In just over one year, I have published more than 240,000 words in two full length books and a short novelette. The two full books are historical fiction that required a significant amount of research. These, along with a previously written one-act play are my first published works – not counting the weekly Las Cruces Sun News column I had from 2010 – 2012.
The San Augustin is book two of The Two Valleys Saga. With Amy and Mrs. Cumberbatch refusing to stay at the Shalam Colony, the Fountains home is full again and you might imagine the events this new combination of personalities might produce. Jesús continues imparting his memoir journey, hoping to find solace, and understanding about the events that led to his uncle’s and young cousin’s heinous murders. His coming-of-age story reveals the trials, tribulations, and torment of an adolescent’s life as he attempts to claw his way to manhood while discovering life and love and excelling in the legal arena. His uncle, Colonel Albert J. Fountain, continues to mentor Jesús, drawing from his legendary court tactics and antics.
But along with the tutelage comes a budding awareness of the not so pleasant things that go along with the Colonel’s notoriety as one of the most sought-after lawyers in the Southwest.
I heard my readers, and in response, The San Augustin has a map of southern New Mexico Territory and a floor plan complete with all the furniture placements I related in the books. The Mesilla has a new look. I loved the design of The San Augustin cover so much that I hired White Rabbit Arts at The Historical Fiction Company that to redo The Mesilla and also to design the cover for When the Doves Coo. To go along with this new look, I have added the map and floorplan that I designed for The Mesilla. The Mesilla may look different, but its still the same story. Jesus is sent from a little colonia near El Porvenir, Mexico to live with his cousins in Las Cruces, New Mexico Territory. His uncle, Colonel Albert J. Fountain is an accomplished attorney and active in the rough and tumble New Mexico politics. The Colonel, whom Jesus affectionately calls Zio , tutors Jesus and he ‘reads law’ with his uncle.
It was so much fun to write When the Doves Coo! And the cover design is just … stunning – especially the paperback full reveal cover. I just love how the doves swirl into the sky onto the back of the cover! The coloration is different from The Two Valleys Saga covers, which I think is good because When the Doves Coo is simple fiction – ok, with a little history sprinkled in. When the Doves Coo is also a response to some readers that didn’t understand why Jesus was so damaged by leaving his home to live with the Fountains. When the Doves Coo explains it just as I had imagined it when I first started writing The Mesilla. Get Jesus’s backstory and learn about his relationship with his family, Facile his burro and Perro, his barnyard dog. I had previously published this novelette only in eBook form and had several ask for it in paperback. All three of these books are available in both formats now for your reading pleasure!
While each title is available on Amazon – see covers with links above – they won’t be in Las Cruces and surrounding bookstores, and I will not have signed ones to sell on my webpage until about December 10. But never fear, there is plenty of time for ordering and having them sent before the holidays.
I have book signings scheduled for December. On the eleventh I will be at the Mesilla Valley Mall with The Las Cruces Writers Group. We will be inside the Mall next to the Barnes and Noble store entrance. On the eighteenth, Coas Bookstore in downtown Las Cruces will once again have me in the store signing my books for your holiday shopping. I will have both the The Two Valley Saga books and the prequel novelette at both events.
I want to give a shout out to my new editor, Sara Miller in Arkansas and to Dee Marley of The Historical Fiction Company in Texas for their efforts in getting my books in shape and beautiful! Thanks ladies – looking forward to a long relationship with you both.
So what is next? Book three, of course, tentatively titled The White Sands. For some time I have been thinking about a novelette or novella about the beginnings of my hometown – Ottumwa, Iowa. I’ve got some of the information I need, but I would like to find a diary by someone from the general area during the time period to really set me on the right path. Book three of The Two Valleys Saga will also require some hefty research, which I already have a start on, but I doubt you’ll see it on Amazon until at least next Thanksgiving. Also on my reading list is Diana Gabaldon’s latest Outlander tome and a couple of other titles that have been in Kindle bookshelf.
Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and will have an even better Holiday Season!