TWIN FALLS, Idaho – Beneath southern Idaho’s desert landscape, the secrets of a forgotten civilization hidden in a labyrinth of caves await discovery. In her newest book of adventure fiction, Buhl author Vonia Jackson lets the reader make that discovery through the eyes of 12-year-old Anna and her friend Martin. Their discovery might change the future, but only if the kids keep greedy profiteers from getting to it first. Jackson will hold a book signing for “The Bell Ridge Cave” at the Herrett Center for Arts and Science, 6- 8 p.m. Tuesday. The book’s inspiration is taken from the discovery of the Buhl Woman skeleton in 1989; the Herrett Center played a key role in the recovery of 11,000-year-old “Buhla,” who turned out to be one of the oldest skeletons ever discovered in North America, the center said.
When she was a College of Southern Idaho student, Jackson got to know former Herrett Center director Jim Woods, observatory coordinator Chris Anderson and other local cave and archaeology experts, a Herrett press release said. Names and places in her work of fiction closely mirror many real and historical ones.
Jackson lives within a mile of where the remains of Buhl Woman were discovered in what is now Melon Valley in the Snake River Canyon north of Buhl. The book is geared to ages 8- 14, but Jackson said many adults have told her they enjoyed it.