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The WILD Bunch is a WILD group of friends and fans of the WILD Mystery Series.

Our Guest Blogger is WILD Bunch Member and Mystery Author Suzanne Arruda

Click on Image to visit Suzanne's Website
Meet Author Suzanne Arruda

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Suzanne's Latest Release


It's impossible to be a writer and not to have heard that adage: "Write what you know." It's been passed around so long that we've accepted it as a gospel truth rather than a truism, and it discourages many would-be writers who feel that they don't know anything exciting. Luckily for me, the question of what I knew was answered years ago by one of my bosses who said: "Suzanne, you know crap!" (actually, he worded it much more strongly and according to a few reviewers, that's what I write).

If authors wrote what they "knew," there would be little science fiction (how many of us have actually lived on another planet or been in a space ship?). Mary Shelley would not have written Frankenstein, and Shakespeare would not have written MacBeth. There would be no Ben Hur or any Jules Verne novels.

So does one just ignore that admonition? Not entirely. We do know about the human condition, passions, and emotions. We also know things vicariously. One doesn't have to stand in front of a moving locomotive to learn that it's a bad idea, and a big part of vicarious learning for writers is through research.

While writing my Jade del Cameron mystery series set in 1920's Africa, I read old Nairobi newspapers and every aging memoir I could get via interlibrary loan. No, I've never been to east Africa (just Morocco), nor have I been on safari. Some experiences I did try for myself. I went up in a bi-plane and interviewed pilots, practiced archery and learned to shoot a lever-action rifle. I learned to make fire using flint and steel. And it was all fun.

Now I'm working on a contemporary thriller/mystery (read: ‘thristery') and it's an entirely new type of research. I have to make more contacts with living humans such as Sheriffs, park rangers, and coroners. And contemporary research has more of a ‘living dangerously' feel to it. For instance, no one really got concerned when I spent a month studying a 1922 book on Medical Jurisprudence to learn about historical forensics. But spend an hour on-line researching how to make methamphetamines and bombs and you begin to wonder how long it will be before homeland security comes breaking down the door. (Maybe that's why my luggage is always being searched by TSA.)

So, if you're a struggling writer, wishing that you could write something exotic, wild, and edgy - you can. Go for it. And have fun.


Suzanne Arruda is the author of six Jade del Cameron historical mysteries set in 1920's Africa and is currently writing a contemporary mystery/thriller set in NW Arkansas. For more information visit

Website  www.suzannearruda.com

weekly blog at http://suzannearruda.blogspot.com

Join Suzanne on Facebook

A WILD Beat Report from WILD Bunch Member Linda Villa:

I was born and raised in Southern California to a family who had immigrated from Arizona. It was an old west family filled with lots of pioneer stories and a love of the West. We traveled back to Phoenix for family gathering and often frequented Native American areas and old west haunts. I loved those trips. In California we lived on a small ranch were my Father and I raised horses for show and parades.  He and I shared a love of animals so we had a lot of beloved friends from chickens, geese, pot bellied pigs, cats and dogs and of course the horses. It was a wonderful way to grow-up and to live. By the time I started having a midlife crisis my parents had, as Sandi puts it, gone of the ridge and I was free to leave California. We packed up my stuff and the four large dogs and moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico. I truly loved Santa Fe. My father was Hispanic and I loved the mix of Hispanic and Native American culture. We built a beautiful adobe house and tried to make it look as authentic as possible. Our front doors were patterned after the church at Truchas, our windows were old New Mexico replicas and our hardware was all from a local iron worker. We spent week-ends traveling the roads of  Northern New Mexico and attended every festival and pueblo event we could find. We had lots of land and the four dogs got wild and became "real dogs" as they would put it. I became involved with the arts community with my work and made lots of Hispanic and Native American friends. I am an avid reader and had always enjoyed western literature. I read everything Tony Hillerman wrote, along with Pam Houston, Michael McGarrity and M. Scott Momaday.  Eventually we came to realize that making a living in our beloved Santa Fe was not working and the difficult decision to leave was made.Tiwa/BabyTiwaPeeks.JPG                                            

We settled in Kansas City, MO and travel back Santa Fe whenever we can. Last New Years day I went to a really fun dinner party at a close friends and met a man I had heard about  because we both were parents of cocker spaniels. We talked and laughed during dinner and finally he said he also heard I liked to read western literature. He told me his sister was a author and he thought I would enjoy her books. He also said she had a wolf and he was prominent in her novels. He gave me Wild Indigo and Wild Sorrow and I fell in love with Mountain. I joined Sandi's email list and soon found that she would be doing a signing in Kansas so I made plans to attend.  I met Sandi and her sisters and Mother and had a great day visiting with them, our shared love of dogs gave us lots in common. Then Tracy went out to the car and brought TIWA in to see everyone. He is so beautiful and sweet that I couldn't take my eyes off of him. It was a wonderful day and one I shall not soon forget. Oh, I bought Wild Penance and have so enjoyed reading it. The story set in Northern New Mexico brought back such wonderful memories of the festivals and pageants there, but it was the ending when Jamaica adopts Mountain that was the best part to me.  I think Wild Inferno is my favorite of the series because Mountain is most prominent along with MommaTiwa/BabyTiwaSleeps.JPG Anna and Tecolote. Gosh, what good reading they are.


Ms. Ault,
My name is Danny. I'm a 100 percent disabled veteran. I was almost killed on a mission after serving 30 years in Special Operations with only a couple of minor scratches. I ended up breaking my back and taking a small piece of hot shrapnel from an IED into my stomach. The metal pierced my intestines and nicked my colon. 2 months later I came out of a medically induced coma and after 12 surgeries I'm probably as good as I'm going to get.

At the VA... I started reading fiction. I started with James Lee Burke. Since then I've poured through C.J. Box, Lee Child, Faye and Jonathan Kellerman, Robert Crais, and a whole host of other authors. I get on the "Fantastic Fiction" website and go to town finding new authors. I saw your books and since my best friend when I was in the service was a full-blooded Chippewa (or Ojebwe as he used to remind me all the time) from the Leech Lake Reservation in Minnesota, I thought I'd give your books a whirl. I have been very gratified I did so. My buddy is dead (killed by Al Qaeda), but I got to visit the reservation with him a few years ago and the people all treated me great with the exception of a couple of young, angry guys. . . . your books make me remember "Brick" (our nickname for him because he was built like a square rock and was one of the strongest people I've ever met) and all of the wild times we had together. 

This is my long-winded way of saying thanks for what you do. 
I am not exaggerating when I say you and the other authors who share your talents with your readers probably saved my life. I am in constant pain but I forget about it when I'm immersed in a good book and the hours of enjoyment you've given me are priceless. 
Thank you again and I wish you and yours nothing but the best.(A wolf? Seriously?)




I'm a big fan of Sandi's work.  i've even shared my books with my brother and he's become a fan too !  There are other links to Sandi too - I've been a repeat contributor to wolf restoration projects, I've had a pre-internet book business called WolfSong books ( after Harvey Ferguson's book by that name)  and I use wolfsong7 as my trade name on eBay.  That all tells everyone I'm a true blue supporter of wolves and wolf restoration.
Keep up the good work there at The Pack !

Dear Sandi,
        Ever since my great uncle from NM - a silversmith, Ojo de Dios maker and major fan of the Mimbres Indians - introduced me to Tony Hillerman's books, I've been fascinated with the Native American culture.
        My parents enjoyed an Elderhostel near Third Mesa in Arizona and introduced me to the owner of Tsakurshovi, a Hopi gift shop - Joseph shared his perspective on being a white man married to a Hopi woman and his efforts to bridge the two cultures.
        That's what I love about your novels: you weave a fantastic mystery, bridging both cultures. They portray a sympathetic view of the dilemma of preserving a culture while adjusting to the modern world. They're interesting to the last chapter. My great uncle would have loved your books!
        Please keep writing them!


I am a new fan!  Please keep writing!  I have trouble putting your books down and I'm telling all my friends about "my" discovery!  I just wanted to reach out to you.
a new fan, PJ


Dear Sandi,
 I just sent an email to your publicist telling you how much I love Wild Indigo and cannot wait to read Wild Inferno and the rest of the series...
I had never heard of you until last weekend when I selected the two books as  birthday gifts from my husband....I  am a new fan 

I was so pleased to be able to sit next to you at dinner last night in Pueblo.  It was such a pleasure to visit and hear your talk.  Thank you for a wonderful evening.  
Dear Sandi:
I have loved reading your books. I read Wild Indigo and just finished reading Wild Sorrow. Totally awesome. I ordered Wild Inferno and I'm on the list for your new one. I really think they are the best books. Wonderful stories and some interesting facts about the Indians and even out west. My husband and I have a Motorhome and we travel a lot. We love out West, Arizona, Texas and New Mexico. We have friends who live in Crested Butte Colorado so we swing by there too. Keep on writing. You are undoubtedly the best author.Thanks for such great reads. Felicia 

HI..I was given 2 of your Wild Mystery books. Wild Indigo and Wild Inferno.  I could NOT put down the Wild Indigo.  It was Absolutely wonderful .  I immediately started on the Wild Inferno but since it was going on 3 a.m. I decided to wait until today.  I have just looked at your web site and everything I could see.  BUT did not see a picture of Buckskin. As my companion is Crackers, my cat, I would very much like to see his picture.  And do you still have that "horrible" kitty, Wasichu?   I am going to find the other 2 Wild Mystery books on line .  LOVE EM>..faye


I found out about Sandi Ault from the WERC website while checking out the wolves in Winchester,Idaho. I saw the connection to Sandi's site and decided to investigate and boy am I glad I did. I joined the Wild Bunch and I've had the pleasure of "Wrangling" for Sandi at 2 Boulder,Co events. Very interesting and it's great to know Sandi and talk about her books and so much other "stuff".If you haven't read Sandi's' new book "Wild Penance" you have to!!!!! I love it and the understanding about where Jamaica comes from. I'm half way through and trying to pace myself so it's not over too soon! I have stood on that bridge !!! and trust me........well, you just have to read the book!!

A WILD Wrangler for LIFE,  Cheryl Thompson, Arvada,Colorado


Here's a pic of me & Mac, one of our RMRT horses
(he's practically mine!) Been with the center for years - Cheryl

A Few Highlights from the 2010 WILD PENANCE Tour:
(see more pix on our WILD Mystery Tour Album Page) 
Click On Picture to See Larger Size
Sandi Wearing Chaps and a Six-Gun and Holster
Sandi with Bookseller Susie Wilmer
At Old Firehouse Books in Fort Collins, CO

Click on any of these thumbnails to see larger size images of the WILD Launch Bunch.

WILDLaunchBunch/SandiBillDiva.jpg WILDLaunchBunch/SandiAndSher2.jpg WILDLaunchBunch/Monica.jpg WILDLaunchBunch/JanMonicaSBillandDiva.jpg
WILDLaunchBunch/FansAtSigningTable.jpg WILDLaunchBunch/WithWolfAndCrowd.jpg WILDLaunchBunch/WithWildFansandJoAnn.jpg WILDLaunchBunch/Funnycomment.jpg


Would you like to write a guest blog for the WILD Bunch Mesa Page? Or a review of one of the WILD Mysteries? Want to comment on an author event with Sandi Ault or a WILD Writers Workshop in which you participated? Contact us at wildbunch@sandiault.com, and we'll set you up!

Join the WILD Bunch! Scroll down to our quick and easy form and we'll send you a WILD Welcome kit with everything you need to help spread the WILD Word about the WILD Mystery Series!

More WORDs from the WILD:
Fans of the WILD Mystery Series Weigh In
on the stories, the workshops, the WILD Mystery World, Wolves, and More!
Here's a small sampling of excerpts from our WILD Email Inbox.


I recently read the book, Wild Indigo and I just want to say thank you for mentioning the plight of Native American languages.  And, when I read the name of your cat, it brought a smile to my face.

Tammy DeCoteau

AAIA Native Language Program

Sandi & husband Tracy at WILLA Awards in LA

Sandi:  Congratulations on the new book.  I am so happy they are doing well.  Happy Holidays.

John Blankenship

Executive Director

Wolf Haven International

"Hi Sandi -  I've signed up for your newsletter and the webpage looks wonderful.  Hopefully this response still goes through.  I agree that research keeps writing alive.  I've been writing mysteries, and although I'm not published I have one manuscript under review with [a major publisher].  One of the things I love about your books is how the setting becomes a character of its own.  I tire of mysteries set in cities and long for wilderness stories, probably because I live in the woods.  So your books feed that need by giving me a 'character' of fresh air.  Thanks again for taking the time to reply so graciously, and I'm looking forward to the new story."

Lisa S

Dear Sandi, if I may call you so: I'm an old Italian teacher, and I was given your book, Wild Indigo, by a dear American friend. I loved it! I was in New Mexico many years ago, and i was fascinated by the country, the Pueblo people and their traditions and art. Your book brought me back into that wonderful country. Thank you. I loved the wolf. A question: what is your kitty Wasichu? Much love to you and Colorado, and all the West, from a small town near France, called Cuneo, the Wedge. Maria Teresa D

Sandi & photographer Don Strel at Hillerman Ceremony in Santa Fe

Hi Sandi,

I stumbled upon Wild Inferno the other day.  It was in a discount store (overstock, I guess) and I just love to read, so......well, here I am.

I'm now determined to read every one of your books until one or the other of us runs out of steam.

My husband and I are snowbirds.  We spend winters in Peoria Arizona and summers at our permanent residence in Sandy Oregon, where wildlife corridors run right alongside neighborhoods.  We share our little town with coyotes and cougars and bears, oh my.  And as I'm sure you know, it won't be long before the Idaho wolves who recently crossed our eastern borders start showing up west of the Cascades.  I think they're sweet, shy, beautiful creatures.  And although I can no longer hear their song, I remember what their "gossip sessions" sounded like across the Alaskan mountains where I spent some time back in the 80s.  I used to lie in bed at night and listen to them until they sang me to sleep.

As for the Native people; well, I'm definitely part something.  My adoptive family never would come clean about exactly what, and now everyone who might have told me is dead.  Since that pretty much makes me a free soul, I'm okay with it.  But still...I'm thirsty for information, any information, about the folks who really belong to this land.  And I just love the way you write about them.

Well, I just wanted to say hi.  Looking forward to Wild Indigo.

Bev R

Sandi with actor Wes Studi & author Michael McGarrity in Santa Fe

You look absolutely fantastic, Sandi!!"
- Serena H 

Hello: would it be possible to give me an idea when your next book is coming out?  And from a writing standpoint, how difficult is it for you to maintain a series without getting bored with the characters, or tempted to spin off in a new direction?  You keep each book alive and fresh and that seems like it would be a hard level to maintain. - LS

Dear Sandi,

This week I joined Facebook, thought it would be fun.Looks like Your Career is going Great, I am so Proud of You and Tracy too. Enjoying seeing your Pic on this Facebook page. Hope You are Happy with all of Your Success.

Lots of Love, J & D

Great to see you in Santa Fe!! Your new book is so fabulous! - W

Hello Sandi

I have read both books, Wild Indigo and Wild Inferno - the second book I have read it twice and I am still confused over who the person was referred to in 'Save the Grandmother" .  I  found both books in our local library in Bella Coola. 

I got very interested in the references to the lunar standstill and the 18.6 years occurances.  So I researched a bit on the internet and located someone in southwestern New Mexico and purchased his book titled Moon Tracks to learn more about this interesting subject. 

I find it hard to believe that he did not seem to know about you!!

I can't seem to find enough books to read about the four corners area and of the native culture.

You and your wolves are wonderful


Sandi at the Great Big Pile of Bones

Hi— Just wanted to tell you:  my friend, Mary, and I greatly enjoy your stories.  We live in the Washington, DC metro area and have been to the American Indian museum several times.

 Visits at the museum and your stories fill in some of the missing puzzle pieces about the lives and culture in a part of the country we haven’t been to – yet!

Thank you and we are looking forward to Wild Penance.

Lee T

Met you today at Los Angeles International Airport during a TSA bag check

Hello Mrs. Ault,

I got a chance to read and listen to the excerpt from your book "Wild Sorrow,"

and to roam your website.

I plan to start with a purchase of your first book "Wild Indigo".

Congratulations on your recent awards for your writing, from my brief foray into your

writing style, I can see that you deserve the accolades.

Your writing makes it possible for the reader to in-vision the desert and mountainous

environments of your stories and the characters which exists within in them.

I enjoyed my first contact with your style of writing and I look forward to reading more.

It was an absolute pleasure to meet you Mrs. Ault!

Peace and great prosperity to you and your family, and to Mountain, Tiwa and Buckskin.

Very best regards,

Jeff L

(SyFy Novice Writer)

Dear Sandi Ault,

I am a Southwest field archaeologist and somehow happened upon your books while browsing Amazon.com. I bought and read Wild Inferno and have ordered your other books. Wild Inferno was a very enjoyable read; I was especially pleased with the detail you applied to the Southern Ute and Puebloan peoples. I love Mountain!   

If I can be so bold as to make a couple of suggestions, resulting from Wild Inferno ??

- FBI Crane finds a small ceramic bear thought perhaps to be a fetish (page 153 of the Berkley paperback). Jamaica Wild asks FBI Crane if the item might have been missed on the original excavation of the site where it was found. Crane replies that "... we can do a clay analysis and carbon dating ..."  Radiocarbon dating can only be done on organics, things that were once alive. Even if the ceramic bear had shell as temper, there would not be enough of it to test. In the case of ceramics, dating is almost always done either by stylistic analysis or by association to other datable objects.

 In several places: broken pottery is referred to as "sherds," as in potsherds. The word "shards" is generally used when describing broken glass.

Small things but still, when nosy archaeologists read your books, they tend to nitpick! However, consider me a loyal and appreciative professional archaeologist.


Tom L


SUNY Dutchess Community College

Photo by Dimi Neria/Fading Sky Photography
Sandi and husband Tracy in Los Angeles

First, I want to say that I've read a couple of your Jamaica  Wild books and enjoyed them immensely. Mostly I just enjoy a well written mystery story but in your case I enjoy reading about New Mexico. I purchased a home in NM a few years back and expect to retire there some time soon...
This is actually the first time I've ever written an author...thanks for writing about this ....
Sharon S

Sandi and Tiwa by Dimi Neria/Fading Sky Photography

I just finished your wild sorrow. Loved it, and I am going to read the first two books of the series. Found this book at my local library and am now hooked on the series. Hope that there will be more.


Dawn C

Ms Ault
I'm enjoying your books, I just started reading your series and will be finished with Wild Indigo today and moving on to the next book in line.
I really started getting back into reading again this year. At age 53 its time to slow down and take in the beauty of great authors as yourself. I have a goal of a book a month but since I like to find local authors from Colorado from where I was born and raised and because of authors like yourself I will finish with 35 for 2009.
Keep them coming and I'm looking forward to your fourth book.
Keep me posted on your book signings and again Thank you for your contribution to the world of great authors
Daniel L

Hi Sandi, I wanted to let you know how much I've enjoyed reading your books.  I got them from my library and since I enjoyed them so much I plan on buying them too.

I first heard about you through the WERC website.  I learned about WERC when I googled the Sawtooth Pack.  About 2 years ago I became completely fascinated with wolves.  I love animals and we have three beautiful dogs.  I'm also interested in Native American culture and sprituality and was reading about animal totems.  I bought the DVDs and book by Jim and Jamie Dutcher along with several other books about wolves.  I donate to the WERC and the Dutcher's Living With Wolves too.  If you're on the WERC website and If you click on the donor map, my name is there under New Jersey.  I'm not sure of the exact number of donations I've made to them this year, but it is more than four.  I'd have to look it up.   I also support Defenders of Wildlife, Earthjustice and the Center for Biological Diversity just to name a few of the organizations.  I live in South Jersey about 15 minutes from the Pennsylvania border and Philadelphia.  Here in NJ there's wolf preserve called the Lakota Wolf Preserve (www.lakotawolf.com)  I sponsor a beautiful wolf named Nightsong.  Actually, it's time to sponsor her again for the next year. I'm ashamed to admit that I have not been to the preserve yet.  It's about 2 1/2 hours from where I live.  Even though I live in South Jersey I commute to New York City for work.  On the weekends I don't especially want to make another 2 hour trip.  I do hope to visit Nightsong this fall (my favorite season).  I'm also embarassed to admit that I've never actually seen a wolf in person!

Who knew that at the age of 55 that I would become a wolf advocate?  Not that I'm a wolf expert but I think a few people have been surpirsed about my knowlege of wolves.  Most of what people know about wolves are just myths.   One friend said she never gave them much thought.  She was truly interested in what I had to say.

A friend introduced me to Facebook, something that I always thought was ridiculous.  I've actually enjoyed it.  I post about wolves and I'm sure that some of my friends cringe when they see the postings.  Of course, I also post trivial things too.   I don't care what they think, I will not back down on my advocacy for wolves and all wildlife.  I also have Motoki and Piyip along the Owyhee Pack as my Facebook friends. Please look for me on Facebook.  I've actually been meaning to do a post about your books and I'm sure some of my friends are mystery lovers too!  I'm looking forward to the next Wild mystery.

I loved your tribute to the Sawtooth Pack on the WERC website.  I would ike to visit the WERC one day.  I had asked Chris Anderson several months ago if there were any pictures of the memorial to the Sawtooth Pack.  I believe he also asked Jeremy (?) and they did not have any. 

By the way, I think Tiwa is absolutey beautiful!  I hope to hear from you!


Tony D


WILD Bunch members are friends and fans that support the WILD Mystery Series. They tell their friends and co-workers about upcoming events, new WILD Mystery  releases, and WILD news. They email their friends when there's an event or big piece of WILD news, they distribute post cards and brochures to fans, booksellers, or put them out in their doctor's office waiting room or favorite coffee shop. They help spread the word about the WILD Mystery Series. Some WILD Bunch members serve as WILD Beat Reporters, and others serve as hosts for local events, help to get the word out about the series, or just come out and have WILD fun when author Sandi Ault comes to town They get special gear and goodies for their time and trouble, and quite frankly, they've started to take over the whole WILD World!!

Think you might like to join the WILD Bunch? Just fill out the form below and let us know what you're thinking!




US ARMY MP733 CID in Iraq

We'd love to have you join us as a member of the WILD BUNCH! Just fill out our handy-dandy form on the mesa here, and we'll send you a WILD Welcome kit to get you started telling your friends, neighbors, and community members about the WILD Mystery Series. And if you're handy with words, send us something of your own to post on the WILD Bunch Mesa. And please, post online reviews, comments, recommendations, and/or just rate the books with stars so that others will know this is a great series and that you recommend it!. Send your comments, blogs, WILD Beat Reports or ideas to wildbunch@sandiault.com. Thanks for helping out, and we look forward to hearing from you


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Music by Sandi Ault, Photos by Tracy A. Kerns and Sandi Ault unless otherwise stated
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