At 14 years old, Jesus ‘Chuy’ Perez Contreras Verazzi Messi is too small and frail to work the land on the family farm near the Rio Bravo in Mexico. The local padre’s tutoring reveals Jesus’s unending curiosity and fertile mind. Noted Las Cruces, New Mexico attorney, and politician, Colonel Albert Jennings Fountain agrees to take his nephew under his wing. Jesus ‘reads law’ with his uncle and shares adventures and adversity with the Fountain family and other historic Mesilla and Tularosa Valley citizens. His coming-of-age story will take you into the wild southwest, a brewing range war, a territory struggling toward statehood, courtroom dramas, and the adventures and adversities of a boy’s quest for manhood.
*A fictional memoir by Jesus about the ten years leading to the notorious and unsolved Fountain murders.
Mary, a retiree from a diverse career spanning various fields of land planning and design, found a new passion in writing when she landed a gig as a weekly columnist for the Las Cruces Sun-News. Her articles quickly gained popularity, leading her to explore more creative outlets. Her historical fiction play, It is Blood, got rave reviews after a well-received theater performance, inspiring Mary to embark on The Two Valleys Saga.
Drawing on her love for fiction and deep respect for history, Mary’s meticulous research and attention to detail bring historical settings to life. The way she masterfully weaves historical figures with engaging fictional characters brings out compelling narratives that explore complex themes, which prompts reflection on the human condition.
In 2021, Mary’s exceptional work was recognized when The Mesilla, a part of The Two Valleys Saga, won an award from The Historical Fiction Company.
Java, their beloved Cavachon, leads Mary and her husband Norman “Skip” Bailey on daily jaunts around their Las Cruces neighborhood.