ON THE SHELF

Just a few from Las Cruces

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Pack of Scoundrels

Las Cruces author and storyteller Bailey Herrington published “Pack of Scoundrels,” in June 2019.

Elliott is a college student who followed his future wife, Judy, to Las Cruces in 1954.

“The suspicious death of a friend leads to their discovery of a ‘Confidential’ memorandum stolen from White Sands Proving Ground, epicenter for the development and experimental flights of top-secret ballistic missiles and military rockets,” according to amazon.com. “The memo plunges David and Judy into the center of a conspiracy to conceal the deadly truth behind America’s postwar space program. Pursued by cutthroats ordered to kill them and recover the memo and its damning contents, betrayed by one whom they trusted, Judy and David struggle to uncover the real name of the mysterious Cholla, the key to unlock the secret of the memo and the unsolved murder of a teenager.”

The book is the fourth in Herrington’s David Elliott series.  Find Herrington’s books on amazon.com. Contact him at herringtonbd@gmail.com.

The Aztec UFO Incident: The Case, Evidence and Elaborate Cover-Up of One of the Most Perplexing Crashes in History

Retired New Mexico State University journalism professor Frank Thayer has co-authored a nonfiction account of a UFO crash in northern New Mexico and has written novels about an alien invasion and other tales of horror in southern New Mexico.

“It’s real,” Thayer said about the March 25, 1948 crash that is the basis of “The Aztec UFO Incident: The Case, Evidence and Elaborate Cover-Up of One of the Most Perplexing Crashes in History.” The book reveals “the exact spot where the craft landed and show(s) how the 100-foot diameter saucer was moved to a secret laboratory,” according to www.theaztecincident.com. “Witnesses to the incident who were interviewed by the authors affirm that they were sworn to secrecy by the military. The authors also reveal the names of scientists who worked on the craft after its recovery.”

Thayer’s works of fiction include “Terror Tales of the Southwest” (2017) and “The Whispering Darkness” (2018), which is the story of an alien invasion that takes place in the circa-1880s gold- and silver-mining boom town of Mogollon, New Mexico, where Thayer once owned an art gallery. The book also includes some of his photography of the Mogollon historic district.

President by Attrition

Las Cruces author Abbe Alexander (the pen name of Gail Hewitt) began writing novels and movie scripts about 10 years ago, following in the success of her mother, Rena Hewitt, a published poet.

“I said, ‘I think I can write a novel,” Hewitt said. Instead, she wound up writing a screenplay called “Cheap Charlie” which she discussed turning into a full-length movie during several meetings with actor Robin Williams shortly before his 2014 death. “He really liked the movie,” Alexander said.

That script and a number of other movie scripts and several books by Alexander are available variously on amazon.com, smashwords.com and inktip.com. Her titles include “President by Attrition,” “Beyond Hope” and “Pro Bono,” and Alexander said she has nearly a half-dozen other books and scripts “in the hopper.”

Alexander is particularly fond of her novel “President by Attrition,” published in 2018. The book is about “how to be president for life,” she said. I think it’s the best thing I’ve written.”

Hearts of the Missing

“I’ll try writing a book,” New Mexico State University biochemistry professor Carol Potenza, Ph.D., told herself after she switched from doing mostly research to teaching a few years ago and found she had a lot more free time.

Potenza submitted her third completed but unpublished manuscript, “Hearts of the Missing,” for consideration in the 2017 Tony Hillerman Prize competition. She won, beating out 75 other entrees to be recognized as the author of the best first-time mystery set in New Mexico or one of seven other western states. The book is available at COAS Books and Barnes & Noble and on amazon.com. Online and audio versions are also available.

Potenza’s protagonist is Sgt. Nicky Matthews, a pueblo police officer investigating a suicide at the fictional Fire Sky Pueblo in northern New Mexico. Matthews finds that “something is missing” from the victim’s body, Potenza said. With help from close friends who are pueblo members, she finds herself on the trail of a serial killer, learning about Native American legends and rituals along the way and relying on supernatural guidance, including visions and “true ghost stories.”

One of Potenza’s goals in writing the book, she said, was to “introduce readers to pueblo culture and history,” just as author Tony Hillerman did with his tribal police series of novels featuring the characters of Lt. Joe Leaphorn and Sgt. Jim Chee.

Rattlesnake Lawyer

Award-winning author and long-time attorney Jonathon Miller is the author of the award-winning Rattlesnake Lawyer books, said city Library Assistant Charlotte Zimmerman. Miller’s novel, “Luna Law,” was a co-winner of the 2017 Tony Hillerman award for best new fiction set in the Southwest. His books “Rattlesnake & Son” and “Navajo Repo Special Edition” are finalists in the suspense/thriller fiction category for New Mexico Book Awards. Miller is an attorney who has practiced criminal law in New Mexico for more than 17 years. (rattlesnakelaw.com)

”Miller’s expertise as an attorney in the field of criminal law, combined with his admiration for New Mexico shines through in his writing,” according to Goodreads, as quoted by the city. “He leads the reader by the hand to the inside scenes of the courts where justice is served, after walking in from an outside world that’s covered in crime. He clearly describes the good, the bad, and ugly from the eyes of an experienced criminal attorney who has seen it all. For the icing on the cake, he adds a great deal of wit through all the drama, with his keen sense of humor.”

Hopi Tea

Las Cruces author and retired physician Kent F. Jacobs, M.D. has won a 2019 Silver Award for Best Regional Fiction for his latest book, “Hopi Tea.”

In “Hopi Tea,” published in 2018, border patrol agent Tracker Dodds deals with a mysterious murder “as he assumes control of the first prisoner of war camp in the U.S. under a mandate from the Department of Justice,” according to PenPower Book Marketing Services based in Santa Fe. “It's a hot summer day in 1942 when he enters Fort Stanton and he is shocked to discover a brutally scalped German inmate floating in its Olympic-sized swimming pool. A river separates the camp from a state-of-the-art tuberculosis hospital in this alpine backcountry of southern New Mexico, which adjoins the massive Mescalero Apache reservation. Could someone from the reservation have done the scalping? Or was the murderer another distressed German seaman? The camp is packed with German sailors. Did a bystander see the chance to silence his blackmailer? Though the camp is remote and cut off from civilization, every soul involved feels the crushing destruction of a world at war.”

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