(I’ve been busy working on my second novel, The Ghost Painter, a paranormal thriller set in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The following is an excerpt in which the heroine — a New York artist — attends her first Santa Fe art opening.)
The level of chatter at the Cross of the Martyrs Gallery was rapidly rising. Too many bodies in too small a space, thought she, as she surveyed the crowded room while holding a small plastic glass in one hand and balancing some kind of tiny black-olive-cream-cheese-on-puff-pastry-thingamajig in the other. Never had she seen such a conglomeration of costume “get-ups” in one place without the occasion being Halloween. Nor had she seen so many females running the gamut of southwestern fashion choices. There was everything from Indian-style velvet broomstick skirts in rich colors of ruby-red, aqua, gold, and green, all topped off with high-necked or off-the-shoulder satin blouses, a preponderance of silver-and-turquoise jewelry, and fancy cowboy boots. Some flaunted their slim figures with sexy, skin-tight jeans, fringed sueded vests, and cowboy hats, along with the usual Indian jewelry. The men were no less flamboyant in their Western-style shirts, jeans with silver-buckled belts, high-heeled, alligator-skin boots, ostentatious hunks of turquoise-and-silver bolo ties, and the obsequiousness of the occasional Stetson. What a show, she thought. As for the main event, because of the crowd, Angelina hadn’t been able to get close enough to view the paintings hanging on the white-washed walls since she’d arrived.