The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs: Use Outdoor Clues to Find Your Way, Predict the Weather, Locate Water, Track Animals―and Other Forgotten Skills

natuarl-signsGooley’s more than two decades of pioneering outdoor experience include research among the Dayak people of Borneo and the Tuareg of the Sahara. With his first book, The Natural Navigator, he started a renaissance in the rare art of reading nature’s clues.

Now, in The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs, Gooley has compiled more than 850 outdoor tips—many not found in any other book in the world—that will open readers’ eyes to nature’s hidden logic. He shares techniques for forecasting and tracking, and for walking in the country or city, along the coast, and by night. This is the ultimate resource on what the land, sun, moon, stars, plants, animals, and clouds can reveal—if you only know how to look!

Winner of the Outdoor Book of the Year, The Great Outdoors Awards 2015, 2015 INDIEFAB Honorable Mention for Adventure & Recreation

“Gooley interprets clues like a private investigator of the wilds, leaving no stone unturned . . . For those inclined to solve mysteries written into the landscape, this author’s lead is one they’ll want to follow.”—The Wall Street Journal

“[Gooley] has become the global expert on natural navigation, finding his way around the world using nothing but natural clues and pointers. His discovery (made on a sailing expedition to Iceland)—that if, when at sea, you see more than 10 birds in any given five minute window this means you are within 40 miles of land—has become part of the British military’s survival guidance.”—The Daily Beast

“How rare to find a book that is truly brilliant. The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs, by Tristan Gooley, is brilliant in the English slang sense (as in being terrific); it is brilliant in its comprehensive conveyance of all the ways to interpret natural and man-made landscapes; and brilliance glitters from Gooley’s sparkling wit.”—Foreword

“Gooley’s comprehensive volume should pique the curiosity of budding nature-lovers and is ideal for anyone keen on forging a deeper connection with the land.”—Publishers Weekly

Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson’s Lost Pacific Empire: A Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival

astoriaIn the tradition of The Lost City of Z and Skeletons in the Zahara, Astoria is the thrilling, true-adventure tale of the 1810 Astor Expedition, an epic, now forgotten, three-year journey to forge an American empire on the Pacific Coast. Peter Stark offers a harrowing saga in which a band of explorers battled nature, starvation, and madness to establish the first American settlement in the Pacific Northwest and opened up what would become the Oregon trail, permanently altering the nation’s landscape and its global standing.

Six years after Lewis and Clark’s began their journey to the Pacific Northwest, two of the Eastern establishment’s leading figures, John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson, turned their sights to founding a colony akin to Jamestown on the West Coast and transforming the nation into a Pacific trading power. Author and correspondent for Outside magazine Peter Stark recreates this pivotal moment in American history for the first time for modern readers, drawing on original source material to tell the amazing true story of the Astor Expedition.

Unfolding over the course of three years, from 1810 to 1813, Astoria is a tale of high adventure and incredible hardship in the wilderness and at sea. Of the more than one hundred-forty members of the two advance parties that reached the West Coast—one crossing the Rockies, the other rounding Cape Horn—nearly half perished by violence. Others went mad. Within one year, the expedition successfully established Fort Astoria, a trading post on the Columbia River. Though the colony would be short-lived, it opened provincial American eyes to the potential of the Western coast and its founders helped blaze the Oregon Trail.

Americus Dotter Featured at Inspirational Women Authors, Coffees, Confections and Conversations

“Gather up your friends and plan to join us for a delightful time of fellowship, fun and encouragement!” reads the event page for Inspirational Women Authors, Coffees, Confections & soul_picConversations. “The afternoon gathering features a panel discussion with published women authors who have walked through some deep valleys, traversed the road less traveled, and discovered their inner strength along the way.”

The event takes place at Cloverdale Church of God, Boise, Idaho, Saturday, from 1 -3.

Americus Dotter is the pen name for an American author and advocate for women, best known for her autobiographical thriller, Soul Sale: A Rude Awakening.

Dotter was an ovum donor for many fertility clinics across the United States including Yale University, and helped many couples achieve their goal of creating a family. Stem cell research and the ethics surrounding it are one of her primary concerns. Her book, Soul Sale, is the raw story of spiritual warfare that she experienced in 2008 following the birth of her own child. It is an example of “quantum psychiatry,” a term that is gaining popularity and support in the psychiatric community. Quantum psychiatry is thought to be where spirituality and science meet to expose unproven realities. In a time where the transhuman agenda is beginning to appear in headlines, the ethics surrounding stem cell research must be discussed and unintended consequences of our knowledge should be examined. Amy Dotter successfully sheds light on these issues in a creative true story not like any ever heard before.[1]

She was interviewed for the documentary film Eggsploitation, discussing her story and the idea that “the fertility industry has a dirty little secret.” [2]

Americus Dotter invites the reader feel some of the pain of psychosis, in a tale weaved from her real life experiences. The book explores the issue from several perspectives. She offers stark implications for bioethics. Elements of fantasy and reality are weaved to give readers an inside look at one woman’s remarkable journey. And while the darkness is spelled out, the book also offers inspiration for women, in the end.[3]

Authors who will be participating are
JoEllen Claypool
Vera DeMay
Americus Dotter
Sheila Eismann
Jane Freund
Carol Green
Phyllis Vavold

A recent review of Soul Sale: A Rude Awakening, said:

I walked into a local bookstore to see an artist book signing. I love to read and thought I don’t do much for myself, I am going to buy this book. I didn’t ask what the book was about and I have never just walked up to an author and purchased a book. I was drawn to this woman it was as though I was following a beacon, like something told me I had to stop, I could not pass up this book or meeting.. I am personally dealing with much more than I can handle at the moment and this book and the authors experiences let me know I am not alone. No I didn’t have the same experiences and do not have the same exact mental issues. However, I have had or do have many of the same thoughts and feelings.
During my tour through the author’s experiences, thoughts, and feelings, I laughed, I cried, I related, and I was motivated to take my own life back to find happiness again.. When this book becomes a movie, if it isn’t to scarey,I would love to see it.

Come meet Americus and these other awe inspiring authors.

Hitting Fear Head On by Laurie and Biff Boggs “is a jaw-dropping, harrowing, ultimately inspirational and uplifting book.”

downloadA parent has no greater fear than the loss of a child
. What if you knew with chilling certainty that your child was going to die, but did not know exactly how or when? What if you survived the accident that killed your child? These questions come to life on these pages.

“Laurie Boggs has been wounded by the darkness and redeemed by the light. What she has been through, and what she learned, is a message of inspiration and hope for everyone. She turned tragedy into its opposite — not just for herself, but for anyone who reads her story.”
– Marianne Williamson, #1 NY Times Bestselling Author

HITTING FEAR HEAD ON is a jaw-dropping, harrowing, ultimately inspirational and uplifting book. It redefines the definitions of courage, perseverance, love, and commitment. Their story can literally change the way we look at our own humanity.” – Stephen Simon, Producer

Hitting Fear Head On is one of the most revealing and extraordinary books I have ever read. – Peggy McColl, Author

“The harrowing story of the loss of a child. You’ll be devastated, overwhelmed, inspired and awe-struck.” – Paul Harrington, Producer

“Laurie conveys a deeper meaning of life and death.” – Dr. Allan Botkin

Laurie Boggs writes:

It took 14 years to write Hitting Fear Head On. If it weren’t for Sharon Smith reading my very first manuscript, a year after our tragedy, I don’t think I would have persevered. Sharon gently suggested that I give up the idea of writing because my brain injury was quite evident. Sharon did not want me to suffer anymore. Somehow, I found the power within “Where there is a WILL there is a Way!”I continued to write as a way of healing my life. As I walked the path of grief, something magical happened. I could hear Preston’s whisper through my heart. This was our special time together. As I contemplated writing the book, I started to question myself. Maybe Sharon was right, so I put the book down. But then, people I had just met would say, “You need to write a book.”

That’s when Joyce Taylor came into my life. Joyce asked if she could read what I had written so far. She called and excitedly said, “I see the brain injury in your writing. It is a pattern and I am pretty sure I can figure this out.” That was just the beginning of my long journey of rewriting. Thank you, Joyce, for seeing beyond my disability and honoring my writing.

More volunteers stepped up to the plate to help me succeed as a published author. Thank you, Janet Robins, Debbie Lips, Lea Williams and Fran McCorkel for spending many long hours of reading, rewriting, editing and supporting my dream. Without Melissa Van Rossum and Laurie Appel, I am sure I would not have made it. Their gifts to heal me made it possible for me to get out of bed and function. Their endurance pushed me to continue. It gave me hope and a reason to live. Stephen Simon was a Godsend, an unbelievable gift who dropped from the sky. He gave me an incredible amount of courage and confidence. Thank you for your enthusiasm and guidance. You touched me deeply.

God planted me in a writing class. That’s where I met Mika Bella. He took the book to the next level. Mika made the book well rounded through his persistence and patience. Anitra Townsend, another beautiful Angel in my life, sat with me for hours while we re-worked the manuscript. Minna Chamberlin and Anne Bleicher, your resilience and fortitude to walk with me after losing your sons gave me the dedication to write and honor all of our children. Christine Jones, Geneal Christensen, Alecia Rice and Christine Rock, Tamsen Leachman, Pat Hastings, Curt Odom, Dr. Tg Belcheir, and Bob Potter have been the wings I balanced on while I learned to fly. They showed me open doors I could not see. Peggy McColl and Carolyn Pignat, Cathy Perryman and Mori Morrison, your editing and passion made the book come alive.

Just when I was going to give up again, by the grace of God, I met Pat Roth. She has the resilience of an eagle. Her wings wrapped me in unconditional love, leading me through the threshold, enabling me to expand my wings and fly. Aunt Sally thank you for your wise wisdom and outstanding journalism, along with the beautiful Spirit of Uncle Bill. Jami Lynn Sands gave the book the finally polish to complete the project. There are many others who gave me their shoulders to cry on and gave me the strength to continue.

My beautiful husband, Biff, for all the rewriting and for being patient with the brain injury, your enduring love, unwavering support and understanding propelled me to live our dreams. You were there for me, and for Preston, before he was born, when he was alive, and now that he is reborn again into the hands of God. Finally, God and Preston, I am grateful for being sent back to Earth to live in my broken body and shattered dreams. I had no idea how much you both loved me. I had not seen value within my soul, within my mind, within my body…until you showed me. Miracles were created with an invisible magical power that we co-created together. I found an inner strength through you, God, while I embraced you and Preston through my darkness, Your Guiding Light, lifted me to the highest realms, showing me depth, courage and wisdom. Thank you for your unconditional love and for teaching me the freedom to soar. I love you all. Our hearts are never apart!

Out of that world came our second book. Dr. Bonnie Vestal, a grief counselor, suggested our companion book, 18 Stepping Stones to Transforming Grief, as a how to book that is outside the box of mainstream grief. Thank you all for your support and allowing us to share keeping Preston Alive!

Through the Trees: The poetic end to a toxic relationship

NinaA poetic journey through the emotions we endure at the end of a toxic relationship, Through the Trees: The poetic end to a toxic relationship uses nature and metaphor to express each stage of grief.

I first met author Nina C.Palmer at a group signing run by the Idaho Authors Community. Immediately striking was her passion for poetry and a particular cohesiveness between her presence, our chat and her work.

Each chapter of her book is a stage, each poem a part of a the journey taking you through denial, anger, depression, bargaining, and acceptance. *** Written from personal experiences, it truly captures the occurrence of verbal and emotional abuse experienced in a toxic relationship. Whether your loss is a friend, husband or wife, a brother or sister, mother or father, these writings will hit home with all. A truly inspired collection of work, it relates with the heartache of the loss but also uplifts and inspires. This poetry acts as an emotional guide leading you through each stage and leaves you at the end with the courage and strength to move on.

I sat down with Nina last week at a coffee shop in Boise, to learn more about this  intriguing journey.

“Writing the book was part of the process, but publishing the book is the closure,” Nina said. “I needed it, because, being in a toxic relationship, there is a lot of shame and guilt … so by publishing, it really speaks out against it. So it’s a final way of being able to stand up and take that part of myself back.”

Nina’s childhood home was nestled in Matilija Canyon, a remote area outside of Ojai, CA. Her home was secluded which granted a unique and enchanting place to grow up. It is no wonder that her work is filled with its imagery. Her earliest writings of poetry began as early as elementary school. It is a realized talent that has remained throughout her life.

I asked Nina why she chose the art form of poetry as her outlet.

Growing up I had an undiagnosed, but definitely … either emotionally handicapped or mentally ill mother. I didn’t have a lot of privacy in my home, so I didn’t really have a way of expressing myself without any kind of persecution for it. So when I wrote poetry, it was like being able to talk about those feelings, almost like in code … because it didn’t pinpoint the exact circumstances that brought out that emotion, but it clearly represented the emotion. So it was a way of being able to speak about something without getting in trouble.

Nina is now currently working on her next collection of poetry, to be titled Reaching The Castle Wall a composition of heartache and love poems derived from the fairy tales we all grew up with. It is scheduled to be released for Valentine’s Day 2016. In the meantime, a series of children’s books are also underway.


“Palmer’s poems depict through natural imagery of rain, sunshine and forests what it is like to live within and then gradually to be able to leave a toxic love relationship. Palmer’s poems radiate wisdom that can guide others along similar routes out of suffering. treesThe poems in Palmer’s [book] are at once immediately accessible and at the same time deeply enlightening. If you have been or are now involved with someone who has toxic impacts on you, and whether you think of yourself as someone who reads poetry or have never read a poem before, I highly recommend this book.” -Psychology Today


I asked Nina what she meant by the “persecution” in her home, and what would happen when she expressed herself.

I just wasn’t allowed to. would be the best way put it. Kids were supposed to be quiet, and in their rooms, and out of the way, and to do what their told. A lot of the things that happened to me when I was younger, wouldn’t make sense to even an adult, to treat a child that way.

Nina went on to talk about how her experiences were abusive, even though many things that happened could not fall onto the traditional chart when experts track and talk about abuse.

“I have been truly inspired to write this collection of poetry,” Nina said. “It is my hope that these works with inspire your heart to embrace every stage of grief and not only find peace, but the strength and courage to move on.”

Amazon Review:

So many of these poems hit home through the hurt and sorrow I’ve endured through my own relationships romantically and friendship wise. The empathetic passages really perked up my spirits knowing that this is normal to go through all these emotions. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone happy or going through a depressing time. One poem or many of them will pull you in and wanting to read more!

There is much of a hero’s journey sketched-out in these words. Nina’s electric collection massages the heart, and nourishes the mind and soul.

Writing Scary Chapters and other recent articles by #idahoauthor @MerriHalma

557163_362633403782039_1963322377_nEXCERPT: “My son read chapter three of the sequel I’m working on. I wanted him to tell me if it was scary and if not, how t fix it. Since I will be publishing this book, when it is finished, I won’t post it here, but will just describe what I have so far. My Arimaspain king, Titus, is visited by a strange Raven, who tells him to disregard the Creator of All Worlds and the crow judge of the land, because they have forgotten him. The Raven touches his forehead (King Titus’ race, the Arimaspains, are Cyclops) , putting him in shadow land.”

Read the full story:

Who is Merri Halma?


Merri grew up in Sunnyside, Washington. She has always had an active imagination and wanted to be a published writer from age eleven to twelve. She lives in Nampa, Idaho with her husband, their son and two cats.

Description of her book: Indigo Traveler
War was brewing in the world of Curá. The Arimaspian King Titus wanted the humans under his leadership. He wanted the wealth and the control of the dragon. King Titus disregarded the legends of the two hearts that the dragons gave to his ancestor, another given to a prince of the human kingdom. He also did not believe the Crow Judges would punish him.
Connor, the crow judge assigned to Curá,  shook his head as he observed the thoughts of the king. He flew to the crow court to join the hearing of the case to determine what to do. The verdict was to take the all-white griffin, to a small town in the world called Nampa and give him to the Indigo Traveler, Alexander Veh. Nampa was in the Milky Way Galaxy. The Indigo Traveler, when he would return to Curá with the griffin, would be given the three blades of the dragon blood.
Favorite Books

To Kill a Mocking Bird, The Sword of Truth Series by Terry Goodkind, the Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud, The Harry Potter Series, and all books by Rick Riordan and the Hunger Games Series. There are many more.

Other recent articles by the author:

Three Doors

I felt lost and alone as I walked down a path that had opened into a clearing. As I walked, thoughts of my life swirled around at times, pounding hard,…

i Write to Write Not to Get a Quota

What makes you write? What inspires you to write? Is the money? or is it to really just to air your thoughts and allow others to comment on them if they…

Shadow Land

The forest is dark and grey, full of noises, hooting owls and snapping twigs, though you cannot see what is that is following you. You walk alone, eager…