In this collection of short stories, author Kathryn Lane fulfills the promise of mysteries of the heart while also surprising you with mysteries of life. Some of the stories are fun and humorous while others are ghost stories, or romance gone wrong. All contain a fusion of fantasy and reality.

Backyard Volcano

In the title story, Patricia’s grandmother (Abuela) relates her happy memories of the Paricutin volcano near her hometown in central Mexico to her granddaughter. Abuela keeps secret the unhappy memories that made her migrate to Texas in the first place.

The day of Patricia’s quinceanera party to celebrate her fifteenth birthday, her grandmother suffers a massive heart attack and dies. Influenced by her grandmothers love of volcanos, Patricia becomes a volcanologist and is sent to Mexico to study the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. Her grandmother’s backyard volcano, the Particutin, is in the area. She visits her grandmother’s hometown only to uncover her grandmother’s shocking secrets - secrets as explosive as the Paricutin once was. 

 

My Daughters Hand
A humorous story set in Santa Fe, New Mexico, offers glimpses on the consequences of the Spanish culture on weddings and family life. The bride’s father, Pancho, invites his friends to a local cantina to celebrate the engagement of the youngest of his 15 children, his daughter Sofia, to a New York gringo. As the men imbibe more and more tequila, they embark on an adventure to initiate Jim Hudson, the bridegroom, in the traditions of Mexican weddings. 

 

Max’s White Sofa
A woman falls in love with an embittered divorced man. Her relationship with him unravels when she experiences the ex-wife’s jealous outbursts and death threats. 

 

Tierra Amarilla
A Houston man rides his Harley over New Mexico’s obscure back roads discovering glorious landscapes. While passing through the town of Tierra Amarilla, he gets caught up in an unlawful attempt to reclaim old Spanish land grants, and also encounters a dimension he had not expected  - confronting New Mexico’s historical ghosts. 

 

Behind the Murals 
Victoria, a young girl in northern Mexico, loves the home of an artist who paints murals on the interior walls of his house. After Victoria’s godmother purchases the house, Victoria is the only one who sees the murals losing their luster and mysteriously sinking into the foundations of the house. Victoria also hears voices at night emanating from the kitchen. When she investigates the dark house there is evidence that objects have been moved. Is the young girl losing her mind or is something sinister occurring?

 

Do Turtles Ever Cry?
Awakened late at night from a recurring nightmare of her father’s cruelty, a divorced and lonely woman witnesses a murder outside her home. Her father is long gone, but the psychological effects of the trauma he inflicted on her as a child are very much alive.

 

Whose Family is it Anyway?
The chef of a small gourmet restaurant in Lake Tahoe sells her restaurant to marry the man she loves, only to discover that both she and her husband married for the wrong reasons.

 

Baseball Over the Moon
A-ten-year old child, Natalia, enjoys a special bond with her father. Natalia is a tomboy growing up on the family ranch in northern Mexico, where baseball is the king of sports. Her relationship with her father revolves around baseball, until the birth of a brother leaves Natalia grappling with her fear of being displaced when her father’s long-awaited son arrives.