I’m happy to announce that I’ve just released a new book—and hold on to your hat—this one is a work of fiction! It’s called Crazy for the Heat: Arizona Tales of Ghosts, Gumshoes, and Bigfoot, and is available as an eBook or paperback.
Crazy for the Heat: Arizona Tales of Ghosts, Gumshoes, and Bigfoot is a collection of Arizona-based humorous short stories. Nine funny quirky tales are filled with oddball characters and twisted plots. But the settings are very real. A throwback private detective cracks wise and solves crimes in the mountaintop moonlight of Jerome. In the sunbaked desert, visitors pull off the highway to admire the World’s Largest Ball of Chest Hair as a roadside attraction. Meanwhile, a group of Sedona residents can’t step outside without getting abducted by space aliens.
It’s been my privilege to earn a living as an Arizona travel writer and author for several years. Not many people can claim their job consists every day of writing love letters, but that’s what my articles and books about Arizona actually are. And this book is like that, too. But different.
Even though this is a book of fiction—and weird, skewed, funny fiction at that—it’s still firmly rooted in the Grand Canyon State. Arizona appears as a prominent character in most of these stories. Cactus and roadrunners and red rocks and border towns and blazing sunsets and the perfume of rain are all woven into the fabric of the stories. I’m not sure that I even know how to write anymore if Arizona is not involved.
For many years I worked as a stand-up comic, humor writer, and radio personality. This book gives me a chance to return to my humor roots. I get to spin a few strange tales and keep them all close to my heart right here in Arizona. Of course, I’m still a travel writer. So I couldn’t resist slapping some pertinent information for travelers at the end of several of the stories. If I’m writing about Jerome, Sedona, Winslow, Flagstaff, Douglas, and Tombstone, it’s because I love these places and I want my readers to explore them.
My plan is to make every Arizona town the setting for at least one story. I’d like to fill all the nooks and crannies of this state from desert to mountains with twisted tales, stuttering plots, and strange narrators. So here’s the first batch. Hope they make you smile. I hope—just like my travel books—they make you want to discover even more of Arizona.
Crazy for the Heat is available as an eBook ($8.99) or paperback ($11.99). You can order it directly from my Author page on Amazon right here. Or if you’d like an autographed copy, you can order from my website. I sign every book I send out. Also, I include a free gift with each purchase, a copy of the official Grand Canyon National Park Centennial Magazine. And if you’re wondering, yes, I authored that big glossy publication as well.
All told, there are plenty of my love letters available out there. Pick one up, sit on your porch as monsoon clouds waft overhead and the light turns streaky and wild. Give it a read. You’ll soon understand how I fell so head over heels for this remarkable state.
“If the Garden of Eden had a liquor license and served really good tacos, they would have called it Arizona.”