Reading and Book Signing with Catalina Claussen

Catalina Claussen reads from Diamonds At DuskCatalina Claussen will appear at Miller Library on the WNMU campus for a reading and book signing at 7 p.m. Thursday, October 20.  Claussen is the author of Diamonds at Dusk, a young adult novel set in southwestern New Mexico, released in March by Progressive Rising Phoenix Press.

The book has been selected as a finalist in the 2016 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. Winners will be announced Nov. 18.

Claussen, a founding English teacher at Aldo Leopold Charter High School in Silver City, is a graduate of Reed College, Prescott College and Western New Mexico University. She wrote Diamonds at Dusk in part to fill a need–she saw a dearth of books for youth that portray rural life. Here is a synopsis of the story:

It’s hard to miss Cascade Rose Jennings. She’s the one in cowgirl boots who up until this morning wasn’t interested in boys. But, on the eve of her sixteenth birthday something inside her knocks loose.

DiamondsAtDuskHis name is Chadwick Dean Holbrook, a college prep school boy from Albuquerque and Cassie’s long-time “fair weather” friend. Every year, at summer’s end he disappears from her Grandpa Norm’s high desert ranch in southwestern New Mexico. This time, he promises to stay for Cassie’s birthday. Just when Cassie thinks she can count on him, Chad breaks his promise. He leaves behind an endearing, flirtatious treasure hunt. Cassie, filled with renewed hope, stifles a pang of jealousy when she discovers, her best friend, Ahzi Toadlena, is in on it. To make things worse, Cassie meets Maverick Britton, a charming misfit who threatens to steal her heart and the gold her Grandpa has kept quiet about all these years. Maverick has a dark secret that unwittingly draws Cassie and Ahzi into his perilous world. Chad, protective of his childhood friends, knows Maverick’s kind. He returns in time to rescue Ahzi and help Cassie win back the gold. In the end, Cassie realizes that her friendships, her family, and deep connection to the land mean more to her than any romance.


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