Steven Cooper

September 12

6:30pm Doors Open
7:00pm Program

$45 / person

$40 / 2+ tickets

$200 / table for 6

Desert Remains, Trilogy

In a world of Long Island mediums, “dudes who cross over,” and horoscopes that auto-Tweet, Gus Parker is the real deal. His visions might be murky, but they mean something. That’s why Detective Alex Mills needs his help. Someone is filling the desert caves around Phoenix with bodies—a madman who, in a taunting ritual, is leaving behind a record of his crimes etched into the stone.

Set in the rugged, majestic landscape of the Valley of the Sun, Desert Remains leads Mills and Parker into the mystical world of petroglyphs—crude drawings from an ancient civilization that seem to have inspired the dark, haunted mind of a serial killer.

When Parker sees the crime scenes, he sees visions of a house on fire and a screaming child.  With no leads and no suspects, Mills sees a case spinning out of control. City leaders want the case solved yesterday, and another detective wants to elbow Mills out of the way. As the body count rises, Gus Parker struggles to interpret his psychic messages, knowing that the killer is one step ahead, knowing that in this vast desert, the next murder could happen anywhere. Mills suspects that with every news crew, every bleeding headline, and every dead end, he is one step closer to reassignment. It doesn’t help that a family crisis almost pushes him to the breaking point. Nor does it help that Parker, who’s always been unlucky in love, finds himself the prey of a lovelorn stalker who is Fifty Shades of Crazy.

Desert Remains swerves past the gloriously scenic, ricochets off the darkly absurd, and hurls Gus Parker and Alex Mills into a trap they may very well not survive.

Steven Cooper is a former investigative reporter. His work has earned him multiple Emmy Awards and nominations, as well as a national Edward R. Murrow award, and numerous honors from the Associated Press. He taught for five years in the English department at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida.  Born and raised in Massachusetts, Steven has lived a bit like a nomad, working TV gigs in New England, Arizona and Florida, and following stories around the globe.


“A literature-loving homicide detective and a reluctant psychic stalk a psychopath who signs his gruesome crime tableaux with petroglyphs in Desert Remains, an ingenious and promising series debut.”

Hallie Ephron, New York Times-bestselling author of You’ll Never Know, Dear

“Terrific. The talented Steven Cooper somehow manages to craft a riveting procedural that’s deeply chilling one moment and laugh-out-loud funny the next. Smart, sophisticated, and unique, Desert Remains is not to be missed.”

Hank Phillippi Ryan, Anthony, Agatha, and Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning author of Say No More

Desert Remains delivers a scorching tale of paternal estrangement and betrayal. Cooper kicks the serial killer mystery up a notch. He crafts striking characters who battle intimate and shadowy monsters in a vividly drawn Phoenix desert.”

Ray Daniel, award-winning author of Hacked: A Tucker Mystery

“Authentic police procedural detail…quirky and vivid characters, smart and snarky social observations, and challenging but fulfilling personal relationships. This is first-rate entertainment.”

Books by Steven

When you purchase books at Georgia Writers Museum up to 40% of your purchase supports our non-profit, and helps us provide programs, exhibits, and workshops to children, students, adults and seniors! Stop by our bookstore, Thursday – Saturday, 10am – 4pm or email us at to reserve your copy. Signed copies can be ordered prior to the event.

Amanda Vining photo

Amanda holds a BS in Biology from Georgia College & State University. She began her career as an educator with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. After leaving the DNR, Amanda became a formal educator with Baldwin County School System and Jasper County School System. Amanda began her museum career at the Museum of Arts and Sciences (MAS) in Macon, Georgia, where she served as Curator of Environmental Science
(2011-2020). While at MAS, Amanda developed a love for sharing the world around us with the many students who visited on school field trips. During her time as Curator of Environmental Science, Amanda launched a storytime
program for preschool children.

Since 2020, Amanda has been serving Georgia Writers Museum as a volunteer on the Education Committee. Amanda has brought her love of sharing stories with students by launching Peaches’ Reading Pasture. As Museum Manager, Amanda looks forward to serving the community and helping to inspire those within our community to put words to paper and share their stories.

Amanda was born and raised in nearby Shady Dale, Georgia. Her husband, Rodney, is a native of Eatonton, and they currently reside in Putnam County. They have three children.