Former botanical desert garden director Marty Eberhardt chatted with Lynn Moorer about her debut novel, Death in a Desert Garden: A Bea Rivers Mystery. Set in the fictional Shandley Gardens near Tuscon, when one of the Gardens’ founders, Liz Shandley, is found dead in the Gardens, new Gardens employee and single mother Bea Rivers assists her old school friend Marcia Samuelson, now the police detective heading the murder investigation, to ferret out clues. As Bea sifts through a number of botanical clues sprinkled about, she discovers that each of the remaining Gardens’ board members and staff members has a plausible reason to want Liz dead.
Award-winning political cartoonist John Trever discussed his new book, The Art and Humor of John Trever, and his long career at the Albuquerque Journal with Lynn Moorer. Among several things, he talked about his challenges in drawing political figures, identified some of his favorite political characters to draw, and explained how he distinguishes former New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez from current Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham in his cartoons. He also described his use of visual metaphors and several cartoon humor techniques. He shared as well his thoughts on the future of political cartooning.
Astronomer and prolific science fiction and fantasy writer David Lee Summers revisited the show to chat with Lynn Moorer about Children of the Old Stars, the third book in his Space Pirates’ Legacy series. John Mark Ellis, grandson of Captain Ellison Firebrandt, has resigned his commission as an officer of the Confederation Space Fleet and returns to his home on Nantucket on Earth to try to puzzle out the meaning of the Cluster, a mysterious group of spheres that has destroyed more than one hundred star vessels. Ellis believes the Cluster is communicating by sending and receiving emotional signals—a notion that causes several humans to think he’s gone round the bend. Meanwhile, former National Guard Colonel Clyde McClintlock believes the Cluster is God incarnate and forms the Church of the Cluster. Ellis seeks the advice of Richard, a wise old spermaceti whale, and G’Liat, a warrior from the planet Rd’dyggia, then returns to space as captain of a mapping vessel which allows him and his crew to seek out the Cluster. His historian mother, Suki Firebrandt Ellis, ferrets out secrets about the Titans’ true origins.
Poet and co-editor of Sin Fronteras/Writers Without Borders Ellen Roberts Young returned to the show to speak with Lynn Moorer about her second book of poetry, Lost in the Greenwood, which features poems that circle around, describe, and respond to two sets of tapestries from the years about 1500 C.E.—the Hunt of the Unicorn panels in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and the Lady and the Unicorn series in the Musée du Moyen Age in Paris. Inspired by a gift of a beautiful museum bookmark depicting a lady with loose yellow, tightly woven hair, the poems muse about unicorns, societal expectations of women, earthly pleasures, and courtly culture in the Middle Ages.
Holy Cross Retreat Center (Mesilla Park) Director Father Tom Smith spoke with Lynn Moorer about his book “Poor Tom”: Living With Our Limitations, which was written for people who’ve experienced loss or limitation in their life, which, he says, is just about everybody. Amidst passages that impart guidance, his book shares vignettes from his life beginning when he was two and one-half years old and lost his right leg when his foot was caught in a hammer mill. Within his large Catholic family where he was loved, encouraged, and treated similarly to each of his other nine siblings, he relearned how to walk—first with crutches, then with a prosthesis, then played and explored alongside fellow children and youth. Sensing that God has been with him every step of the way, he chose seminary and a Franciscan life which has allowed him to minister to others while living with other friars. For eleven years, Father Tom has led the retreat’s ministry to and accommodation of numerous asylum seekers, homeless persons, and persons needing sanctuary in addition to hosting retreats.
Retired attorney and former ecologist, journal editor, professor, speechwriter, and park ranger Dennis McCarthy chatted with Lynn Moorer about his debut novel about “the most famous outlaw in the world,” The Gospel According to Billy the Kid. McCarthy explains how he chose to divide Billy’s persona into at least two characters—one who is killed by Pat Garrett at the end of the Lincoln County War and one who survives, escapes west, assumes a new identity, and recounts his adventures thirty-three years later in an El Paso bar to a former U.S. Army scout who happens to be the brother of a monk who helped Billy recover from dire illness. In McCarthy’s tale, Billy grows up from being a good-hearted, hot-headed kid to a good-hearted, level-headed adult who eventually looks up Pat Garrett to ask him, among several things, about how he came up with so many untruths in his book, The Authentic Life of Billy the Kid, which McCarthy characterizes as “a book of fiction.”
Award-winning mystery writer and writing instructor Kris Neri returned to the show to chat with Lynn Moorer about her first novel and the first book in her Tracy Eaton Mystery series, Revenge of the Gypsy Queen, a madcap thriller that features Tracy Eaton, an unpredictable, fast-thinking mystery writer from California who is suddenly called upon by her uptight, upright husband, Drew, and his family to solve the mystery of her sister-in-law and restauranteur Marisa’s kidnapping in New York City just before her wedding. As Tracy encounters a host of curious characters and uses various screwball tactics to rescue Marisa and see that justice is served, she enlists Nuri, a charming sidekick, and uncovers secrets that Drew’s family, especially his mysterious Uncle Philly, would prefer were kept hidden.
Engineer, scientist, and intelligence expert Joseph W. Foster talked with Lynn Moorer about his debut spy novel, The BiniSphere, in which he says he broke a lot of rules of physics to create his thriller story about Perry Franklin, a retired scientist and engineer who had worked for the intelligence community and had designed, built, and fielded the most advanced tracking technologies in the world for the U. S government. When a KH-11 reconnaissance satellite, operated in partnership between the National Reconnaissance Office and the CIA, inexplicably shuts down, Perry is called upon to ferret out the problem. His investigation takes him to Sicily where he encounters professor Christina LaTorre and her team who, it turns out, are building a movable nuclear reactor, the BiniSphere, that can, using sub-atomic particles, be pointed in any direction with high accuracy to denuclearize nuclear attacks. At the same, he discovers the U.S. is building a similar device for a very different purpose.
Retired teacher, school administrator, businessman, and former head of the Deming-Luna County Chamber of Commerce George Pintar shares stories with Lynn Moorer from his book, A New Peek at Old West Country, about the five counties in the southwestern corner of New Mexico—Hidalgo, Grant, Catron, Luna, and Sierra. Focusing on the history, culture, and economics of each county, the book’s narrator Chile Charlie brings to life curious, sometimes little-known, and appealing facts and traditions about each county.
New Mexico state senator Bill O’Neill joined Lynn Moorer to discuss his semi-autobiographical novel, Panoramic Diaries, which features peripatetic protagonist Chapman Murphy, a son of privilege from Iowa who takes a break from his job as an executive director of a halfway house in New Mexico for a host of colorful and challenged parolees to ride the rails on freight cars and mostly live in freight yards, old hotels, and hobo camps. As discerning and altruistic Chapman seeks to find answers to his most important life questions while dealing with his parents’ expectations, he forms an alliance with another late bloomer and defiant spirit, Kit Jones, who joins him in his adventures.
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