rita ackerman

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Cowboys, Embezzlers and Lost Mines


Attending author events is always a surprise.

I think Arizona tends to be even more diverse than most places.

On May 27 I attended another great event at the Desert Foothills Library in Cave Creek Arizona. It was named as an Arizona Authors Showcase so who would expect a champion yodeler and a John Wayne performer.

To start the “show” Paula “America’s Yodeling Sweetheart” sang some Country songs to get us all in the mood. You can see and hear more about her here.

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She has so much talent.

I later bought one of her cds and we are enjoying it very much.

Taking a break from the Wild West the first speaker was Phoenix resident, Barbara Hinske. Barbara writes mysteries and has just released her second book in a series about a forensic accountant who inherits an estate known as Rosemont in the Midwestern town of Westbury. I’m about halfway through the first book Coming to Rosemont and I’m enjoying it thoroughly. Barbara is a social media wizard. She has a Pinterest board for photos of the fictional Rosemont and other things related to the book. Her website and blog give more information. She is even doing a cliffhanger bedtime story. She is also on Facebook and Twitter and has a Downton Abby Fan Page. They are all well worth visiting.

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The next speaker, Pat Parish, brought us back to Arizona with her story about Jacob Walsh commonly known as the Lost Dutchman. She started out taking classes to become an illustrator and when an assignment came along that required her to illustrate a book her instructor suggested she write her own. So she took a “creative nonfiction” course at ASU. After extensive research she has written a book on the history instead of just the legend of this famous Arizona miner: Dutchman and the Devil: The Lost Story. Her story and more about the book can be found here.  She has a fascinating theory on the legend of the Lost Dutchman’s Mine which I’m anxious to learn more about.

Next we met Ermal Walden Williamson who has toured the world portraying John Wayne with the blessings of the WaDesert foothils Librasry, bobcat 027yne family and wearing the same gun belt The Duke wore in many of his westerns. Besides telling the story of John Wayne, Ermal has a series of books that grew out of the movie The Cowboys starring John Wayne. They start with Beyond the Brazos and there are six in the series. They are westerns set during the Civil War and have a spiritual angle. Ermal and Paula met while performing and worked together for a few years before getting married.

As an author Ermal visited all the places he wrote about. He said to know what is happening around the characters. The current events so to speak.

As it was the day after what would have been John Wayne’s 108th birthday we had birthday cake and more music and yodeling from Paula.

Quite a festive and informative morning.

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  1. Pat Parish says:

    Hey Rita—thanks for your write-up of our event. I’d love to know what you think of my Dutchman and the Devil book!

  2. What a lovely write-up of our event!!! And you even got a nice photo of me — which is next to impossible! Thank you for the nice comments — so happy you are enjoying my book!

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