Friday, June 2, 2017

Publishing News from the Far West

YIKES! How many months have passed since we last blogged? Maybe I should count that in YEARS! Our bad.


Arizona Talking Books Library has so far selected two of Moonlight Mesa's titles to be included in their audio book library for the blind and visually impaired! These tapes and a special tape player are available to those who qualify. In addition, the books can be sent out to other states for their blind/impaired readers. Unfortunately, neither the authors nor the publisher receive any financial compensation, but every Moonlight Mesa author save one was happy to have their work donated to this great cause.

J.R. Sanders' The Littlest Wrangler  and Jere D. James' Saving Tom Black are the first two books selected.  

In other good news...It looks like a sure thing that the long-awaited rowing book, The Old Folks in the Boat, will be available late this year. FINALLY. The  photos will most likely be in color, too! Depending. We want to keep the price reasonable, so we'll see what Ingram has to offer for color printing.

In addition to rowing 200 miles this summer, the author also committed to riding her mule for 200 miles, and hiking for 200 miles! She has until Sept. 20 to accomplish these goals and have the finished manuscript on my desk ready to upload and go to the editor!

FORTHCOMING MULE BOOK? Yes, that idea is back and being bandied about. We'll know more in a few months...but if it comes to pass...look for a late 2018 publication date.

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Another title in the system being considered.

SADLY...The Cowboy Up Contest is being cancelled due to lack of entries...due to lack of marketing. Refunds are on their way.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Writing Contest Now Open, So Cowboy Up!!

Publisher Becky Coffield and her mule, Reba Peru
The semi-annual Cowboy Up Contest is now open for entries. "We took two years off from this contest," said publisher Becky Coffield, "but we're back and will be offering the contest biannually again (every two years)."

Information about the contest and the entry form can be found on Moonlight Mesa Associates' website. Just click on Cowboy Up Contest. Applications are accepted from January 1 to June 1.

"We have four judges lined up to read the entries," Coffield said. "Part of the expense of the contest is postage for mailing manuscripts around the country to California, Florida, and Colorado and back, where the judges reside. Either I or my acquisition editor will be judging also."

People who want their score sheets from the judges need to include a self-addressed stamped envelope with their entry. Winners will be announced and prizes awarded in late fall.

"There have been a few folks who have questioned the fee for this contest. This is a self-supporting contest," Coffield explained. "The entry fees pay the winners; they pay for the postage for sending manuscripts around the country, and they pay for some of the judges who do charge for their services. We want qualified readers judging the entries. Any funds left over are dedicated to our scholarship fund. For the past two years we have gifted a scholarship to Sisters Parks and Recreation in Sisters, Oregon, to be used for participation fees for children whose parents may not have the money to pay for the activities. In addition, this past year we also donated money to Wickenburg Parks and Recreation for a Splash Pad for kids."

The contest is open to both fiction and nonfiction entries.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Award-Winning "Northern Escape" is January Special

Set largely in S.E. Alaska, Northern Escape, Moonlight Mesa's award-winning suspense novel, is this month's publisher special.

"This is a great book that has had excellent reviews," said Renee Witty, publisher assistant. "The biggest complaint we get about it is that people can't put it down. The suspense novel was an Arizona Authors Literary Contest winner. It was also the very first cover done for us by our long time associate, Vin Libassi."

Northern Escape was originally published by another publishing house, but Moonlight Mesa bought the inventory out and reissued the book, keeping the same cover with only changes to the ISBN and publisher information. The book received stellar reviews and sold well in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. "I think just about everyone in the state of Alaska read the book," Witty commented. "People liked that all the names of places, spellings, etc. were correct!"

"We figured since most of the country is deep in winter right now, that this was a great time to promote this title," Witty said. "I know the book will be promoted again next summer in the Northwest when the publisher travels that way."

Northern Escape  is the first book in the Ben Thomas trilogy. According to Witty, many think it's the best, although Death in the Desert, the third book is shocking. "I think we tend to favor Northern Escape around here," Witty said, "because it was also Moonlight Mesa's first fictional title. Maybe that's why."

The price for the publisher special is $11.00 + s/h. That's $5 off the regular price. The book can be purchased at this price on our website, or you can email us also. It's also available on Amazon and is in ebook format as well as a Large Print Edition.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Publisher Offers Western Special for December

Moonlight Mesa Associates, Western Book Publisher, will be offering the LARGE PRINT EDITIONS of Saving Tom Black and Apache, the first two books in the Jake Silver Adventure Series for the December special. "These books make a terrific gift for visually impaired people," said publisher Becky Coffield. "The books are printed in 16 font."

We normally sell the Large Print Editions for $19.95 plus s/h because of the cost of printing and shipping, but for this special books can be purchased for $12.50 each plus s/h. That is a $7.45 savings on each book," Coffield said. "People can choose whether they want the books sent Priority Flat Rate or Media Mail. We prefer shipping via Priority for quick, assured delivery, especially at this time of year."

"If you have someone on your gift list who has vision problems, these two westerns will be sure to please. In addition, the other Jake Silver westerns are also available in a LARGE PRINT EDITION, so if they love the first two books, more can be ordered later, and we will honor this price - but you'll have to remind us you ordered the December special!" Becky said.

In fact, Moonlight Mesa will soon be sending complimentary copies of many of the company's titles
to the Arizona Talking Books Library. This is an organization that is actually part of a national organization that supplies a kind of "books on tape" to visually impaired people. Readers are given a special device to listen to the books on, so it's not like books on a CD that can be purchased in a store.

Jere D. James has readily consented to the free distribution of his books to Arizona Talking Books as has R.L. Coffield. Several other authors have been asked if they'd like to participate. "Because no royalties are paid, there will probably be a few authors who don't want to have their work given away for free...even to a cause like this," the publisher said. "However, I haven't heard back from everyone, so maybe all the authors will find this to be a rewarding gesture."

SURPRISE surprise!

Moonlight Mesa Associates will be in Surprise, Arizona, December 3 for an all day Arts and Crafts Event. "We haven't done an event like this in years," the publisher said. "But, it's an event that's close to home, so we don't have to hire a house-sitter, we don't have to travel up mountains pulling that huge trailer, and we can be home in time to feed the mules - a bit late, maybe, but we'll be home. I thought we'd try it out. I only hope I have enough inventory left from the Blue Grass Festival!"

If you're in Surprise, stop by Moonlight Mesa's booth and say hello. Better yet, buy a book while  you're there too!


Don't forget about the upcoming Cowboy Up Contest. Entries can be submitted from January 1 to June 1. Details are listed on our website.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Publisher Offers November Special

As part of Moonlight Mesa Associates' marketing make-over, the publishing house will be offering a special each month. Robert Walton's multi-award-winning historical Civil War novel, Dawn Drums, will be offered for the month of November for $10.99,  a 35% discount off the original price of $16.95 (if my math serves me correctly).

Dawn Drums scored first place in the Arizona Author's Literary Contest and won the Tony Hillerman Best Fiction Award for 2014. In addition, the title has racked up two Finalist Awards. The book is geared for young adult readers and up. The Civil War will take on an entirely new relevance and meaning for students whose teachers are looking for a way to bring that heinous, brutal war to the forefront.

Walton, a teacher for 36 years, introduced Civil War re-enactment activities to his students. Although now retired, he still participates in many Civil War events and is frequently a guest speaker at schools and universities. The author even provides educational activities the classroom teacher can use.

The author is a climber, too!
As part of the November Special, classroom sets can be purchased for a full 50% discount.

This is a phenomenal book. I learned more about the Civil War from this book than I ever learned in 17 years of schooling.

The book can be ordered for $10.99 + s/h from, or a signed copy can be purchased from the author by clicking here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Publisher News: Cowboy Up Contest, Scholarships, New Publications, and a Monster Postponement


Rowing book will be postponed for one year
Oh dear. This is unbelievable. Ready? The new title Moonlight Mesa publisher was set to release in November is going to be postponed for a full year. The Old Folks in the Boat  is just not ready for publication, according to publisher Becky Coffield who is very disappointed in the second half of the book. "The first half of the book is fun, entertaining, and informative. The second half? Not so much," according to Coffield. In addition, the publisher decided to go with color photos, so the printing cost will be much higher. "For this reason alone, the second half of the book needs to be every bit as good as he first part," Coffield said, "maybe even better since the selling price will have to be raised a bit due to increased costs."

Moonlight Mesa's small staff reluctantly agreed that the book needed more "meat," although cover designer Vin Libassi was the first to suggest it. So next year, after rowing Knight Inlet (100 miles) and possibly rowing a great deal of the outside of Vancouver Island (weather permitting) or making it to S.E. Alaska, the second half of the book should come together with a great deal more depth and interest. "Rowing like this may not seem overly difficult to young people, but readers will have to remember that the author will be nearly 70-years-old. Part of the point of this book is to encourage people to take up arms against giving in to old age."

Meanwhile, Coffield has taken a hard look at a query by new author Stu Clark who has written a memoir about a year spent sailing the Bahamas. "The book has great potential," the publisher said, "but the author has to agree to some changes. I think the book could be very helpful to others wanting to cruise in this area. We're looking forward to seeing what the re-write looks like."

And author Geno Lawrenzi is at work on a nonfiction western about gamblers and gunmen for Moonlight Mesa Associates. Lawrenzi is an established author having multiple published articles and at least one book in print.

Despite the books "in the works," Moonlight Mesa Associates will have no new publications in 2016. "This is a first for us, I think, but we could have three new nonfiction titles out in 2017," Coffield said. "That'd be nice since our goal is to move toward nonfiction!"


In addition to the Blue Grass Festival slated for November 11, 12 and 13, Moonlight Mesa will also be participating December 3rd in the 15th Annual Surprise Party in Surprise, Arizona. The publisher will also be doing a show in January, but has not yet decided which one. And, of course, Gold Rush in Wickenburg is on the calendar in February. Jere D. James will be at all three shows signing books.


Don't forget about the upcoming 2017 Cowboy Up Contest. Information and application forms are on the website: Contest is open from January to June. Awards made in the fall.

FINALLY - Scholarship and Sponsorship

The publisher on her mule, Reba Peru. 2015
Once again Moonlight Mesa will be offering a scholarship of some type in December. Last year the recipient of the scholarship was Sisters Parks and Recreation in Sisters, Oregon. The money was dedicated to pay user fees for children whose parents could not afford to pay for their children to participate in activities. "We just don't have the funds right now to put people through college," Coffield said. "We'd like to eventually look at trade school scholarships and things like that. For now, this is all we can afford, and I think it's certainly for a good cause."

Moonlight Mesa Associates is also a big sponsor for the annual Boyd Ranch Mule Ride. "We pay for
many items for this ride, and we contribute many gifts for the door prize drawings," Becky said. "We also organize and run the ride! It keeps us busy, that's for sure, but it's a fun event."


You can see Moonlight Mesa Associates on Facebook and also the Boyd Ranch Mule Ride is there too!

Renee Witty

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Publisher Announces New Release, Cowboy Up Contest, and Upcoming Events

WILD! Our 26' Nordic Tug was home for us for seven
fantastic weeks.
A terrific time was had by all! Well, maybe the cat, Zippy, wasn't all that pleased about being on a boat for seven weeks, but my husband, Tom, and my Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Holly, were more than happy.

Tom and Holly in my salvaged rowing boat
in Princess Louisa (Before the remodel job)
As it turned out, the rowing shell I had planned on buying for the trip to "row the Inside Passage," just couldn't double as a skiff to transport Tom, Holly and me to shore. I insisted I had to have a rowing boat  though. "I can't possibly finish the book about rowing if I don't have a rowing boat," I announced. As it turned out, I was extraordinarily fortunate to find a derelict, half-sunk rowing skiff in Friday Harbor that I bought for $100. The same boat new cost $1900. While Tom wasn't very enthusiastic about the purchase, it was almost the perfect answer for my dilemma.

In any case, since returning home to Wickenburg, the cost of the boat has skyrocketed to $ husband, a shipwright by trade, just had to make basically re-doing the entire boat, and then (of course) I had to buy a small trailer for it. I only wish I'd have taken a close-up "before" picture, so the improvements in the "after" picture could be appreciated. The boat is becoming a thing of beauty. I dread the first scratch my dog puts on the new mahogany seats and trim! Heaven forbid when the boat gets dragged over oyster shells and rocks on the beach.

But back to business, and busy we are after closing down for two months.


It seems almost a certainty now that The Old Folks in the Boat  will be available by late November. Once again Vin Libassi is our cover designer. The book will not be officially released until later, but we will have pre-publication copies here at Moonlight Mesa Associates, and we will be offering a holiday discount. Books will be signed too!

We are also looking at another possible boat publication, but it is much too soon to get excited or make official announcements. The nonfiction book is about a disastrous sailing trip to the Caribbean.

If this project works out, it will be a great start to our new "direction" of nonfiction publications. Since Jere D. James is no longer in the writing mode, we are reorganizing to specialize in nonfiction - preferably travel and boating, but we'll consider most anything. After all, one of our top-selling books is Getting a Handle on Herpes, a small ebook we issued several years ago.


As announced earlier this summer, the Cowboy Up Contest has resumed. Entries may be submitted between January 1 and June 1. Fiction or nonfiction. The guidelines are posted on our website:


So far, only the Four-State Blue Grass Festival is on our calendar, but there will be more events added very shortly. Hope to see you at one of them!