Tag Archives: Hillerman

Young Adult Novel – A First Attempt – by Deborah J Ledford

I’m taking a breather from writing my suspense thriller series to attempt a Young Adult novel. This is a first for me on several levels. Although a majority of my stories that appear in print publications and anthologies are considered traditional mysteries, and many of them feature kids, these characters have strictly been secondary characters.

You writers out there know it’s impossible to ignore the words screaming in your head to be written, or the characters urging you to write about them. This time around two teenagers have captured my imagination—and there’s no denying them.

I attended a YA panel at the ThrillerFest Conference last month and asked who determines if a novel will be offered as a YA book or for the adult market. I mentioned John Hart’s The Last Child as an example. This fantastic novel features a 13-year-old boy in search of his sister’s killer, and yet is not marketed as a YA novel. It seems to be up to the publisher as to which category a novel will be exhibited. The darkness in tone seems to be a determining factor as well.

In order to figure out what is an unknown market to me I’ve been reading published novels to make sure I’m on track. The Hunger Games is a fantastic book in Suzanne Collins’ series—and yet it is quite dark and doom an gloom sets the pace. Sophie Littlefield makes a departure from her compelling A Bad Day For… mystery series with her YA novel Banished, and her dystopia series beginning with Rebirth.

The little novel I’m writing is much different than any of these books mentioned, yet I hope it will be of interest to younger readers looking for a bit of an escape. I know it has been one for me, and a pleasure to write as well.

How about you out there? Writers, do you enjoy departing from what you normally write to work on words of a different genre? And you readers, does it matter to you when one of your favorite authors presents a book other than what they normally write for you?

Deborah J Ledford’s latest suspense thriller novel SNARE, The Hillerman Sky Award Finalist, is book two of her Deputy Hawk/Inola Walela thriller series. STACCATO, book one of the serial, is also available. Both novels are published by Second Wind Publishing.


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SNARE – Award Update

Well, SNARE didn’t win The Hillerman Sky Award at Left Coast Crime (LCC) 2011 in Santa Fe. I’m not disappointed though—still thrilled to have been nominated along with multi-published authors Sandi Ault, Margaret Coel and Christine Barber.

Margaret Coel received the Best Mystery That Epitomizes the Southwest honor, well deserved due to her longtime friendship of Tony Hillerman and popular author to New Mexico attendees. Margaret is a great storyteller and her keynote interview with the absolutely incredible writer Craig Johnson was a highlight of the convention.

The entire journey has been a wild ride and one I’ll never forget. Not only was this honor the pinnacle of my writing career to date, I had the opportunity to spend time with nominees in other categories. My friends Kris Neri (finalist in the Humorous Mystery category The Lefty), Rebecca Cantrell and Kelli Stanley (both up for the Bruce Alexander Historical Mystery Award) were there to help calm my nerves and convince me I wouldn’t disappear (or faint) due to all the attention.

Fellow Sisters in Crime members from chapters all around the nation were also there to support me. Without the gracious votes and support from the Sisters and Misters SNARE would never have received the nomination.

Book two of the Steven Hawk/Inola Walela series takes place in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina where I spent my summers growing up, and the Taos Pueblo Indian reservation. Both locations are dear to me and I am fortunate and blessed to have the opportunity to present to readers the incredible places that have sculpted me into the person I currently am.

Second Wind Publishing has been very kind to this author and SNARE as well. When Santa Fe, New Mexico’s location for this year’s LCC was announced I pushed hard to get the book released in time to receive a late December 2010 copyright so it would qualify for the one-time opportunity for Hillerman Sky Award consideration. Somehow they pulled this off and I couldn’t be more grateful to publisher Mike Simpson and his staff.

And big thanks to Pat Bertram who always does a fabulous job promoting Second Wind authors and their books. Pat’s newest release Light Bringer is now available and I know you will all love her words.

Even bigger thanks to those of you who have read SNARE and/or STACCATO. For those of you who have an interest to do so, the first pages of both novels are available as free downloads on my website.

Deborah J Ledford’s latest novel SNARE, The Hillerman Sky Award Finalist, is book two of her Deputy Hawk/Inola Walela thriller series. STACCATO, book one of the serial, is also available. Both novels are published by Second Wind Publishing.


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What’s Up?

  I’m getting ready to make a few personal appearances to promote the release of my latest thriller novel SNARE, released by Second Wind Publishing. To date, SNARE has received four extremely favorable reviews and I couldn’t be more proud of the reception readers are giving the work. I’ve nearly run out of the first box of books from the publisher and am awaiting more for me to have available at the Left Coast Crime 2011 Convention in Santa Fe later this month.

I’m having a bit of trouble making contact with bookstores that will be represented at the conference—only one vendor seems to want to commit to handling books before the conference so it looks like I’ll be lugging a lot of copies with me.

A bookstore owner in Taos wants to meet with me while I’m in New Mexico, so that’s exciting. I sent a preview copy of SNARE and hopefully they will want me to make a personal appearance there this summer as well.

I also need to get to Winston-Salem and make an appearance at Barnhill’s Bookstore and say hello to the folks there. Since they’re affiliated with Second Wind and my books’ locations are set in North Carolina I hope there will be a warm reception and that we can sell a lot of SNARE and STACCATO.

Several fan letters have even come my way. I love to receive these–and to know that readers are enjoying the continuation of Steven Hawk’s journey, even though SNARE does feature a completely different theme and female lead.

Unfortunately due to working hard on promotion, I haven’t had the opportunity to actually write much of anything the past few months. I did finish the first draft of a short story for the upcoming Desert Sleuths Chapter Sisters in Crime anthology, but haven’t had the opportunity to work on my traditional mystery . . . which looks to be turning out to be more of a YA novel.

Deborah J Ledford’s latest novel SNARE is a nominee for The Hillerman Sky Award at Left Coast Crime 2011. STACCATO is book one of her Deputy Hawk/Inola Walela thriller series. Both novels are published by Second Wind Publishing. To find out more about Deborah, receive a Free Download of the first chapters of her novels, and to read a few previously published short stories, she invites you to visit her website.


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SNARE – New Release Appearances

Well, it’s official. SNARE did indeed receive the nomination for The Hillerman Sky Award. I’ll know its fate at the Left Coast Crime Convention in Santa Fe, NM March 24-27.

I received my box of books from the publisher last week, therefore that makes everything real for me. So now the urgency to spread the word about SNARE has become my number one priority. Here’s where I am with promotion so far:

Due to the dedicated and hard working staff at Second Wind, SNARE is now available on Amazon, for the Kindle, and other e-reader formats via Smashwords.

Personally, I was successful in getting Book Two of the Deputy Hawk/Inola Walela thriller series into the Poisoned Pen which is the finest mystery bookstore in the Phoenix area. The Well Red Coyote Bookstore in Sedona, AZ will also carry the book.

I’m featured in the Suspense Magazine article “Femme Fatales of Phoenix” along with Leslie Kohler and Robin Cain. Pretty wild to go to their website and see my name on the cover of an international print magazine. A review of SNARE also appears in this February issue. I’m still anxiously awaiting my copy but the article’s writer, Mark Sadler, assures me the review is glowing.

The most beautiful North Carolina print magazine Our State has requested a copy of SNARE to review. I spent my summers growing up in NC and one of the main locations of this novel takes place in the Great Smoky Mountains. The other main location is New Mexico’s Taos Pueblo Indian reservation so I’ve been hitting NM publications as well. I’ve had requests from the Albuquerque Journal newspaper and Taos News, and am awaiting approval to send review copies to other pubs in NM.

February 26th I’ll be appearing with Eric Beetner, another Second Wind author, at The Well Red Coyote where we will present what is sure to be the very cool workshop “The criminally complex relationship of Editor and Writer—an insider’s look at the editing process.”

A guest appearance is scheduled for the Romancing-the-Book blog Q&A (also Feb. 26th—that’ll be a very busy day), and I’ve promised an article to the great mystery writers site Murder By 4 Blog.

March will be even busier. 12-13 I’ll be at the Sisters in Crime Chapter Desert Sleuths booth at the Tucson Festival of Books. I’ve never attended this event so don’t know what to expect, but it’s touted to be the fourth largest book fair in the nation.

Then comes the Left Coast Crime 2011 convention in Santa Fe, March 24-27. I’ve been anxiously waiting for this ever since the location was announced. I’ll be appearing on the panel “Writing Diversity” with the fabulous Gar Anthony Haywood and a few other big time authors who write multi-cultural characters.

The past couple of weeks have been a wild ride—surreal, exciting and quite unbelievable at times. I’m holding on and enjoying every minute.

Do you readers out there attend personal signings and authors’ events? And for the writers, do you make a push to schedule appearances and other promotion for your new releases?

Deborah J Ledford’s latest novel SNARE is a nominee for The Hillerman Sky Award at Left Coast Crime 2011. STACCATO is book one of her Deputy Hawk/Inola Walela thriller series. Both novels are published by Second Wind Publishing. To find out more about her and to read a few previously published short stories, she invites you to visit: www.DeborahJLedford.com.


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Snare by Deborah J Ledford

Title:                  SNARE
Author:            Deborah J Ledford
Publisher:        Second Wind Publishing
Release Date: December 21, 2011
ISBN#               13: 978-1935171577 


One rock star sensation.
Two men from her past want her dead.
Three others will risk everything to keep her safe.
Who will be caught in a trap?

SNARE – Revenge with a beat 

Native American pop singer/songwriter Katina Salvo’s career is about to take off.  There’s one problem: someone wants to kill her. Katina and her bodyguard, Deputy Steven Hawk, are attacked during an altercation at her first live concert. Could the assailant be a mysterious, dangerous man from her youth? Or her estranged father recently released from prison for killing her mother? 

Performed against the backdrop of the picturesque Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, and the mysterious Taos Pueblo Indian reservation, SNARE is a thriller fans of Tony Hillerman will appreciate. SNARE is Book Two of the Steven Hawk/Inola Walela thriller series.


Katina nodded, thinking about the possibilities. She took up the moccasin Sylvie had been working on and ran a finger over the colorful beads. She knew her aunt held confessions from innumerable Pueblo people who had confided in her over the years, many of them long dead, their confidences still locked in Sylvie’s reverence. Katina cursed the stubborn pride that always steered her aunt’s conscience. All she could do was wait and hope Sylvie would reveal the hidden mysteries of Taima and her mother.

She knew she needed to be cautious as to how to begin, but instead, she blurted, “When did you last see Taima?”

Sylvie stubbed out the cigarette, her eyes on the winking red coal extinguishing in the saucer. “Friday night.”

The ringing grew louder in Katina’s ears. Her eyes scanned the floor as she whispered, “That can’t be.”

Sylvie motioned her head toward the front room, to the closed front door. “He was standing in the field, across the way. Just before sundown.”

The vision of Taima in the front row of the theatre entered Katina’s mind. “But he was at the theatre. I saw him in the wings, then during the concert. He’s the one who attacked Hawk.”

“That’s not true. Can’t be true.”

Leaning in close, Katina took Sylvie’s hand. “It is. You’re mistaken about seeing him. It was probably one of the Gomez brothers. They look a lot like him.”

“I know my husband, Katina.” Sylvie ripped her hand away.

“It was him, Sylvie. I smelled the campfire smoke in his hair and the leather of his boots as he stood over me with a knife in his hand dripping with Hawk’s blood.”

“I can’t . . . won’t believe that.”

“Hawk and I are going to find out the truth.”

“So that’s why you’ve brought him here.”

Katina held Sylvie’s anxious gaze, but didn’t speak.

“Most say Taima’s topepe. But . . .” Sylvie’s words, barely above a whisper, trailed off.

“He’s more than a troublemaker, Auntie. He’s a plague on the Pueblo. Cutting down viable trees instead of using fallen ones to make his precious drums. Hunting whenever and wherever he damned well pleases.” Katina leaned forward to study Sylvie who kept her eyes on the coffee mug. “You still love him, don’t you?”

Sylvie didn’t meet Katina’s eyes and she knew the truth.

“He blames me for my mother’s death. How can you love someone who hates me so much?”

“That was a long time ago, Kat. You don’t know him, now.”

Katina rose from the chair. “Oh, I know him. He’s just like my father. Both of them will stop at nothing to destroy me. If not my body, my soul.”

Katina bent over to kiss the top of Sylvie’s head. Katina closed her eyes, inhaling the scent of sage shampoo coming from her aunt’s hair. Resting her cheek on Sylvie’s shiny crown, she said, “If anything happens to me while I’m here, I won’t stand in Hawk’s way to make things right.”

Katina knelt down and with her fingertips, lifted Sylvie’s chin upward to meet her aunt’s dark eyes. “You can tell Taima that the next time you see him standing in the field, across the way.”


Deborah J Ledford’s latest suspense thriller SNARE received the nomination for The Hillerman Sky Award. STACCATO is Book One of her Deputy Hawk/Inola Walela series, both released by Second Wind Publishing. She spent her summers growing up in the Great Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina which is the setting for her suspense thriller novels and many of her short stories.
As well as a suspense thriller novelist, Deborah J Ledford is a three-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize. Her award-winning short stories appear in numerous print publications as well as literary and mystery anthologies. She is most proud of her stories that appear in the Sisters in Crime Chapter Desert Sleuths anthologies How NOT to Survive a Vacation and How NOT to Survive the Holidays (DS Publishing, 2009, 2010) and “The Spot” which is featured in Murder in the Wind (Second Wind Publishing, 2010). To find out more about Deborah, read the first chapters of SNARE and STACCATO, and a few of her previously published short stories, she invites you to visit her website

Click here to buy: Snare

Click here to read the first chapter: Snare 

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