A series of mystery/suspense/thriller novels from present day, western Montana

Read more about Felix at Goodreads

County Coroner

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Strategies for 2011

I have pitched both ‘Mystery at Little Bitterroot’ and ‘The Killing Zone’ to agents and publishers, generating some interest from a few agents both via mail correspondence and in-person interviews. I’m still trying to find that one agent or publisher who will understand the marketing potential of my novels. With the advent of many CSI-type shows on TV and with our society becoming more multiracial and beginning to understand the precarious ecological balance of our Mother Earth, I know that my writing of a mixed-blood sheriff involved in CSI investigations while solving mysteries and who experiences conflict within the modern world and his Native American traditions will resonate with a large group of readers.

My strategy is to finish the final draft of ‘Montana Harvest’ (chronologically, the first of the novels that I’ve written so far) by the end of September and then send it to my editor. I will review her corrections and recommendations, then finalize the manuscript by the end of this year and then in early 2011, self-publish that novel. Then while ‘Montana Harvest’ is available at Amazon.com, Borders, Walden Books, etc., I’ll continue to pitch ‘Mystery at Little Bitterroot’ and ‘The Killing Zone’ to traditional agents & publishers.

I plan to volunteer at a Red Feather straw bale house build on the Northern Cheyenne Indian reservation in Montana during June, 2011 and if all goes well, by then I will have three published novels available and will be working on the fourth novel, ‘Secrets of the Bob Marshall Wilderness’ which takes place prior to ‘Montana Harvest’ while Jim is a newly commissioned Montana Highway Patrolman. I plan to blog about my volunteer activities while in Montana and my intent is to make people aware of the hardships and neglect prevalent on today’s Native American Indian reservations.


My New Writers Group

Last month I joined a newly formed writers group in Storrs, Connecticut. The group, composed of between five and ten members, is predicated upon the Iowa Writers Workshop concept; a popular technique for providing constructive feedback. My submissions for this writers group will be the chapters from Montana Harvest. Chapter 1 will be submitted this Wednesday, August 25th.


Books, books, books

I met a dear friend for lunch today. In fact she was my companion at Manchester Community College’s Mishi-maya-gat Spoken Word & Music Series in 2007 where we both gave readings to a captive audience. Our enjoyable lunch lasted from 1:00 until past 3:30. We spoke of where we are in our writing careers and our lives and made plans to organize a reunion gathering of our former teacher and our classmates. After lunch I went to Borders Books because I had a 33% off coupon and a $25 gift card that I won in a raffle at CAPA-U in May. My intent was to find books pertaining to either Native American Studies or Montana travel guides. My plan is to volunteer for a Red Feather build next summer. What I instead found myself drawn to was Native American Spirituality. I discovered the following books:

1 – 365 Days of Walking the Red Road by Terri Jean – a book of inspirational quotations
2 – Native American Wisdom by Kent Nerburn and Louise Mengelkoch – a book of random quotations
3 – The Wisdom of the Native Americans by Kent Nerburn – a book of words to live by
4 – Indian Spirit by Michael Oren Fitzgerald and Judith Fitzgerald – pictures of great Native Americans and their words
5 – Black Elk Speaks by John G. Neihardt – the premier Native American book widely hailed as a religious classic. Black Elk is considered a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux.

I will take the best excerpts from these books and post them weekly to my blog. The quotes are classic, in-depth revelations of how we as a society should behave toward ourselves, toward other creatures in the world, and toward Mother Earth herself. For without wisdom, compassion, love, and understanding, what are we?


Linda Stevens – the fourth entry in the Jim Buchanan character series

You met Sheriff Jim Buchanan in May, Coroner Hank Kelly in June, and Deputy Rocky Salentino in July. Now meet Police Chief Linda Stevens.

Linda is 5’8” with short blond hair and an athletic build showcasing her 14% body fat. She is a Thompson Falls native, four years younger than her friends Jim and Kate. Linda idolized Jim’s successes during her teenage years and decided to follow his professional path, studying Criminal Justice at the University of Montana. After college she applied for and achieved the highest ranking to date at the Montana Police Academy in Bozeman. Accepting a patrol officer position with the Thompson Falls Police Department in 1989 at the age of 23, Linda worked her way up the ranks until she was named Police Chief in 1997 at the age of 31. Linda is a solid, rock steady person in town and Jim’s honest link to the police department. Everything is by the book with her and it doesn’t hurt that she holds simultaneous black belts in Karate, Aikido, Judo, and Jiu Jitsu as well as being a highly decorated law enforcement marksman.


Web Site Coming

I have begun the process of establishing my web site. I have the domain name ‘felixgiordano.com’ reserved and when I build my website and upload it, it will then become available via Internet searches and for website browsing. My manifested target date will be during mid-2011. I plan to utilize the site for my promotion as an author and will identify the novels in The Jim Buchanan Series, their progress, how and where readers will be able to purchase them, book reviews that I come across, plus book tours and signings. My primary plan is to secure an agent and a traditional publisher but an alternative path is to self-publish. Self-publishing has come a long way since questionable services such as AuthorHouse, Infinity Publishing, Xlibris, and IUniverse, ruled the landscape. Now highly recommended self-publishers such as CreateSpace (owned by Amazon.com) and Lulu are helping authors get published when the traditional routes become blocked due to various reasons not related to a particular author’s talent. Stay tuned, I plan to update my progress on this venue. It will prove to be an exciting time.


An indication of how serious I take my writing

The Jim Buchanan Novels by Felix Giordano – Series begins in 1992

Red indicates novels completed or currently working on

1) Secrets of the Bob Marshall Wilderness – rumor of a lost gold and silver mine brings together a group of people in search of untold riches. However, greed, a 19th century legend and an early winter storm lead to their downfall and it’s up to Montana Highway Patrolman Jim Buchanan to save them and put the pieces together. While doing so, Jim is seriously injured. (1992)

2) Straddling the Red Road – Jim recuperates from his injuries and spends time with his half-brother Bobby Twofavors and learns how both close and far he really is from the Red Road. While on the Crow Reservation, he becomes involved in opposing a pseudo-town’s desire to sell liquor to the Natives. (1992)

3) Sasquatch – Amid reports of a Bigfoot on the loose, the county is awash with developers trying to build a coal-fired power plant. Jim is asked to become involved in an investigation by Sheriff Dan McCoy when a number of construction workers are killed. The two men have to determine whether the murderous rampage was the result of a Bigfoot or the locals. (1993)

4) The Vanishing Tribe – the legend of a small tribe of Native Americans having magical powers and inhabiting a remote section of Northwestern Montana is related to Jim by Flathead Police Chief Jacob Stronghorse. Soon to be retiring Sheriff Dan McCoy calls them the Brigadoon Tribe. (1993)

5) Mission Mountain Mystery – around the same time that Jim wins election as Sanders County Sheriff and leaves the Highway Patrol, a rumor surfaces of a rabid Grizzly Bear on the loose terrorizing hunters and campers in the wilderness. Jim is persuaded by another county sheriff to help find the man-eater. (1994)

6) Cries from the Flathead Valley – alcoholism leads to the deaths of Flathead youth and an investigation uncovers that there is more to it than just kids drinking themselves to death. (1994)

7) Montana Harvest – series of corpses and unsolved murders leads Sheriff Jim Buchanan to break up an international human organ transplant conspiracy with Mayor/Doctor Hamilton Jackson as its head which ultimately leads to the death of Jim’s wife, the former Kate Nelson. (1995-96)
8) Mystery at Little Bitterroot – Jim and Elijah find a body on the Flathead Indian Reservation and Jim involves Police Chief Linda Stevens and County Coroner Hank Kelly in the investigation. Soon after, two Flathead youth die from alcohol poisoning and Jim begins to wonder if the body and the deaths of the boys are connected. (1996)
9) The Killing Zone – Two teenagers, one an artist and the other a musician, are hitchhiking from Minnesota to Los Angeles to seek fame and fortune. On the way they meet two Native American boys who give them a lift. When their car breaks down they run into a biker gang. One girl is murdered, one boy left for dead, the other girl kidnapped and the other boy is blamed for the carnage. Jim learns of the assault and gets involved when the gang kidnaps his daughter, Alma Twofavors. (1997)

10) The Scarlet Max – A rare red diamond is smuggled out of Australia by organized crime and transported to the United States. The diamond courier is murdered and the rock stolen in Las Vegas. Jim and his deputy, Rocky Salentino cross paths with the murderer in Vegas while attending an FBI seminar. A pursuit ensues across three states and the diamond eventually lost, or is it? (1998)

11) The Disappearance of Joshua Nelson – Jim is contacted by his former Chicago Bears defensive line coach to resume his pro career. Once the season begins, Jim’s teenage nephew, a budding minor league baseball prospect, disappears and foul play is suspected. Jim must decide which is more important, his career or rescuing the boy. (1999)

12) Great Lakes Mystery – The two Native American boys from ‘The Killing Zone’ travel to Minnesota to visit the girl they once met and after finding her stumble onto a mystery requiring Jim’s help. (2000)

13) The White Buffalo – A white buffalo is born on the Crow Reservation which is a sign of prophecy for the Crow and a sign of envy to the white population in Billings. (2001)

14) September Mourn – Jim, Hank Kelly and his family are invited to New York for the wedding of Kate’s cousin Karin. When her fiance dies in the WTC towers attack, Jim has to rescue Karin while Hank assists with the forensic investigation. (2001)

15) Enigma in the Pines – a college student on a summer tree planting expedition meets the specter of a young Native American girl in the pine forest and learns that she holds the key to a long lost secret that Jim must confront. (2002)

16) Badge on 42nd Street – Jim and Hank are invited back to New York due to their heroism in the WTC attacks. They inadvertently get involved in an investigation of missing homeless people. (2002)

17) Unidentified Corpse – a headless, handless, footless body is found near Flathead Lake coinciding with the escapes of two criminals that Jim helped place behind bars. Jim has to find the murderer and uncover the killer’s motive. (2003)

18) The Legacy of Dan McCoy – Dan McCoy is murdered and Jim has to find his killer and determine if it was a random act of violence or if there was criminal intent to murder Dan. (2004)

19) Justice for Little Hawk – Jim is accused of murdering a common drifter who is later found to be the only son of a very rich man. (2005)

20) Circumstances at Cold River Junction – in the midst of a raging snowstorm a group of college students become stranded and one dies in a suspicious manner. Jim and his daughter Alma, who is now an FBI agent, suspect that someone in the group is the killer and they have bring that person to justice and the rest of the group to safety. (2006)

21) Milwaukee Road – Jim is attacked by a fugitive from justice and dumped onto a freight train. When he regains consciousness, he discovers himself in Milwaukee and doesn’t remember who he is. He must learn who he is, get back to Montana and capture the criminal. (2007)

22) The Return of the Scarlet Max – Hawaiian honeymoon of Jim and retired Police Chief Linda Stevens is interrupted when she is abducted by organized crime who are still searching for the lost Scarlet Max diamond. (2008)


Memorable phrases by Police Chief Linda Stevens

“You stubborn Crow. We’re talking about your life here!”

“Cut the crap, I’ll knock your ass clear across the parking lot.”

“I found out there were no ballistics evidence on the two dead police officers.”

“We’re your friends Jim. Friends need to share not just the good times but the hardships as well.”

“Jim, I have a feeling this girl will not only send you to your grave, she’ll dig the hole for you too.”


Memorable phrases by Native American characters

Ex-con Flathead Member Willie Otaktay:

“There’s a serial killer on the loose. At last count, they’ve found about four or five carved up bodies on the reservation. You best watch yourself.”

“White men can’t track.”

“I grew up on this land. I hunted and fished in the wilderness since I was shoulder-high to my horse. I know this land like the earth on the floor of my grandfather’s tipi.”

“All of us on Mother Earth are cousins. When we all realize this there will be peace among all people,”

“What do you think I did during all that time I spent in prison? I read books.”

Crow Chief Soaring Eagle:

“Little Hawk, the beauty isn’t in the beads on your neck, or the pipes we smoke, or the moccasins we wear. The beauty is in the hands that made them.”

“You have always been Crow, in your heart and in your spirit … go the way of the strong; but be wise Little Hawk.”

Flathead Tribal Member Elijah Littletree:

“This is sacred land. The white man killed my people on this ground and now they’ve done it again.”

“Whose government … the white man’s government?”

“May Creator fill everyone’s lives with blessings and love for all things.”

Son of Elijah, Abraham Littletree:

“They stole the liquor. They thought if they drank it, they would see warriors in the buffalograss.”

Flathead Tribal Police Chief Jacob Stronghorse:

“Hey, you know what I want. We got three dead bodies on reservation land.”

“Pleasant words won’t stop a warrant. You need to decide what you’re going to do.”

“I can delay them with a few tricks. The white man’s law is full of loopholes.”

Flathead Tribal Member Miss Martin:

“Do you men have passports to visit Turtle Island?”

Acaraho Eaglefeather:

“If you’re going to Billings with me, put your flint knife in the trunk too. You’ll scare the white folk crazy carrying that thing around.”

“Éše’he … Evoohta … Taa’é-eše’he … Enemene … Enoohta.” (translation: “By the sun I will see you … by the moon I will sing to you … until I leave.”)

County Coroner Wisdom Redsky:

“You think all Natives are the same … my people are Lakota not Crow.”

“Wakan Tanka, unshimalam ye oyate.” (translation: “Great Spirit, have mercy on me.”)

“Our brains are for thinking and sometimes worry too much about our age. Our hearts are for blood flow, let the love rush from your heart and follow where it leads you.”


Memorable phrases by Retired Sheriff Dan McCoy and Coroner Hank Kelly

Retired Sheriff Dan McCoy:

“I love it so much that I told Hank everyone in Thompson Falls can kiss my ass.”

“Wow wee! Damn, they don’t hit like that in the NFL anymore.”

“Yeah, so what? Can’t a white man date a Flathead?”

“I’m giving away the shroud of Christ. Yep, I’ve done seen the face of the Lord. He spoketh to me and said tobacco juice is the elixir of Satan.”

“I’ll take the 8-ounce bacon-bison cheeseburger with French fries and a slice of Dutch apple pie.”

“Man, if you ain’t the most dense Indian I ever met.”

“Jim, there are things in this world worth dying for and that wasn’t one of them.”

“Don’t you dare tell a soul that Dan McCoy gets a massage.”

Coroner Hank Kelly:

“My friend might die, and you’re asking about the investigation? Didn’t Hoover teach you G-Men compassion?”

“The blood that settled and coagulated in his muscles makes him look darker.”

“He had some skin carved off his shoulder in addition to the missing head, hands, and feet. We think he may have had a tattoo. Whoever killed him, made damn sure he wouldn’t be identified.”

“That hole in the center; we found microscopic shards of leather. Someone may have used it as an ornament. Maybe they hung it from their neck.”

“This body has a gaping wound in his chest and most of his internal organs are missing. This looks like a cult killing.”

“I’m good at dissecting. Give me a shot at putting you back together.”

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Mystery at Little Bitterroot

Mystery at Little Bitterroot has achieved Amazon's #1 ranking for Native American Literature's Hot New Book Releases.
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