Retired NMSU Spanish professor Don Kurtz talked with Lynn Moorer about Churchgoers, his novel which is set in a midwestern university town and juxtaposes the leaders and parishioners of two very different congregations—a traditional mainline Protestant congregation and a small kingdom-based mission, Spirit Rising, that focuses on a healing ministry with a lot of slaying of the spirit—which are sharing the same Campus Church premises. Campus Church pastor Harry Applebee, who is decent and warm-hearted, becomes rejuvenated through his involvement with a university student group’s cause. Spirit Rising pastor Randy Overmeyer, a former rock-and-roll band singer who found God while overdosing, uses his talent for knowing who people are under the layers to save Mitchell Chandler, an eminent neurobiologist with a well-funded genetics lab at the university, when he starts having paranormal experiences and demonic possessive episodes. Randy’s wife Lee, who loves Randy but struggles to share in his ministry, has her faith challenged, then restored, but in the midst loses a friend.
Researcher Kate Null Asbill shared insights with Lynn Moorer from her book on proactive aging and intentional educational living, Start Dancin’ and Don’t Stop: Thrive, Don’t Just Survive, which focuses on developing techniques to help us age well and live better longer. The result of interviewing more than a hundred elders—many of whom live in nursing homes or assisted living facilities, her book synthesizes myriad life lessons and sage advice for keeping going while enjoying wherever you are in your life stages, especially dancing, positive thinking, and positive speaking.
Astronomer and prolific science fiction writer David Lee Summers returned to the show to discuss with Lynn Moorer his book of fiction, Firebrandt’s Legacy. Captain Ellison Firebrandt, a space pirate who kills and steals but with a conscience, operates his space ship Legacy under a letter of marque from the Earth Alliance group of planets. Using computer viruses and hepler pistols, if necessary, Firebrandt and his crew dock with other space ships with or without their permission to confiscate cargo or search out treasure. When they find and help themselves to a highly valuable intrasystem jump machine which, exploiting concepts identified by Einstein eons earlier, allows star vessels to jump quickly to another location within their system, a more advanced species, the Alpha Centaurans, come looking for the machine on the Legacy. Suki Mori, a young woman with an exceptional mind who Firebrandt rescues from another planet but who isn't sure she trusts Firebrandt, figures out how to make the machine work, then creates a counterfeit machine to hide the genuine article.
Las Cruces pastor and Bible scholar Paul Duerksen returned to the show to discuss with Lynn Moorer his book of fiction, Indestructo! An Unlikely Hero, whose hero, pastor Jake Lawrence, is a modern-day Samson but without the betrayal, gore, and really long hair. Not long after Jake preaches a sermon on the strong, ferocious fighter and lover of women Samson from the Bible’s Book of Judges, lightning strikes Jake in a thunderstorm and a Voice tells him he has chosen him to do important work. He soon finds he can, with superhuman powers, undertake a series of amazing deeds by rescuing people, preventing crimes, neutralizing bad guys, and delivering them to the police, who are baffled and a bit disgruntled at this hero who runs like the wind away from each scene wearing his Indestructo suit and mask. When a newspaper reporter (and former lover) threatens to reveal his true identity, Jake employs remarkable powers of reasoning and persuasion to save his career as a church pastor.
Pushcart Prize nominee and New Mexico State University imminent MFA creative writing graduate Tyler Truman Julian chatted with Lynn Moorer about his debut book of poetry, Wyoming: The Next Question to Ask (to Answer). Featuring linked poetry which makes it read more like a story than traditional poetry, it presents a dichotomy of choice about essential matters: whether to leave his beloved Wyoming and his family to experience a wider and deeper world, whether to risk differently, whether to stay in Wyoming and die younger there, and whether his choice will become a legacy lost or gained.
Retired DEA agent and former Border Patrol agent Eric Norway returned to the show to discuss with Lynn Moorer his new book, A Warrior’s Betrayal: The Life and Death of Green Beret Chester Garrett. Co-authored with retired El Paso Sheriff’s Office detective Antonio Arias and retired DEA intelligence analyst Reynaldo Cervantes, Jr., Norway meticulously traces the leads, evidence, and investigation of a 29-year-old cold case involving the murder of Major Chester Garrett, a highly-decorated Green Beret who served with distinction, including three tours in Vietnam, and was stationed at Fort Bliss Army base at the time of his murder. Despite daunting challenges, including a missing case file, scattered and dead witnesses, and a chief witness who couldn’t tell a story the same way twice, Arias solved the case. This led to the conviction and current incarceration in Texas of Garrett’s two murderers.
Roxana Gillett conversed with Lynn Moorer about her magical book of fiction, The White Elephant Kneels, which traces mixed-race heroine Lillian Drake’s discoveries about the white and black magic that first began to influence her life in Africa where she was born, then continues in California, first in veterinary school and then at an animal reserve, where she begins to use her special powers and forms a unique and unbreakable bond with Penda, a rare white elephant. When Penda is suddenly shipped back to Africa, Lill returns there and discovers she has an extraordinary destiny which depends on Penda’s help.
NMSU criminology professor Mike Tapia talked with Lynn Moorer about his book, Gangs of the El Paso-Juárez Borderland, which also includes Las Cruces, Anthony, and the small communities in the southern part of New Mexico. Among other things, he explained how his review of the last hundred years of gang activity is intended to record and analyze key gang subcultures that may be headed for extinction, such as the traditional barrio gang, because of the influence of drug cartels that have transformed gang membership into a criminal business.
Lynn Moorer chatted with Amoreena “AJA” France about her preternatural thriller, The Seventh Daughter, which features white magic practiced by Wiccans, led by preternatural psychologist Tabitha Taliaferro, and dark magic practiced by vampires. Set in Spokane, Washington (where the author has lived), and around Lake Pend Oreille across the border in Idaho’s panhandle, Tabitha feels compelled, when asked, to help FBI investigators and other law enforcement personnel find missing children through harnessing her sometimes unreliable power which rises when her blood flows.
Lynn Moorer chatted with Jean Setne about her memoir, Default Caretakers: An Organ Transplant Journey, which traces the familial threads and medical phenomena related to a beloved family member in need of a liver transplant and how Jean and her husband became caretakers by default when other family members did not take on the responsibilities.
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