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Welcome to! I’d love to hear your comments about the book.

16 replies
  1. Jim Baker
    Jim Baker says:

    Dear David,

    I just finished your book. It was terrific – difficult to put down, in fact. It was well constructed, the characters were great, and it gave history some flesh and blood.

    I recall, in the days that we worked together, that you expressed yourself well, verbally and in writing, but I do not remember such compelling prose in your memorandums. This book is much more compelling and nearly as creative.

    Bravo and keep it up.

    Warm regards to you and to Linda. -Jim

  2. Sandy Silvester
    Sandy Silvester says:

    Hi David,

    I’m slow getting back to you but just read about the book tour at the ranch. I loved your book ! All through the book I kept trying to picture where events were taking place based on my visit to SDR last summer. I’m coming back! I hope you’ll have some version of the tour during ranch weeks this summer. That would just be a big “drop” added to my “bucket list”! Can’t wait to see everyone!


  3. Arlene McGarrity
    Arlene McGarrity says:

    Hi, Dave
    I finished reading your book a month or more ago and tried to write you an appreciation message on a couple of sites, but I think you never got it. (I’m a little handicapped when it comes to the internet. Who knows how many others like me have sent messages to you that are floating in the ether!) I’m sending this comment because I could do it here after I ordered a copy sent to my brother in Texas.

    I loved the book! I loved the conjunction of history and imagination you achieved. And the epilogue about the visit at the ranch with your mother was a real grabber.

    Congratulations! I will be looking forward to your second.

  4. Kathleen Zamboni
    Kathleen Zamboni says:

    I like it!! I just finished reading “Mariano’s Crossing”—it’s been my steady companion beside my bed for the past week. I’d go to bed a little early to read it, wake up in the middle of the night to read it, or even sneak upstairs in the afternoon to read it! Your book captured me and I had to keep reading until I had completed it. I also recommended it to our book group. Your writing is excellent –it was a real contrast to our current book group selection, a non-fiction one by a first-time author. His writing was noticeably awkward and the phrasing was often trite. Your descriptions were clear and vivid and the plot was riveting. This morning I laughed at the description of John Alexander practicing by kissing his hand—Joe had done the same thing as a teen!!!! Neither of us knew that it was a known-practice among developing adolescents!!! And I appreciate all of the background research that was involved – the history, Native American culture, social prejudices, etc.

    And of course the Epilogue concluded your book perfectly—makes me want to visit Sylvan Dale Valley.

    Thank you for the effort and hours/years, and most of all, for the heart and spirit that you put into writing “Mariano’s Crossing”—what a contribution you are making!

  5. Johnna Bavoso
    Johnna Bavoso says:

    Hi David,
    Congrats! Looking forward to seeing you at Old Firehouse Books! Hope your autographed book arrives before then/or you can let me know to pick it up at the Ranch before then. Thanks a bunch and hi to Linda!

  6. Stephanie Barnhizer
    Stephanie Barnhizer says:

    I’ve shared the link with staff and faculty at our “Sustainability” Residential Academic Programs at CU Boulder. We are making a trip to Sylvan Dale with students in mid-January 2013. We’d like to share some local history, and colorful tales, with our students who are attending that retreat. We welcome your ideas for bringing it alive for them!

    Thanks so much – looking forward to reading the book.


  7. Steve Bieringer
    Steve Bieringer says:

    Terrific piece of historical fiction written to make the characters come alive. One wants to feel close to some and get to know them even better while it would be fine if others rode off into never-never land never to be seen or heard from again. As a 36 year Coloradoan (by choice) Mariano’s Crossing gave me a greater appreciation for the settlement and early development of the state and a greater knowledge of an area I have some familiarity with. A good read and great use of words and dialect. Highly recommend.

  8. Maggie Palazzari
    Maggie Palazzari says:

    I see my sister Jenny is ahead of me with comments, again. I did write an enthusiastic post last week, then hit a wrong button & erased it. hmm. It said: Even several weeks after finishing your excellent story, the characters still haunt me – that is a sign of a good novel! I like how you presented your people with flaws & scars & warts and all . . . makes them so believable. The story itself rates High on the “read late into the night – must see what happens next” scale. Thank you, David, for creating such a treasure to capture the local history. I, too, need to know where the Crossing was.
    Maggie Palazzari, former guest at Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch

  9. Jenny Mayer
    Jenny Mayer says:

    Christmas greetings to you and all the wonderful people at Sylvan Dale. My daughter Anna and I stayed at the ranch a few years ago with my sister, Maggie Palazzari, and her granddaughter Lexi. It was a beautiful and memorable time, and our J Heart ornament has a special place on our family’s Christmas tree!

    I just ordered an autographed copy of your book and hope it arrives in time for Christmas, as I plan to give it to daughter Anna, who is an avid reader. Congratulations on your first book! Historical fiction is my favorite genre.

    Jenny Mayer, Forest Lake, MN

  10. Robert T. Norman
    Robert T. Norman says:


    I stole Crossing from Liane (she gets it next) and really enjoyed it.

    What a great project and exercise of imagination–totally different from anything I’ve ever attempted!

    — Great sense of place. Is the Crossing at or near Loveland?
    Recall that dad “discovered” the Big Thompson in 1925.

    — Fine characters. My grandfather was born 1865 grandmother 1869.
    Sense of the era was terrific!

    — Really careful and intricate plotting with amazing detail on horses,
    cows, flora (Mtn Mahogony???)

    All-in-all a super read and representation of time and place.


  11. Cindy Lavagetto
    Cindy Lavagetto says:

    Hi Dave – finished Mariano’s Crossing the other night and wanted to
    tell you how much I enjoyed it! I’m still stunned that a novel was on
    your bucket list for “retirement.” Of course, I’ve always known that
    you were a darn good writer but fiction is a whole other bag. I think
    you’ve done an excellent job imagining and bringing to life characters
    from Colorado history. I thought John Alexander’s point of view was
    especially good and you captured how a boy grows into a young man –
    that was one of the tremendous charms and skills that JK Rowling
    brought to modern readers. I also think you accomplished what so
    many modern historical fiction writers miss – storytelling while
    keeping close to the facts. Now, I know so much more about 19th
    Century Colorado history
    – I like and will well remember the term “tenters.” Well done, old friend. Am looking forward to your next literary accomplishment. Hugs to Linda.

    /Cindy Lavagetto

  12. Mim Neal
    Mim Neal says:

    I was dubious. Sylvan Dale is a beautiful place but that doesn’t mean that David can write. But he can! For the first time in a long time, I had a book that I couldn’t put down — compelling characters and story. MARIANO’S CROSSING seems to have grown organically from the soil and legends of Thompson Valley. I finished it last night. Well done!

  13. Diane Littlefield
    Diane Littlefield says:

    Very well done! finished it last night though it’s been hard to put down since I picked it up. Keep writing David and I most certainly will buy your next book!

  14. Diane Littlefield
    Diane Littlefield says:

    Hi David,

    A quick note to thank you for autographing my book – I finally picked it up yesterday evening.

    What a gifted writer you are! I am only on page 50 and wish I had time to read it in it’s entirety. I very much like the size of the print and especially the chapter size. Not sure how many people notice chapter lengths, but I certainly do. I love how you pieced it together with the various characters; beginning with Takansy. As the reader, you pulled me in immediately, I wanted more! I was just going to take a quick look at it because I didn’t have the time to start it right away. Suddenly I did have the time.

    Well done, David and I look forward to the rest of the book. 🙂

    Diane Littlefield

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