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Celebrate Authors welcomes four more local writers to this year’s event


“Celebrate Authors” will be held 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 19, in the boardroom and Roadrunner Room on the second floor of Thomas Branigan Memorial Library, 200 E. Picacho Ave.

The event is free and open to the public.

Moonbow Alterations and Moonbow’s Book Nook are the event sponsors.

Celebrate Authors 2021 will feature authors from Las Cruces and the surrounding area with books published in 2019, 2020 and 2021. The event began in 2014.

Here is the third group of authors signed up for this year’s event.

Alice B. Davenport sold her first short story when she was 18, and has been writing ever since.

Most of her work “has not been submitted for publication although some has been published in minor magazines, newspapers and books,” Davenport said. “As a ghost writer, my words have appeared in major magazines and books.”

Davenport has self-published short (80-100 pages) self-help books, a cookbook, young teen novels, a romance and a memoir. “The Reality of Publishing Your Book” was written, she said, “for those wanting to publish their own works.”

Davenport has a bachelor’s degree from Boise State University and an master’s degree from New Mexico State University. She is a certified family life educator and owns and operates Moonbow Alterations and Moonbow’s Book Nook, where she hears lots of “people problems,” Davenport said. 

Her book, “Relationships: Making Them and Our-Self Better” shows us how to “self-examine, reframe issues, put our thoughts into words, and deliver them,” Davenport said. “Communication in an honest, thoughtful and respectful way leads to better, healthier relationships. Sometimes, we have to acknowledge the ‘death’ of the relationship we thought we had and give ourselves time to grieve, or even walk away from a toxic relationship.

“I write because I have to write, just as I have to breath,” she said. “I encourage others to do the same without worrying about what others will think or say. Keep your own voice, learn how to better express yourself, be respectful and kind.”

Anelise M. Elmquist is 13 years old and lives in Las Cruces. She enjoys reading, writing, coding, playing Minecraft with my friends and creating art for her business, Art for the World. 

Elmquist’s book, “Cooper’s Tale,” “is about my dog learning about Covid-19 and knowing that we will get through this pandemic together,” she said.

“I write because I love getting all my ideas down and expanding them,” she said. “I write because it helps me relax and just be creative.

“My advice for would-be authors is to be yourself and don’t think too much about if other people will like what you write,” the young author said. “What people think should not change how you write or discourage you from your writing. Your writing is your expression, and nothing else should matter except that you love it and enjoy it!”

  1. Clark McCaffrey was born in Baltimore, Maryland, but attended elementary, high school and university in Maine, he said.

“Four years of college became seven as the major shifted several times,” he said. Reserve officer training was a subject matter that matched his personality, and upon graduation he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Army then became a career, both in uniform and as an Army civilian employee, McCaffrey said.

But, the author acknowledges that he may have “had the wrong career,” as he spent 25 years as a volunteer ballet company production manager, prop shop chief and backstage crew chief. For 10 years, he ran the talent show for the New Mexico State Senior Olympics.  If there is anything else he could have, McCaffrey said, “it would be to live another hundred plus years.”

McCaffrey’s book, “From a Lifetime,” “contains a series of poems and essays (and a little love story) that reflect the observations, opinions and sentiments compiled from a lifetime of living, learning, observing and developing a unique character of one human who classifies himself as an animal, a primate and a homo sapiens. This particular individual wished to put in writing his varied thoughts, so as to maybe positively influence the living, but also so as to leave a record and influence someone in the future.”

Nancy V. Baker says, for local writers, “our community is fortunate in two ways. First, it attracts so many others who share the passion and gift of telling stories. Second is the presence of Alice Davenport, a true champion of local authors. Her shop, the Book Nook at Moonbow, brings both visibility to their work and a sense of community and shared endeavors.

“As the author of two novels – “Vanished” and “The Boy in the Suitcase” – I know how challenging the process can be, from developing a rough idea of plot and character, to publication and marketing,” Baker said. “Even in ordinary times, a writer can feel isolated and uncertain; those feelings were magnified over the past difficult year. Writers meeting readers face-to-face provides an extraordinary opportunity for connection. That is why I am so excited to help organize Celebrate Authors in 2021.”

David G. Thomas has been researching and writing Mesilla Valley history for almost 20 years. To date, he has seven books published on the subject.

Thomas’ book on Sheriff Pat Garrett has won five awards, including the 2020 Will Rogers Medallion Award for Western biography. His latest book is “The Trial of Billy the Kid.”

“The Trial of Billy the Kid” is about the famed outlaw’s trial for murder and the events leading up to that trial, Thomas said.

“The result of Billy's trial sealed his fate,” the author said. “And yet Billy’s trial is the least written about and, until this book, the least known event of Billy's adult life. Prior biographies have provided extensive – and fascinating – details on Billy's life, but they supply only a few paragraphs on Billy's trial. Just the bare facts: time, place, names, result.”

Thomas said the information presented in his book “has been unknown until now. This book makes it possible to answer these previously unanswerable questions: Where was Billy captured? Where was Billy tried? What were the governing territorial laws? What were the charges against Billy? Was there a trial transcript and what happened to it? What kind of defense did Billy present? Did Billy testify in his own defense? Did Billy have witnesses standing for him? Who testified against him for the prosecution? What was the jury like? What action by the trial judge virtually guaranteed his conviction? What legal grounds did he have to appeal his verdict? Was the trial fair?”

Supplementing the text are 132 photos, including many photos never published before, Thomas said.

The book is available in both paperback and hardcover from Amazon and Ingram.

“My familiarity is with writing history,” Thomas said. “The basis of a compelling history book is primary research, (which) will turn up fascinating details and facts never previously written about.

“Avoid basing your work on other authors’ books about the topic,” is his advice to would-be writers of history.

For more information, contact Joy Miller at joyemmamiller@gmail.com and Alice Davenport at 575-527-1411 and adavenport@totacc.com, or visit her at Moonbow’s Book Nook, 225 E. Idaho Ave., #32.