Barbara Nickless

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in Island of Guam
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I was made in Japan, born in Guam, and eventually made my way through various ports of call to Colorado. I’m the author of the crime novel Blood on the Tracks, which features railroad cop Sydney Rose Parnell and her K9 partner. When I’m not writing or traveling, I’m often in the Colorado Rockies hiking, caving, snowshoeing and drinking single malt Scotch—although usually not at the same time.

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Barbara Nickless Thanks for reading my books, Mike! My RR intel comes from multiple sources: books (see a few that I recommend at the end of "Dead Stop") and the…moreThanks for reading my books, Mike! My RR intel comes from multiple sources: books (see a few that I recommend at the end of "Dead Stop") and the internet. But mostly from working with and talking to RR employees, past and present. Boy, these men and women have a lot of stories. I've been fortunate to talk to folks from BNSF, UP and other railroads. And I've followed a railway cop around on his various tasks. I have him on speed dial. :-)(less)
Barbara Nickless Kim, thanks for a great question! You are right about Guam--I'm an Air Force brat. My father served as a bomber pilot in WWII. My maternal grandfather…moreKim, thanks for a great question! You are right about Guam--I'm an Air Force brat. My father served as a bomber pilot in WWII. My maternal grandfather was a general in the National Guard. A maternal uncle was a POW in Germany. None of these men talked much about their experiences, and after reading some great books about WWII and Vietnam (including the incomparable Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes), I became curious about what our troops were experiencing in Afghanistan and Iraq. When I read Jessica Goodell's Shade it Black and other resources about Mortuary Affairs, I knew what perspective I wanted to use in Blood on the Tracks. So, yes, a lot of interviews and research. And all those family members who dealt with the aftermath of war. Thank you for asking!(less)
Average rating: 4.28 · 21,550 ratings · 1,707 reviews · 7 distinct works
Blood on the Tracks (Sydney...

4.21 avg rating — 16,497 ratings — published 2016 — 9 editions
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Dead Stop (Sydney Rose Parn...

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Ambush (Sydney Rose Parnell...

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 14 ratings4 editions
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Sydney Rose Parnell (3 Book...

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Something Magic This Way Comes

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All Hell Breaking Loose

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New Writings in the Fantastic

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More books by Barbara Nickless…

“You can’t patch a wounded soul with a Band-Aid.” — Michael Connelly, The Black Echo Part 1 of this Series: An Introduction to PTSD I first became interested in post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as research for a novel. My protagonist is a former Marine who served during the Iraq War. She worked in […]

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Published on January 02, 2016 03:57 • 68 views
Blood on the Tracks Dead Stop Ambush
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“The videos that show the coffins coming back. People don’t want to know. And you and I? We’re part of what society can’t bear to remember. Because if they really think about it, if they really look at us and realize the cost we’ve paid to keep them safe? They can’t live with the guilt. They put up their ribbons and they give us fucking discounts at stores and they say, ‘Thank you for your service’ so they can go home and feel good about themselves. But if they really looked at what war does to us? Hell. They’d never let us come home.” “Stop”
Barbara Nickless, Blood on the Tracks

“Do not call us heroes. Not if you are calling us that in order to absolve yourself of guilt over sending us off to an unwinnable war. Some of us are heroes. But some of us never had the chance. And some of us got slammed face-first into the fact that when we looked inside, we found nothing heroic at all. —Corporal”
Barbara Nickless, Blood on the Tracks

“Normal is whatever we’ve gotten used to in our own private universe. It’s war or cancer or poverty. Hopelessness or pain or fear. It’s the cigarette burns on the coffee table and bone-deep exhaustion and the stink of booze and the black eye from—you tell everyone who asks—running into a door. Normal is the devil-ridden quiet of three a.m. when you’re eyeball-to-eyeball with God, and you know you won’t win because the deck is stacked. Best you can do is fold. —Sydney”
Barbara Nickless, Blood on the Tracks

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message 2: by Beth

Beth Hi Barb,
I suggested some friends for MB and thought I should suggest them to you, too: CJ Lyons, Lise Fuller, Donita K. (Paul, one of our January speakers), Lynda Sandoval, Mike Befeler, Denise Vega, Robin D. (Owens), Carol Hightshoe, Suzanne Proulx, Mark Stevens, Ron Chalice, Bettina Swigger (PeakRadar.com), and MB, of course.


message 1: by Beth

Beth Hi Barb,
Welcome to Goodreads! Feel free to scan my friends list to find mutual friends and befriend them. And, you may be interested in joining some of the groups that I'm a member of, too. You'll have to start recording the books you've read, too. Have fun!
- Beth


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