Saturday, December 19, 2015

Dog Gone Lies now available as e-book

The first Pacheco and Chino Mystery book: Dog Gone Lies, is now available as an e-book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  The paperback will be out in a couple of weeks.

Currently working on the 3rd P&C book and have really enjoyed writing about these characters.  The main character is Ray Pacheco, who is newly retired as the Sheriff of Dona Ana County New Mexico and now living the life of leisure in a remote cabin by Elephant Butte Lake.  He is also bored silly.  Ray stumbles into the middle of a mystery involving a missing woman from a local inn.  While exploring this matter Ray becomes involved with some very unique and (hopefully) entertaining local eccentrics.

This is much more a traditional private detective adventure than The Bootlegger's Legacy.  Not sure how many of these I will write but so far it has been a lot of fun.  Hope you enjoy.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Third Book in Pacheco & Chino Mystery Series

The first book in the Pacheco & Chino Mystery series "Dog Gone Lies" will be published in about a month, the second book "Ruidoso High Stakes" has been finished and should be published sometime in early 2016.

I am really enjoying writing about these characters so I have decided to put the first Blue Door Mystery book on hold and begin the third book in Pacheco & Chino series "Four Corners War".  This book is focused on the Farmington, New Mexico and Durango, Colorado areas.  I have made many trips over the years to this Four Corners area--it is a very interesting area where New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Arizona meet.  For many years I had business dealings in this part of the country and often flew into the Farmington airport which is located in a very unsettling spot on top of a small mesa.  The approach always looked like we were headed straight for the side wall of this mesa--but fortunately we always cleared the wall and landed.  I never flew into Farmington that I was not thankful to be alive.  It is a place where many cultures come together to present an amazing mosaic of past and current lives--- definitely worth visiting (I think they still use that same airport--might want to drive).

Some history of the two towns from the cities web sites:

The history of Farmington can be dated back over 2,000 years when the Anasazi "basket makers" lived in the area in what is now known as "pit houses" and later in pueblo structures built from the native sandstone rock. Their past occupancy can still be seen in the various ruins that fill the surrounding countryside. After the Anasazi exit from the area, the land was then inhabited by the Navajo, Jicarilla Apache, and the Utes, which add to the cultural diversity found in this area to this day. The Spanish passed through this area in the late 1700's and eventually settled in the eastern part of San Juan County in the early 1800's. It was not until mid 1870's that the population of the area began to grow with the actual settlement of what was to become Farmingtown, later shortened to Farmington. Settled by pioneers from Animas City, Colorado at the confluence of the La Plata, Animas, and San Juan Rivers. Farmington began to blossom into a flourishing farm and ranch economy and incorporated on July 15, 1901.

The Denver and Rio Grande Railroad Company formed Durango along the banks of the Animas River in September 1880 to serve the San Juan mining district. Lots of silver (and later, even more of gold) was being discovered in the mountains ever since gold fever struck in 1872 and resulted in the settlement of mining towns like Silverton, 50 miles north. Durango had a more tolerable climate and a good supply of water and coal for operating the smelters to pull precious metals out of the ore.
The railroad company chose a site south of the town of Animas City for its depot. It bought up the land in the eventual downtown Durango area using various different names to conceal what it was doing. The land was purchased for less money this way. When the train steamed through Animas City on its way north in 1881, it didn’t even stop there!

Native Americans had camped along the banks of the Animas River for thousands of years. Archaeologists have found evidence that this area experienced a population boom in the latter part of the 8th century - about 1,200 years ago. Some think more people lived here then than now! By the time the Ute Indians settled here, centuries later, these ancient Ancestral Puebloans had mysteriously disappeared from their last homeland - including the area now called Mesa Verde National Park. The Ute Indians sheltered in the abandoned dwellings and enjoyed the ample fishing and hunting opportunities the area offered.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Titles, titles, titles

As I mentioned getting very close to finalizing everything for the first Pacheco & Chino Mystery series.  Still looking like publishing will be in late November.  The one thing that keeps changing is the title.  When I was writing The Bootlegger's Legacy I knew immediately that was going to be the title.  That was the title from the beginning and never changed.  Not true with this book.  First it was "Hot Springs Inn Mystery" than "Truth, Lies and Consequences", and now the latest "Dog Gone Lies".

A key element in this story is a dog.  The dog plays an important role throughout the story and it felt like there should be a reference to the dog in the title.  Going to try and stick with this one--I am starting to confuse myself.

The second book in the Pacheco & Chino series has been written.  Target publishing date is March/April 2016--the working title is "Ruidoso High Stakes".  I am sure it will change.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Goodreads Giveaway

Had 596 readers sign up for the Goodreads book giveaway.  Congratulations to the winners--your books are on the way.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

New titles

A fellow writer told me once he was not interested in titles.  The impression was that he thought the title did not matter.  I suppose they are somewhat superfluous--a great title does not make a bad book a great read nor would a bad title cause a good book to be something else.  But in the world of marketing and first impressions the title plays a role. 

The first book in the Pacheco and Chino Mystery series is entering the final stages before it will be released.  As part of that process there has been a review of the title.  The working title has been "Hot Springs Inn Mystery".  I sort of liked that title but could not have mystery in the title since the new subtitle was going to be "A Pacheco and Chino Mystery". 

Like most things in life there is no one answer that is right.  It is only opinion.  I tried out several ideas and ended up with "Truth, Lies and Consequences".  This book should be published in late November or early December.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Book Giveaway

There is a chance to get a free paperback edition of The Bootlegger's Legacy.  This giveaway is being offered through  You can access the link to the Goodreads giveaway on my web site  The giveaway starts on October 12th and runs through October 20th.  Be sure and enter.  Note you cannot enter until the start date of the 12th.

Remember it really helps me with my marketing/promotion efforts to have reviews.  If you have read The Bootlegger's Legacy it would be great if you could post a review.  This can be done on the on-line retailers sites (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo)--you can also post on several social book readers sites such as  Thanks very much for your support.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Real world and make believe world

As a writer I spend a lot of time in a world that is more or less my creation.  I can write a scene where someone dies and then decide, oh no that is too sad, and change it.  It is a world that I love, I do really love writing.  And that control over events is part of the pleasure.  The real world does not look like that at all.

Most of us have limited control over the events that effect us in the real world.  We exist in a complicated atmosphere where people and events can cause tremendous impact but are not controllable.  Family is probably the best example of a world that is beyond our ability to control.  Anyone with children or grand-children will understand the limits we have in this world to make things happen the way we want.

After thought, I have decided I will devote more time to the make-believe world and hopefully write some interesting stories, and spend less time trying to understand why the real world seems to involve so much pain.

One of my favorite songs is "Good Night Irene" sung by Leadbelly.  Music more than anything else captures the sadness of life.  I hope my writing captures some of the joy.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Blue Door Inn Mystery update

I was advised that a very poor post would be something along the lines of "just finished another 5,000 words in the latest book"--well sorry but just finished another 5,000 words in the latest book.  One of the more difficult aspects of writing is to continue to write when you are not particularly in the mood.  It is like having to go to work when you would rather do something else.  But I have discovered that some of my best writing occurs in those kind of periods.

I am working on the first Blue Door Inn Mystery series book.  The main characters are Joe and Michelle from The Bootlegger's Legacy.  Michelle has retired and they purchased a bed and breakfast in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Joe was my favorite character in TBL--which was probably obvious.  His dry humor is very comfortable for me and it makes it easy to write his comments.  In the new series he will have the opportunity to become an amateur sleuth to the dismay of Michelle.  And will expand on his love of food with a run at being the Inn's resident chef.  All stuff I enjoy writing about.  

As part of this new series each book will include some of my favorite southwest cuisine recipes.  I will post them as they are included in the book.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Reader comment and New video trailer

Received an interesting email from someone reading my book.  They were upset with one of the more dramatic aspects of the book.  I was pleased.  It is great to have someone respond to something you have done that was creatively correct but very difficult to write.  I cannot tell what this is without spoiling the book.  But it was very satisfying to have a reader react just as they should.

Have a new trailer for the book.  That is two that are available on youtube or you can see them on the web site

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Social media update

Dylan, my grandson, has done a wonderful job developing our social media pages.  We are very pleased and excited that his efforts have led to almost 1,400 followers and likes from Facebook and Twitter.  Great job Dylan!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Book reviews

Like many things in our world today consumer reviews have a major impact in buying decisions--from where you eat to what kind of car you buy.  And of course they are a factor in decisions regarding what books you read.

In the past we looked to "professional" critics to provide us with information about books, movies, plays and restaurants.  Today the consumer's opinion is king.  I know I use these opinions in my purchase decision process.  When I am shopping on-line the consumer reviews are almost always something I read--and while I will ignore the ones who seem to be out of line with everybody else I do look at both good and bad.

If you have had a chance to read The Bootlegger's Legacy it would be very helpful for you to contribute your review to one or more of the on-line retailer sites. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Social media

The Bootlegger's Legacy mostly takes place in a time without cell phones and no social media.  Today's most recent generations seem to develop their identities around Facebook or Twitter.  My grandson, Dylan, is 23 and of the generation that would be lost without a cell phone.  With his guidance The Bootlegger's Legacy now has a page on Facebook and Twitter.  Dylan will be handling most (all) of the communication and postings.  You might want to check it out and see what he is up to--I am sure it will be interesting.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Favorite Books or Authors

I was preparing answers to a questionnaire the other day on which it asked what was my favorite book.  There was no way I could decide on only one book.  At various times in my life certain books were more important than others but there has not been one that was absolutely the favorite.  Maybe you have one book that is your absolute favorite but mine would be a ever changing (and growing) list.

In my college days I remember reading Dr. Strangelove (before I saw the movie- out loud with a rowdy group of friends) and Catch-22.  I thought those books were something special by genius level authors.  I had loved tons of sci-fi books during high school with Vonnegut being my favorite author.  About that same time I read the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  I was amazed at the effort involved in writing those stories.

I have had a long term love of mysteries.  Probably have read most of the best known mystery writers with a real attachment to the British understated style--such as Agatha Christie.  Raymond Chandler help establish a whole genre of detective stories which I have enjoyed.

Current mystery authors on my list are: Mark Gimenez, Todd Borg, Michael Connelly (great Bosch fan), Sheldon Siegel, J.A. Jance, C.J. Box and Stuart Woods.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

New book in the works!

Pacheco and Chino, PI's: Hot Springs Inn Mystery is the first book in a series that will follow Ray Pacheco, from The Bootlegger's Legacy as he retires as the Sheriff of Dona Ana County and starts his new life as a resident of Elephant Butte Lake.  This book is now being edited and will be published later this year.

This was a fun book to write because of the unique (oddball?) partners Ray takes on as he abandons the do-nothing-but-fish retirement life and starts a private investigation business.  This first book is about them getting to know one another as they solve the disappearance of an Albuquerque woman from the Hot Springs Inn and in the process discover major secrets involving the FBI.

Friday, September 4, 2015

eBook of The Bootlegger's Legacy

The eBook of Legacy is now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and iTunes.  Print book should be along in a few days.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

First Book--Lessons Learned

The Bootlegger's Legacy is my second book.  In, I believe, 2009 I wrote and published a book; The Originals.  That book is no longer available, or will soon not be available--even if it was, I would not recommend buying it.  It was a good story and someday I may revisit that book and rewrite it--maybe; probably not.  While an interesting story it was not my best effort.

After writing my first book I did not write again for awhile.  But I continued to study and practice--usually just writing outlines, or one or two chapters--playing with ideas.  Something I have learned about writing--to get better you have to practice.  And you need input from others.  Maybe that is obvious to everyone but me.  No doubt there are people who can sit down and write a great book--I think most have to work at it for some time before they get to where they want to be.

Since finishing The Bootlegger's Legacy I have written two more books and started my fifth.  And I have outlines on the next two projects.  The more I write the better I feel about the books--it may stop soon, but for now I am in a groove.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Is Joe Meadows Ted Clifton?

Someone asked if Joe Meadows, one of the main characters in The Bootlegger's Legacy, was based on me.  The easy answer is no.  Joe is a fictional character.  However there are some common attributes; both CPAs, both enjoyed visiting a bar on occasion, both lived in Oklahoma City, (as you will see in later books) both learned to love to cook--but this is just about author convenience.  Writer's write about what they know (although my friend, Stan Nelson, might disagree) and so Joe and many of the characters in my books will share some of my background because that is what I know.

Joe and Mike went to a bar called Triple's--that was a real bar in Oklahoma City in the 1970s and 80s.  And I would on occasion meet co-workers or friends at that bar--does that make Joe me--of course not.  Joe was stuck in a world that would not change.  In my case I continued to change and tried to find ways to exercise my creative side in my financial work and my art and my writing.

Joe was an accountant because that was a necessary part of the story.  His connection with Mike was both as a friend but also as a financial adviser.  That set Joe up as being able to handle other aspects of the story as they came about.  Each character is written to fit the story--it is not autobiographical. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Indie Book Help

The greatest help I have received in the development of an indie book has come from two guys in Canada; Saul Bottcher and Nas Hedron of  As a team they have been a huge asset to my personal development as a writer and book publisher.  It is not just the editing, the technical stuff, or the creative inspiration-- it is also their willingness to answer questions.  To actually listen and try to answer, no doubt, often stupid questions with patience and insight.  I have learned over many months to respect and trust these people with my most important possessions; my books.

If you ever think about venturing into the world of indie publishing, contact these guys; they will become your most important resource.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Book Ideas--where they come from?

My first thoughts about The Bootlegger's Legacy were to write a book about a couple of early middle aged guys (40s) who needed some quick cash.  Originally I was going to have them try to make some kind of drug deal.  And the book was going to be about their somewhat comical venture into drug trafficking.

The basis for this idea was in fact something I knew about in my past (probably early 1980s) in Oklahoma City.  A sometimes drinking buddy I knew who owned a clothing store supposedly was involved in something similar.   It was a lame brained scheme that never actually happened--as far as I know.  This was being driven by his need to bail his business out of a financial mess.

That little bit of information about something that may or may not have happened was the original idea for TBL.  I have talked to a couple of authors who write fiction and they both describe a process of extensive research about a core subject matter or event that will proceed any actual writing.  Often this research will take months and sometimes years before anything is actually written.  I think that would drive me nuts.  I get an idea and I immediately start writing.  Like a lot of things in life there are many ways of doing whatever you are trying to do--and the right way is the one that works for you.

The Bootlegger's Legacy will be available Soon!

Release date looks like within a week or so for the e-book for The Bootlegger's Legacy, the print version should follow soon after.  This blog will discuss many aspects of my books, along with travel ideas and food.  My focus will be the areas that I visit with the books--mostly New Mexico.  Stay tuned.