Third Book in Pacheco & Chino Mystery Series

The first book in the Pacheco & Chino Mystery series “Dog Gone Lies” will be published in about a month, the second book “Ruidoso High Stakes” has been finished and should be published sometime in early 2016.

I am really enjoying writing about these characters so I have decided to put the first Blue Door Mystery book on hold and begin the third book in Pacheco & Chino series “Four Corners War”.  This book is focused on the Farmington, New Mexico and Durango, Colorado areas.  I have made many trips over the years to this Four Corners area–it is a very interesting area where New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Arizona meet.  For many years I had business dealings in this part of the country and often flew into the Farmington airport which is located in a very unsettling spot on top of a small mesa.  The approach always looked like we were headed straight for the side wall of this mesa–but fortunately we always cleared the wall and landed.  I never flew into Farmington that I was not thankful to be alive.  It is a place where many cultures come together to present an amazing mosaic of past and current lives— definitely worth visiting (I think they still use that same airport–might want to drive).

Some history of the two towns from the cities web sites:

The history of Farmington can be dated back over 2,000 years when the Anasazi “basket makers” lived in the area in what is now known as “pit houses” and later in pueblo structures built from the native sandstone rock. Their past occupancy can still be seen in the various ruins that fill the surrounding countryside. After the Anasazi exit from the area, the land was then inhabited by the Navajo, Jicarilla Apache, and the Utes, which add to the cultural diversity found in this area to this day. The Spanish passed through this area in the late 1700’s and eventually settled in the eastern part of San Juan County in the early 1800’s. It was not until mid 1870’s that the population of the area began to grow with the actual settlement of what was to become Farmingtown, later shortened to Farmington. Settled by pioneers from Animas City, Colorado at the confluence of the La Plata, Animas, and San Juan Rivers. Farmington began to blossom into a flourishing farm and ranch economy and incorporated on July 15, 1901.

The Denver and Rio Grande Railroad Company formed Durango along the banks of the Animas River in September 1880 to serve the San Juan mining district. Lots of silver (and later, even more of gold) was being discovered in the mountains ever since gold fever struck in 1872 and resulted in the settlement of mining towns like Silverton, 50 miles north. Durango had a more tolerable climate and a good supply of water and coal for operating the smelters to pull precious metals out of the ore.
The railroad company chose a site south of the town of Animas City for its depot. It bought up the land in the eventual downtown Durango area using various different names to conceal what it was doing. The land was purchased for less money this way. When the train steamed through Animas City on its way north in 1881, it didn’t even stop there!

Native Americans had camped along the banks of the Animas River for thousands of years. Archaeologists have found evidence that this area experienced a population boom in the latter part of the 8th century – about 1,200 years ago. Some think more people lived here then than now! By the time the Ute Indians settled here, centuries later, these ancient Ancestral Puebloans had mysteriously disappeared from their last homeland – including the area now called Mesa Verde National Park. The Ute Indians sheltered in the abandoned dwellings and enjoyed the ample fishing and hunting opportunities the area offered.

Titles, titles, titles

As I mentioned getting very close to finalizing everything for the first Pacheco & Chino Mystery series.  Still looking like publishing will be in late November.  The one thing that keeps changing is the title.  When I was writing The Bootlegger’s Legacy I knew immediately that was going to be the title.  That was the title from the beginning and never changed.  Not true with this book.  First it was “Hot Springs Inn Mystery” than “Truth, Lies and Consequences”, and now the latest “Dog Gone Lies”.

A key element in this story is a dog.  The dog plays an important role throughout the story and it felt like there should be a reference to the dog in the title.  Going to try and stick with this one–I am starting to confuse myself.

The second book in the Pacheco & Chino series has been written.  Target publishing date is March/April 2016–the working title is “Ruidoso High Stakes”.  I am sure it will change.

New titles

A fellow writer told me once he was not interested in titles.  The impression was that he thought the title did not matter.  I suppose they are somewhat superfluous–a great title does not make a bad book a great read nor would a bad title cause a good book to be something else.  But in the world of marketing and first impressions the title plays a role. 

The first book in the Pacheco and Chino Mystery series is entering the final stages before it will be released.  As part of that process there has been a review of the title.  The working title has been “Hot Springs Inn Mystery”.  I sort of liked that title but could not have mystery in the title since the new subtitle was going to be “A Pacheco and Chino Mystery”. 

Like most things in life there is no one answer that is right.  It is only opinion.  I tried out several ideas and ended up with “Truth, Lies and Consequences”.  This book should be published in late November or early December.

Book Giveaway

There is a chance to get a free paperback edition of The Bootlegger’s Legacy.  This giveaway is being offered through  You can access the link to the Goodreads giveaway on my web site  The giveaway starts on October 12th and runs through October 20th.  Be sure and enter.  Note you cannot enter until the start date of the 12th.

Remember it really helps me with my marketing/promotion efforts to have reviews.  If you have read The Bootlegger’s Legacy it would be great if you could post a review.  This can be done on the on-line retailers sites (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo)–you can also post on several social book readers sites such as  Thanks very much for your support.

Real world and make believe world

As a writer I spend a lot of time in a world that is more or less my creation.  I can write a scene where someone dies and then decide, oh no that is too sad, and change it.  It is a world that I love, I do really love writing.  And that control over events is part of the pleasure.  The real world does not look like that at all.

Most of us have limited control over the events that effect us in the real world.  We exist in a complicated atmosphere where people and events can cause tremendous impact but are not controllable.  Family is probably the best example of a world that is beyond our ability to control.  Anyone with children or grand-children will understand the limits we have in this world to make things happen the way we want.

After thought, I have decided I will devote more time to the make-believe world and hopefully write some interesting stories, and spend less time trying to understand why the real world seems to involve so much pain.

One of my favorite songs is “Good Night Irene” sung by Leadbelly.  Music more than anything else captures the sadness of life.  I hope my writing captures some of the joy.

Blue Door Inn Mystery update

I was advised that a very poor post would be something along the lines of “just finished another 5,000 words in the latest book”–well sorry but just finished another 5,000 words in the latest book.  One of the more difficult aspects of writing is to continue to write when you are not particularly in the mood.  It is like having to go to work when you would rather do something else.  But I have discovered that some of my best writing occurs in those kind of periods.

I am working on the first Blue Door Inn Mystery series book.  The main characters are Joe and Michelle from The Bootlegger’s Legacy.  Michelle has retired and they purchased a bed and breakfast in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Joe was my favorite character in TBL–which was probably obvious.  His dry humor is very comfortable for me and it makes it easy to write his comments.  In the new series he will have the opportunity to become an amateur sleuth to the dismay of Michelle.  And will expand on his love of food with a run at being the Inn’s resident chef.  All stuff I enjoy writing about.  

As part of this new series each book will include some of my favorite southwest cuisine recipes.  I will post them as they are included in the book.