Sunday, August 30, 2009

Western Fans

I woke up a little after midnight last night thinking about the over 800 westerns available from Berkley (Penguin-US), and my thought was: "That's one more book than the number of western readers."

We all know that ain't true, there are at least 900 fans of the western. Of course, I don't have any real statistics to back it up, but extrapolating from a survey that I recently conducted where I asked certain of my fans to tell me what type books they read, or if they don't read, why not, I can come up with that figure of at least 900, almost, being only 898 shy of the mark. None of my fans said anything about reading westerns, in fact, only three answered that they read a book now and then, other than the one who said she had read all of Janet Evanovich's novels. WOW! Ms. Evanovich is a terrific writer of mysteries, at least that's what I gather, including One For The Money, Hard Eight and Finger Lickin' Fifteen, which info I just copied from the net, not having read any of her writings, yet, since I haven't read a mystery since the days of Ellery Queen, or was it Mickey Spillane, except for Ulysses, which still remains a mystery to me.

But back to those 900 western fans. The other respondents to my survey said, er, one of them said, "I read about anything that catches my eye." So we can put her down as a definite fan of the western. And, if you add up all of the ones that didn't answer any question, it either means they don't have the time or they don't  read books at all, but at least one of them would go see a western movie if their boyfriend or girlfriend insisted, the odds are. So we can put one more down as a western fan.

And there you have it! We can say that the other 450 western bloggers have at least two fans of the western, if their results come out the same as mine, and totaling them up equals 900, or is it 902? That means, if I can corner those fans and convince them to buy THE STRANGER FROM THE VALLEY, I'll be able to sell at least about 902 copies of the book, and that would be about the break even point, I figure. It's available now from,, and others. And iuniverse will even sell you an electronic copy for only $6.00. Order it today!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

In the works

(NOTE: I changed the title of the introduction over on the right side so as not to exclude females for those who may have thought that "broncos" only referred to males. I should have said "bronco busters" or not even used the term to begin with, since I wasn't referring to wild horses. But if any wild horses can read, they are certainly welcome to sign on as followers.)

As a new "kid" on the blogging block, I'm doing my part to encourage people to read more western novels by writing them and making them available to everyone as time goes by. So far, I have eight novels in the works:

1. The Stranger From the Valley, recently published by iunverse. This was self-published in the attempt to get the ball rolling. It is the first novel I wrote, and is especially important to me because of the fictitious autobiographical aspects it contains, although it may not receive any good reviews or any reviews at all..
2. The Upamona Gold Claim Wrangle = At the publisher awaiting rejection?? No, that's the wrong way to look at it, it's awaiting acceptance and will be published (I hope). 
3. Bloody Upamona = a sequel to #2.
4. Trouble at Sagrado Ranch, starts out in Texas, moves to New Mexico and eventually to Utah.
5. Reluctant Deputy Tom Anderson. Set in Sevier County, Utah
6, The Long Time Posse - Boring so far, but am working on it. I like the Ute deputy though.
7. Up the Arkansas - Ugh! I've put a lot of time on this one, but it hasn't really jelled yet. Been rejected as a longer novel three or four times.
8. The Bloody Gulch -  The setting for this one is the early days of Roosevelt, Utah. The non-elected Sheriff has his hands full when a new outfit moves in. About ready for a try-out with a publisher, Black Horse Westerns?? Maybe. I think it has a good chance on the first go-round to be published. (He says, with fingers crossed.).

The titles may change as they are finished off.  I'll be submitting The Bloody Gulch to a publisher afore long, and hope it isn't rejected right off, and then Bloody Upamona, as it stands now today.

I have an eye appointment this morning to see how my glaucoma is progressing or not. If it isn't one thing its another. Old age is not for the ----------- (fill in blank with an appropriate word followed by a swear word or two).

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Another excerpt from "The Stranger From The Valley"

This is another scene in the saloon, where a confrontation is brewing between the Henberrys and Wesford, from Chapter 8.

     Chappie ignored them and ate his bacon and bread finally, and chased it with a glass of beer. He was watching Cramer wipe down the bar, wash a couple of glasses, and walk from one end of the bar to the other then back again. Cranky finally turned around and arranged some bottles on the shelf behind, then went and struck a match to the three kerosene lamps, one hanging by the front door and one at each end of the bar.
    The door opened and in walked Bishop Thorneycraft and Counselor Carlson. The men at the table stopped whispering. Chappie turned around as Cranky with a surprised look stared at the new customers all dressed up in suits and ties.
     "By golly!" Cranky exclaimed. "If it ain't the Bishop and Mr. Carlson. Howdy-do, gentlemen. What'll it be, sarsaparilla? And what brings you gents in tonight?"
     Thorneycraft looked at his assistant, then surveyed the group of men at the table, looked at Cramer, finally rested his eyes on Chappie.
     "Evening, gentlemen. Counselor and I saw all the horses out front as we left my house, so we came by to see what the occasion was, in addition to doing our duties for the town. We're glad you're all here so we can ask you to spread our message this evening, which is, as most of you may already know, our annual Fourth of July Celebration. We're hoping that everyone around comes into town to enjoy themselves and take part in the church picnic in the field behind the church building under the trees. We announced it in  church last Sunday, but we didn't say anything about a special guest coming to town to help us celebrate. So we ask that you all take this message home and tell everyone you meet."
     Turning his attention to the barkeep, he continued, "And, Mr. Cramer, we've come to present a petition to you on behalf of everyone who signed it to please stop selling hard liquors and beer to our citizens. The wives have been complaining that their husbands spend too much time and money on your evil, spirituous libations and come home drunk too many times. And you will see as you read it, that not only wives have signed it, but husbands, too, some cases, and even a couple of Utes have put their marks. And, I'd like to add on behalf of all the righteous citizens of this town, that the church must protest the continued practice of serving hard liquors and may be looking to force the shut-down of your establishment if such paractice continues. And, with that, we'll take a non-alcoholoic drink of some kind. Thank you!"
     Chappie stood up and applauded, and everyone joined in, even Cranky.
     "Mighty fine speech, Bishop!" said Chappie. "Any idea who this special guest is going to be?"
     "I don't rightly know, Chappie, but there's a rumor flying around that started with the feller that drives the mail wagon, Angus MacDougald. He said he heard something about a big uppity-up coming to Utah Territory for somethig or other. Didn't rightly know who or what or when. Said he could be coming any day, though. That's all I know."
     Jim Henberry spoke up, "Pa was talking about some darn politician coming to Utah that he read in the papers he gets, but said the feller's name sure wasn't familiar to him. Didn't say a thing about coming here, though."
     "Why would one of them people want to be coming to Altveel for? I'll bet you it's something to do with the Ute tribe. That's what it always is!" Oakley said.
     This set all the men to talking among themselves, and Chappie found it hard to get a word in edgewise, but he didn't have anything to add, anyway. He watched as Cramer set an old bottle labeled 'Sarsaparilla Made From the Finest Old Recipe Available" on the bar for Thorney and Carlson with two glasses. He thought it looked suspiciously like good malt and barley whiskey, but he knew that they wouldn't drink any had liquor, not even after dark.
     He glanced at the one front window and caught little Charlie's eye before the boy ducked out of sight. About five minutes later, Esther B igknife came in the front door. Conversation stopped as she looked around the room glancing from one hat to another, finally resting her pretty, dark eyes on Cranky. She said, "Thanks for the use of your buggy, Cranky. I put it back in the stable." Then turning her attention to Milt after a quick glace at Chappie said, "Milt, I've go some fresh-made oyster stew waiting, if you'd care to help Charlie and me eat it. Sorry, gents, I only got enough for us three."
     "Now, Esther, you know I'm drinking with the boys, and...," Milt began, but Jim interrupted, saying, "Widow Bigknife, if you're trying to keep Milt from causing a ruckus tonight, you don't have to worry about that, does she Milt? We're heading out as soon as we finish our drinks, aint' that right, boys?"
     Oakley and Wonder shook their heads up and down in the affirmative. Milt and Mike just sat there watching Esther.
     The Bishop thought he had better say something, so he spoke up, "Mrs. Bignkife, you can see we're just having a friendly drink to celebrate our upcoming holiday and the fact that there'll be a special guest coming  to town to help with it. Why don';t you have a sarsaparilla with us? Cranky, put a glass up here for Mrs. Bigknife.
     "If she's going to give that stew to that feller later," pointing at Chappie, "I'm going to go eat it," said Milt, rising up from the table.
     "Why would she do that?" asked Chappie. "I just ate some bacon and bread and I'm full, and just finishing my drink before I help the Bishop and the Counselor deliver the news."
     "I don't believe that feller for a minute," Milt said. "Where's he staying, anyway?"
     Chappie was growing a little tired of Milt's attitude. He stood up, looked directly at Milt, and said, "I don't believe it's any concern of yours where I pitch my tent, Mr. Henberry. If you're having a little trouble accepting my presence in town, maybe you ought to try running me out."
      This put a burr under Milt's saddle and he came at Chappie in a rush, but Esther stepped in tween them before he had gotten very far.
     "Milt! Stop! Chappie, quit egging him on! Don't you men have any sense at all?" she yelled.
     "Get out of my way, Esther!" Milt ordered. "I'm going to teach him a lesson he'll never forget! He'll never want to come back here!"

Whew! What happens next? Do they kill each other? Does Mrs. Bigknife get hurt? Does Cranky set 'em up again? Does Chappie ......Does MIlt......Does the Bishop do anything?  You'll have to Read it to find out! ORDER IT NOW FROM AMAZON.COM OR IUNIVERSE.COM!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Special Edition

This is a SPECIAL EDITION of the blog to announce the availabililty of 'THE STRANGER FROM THE VALLEY" published by You may purchase it at and for $14.95 retail price plus S&H. Slightly lower at other outlets shown at Also available as an e-book from for $6.00!

Chappie Wesford is sent to a small town at the base of the Uintah Mountains in Utah to present an award to two of its citizens, but the Henberry family thinks he is there to take over their business and they make trouble for him.  Oh, my golly gee! Will he survive? Does he make more friends or enemies? How does he handle it? What will happen to him? Oh, mi-gosh and scratch me chinbone! You must read it to find out! Please do!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Will C. Knot Book/Books From Avalon

In thecolumn to the right, I hope you will notice the cover picture of "The Stranger From The Valley" due out soon from iuniverse. It is in its final convulsions and should be ejected shortly to land in the middle of the public domain for voracious consumption.

I'm in the middle of reading "The Return of Zach Stuart", by Will C. Knot, published July 1980 by Berkley Books, and am finding it to be an exciting story. It's the story of Zach Stuart who is seeking revenge for his mother, who was terribly beaten by her husband, Dudley Stuart, and left in front of a whorehouse, pregnant. She later dies, but Zach is the offspring. Some twenty odd years later he sets out to take revenge, and the story becomes brutal and full of action between father and son.

I tried looking up Mr. Knot on the internet, but found nothing on him, but my time was limited and put it aside. He has another book by Berkley listed on the previous books page, "Red Skies Over Wyoming."  I'll be looking forward to diving into it if I can find it.

Upcoming from Avalon Books is the western, "The Hidden Truth" by Michael Senuta, and one of the latest releases is "Wild Card" by Loretta Jackson and Vickie Britton. Reading an excerpt from "Wild Card" from the Avalon site, it sounded like something I wouldn't mind reading. All three authors have more than one book published by Avalon. The catalog listing shows well over a hundred western titles available with Kent Conwell, Johnny Boggs, Clifford Blair among the most prolific of the authors.

I think I will compare their catalog with some of the other publishers just for kicks, that is, the ones I can find on the net. Here goes:

The first one I checked was Berkley Books, which came up as Penguin Books (US), and it had over 800 westerns available to buy.

Dorchester Publishing showed on their New Releases, eight books, including "Acres of Unrest" by Max Brand, and "Zane Grey's Lassiter: Brother Gun" by Jack Slade. They listed nine books on their Sale section, and said there were hundreds available.

Kensington showed nine pages of westerns, ten per page cover shots, with William W. Johnstone being the primary author.

I checked five or six other companies listed as Western publishers, but came up empty handed. Anyway there seems to be plenty of western novels available for purchase, and this doesn't count e-books. We just need to drum up enough interest in them for people to read them.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Excerpt from my soon-to-be-available novel

Here's another excerpt from "The Stranger From The Valley," from Chapter 6:

Standing at the door was Widow Bigknife looking very excited, "Is Oakley in there? Tell him to get over to the saloon quick! Milt is tearing up the place! I don't know what he's doing but Charlie said he saw him through the window throwing chairs, cussing, and...and..."
Oakley went running out the door almost knocking Fedderson and Esther down, and jumped on his horse before she could finish, and raced down the road toward the tavern.
I spoke up, "I think I'll go see what Milt's doing. I heard he gets wild when he drinks too much. Thanks for dinner!" I told the Feddersons, as I climbed on Spottie.
"Tell Oakley to be careful!" yelled Hilaine.
By the time I reached Cranky's, everything was calm and peaceful. Cranky was telling Oakley, "I'm sorry I had to do it, but he lost his head and was going berserk in here, breaking my furniture, thowing glasses, chasing out my customers. What's the matter with him?"
"I don't know, Cranky. Sometimes he gets like this for no reason," Oakley replied. "I'll take him home and let him sleep it off. Can you give me a hand with him?"
"I'll give you a hand, Oakley," I said. "Where is he?"
He looked at me and said, "He wouldn't want you touching him, after what you already done to him. Cranky can help me."
"I ain't going to help him," stated Cranky, "and I'm not going to let him in here anymore, either. You can tell him that he's barred from my place 'til he learns how to behave himself, and he owes me some money for all the damage he did. I drug him back behind the bar here, to get him out of sight."
Widow Bigknife came in out of breath and looked directly at me, "What did you do to him this time? Where is he? Is he hurt?"
I just returned her gaze and shrugged my shoulders.
"Now, now, Esther," Cranky said. "He didn't do anything to Milt. I had to give him a little tap on the head to stop him from destroying the place. He's back here lying on the floor, still out."
Oakley went behind the bar to attend to the unconscious Milt. Chappie and Esther followed along. It was getting crowded in the small space between the bar and the back wall with all four of them in there.
"C'mon, Oakley, let's get him loaded up," Chappie suggested. "I'll take him by the legs, and if you get him under the shoulders, we'll have him on his horse in no time."
Oakley reluctantly relented, as Esther stood staring.
"Good riddance," offered Cranky.
Before we could get him on the horse, Esther had to take his face in both hands and plead, "Milt, Milt, darling! Wake up, wake up! You're going to be all right! Wake up!"
There must have been a subconscious reaction to her touch or sound, because he let out a long slow moan, "Unnh-nn-o-nnm-n," but he didn't wake up.
We hoisted him onto the horse, and went back into the tavern. Oakley walked up to the bar facing Cranky and said, "I'll ask Pa to come by and pay you something for the damages, but I don't know whether I should thank you or not. You must've hit him pretty hard to put him out for that long."
"I think he was about ready to pass out anyway. I just hastened it up a bit. He was drunker than usual, if that's possible. His Pa ought to do something about his drinking."
"Nobody can do anything about that, Cranky," Esther said. "It's just the way he is and always will be. I'm sorry for thinking you did it, Chappie, but I thought..."
"That's all right, Esther. Glad to be of help for a you too, Oakley," I replied.
I looked around the tavern. "There's a chair still upright at the table there, Esther, Care to have a sarsaparilla before you go home, that is, if Cranky has any unbroken glasses?"
She glanced at the preoccuppied barkeep, and then looked into my eyes. "I'd like that, Chappie. Set them up, Cranky, and have a drink with us."
"By crimany, I think I will," he said, grabbing three glasses from under the bar and a quart bottle of sarsaparilla. "Let's all drink to Milt Henberry, the rage of Altveel," he said, sitting down at the table and pouring the glasses full.

As you can see from this excerpt the characters are drawn with humor and sympathy, and in my opinion it's a GOOD READ! DON'T MISS IT! It will be out shortly.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Nathaniel Foote's House

Picking up from the previous blog, and adding another ancestor in the comparison, I will now make my debut in poetry by including a poem (I don't know what else to call it) which was written nine or ten years ago about a house. It was originally written for a genealogy piece on family history. Nathaniel Foote in the poem was a grandson of Nathaniel Foote, who first arrived in America from Colchester, England, in 1630. I think the poem is self-explanatory and I make no apologies for how bad or good it is poetry-wise.


In the year after 1701,
Nathaniel's house was finally done.
He had worked so long and hard,
In old Colchester's grassy yard,
To complete this family home,
'Twas lovely as a Shelley poem.

The four walls were securely connected,
Where his family would be protected.
From the hostile elements without,
Safe inside they could sing and shout.
Nathaniel, Nathaniel, what a job you've done,
One little room for all or none.

Your mighty effort was acclaimed,
As the D.A.R. has explained.
It's a monument in perpetu-um,
As the Foote House 'n Muse-um,
Standing in old Colchester town,
Where it has become greatly renown.

It breaks our hearts, Nathaniel Foote,
That the mighty effort you did put,
Into this tiny house on this land,
Was the final task at hand.
God called you from on high,
Before in it you could lie.

So, rest quietly, and be assured,
We appreciate what you endured.
It's a lasting legacy of strength,
Against the odds at length,
And a monument to inspire,
All to reach higher 'n higher.

And there you have it. The little house was built in Colchester, Connecticut. Any comments, good or bad, will be appreciated.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

An unlikely comparison

I thought I would do something a little different for this blog, so here we are. I thought I would compare an ancestor(s) to a famous person who lived at the same time, approximately, and the daily "This Day in History" item on my blog provided me a famous person, Frances II, Holy Roman Emperor.

Francis Joseph Charles, his full name, known as Frances II (Frances I of Austria), Holy Roman Emperor, Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary and Bohemia, was born February 12, 1768, in Florence and died in Vienna March 2, 1835.

Now, from my family I chose three, (1) Asahel (a great-great-great-great-grandfather), born March 23, 1729, in Simsbury, Connecticut, died July 22, 1809, in Norfolk, Connecticut. (2) One of his 13 children, Joseph, born July 23, 1753, Norfolk, Conn., died August 10, 1804, Austinburg, Ohio, and (3) James, one of Joseph's ten children, born 5 May 1794, Norfolk, Conn., died in 1858, Manti, Utah.

All, as far as I could determine, had a happy childhood, inlcuding Francis II, but his was strictly contolled and regimented by his uncle, the Emperor Joseph, and his father, Leopold II, who became Emperor upon the death of Joseph. When Francis I took over, he took Austria into the French Revolution (1789-99) and did nothing to help his aunt, Marie Antoinette, get out of the mess she was in. All told, he fought against France four times, the final one being on the side of the victors. He was the last of the Holy Roman Emperors.

Asahel fought in the American Revolution as a Lieutenant and Captain, which resulted in the Declaration of Independence (1776) and freedom from the British Empire. Joseph, his son, left his hometown of Norfolk and was one of the first settlers of Austinburg, Ohio (1801), but died a short three years later while assisting some travelers across a river in his canoe, having suffered a heart attack, I presume. And Joseph's son, James, left Austinburg sometime in the 1840's, I guess, or late 1830's, and got a job as a farmer, being hired by the Indian Agent for the Pawnees in Nebraska to teach the Indians farming. In 1847, the Brigham Young party having been kicked out of Nauvoo, Illinois, for being Mormon, took James in as a Captain of 10 wagons on the famous trek to the Salt Lake valley, and he ended up among the first to settle in the town of Manti, Utah.

Anyway, while the term of the last Holy Roman Emperor was coming to an end, he died in 1835, James was growing dissatisfied with his life in Ohio and decided to move on West. Or, being a good Presbyterian, he took a job as an assistant of some sort to a Reverend who was assigned to the Pawnee and Oto Indians. James went West and became a member of the Latter Day Saints church.

I don't know what became of the descendants of Francis II, but I guess I could find out, if only I had enough time. I have enough trouble trying to keep up with my own relatives, and while Francis I was living in castles and luxury, my choices were living in log cabins and wooden houses. Not to worry though, my choices were living in a place where they could make their own minds up about what they did or where they lived, whereas poor Francis I was stuck in a world of pressures and unseen forces telling him all the time what to do next.

That was a pretty weak comparison, but maybe I can do better next time within a limited amount of space.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

"Gunman's Chance"

This is only Tuesday, but I try to start on my blog early depending on what the day's schedule has, and I have to put in a few notes to remember what I'm writing about. I finished reading "Gunman's Chance" by Luke Short in a beat-up, well worn version which still had every page intact. Going through it, there were three or more checkmarks or straight lines put in by an earlier reader that I didn't see thumbing through it earlier. I still get a little kick out of some reader, probably the same one with the checkmarks, putting in his editorial comment by adding "The End" at the end, as I commented about in a blog awhile ago.

As far as the book goes, I enjoyed it of course. The fight between Tate Riling and Jim Garry was a good one, both men getting messed up pretty bad, and that turned Garry against Riling when he realized he had been supporting a conniving and devious old friend in his attempt to make money by bribing an Indian Agent. Garry knew the next time they ran into each other one of them would be killed, and Garry hoped it wouldn't be him. And things grew complicated with the two daughters of the Blockhouse owner, one trying to rope in Riling and the other falling for Garry.

As I said, I'm not a speed reader, and I don't read a book from beginning to end anymore when I start it. I fit it in between the writing and interruptions that each day brings, and sometimes I lose track of where I was in the story and have to retrace my steps.

I picked up a copy of "Resolution" by Robert B. Parker at the Barnes and Noble store in Arrowhead and will read it when I get around to it. For those who are unfamiliar with Arrowhead, it's a mall, at least there is a fairly large mall on one side of Bell Road and several free standing stores on the south side of Bell, the whole area being called Arrowhead, and it's usually busy every day of the week, with all the shoppers and diners. And Barnes and Noble has a huge book outlet there along with Borders. B. Dalton used to be there, but no more. I'm disappointed in the western section of Barnes and Noble, though, having a limited number of books and a limited number of authors represented in the thousands of feet of bookshelf space.