Hi Everybody,

You probably know I have a new book out in hardcover, called “Legacy”.  It’s both historical and modern, and I really love that book.  There are two main characters in the book, a modern woman, and a woman set in history.  The main character is a Dakota Sioux woman, actually a young girl, who traveled from the Sioux village where she lived (and was kidnapped by a warring tribe, when she was in her later teens.  She is the chief’s daughter), she travels to New Orleans, and from there to France.

She arrives in France, in Brittany, eventually travels to Paris, and visits the court of Louis XVI, before the French Revolution, settles in Brittany, and survives the Revolution there.

The story fascinated me as I researched and wrote it, because I discovered the Louis the XVI, the French king, was fascinated by American Indians/Native Americans, and brought many chiefs to France, to visit his court as honored guests. The main port of entry in France in the 18th century was through Brittany, and apparently several of those chiefs actually decided to stay in France, and settled in Brittany. And there are still descendants of them there now.  I loved learning that piece of history, and it inspired this story.  And as I worked on the outline, the young Indian girl in my story emerged.  Her name is Wachiwi.  I was mesmerized by a young girl, greatly respected in her tribe as the chief’s daughter, and how she could venture so far from home, to entirely different world, different customs, and make a new life there.  I fell in love with her, and the courage she represented, as I wrote it. And as I did the research, I discovered that both Pocahontas and Sacajawea had gone to Europe as well.  It is amazing to think of young Dakota Sioux girl winding up at the French court (in the days of Marie Antoinette!).

More than anything, the girl in the story symbolized courage, adventure, and perseverance.  And I’m sure there were a few remarkable young women like her.

The modern woman in the story discovers her ancestor, a young Sioux girl, many generations back, while tracing her family genealogy, and becomes fascinated with her. And in turn, what she learns of this young girl gives her courage for her own life—something she had lacked until then.  And it changes her life.

As always with my books, I did extensive research, and I really hope you love this book.  I think its special, and I hope you find Wachiwi, and her brave journey, inspiring too.

One of the mentors of my early writing career, and a great friend was Alex Haley, the man who wrote ‘Roots’, which was inspired by his researching one of his ancestors, and his journey from Africa to America by slave ship.  Alex told me about his excitement, while going through volumes and volumes of ship logs, and finding the ancestor he new about Kunta Kinte.  The book ‘Roots’ was inspired by that discovery.  Alex was an extraordinary writer and human being.  I was in awe of him, his talent and his kindness when we became friends.

I couldn’t help thinking about him, as I wrote Legacy, and told the story of Wachiwi.  I tried to infuse the book with the same excitement when my modern character finds her young Sioux relative in the course of her research—as Alex must have felt when he found his relative’s name in the ship log, listed as ‘cargo’.
Suddenly, it all became real!

I really hope you love this book!!


Leave a Comment

If you would like to make a comment, please fill out the form below.

Name (required)

Email (required)


12 Comments so far
  1. Shelley Mayville October 11, 2010 7:34 pm

    I just finished Legacy. Oh, how I loved it! I couldn’t put it down, yet I didn’t want it to end either. It is my new favorite Danielle book. You are a gift to millions of us readers, please know how much you are treasured!

    Much love,
    Shelley M.

  2. Kimberly October 17, 2010 12:19 pm

    I just finished The Cottage a couple of days ago… I really enjoyed it… It moved me to tears, as all your novels do… Here I was at Jury Duty, reading your novel, trying to subdue my tears! 🙂

    I have Legacy on my nightstand, what a beautiful cover it has… I love decorating my bedroom with your books! I plan to retreat into Legacy this afternoon… a perfect afternoon for it, too… a rainy Sunday here in Southern California… 🙂 Love to you…

  3. Cindy McPhee October 20, 2010 6:02 am

    Hi Danielle,
    I am inspired by you the person and woman you represent. I wonder how you do your research? Is it through the computer or are you actually going to libraries and various places.

  4. Regina November 9, 2010 9:44 am

    Hi Danielle,
    I just wanted to say how much I love your books. I just finished Legacy and I could not put it down. I read the whole book in one day!! I was fascinated with the way the story was told. I feel in love with Wachiwi and enjoyed reading about her. I really hope that you write a series with both chartacters. I didn’t want this book to end I am left wanting more! Thank you for writing and for bringing joy to us readers. You are one of a kind!!

  5. Lorene Nollkamper November 13, 2010 5:16 am

    I love your books and so do my daughters. I wanted to let you know that I have a problem with “Legacy.” I purchased the book several weeks ago, and did not keep the receipt. Yesterday, when I started reading it – there are numerous blank or very dim pages throughout the whole book. I’m very disappointed. Is there anyway you can give me the address of the publisher so that I can try to get a replacement? I appreciate anything you can do to make this a book that we can read and enjoy as always. Thank you.

  6. Morgan Leland December 3, 2010 10:48 am

    Danielle I love all of your book my mom gave me the book Big Girls and I was instantly hooked and all the other books she has of your books I have read a couple and I want to read all of them.

  7. gina December 21, 2010 7:10 am

    Danielle, eu sou portuguesa, desde que comecei por ler a “dádiva” não quis mais parar de ler seus livros. Neste momento pretendo coleccionar todos os seus livros, já li uns 10, continue a escrever porque acho formidável a forma como consegue captar a atenção. Já passei alguns livros às minhas colegas e todas já estão com o “bichinho”.. Você é a minha amiga do silêncio, de todas as horas solitárias..
    Obrigada Danielle

  8. Vicki Silva January 10, 2011 5:29 am

    I just finished the last pages of Legacy, and as someone who has discovered the “rush” of family history, I came here to see if I could find out what motivated you to capture that rush in a novel!

    The thrill of finding lost ancestors has been so fun that I have been “hijacking” my friends ancestors also…. it seems that now we all are starting to enjoy the rush that comes from finding people we are connected to.

    It is so cool to see something like this go mainstream — it reminds me that there are a lot of people out there trying to connect with something solid, real, and belongs to them.

    It is impossible to read the book without wondering how much of this story is “you” and how much is fiction. Thanks for including this blog to give us a snippet of where your motivation came from. I have been a fan for many years, but this one really made me feel “connected”. Thanks!

  9. Nancy December 19, 2011 2:46 pm


    I am overwhelmed with emotions that I cannot express, as I am reading through “Legacy”.
    And though I haven’t finished it yet, I wish it never ends, but the right side papers are getting less very fast.
    Oh and the part when Wachiwi woke up to find Jean dead, it took my breat away. And I felt dazzled and lost on her behalf.

    Thank you

  10. cathy scales September 17, 2012 8:38 pm

    I am so interested in my own family genealogy. I absolutely loved reading LEGACY.I was so thrilled with all the new discoveries that happened along this gene tree.This book was so well written.I now can not wait to go to Salt Lake City, and do more research on my own family.
    Thanks for all the great books!

  11. Glenda Dennler October 19, 2012 6:26 pm

    Hello Danielle. I discovered one of your books in a shop last December and loved it very much. In the past 9 months I’ve lost count of how many I have read – some from the library and others I bought eg Family Ties, Big Girl, Sisters, H.R.H., Impossible, Safe Harbour, Answered Prayers, Full Circle, The Kiss, leap Of Faith, Legacy, irresistible Forces, The Ranch. Hotel Vendomme and others. I absolutely love your writing. One reason I was first attracted to your books were your characters. Although they are not perfect, they are inspiring. Your writing does not contain sarcasm or synasism which is so prevalent in modern writing and is something I don’t enjoy. I usually put aside books with lots of sarcasm. I wrote the outline of a book for teenage girls several years ago and it sat on the shelf unfinished for a long time. I committed to working on it this year and reading your books has given me (and continues to give me) confidence – that wholesome writing and characters will be loved by the reading public. I am so glad that there are many more books of yours I can read to keep entertaining and inspiring me. Thank for giving so much joy and inspiration.

  12. Marla Huddleston May 1, 2023 12:47 pm

    I seem to remember that one of your books had a female character who was passionate about moss or lichens or something like that. It was a fascinating story. I loved the character and the intricate details about whatever miniscule plant of which she was passionate. I thought it might be Legacy as I thought the book in question had an indigenous main character who went to France.

    Is Legacy the same book?