t be left out, and my youngest wanted a purple cheetah, fairies and dragons.  So at their command I began folding both the familiar and fanciful into the story. That was the fall of 2006.  My youngest was in second grade, and in the spring I was asked to come to her class and be the mystery reader.  I only had a few rough chapters of the first draft, but we’d just been working on it and she wanted me to share. The teacher and students became so enthralled with my reading, that they missed going to music class. That’s when I decided that I owed it to myself and the girls to at least follow through and make this tale a complete story. Slowly, but surely, I stole away, to work and then rework the story into its current form.