Dark Sister: Poems
Mammoth Publications         ISBN 978-1-939301-66-6 

Finalist, Oklahoma Book Awards

Dark Sister: Poems gives voice to the living presence of Cherokee teachings and history, passed down through Linda Rodriguez’s family. Rodriguez, author of the exciting Cherokee detective series featuring Skeet Bannion (St. Martin’s/Minotaur Press), turns to family stories and memory for her third book of poetry. She testifies about the borderlands that still exist between Cherokee people and heirs of Andrew Jackson’s soldiers; between Americans and their British Isles forebears; and between the frontera of Mexico and southern plains states of the United States. She spares no quarter as she remembers history and its embodiment in the present. She tells compelling stories about the last Beloved Woman, Trickster, and other traditional figures with the sure hand of an oral storyteller and with the lyrical intensity of a skilled poet. In Dark Sister, the ageless Cherokee language and Spanish blend with English to explain the complexities of life as a mixed-blood woman in the 21st century. This accessible book appeals to adults and young adult audiences with family stories, love stories, just-so stories, and more.
I want to say so much about Rodriguez’s poetic gifts. What talent! The most accomplished poet of our generation. A poetic voice for our time.” ~Rudolfo Anaya, author of Bless Me, Ultima and Albuquerque

Plotting the Character-Driven Novel
Scapegoat Press     ISBN 978-0-9791291-5-5

Available in trade paperback or e-book

In Plotting the Character-Driven Novel, Linda Rodriguez turns her sought-after writing course on using depth of character as a springboard to a strong plot into a book designed to help the aspiring writer who wants to tell a story made compelling by the truth and complexity of its characters. She provides examples of actual documents she has used in creating her own award-winning books to demonstrate the methods she teaches.

Great plot springs from character and the motivations each character has for taking or not taking action.

How do you use character as the springboard to a strong plot that draws its complexity from the motivations of its characters? 

What are the hidden fears and desires of each major character, what happens when these are frustrated, and how do they intersect and conflict with one another?

What are the secrets this character is hiding even from him/herself? What will this character tell you about her/himself if given the chance?

Through asking these kinds of questions of your characters, you will learn to create an exciting and complex plot, building from the integrity of the characters you create. 

Praise for Linda’s “Plotting the Character-Driven Novel” Workshop

“Thank you for a wonderful class that was perfect. The lessons were invaluable.” –Nancy R. 
“I learned so much and have some great new tools for plotting.” –Holly T. 
“I now have an arsenal of tools to tackle that MS.” –Susan B. 
“The exercises you gave us provided me with lots of tools to help with plot and character.” –Nancy E.
“Your exercises really helped! I had thought I knew my main character pretty well before, but now I know her so much better. It’s no longer so daunting a task to work on the book!” –Betty P. 
“You have given me so much to help me write this first book.” – Mary B. 
“Your workshop was very inspirational and helpful. Now, if you could just show up at my house every morning and make me sit down to write, that would be great!” –Cheryl J.

The World is One Place: Native American Poets Visit the Middle East
Co-edited with Diane Glancy
BkMk Press    ISBN: 978-1943491070

How can Native American poets' historical perspectives open a new way to see today's Middle East? How can poetry create the possibility for empathy among these peoples, who have all confronted displacement, often-irreconcilable conflict between tradition and modernity, and undying hope for survival and renewal against overwhelming odds? The contributors to the anthology, The World Is One Place, confirm the depth of universal bonds that link humanity. Native American poets who have visited there in fact or imagination are in a rare place to be interlocutors, having also experienced Western colonialism. In sharing their observations, they also demonstrate the ongoing vitality of Native cultural viewpoints to speak beyond history and the museum to the most pressing issues in today’s world affairs.

Minotaur Books     ISBN 978-1250049155

Selection, Las Comadres National Latino Book Club
A Latina Book Club 2014 Best Book of the Year

Skeet Bannion's Cherokee grandmother has come to live with her and her teenage ward Brian, and Skeet is still trying to adjust to the change while also keeping the peace on the local college campus. Then Ash Mowbray, a bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks, comes back to Brewster as a wealthy developer, pushing plans to build a shopping mall on the outskirts of town that will destroy the town square businesses. The town council is split on his proposal, and emotions are running high.

Mowbray makes things worse by announcing that he is the real father of the high school athlete Noah Steen, having left Noah’s mother, Chelsea, pregnant as a teenager when he fled town after high school. Chelsea and her husband Elliott are horrified that Mowbray has publicized that Elliott is not Noah’s father and afraid that he will steal their beloved son from them. Noah is shocked to learn the truth of his parentage and furious with Mowbray. It’s not long before Mowbray turns up murdered with Noah as the prime suspect. Brian and Noah's girlfriend Angie turn to Skeet to find the murderer and save their friend.

Every Hidden Fear is a thrilling and emotionally-resonant mystery, told by a masterful writer in full command of her craft.


“I love Skeet Bannion! The talented Linda Rodriguez's new cop in town is tough, smart and wonderfully vulnerable. This suspenseful and sensitive tale of small town secrets is captivating from page one. An absolute page-turner!” – Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha, Anthony and Mary Higgins Clark award winning author


Minotaur Books     ISBN 978-1250030351
Selection, Las Comadres National Latino Book Club
2nd Place, International Latino Book Awards

Life has settled into routine for half-Cherokee Marquitta “Skeet” Bannion now that she’s gained custody of fifteen-year-old Brian Jameson and shares care for her stroke-impaired father with her ex-husband—until the past reaches out to destroy everything she holds dear.

A party to celebrate the arrival in Brewster, Missouri, of George Melvin, a Kansas City politician accompanied by his troubled teenage daughter, wealthy wife, even wealthier backer, and mysterious employee, rapidly turns into disaster when Skeet’s best friend, Karen Wise, stumbles on a body in Chouteau University’s storage caves and is attacked herself. Skeet works to keep Karen safe, even as Karen becomes obsessed with the dead man’s drunken claim that her husband’s accidental death years earlier was murder.

Brian’s emotional entanglement with the rebellious daughter and Karen’s fixation on the politician as her husband’s murderer frustrate Skeet’s efforts to keep them both safe and out of trouble while she tracks down the killer, who’s targeting Karen to remove a potential witness. Even Skeet’s friends and neighbors in Brewster keep secrets from her, and Skeet wonders if any of them are what they seem.

Not knowing who she can trust any longer, Skeet struggles against the clock to solve a series of linked murders stretching into the past before she loses Brian forever and her best friend winds up in jail—or dead. 


"Linda Rodriguez gives readers a truly modern heroine in tough, independent, and complex police chief Skeet Bannion. Add powerful writing, edge-of-your-seat suspense, and a cast of characters you won't want to leave behind and Rodriguez delivers another terrific read."
     —Deborah Crombie, New York Times bestselling author of No Mark Upon Her
“Linda Rodriguez is a richly talented writer. Her aim is true, and she strikes deep. This new work will reward you as it weaves its generous spell. Good stuff. Get it now.”— Luis Alberto Urrea, bestselling author of The Hummingbird’s Daughter and Queen of America 

"Rodriguez combines elements of the whodunit with those of the thriller in her second installment, a follow-up to last year's award-winning 'Every Last Secret.'  Her latest not only fulfills its predecessor's promise but also furthers Skeet's story in ways that will have readers eager for her next case." —Richmond Times-Dispatch

"Skeet’s second outing...showcases a strong, intelligent woman with a difficult past that keeps returning to haunt her." —Kirkus Reviews

      Minotaur Books     ISBN 978-1-250-00545-8
Winner, Malice Domestic First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition
International Latino Book Award

Buy Now! 

Half-Cherokee Marquitta “Skeet” Bannion thought she was leaving her troubles behind her when she fled the stress of being the highest ranking woman on the Kansas City Police Department, a cop ex-husband who didn’t want to let go, and a disgraced alcoholic ex-cop father. Moving to Brewster, Missouri, a nearby small college town, to be chief of the campus police force, she began to build a life outside of police work with a house and yard, pets, and women friends who were not cops. She might even begin a new relationship with the amiable Brewster police chief and his sweet little girl.

All of this threatens to crumble around her when the student editor of the college newspaper is brutally murdered on campus. Skeet must track down his killer, following trails that lead to some of the most powerful people in the university. Everywhere she turns, she uncovers secrets, and the murderer will do anything to keep the most dangerous secret from being exposed.

College administrators demand that she conceal all college involvement in the murder, and in the midst of her search for the killer, Skeet takes up responsibility for a vulnerable teenager while her jealous ex-husband and seriously ailing father wind up back on her hands. Time is running out as Skeet struggles to catch a killer and prevent more deaths by unraveling every last secret.

PRAISE FOR Every Last Secret

“Rodriguez writes clearly and forcefully. … Fans of tough female detectives like V.I. Warshawski and Kinsey Millhone will be pleased.” – Publishers Weekly

“Fans of Nevada Barr and Sara Paretsky will relish Linda Rodriguez's stellar debut. Her sleuth, Skeet Bannion, is a keeper. Every Last Secret is a triple crown winner; superb writing, hell for leather plotting and terrific characters.” – Julia Spencer-Fleming, New York Times bestselling author of One Was a Soldier

“Linda Rodriguez has created a captivating female detective with a mind for justice and a heart for those who’ve been unfairly treated.  Skeet navigates university politics and a nest of deadly secrets to find the truth, even when it means investigating people she cares about.”  —Carolyn Haines, bestselling author of Bones of a Feather

Every Last Secret offers that rare and startling thing in the universe of thrillers: a truly fresh voice. Rodriguez's tale spares nothing. Skeet is an all-too-human heroine, and we just want more, more, more.”   —Jacquelyn Mitchard, #1 national bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean and Second Nature: A Love Story

“There's a new cop in town and she has smarts, courage, and a good heart. Mystery readers will find a new favorite in Chief Skeet Bannion.”  --Nancy Pickard, bestselling author of The Scent of Rain and Lightning

“Murder on a college campus, plenty of bad people, and all kinds of puzzles to solve.  Linda Rodriguez has written a highly enjoyable procedural introducing a rough and tender heroine, Skeet Bannion.”--Kathleen George, author of The Odds and Hideout

"Rodriguez’s debut is an action-packed ride featuring an intriguing heroine you won’t quickly forget."   —Sally Goldenbaum, bestselling author of The Wedding Shawl

Heart’s Migration
Thorpe Menn Award for Literary Excellence
Finalist, Eric Hoffer Book Award in Poetry
Tia Chucha Press 2009      trade paperback      ISBN 978-1882688371
Simultaneously clear yet mythically transcendent, the poems in Heart’s Migration speak power in a woman’s voice. Rodriguez unmasks the human heart in its many beguiling and compelling forms: passion, oppression, and liberation. She evokes and re-imagines classical, biblical, Cherokee, Latino, and other American themes in strikingly personal and sometimes humorous ways as she lovingly renders the heart’s eternal encounter with joy and loss.

Heart's Migration by Linda Rodriguez is a generous, gorgeous book of poetry.  It's the kind of beautiful book that comes along every once in a long while, to keep the reader the perfect company.  It's courageous, unflinching in its voice and tradition.  You read a poem the likes of "My Daughter's Nightmares," and you feel the pangs of familial love and responsibility.  Rather quickly at the start of this book you feel like you are invited in, taken into a landscape of vivid image and memorable detail, such is the vibrant tapestry of this book.  This is a gifted, capable poet who takes pride in making a lasting human connection.  I praise her voice and her passion!

Virgil Suarez, author of 90 Miles:  New & Selected Poems, University of Pittsburg Press.

These poems are indeed a migration through the interior of the human heart in an act of searching and structure-building.  The book is an architecture of self-portraits and familial relationships in all their humor and sadness.  This work forms an able place.  It is an act of restoration that builds the fragments of one's life into some sort of whole. 
Heart's Migration is a reading that is worth the journey.  It achieves its destination.

Diane Glancy, author of Asylum in the Grasslands, University of Arizona Press, and Pushing the Bear; A Novel of the Trail of Tears, Harcourt

“I have been savoring these poems in Heart’s Migration slowly, one by one, loving every poem. Tia Chucha Press deserves kudos for bringing this poetry to us. I want to say so much about Rodriguez’s poetic gifts. What talent!  The most accomplished poet of our generation. A poetic voice for our time.  And Coyote! Pues somos hermanos!”

Rudolfo Anaya, author of Bless Me, Ultima and Alburquerque

The “I Don’t Know How To Cook” Book: Mexican
Adams Media 2008      trade paperback      ISBN 1598696076

Cooking Mexican meals can be intimidating, but with this cookbook, readers get 300 recipes that are impossible to mess up, like Pineapple, Mango, and Cucumber Salsa, Barbequed Ribs, Mexican Wedding Cake, and more! Whether cooks want to perfect their favorites, prepare a feast for one, or plan a fiesta for friends, this unique cookbook will have readers shouting ¡vamanos! in no time!

Skin Hunger
Potpourri Publications 1994, Scapegoat Press 2007      chapbook      ISBN 978-0979129100
Named by Michael Bugeja of Writer’s Digest one of the top four poetry chapbooks in its year of publication. Lyrical, passionate love poems and poems about women’s choices.