We are so excited about our next Literary Salon event. Book Talk will feature two of our favorite booksellers talking about the books they love and getting your feedback about the books you love. The holiday season is upon us. This is a great opportunity to find just the right gift for the readers in your life. Thank you Dennis Ditmanson and Nancy Colalillo. Readers and writers, you won’t want to miss this!

Books of the Southwest

Ditmanson is a dealer in used books with a focus on the American West and an emphasis on the Southwest, New Mexico, and Las Vegas. Hence the name – Books of the Southwest. Ditmanson has a smattering of other non-fiction and general fiction, cookbooks, trail guides, etc.  His main outlet is at Frankie Ann Tiques, 247 Plaza, and He keeps a small space at Rough Rider Antiques. He and his wife Carol, came to Las Vegas in 2001 when Ditmanson took on the Superintendent posts at Pecos National Historical Park and Fort Union National Monument.  “Books have always been a must for me. I got the bug as a seller after a stint working for Nancy at Tome On the Range!”

Nancy Colalillo is the founder of the original Tome on the Range independent bookstore, which she owned and operated from 1996 to 2013. After a brief retirement, Nancy resumed her retail career with the founding of Paper Trail, a quirky gift shop located in Tome’s second home at 158 Bridge Street in historic Old Town Las Vegas, NM. In addition to flights of fancy for home, office, kitchen, garden, and kids, she has integrated a carefully chosen selection of books for all ages into Paper Trail’s offerings, proving that once a bookseller always a bookseller!

Nancy has also been involved in commercial and economic development ventures that focus on shopping local, historic preservation, and community improvement. She is the quintessential emcee at fundraisers and her entrepreneurial savvy has been a great inspiration to many small business owners.

Don’t miss this Literary Salon!

Sign up below for the November FREE Book Talk
Las Vegas Literary Salon

Media File(opens in a new tab)

Thanks to Jim Terr for his help in preparing videos of Dennis and Nancy for posting. Check out Nancy’s personal invite here…

Sharon Vander Meer

Thank you for being a reader/subscriber. It is my goal to present informative, interesting, and creative content on this site. Your likes, shares, and comments are welcomed. I am an indie author of six books and two chapbooks of poetry. Check the BOOKS tab to find out more. Follow me at,, Amazon Author Central. I frequently write about my town, Las Vegas, N.M.Occasionally I use interesting and helpful content from other sources. I also invite guest posts. If you have a topic you would like to share, send to

Book Review

Haunted Santa Fe

Haunted Santa FeIt’s that time of year when ghosties, goblins and ghouls come out of the woodwork. Literally according to Haunted Santa Fe, a historical overview of legends and lore born of real people living real lives, and then in the afterlife returning with spectral visitations that make things go bump in the night.

What I like about Ray John de Aragón’s wonderful book is how he ties history to these legendary figures. His richly told accounts stir the mind to a time long before statehood, when many cultures were streaming into New Mexico to join the native peoples already here, not always with favorable outcomes. The tales recounted in Haunted Santa Fe reveal that cultural montage with Martyr Mysteries, Koko Man, Julia Staab, the Forlorn Spirit, La Llorona, and Billy Bonney’s Ghost, among others.

He is an educator who uses stories to bring life to northern New Mexico’s deep and wide history, whether he is delving into fiction, writing nonfiction, or creating a melding of the two. The most interesting tales come from a grain of truth. Aragon broadens the horizon of his prose in Haunted Santa Fe to engage the reader and perhaps elicit a shiver or two.

A native Las Vegan, he brings authenticity to his work by drawing on his roots and remembered stories told to him by elders in his family over the years. Haunted Santa Fe is one of fifteen books he has authored. He has written for or been featured in more than one hundred publications.

As a traveling storyteller, Aragón has thrilled audiences with his frightening and enthralling tales of ghosts and the supernatural. Holding advanced degrees in Spanish colonial history, arts, legends and myths of New Mexico, he has presented on these topics for the New Mexico History Museum, the Museum of International Folk Art, the National Hispanic Cultural Center, the University of New Mexico, the College of Santa Fe and many more. His books are available at online retailers or in bookstores.

Las Vegas, NM Book

Now Available

Las Vegas, NM Pages

It has been a long time in the making, but Las Vegas, NM, 1835 – 1935 is now out and ready for purchase. The price, $39.95, and well worth the investment. It began as the germ of an idea and transformed into a gem of a book. More than 150 pages packed with historical photos, essays, maps and images.

On the flyleaf, Friends of the Museum supporter and bibliophile Nancy Colalillo writes, “… here is our origin story, the birth of Las Vegas, NM. The original Las Vegas as most residents will tell you. Within these pages are the answers to who, why, and how.”

Who were the early leaders, movers and shakers of Las Vegas? Why did development progress in the way it did? How did multicultural influences come together to create the Las Vegas of today? You can find the answers in this beautifully constructed book that covers 100 years of Las Vegas, NM.

This ll” x ll” publication might be looked upon as a coffee table book, interesting to look at and a bit of a conversation starter, but it is also an historical record that is enlightening and entertaining.

“It’s all here: The Spanish explorers and pioneers, the wagon trains, the Rough Riders, the Harvey Girls, the outlaws and desperadoes and ranching legends,” wrote Hampton Sides, best selling author of Blood and Thunder. His review is one of several by noted historians cited on the book’s back cover.

In her summary statement about the book, editor Edwina Portelle Romero writes that Las Vegas, NM, 1835 – 1935 is a snapshot of the 100-year period covered by the book. “…revealed through photographs, each capturing a single moment in time, frozen and selected by a human being… All photographs were selected by Las Vegans of today looking back, reflecting, making sense of the past and its people.”

How the book came together through the agency of a committee peopled by different volunteers over a span of time is a testament to the dedication of the Friends to make sure this story was told in this way. It is a book worth buying. Currently it is available at the City of Las Vegas Museum and Rough Rider Memorial Collection gift shop.


School for Psychics

School for PsychicsI enjoyed School for Psychics, by K.C. Archer. It moves right along and has an intriguing premise.

Having said that, despite references to the ages of the characters as being twenty-somethings, it reads more like the adventures of middle grade teens. Yes, one character is a former policeman. Yes, Teddy Cannon, the main character, has a gambling addiction and been banned from Las Vegas casinos. Nevertheless, I couldn’t get past the idea these adults behaved more like teenagers.

And then I got it. What made them unique, also set them apart. These men and women never quite fit in. Acting out or pulling in were coping mechanisms as they grew up, which perhaps inhibited bonding with others or stifled social development.

The School for Psychics is a chance to fit in, to be among peers, to learn how to trust. Easier said than done. Most of the first-year candidates for the school have been in denial or clueless about their gifts. Some consider their talents a curse. How will each student navigate learning to use skills previously ignored or hidden? Can they let go of fear and suspicion and learn to trust instructors and other students?

Successful students who graduate, will become agents in a special department of the government. But there is a problem. Someone else is out there, a group with a different agenda, and they want to recruit the School for Psychics’ best students.

This is the first book in a series that promises lots of action, perhaps a little romance, and an exploration of what it means to be caught between a rock and hard place. Teddy’s going to find out.

My rating: Thumbs up

About the Book:
Series: School for Psychics (Book 1)
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (April 3, 2018)
Language: English

Please Follow, Like, Comment and Share this post. Your feedback is important. Thanks for reading One Roof Publishing. Contact Sharon by e-mail at





Dream on

pexels-photo-279415.jpegI love to write, it’s what I do. As you know, Blind Curve is now available through this site and at Amazon. My concern is that I’m preaching to the same choir. Most of you have heard about my publishing journey in one form or another. I’m asking a huge favor. Share this post with your followers, friends and family. It will mean a lot to me.

The job of marketing one’s work is more angst ridden and time consuming by far than writing the book. Right now I’m working on my episodic novel, Hunter’s Light, Pella’s Quest (episodes posted every Friday), but it is a challenge to do that and work on getting attention for Blind Curve. I have marketing and advertising sales experience, but the focus has always been on something else or for someone else. This time the spotlight is on me, or at least on my books. My dream come true is to look at my royalty statement and see something other than zeros.

How can I be sure readers will notice my baby among the thousands of others on the shelves? Well, I can’t, that’s why, as a writer, I must hit the streets and get my message out there. I know my book is compelling and dramatic, a mystery wrapped up in a puzzle, and that the characters feel like people you know and want to root for. How do I let potential readers know? That is part of what I have learned on my writing and publishing journey, so far.

Writing is my dream job and I love it, even though I know the following applies to me and most writers:

  • Nobody knows or cares who you are as a writer, not even your family and friends. If you want to sell them a book, you have to ask if they want to buy it.
  • Writing is an isolating profession. You don’t write 2000 to 4000 words a day drinking coffee at the coffee shop, but it is also a business. If you don’t sell your book, you’re not valuing your work.
  • Writing is mentally and physically taxing. Writers like David Baldacci and Margaret Atwood continue to be successful because they are dedicated writers who devote their work time to writing, not sitting at the coffee shop.
  • Writers must be ready for criticism and be able to see their books for what they are: works in progress. Editing, revising, proofing, rewriting, tossing the whole damn thing out at times, that’s all part of writing. This is so hard, much more difficult than you can imagine. It’s work, not unlike the work you do.
  • When I think my book is just too precious for words, I know I’m probably on the wrong track. I’ve learned to put the work aside for awhile and then read it like a reader. Read it aloud. Hear how it sounds.
  • I’ve learned to trust my instincts. If something seems off kilter in the narrative, my readers will likely get the same vibe.
  • I’ve learned it is essential to be confident. If I don’t believe in my characters, no one else will. If I don’t believe in my concept I wander in a wilderness of wrong words.
  • Writing is like dreaming when you’re awake. You convert those dreams into stories and poems and songs. My hope is that what I write will ring a bell with readers and lead them to dream along with me.
  • Writing is a business. As a writer, I must keep that in mind.
  • Writing is an itch. The only way to scratch that itch is to sit down in front of a keyboard and slog it out. The itch is what keeps me at the computer.

Yes, writing is the itch that must be satisfied with words and the magic that happens when those words come together in a great story. The itch is why I never stop dreaming.

Please Follow, Like, Comment and Share this post. Your feedback is important.

I am an indie author of six books and two chap books of poetry. Check the BOOKS tab to find out more. Follow me at,, Amazon Author Central. I’m also a member of the Las Vegas Literary Salon, a group committed to sharing the work of local writers. Follow LVLS at Thanks for reading and sharing this post.



If you received a complimentary copy of Blind Curve or purchased a copy, it will be replaced! I just found out that somehow lines are missing from pages, leaving readers a bit puzzled and probably a whole lot dissatisfied. I reviewed the text I sent in and it is all there. I don’t know what happened, but I’m working to correct it. Please bear with me; it will take time. Again, my deepest apologies. I know to whom I gave copies and most who purchased books. Please let me know if you purchased a book through other sources.

Thank you,
An indie author learning a hard lesson

Book Review: Song of the Lion

Song of the LionIn author Anne Hillerman’s latest book, Song of the Lion, Bernadette Manuelito emerges as a savvy heroine who does her job with intelligence and wit while stoically ignoring the irritation of not being respected by a fellow officer. It is not luck or pride that motivates Manuelito, it’s doing the right thing at the right time for the right reason, including trusting her instincts in a life-threatening moment of peril.

Manuelito and her husband Jim Chee, work for the Navajo Tribal Police where facts and evidence add up to answers. That doesn’t discourage Manuelito from using her intuition and connection with old ways, or Chee from showing respect for honored traditions.

Put that cultural identity and awareness into play when the two unofficially work a case, and the result is a compelling story. A car bombing outside a school gymnasium that kills an unidentified young man sets the story in motion. Add in the complication of developers wanting to make dramatic changes on tribal lands and the groups for and against the proposal. Mix in a little sabotage designed to sideline the negotiations. Season with a surprising connection between the case and Manuelito’s friend and mentor, Joe Leaphorn. What you have are all the ingredients for a fast-paced story featuring familiar characters doing what they do best. Manuelito proves to be a dedicated law enforcement officer with an unbeatable spirit.

I recommend Song of the Lion to anyone who likes a good tale woven throughout with interesting, well-drawn characters.

Praise for Song the Lion from Booklist: “Hillerman seamlessly blends tribal lore and custom into a well-directed plot, continuing in the spirit of her late father, Tony, by keeping his characters in the mix, but still establishing Manuelito as the main player in what has become a fine legacy series.”

Hillerman is an award-winning reporter, the author of several non-fiction books, and the daughter of New York Times bestselling author Tony Hillerman. She lives in Santa Fe, N.M.

Title: Song of the Lion
Type: Novel
Author: Anne Hillerman
Publisher: Harper Hardcover
Publication date: April 11, 2017
Price: $27.99

The Signing Experience

Book SigningI’ve done several readings at Tome on the Range in Las Vegas, NM, featuring my books. Every time I do one, I’m a wreck and second-guess whether I said the right things and whether people received my reading well. On Saturday at my most recent reading and signing, my friend Jim Terr recorded portions of the readings and the following is one clip of three he will be posting. I thank those who could make it on Saturday, and to those who couldn’t, I hope you enjoy this clip. And by the way, buy the books! You can find Finding Family at Tito’s Gallery or Tome on the Range. The poetry books you may buy directly from me. Contact me  at, or order through the click buttons in the right column.

Video: Jim Terr

Review: The Case of Aleister Stratton

Book CoverSpeculation about the mind being able to move objects, influence others, and create a reality outside of human experience is the stuff writers use to great effect in novels deemed science fiction or fantasy or simply weird. The one thing we know is that the mind is complex. The little connectors in our heads fire off minute bits of information every micro-second within every second.

In The Case of Aleister Stratton, author and poet K.G.V. Barnwell explores how our dreaming selves may influence the course of our waking lives, especially when the dreams are devilishly bent toward revenge and retribution.

Barnwell sets the premise by identifying herself as the compiler of the story, not the writer, a reporter of events, a chronicler of someone else’s intriguing tale, one that could be told in the chill night of Edwardian England or in the modern era.

The story’s tone and style evoke a haunting aura not unlike that of Edgar Allen Poe, another poet with a penchant for writing about the bleaker side of human nature. The scholarly professor who becomes part and parcel of the ominous adventure enters into it uncertain about what he will learn and baffled by his own acquiescence, a willingness or curiosity to know why (or if?) Aleister Stratton did what he said he did.

How that revelation lives on after the Professor’s retirement causes the reader to wonder just how powerful the mind can be, and the consequence of unleashing that power. Do dark dreams lead to dark outcomes? Ask Professor Harold Richard Holland, the inheritor of the tale. He can tell you.

The Case of Aleister Stratton is a quick read novella with a satisfying – if mystifying – conclusion.

In a 2015 Q&A on One Roof Publishing, Barnwell described herself as an “English romantic poet and writer, living a variety of lives in and amongst the diversity and beauty of the city, sea and countryside.” This novella is a departure from her usual work, a reflection of the author’s muse seeking new outlets for her creativity and imagination.

The Case of Aleister Stratton is available worldwide through Amazon and other online book distributors.

Image from Amazon












Yea! New Book Published

Book CoverI just indie published a new book. 25 Days of Christmas, An Advent Journey rejoices in the birth of Christ through poetry. Words and phrases that evoke Advent, a time of expectant waiting for the Child of Wonder, inspired each poem. The accompanying scripture reflects on the promises of old, when prophets spoke of a Son, a King, a birthplace, a promise.

25 Days of Christmas, An Advent Journey contains poems in the acrostic style with the first letter of each sentence based on the title. The poems were shared on my publishing blog, in December 2015. A friend asked if the poems would be available in printed format. The seed was planted and has grown to be this small offering of celebration.

Now is the time to buy this short book of poetry, which also provides a space for you to add your thoughts about the season and what it means to you. It’s a fabulous gift idea for pre-Christmas giving or as a gift for 2016. It is evergreen in that as an Advent calendar, it can be used in any year.

I am also available to talk to groups about indie publishing and, of course, about my latest book. My schedule currently is to be at Noon PagesKiwanis on June 1, and Rotary on June 28. Contact me at if you are interested in a foray into indie publishing.

Order info:
Title: 25 Days of Christmas, An Advent Journey
Price: $7.50
Available: Online at
Available: Sharon Vander Meer (A discount will apply to books purchased directly from me when the purchase is for multiple copies.) When *ordering directly from me, type New Book in the subject line.


­*Shipping costs will apply on orders outside Las Vegas, NM.