Read Tuesday (Black Friday for Books) December 9, 2014

Today is Read Tuesday!

Read Tuesday (Black Friday for Books) December 9, 2014

Read Tuesday (Black Friday for Books) December 9, 2014

Special Deals all day!

Find out about Read Tuesday here:

Learn about your favourite books and authors; discover new ones. Check out books, boxed sets, author profiles. It’s Read Tuesday!

Reluctant Medium:Debut Novel in the Series

Reluctant Medium:Debut Novel in the Series

Try “Reluctant Medium” beginning at £0.99 in a Countdown Deal on Amazon.UK :

This year “Reluctant Medium” is available only on Amazon.UK to introduce the Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mystery Series to UK readers. My thanks to US and Canadian readers for placing “Reluctant Medium” and “Lemurian Medium” on Amazon Top 100 Lists over and over!

Thanks to Chris Graham at the Story Reading Ape and Chris McMullen for including me.


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New Children’s Christmas Book by David Chuka

David Chuka Does It Again: Billy and Monster’s Golden Christmas

Meet David Chuka

Author David Chuka

Author David Chuka

David Chuka began writing children’s books because he found only one Kindle book available in the form of a beginning reader for his daughter Ruth. She loved it, but . . .  “I couldn’t find many books on the Amazon Kindle store that I could download.” One day, he thought “Hey, I think I can write stuff that she’ll like. I went on to write my first children’s book titled If You See a Doctor and I haven’t stopped since then.”

Kojo the seadragon Gets Lost

Kojo the Sea Dragon Gets Lost         Available at Amazon

He has written three non-fiction Animal books for children that contain fun facts and photos.  One is the fiction Animal book titled Kojo the Sea Dragon Gets Lost. “The story is about a one-eyed, buck-toothed, multi-tailed sea dragon who gets lost while playing a game of hide and seek. Although he was advised by his Mum never to go to the South side of the river, he ventures there because he wants to win as he never does against his friend, Kofi. The story is ultimately about how a community comes together to rescue Kojo and how he learns to trust his Mum. I think telling a story with animals is fun as you can get away with a lot of things.”

New Release: Ta-dah!

Billy and Monster's Golden Christmas by David Chuka

Billy and Monster’s Golden Christmas by David Chuka                       Available at Amazon

In this book, which is the fifth instalment in his best-selling series – The Adventures of Billy and Monster – David tackles that scenario we sometimes face during the holiday season: What do we do when we get a gift we don’t really like? Billy gets a golden pen from Uncle Leland from England while his cousin Bob gets a Monster truck. Billy doesn’t show any gratitude and his attitude makes his Dad mad and his uncle sad. An incident at the refrigerator while reaching for Grandma’s chocolate caramel pecan pie leads Billy to a world filled with snow and colourful monsters. While there, he learns about one of the most important things about Christmas. I’ll be picking up a copy to enjoy with my loved ones over the holidays. Do grab a copy today.

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Quirky Santa Fe

Keep Santa Fe Weird

by G G Collins     (Copyright 2014)

Every city has its quirks. These are some of my favorites in Santa Fe.

Every Year We Burn Zozobra Copyright G G Collins

Every Year We Burn Zozobra
Copyright G G Collins

This strange looking guy wearing the dress is Zozobra. This petite version can be found at the Convention and Visitors Bureau on Marcy Street. Every autumn Santa Feans burn him–along with their worries. The next year, he is constructed and once again set on fire to screams of “Burn him, burn him!” For more on Zozobra see here on Reluctant Medium at Large in Santa Fe.

Santa Fe Current by Colette Hosmer Copyright G G Collins

Santa Fe Current by Colette Hosmer
Copyright G G Collins










Fish might be the last thing you’d expect to see in downtown Santa Fe and yet, here they are. The monumental sculpture is “Santa Fe Current” by artist Colette Hosmer. It features Rio Grande Cutthroat trout. Each granite fish is 2′ x 3 1/2′ in size. Right outside the Convention and Visitors Bureau on Marcy.












Ojo Optique Sign

Ojo Optique Sign

You might find a sign in New Orleans that includes a skull, but this one uses the Spanish word “ojo” which means “eye.” Find it near the Plaza on Lincoln Ave.









Even the Crows Eat Chiles!  Copyright G G Collins

Even the Crows Eat Chiles!
Copyright G G Collins


In Santa Fe even the crows eat chiles. This guy, who lives in a sculpture garden along Canyon Road, appears to have a notoriously hot chile called a scotch bonnet (100,000 – 350,000 Scoville Units). Turn onto Canyon Road and make a quick left. There is parking, shops and art everywhere.











Prairie Dog Enclosure at Jackalope Copyright G G Collins

Prairie Dog Enclosure at Jackalope
Copyright G G Collins

In a region where prairie dogs are sometimes cursed, this lucky family of the little “dogs” lives at Jackalope. Find it at 2820 Cerrillos Rd. Pottery, rugs and furniture doesn’t begin to describe everything that you’ll find here.

To learn about the history of Jackalope, click

The Shed Restaurant Copyright G G Collins

The Shed Restaurant
Copyright G G Collins

The Shed restaurant is famous for its excellent New Mexican cuisine. But did you know that The Shed serves French bread with every meal? It also offers a decadent Italian dessert called a zabaglione, a rich custard made with Cointreau and white port. Find the shed on East Palace just steps from the Plaza.

My characters Rachel Blackstone and Chloe Valdez meet at The Shed often to solve paranormal mysteries.

Learn about the humble beginnings of The Shed at

Santa Fe is one of those places with lots nooks and crannies. Don’t be afraid to explore. You’ll miss the most beautiful places and its quirky surprises.

How is your city “weird?”


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Author Interview with Mystery Writer G G Collins

David Chuka–Children’s Book Author, Interviews G G Collins

David Chuka, Children's Book Author & Blogger

David Chuka, Children’s Book Author & Blogger


My thanks to David for an insightful interview. I think a journalist spirit lurks within this children’s book author (another life?). I enjoyed answering his questions. For more on sneaky reporter tactics, Brussels sprouts and oh yeah, writing the Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mysteries, here is the link.

Check out his Web site and books from If You See a Doctor to Kojo the Seadragon Gets Lost with lots of colorful stories in between. I’m partial to the seadragon as I write about dragons in Lemurian Medium–a fellow traveler?  Check them out here.




Free Holiday Promotional Opportunity for Authors (Read Tuesday Sale)

G G Collins, Author & Journalist:

Reblogged to Reluctant Medium at Large. Thank you Chris!

Originally posted on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog..... An Author Promotions Enterprise!:


Wouldn’t it be great if you could find a free opportunity to promote your books for the holidays?


Wouldn’t it be great to find a huge holiday book sale?

Well, there is. It’s called Read Tuesday.

It’s like Black Friday, but for books.

In 2014, Read Tuesday falls on Tuesday, December 9.


Mark your calendars.

What do you have to do?

Very little:


Sign your book up for Read Tuesday at Click the authors page to learn more.


Visit on Tuesday, December 9. Browse the catalog of books on December 9, which will include links to Kindle pages at Amazon with amazing sale prices as well as Smashwords discount codes.


Send books for the holidays. You can gift an e-book, purchase CreateSpace paperbacks with discount codes, or give a paperback as a gift from Amazon and keep…

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Santa Fe’s Museum Hill & Botanical Garden

A Little Bit of Heaven on an Autumn Day

By G G Collins          (Copyright 2014)

Mountain Spirit Dancer by Craig Dan Goseyun Bronze, c. 2000 Copyright G G Collins

Mountain Spirit Dancer
by Craig Dan Goseyun
Bronze, c. 2000
Copyright G G Collins

As I walked up the steps to the huge courtyard at Museum Hill, southwestern music floated across the breeze to greet me. I could almost pluck the notes from thin air. Although the open space is large between the museums, the courtyard feels intimate with beautiful desert landscaping, en plein air sculpture garden and dedicated spaces. With the Sangre de Cristos as backdrop and storm clouds adding drama but no rain, it was a perfect Santa Fe fall day.

On this excursion I wasn’t covering the museums, but please don’t let that stop you. The “Hill” is composed of the Museum of International Folk Art, Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, Wheelright Museum of the American Indian, Museum of Spanish Colonial Art and the Laboratory of Anthropology. You can stay the entire day and see them all. For a time-out, the Museum Hill Cafe provides food, drink, music and a place to rest tired feet.

Rock, Paper, Scissors by Kevin Box Copyright G G Collins

Rock, Paper, Scissors by Kevin Box
Copyright G G Collins

Two things dominate the courtyard (also known as Milner Plaza), the Mountain Spirit Dancer by Craig Dan Goseyun. The massive bronze sculpture appears to be moving. Look at the fringe on his costume, the feathers caught up in his movement, the lightness of his feet. Throughout the courtyard the art runs from howling coyotes to mother and child. There is a performance circle included here for a cozy outdoor experience with the arts. But at the other end of the court is a labyrinth. Santa Fe is known for its many public labyrinths. This one is contemporary in style and is constructed using stones in the southwest colors of turquoise and coral. Set aside a few minutes and take a contemplative walk. Who knows what you’ll discover about yourself. There is another blog post about labyrinths at

Santa Fe Botanical Garden, Art Walk Background Copyright G G Collins

Santa Fe Botanical Garden, Art Walk Background
Copyright G G Collins


I crossed the parking lot to the new-ish Santa Fe Botanical Garden. Phase 1, the Orchard Gardens opened in July 2013. Phase 2, Ojos Y Manos: Eyes and Hands, is scheduled to debut in 2015. While wandering the grounds, notice the red bridge. Phase 2 will be beyond Kearny’s Gap Bridge.

Me in my "office, Santa Fe Botanical Garden w/Kevin Box sculpture. Copyright G G Collins

Me in my “office,”Santa Fe Botanical Garden w/Kevin Box sculpture.
Copyright G G Collins

While there, I enjoyed “Origami in the Garden” a series of metal fashioned through lost wax casting and fabrication techniques, by artist Kevin Box. Both whimsy and beauty are found in his work. From the his Rock, Paper, Scissors to Painted Ponies, they are all inspired creations with their origins in a sheet of blank paper. For more about his work:

Coming up next is the GLOW, the winter lights event. It opens December 4, 2014 and runs through January 3, 2015. Along with the beautiful lights will be Santa Claus, music and hot toddies every Saturday evening. Tickets are $7 to $8 (non-members) with children 12 and under, free. To buy tickets:

Museum Hill Sculpture Garden  Copyright G G Collins

Museum Hill Sculpture Garden
Copyright G G Collins


There are many opportunities for education and community service. For more information:

To reach Museum Hill and the Santa Fe Botanical Garden, take Old Santa Fe Trail southeast from the Plaza to Camino Lejo (there are Museum Hill signs along the way). Public transit is available. Please see for directions:

Whatever the season, Santa Fe’s Museum Hill and Botanical Garden is a little bit of desert paradise for all the senses.

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Interview with character Rachel Blackstone, as told to G G Collins

Chris the Story Reading Ape Blog Features Rachel Blackstone

Check out Chris the Story Reading Ape

Check out Chris the Story Reading Ape









You can find the story here:

Maybe Rachel will finally clue us in as to why she wears shoes she can run in. Did she really fly on a dragon?And what’s this about her being a medium?

Oh well, just see what she has to say.

2nd book in the series.

Second Book in the Series.

Debut Novel in the Series

Debut Novel in the Series

Crystal Protection Grid

Building a Protection Grid with Crystals

By G G Collins     (Copyright 2014)

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Whether or not this is an actual quote from Buddha doesn’t matter. It certainly seems to be true. Somehow we connect when we need or want to learn a new subject.

Crystal Protection Grid (Copyright G G Collins)

Crystal Protection Grid
(Copyright G G Collins)

When I began work on my second installment of the Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mystery Series, I wanted to add a new tool for Rachel and Chloe to work with. Enter my friend Marilyn. She didn’t even know I was looking for something new. She began talking about crystals, the power she felt they had and how they had worked for her. I asked some questions, she recommended books and gave me stones. Not just any old rocks, but crystals, reputed to have magical powers.

In my third book (Atomic Medium due out January 2015), Rachel needed more protection than usual as she and Chloe travel through time to 1945 during the Manhattan Project (next year is the 70th anniversary). I explained my dilemma and Marilyn came up with several options. This is one I’d like to share.

The Crystal Protection Grid:

First obtain a grid. These can be found at many metaphysical stores and online. Cleanse and dedicate the crystals. Charge them in moonlight during a full moon.

Selenite Pyramid is used as primary energy stone. (Copyright G G Collins)

Selenite Pyramid is used as primary energy stone.
(Copyright G G Collins)

Marilyn chose a Selenite Pyramid for the center stone. Selenite can be used to form a web of protection around your house or apartment. It helps create a safe and quiet place not influenced by outside sources. It acts as the primary energy source. This particular crystal is quite beautiful in color and shape.

Subsequent stones are placed in geometric patterns around the master stone. In the first ring, we used Malachite, a favorite of mine. It’s not only a beautiful green stone, but is protective.

Apache Tears form the next circle. Apache Tears are a form of Black Obsidian which is also a protective stone. It is said to absorb negative energy. I carry one at all times.

For the outer edge of the grid we chose Amethyst. These are Dog Tooth Amethyst. Not only is it protective, it is a natural tranquilizer and is said to block geopathic stress which can occur in the form of a sick house or even a spiritual presence.

Once you’ve placed your stones, use a wand to activate it. This can be something elaborate, made for this purpose or you can use something more organic like a Lemurian Seed crystal wand, which is my choice. You may use a verse especially composed to activate crystal grids or just speak in your own words. The important thing is to give it meaning.

I’m so happy with this Protection Grid and I know it will work perfectly for Rachel in her next adventure.

A special thank you to Marilyn for all she does.


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Burn Your Troubles Away With Zozobra

Zozobra Burning Wipes the Slate Clean

by G G Collins     (Copyright 2014)

Zozobra Wikimedia Commons

Zozobra Wikimedia Commons

Ever wanted to just start all over? You can! Attend the Burning of Zozobra in Santa Fe August 29th. Every year Santa Feans are cleansed of their gloom by burning the world’s largest marionette. It draws 50,000 people or more so be sure you’ve got those hotel reservations confirmed.

A “gloom box” is located near the stage. Write down your troubles and drop them in the box (there are also “gloom” cans in shops around the city). The contents of the “gloom box” are set at the feet of Old Man Gloom to be burned with fireworks.

When Zozobra begins to moan and groan, he can be heard throughout the city. Take a look at a video by Luke Fitch of the burning. He filmed it with a DJI Phantom quadcopter. This is an amazing clip and Fitch’s other videos are worth a look too. 

The 50-foot (15.21 m) clown/monster made the Guinness World Records in 2007, but he’s been the big guy in Santa Fe since 1924. Gloomy folks begin to arrive around noon although the burning doesn’t start until dusk. The show goes on even if it rains, but with 300+ days of sunshine in Santa Fe, that almost never happens. No dogs or lawn chairs allowed so bring a blanket and take a picnic.

Zozobra at his Moment of Clarity

Zozobra at his Moment of Clarity Wikimedia Commons


The Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe produces the fundraiser which requires 3500 volunteer hours to pull off. It uses the proceeds for scholarships, youth projects and camp fees for physically challenged children. Your $10 goes to provide good things. Tickets are available right up until burn time.

If you can’t make it and still want to burn your troubles, go to: 

Zozobra, Burn Baby Burn Wikimedia Commons

Zozobra, Burn Baby Burn
Wikimedia Commons


Roll down the page until you see the black box with Zozobra in it. Type in your worries and burn, burn, burn!



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Guest Author G G Collins talks about Rachel Blackstone the Reluctant Medium

G G Collins, Author & Journalist:

Reblogged to with my thanks. GG Collins

Originally posted on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog..... An Author Promotions Enterprise!:

G G Collins

What does a fact-based reporter do for fun? Write paranormal fiction of course.

I couldn’t help it. Once I discovered the Hopi ceremony to return the dead, the story almost wrote itself. Keeping in mind that questions are the basic tools of journalists, I just had to ask, “What would happen if the wrong spirit returned?”

Well, a lot can happen, most of it bad. The spirit Rachel Blackstone wanted to see was her father, who had died mysteriously. But she inadvertently calls back one who is not so nice—and it has a score to settle. Further, she’s suddenly endowed with talents she didn’t possess before and doesn’t want. Rachel is befriended by a Hopi shaman who guides her on the perilous quest to send the ghost packing.

RMReluctant Medium was to be a stand-alone book, but writing it was so much fun I decided to make it a series…

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