Breaking news: Salmon swims to Arizona!

This is what rivers look like here in southern Arizona. If you look really closely, you might notice that something’s missing. Go ahead, see if you can spot what’s not there.

The Rillito River in Tucson

Give up?

What’s missing is . . . water! If you got that right, give yourself two points, a pat on the back and a rub on the tummy at the same time.

The lack of water makes it  a wee bit surprising that a salmon arrived here today. I kid you not. Straight from My Mondo Trading in Victoria, Canada.

I’m not actually sure that this salmon swam all the way here — the post office might have used airplanes and trucks — but its appearance is nonetheless unusual. The sparsity of water, for one thing, and the very different style of local aboriginal art, for another. But it’s here now and ready to take a proud, if dry, place on my Northwest Coast Native Art wall, part of which is shown below. I’ve loved this art form ever since I taught in a one-room school on Gilford Island in British Columbia

But I suppose this salmon really should be beaver.

Why? Because my soon-to-be released novel, Alien Contact for Runaway Moms, features several members of the Beaver Clan — aboriginal people from the future, who still celebrate the artistic style of their forebears. Er, forebeavers.

Alien Contact for Runaway Moms, which will be released September 1, 2018, is near-future science fiction with not one but two romances at its heart. In it, I’ve indulged my love of NW Coast art by illustrating the e-book. The best thing about the illustrations? They’re free with the purchase of the book!

Here are a few of the illustrations.

The travel poster I designed for the book.


A beaver on an old British Columbia totem pole. Note the big front teeth.


Kwakiutl masks from the author’s collection. No beavers, unfortunately.


Many writers find a photograph that inspires them to describe their heroine. This is NOT the photo that inspired sweet Audra Verhailey.


The author’s chest. (In his dreams!) It has nothing to do with NW Coast art, but there’s romance in the book, too. One more reason to buy, eh?

Alien Contact for Runaway Moms

She’s running from an abusive lover…but what is she running to?

When her abusive lover tries to take custody of her baby, Audra flees where even he can’t follow: the aliens’ forbidden cities underneath Kwadra Island. But can the safety she wants for her daughter survive a search party, violent alien criminals—and the love of an emotionally damaged Kwadran?

Tal Pelletier’s life has degenerated into drinking, fighting, and physical labor, but he used to be a brilliant technician. When Audra asks his help sneaking into Kwadra’s abandoned cities, it represents a second chance, because she and her baby remind him of the wife and child he lost. But can he protect them from the killers—and, more importantly, the demons inside him?

Alien Contact for Runaway Moms is available now for pre-order from these fine retailers.



  1. Now I understand the artwork on your book cover. Lovely! I love the history of cultures too.

    1. I’ve enjoyed writing this series (Alien Contact for Idiots) for several reasons, one of which is that it’s encouraged me to delve into Kwakiutl culture and imagine what it might become in the future.

  2. Isn’t that Effing’s chest LOL?

    1. Nope. His chest look more like cousin Lee’s

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