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2022 New Releases for SWW Authors #3

Joseph Badal, Fil A. Chavez, Charlene Bell Dietz, Lynn Ellen Doxon, and Katayoun Medhat represent the diverse membership of SouthWest Writers (SWW) with books published in a variety of genres in 2022. Their new releases couldn’t fit in this year’s interview schedule, but look for 2023 interviews or updates for many of these authors.

A list of interviewed SWW authors with 2022 releases is included at the end of this post.

Everything to Lose (Lassiter/Martinez Case Files Book 4, Suspense Publishing, September 2022) by Joseph Badal. The thriller pits New Mexico homicide detectives Barbara Lassiter and Susan Martinez against a duo of mass murderers terrorizing Albuquerque, New Mexico…and then their arch-nemesis, Lisa French, targets the detectives for murder. Inspired by actual events, Everything to Lose is an edge-of-the-seat thriller built on a foundation of characters from previous books in the series, including Lisa French, a psychopathic murderer in her own right.

For all of Joe’s books, go to his Amazon author page.

Unused Towels (August 2022) by Fil A. Chavez. The book reveals how one person was guided by God to share why life is worth staying alive. A collection of refreshingly honest, real-life stories, Unused Towels describes inspiring, thought-provoking incidents in the author’s life…some will bring laughter, some will evoke tears, others will elicit deep thinking. Some of the narratives in this book touch on deeply serious topics since one focus of the book is to shed light on suicidal depression. The author offers encouraging thoughts from his own personal experience, especially to those who have lost a loved one to suicide. The book contains humorous, uplifting, and entertaining stories that emphasize how great and loving God is.

You’ll find Unused Towels on Amazon.

The Spinster, the Rebel, and the Governor: Margaret Brent Pre-Colonial Maryland 1638-1648 (Quill Mark Press, September 2022) by Charlene Bell Dietz. Move over Susan B. Anthony. There’s an unsung woman asking for the vote 224 years before you. In 1638, Lady Margaret Brent, Catholic spinster in Protestant England, headstrong and subversive, teaches Catholic women reading, mathematics, and Latin. If the king’s men uncover her seditious deeds, she’ll face the gallows. Margaret Brent flees to the New World where she transitions from a privileged life to one of privations. There she faces the truth of life in Maryland and determines to fight injustice by being a voice in court for others. The American Bar Association each year honors five deserving women attorneys with their prestigious Margaret Brent Award.

Visit Charlene on her website at The Spinster, the Rebel, and the Governor is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Bookshop.

Ninety Day Wonder (Becoming the Greatest Generation Book 1, Artemesia Publishing, September 2022) by Lynn Ellen Doxon. Gene Sinclair’s life’s goal was to become a medical doctor, to get away from the tedium of teaching high school chemistry. But as World War II looms, Sinclair is drafted and sent to the ninety-day Officer’s Training School. Commissioned as an antiaircraft artillery officer, Sinclair struggles to come to grips with his duty as an officer and to Sarah Gale, the new love of his life, as she joins the WAACs. The war separates the young lovers when Sinclair’s unit is shipped to Australia. There he continues training to fight the Japanese and adapt to the challenges of jungle warfare. Sent for specialized training in Darwin, Sinclair experiences the harsh reality of war during a Japanese air raid on the city.

Ninety Day Wonder is for sale on Amazon. Go to Lynn’s author page at Artemesia Publishing for links to other retailers.

Flyover Country (Leapfrog Press, September 2022) by Katayoun Medhat. The Mesa, eyrie of the ancient Pueblan ancestors, casts its shadow over small-town Milagro, where old-time ranchers and thrusting incomers converge in the common cause of profiteering from the land. Charged with mediating a seemingly innocuous dispute about a slain miniature horse, K is caught in the titanic, merciless clash between Old and New West. To make matters worse, Robbie Begay may be turning from friend to foe commodifying sacred traditions for the benefit of cultural tourism. As his heroes morph into villains and his villains stay villains, K’s customary position between a rock and a hard place suddenly becomes much more precarious.

You’ll find Katayoun on her website at Look for Flyover Country at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

SWW Author Interviews: 2022 Releases

E. Joe Brown
A Cowboy’s Destiny (Artemesia Publishing, August 2022)

Chuck Greaves
The Chimera Club (Tallow Lane Books, May 2022)

Melody Groves
Trail to Tin Town (Five Star Publishing, June 2022)
Before Billy the Kid: The Boy Behind the Legendary Outlaw (Two Dot Publishing, August 2022)

Joyce Hertzoff
Winds of Change (August 2022)

Ed Lehner
Grandpa’s Horse and Other Tales (AIA Publishing, March 2022)

Cassie Sanchez
Embracing the Darkness (October 2022)

Avraham “Avi” Shama
Cyberwars — David Knight Goes To Moscow (3rd Coast Books, May 2022)

KLWagoner150_2KL Wagoner (writing as Cate Macabe) is the author of This New Mountain: a memoir of AJ Jackson, private investigator, repossessor, and grandmother. Kat posts to a speculative fiction blog at and writes about memoir at

Author Update: Joseph Badal

Best-selling, award-winning author Joseph Badal uses his experience as an officer in the U.S. military to craft believable and compelling stories. His publishing credits include dozens of articles and short stories, as well as twelve mystery/suspense/thrillers (soon to be thirteen) split between three series and three standalone novels. The six-book Danforth Saga takes readers (and the Danforth family) through the wringer of international intrigue. His Lassiter/Martinez Case Files pits a pair of female detectives against relentless criminals, and The Cycle of Violence series deals with the timely topic of human trafficking. You’ll find Joe on his website, his Everyday Heroes blog, and his Amazon author page.

Sins of the Fathers (Suspense Publishing, 2017) is the sixth novel in the Danforth Saga thriller series. How do you keep the Danforth stories fresh, for you as well as readers?
I’ve thought a lot about this issue and came to the conclusion that building the series brand on the backs of Bob and Liz Danforth alone would be a mistake. In order to refresh the series, I now have Bob and Liz’s son, Michael, and grandson, Robbie, playing more active roles. Bob and Liz are still integral to the plot lines, but they now share the spotlight with the next two generations.

What was the inspiration for this book? How did you go about weaving a complex plot that spans the globe?
As with most of my novels, my story in Sins of the Fathers is topical and timely. The conflicts in the Middle East and continued terrorist events in the West and in the Middle East continue to be front and center in the news, so I centered the plot around that theme. I also wanted to introduce Robbie as a bigger player than he was in the previous two Danforth Saga novels, and Sins of the Fathers provided the perfect platform.

You describe the main characters in your books as everyday people. What “everyday” characteristics do your protagonists possess that readers will relate to?
Readers are everyday people. Even those readers who may have performed heroic acts are still everyday people, not superheroes. Protagonists who leap tall buildings in a single bound and dodge bullets are literary superheroes who have no relationship to real people. My protagonists tend to be loyal, have character, and—most of the time—do the right thing. I believe the everyday reader can relate to that type of character.

What was the most rewarding aspect of writing Dark Angel (Suspense Publishing, 2017), the second book in your Lassiter/Martinez detective series?
I received so much positive feedback about Borderline, in which I introduced Barbara Lassiter and Susan Martinez as detective partners, that I was anxious to bring them back. Dark Angel gave me the opportunity to convert Borderline from a standalone mystery to the first in a series. The most rewarding aspects of writing Dark Angel are the challenge of writing from a female perspective and the wonderful reviews and feedback I’ve received.

For the Lassiter/Martinez series, why did you choose two female detectives as your main characters versus the alternatives (one main character/different gender choices)?
I try to avoid consecutively writing books in a series. Stepping away from a series, moving to something new, and taking on a challenge are ways to clean my creative palette. Writing a mystery not only offered a challenge, but it caused me to think about doing something different, if not unique, from what’s out there today. Creating a detective team versus a single protagonist seemed like a way to differentiate my story from 99 percent of all the other books out there. And moving from male protagonists to female offered intrinsic challenges that gave me a great amount of satisfaction.

Has your writing style changed since you wrote your first novel?
I think the biggest change in style is that my writing has become less wordy and flowery and more economical. I attempt to write in a way that will avoid the reader stopping to question why I wrote something the way I did. Causing a reader to pause in his consumption of a book can lead to losing that reader.

Of all the books you’ve written, which one was the most challenging, and which one was the easiest (or most enjoyable) to write?
My first novel, The Pythagorean Solution (Suspense Publishing, 2015), was definitely the most challenging because I was learning to write on the fly, with almost no formal training and, obviously, no experience. As far as the most challenging novel I’ve written, I would say it’s always the most recent one I wrote. This is because I know more about writing with each new book, which creates new challenges. I also feel that my most recent book is also the one I enjoy writing the most.

You’ve taught several writing classes over the years. What do many beginning writers misunderstand about telling a story?
The biggest failing I see among beginning writers is that they believe all that is necessary to be published and to be successful is to tell a good story. A good story is the minimum requirement for success. But beyond that, the writer must learn that writing is a craft and that honing that craft is a continual process. I had to learn this the hard way. Today, after I finish the first draft of a manuscript, I spend months editing that manuscript (usually 6-8 edits). In the editing process, I challenge the necessity and appropriateness of every word and make adjustments accordingly. This is a time-consuming, arduous process, but once finished, it adds to the satisfaction of writing.

Who are your favorite authors, and what do you admire most about their writing?
My list of favorites is too long to publish here. But, just to name a few, they include Robert Ludlum, Bernard Cornwell, David Morrell, Tony Hillerman, Carl Hiasson, James Lee Burke, Steve Brewer, Elmore Leonard, Steven Pressfield, and James Clavell. What I admire most about all of these writers is that they have developed their unique voice that differentiates them.

What writing projects are you working on now?
I just completed the eighth edit of Obsessed, the second book in my Cycle of Violence series. It will be released in May of this year. I also just finished the seventh edit of a standalone thriller titled Second Chances and am in a rewrite of the third book (Retribution) in my Lassiter/Martinez series.

Find out more about Joe and his writing in his 2016 interview for SouthWest Writers.

KLWagoner150_2KL Wagoner (writing as Cate Macabe) is the author of This New Mountain: a memoir of AJ Jackson, private investigator, repossessor, and grandmother. She has a new speculative fiction blog at and writes about memoir at

An Interview with Author Joseph Badal

Author Joseph Badal’s passion for writing was seeded in the tales his father told in which Joe and his siblings were the heroes. In addition to ten novels, Joe has published dozens of articles and short stories, and writes a column for his blog focusing on an Everyday Hero each month. His newest book, The Motive (Suspense Publishing, 2016), is the first in a trilogy that deals with human trafficking. You can find him on his website at, his Amazon author page, and his SouthWest Writers’ author page.

themotive200What is your elevator pitch for The Motive?
When Doctor Matt Curtis flies from Albuquerque to Honolulu to bury his sister—a supposed suicide—he unearths reasons to question the coroner’s findings into his sister’s death. His search for the truth leads him into the dark and dangerous world of police corruption, human trafficking, and drug smuggling.

What unique challenges did this work pose for you?
The Motive is based upon actual events that happened to a friend of mine and to his sister. I wanted to keep the storyline true to those events but, at the same time, inject enough fiction into the story to make it more attractive to the reader. Also, because the book includes a great deal of activity that revolves around human trafficking and drug smuggling, I needed to do significant amounts of research into both those topics.

What sparked the initial story idea for the book?
Friends often approach me with ideas for a book, but 99% of the time the ideas are less than stimulating. In this case, when a friend told me what happened to his sister in Hawaii, I was immediately enthused about the topic. In fact, when he mentioned the actual events to me while at a dinner party, it was all I could do not to get up and leave the party. I couldn’t wait to get home to begin writing.

Tell us a little about your main character. Did he surprise you as you wrote the story?
Matthew Curtis is an Albuquerque orthopedic surgeon in his early fifties. He is a hard-working, everyday kind of guy who lost his wife to cancer and is estranged from his two adopted sons. Although he served in Special Forces as a young man, there is nothing dramatic or heroic about his current existence. When he learns his sister’s death has been ruled a suicide, he initially accepts the ruling and is anxious to settle her affairs and return to New Mexico. But as he begins to suspect that his sister might have been murdered, he slowly changes. How Matt changed throughout the book was a surprise to me. He goes from being reluctant about digging up the real cause of his sister’s death to being an active and heroic participant in dealing with vicious criminals and corrupt officials.

Why did you decide to use the particular setting you chose?
As I mentioned already, the idea for this story came from a real-life story told to me by a friend. Actual events occurred in Hawaii, so it was a natural step in writing the book to place it in the Hawaiian Islands. I did extensive research into the demographics of Hawaii and into crime in Honolulu. I patterned my characters after people I’ve known and after actual Hawaiian criminals.

Was there anything surprising you discovered while doing research for this book?
I would have to say the biggest surprise for me was how angry I became while researching and writing The Motive. The more I dug into the topic of human trafficking, the angrier and more disgusted I became. I was shocked at how pervasive the crime of trafficking has become, and how commonly it occurs in the United States. I had always thought this was a crime committed by foreigners against foreigners, in foreign lands. I was mistaken. As a result of my research, I vowed to write more about this subject and have now converted The Motive from a stand-alone thriller to the first book in a three-book series titled Cycle of Violence. The subsequent two books in the series are tentatively titled Obsessed and Final Justice.

Evil DeedsYou’ve written five thrillers in the Danforth Saga and two mysteries in the Lassiter/Martinez Case Files (one to be released in November 2016). What are the challenges of writing a series?
The biggest challenges in writing a series are keeping your main characters fresh for the reader and allowing your characters to continue to grow with each subsequent book in the series.

Looking back to the beginning of your writing career, what do you know now that you wish you’d known then?
I wish I had known early on that writing isn’t just about putting a good story on paper. A story must follow certain rules and must be “mechanically” well-structured.

What is your writing routine like?
I write every day, except during the 2-3 week periods before and after a book is released. I find myself so immersed in marketing and promotion around a new release that finding time to write is difficult. Although I have worked on two books at a time in the past, I try to avoid doing that today. I usually focus on one project at a time so that I can give that project my full attention.

BorderlineDo you have a message or a theme that recurs in your writing?
I try to avoid proselytizing and topics such as religion and partisan politics, although I do tend to denigrate politicians, in general. But the one item that comes through in all of my books is that my main characters are everyday people. They are never superheroes who leap tall buildings in a single bound. I want my readers to see themselves in my characters.

What are you working on now?
I am currently writing the 6th book in the Danforth Saga. It is tentatively titled Sins of the Fathers. I am also finishing the final edit of Dark Angel, the second book in the Lassiter/Martinez Case Files series, which will be released in November.

KLWagoner150_2KL Wagoner (writing as Cate Macabe) is the author of This New Mountain: a memoir of AJ Jackson, private investigator, repossessor, and grandmother. She has a new speculative fiction blog at and writes about memoir at

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