Eye of Newt, Skin of Toad Republished

I decided that Eye of Newt needed a new cover, so I built one that I really like. However, in the process of changing the cover, I had to do some revision on the manuscript. Mostly fixing some stylistic issues and a few sneaky fat-finger things.

The book is now available on Amazon with it’s new cover and and new ISBN. Take a look -see if you like the new cover as much as I do.

There will be an Amazon Freebie giveaway of the Kindle version from March 3 through March 7, 2023. I will be doing a book signing on March 4, 2023 at COAS Books in downtown Las Cruces. I’ll have all of my books available, including the new edition of Eye of Newt and, hopefully the new Carol Montgomery Mystery #3, La Llorona.

La Llorona Drafted – Ready for Editor and Reader

To all of my friends, colleagues, and readers:

All the writing “experts” make big noises about writing every day and setting aside time to write. Apparently, they have never had life interfere with their plans – at least they ain’t admittin’ it. So what, you say? Well, that’s my excuse for missing my self-imposed December deadline for finishing and publishing Carol Montgomery Mystery #3 – La Llorona.

But, having posted my excuse – yepper, life got in the way — I have finished the draft of the book. 33K words — good solid Novella length – nice and cozy – a little bit of violence – some romance – and of course, Rogue, the telepathic cat. It’s now out to my editor-in-chief, and life is getting in her way too – publication might be slower than I wish – ah, well.

It’s actually a fun story – but then, so are the others. I’ve rolled a bit of technology into this one – how does one project a wraith onto a footpath? A bunch of new characters and some old ones. Police procedural aspects – being in the ‘border land’ as Las Cruces is, the border protection folks – ICE – are involved. So are the state cops, the CIA, the FBI, Interpol, and the local police. Wow – that’s a bunch of cops and spooks – what gives?

We shall see – eh, wot? Book signing coming up in March at COAS Books – a local bookstore, for those of you not familiar with Las Cruces. I had to cancel the December signing – yep, you guessed it – life got in the way. Life notwithstanding, I should be able to have it published by March …. he said.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and that the New Year treats you well.



Writing Novels

Writing novels; whether mysteries, romances, thrillers, fantasies, Sci-fi, or whatever; tends to be a lonely, introspective exercise. I read how-to books on writing, and they recommend reading and going to conferences or getting into writing groups or training sessions. I don’t disagree with the intent of all of that advice; clearly, it worked for those best-selling authors that are giving it. However, when one sits down to write/type/dictate a book, one’s focus becomes wholly turned inside their head. A scene forms, a picture develops, and words pour out onto the working surface. Right words, wrong words, good words, mediocre words, a tale unfolds. Characters take shape and become rounded and full or remain flat and motionless until that vagary breeze lifts them to some action, or a heroic or happenchance occurrence tests their strength and durability. The writer lives in that world, those scenes, until something clicks – then back to the mundane -— all those other people coming out of their reveries.

“Hello — What? Oh, umm, yes, I did finish chapter one.”

Fenton R. Kay

Freebies on the Horizon

Amazon Freebie coming up on my two latest books, “The Old Courthouse” and “A Piano in the Night”. September 17-21 ebook versions of both books will be available for free on Amazon. This give-away is timed to coincide with the September book signing at Branigan Library here in Las Cruces. If you’re in town – c’mon by 2=4 PM on Sept. 18.

I’ve started on #3 for Carol Montgomery – working title is La Llorona – you folks from this area won’t need that title explained. You folks from elsewhere, Google it. 😃

I’ve also started on O’Flaithearta #4 -,working title is “Of Rats and Drones”. It’s interesting and kind of fun working on two rather disparate stories more or less at once. We’ll see how it goes going forward.



A Piano In the Night: Carol Montgomery #2

Great news – “A Piano in the Night: Carol Montgomery #2 is published and available.

The Kindle version of “A Piano in the Night” is available on Amazon for $2.99, and the paperback is available for $6.50.

Carol Montgomery, Ph.D. structural engineer and witch, has a contract to evaluate three 100 or more year-old adobes. One of them has a dormer loft. The loft contains a haunt, say the neighbors who claim to hear piano music and see a strange flickering light in the loft at night. The old woman that built the house is said to be the haunt. She loved to play the piano at night for her roomers and family, according to local folk stories. Carol, Ami, and Carol’s telepathic cat familiar, Rogue, visit the house at night and hear the music but see no lights. Carol decides to place trail cameras in the building to find out what is happening. Carol’s cameras reveal an old man’s presence and a piano player. The old man enters and exits through a tiny trench. The videos from the cameras show the old man chanting and burning sage upstairs by the light of a flickering oil lamp and a hooded person playing the piano. Rogue decides to spend a night in the house to discover what is happening and takes Timmy, Ami’s cat, with her. The cats meet the old man, get charmed by the piano music and the sage smoke, and learn what is going on, but not without Timmy getting into mischief with the resident alpha tom. Carol spends several nights in the loft, discovers why the old man is there, and, while invisible, trips a goon sent to get the old man.

Big Book Signing Coming Up


Sat, July 9th, 2022, 12-3 p.m., Mesilla Valley Mall

Dreaming of coolin’ off in the lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer? Join the Las Cruces Writers in the Mesilla Valley Mall and chill out at our book signing! Ten authors in the upcoming Las Cruces Writers July 9th, MIDSUMMER BOOK DREAMS book signing and sale will offer over 50 titles in various genres includ-ing fiction, non-fiction, children’s, memoirs, and coffee-table photography books.

From 12 – 3 p.m. at Mesilla Valley Mall, meet Susan Elaine Pfeiffer, Fenton Kay, Rosemary Matos, Judy CiceroMark William DavisBob WorthingtonDavid Osterhout, Elaine S. LeVine, George Pintar, and Charmayne Samuelson.

Romance novels and memoirs are always two popular genres of books offered by the group, and two of the authors at the signing will be Susan Elaine Pfeiffer and David Osterhout.

Susan Pfeiffer will be signing her time-travel romance, The Dusty Attic – Where The Future Meets The Past. Susan worked as the Administrative Assistant at the Las Cruces International Airport for over 21 years before retiring in 2015. Her writing passion blossomed around 2012 and it hasn’t stopped yet. She is cur-rently writing her fourth book, a sequel to The Dusty Attic. She is a true romantic at heart and loves white-water rafting, bird watching, and living her own romantic adventure with her husband of almost 50 years. Look for her on Facebook.

Author David Osterhout, an army intelligence officer who was stationed in the Korean DMZ, will be signing his military memoir. He was injured while on patrol and spent eight months in Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, where he penned the bulk of the manuscript for his memoir, OINK! Only In Korea! After the army, he helped manage psychiatric hospitals for 32 years for the Texas Dept. of State Health Services. He retired as Assistant Superintendent with degrees in Criminal Justice and Accounting and a Master’s in Business Administration. After the 9/11 attacks on America, he joined the Texas State Guard serving as the 39th Military Police Brigade Commander. He is a two-time cancer sur-vivor and now lives in El Paso, Texas with his wife Cheryl and their little rescue dog, Wilson.

Both of these authors, included with the 10 authors of the Las Cruces Writers, welcome all ages to the MIDSUMMER BOOK DREAMS book signing and sale hosted by Mesilla Valley Mall on Saturday, July 9th, 2022, from 12 – 3 p.m. There will be books for all ages.

Recent Happenings

Las Cruces author publishes ‘Eye of Newt, Skin of Toad’

Fenton R. Kay

Posted Tuesday, February 1, 2022 12:30 pm

Bulletin Report

By Mike Cook

Las Cruces Bulletin

“Eye of Newt, Skin of Toad” is the latest in Las Cruces author Fenton R. Kay’s O’Flaithearta Biological Consultants mystery series.

In this book, which was published in 2021, “a musician is found dead in an archaeological site pit in a Las Vegas park. The man was attending a Wiccan celebration at a power center in the park. An autopsy reveals he died of toad poisoning. A shady casino owner is found executed in a canyon in the Red Rock National Conservation Area (near) Las Vegas. The casino owner owed the musician money. An Ayahuasca shaman seems to be connected to both of the men. The herbster, an authority on desert amphibians, is hired by the Las Vegas Metro Department to help determine what kind of toad provided the poison. Herb finds himself in Peru’s Amazon Forest collecting skin swabs from poison dart frogs and is nearly murdered.”

Kay is a biologist with more than 50 years of experience. He has a Ph.D. in biology from New Mexico State University and a master’s of science and a bachelor’s of science, both from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He retired from Zia Engineering & Environmental Consulting, LLC of Las Cruces in 2011 and self-published his first book in 2019.

Kay will be one of the featured authors, selling and signing copies of his books, at the Las Cruces Writers Group’s Book Lovers Book Signing and Sale, 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 6, in the Good Samaritan Society Social Center, 3011 Buena Vida Circle in Las Cruces.

Kay’s other books are “Bear Market: An O’Flaithearta Biological Consultants Mystery,” “Le Cochon Volant: The Flying Pig,” “The Jaguar Drum,” “The Old Courthouse: Carol Montgomery  No. 1” and “Chipmunk Jumped Over Him: A Coming of Age Story,”

Kay’s books are available on amazon.com.