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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Sand River by James Vaughan

James Vaughan is a pseudonym for a writer in the UK. His novel, Sand River, is a terrific western of 395 pages. Telling the story is an old man relating some of the more interesting and life-changing events that he lived through.

Jack Grice heads west at a young age and wants to be a cowboy. In Texas, he finally finds a job working on a ranch at sixteen years old as a gofer doing anything that his boss thinks needs to be done. He helps the cook prepare meals for the Cowboys and has already learned the leather trade, saddlery, harness, etc., in a local shop. He picks up on horses and cattle, and using a .44 Colt revolver. After a fall roundup he is assigned to trail the cattle in a cattle drive to Kansas. Later on, one of his friends sets him up as a horse thief and he must go to prison. The descriptions of his time in prison are really good and action filled; how he gets out is exciting, too. Grice returns to being a cowboy in Wyoming, getting a job on the ranch of Mr. Marques and his wife Kate of the gentry class.

But trouble comes his way again by getting mixed up in the cattle rustling mess at that time in history. Well trained and fast using a gun, he is forced to kill too many people and that get him arrested and he must face trial. Grice has a difficult time and finally faces his adversary in a do or die situation.

I really enjoyed this book and give it five stars. It is well written, plotted and structurally complete. I look forward to reading more from this author.  Keeping my interest for almost 400 pages, it was extremely satisfying.  

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Cover for Latest book

Here is a pic of my latest cover for the novel The Sorry Life of Bobby Chase-the-Lord. Does it look all right to you?




Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Ghost Dance by Neil A. Waring

This novel, The Ghost Dance, is the second Blade Holmes story. In this one, Holmes is out on assignment in Wyoming and gets a message to investigate the Ghost Dancers, which puts him in the middle of the U. S. Government and the Indians.  Someone from one of those organizations, or maybe both, is trying to kill him and so far haven't hit him with a bullet. They have come terribly close, though,. mistaking somebody on the trail for him.

He meets with Wovoka, the initiator of the Ghost Dance who is in Nevada and doesn't get any results in the way of terminating the dances, which supposedly inspired the Indians to go to war with the Whites. Holmes continues his investigation by meeting with Sitting Bull and Man of Many Years on the Sioux Reservation later on. Parson Christie warns Blade to be careful in his travels because whoever is trying to kill him wants him dead. Blade runs into an old friend, Calamity Jane, who has also been watching over him in a fashion and helps in his investigation.

All in all, I liked Blade Holmes and his story of preventing a war between the Indians and Whites. It had enough action to keep the story moving and make it interesting and I give it four stars. The story contains some valuable history, too, about the Ghost Dancers and their place in Indian society and the disruption they caused among the Indians and Whites. A good summer read.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Update

I haven't been blogging or reading blogs for the last couple of weeks because of my writing and other things. Publishing on Creat Space has turned into a nightmare for this latest project. I thought I had it made when I compiled on Scrivener and submitted the PDF. It went smoothly until I got the message that it wasn't exactly formatted correctly in Creat Space's view. I went to correct it, but it had so many things wrong with it, I gave up. I re-compiled and submitted it as a Word doc. rtf and had the same thing happen. I tried submitting it again using Scrivener and had the same results. I'm a slow learner, I guess. I gave up and started re-typing it into a Creat Space unformatted template. I'm about half-way through it for the umpteenth time and will try it again upon finishing the typing.

I drew a cover and thought that was okay, but I have to submit it again, too. Only the back came out. That might be all right for some, but it certainly doesn't meet the requirements, so I'll be working on that for a while.

I've been able to squeeze in some research, etc., on marketing while this is going on. Whether it will do me any good or not remains to be seen. And my reading is coming along slow, real slow, but I am reading a couple of Westerns which I'll blog on when finished.

My newsletter is still in the early stages, but sign up to receive it. It will improve.

Thanks, and enjoy the summer. It's predicted to hit 120 degrees in Phoenix next week.


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Deadwood by Max Braun

Deadwood is part of a double-novel paperback published by St. Martin's Press. The other story is Manhunter, both by Max Braun.

Private detective Luke Starbuck is on the trail hunting for an accused killer, Mike Cassidy. Starbuck was hired by William Dexter on behalf of a mysterious mine owner in Montana to locate and kill Cassidy. He finds out that Cassidy is holed up in the Hole in the Wall, Wyoming, and he puts on a disguise and finds Cassidy there after an attempt or two on his life. Luke is over-powered by Cassidy and his young friend who turns out to be Butch Cassidy - no relation. Mike beats the tar out of him trying to find out who he is and what he's after and almost kills him while Butch holds a gun on him.

After recuperating, they become friends and decide the character they want is the person who hired Dexter. Luke finds out that the attempts on his life are related to a man he killed earlier, Dutch John Henry. He heads off to find out everything he can about Dutch John, and ends up in Deadwood, where this mysterious Ira Lloyd, owner of the Grubstake Mining Company and the man who hired Dexter, makes his headquarters. Luke continues on to settle the case in an exciting and dangerous way.

I really enjoyed reading Deadwood and the surprise ending. I give it five stars for action and suspense and look forward to reading Manhunter, another Starbuck story.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Free Book?

Western Stories is supposed to be free through April 29th. Let me know if it works.  The page for this book is here.

I hope that's the right link. I just tried it and it worked fine, but let me know if you have problems, please.

Thanks.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Hear Ye, hear ye - Get Your Free Copy

That's right. You will be able to get a free copy of my short stories, Western Stories, next week. The free promo will run from Apr 26-29.

And that ain't all. The following week you can get a copy of The Man from Hanksville available May 2 through May 4.

I hope you take advantage of these opportunities and after reading the two books, please write a short review for Amazon. (NOTE; Writing a review is not a requirement, but will be greatly appreciated.)

Thanks a whole lot and enjoy the reads!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Back With a Review of "Sackett" by Louis L'Amour

It isn't as if I went somewhere. No, I've been "larnin'" on my PC how to do some things and I don't think it has sunk in all the way.

Squeezing in a bit of reading along the way, I did get through Sackett while doing my "larnin'.".It isn't that ths book of L'Amour has never been reviewed, because it has many times, but here is my two cents' worth.

Tell Sackett is traveling back home from Montana along the high ridges of the Rockies when he stumbles across a cave, not just an ordinary cave, but this one has gold in it. He sees that it has been lived in at some time or other by Spanish explorers and he knows they were mining the gold. The cave is on a high peak of the Colorado Rockies, very difficult to get to by the one trail. There is another entrance/exit and that is right over the steep mountain.

Tell fills his saddlebags with gold that's laying around in the cave and takes off. He finds another cave lower in the mountains and a grave. Sackett stays there and someone has stolen some of his food. He takes off for home and delivers the gold to his family, mother, and brothers, and an old guy named Cap Roundstone is there, too, a tough nut if there ever was one. That is in Mora, New Mexico. He goes into town to buy some things and some people see the gold and get the hankering for it. Cap Roundstone and Sackett pack up and head for the gold mine with these people on their tail,. The Bigelows are after him for killing their brother because he was dealing from the bottom of the deck in a poker game.

Sackett and Cap get back to the area of the gold and lay out a town because they know people will show up for one reason or another. They fix up a "fort" for self-defense on the mountain trail to the cave that one person can fend off the Bigelow gang and others. Sackett returns to the lower cave and finds the person that stole his meat earlier. It is a young girl named Ange and the grave is her grandfather's. She is poorly from lack of nourishment and the cold weather over the time Sackett was gone. He "nurses: her back to health and she moves into a cabin in town nearby. She doesn't much care for Sackett's way of handling people, shooting them on sight and not giving them a chance.

The Bigelows and the gold hunters show up while Sackett is up above in the gold cave and force Ange to take them up there after shooting and wounding Cap.

How do Sackett, Ange. and a new friend John Rugger get out of there? Well, you'll have to read the book, which is quite an adventure with lots of excitement and cold weather. And I think I'll give it  five stars for the suspense and descriptions of the winter in the high peaks of Colorado.           

Friday, March 3, 2017

Local Man (Sad But True Stories)

High Crimes, Misdemeanors, and Other Bad Decisions. That's a long title if you put it all together. This book by Publications International, Ltd., contains some of the weirdest, funniest, and odd situations that some people get into, including dumb crimes, bad diets, ghosts and UFO's, bad parents, and just plain stupidity. It's a compilation of all the bad things that happen and watch out, you may be next.

Anything to make somebody else a buck by writing this book and relating all these bad things that happen to dumb people is all right with me. In fact, I got a big chuckle out of most of the book and overall, I thought it was a fun read and is even copyrighted. Two hundred and seventy-two pages long, it provided me with many hours of entertainment as I waited in the car for the wife to shop, etc. I give it a solid three our of five stars.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Globetrotter

The other night we watched one of the Globetrotter videos on Public Television. It wasn't a tour of Formosa or even France. No, it was a tour of the Old West, an overview of places and times like the connecting of the Trans-Continental Railroad and the Golden Spike, a short life of Thomas Parker from Circleville, Utah, also known as Butch Cassidy. And there was more on Deadwood, South Dakota, and Buffalo Bill and the Pony Express, and even more. But I don't recall anything about Texas but a mention of the Alamo. There was some on the California Gold Rush and the Silver Boom in Nevada.

Anyway, it was an entertaining program, which we (the wife and I) enjoyed watching. You never know what you'll see on Public Television. The Channel entertains the urchins most of the day and provides other stuff for the adults(?) the rest of the time with programs like Nova and Nature and that other travel guy who does Europe..