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Books forthcoming in 2019: 
Every Family Doubt: A Skeet Bannion Mystery -- August
Revising the Character-Driven Novel -- November

Dark Sister: Poems
Mammoth Publications     ISBN 978-1-939301-66-6 
Available in trade paperback

Linda Rodriguez, author of the Cherokee detective series featuring Skeet Bannion (St. Martin's/Minotaur Press), turns to family stories for her third book of poetry. She testifies to borderlands that still exists 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 living embodiment in the present. She tells compelling stories with the sure hand of an oral storyteller and with 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 book appeals to young adults and 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.

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

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.

Minotaur Books     ISBN 978-1250049155

(For signed copies)               Rainy Day                 
Amazon            Barnes & Noble

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 lliott 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
Now Available
(For signed copies)   Rainy Day Books     Mysteryscape 
Powell's     IndieBound      Amazon      Barnes & Noble

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

Read the first chapter of Every Broken Trust here!


“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

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

“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, author of Bones of a Feather

“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

Every Last Secret: A Mystery 
Winner of the St. Martin’s/Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition
Barnes & Noble mystery must-read for April
Minotaur Books              ISBN 978-1-250-00545-8

Half-Cherokee Marquitta “Skeet” Bannion fled a city police force and family entanglements for a Missouri college town as chief of campus police. Now, the on-campus murder of the student newspaper editor puts Skeet on the trail of a killer who will do anything to keep a dangerous secret from being exposed, and everywhere she turns she uncovers hidden sins. Time is running out as Skeet struggles to catch the murderer and prevent more deaths by unraveling every last secret.