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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Sagas
  • Language:English
  • Pages:493
  • eBook ISBN:9781626756052

Dance of the Hummingbirds

by Linda JB Herrick

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Archaeologist Lillie Lisle wants answers for the sudden disappearance of the Hohokam, the ancient people of the American Southwest. Convinced those answers lie at the foot of Black Mountain in Tucson, Arizona, she receives permission to excavate. From the moment she puts her trowel in the ground, she is haunted with mysterious visions and dreams. One day, alone at the site, she finds an artifact that leads her to the edge of the continent and her psyche, An epic saga of time and space, Dance of the Hummingbirds crosses the globe and a millennium, leading Lillie into the lives of two ancient people and her own ancestral past. It is the story of a young archaeologist who discovers herself as the hummingbirds dance.


Archaeologist Lillie Lisle’s life ambition is to find answers to the disappearance of the ancient people of the American Southwest known as the Hohokam. Convinced those answers lie at the foot of Black Mountain in Tucson, Arizona, she undertakes a frustrating process to excavate the area. Finally, luck plays into her hands when a county land swap cedes the site to a contractor who must conduct an archaeological survey before starting to build. Lillie launches into a project she believes will answer a question of the ages – What happened to the Hohokam? Working with volunteers – Al, a crusty recovering alcoholic, and her sister Pip, a university student – Lillie begins to unearth Tucson’s past as well as her own. Plagued with vivid dreams of experiences that are not her own, she explores her faith, delves into theories of past-lives, and probes the possibility of genetic memories. One day, alone at the site, Lillie discovers a stone decorated with unusual etchings. As she examines the stone more closely a vision of two ancient people overwhelms her. With artifact in hand and haunting images of conjured ancients in her head she embarks on a journey that leads her from the foot of Black Mountain to Leif Eriksson’s camp in Newfoundland, from Hohokam artifacts to Norse lore and runic relics that have emerged on the American side of the Atlantic. Puzzling together the seemingly unrelated clues, Lillie is convinced that Europeans wandered deep into the Americas long before Columbus made landfall. Dance of the Hummingbirds is an epic saga of time and space that journeys from the present day American Southwest to life in the village of Birka – the heart of sea trade in medieval Europe. It is the story of Kai a young Hohokam woman who must lead her people after the death of her grandmother, while daunted by the village shaman. It is the story of Thorynn Petŕsson, a young Norseman who leaves Birka’s shores on the largest dragon ship ever built, pledging to return and build a life despite his father’s efforts to dissuade him and betrothal to his childhood friend. It is the story of past meeting present, east touching west, and a legacy of family ties. And it is the story of a young archaeologist who learns about herself in the midst of it all as the hummingbirds dance.

About the author

Linda JB Herrick is a Hoosier. Born and raised in the heartland, she spent her childhood barefooting through corn fields, swimming in lakes and rivers near her northern Indiana home in the summer, and skating the iced waters in winter. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology and psychology from Purdue University and a Master of Education from Northern Arizona University. She has taught the gamut of social studies curricula in secondary education, and anthropology and sociology at Pima Community College. Somewhere in that life, she found a passion for writing. As a free-lance writer Linda has crafted everything from marketing materials to poetry. Eclectic is a good term to describe her non-writing interests: volunteer archaeologist, sailor, genealogist, stained glass artist, jewelry designer, and avid reader. Linda has been married to her college sweetheart for more than thirty years, has three grown children, Brad, Stephanie, and Robert, a very lovely daughter-in-law, Kate, a precious granddaughter, Kylie and a charming grandson, Henry. She lives with her husband in Tucson, Arizona where she works for the University of Arizona. Dance of the Hummingbirds is Linda’s debut novel.