Friday, January 25, 2013

Another FREE Caverns Tour: Jan 26-27, 2013

In Carlsbad, Cavernous follows Cinnamon and Burro on a search for the killer on one their client's sister, Magda, whose head was bashed in the caverns Underground Lunch Room.  And, of course, they find new, enticing clues to Momma.  A new character promises to lead Cinnamon right to her long lost parent.

Quirky characters, plot twists and mesmerizing for FREE on January 26 and 27, 2013.


In Gallup, Greed, the Novel -- the subplot begins...

My latest novel length story and #6 in the New Mexico mystery thriller series has to have a subplot, so here's the beginning...
Mesh curtains, beige-pink, fell against the adobe walls, sliding effortlessly across the edge of the bed where Jake lay on his side, a white cotton sheet over his narrow hips, his chest glowing in the deep afternoon light.  I felt luckier than I’d felt only yesterday, when the rainy season coated Santa Fe in mud.  Jake surprised me, and the dim light reminded me of hope, a hazy feeling from the past.
            An electronic version of “The Magic Flute” alerted me that Burro wanted me on the phone, likely about work.  That seemed unfair on a subdued Sunday afternoon, but Burro called for important things, so I stirred, grabbed my brown fleece robe and took the phone around the corner in my small adobe townhouse.
            “What’s up?”
            “It’s Alice.  She says we need to take off for Gallup immediately.  There’s been a murder.”
            “At the middle school?”
            “No.  We have an appointment there on Wednesday to see about the Individual Education Plan for Joseph – his parents want the school to let him into regular ed classes.  But this is about Alice’s Native friend, Mirage -- the one who took in Momma.  Mirage thinks she killed her brother last night.  Alice wants our help.”
            “She ‘thinks she killed him?”
            “She blacked out. Doesn’t remember.”
            “Are we attracting bizarre crimes?”
            “Seems like it.  Alice wants to leave for Gallup tonight.”
            I peeked around the corner at Jake’s reclined figure behind the thin curtains. “Do we have to go now?”
            “A couple of hours.”
            “I’ll meet you at your place.”  I held the sigh until after I hit the end button.  Jake would be in Santa Fe when I returned.  He was starting a business after all.
            Burro lives off St. Michael’s Drive, on property once owned by the Christian Brothers, in barracks built during World War II.  After the war, the barracks were used as classrooms at The College of Santa Fe, run by the Brothers.  The school closed a few years back, and the property was sold off to Johnny Chrysler, who rents out the barracks.  The buildings are covered in asbestos siding, so tearing them down is impractical, and Johnny rents to tenants who aren’t particular about details. 
            Burro makes a decent living working for the state as my assistant Civil Rights Investigator, but he’s got hospital bills from before he had medical insurance, so he rents the cheapest place in town. Burro has treatable schizophrenia, which causes hallucinations.  When he’s treated with medication, Burro believes the hallucinations reveal the unseen, detalis that his mind turns to visions.  The visions are clues to crimes we get involved in when we travel around New Mexico investigating civil rights claims.  I want to be skeptical but the visions are often wild and true.
            “Money and scrambled brains,” he murmured as the door to the barracks creaked open. 
            “Tell me that’s not your vision,” I whined.
            “It’s a kitchen, and the trash and all the bowls and pans and every surface is filled or covered with twenty dollar bills – except the frying pan.  There’s this woman standing there, frying brains.
            “Please. That’s sound more like a bad dream.”
            Burro gave me a look, picked up put out his hand for the Corolla keys.  “Let’s get Alice.”
            On the drive, Alice gave us a few more details. 
            “Mirage found Bliss – her brother – with stab wounds in his stomach.  They didn’t look fatal, but I guess he passed out and bled to death.”
            “He a heroin addict?”
            “Nah…maybe an alcoholic.  Whole family parties a lot.”
            “Why does Mirage think she killed him?”
            “Guilt or something.  She was sobbing on the phone, hysterical.  My view – he got in some drunken knife fight with one of the artists from his gallery, passed out, and bled to death.  Mirage wasn’t even there.”
            “Where was she?”
            “Says she woke up in the alley, went to the house, found him.  She wasn’t covered in blood or anything like that.  Guilt trip, I guess.”
            Four hours later, the beautiful dark-eyed beauty who took in Momma sat across from us at Earl’s in Gallup.  Earl’s is where you can eat diner food and buy fine to funky jewelry right from the artist.  Burro loves the place because they’ve got great fresh food, and he loves the buttermilk fried chicken. 
            “I’m ordering,” he announced. 
            “As long as it’s not scrambled brains.”
            Burro frowned in my direction and ordered the fried chicken.  “The money in the vision is what bothers me most.  Is there a lot of money somewhere in the Mirage and Lonnie artist scene?
             “The new gallery cost a ton of money.  Mirage told me Bliss hooked up with a wealthy L.A. investor.”

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

FREE Murderous Caverns Tour Jan 9-11, 2013

Magda is dead and Cinnamon and Burro are dragged into the murder by a client in Carlsbad and by the search for Momma.  Watch out for the quirky Zookie, Magda's ex-lover, a missing deaf employee, and a caste of shady and confusing characters. ... #5 in the New Mexico mystery thriller series.

“Crap!” He stumbled over a crack in the decrepit sidewalk.  For a minute the streetlight and the dying Chinese elm tree swirled like stirred soup and he almost threw up.  Then his balance righted, and he stared at the chocolate-covered doughnuts painted on the window glass.
            “Sarina will help me out,” he mumbled at the glass.  “Not like that old dried up witch, Magda.  Piece of dung, she was, turning him away to help that god-awful Julian, spoiled little brat.  Thank god that turkey balls left town.”
            “Zookie?”  A short, round woman, about 45, leaned out the glass door, pushing her head into the hot air.  Dios mío, it’s already hot here in May.  Come on in.  I got some day old jalapeño Pigs in a Blanket.  You love those, mijo.  Come on.”
            Zookie followed her into the shop, breathing the cool, sugary air, not daring to say much.  Zookie knew his mouth got away from him, like his thoughts, like his actions, like everything these days. Zookie laughed.
            “What’s funny, boy?” Sarina asked.

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