Archive for the ‘Mystery’ category

Dark Enchantment Binge

December 21, 2015

••Vanessa (witch) and Ethan (werewolf)••

I’m totally binge watching Penny Dreadful (Season 2). Why didn’t I discover this awesome series during Season 1? Love, mystery, enchantment, darkness, sex, spells… what’s not to like? It’s great to see this British-American horror story bring some of the best written monsters by some of the best authors to life. I also love the darkness of Eva Green. She plays a much different role than she did in my beloved 300: Rise of an Empire as Artemisia, but she still plays a bad ass. Time for bed. It’s after midnight again!

Quotes from Glorious Horrors [2.6]

Victor: It’s not without complications. That’s what they call the workings inside of watches. Did you know that? The intricate gears and mechanisms. Complications.

Vanessa: Then enjoy them, doctor. They will tick away no matter what we do.

Mr. Lyle: A dizzying panorama, isn’t it? All the toys of love are out of the box, scattered around the floor.

Vanessa: And at the end of the night, to be carefully put away. These terrible games.

Mr. Lyle: And do you ever play? Or only spectate?

Vanessa: I never learned the rules. The complications, as Dr. Frankenstein said to me, like the workings in a watch.

An Author Inspired by the “Keeper of the Records”

July 9, 2015

••∆ Susan McDuffie and Felicia Lujan in Albuquerque, New Mexico ∆••

I just adore Susan McDuffie. This New Mexico lady is an award winning mystery author who has been inspired to write by a connection to her ancestral lands and her family’s role as “Keeper of the Records.” Given my professional history, you know I have to love that right? How can I not adore a women who has an obvious admiration for record keepers and history?

Susan and I met up at a crime writing extravaganza a few weeks back. In 2011, she won the New Mexico Book Award for “Best Historical Novel.” In 2014, she was a finalist in both the Historical Fiction and Mystery categories. I do love me some creative women! What’s kinda funny is that over the last decade, a good handful of people from out-of-state have asked me if I’m Scottish because of my accent. Interesting… I know.

From Susan’s Medieval Mysteries web site

Susan’s childhood interest in Scotland was fueled by family stories of the McDuffie clan’s ancestral lands on Colonsay and their traditional role as “Keeper of the Records” for the Lords of the Isles. Although Keeper of the Records may in fact have been a tedious position, it all sounded incredibly mysterious and intriguing to Susan. On her first visit to Scotland she hitchhiked her way through the Hebrides. Her initial visit to Colonsay and the Oronsay Priory ruins planted the seeds for her medieval mysteries.

Crime Writing: Here is to a Killer Future

June 19, 2015


Yeah… I would say crime writing is a viable option for me. I knew that before I worked and attended day one of “Finding Your Inner Sleuth.” It was a great day. I love learning and with every bit of knowledge I get, I feel more and more empowered. I want to be both a physical and intellectual monster! I’ll be Queen of Iron and Ink!!!

All of the presenters did a great job today! I had such a good day. My bosses keep pushing me to write a book, and I’m getting closer to jumping. I love that I have found my place in the world of writers. I fit in there like hand-n-glove. I learned some interesting things from Detective Mark Manary, Christine Barber, Dr. Irene Blea, Laura Sanchez, and Don Bullis.


I’m looking forward to working in Albuquerque again tomorrow! I wanted to share some of the photos from today and a few of the more interesting things I learned. Here is to a killer future of crime writing!!!


Interesting things about Detective Mark Manary:

å He went into homicide work because he is the survivor of an unsolved cold case. In 1989, his father was murdered.

å His career in law enforcement started as a military cop with the Air Force.

√• He went to a Handwriting Analysis School, where he “learned so much about writing and the use of words.” 💜’ed that!!

å He is President of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP- Albuquerque Lodge#1).

å He had to read and look at data for six months straight to get up to speed on the West Mesa murder cases.

√• His first step as lead in the 118th West Mesa Murders Task Force was to secure the records room. He allowed only two keys. 💜’ed that!!!


Interesting things about Author Christine Barber:

√• She is an amazingly smart woman, former journalist/editor, and friend who I have known for years. 💜 her!!!

å She took the show hands down today!!!

å Her current research into the West Mesa murders will likely give Detective Mark Manary great tips.

√• She is working with an anthropologist who is using scientific techniques to conduct soil analysis for potential West Mesa murder burial sites. 💜’ed that!!!

√• As part of her research for her new book “Rules of Survival,” she has completely emerged herself into the world of sex workers in Albuquerque.

√• She is now publishing the “Bad Guy List.” It is a freaky scary, but informative printout which highlights Albuquerque’s criminal activity.

√• She knows a lot more than anyone I know about serial killers, sex acts, what they cost, who is involved, and the dark fate of Albuquerque’s sex workers.

√• I met Christine years ago… not as an archivist, but as a writer. I invited her to the archives to conduct research for her book “When the Devil Doesn’t Show.” That book is about David Parker Ray, the “Toy-Box Killer” from Mountainair, New Mexico. He was a suspected serial killer. Though no bodies have ever been found, Ray is said to have murdered at least 60 people between Arizona and New Mexico. Together, Christine and I uncovered possible burial locations on mining property owned by Ray.

A Cowboy from Books

September 6, 2013

I can’t wait to work the Tony Hillerman Writers Conference this year. I am really looking forward to it and I am super excited! November is almost here.

The 2013 keynote speaker is Craig Johnson. He is the famed mystery author who lives in Wyoming. I look forward to meeting him. I have been really into the A&E TV series based on his Walt Longmire novels thanks to a friend. Two of the characters in Longmire are highly symbolic to me.

My favorite cowboy is Deputy Branch Connally (or Chase). What?? Did I just type cowboy? In the series, he and his lover are unfortunately star crossed. There was one particular scene I loved with Cady and Branch. These two were never really meant to be together it seems.

This week my friend Gail brought me a copy of Cowboys & Indians. The magazine features my fav~ Branch in a spread about the lawmen of TV. The magazine will be my weekend read.


July 18, 2013

Embellishment of your every
thought, in the Jetsam of a soul.
Radiate, emancipate and
then disappear into the lull.

Enchanter of the wicked
one. It is the Jettison of
hearts. Ravage the strong,
disclose the dream as if
it were an art.

Engagement joins the black
and white. Jewel of a mind
exposed. Rifling through
the secret deep to discover
doors are closed.

Emanating light within as the
questions fade to grey. Maybe
Jolts of pleasure feed the pain
when we won’t Runaway?

Enigmatic, in between, come
and Jostle with a spark.
Relegate your quiet thoughts
and leave a heavy mark.

~~~•» by Felicia Lujan
~~~•» 7.18.2013

Referred by Tricia Fields

February 24, 2013

Flattered to see over a dozen
hits referred to my web site today
through the web site of an author
named Tricia Fields. Ms. Fields
was the winner of the *2010
Hillerman Award for Best First
Mystery.* She also has a new
book set for release on the 5th
of March.

Check out her site for details!


Murder and Mayhem: A Call to Mystery Writers

December 13, 2012
Hillerman Prize Promo Flyer by Felicia Lujan

~Promotional flyer for the Hillerman Prize~
Designed by Felicia Lujan

Anne Hillerman was recently featured in a great article in the Albuquerque Journal. The article was written by Kathaleen Roberts and was titled Leaphorn and Chee Together Again. Anne Hillerman is a smart, sweet, and talented woman who is continuing a writing tradition which was started by her father Tony Hillerman. Her late father was a New York Times best-selling author of an 18-book series of mysteries featuring the characters Leaphorn and Chee. PBS has called Leaphorn and Chee “a classic crime-fighting duo.” In the fall of 2013, HarperCollins will publish Anne’s newest book and a continuation of this Hillerman mystery series. Her book will be titled “Spider Woman’s Daughter.” In the first quarter of 2013, I plan to sit down with Anne to interview her about the release of her upcoming book. She has agreed to a feature piece for my site, and I am excited for the opportunity to interview her.

I was honored to be asked by Anne to design a flyer to promote the Tony Hillerman Prize competition. The flyer was circulated at the New Mexico Book Association Holiday Party on December 6, 2012. The competition is sponsored by Wordharvest (LLC) and is co-sponsored by St. Martin’s Press (LLC). This prize is awarded annually for best first mystery set in the Southwest. The winner receives a contract with St. Martin’s Press for publication of the novel and $10,000. The Hillerman Prize is named after New Mexico’s best known mystery author, Tony Hillerman. It is open to any writer who has never been the author of a published mystery. The prize comes with awesome acknowledgment from a body of professional and amateur writers. I myself aspire to submit something someday. The book submission must include murder or another serious crime or crimes, which must be at the heart of the story. There also must be an emphasis on the solution rather than the details of the crime.

All entries must be received or postmarked no later than June 1, 2013. As of 2011, the prize has been awarded for The Replacement Child by Christine Barber, The Ragged Edge of Nowhere by Roy Chaney, The Territory by Tricia Fields, and City of Saints by Andrew Hunt. For further details, please visit the Wordharvest web site at Here you can take a look at the official Rules and Guidelines for the Tony Hillerman Prize.

Time for The Raven

October 13, 2012
The Raven (DVD)

The Raven (DVD)

After a 2 mile hike at Tent Rocks (National Monument) I’m ready for some heart stopping entertainment, my heating pad, and bed. I have been waiting to watch The Raven (I do love me some Poe)! I got a New York strip steak (ground up) to make a patty with garlic mashed potatoes and brown gravy. Yum! 🙂 Sounds like a plan- hopefully I can watch a DVD about a writer and a serial killer while I eat–haha!

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Haunted Heritage??

September 4, 2012

Wow– this was super cool! Today one of my friends asked me if I knew of any new books with New Mexico ghost stories since I am the Dark Archivist. MuAhaaaa… Anyhow- I had rattled off a few today, but decided to go online tonight to see if I could find anything else? I just happened to come across this book in my searches, and apparently I assisted one or both of these authors several years ago? I do not remember a mention of this book, because I am sure I would recall this title? I will have to run out right quick and get me a copy! I was acknowledged in this book in 2007, which means I must have helped these authors in 2005 or 2006? All these years, and I never knew? Amazing what you can come across online without even realizing it right? The book title is Haunted Heritage: A Definitive Collection of North American Ghost Stories by Michael Norman and Beth Scott. I would like to tell you how it relates to New Mexico history, but I can’t do that until I read it! There are several New Mexican ghost stories worth telling…

Haunted Heritage: A Definitive Collection of North American
Ghost Stories by Michael Norman and Beth Scott

Marilyn Monroe Will Visit with Writers in Santa Fe

August 28, 2012
Post cards for the 2012 Tony Hillerman Writers Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Post cards for the 2012 Tony Hillerman Writers Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico

I am so happy and so honored to receive an official request to be a part of the 2012 Tony Hillerman Writers Conference team! This will be my second year. Last week Jean Schaumberg paid me a visit and dropped off some conference post cards. She told me that she and Anne Hillerman would like to have me back this year. Jean asked me which days I would be willing to work? Well— of course my answer was **everyday!!

This year, the conference will run from November 8 thru November 10. It is such a magical event filled with books, pens and paper, computers, connections, and great minds! The conference inspires me to push forward with my unique ways of expressing myself both in writing and orally. This particular conference has been bringing upcoming and successful writers/authors together since 2004. Jean (also of the School for Advanced Research) and Anne (Tony’s daughter and a former New Mexico journalist) are the women behind WordHarvest and the writers conference. The conference is hand tailored by these two phenomenal women.

Tony Hillerman passed away in 2008. Since I am always wondering about the man behind the legend, I decided to learn more about him. I have been taking the time to read through some of his early work as a journalist with a daughter who followed in his footsteps. I knew he was a reporter for many years when he was young, but I didn’t realize the vast amount of knowledge he had with regard to New Mexico politics in the 50s and 60s? It seems that was his cup of tea! He moved from writing about politics to writing award winning mysteries. This morning at 6:00am, I received an email from WordHarvest titled This Just In! Hillerman Writers Conference Updates. The newsletter said there will be a special event to remember and honor Mr. Hillerman. The presentation will be delivered by his daughter Anne and photographer Don Strel.

In the Bravos: News from WORDHARVEST faculty and alumni section of the email, I was super excited to see novelist/author David Morrell making a return with new research on *my* woman! It’s a sign!!! Ahhh— who believes in those things anyhow eh? Still— I am beside myself…. I met Morrell last year here in Santa Fe. He is the author of the bloody and intense Rambo. Morrell “is also a former professor of American Studies.” He will deliver his newest cultural-icon essay titled Marilyn Monroe: Legend and Tragedy. The only thing missing from this particular conference will be JFK, which in all reality is the real tragedy…


For more information, visit

Wordharvest Writers Workshops | 1063 Willow Way, Santa Fe NM 87507 | Phone: 505-471-1565


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Coincidental Tourist: Jelly Beans and Politics

August 7, 2012
Marilyn Monroe at Universal Studios_8.6.2012

Marilyn Monroe at Universal Studios_8.6.2012

I loved the strange coincidence that I just happened to be in California during the 50th Anniversary of the death of Mz. Marilyn Monroe. Mass amounts of people went to be near her grave side this Sunday. She was laid to rest in Los Angeles on August 5, 1962. A large memorial wreath was also placed on her star in Hollywood.

On the way to Universal Studios, I got the chance to see the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. In 1960, the Democratic National Convention was held in LA. This is where Senator John F. Kennedy was nominated for the presidency. This is also where he delivered his acceptance speech.

Today while at Universal Studios, I again happened to run into the modern day Monroe and snapped a shot. While I was in City Walk, I saw a sculpture of Mz. Monroe. There stood an elaborate piece devoted to the diva which was created using 254,093 Jelly Belly beans. The edible sculpture was priced at $25,409.30! “.30???” Really?? What the? Where did the cents come from?! Now that’s an expensive treat! Haha!

These were all probably just coincidences, but I was more than happy to encounter each one… Today I wondered what Marilyn wrote as a final entry in her mysterious diary? The world may never know?

Jelly Belly Bean Marilyn at Universal City Walk_8.6.2012

Jelly Belly Bean Marilyn at Universal City Walk_8.6.2012

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A Birthday, Baseball and Heels

June 1, 2012

Marilyn Monroe Plays Baseball

Today is Marilyn Monroe’s Birthday. She was born on June 1, 1926 in Los Angeles, California, and died on August 5, 1962 in Los Angeles, California. There was not even a week separating the birthdays of she and her beloved Mr. President. Maybe tonight they will have a drink together in which ever realm accepted them…. Her last public appearance was at Dodger Stadium on June 1, 1962.

Happy Birthday Mz. Monroe—

Marilyn, Mr. President and a Gossip Rag

May 23, 2012
***Cover of the Globe, Vol.59, No.22, May 28,2012*** Marilyn Monroe's Love Child with JFK

***Cover of the Globe, Vol.59, No.22, May 28,2012*** Marilyn Monroe’s Love Child with JFK

Wow… Did I really just buy a gossip rag?? I can’t believe it? What a mess- there should be a law against archivists purchasing these things! Hahaha 🙂 Well what can I say? I couldn’t resist the power of the rag as I checked out in the grocery store tonight. There is just something about Marilyn… I giggled, and maybe even turned red when I gave it to the cashier. So did she. I told her why I was interested, and she fed me stories about her childhood. She said she was captivated by the images and conspiracy theories surrounding the death of Monroe as a little girl. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have childhood memories of an assassin taking out President Kennedy, and the possible murder of a starlet.

Though I did pick up a publication filled with gossip, I did see that the cover noted a new book. I figured it was the one recently put out by Jackie’s former personal Secret Service Agent, smoking pal, and possible lover. It is not that book. This one is a “blockbuster new book” titled Marilyn at Rainbow’s End: Sex, Lies, Murder, and the Great Cover-up. The book “rips the lid off Monroe’s most shocking secrets on the eve of the 50th anniversary of her mysterious death.” The gossip rag claims the book documents the existence of a “love child,” Marilyn’s “heartbreaking abortion,” her “showdown with Jackie Kennedy,” her connection to “Cuban dictator Fidel Castro,” and her “electric touch” with lesbian movie queens.

I would need to track down the book before I could assign any scholarly credibility to it. While those potential topics are interesting, what really topped my list on attention grabbers was a possible diary. It may be that Monroe kept “a red diary, in which she recorded all affairs.” This book is said to have been sought after by the Kennedy family because if it had been discovered, “the Kennedys would have been ruined.” First, I will need to find this new book. I also wonder if the Monroe diary is real? Is it red and soft? How big is it? Where would the diary be? What was Marilyn’s penmanship like? Did she prefer black or blue pens? Would her secrets actually be inked? Hum… If anything, the rag sure got my cogz spinnin’!

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