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Beyond the Cascade

Is there thought beyond language? 

How about beyond that?

If you don't have a map, what happens to the territory?

About Beyond the Cascade:

Stepping outside of your own head can be unsettling.  Finding yourself bigger than your whole body, and growing instant by instant? It can make you feel nervous,   liberated, or lost. 

Waking up in such a condition in the middle of a remote, thick, mountainous jungle can bring on raw terror, no matter how suave you are, no matter how worldly.

 Doing this while you know at some intuitive level that you are heading for the very edge of reality as you understand it, the rim of the universe, with nothing to fall back on but your own sovereign and holy being…well, it’s a bit much for ordinary words.

Beyond the Cascade  is a marriage between Gulliver and The Celestine Prophecy, between Robert Ruark, or Papa Hemingway, and Bridge Across Forever. It goes further than  these in some dimensions, if less far in others,  and it could be thought of as an educated Jennifer Livingston Seagull.  Except that Beyond the Cascade is not about birds. It is about humans. Human souls,  human language, minds and hearts,  and the battles they cause. It offers its own unique perspective in the weaving of these things.  It is, as far as categories are concerned, a “literary and spiritual adventure novel” focusing on the soul of a woman. It is sometimes ungentle, but it is never unkind.  The tale is richly featured with sub-plots and explorations into linguistics, anthropological quirks and some fine cuisine. It even explores, in the course of its development, the mystic legacy of the Grail legends beyond the Arthurian clichés and other distortions. 

Beyond the Cascade follows the adventures of Suzannah Grant, an unstoppable American Alpha Chick in her mid-thirties who is beginning to reach the pinnacle of success in her career as a linguistic anthropologist, and who finds herself unexpectedly hitting a black, cold wall of clinical depression.  Her usual solutions to hurdles do not avail, and her search for medical help produces nothing of value. Her psychiatrist, running out of other solutions, sends her off with the mandate to "learn new things". While fumbling around trying to do so, she finds herself picking up an antique journal from a Victorian explorer in which she encounters a description of a remote tribe whose unusual culture and language set off distant bells in her foggy thinking., 

Picking up the threads of the explorer's trail, she finds herself being more and more determined to resolve the mystery of the people of the fabled Cascade, their culture and their mysterious atypical language. Exhuming long buried manuscripts in old university archives, digging into legends obscured by centuries, and finally throwing herself into a full-blown trek into the hinterlands of Africa, she finds herself in the hands of two remarkable men: a guide called Muhaybee and a leathery ancient witch named Doc.  The travails and discoveries of her path ultimately bring her to the Cascade, and a great deal further, leading to dramatic changes in her mental perspective and an explosive intensely spiritual culmination which goes beyond the expected and the known to a bit more than that.

What Readers are saying about Beyond the Cascade:

"A real page turner!  Skillfully written. 

Vivid- elegant images. A lovely spiritual mystery. Smart and 

interesting characters.  Wow!

It is a wonderful book – you did it. It is intelligent, good, sensitive -- It’s beautiful.  And very haunting."

Oscar-winning film director B. Salzman

"I really could not put it down.

You've really caught how people talk when they are talking about important things.  The descriptive passages are wonderful... original and thought-provoking .  

I would like to know these people.  "

 S. Hinton, Pastor's wife, northern Pennsylvania


"A wicked good read. I am amazed nonetheless. Story itself, superb. and handled VERY well. "

 J. Oaks, veterinarian, Washington State

“Okay, I'm up to pg 119 and enthralled. I'm astounded at your infinite ability to visualize for me as a reader what I'm supposed to in this story.”  

“I'm detecting a very subtle shift from plausible magic, into the "implausible" world of sci-fi...I mean as a reading public generally knows it, with a little irony thrown in.   It's fun as hell, no doubt about it, …This is a rather deep spiritual journey … People who have explored things beyond what is evident in front of them, will sail along with it, people who haven't or can't could still be entertained.” 

" I can't put it down! The language is beautiful, it's funny, it's thoughtful, it's deep - dialogue is great - action is penetrating...really presented well, and the philosophy touches probably on every thought anyone ever had about anything. Where does this come from? How do you DO that? 'm really enjoying this."


C. W., artist and author, St. Croix, BVI

Beyond the Cascade is an engaging and exciting quest for both self-discovery and a greater understanding of the spiritual world.

The intensity of the protagonist and the adventures she encounters make for a page-turning read. The fact that Suzannah’s inner struggles mirror her external struggles (and triumphs) creates an interesting scale that offers the novel a sense of continuity. Overall, this was a very compelling and satisfying read. …
Immediately, I felt I was in the hands of a capable writer. The story is interesting at every turn. There is a lot going on, but the clarity of the writing and the quick pace make the journey manageable and enjoyable.  … The different settings are one of the great joys of this manuscript.  New York is described vividly and accurately and when the story turns to Africa the reader is in for a real treat.  The description of the physical scene is rich and engages many of the senses and the descriptions of the “aura,” or feeling of the places (that are so essential to the plot of the story), are equally as intricate and intense.  It was such a pleasure to be transported so completely from place to place.

K.M., editor, NYC, NY

Great, great, great!!

C.B., reader

San Diego, CA

The story is fascinating, the style unique!

L.K., editor, San Diego

Really lovely. The writing is delicious. It is near perfection.

V.T, reader, San Diego

Wow! OMG! Wow! I was truly enthralled throughout.  Beautifully written, beautifully and brilliantly threaded together; I think it's a brilliant book, beautiful story. Incredibly well paced. Thank you for this gift!!

D.M., copy editor, San Diego