Did the Cutting Horse Kill the Cowboy?

In Checked Out, the second book in the Machado Mystery series, a cutting horse with championship potential is blamed for the death of its owner, rodeo cowboy Cody O’Brien. Aimee is convinced Game Boy is not the killer and suspects a prominent woman surgeon at the hospital where they both work had a reason to want Cody dead. No one knows why he fled the hospital the night before his surgery. Was it was the surgeon’s appalling bedside manner? Was it because she would be operating on a very tender and private part of his anatomy? Or was it something even more frightening?

Aimee joins forces with her brother, Harry, and Nick, her off-again, on-again boyfriend, to clear Game Boy’s name and find the real killer. Game Boy’s future hangs in the balance. Will he be put down, or will he have a future on the cutting horse circuit?

And just what is a cutting horse? It’s an animal whose job is an important part of the process of bringing beef to dinner tables all over the world. Cattle ranchers use cutting horses to isolate specific animals from the herd for many purposes, including vaccinations and branding.


Today’s cutting horses are super athletes in competitive events that are growing more and more popular. Prices paid for a horse with championship potential or a proven record can reach into six figures, with some buyers willing to pay as much as $200,000 for the right animal. And that price tag can be recouped with one very good year on the circuit.

So how did Game Boy help Aimee, Nick and Harry identify the real killer? Well, that’s the mystery.

For more about cutting horses visit these sites:





A Day at the Dojo

What’s a girl to do when it’s two against one? Or when he has a gun?

These situations bring tension into the life of forensic librarian Aimee Machado, heroine of the Machado Mystery series. It would be easy to give her a black belt in jujitsu and let her wreak havoc on her attackers. But would it be honest? Only if it’s real.

Aimee isn’t Bat Girl or Wonder Woman. She’s just as real as any woman who opens the pages of Due for Discard or Checked Out. Well, she would be just as real, if she weren’t a fictional character.

The point here is that everything that happens in the Machado Mystery series is based in reality. If it happens in the books, it could happen in real life.

Of course, Aimee is a bit of a magnet for trouble. First it was two guys with a tire iron and some bad ideas. That’s when she got serious about her martial arts workouts. When the big, mean dude with a gun came along, she was ready.XG8D0964

If she isn’t dealing with difficult doctors in her job at Timbergate Medical Center, or at home in her cozy studio apartment above her grandparents’ llama barn, Aimee can be found working out at her local dojo.

Remember, women’s self-defense isn’t just something that spices up books and movies. It’s available to all women who want to be the heroines of their own stories. And it’s real.

The American Judo and Jujitsu Federation (AJJF) is a worldwide organization of martial arts schools dedicated to the preservation and promulgation of the Danzan Ryu system of Jujitsu. http://www.ajjf.org/



Dangerous Fashion

ear plug gaugesTurns out the fashion trend involving ear plug gauges could be a problem for a bad guy. They come in all sized these days, and the idea is to make a hole in the earlobe, insert the ear plug, usually hollow, and then let the earlobe stretch until a larger size plug can be used.  The problem with this fashion, besides its yuck factor, is that in hand-to-hand combat, it gives the other guy an edge. Just recently, the heroine in CHECKED OUT managed to break away from her attacker after she slipped a finger through his ear lobe hole, conveniently stretched out by the ear gauge. One good yank, and she had a bloody chunk of his ear and his ear gauge in her hand. He took off, howling, but with the DNA from the ear, and a little forensic help, he’s sure to be apprehended.



Who killed the cowboy?

First draft of my latest hospital librarian mystery is almost finished, but I can’t keep it under 90,000 words unless I leave out the last two chapters. But then no one would know who killed the rodeo cowboy. Guess I’ll go back and take out the parts people don’t read. But I’m keeping the llamas. And the scary woman doctor who operates on . . . well, that’s TMI.