When we began to develop the story line for A TIME OF CHANGE, David and I were both excited about the prospect of a new series centered on and around a trading post. David grew up on the Navajo Nation, and often visited his Uncle Albert, who operated trading posts on tribal land for over thirty years.
One evening his uncle spread out dozens of the Navajo rugs for sale and explained where each one came from, showing the differences in color between the Ganado, Klagetoh, Two Grey Hills, and Burntwater styles. Even more impressive were the prices these quality wool rugs brought to the weavers and the trading post.
That same night, over dinner in the upstairs trading post residence, Uncle Albert, a disabled Navy veteran from the WWII Pacific theater, asked David to someday help him write his memoirs.
Unfortunately Albert died before that could take place, but David still treasures the gifts his uncle gave him, some wonderful memories and a Zuni carved hunting fetish in the form of an arrowhead attached to a turquoise bear.
We placed our fictional business – The Outpost – just east of Shiprock where David grew up – and where our Ella Clah mysteries are set.
A TIME OF CHANGE isn’t just a blend of danger, mystery, and romantic suspense. It’s also a story of redemption and the power of forgiveness.
The Outpost sells everything from groceries and alfalfa to artisan crafted jewelry and crafts. It’s also the focus of a hidden secret and criminal conspiracy that threatens to kill everyone who works there.
Josephine Buck, the young Navajo medicine woman apprentice who helps run the business, finds her boss, Tom Stuart dead – murdered. Jo has dreamed of becoming a Navajo healer, but now her future has been turned upside down.
Tom’s son Ben, a troubled Army sniper who now serves as a medic, returns home on emergency leave from his unit to find the world he left behind shattered. His father is dead and the business he expected to inherit some day has been left to Jo, the girl he once loved.
Why did Jo get The Outpost and not him, Ben demands to know. Did she manipulate his father, had she become his lover, or did she set Tom up for the killer so she could take control of the business?
All Ben knows for certain is that Jo turned against him once before when he needed her the most. His life was in turmoil back then, and he made some terrible mistakes. Yet the greatest of them was forsaking those who loved him most. With no other options except jail unless he turned things around, he’d chosen to enlist.
Ben decides to work with the people his father had chosen to run the family business, a varied cast of characters that includes an aging former cheerleader, a talented, blind sculptor, a young wife who is the victim of abuse, and an elderly Christian Navajo woman with an indomitable spirit.
As suspicion, distrust, and the memories of what might have been continue to crowd Ben’s mind, he concludes that one of them is a traitor, keeping secrets that include the reason his father was killed, and why all their lives are now on the line.
Awaiting his next deployment, Ben must quickly set his feelings toward Jo aside and join forces with her in order to find his father’s murderer before he and the staff of The Outpost become the next victims.
Their investigation leads them from the shadow of the Hogback, at the edge of the Navajo Nation, to the back streets and warehouses of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico – one of the most dangerous cities in North America. Soon, no place is safe, not even their homes, workplace, or the desert itself as they become targets of a conspirator determined to protect an entire criminal network.
We hope you’ll come and meet everyone at The Outpost, and that they’ll find a place in your hearts and minds. It’s a diverse group, and each has a story to tell.
David was raised on the Navajo Indian Reservation and left Shiprock to complete his education at the University of New Mexico.
Aimée, born in Havana, Cuba, has lived in New Mexico for forty two years. Their popular Ella Clah mystery series, featuring a Navajo woman police officer, won a New Mexico Book Award and was optioned by CBS. They’ve also won the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award. Their Lee Nez vampire novels have been optioned by Red Nation Films in Hollywood. They also write romantic suspense novels for Harlequin and have sold more than two million copies worldwide.
To learn more about David and Aimée Thurlo please visit their website.