Looking Forward to Seeing You!

On Christmas Eve, 2020, I was in surgery for the removal of pancreatic cancer. It’s been a long haul since then, but I’ve managed to finish two manuscripts. I finally feel like I can join the human race again, and am super excited to go to Left Coast Crime in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in April. I’m bringing with me AERDON MANOR MURDERS, the first book of my new, second series, LISI PENDLETON MYSTERIES.

My first series, CALI MAY MYSTERIES, will also have a new book, GHOSTS IN PARADISE. This will be the 7th book in this series. So many of my favorite authors have written new books, and I expect to come home with huge TBR pile. But I am most excited to see everyone, participate in the panels, and host a table at the banquet. Let’s hope we’re all able to attend in person! I hope all of you are safe and healthy. ~ Wendy

Looking Forward to 2019!

Left Coast Crime 2019: A Whale of a Crime!

In March I will be attending Left Coast Crime 2019 in Vancouver, British Columbia. (Having just returned to our home in Florida, US, from a visit to family and friends in North Bay, Ontario, I can only hope Vancouver will be warmer!) I’m looking forward to meeting new and returning writers and friends. (I may even be included on a panel! I’ll keep you posted.) See you there. @leftcoastcrime @shortontimebooks #amwriting #writing #mystery #paranormal

Debut Mystery: Death Remembers

Anyone registered to attend who has not yet emailed in their book award nominations, please consider nominating my debut novel, Death Remembers, for ‘Best Debut Mystery,’ published in 2018 by Short on Time Books. So many wonderful books debut every year, there’s plenty to choose from! Please consider mine.

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Death Remembers, by Wendy Fallon

A year after the death of her husband, Arizona resident and recently retired California (Cali) May is feeling old, tired and obsolete. As she spirals out of emotional control, she begins to experience terrifying visions. Burdened not only with depression and overwhelming grief, but now also with learning to live with ghosts, she begins to use her new, controversial talent to uncover clues to past and current murders. Discovering her husband did not succumb to cancer, but was murdered, she enlists the help of Daniel Silvertree, a Native American Arizona State Park Ranger and the only one who doesn’t condemn her paranormal capabilities. Together they uncover the truth about the missing priceless Native American carvings, murder, and corporate corruption.

 

 

Death Remembers hits #1, Now Free!

Death Remembers #1

An amazing thing happened today!

The first book in my series, Cali May Mysteries, Death  Remembers, went to number one on Amazon in it’s category (Native American). Thank you to everyone who purchased, read, and/or reviewed it, and to all of you who have encouraged me to continue writing. And since it is a ghost story it is…

Free, just in time for Halloween!

Celebrate with me and download the first Cali May Mysteries book, Death Remembers, for free from Amazon, starting today, Oct. 25th, through Sunday, Oct. 28th. What better way to see if you enjoy a good haunted mystery set against the desert environment and history of Arizona, with a hint of romance. I’m hoping you will like the second book, Killing Rose, and the third book, Magnolia Murders, just as much.

 

Shake Up Your Six-Year-Old Inner Artist

ADULT COLORING CONTEST

RoadrunnerLeftTHB

Re-discover your Six-Year-Old Inner Artist by coloring my Road Runner and emailing him to me. You will receive a free e-book copy of Your Six-Year-Old Inner Artist Dream Journal, a Workbook, your artwork will be posted to this website, and you will be entered to have your piece appear on my next Workbook cover, Drawing the American Southwest (2016) along with an acknowledgment of your contribution.*

  1. Print out my Road Runner above,
  2. Color it in any medium you prefer,
  3. Take a photo of your finished artwork,
  4. Email it to me at fallondesigns@cox.net.

Discover, re-discover and strengthen your six-year-old inner artist by attempting an activity you never thought you’d try or enjoy, and surprise yourself!

* Visit my website, http://www.wendyfallon.com, for details and terms. Contest deadline 12/31/2015.

~ Wendy

See you at the WriteNow! 2015 Writers Conference

When: August 14-15, 2015
Where: Scottsdale, AZ
Details: http://desertsleuths.com/conference

I’m thrilled to be attending the Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths WriteNow! 2015 Writers Conference. I’ll be there with examples of my own work, and expect to come home with the very best writing tips from several talented speakers!

PROJECT UPDATES

Using ME diagrams for plotting

Using ME diagrams for plotting

~ Using ME Diagrams for Plotting ~

I thrive on learning new things, and I am currently applying my creative process, introduced in my book My Six-Year-Old Inner Artist, Everybody has one! to writing my first novel. As an artist, I find anything I can design visually, works best. Using a variation on bubble diagrams, I’ve been developing my plot, characters, relationships and action arc with ME diagrams.

~ Death on Devil’s Mountain ~

An American Southwest paranormal murder mystery ~ California May, recently retired and widowed, is searching for anything to help her feel strong, confident, or even relevant again. During one of the worst monsoons of the season, she experiences the inexplicable – a horrifying yet pleading manifestation of the brooding desert mountain behind her house. Just as she begins to think her overwhelming grief and feelings of obsolescence have pushed her over the edge of sanity, she awakes one morning to a dead body, washed up on the concrete shore of the dark ribbon of water in the canal adjacent to her property.

Planting Grass in the Desert & Bird-Doggin’

When we moved into our new-to-us house last year I wasn’t sure I would like it. One year later, both Tim and I are celebrating life in what has become a comfortable and secure home. What made the difference?

The most amazing things about this home include grass in the backyard and the multitude of hummingbirds that live along the canal that runs behind us. But best of all, this home has actually improved our lives in ways I could not imagine.

I’ve always had my writing and art to keep me busy and enrich my life, but Tim and I have had very few activities in the last several years that we could enjoy together. Tim had almost nothing outside of work at which he could relax and enjoy…until he became intrigued with nurturing and creating a lawn…growing grass.

He rakes, sprays weeds, waters and inspects just about every blade of grass in the backyard…and beware all birds! If caught feasting on the banquet of multiple layers of grass seed you will be subject to sudden scare tactics. Tim fully expects all of us to take part in protecting his domain…including Daisy, our mini-doxie.

So, the positives about this home are the creation of hobbies: creating a beautiful green lawn for Tim, caring for and feeding the hummers for the both of us, and bird-doggin’ for Daisy. Except Daisy isn’t into bird-doggin’…she just enjoys watching Daddy dash outside and run around the yard flapping his arms.

Twisted Strength

I had the opportunity to sit at the back of my yard in the shade and enjoy a cooling breeze. While there I drew the mesquite tree below that grows along the canal. It is home to a very active community of ground squirrels.

I’ve written about how much I like these trees before, but this one is amazingly gnarled and twisted. Such character and strength this tree exudes!

Curiously, when planted as part of a landscape design in the American Southwest, it is recommended that the canopy be trimmed approximately 20% before the monsoon season to force its roots to go deep in search of water. This would prevent the wind gusts of the monsoon storms from grabbing hold of the canopy and twisting it in all directions or even causing the tree to be uprooted.

I don’t believe this tree has ever been trimmed, except by the ground squirrels while munching on the canopy up as far as their 8-12” stance on hind legs can reach. I suspect this tree has held up to the wind all on its own, twisting its trunk into amazing expressions. I love this show of strength, and the cooperative function between the tree, its environment, and the ground squirrel clan.

Love…Hate…Love!

The Arizona temperatures are cooling down. They now measure in the high 90’s F during the day and 70’s F at night. It still sounds hot, but is a definite improvement.

By about the second week in October, temps will fall out of the 90’s into the 70’s and 80’s during the day for the remainder of the winter. It’s this time of year everyone visits and/or moves to the American Southwest.

At the beginning of every winter I pledge never to leave, and during every summer I can’t bear to spend another day in the heat. Everyone excuses the unbearable summers with ‘at least it’s a dry heat,’ and ‘you don’t have to shovel it!’ But it can kill you. Really.

As the searing desert heat begins to cool, the landscape shows signs of a second spring. Flowers begin to blossom again and desert creatures come out during the day, including humans. It becomes a paradise hard to resist. I am impressed all over again by the abundance of life; blossoms of unbelievable brilliance and flurries of birds of all kinds. 

As the heat becomes yet again a memory, I begin to fall in love with the desert all over again.


‘Canyon Light’ © Wendy Fallon
watercolor

Unexpected Rewards

This past weekend we went adventuring again. My daughter, grandson and I drove from Phoenix north to Prescott to visit a park called Watson Woods. We packed a picnic lunch and expected to find a picnic table in the shade by a small lake around lunch time.

By the time we reached Prescott, 7-year-old Cameron let us know in no uncertain terms that a picnic lunch didn’t hold quite the excitement that a cheese burger did, and after much discussion, we stopped for fast food.

 At that point I didn’t know how much interest ‘nature’ would hold for a contemporary child of his age. I sincerely hoped we would stumble across a snake or a toad.

There are two kinds of outdoor parks. There’s the kind that have shade trees, picnic tables and bathrooms fifty feet from the parking lot and to which you could easily take your Grandmother or toddler. Or there’s the kind with no facilities and you need to carry a bottle of water for each person, and pack your pockets full of bug spray, sun block and toilet paper. Watson Woods turned out to be the second, and we had to pay a fee to park ($2).

It turns out that this park is a hiking trail made from a previous railroad bed. It’s smooth and flat, and although it took us an hour to reach the lake, it was worth every step. Advancing towards the lake from the parking lot, we suddenly broke out of the woods and marshland into pristine rolling hills, wildflowers, and the sight of the entire lake from end to end. With not a cloud in the sky and a variety of wildlife which included gray squirrels, quail, lizards, dragonflies, jumping fish and a mix of water fowl, even Cameron was impressed. We also came across a small family of sleek, healthy and happy cows, with a baby, and two horses, grazing in a private alpine-beautiful field adjacent to the trail. The awe-inspiring scenery made me reach for my camera, which I’d forgotten to bring. 

Getting back to the car took some real effort, and we all agreed it was a good thing we’d stopped to eat before our hike. We would have never been able to carry our cooler all the way to the lake and back! As it was, the picnic lunch was eaten before we reached home, as some of us had worked up quite an appetite.

We’re looking forward to returning, and being much better prepared.

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Doves of a Different Feather


When my husband and I moved to Arizona from the East Coast in 1995, I was horrified to discover the popular practice of ‘dove hunting season.’

These small, grey and gentle birds with the distinctive call are known as mourning doves. To be perfectly honest, I never knew if they were ‘morning’ or ‘mourning,’ but to me they will always be ‘mourning.’

They were literally a voice from my childhood. As a child I would spend nights with my grandparents. I would climb out of bed early in the morning and hear the dove calls through the open windows. Grandma’s yard backed up to the Church cemetery, where my Uncle was buried and his gravesite could be seen from the house. That is where the doves lived.

Since then I’ve always associated these birds with reverence and peace, and to a lonely child and perhaps even to my Uncle, companionship.

How was I to know that in the American Southwest, many other parts of the U.S. and the world, they were used as living targets?! I refuse to relinquish my benevolent childhood memory.