Retired NMSU professor and social worker Judy Cicero discussed with Lynn Moorer her novel, The Extraordinary Magic of Everyday Life, which shares the remarkable friendship of three senior women, sparked by the warmth and openness of bag lady and former Viet Nam combat nurse, Dixie Lou, and her soulmate, Jake, a tattered teddy bear.
Kris Neri, award-winning writer and instructor, talked with Lynn Moorer about Dem Bones’ Revenge, the second book in her Tracy Eaton Mystery series. Characterizing her book as one of the most enjoyable to write, Kris created another madcap adventure centered around Tracy Eaton, a mystery writer and wannabe detective whose aging movie star mother, Martha Collins—the bane of Tracy’s existence, is accused of killing an untalented script writer. Tracy’s attorney husband, Drew, becomes involved as well as her movie star father, Alec Grainger—each trying to clear Martha’s name. In her search for the truth, Tracy’s unorthodox detecting digs up secrets and resentments in her mother’s past which threaten her life.
Awarding-winning author and writer-in-residence at Western New Mexico University JJ Amaworo Wilson joined Lynn Moorer to discuss his work of literary fiction Nazaré, which draws upon his multi-lingual background and experience living in many countries in creating a story about a fearless orphan boy, Kin, who becomes the leader of an oppressed people living near the sea. Interweaving magical realism, absurdity, irony, humorous surprises, and hope, the story traces a people’s revolution to free itself from tyranny.
Poet and Western New Mexico University administrator Dr. Jack Crocker discussed his collection of poems, The Algorithm of I, with Lynn Moorer. Crocker said his poems examine just how programmed we are when we are born and, after that, what are the influences that program us—our parents, where we were born, and the culture we grow up in. Sharing personal and philosophical insights, his poems reflect on his time living in Mississippi and Florida, then his relocation to New Mexico. Crocker, as a long-time teacher of the art and craft of poetry, also shared several enlightening guidelines for students writing poetry.
New Mexico state senator Bill O’Neill returned to the show to chat with Lynn Moorer about Short Session, sequel to Panoramic Diaries, which picks up idealistic protagonist Chapman Murphy’s life ten years later. As Murphy tries to marshal forces to obtain a significant appropriation from the New Mexico legislature during a short session for his beloved halfway house, Hope House, which faces closure without it, he recalls his recent unsuccessful candidacy for State Senate, including several comical encounters with potential donors, and ponders how he can create a better world.
Las Cruces artist and Pulitzer-nominated author George Mendoza spoke with Lynn Moorer about his book, Journey of the Spirit Man, his writing process, and how he copes with his blindness. Mendoza describes his book’s protagonist, Michael, as a jerk who embodies a modern-day Job as he suffers great loss, then wanders into a hellish land where he encounters magic realism and faces fantastical challenges. He likens Michael to Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz as he gradually learns key life lessons about the human spirit while leaving it unclear as to whether it was all just a dream.
Yoga teacher and retired college professor Amber Foxx talked with Lynn Moorer about her mystery novel, Shaman’s Blues, the second book in her “Mae Martin Mystery series.” Protagonist Mae Martin, a psychic and a healer, has recently relocated to New Mexico from North Carolina to begin college where her father coaches. A colleague in a healing arts center in Virginia Beach where Mae had worked tasks her with somehow finding a gifted musician living in the West whose recordings she can no longer find. Once she happens upon him in Santa Fe, the mystery becomes who he is and what lies at the heart of his troubled character. A parallel, more comical, mystery that Mae must solve is finding the owner of the Dada Café in Truth or Consequences, who claims to read auras, says she is going to ascend, then disappears.
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.
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