Thursday, August 31, 2017


As this post publishes, my younger son and I are driving across New Mexico and Texas to visit my older son, my brothers, and sister—not to mention a host of nieces, nephews, in-laws, and probably an outlaw or two. The purpose of this introduction is to say everyone should buy a copy of my new book, The City of Rocks… as well as The Zozobra Incident and The Bisti Business. I have to finance this trip somehow, you know.

At any rate, I wanted to give the readers another glimpse of the new novel. The following is a doctored version of a post from my publisher's blog:
Artist: Maria Fanning

Valuable Boot Heel Area Duck Kidnapped—No Ransom Demand Yet Received
At least according to Don Travis’s The City of Rocks

That was the headline in southwestern New Mexico newspapers recently... at least in Don Travis's The City of Rocks, the third in the BJ Vinson Mystery Series published by DSP Publications. The Zozobra Incident came out last November, followed by The Bisti Business in March of this year. City is due out July 18. The fourth novel The Lovely Pines is in production at DSPP with a target date of 2018. The fifth novel in the series, Abaddon’s Locusts, is growing fat on OneDrive on my desktop.

City opens “tongue-in-cheek,” but things become serious very quickly. The following is the book’s blurb”

Confidential investigator B. J. Vinson thinks it’s a bad joke when Del Dahlman asks him to look into the theft of a duck… a duck named Quacky Quack the Second and insured for $250,000. It ceases to be funny when the young thief dies in a suspicious truck wreck. The search leads BJ and his lover, Paul Barton, to the sprawling Lazy M Ranch in the Boot Heel country of southwestern New Mexico bordering the Mexican state of Chihuahua.

A deadly game unfolds when BJ and Paul are trapped in a weird rock formation known as the City of Rocks—an eerie array of frozen magma that is somehow at the center of the entire scheme. But does the theft of Quacky involve a quarter-million-dollar duck-racing bet between the ranch’s owner and a Miami real estate developer, or someone attempting to force the sale of the Lazy M because of its proximity to an unfenced portion of the Mexican border? BJ and Paul go from the City of Rocks to the neon lights of Miami and back again in pursuit of the answer… death and danger tracking their every step.

Regular readers of either my books or my weekly blog at know that BJ, my protagonist, is a former marine and Albuquerque PD detective turned confidential investigator after he was shot on the job while apprehending a killer. They also know that he is a gay man, neither in the “closet” nor flamboyantly advertising the fact. Actually, he considers himself a pretty regular--but very lucky—guy once he found his life mate, Paul Barton. Unlike the prior books, Paul plays a prominent role in City. He’s a grad student at UNM and intends to pursue a career in investigative journalism. What better place to start practicing than in the middle of one of BJ’s cases. But maybe he picked the wrong one to start with when people start dying.

DSPP informss me I have to tell you a little about myself. Boring! But here goes. Growing up as a tubercular child in my native Oklahoma, I eschewed physical activities and lived in the local library. It was not until I found myself in the US Army, trudging up and down the mountains of southern Germany with a light machine gun or a Browning Automatic Rifle slung over my shoulder that I discovered I could do what any other guy my age could do. But by then, the die of my life had been cast, and I was hooked on reading, and by extension on writing. I tried oil painting for a while (and did okay with it), but it did not scratch my creative itch, so I returned to a childhood habit of writing short stories. After selling around 60 of them under another name, I decided to try my hand at novels.

After eight years as a widower, I have not yet learned to cook or keep an orderly house. Passable… but not orderly. I do not own a pet, but have dog-sat a great little black and white Papillon named Gizmo for fourteen years. Yep, fourteen years. This is the best of all worlds. I get to see Gizzy often and then return him to his parents, just like a grandchild.

To give back to the community, I am active in SouthWest Writers and teach a free writing class at the North Domingo Baca Multigenerational Center in Albuquerque. I warned you it was boring.

Feel free to render your unvarnished opinions at

The following information provides contact information and the DSP Publications links:

Don Travis Email:
Facebook: Don Travis
Twitter: @dontravis3

As always, thank for being a reader.


New blogs are posted at 6:00 a.m. each Thursday.

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