Posted in books, writing

‘Getting New Mexico’ by Rhenna Saint Clair wins New Mexico-Arizona Book Award for Fiction

I’m so excited to share that a lovely friend on mine was recently recognized for her wonderful book!

“Part love story and part comedic hero’s journey, the story is filled with quirky and diverse
characters and unlikely situations right out of real life. A fun read from start to finish.”
—Anne Hillerman, author of the Manuelito, Chee and Leaphorn mysteries.

Getting New Mexico by Taos, New Mexico, author Rhenna St. Clair has won the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award for Fiction, presented by the New Mexico Book Co-Op.

A comic novel about second chances, redemption and finding latein-love love, Getting New Mexico tells the story of Aaron Schuyler, a drunk, cheat, exploiter and — worst of all — a lifelong New Yorker, whose life and character is transformed by the quirky, anti-elitist culture of New Mexico.

After his alcoholism and wayward behavior lose him his family, livelihood and home, Schuyler is forced by his formidable Winston Churchill-worshipping mother to move to Santa Fe. Schuyler finds himself in a culture where self-reliance and compassion counts more than power or status. Stripped of his former wealth and reduced to wearing clothes from Walmart, Schuyler finds that people no longer excuse his bad behavior. With his survival depending on keeping a real job, Schuyler is forced to develop new habits of responsibility and sobriety.

Along the way, Schuyler meets unconventional people unlike any he’s ever known — the enigmatic Indian artist Lone Goose; his aloof landlord who was the lover of Schuyler’s beloved uncle; the blue co llar Sam’s Club workers who accept him as one of their own; and above all, the beautiful and no-nonsense Anita Chatterjee, HR director at Sam’s Club, with whom Schuyler is immediately smitten. For the first time in his life, Schuyler wants to be a better person — and shaking scorpions out of his boots seems like a fair trade.

Upcoming Book Signing

I will be signing copies of my award-winning novel, Getting New Mexico, at Amy’s Bookcase in Farmington, New Mexico on Saturday, November 27 from 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon.

Getting New Mexico was a winner in fiction, and was a finalist for Book of the Year.  I hope to see you at Amy’s!

About the Award and Author

New Mexico Book Co-Op is New Mexico’s largest not-for-profit volunteer organization serving authors and publishing professionals, the New Mexico Book Co-op numbers over 1,200 participants. Since 2004, the New Mexico Book Co-Op has executed its mission to showcase books, authors, presses, and related professionals; to promote literacy; and to raise public awareness of quality books produced in the Southwest. In 2007, the Book Co-op launched an awards program for excellence in books, which is now one of the largest and most prestigious programs in the Southwest, attracting entries from across the region as well as from major national presses.

Rhenna St. Clair, a Portland, Oregon, native, arrived in New Mexico in 1992. Fascinated by the beauty of the land and its history, the archaeological sites and the mix of cultures, she “can’t imagine living anywhere else.” A retired acupuncturist and Doctor of Oriental Medicine, St. Clair has traveled in China as well as in India and other parts of Asia. She now resides in northern New Mexico. Her poetry has been published in Perspective(s) Magazine, the literary journal of San Juan College. Getting New Mexico is her first novel.