August 25, 2008

‘A Canyon Trilogy: Life Before, During and After the Cedar Fire’

RAMONA, Calif., Aug. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The October 2003 Southern California wildfires claimed 800,000 acres of land, 3,657 homes and killed 22 people. In San Diego County, the Cedar Fire became the largest fire on record in state history. Author Chi Varnado details these accounts and how her family barely escaped in "A CANYON TRILOGY: Life Before, During and After the Cedar Fire" (published by AuthorHouse --

Varnado illustrates a rural, connected way of life that is rapidly disappearing in our society. On the heels of her mother's struggle with a brain tumor, Chi's family and community were hit by the Cedar Fire. The extended family lost five homes in the valley which cradled four generations: the three dwellings at the end of the canyon, her grandmother's cabin, and their own paradise across the creek. San Diego County had promised to "make it easy for fire victims" to rebuild their homes and lives, but another reality became evident during Chi's efforts to construct her own log cabin and rebuild from the ground up.

Through the fire and loss of Chi's mother, the Varnados go through a heart-wrenching and eye-opening journey. Like the thousands who lost everything in the fires, Chi made the best of it while attempting to maintain a reasonable life for her children. She managed to rebuild their lives in the canyon which she had called home her whole life.

Natural disasters and major tragedies are plaguing our country. Since 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, Americans have become more sensitive to "federal disasters" and it opens up the question "what if?" What would you do if a disaster struck your life, destroying everything? Chi recounts the events of the fire, her loss, and the meaning of family in "A Canyon Trilogy." It will deeply touch you as you experience the world through her eyes.

Chi Varnado lives with her family in the back country of San Diego County. She owns the Dance Centre of Ramona, holds a B.A. in dance from SDSU as well as two teaching credentials, and is a contributing writer for The San Diego Weekly Reader. Chi leads a slightly off-beat lifestyle directing her dance studio in town, home schooling her son, and running a farm on their rural property. This is her first book.

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