I am not outgoing person by nature, so holding a notebook and pen between me and the person I am interviewing is a bit of a crutch. Yet, I have found that once I begin scribbling notes, the person becomes more and more forthcoming. Without exception, people I have interviewed seem to be delighted to find that someone is interested enough in what they are saying to actually write it down.
Murders overshadow botanist Millie Whitehall’s peaceful summer surveying endangered plants in northwest New Mexico. When autopsy reports show two seemingly unrelated deaths involve plants, Millie must use her knowledge of ecology as she races to identify the murderer—before she becomes the next victim.“
“…takes the reader onto isolated BLM land in the Four Corners Country…. Millie, the botanist protagonist from the East, rejoices in the variety of plants—even though some species are directly involved in ghastly murders.” — Anne Hillerman, New York Times Best-selling author of the “Chee-Leaphorn-Manuelito” series.
“…a scientist-as-hero in the process of discovering her strength, ultimately using her botanical training and professional curiosity to crack the puzzles at the heart of The Cactus Plot.” — Kathleen Hall, Cactus & Succulent Society of New Mexico Newsletter
“We meet a variety of characters that ring true… Yes, there is a cowboy and even a love interest. …There are themes that we all recognize, the role of the BLM in the West, protection of rare and endangered plants, cactus theft, and appreciation of the beauty of the vast vistas of the West.” — Cathy King, Utah Native Plant Society Sego Lily
The Cactus Plot reached #1 cozy mystery Best Seller on Amazon!
Into the West
Venture Into the West with New Mexico writers. This collection of short stories and novelettes will thrill you with accounts of the old west and enthrall you with episodes from today’s west. As you explore this wide-ranging group of tales you will encounter mystery, adventure, romance, humor, horror, and magical realism. Enjoy your journey.
The first chapter is my short-short story, Unintended Consequences–Terrorist Turkeys – Rebel turkeys terrorize loggers and hikers and the wildlife department goes all out to find a solution.
First place winner in the Southwest Writers Contest humor category, published in the SouthWest Writers 2019 Winners Anthology Annual Writing Contest.
“Into the West offers a well-crafted mix of stories told by an impressive group of talented authors. Because tales range from tender to tough—with a wide variety in between—there is something to delight every reader.” — Margaret Tessler, Author of Sharon Salazar Mysteries
“There is never a dull moment on any page of this little collection.” — Don Bullis, New Mexico Centennial Author
A Sampling of Magazine Articles
Night Photography in Joshua Tree National Park—laid back mornings and intense evenings describe my Light and Shape Photo workshop among the magical, mysterious giant yuccas and peak wildflower bloom at Joshua Tree National Park. Cactus and Succulent Journal, Spring, 2021. Night Photography.
Diggin’ In—When Linda Wheelbarger tells her students to dig in, she means it, as in, grab your shovels and trowels. Wheelbarger directs the Totah Archeological Project summer school, which draws students from throughout the country. Majestic Living Magazine, Spring, 2019. Diggin’ In
Gentling Wild Horses—one of my favorite stories was on Mustang Camp, located in Largo Canyon in northwest New Mexico. Patricia and John Irick prepare wild horses gathered from public land for adoption. My photo even made the cover. Majestic Living Magazine, Winter 2014. Gentling Wild Horses
From Ounces To Tons—When Walter and Robby Henes, brother and sister farmers, look over their crops, they see pink penstemon, purple four o’clocks, or the yellow waving wands of prince’s plume. They operate Southwest Seed Inc., a thriving native plant seed supply company. Majestic Living Magazine, Fall, 2015. Ounces To Tons
Guardians of History, Preserving the Past—my favorite volunteer activity is being a Site Steward at a Rock Art archaeological site in Largo Canyon. Majestic Living Magazine, August 2010. Guardians of History
New Learning of Old Techniques—Participating in a summer field school has long been a rite of passage for archaeology majors. Students in the San Juan College Totah Project learn to shape clay vessels then use pit firing techniques, just as early inhabitants of the Four Corners region did centuries ago. Clay Times, Autumn, 2011. Old Techniques
String Slinger—who knew that yo-yos date back to 500 B.C.? That’s why Luke Renner, Yo-yo Man, made it a point to visit Germany’s Altes Museum during his European travels. Luke performs impossible tricks with his 40- plus collection of yo-yos. Majestic Living Magazine, May 2010. String Slinger.