Four mysteries with a conscience

Dark Moon Walking cover 2013
2013

R. J. McMillen’s Dan Connor mystery series is the work of a consummate story-teller.  Their plots are forged around inventive premises and their ever-unfolding riddles keep the reader craving the turn of the next page from beginning to end.

All of these books share an overarching theme of respect both for the environment and for Native peoples whose ancient life lessons often present themselves as startlingly relevant to today’s world.  All are set against the rich backdrop of British Columbia’s islands, waterways, and the wildlife which inhabits both.  Verdant forests, winds, and tides are so seamlessly woven into the plots that they become virtual characters in stories that could have been set nowhere else.

McMillen has the ability to write in a way that resonates for an audience not constricted by the mystery genre.  Readers need not be mystery buffs to appreciate them, but whodunit fans will find them more than satisfying.  Readers need not be seafarers to appreciate them, either, but sailors and fishermen will recognize in McMillen’s descriptions of life on the water the unmistakable ring of authenticity.  These are books that cannot help but seduce city slickers and landlubbers alike with the call of the wild.

Black Tide Rising cover 2015
2015

These books are full of unique and memorable characters crisply drawn, and McMillen works hard to avoid mystery genre stereotypes.  Settings and dialogue are seamlessly interwoven to paint each of the principal characters as complex and colorful mosaics.

Protagonist Dan Connor, retired early from anti-terrorist beat, is guilt and grief-stricken after his wife is brutally murdered in what is hinted at as a consequence of his work.  He’s retreated to life on his boat to salve his grief and sort out his life, but when events return him to informal police work, he finds in it an unlikely therapy for his grief and guilt.  His ongoing quest to exorcise his personal demons compellingly binds these books together, and each leaves the reader craving not only the resolution of the crime-du-jour, but hope for Connor’s emotional rehabilitation.

Walker is a Native American crippled years earlier by a fall in a Vancouver robbery gone bad that ended with his arrest by Conner.  Upon his release from prison, he returns to his ancestral home and lifestyle among the islands, where he reconnects by happenstance with his captor.  The two gradually form an unlikely, yet unbreakable bond.

Green River Falling cover 2016
2016

Many of the revelations drawn from Native culture are presented through Walker’s words and deeds, which run through plot and dialogue like a bright thread.  He is likeable – if often cryptic – and has admirably managed to reconcile himself to life as a cripple without surrendering to his disability.  His wry sense of humor is often driven by the contrasts between his culture and Connor’s, but their banter is always marked by mutual respect.

Walker’s age-old, low-tech resolutions for otherwise unsolvable dilemmas continually call into question not only the limits of technology, but the values which drive today’s techno-focused society.

It hard to imagine two characters more well-suited to engage in such a dialogue, or to guide readers through the discourse more invitingly.

Gray Sea Running cover 2018
2018

These books honor the tradition of the great ’40’s and ’50’s mystery novelists.  In McMillen’s tales there are no psychic profilers, CSI forensics, or electronic surveillance, and yet despite their old-fashioned reliance on little more than intuition and powers of deduction they are as contemporary as the war on terrorism.

The Dan Connor books are more than simple mysteries.  They are odes to the natural beauty and symbiosis of a world unspoiled by modern civilization, and to a Native race that has always respected it and understood its place in it.

Find all four of them here on Amazon.

Check out the complete listing of RiberasAuthors by genre here.

(Posted by Antonio Ramblés.)

 

(Post by Antonio Ramblés.)

Moveable feasts

Collected short stories and poems offer readers a virtual buffet of writers and works, and  the five collections featured below serve up tasting menus of prose and poetry by 26 Riberas Authors.  A delightfully wide array of genres, subject matter, and styles will leave any reader hard-pressed not to find at least one new favorite among them.  And, the Riberas Authors catalogue of nearly 100 Amazon titles allows readers to go back for a full serving of their favorites.


Agave MariasAgave Marias

The women authors of this book describe themselves as “border crossers and boundary breakers” and “women who have lived their lives with a certain boldness”.  Their work says the same.

By Nina Discombe, Judy Dykstra-Brown, Harriet Hart, Teresa Kendrick, Gloria Marthai, Susan Q. Miller, Zofia Barisas, Dory Jones, Gloria Palazzo, Amelia Stevens.

Find it here on Amazon.

 

All Our Words Needed Saying


All Our Words Needed Saying

These 21 stories, each followed by a poem, address points of change in women’s lives; power, sensuality and the erotic; motherhood, childbirth and abortion; and grief and loss.

By Zofia Barisas, Carol D. Bradley, Ilsa Picazo, Patricia Hemingway, Janice Kimball, R. J. McMillen, Glenda Roman, Margaret Van Every.

Find it here on Amazon.

Embracing The Fog


Embracing the Fog.  Four writers explore the lives of characters at life’s crossroads in short stories set on four continents and spanning more than a century. The authors’ distinctive voices lend an engaging variety of perspectives to the crossroads theme.

By Robert Bruce Drynan, Mel Goldberg, Antonio Ramblés, James Tipton.

Find it here on Amazon.


Mexico Sunlight & ShadowsMexico Sunlight & Shadows.  A collection of 22 short stories and essays by all about life in Mexico.

Authors include Janice Kimball, Judy King, Antonio Ramblés, James Tipton

Find it here on Amazon.

 

 

Romancing the Muse


Romancing the Muse. 

By the Not Yet Dead Poets SocietyJudy Dykstra-Brown, Bill Frayer, Mel Goldberg, James Tipton, Margaret Van Every, Michael Warren, Kenneth Salzman

Find it here on Amazon.

Check out the complete listing of RiberasAuthors by genre here.

(Post by Antonio Ramblés.)

 

Wall to wall books

Book cover wallpaperIf all of the Amazon books by Riberas authors were displayed side by side on the shelves of a single bookstore, they would take up an entire wall!

Now there’s a RiberasAuthors page on Pinterest which does exactly that!  It displays covers of more than 100 books publish by more than 40 authors (more author and book listings continually added!)

Check it out the complete display here on Pinterest!

New life for legacy works

Many  Ribera Authors’ books first appeared in print as limited editions that survive today only in private libraries and used bookstores.

Thanks to Amazon, editions of these works are becoming available to readers worldwide and appear for the first time on Kindle.

The late James Tipton‘s  collection of short poems titled Washing Dishes In The Ancient Village is only one of his earlier books later republished on Amazon.  (Each poem appears both in English and Spanish.)

Here’s a 2009 YouTube clip of Jim discussing the work’s genesis and reading from it.

Browse local authors – and find links to their Amazon books and reviews – in our Authors Gallery.

 

They just can’t stop writing!

Many people are surprised to learn that more than 150 works by Chapala Lakeside writers are now available on Amazon!  Most have been published in recent years, and their genres include novels, poetry, humor, and memoirs.  Check out the growing list of these authors right here, and click on any author’s name to find the full listing of their work.  Don’t forget to check back, because more listings are being added almost weekly!