Press Check

Recent books by NMSU Alumni

Compiled by Amanda Bradford

Panorama welcomes information on books and creative works by NMSU alumni. Information may be sent to panorama@nmsu.edu.


 

press-check-beeThe Bee Who Sneezed

Stephen Evans ’09 and Mic Ru ’08
2ND TOUR PUBLISHING

Stephen Evans is the head chef for the University of Missouri Athletic Dining and has been hidden away in the back of kitchens since he was 16 years old. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy at 18 to serve his country. After his honorable discharge in 2005, he earned his bachelor’s degree in Hotel Restaurant Tourism Management at NMSU and was hired on as the chef for the University of Missouri Tigers. Around the same time, he discovered his hidden talent for writing children’s stories. Evans collaborated with illustrator Mic Ru of Rain Bear Design Studios, another NMSU graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, on “The Bee Who Sneezed,” and together, they created 2nd Tour Publishing. The creative team is planning a series of children’s books, including “The Lizard in a Blizzard,” “The Rat Who Loved Math” and “The Duck Without a Quack.”

 

press-check-poetThe Poet & The Singer

Bud Russo’66
LULU.COM
“The Poet & The Singer,” the first mainstream novel by Las Cruces writer Bud Russo, is the story of singer Anne Melandrevich, who uses the stage name Annie Melodie, and her husband, Geof Barringer, the poet. Though poor and struggling, the two artists know they’re meant for each other and make the most of the love they share. When Anne is discovered by a Nashville producer, her career skyrockets, giving the young couple what they’ve dreamed of. Yet conflict between their marriage and Anne’s successful career results in them separating, until the story’s climax challenges not only their fortitude as well as their strength as a couple. A Las Cruces resident since 2005, Russo retired after 40 years of writing for trade magazines about manufacturing and automation, a career that took him across the country and around the world. In New Mexico, he turned his interests and skills into travel and general interest stories for Southwest Senior, a local monthly publication.

 

press-check-mesillaMesilla Comes Alive: A History of Mesilla and Its Valley

C. W. Buddy Ritter ’58 ’81
SELF-PUBLISHED

Fifth-generation New Mexican and owner of the Double Eagle Restaurant in historic Old Mesilla, C.W. “Buddy” Ritter has written a descriptive history of the Mesilla Valley. “Mesilla Comes Alive: A History of Mesilla and Its Valley” tells the story of one of the iconic towns of the old west, from the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century to the granting of statehood to New Mexico in 1912. Written in short, entertaining, informative sections, and loaded with custom maps, archival photos and other illuminating illustrations, “Mesilla Comes Alive” provides a fascinating journey back in time and includes stories of such notable and colorful figures as Don Juan de Oñate, Santa Anna, Billy the Kid, Albert Fountain, Pat Garrett and many others. The book also puts forward several interesting theories that contradict the accepted history of the area, and includes two items – a newly discovered photo of Billy the Kid and a short history of Mesilla written by Albert Fountain – that have not previously appeared in any book.

Rotten Gambler Two Becomes a True American

Edward Lumsdaine ’63 ’64 ’66
SELF-PUBLISHED

“The Poet & The Singer,” the first mainstream novel by Las Cruces writer Bud Russo, is the story of singer Anne Melandrevich, who uses the stage name Annie Melodie, and her husband, Geof Barringer, the poet. Though poor and struggling, the two artists know they’re meant for each other and make the most of the love they share. When Anne is discovered by a Nashville producer, her career skyrockets, giving the young couple what they’ve dreamed of. Yet conflict between their marriage and Anne’s successful career results in them separating, until the story’s climax challenges not only their fortitude as well as their strength as a couple. A Las Cruces resident since 2005, Russo retired after 40 years of writing for trade magazines about manufacturing and automation, a career that took him across the country and around the world. In New Mexico, he turned his interests and skills into travel and general interest stories for Southwest Senior, a local monthly publication.

The Man with the Black Box

Colin P. Cahoon ’83
ELECTIO PUBLISHING

A historical fiction thriller from Mesilla Valley native Colin P. Cahoon, “The Man with the Black Box” is a terrifying examination of the corruptibility of mankind, a riveting twist on the classic battle of good versus evil, and a fantasy thriller of historic proportions. An international crisis threatens to plunge the world into war at the dawn of the 20th century, but the British Foreign Office finds itself blinded by the bizarre deaths of crucial agents and informants as it struggles to stave off the coming conflagration. For help, they turn to an unconventional outsider, Inspector Jenkins of Scotland Yard, who soon finds himself on the trail of a mysterious man with a deadly black box and a host of devoted accomplices. What’s in the box? Everyone is dying to know.

Goodnight, Campsite

Loretta Sponsler ’00
CREATESPACE

Loretta Sponsler was born and raised in New Mexico, currently lives in Colorado, and travels all over the country, although the West holds a particular spot in her heart. She has a degree in journalism from NMSU and worked most of her career as a technical writer and editor with the U.S. government. Now Loretta is a full-time mom, part-time writer. Loretta and her family, complete with three young boys, have traveled all over the United States, pulling a travel trailer and camping along the way. The Sponslers spend every moment they can at a campsite, exploring the great outdoors. “Goodnight, Campsite” was born of a love of camping and books, and it filled a rather large void in children’s books about recreational vehicles.

Life Lessons for My Daughters

James Parker ’71 ’72
SELF-PUBLISHED

James Parker didn’t know, when a medical emergency left him comatose, that the result would be a plea from his daughter to tell his life’s story. While his life growing up on a farm was simple, many unusual things occurred. James tells these stories in a sometimes hilarious and always entertaining way – like the story of how, at 10 years of age, James got a rifle for Christmas. It was too cold to shoot it during the winter so he would sit in a chair in the kitchen and shoot at an arrangement of bottles and cans sitting on a table in the backyard. He would raise the rifle, kick the door open with his left foot, aim, and fire, being careful not to shoot a hole in the screen door or an unsuspecting family member. After moving to New Mexico, James found himself in midst of youthful fights, car wrecks and speeding tickets. He faced court appearances, overcame illnesses, attended colleges, raised children and enjoyed a long, loving marriage. These stories aim to entertain, and perhaps even inspire his readers to write about their own lives.

Quinn-Essential Nutrition

Barbara Quinn’75
WESTBOW PRESS

Inspired by readers of her internationally distributed column, “Quinn On Nutrition,” registered dietitian nutritionist Barbara Quinn thoughtfully unpacks and delivers answers to more than a hundred current nutrition topics. With her typical style of common sense and humor, Quinn mixes the serious science of nutrition with delicious experiences from her family, friends, and faithful readers. And because life sometimes gets too serious, “Quinn-Essential Nutrition” nourishes your lighter side with reasons to have a cup of tea, fun advice for guys and gals, and favorite corny food jokes. Quinn earned her Bachelor of Science in dietetics at NMSU. Quinn’s column originates in the Monterey County (California) Herald and is distributed to more than 600 media outlets worldwide. The book features several pieces associated with her years at NMSU, including a chile FAQ that highlights information from the university’s Chile Pepper Institute.