Sparky and The King takes readers back to 1960. Fidel Castro has just taken over Cuba, Jack Kennedy is in the White House, and Elvis Presley is preparing a Louisiana Hayride comeback concert now that he's out of the Army. Enter Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby who is being sent on a secret mission by the mob – stop the local Klan and their hired hit man from assassinating Elvis Presley and ending the perceived threat of rock 'n roll to society. Ruby's real challenge, however, is finding a way to make it back to Dallas alive once his mission is accomplished because the mob boss who hired him believes that "three men can keep a secret - if two of them are dead."
Dr. Ashley “Ash” Hayes, professor of archaeology at a prestigious Louisiana college, is in danger of losing her job because of her controversial and outspoken beliefs about the history of man in North America. Unexpected and barely welcome help comes from a moral enemy, a former state senator who years earlier was forced to resign due to Ashley uncovering his illegal dealing in Native American artifacts. He wants to make amends by using his still considerable influence if she will use her skills to help him locate a fortune in lost Confederate arms. For the same reasons, Deputy Sheriff Tate Dawson enlists her aid in tracking a crazed serial killer who is seeking another historical treasure – the lost fortune of gunman Cullen Montgomery Baker. As matters deteriorate, Ashley’s career rests on her locating a bizarre letter penned by President Abraham Lincoln which is being sought by an old and mysterious organization known as The Brothers of the Law. The questors, the mysteries and the killer intersect in a violent confrontation at a lakeside mansion. Will Ashley lose her job or will she lose more than that – her life?
Dan Baldwin has a fast-paced, interesting read in his novel Desecration. The setting is an area known locally as the Ark-La-Tex (southwestern Arkansas, northwestern Louisiana, northeastern Texas). The protagonist is Dr. Ashley Maud Hayes, a professor of archaeology from Centenary College in Shreveport, La. She is recruited by pun-prone city detective Bummer LaSalle to investigate the vandalism of a local cemetery. The crime seems to have been done by an individual from the Caddo Indian tribe, a formerly indigenous group from that region and Ashley's area of expertise. However, the apparent prank soon morphs into the murder of a not-so-favorite-son of a prominent Shreveport family. Ashley's help is needed more than ever. Dan's story deals not only with murder, but the very problem of the desecration of Native American burial sites, the trafficking of pilfered relics and an underground network of dealers. The author has his usual cadre of curious characters, from truck stop waitresses to a state senator, from pottery and point hunters to a Native American "wanna-be" who wreaks havoc across the region.
Dr. Ashley "Ash" Hayes is driven to prove that America was explored by Europeans well before Columbus - a quest that is heresy to the members of her northwest Louisiana academic community. Her quest is interrupted by the disappearance of a friend who has headed into the hills and swamps in search of Native American treasure. She drops everything to help find her friend and is aided by the missing man's brother, a tall and handsome transplanted Apache. The search is complicated by a series of grisly murders which are connected to the brother's disappearance. They find the brother, the killer and someone far more deadly. They also find romance, the treasure and a profound mystery. But will Ash survive to tell the story?
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