Several Grant County authors were honored in the 2021 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards organized by the New Mexico Book Co-op.

Alethea Eason, Kris Neri, EJ Randolph, and Kate Rauner topped the Fiction e-book category with their collection of eight Stunning Stories of Fantasy and Science Fiction published with the Borderland Writer’s Co-op. Editor and author EJ Randolph invited Silver City authors to contribute to Stunning Stories of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Eason, Neri, Rauner, and Randolph each contribute two stories to this collection. Stunning Stories of Fantasy and Science Fiction is available at Amazon books. Visit the Borderland Writer’s Co-op at

Randolph was further honored as a finalist in the Fiction e-book category with her science fiction novel Spiders & Spice. The story follows diplomat Kate Stevens, still ravaged from PTSD as a result of her last alien encounter, who is sent on a mission to wrangle another alien culture. This novel is available on Amazon books.

Catalina Claussen’s short story collection Being Home: A Southwestern Almanac was named a finalist in the Fiction Anthology category. This quirky collection of humorous made-for-radio stories is set in the Mimbres Valley and illustrated with her daughter’s photographs. Claussen was also named a finalist in the Young Adult category for her novel Holding on to Hope. Told in first-person from multiple perspectives, this novel explores the broken U.S. immigration system and its impacts on three teens living on the southern border. Both books are available from Progressive Rising Phoenix Press and all major retailers. Visit Claussen at

Doug Fine’s American Hemp Farmer from Chelsea Publishing was a finalist in the Nature/Environment category. In American Hemp Farmer, author, NPR contributor, and solar-powered goat herder Doug Fine gets his hands dirty with healthy soil and sticky with terpenes when growing his own crop and creating his own hemp products. Fine shares his adventures and misadventures as an independent, regenerative farmer and entrepreneur. Visit Fine at

New Rain: A Visionary Novel by Eve West Bessier was a finalist in the New Age category. New Rain is a romantic comedy filled with adventure and metaphysics told primarily through dialogue. Sola Alturas, a young sales rep for Interstellar Data Systems, arrives on the planet Caifanii ready to earn the largest commission of her career. Her briefing materials, however, fail to mention that a revolutionary movement called the Mhalanai Trust is pushing for global transformation, while the corrupt Caifanii government pushes back with violence. Visit West Bessier at

Bonnie Buckley Maldonado’s Denizens of the Big Ditch was a finalist in the Poetry New Mexico category. In this collection Maldonado explores the 1860’s wave of Anglo Americans that swept over SW New Mexico, including the US cavalry and seekers of precious minerals. As a result, the lives of people of color in the area were forever changed. An Indian fighter, a black woman entrepreneur, and a local madam are just a few of the characters who appear in Denizens of the Big Ditch. Visit Buckley Maldonado at

In the Sports and Recreation category Marc Levesque’s Gila Lost and Found: Search and Rescue in New Mexico was recognized as a finalist. Through real-life stories, Gila Lost and Found dramatically captures the often-heroic efforts of highly trained New Mexico search and rescue (SAR) volunteers to save lost, injured, or stranded individuals in some of the most rugged and remote backcountry of the Southwest. 

The number of entries in this year’s awards program was up 64.2% over 2020 and 1,676 books were judged. Judges this year came from all over the country and comprise teachers, librarians, book reviewers, historians, archeologists, and avid readers. All books were judged by at least three judges and every book that received an average score of at least 80% was selected as a finalist. 

Click to search the Beat Click to search the Beat

Get Updates Three Times a Week

Welcome to the Update! You will receive emails 3 times a week with links to recently posted articles.


You can unsubscribe anytime. We never share or rent your email to anyone.

Submitting to the Beat

Those new to providing news releases to the Beat are asked to please check out submission guidelines at They are for your information to make life easier on the readers, as well as for the editor.

Advertising: Don't forget to tell advertisers that you saw their ads on the Beat.

Classifieds: We have changed Classifieds to a cheaper and shorter option. Check periodically to see if any new ones have popped up. The former software failed us, so it's just a category now, with prices posted. Send your information to and we will post it as soon as we can. Instructions and prices are on the page.

Editor's Notes

Please Note in Classifieds a dog looking for a home. And now a well-loved cat is looking for a home.

Here for YOU: Consider the Beat your DAILY newspaper for up-to-date information about Grant County. It's at your fingertips! One Click to Local News. Thanks for your support for and your readership of Grant County's online news source—

Feel free to notify if you notice any technical problems on the site. Your convenience is my desire for the Beat.  The Beat totally appreciates its readers and subscribers!  

Compliance: Because you are an esteemed member of The Grant County Beat readership, be assured that we at the Beat continue to do everything we can to be in full compliance with GDPR and pertinent US law, so that the information you have chosen to give to us cannot be compromised. 

Content on the Beat

WARNING: All articles and photos with a byline or photo credit are copyrighted to the author or photographer. You may not use any information found within the articles without asking permission AND giving attribution to the source. Photos can be requested and may incur a nominal fee for use personally or commercially.

Disclaimer: If you find errors in articles not written by the Beat team but sent to us from other content providers, please contact the writer, not the Beat. For example, obituaries are always provided by the funeral home or a family member. We can fix errors, but please give details on where the error is so we can find it. News releases from government and non-profit entities are posted generally without change, except for legal notices, which incur a small charge.

NOTE: If an article does not have a byline, it was written by someone not affiliated with the Beat and then sent to the Beat for posting.

Images: We have received complaints about large images blocking parts of other articles. If you encounter this problem, click on the title of the article you want to read and it will take you to that article's page, which shows only that article without any intruders. 

New Columnists: The Beat continues to bring you new columnists. And check out the old faithfuls who continue to provide content.

  • The Beat has a column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues.

Newsletter: If you opt in to the Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates option at the top of this page, you will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.

Go to Top