Holiday Gift Offer

I was so gratified by the latest five-star Amazon customer reviews of my second historical novel, Mariano’s Choice, that in a moment of madness I decided to offer a holiday gift sale: 10% off on each book, or 15% off if you buy both books. You have to order from my website,, for this discount. For once, my site is cheaper than Amazon!

Here’s one quote from an anonymous reviewer: “I finished reading your latest novel (a Christmas present from my daughter) and loved it! It was so intriguing I couldn’t put it down, finishing it in two days. I found myself reading late into the night, completely engrossed; burning the midnight oil, but at the same time not wanting the story to end.”

Music to an author’s ears.


Medina Cemetery Mystery

Historian Ken Jessen just wrote two excellent pieces about the history of Mariano Medina’s Cemetery. A third article in the series is on its way. Here is the link to the first article.  The second article is here:  After the cemetery was destroyed by the county in early 1960, as Jessen notes, “the remains were put in “suitable containers” and transported the short distance to Namaqua Park where they were buried and covered with a single concrete slab combined with an elongated tombstone-like feature. On the slab are the names of those thought to have been removed.”

Mariano Medina

One of the names on the new marker is that if Marcelina (Lena) Medina, Mariano’s young daughter who tragically died shortly after her 15th birthday.  Whether her real bones rest there is a mystery.  According to one early pioneer recollection, Lena’s body was stolen from their house on the Big Thompson River and spirited off by her mother for a secret burial on a ridge to the west.  That incident became the initial scene in my historical novel, Mariano’s Crossing, published by Pronghorn Press in 2012.

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Colorado Author’s Day Presentation on Nov. 5

Author David Jessup brings Colorado history to life in his latest novel about Mariano Medina, an important Front Range pioneer. His presentation at Colorado Authors’ Day on November 5, sponsored by the Colorado Springs chapter of the American Association of University Women, features photos of the real characters who lived on the frontier during the lead up to America’s 1846 war with Mexico.

According to New York Times bestselling author Sandra Dallas, the book “adds flesh and blood to the bones of one of the West’s legendary mountain men.”

“Mariano’s Choice is one of those rare, wonderful books that sticks in the mind and heart long after you’ve read the last page,” according to Anne Hillerman, New York Times best-selling author. “Masterfully paced, it offers an intriguing snapshot of the West through the eyes of characters largely ignored by mainstream fiction.”

Mariano Medina is most well-known for having saved a U.S. Army brigade that attempted to cross the Colorado mountains during the Mormon War in 1857. While history does make some account of Medina’s adult life, little is known about the childhood of a man known for his grit, tough nature and courage. That’s where Jessup’s story begins in Mariano’s Choice.

“I mused about his motivations and personality. I felt the urge to fill that information in,” Jessup said. “I thought, wouldn’t it be interesting if he wasn’t always this brave tough guy, but as a youth was cowardly and afraid,” Jessup said. “And how might that transformation have come about?”
In Jessup’s fictional version, young Mariano Medina witnesses a vicious attack on a girl he adores and flees in inexplicable terror. Fifteen years later, as a grown man training horses along the Oregon Trail, he has a chance to redeem himself if he can overcome his cowardly urge to flee. His choice will lead Medina back to the land of his childhood, where he must confront his darkest fears and uncover the hidden source of his panic in the ghostly stare that haunts his dreams.

Four additional Colorado authors will make presentations starting a 9:00 AM on Saturday, November 5th, 2016, at the Doubletree Inn by Hilton, 1775 E. Cheyenne Mt. Blvd. in Colorado Springs. Tickets are $60, including lunch, and can be obtained at The session lasts from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Proceeds from book sales will support AAUW scholarships.

Jessup’s talk and book reading is scheduled for 1:45 PM. For more information about the book, visit The book can be purchased in advance at the event, or ordered from local and online book stores.