Pearl Burk's new historical novel, Crossing Sand Creek (Publish America), takes place in 1877 in Newton, Kansas and tells of a family forced by circumstance to abandon a life of security and plenty in South Russia. As immigrants in Kansas, they encounter rejection, estrangement, jealousy, hatred and murder. Crossing Sand Creek is available through, local and online bookstores.

Jane Candia Coleman's latest novel, Lost River, is out from Five-Star. In it, Sidra Givens, a woman photographer hired to document an archeological "dig," finds herself in the middle of a range war and in love with a photographer priest. (There really was a priest like this one in the early 1900's.)

L.D. Clark's twelfth book is now available. Bittersweet Christmas (Plain View Press), in which a joyful Yuletide celebration is darkened by the reawakening of an ancient family tragedy, is a novella set in his native North Texas. L. D. also presented a number of readings from his collection of short stories, which explores extraordinary states of mind, Lone Journey & Other Questing Stories (Panther Creek Press, 2003). Since last June, L. D.'s Moransaga has been serialized on L.D. received the 2003 Distinguished Alumnus Award from North Central Texas College in Gainesville and has returned from a tour of readings and signings which included: the University of Mary Hardin Baylor, the Convention of Texas Teachers of Creative Writings, the Texas Book Festival in Austin and other book festivals in Salado, Manchaca, Brenham and Fayetteville, Texas. Check out these and L. D.'s many other titles on his wonderful website:

LaVerne Harrell Clark's informal portraits of twenty-five of more than five hundred writers she has photographed, remained on display from Sept to Nov at the TWU Library, Denton, Texas. The show opened with a formal presentation to the audience by LaVerne. In addition, one of LaVerne's short stories has been published in an anthology, Listen To This, edited by Lou Rodenberger and Sylvia Grider (Texas A&M University Press). The anthology features twenty-one Texas women. Recent articles and photographs by LaVerne about Mari Sandoz appeared in the Journal of The West, the quarterly of Kansas State University, Manhattan, and in Western American Literature, the magazine of the Western American Literature Association, published at Utah State University, Logan.

Eric Eaton, returning from a national convention of entomologists in Cincinnati, discovered his insect illustrations have been set free in Daniel Mathews' new book, Rocky MountainÜNatural History: Grand Teton to Jasper (Raven Editions, 2003). The unique field guide is readable and entertaining, says Eric. Check out Eric's illustrations in the Rocky MountainÜNatural History field guide, available on, and on Eric's own website:

Marjorie Ford's story, "Perhaps Like This Again," appears in the newly released anthology Making Connections: Mother- Daughter Travel Adventures, edited by Wendy Knight and published by Seal Press, an imprint of Avalon. The anthology is available at Readers' Oasis, Tucson and

Randolph (Pat) Jenks published a new book, Leaving the Golden Age of the 1920s for Adventures in the West. This unique nonfiction book was created from original student diaries about treasure hunting and student life at the University of Arizona. Pat recounts tales of the fellowship of students from Sonora and Tucson and their Hands Across the Border adventures in the remote mountains of Mexico. On Sunday, Dec 28th, 3 to 5pm, Pat, long-time SSA member and local rancher, invites all SSA members to join him at his book launch at The Old Flying V Ranch, behind the Lowes Ventana Canyon Resort. Leaving the Golden Age is available from Randolph Jenks at 2146 E. 4th Street, Tucson AZ 85719 or ph: (520) 623-5305.

Ed Kostro has been honored as a Backyard Hero and awarded a True Grit Certificate by GRIT Magazine for his 30-year government career assisting veterans and for his animal rescue work. The article can be found in the November 2003 issue of GRIT Magazine, which features several Backyard Heroes. Ed's new book, Curious Creatures Ü Wondrous Waifs: My Life with Animals, has been professionally reviewed by Steve Dale, Tribune Media syndicated columnist and host of Animal Planet Radio. The review is on the Animal Discovery Website at: more/fall03books.html

Mabel Leo has been criticized for not following one of the top rules of writing; finding your genre and staying in it. She writes non-fiction, children's fiction, adult romancesuspense fiction, biographies, whatever comes when the "muse" strikes. Proof that writers must follow their instincts is evident in her speaking engagements. On Monday, Feb 2nd, 2004, Mabel will speak on her first biography, The Saga of Jack Durant, before the Biltmore Ladies Luncheon at McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant on Camelback, Phoenix. On Thurs Feb 19th, Mabel Leo will present her romance-suspense series of three novels at the Mystery Writers Book Signing at Barnes & Noble, Shea & Pima Road in Scottsdale.

Robert Lewis has just published his second book through Xlibris. The Stalkers is a suspense novel with a thread of romance and a strong element of mystery that builds with each chapter to a shocking conclusion. The book is available from the publisher, the major on-line booksellers, or the author.

Kaye Patchett's new book, Eli Whitney, in the Blackbirch Press "Giants of Science" series is now available from, or order it from your local bookstore. Also, check out the library in any local school ,and if they don't have it, ask for it! The series consists of biographies of famous inventors and is for for middle school readers. Kaye is currently writing another biography in the same series and a book for the Blackbirch "Building World Landmarks" series, about the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge, the longest bridge in the world.

Bev Van Horn's new narrative non-fiction, Best Friends Are Like Suspenders: They Hold You Up When You Are Falling Down (Beverly's, Ltd., 2003) shows the importance of friendship to women's well-being, when they go through crisis; in this case a woman's daughter dies of AIDS. The book is available from and in Tucson from Limited Additions at St. Philips Plaza.

Successes and more!
Don't believe "downers" when they tell you, "Books aren't selling!" That's not true. Another seven SSA authors received rave reviews in J.C. Martin's column, "Southern Arizona Authors," in the Sunday Arizona Daily Star. They include: Jerry Jones, The Sugarbush (1stBooks); Ed Kostro's animal memoir, Curious Creatures?Wondrous Waifs (Publish America); Mabel Leo's mystery, Dark Secrets; James Sandefer's Rambling Thoughts (1stBooks); Chiricahua Mountains: Bridging the Border of Wildness (University of Arizona Press) text by Ken Lamberton; a new Trade Ellis by Zeke Browning titled Traggedy Ann (Dell Paperback); and Mary Anne Butler's The Good Wife (1stBooks). Several of us made it to Jane Coleman's book signing at Green Fire Bookshop, a new store in Tucson specializing in the Western genre, Southwest History and Culture, Native Americana, Nature, Gardening and a full range of general interest books. Jane's seventh novel is Lost River (Five Star Press).

The Write Word
published bi-monthly by the Board of Directors
of The Society of Southwestern Authors
P.O. Box 30355, Tucson, AZ 85751

Chris Stern: (520) 743-0940

Vice-President & Membership Chair
Penny Porter: (520) 296-5299 (FAX: 296-0409)

Recording Secretary
gael Mustapha

Jay McCall: (520) 887-7847

Luncheon Forum Chair
Connie Kazal: (520) 682-8009

Write Word Editor
Jean Walsh: (520) 744-0552

Associate Editor
Diane Vanover

SSA Home Page:

Mike Rom: (520) 410-1294 (beep)

Deadline for next issue is the 21st day of January

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