Thursday, November 29, 2012

Giddy-up, Giddy-up

We've done got giddied-up and finished The Man from Hanksville, a story of murder, mayhem, and mischief set in the little town of Bluff, Utah. Paperback edition will cost $6.89 and the Kindle edition will be $3.99, available worldwide.

I have to make a remark about the Kindle edition just to clear my conscience. I used the Amazon Kindle conversion and let it go through as is. There are a few alignment errors in the format but the narrative was complete and readable and I don't think it will bother the average reader using the Kindle. If the reader likes it and wants to keep it, I think he-she will buy the print version which came out just fine.

Question: Was I wrong in not correcting the format problems or does it make that much of a difference on a reading device where the book will be only temporarily retained?   

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Cover for The Man from Hanksville

First, I would like to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving with lotsa turkey and dressing! 

Here is a Cover shot of The Man from Hanksville which will be out earlier than I first thought. The formatting and editing of this book went fairly smoothly, although I've been working on the narrative for quite a while:

And the back:

Receiving the proof copy of this story was almost as exciting as getting the first one published, and I'm happy that it is in the final stages of publication.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Mail Jackpot

Saturday was a good day for the mail in that I received the first two issues of American Cowboy mag, an issue of Writer's Digest (probably the last), and a surprise, a Special Edition of Phoenix mag - Wild West edition.

Phoenix Magazine, Special Edition has some great old photos and has articles on early Phoenix, Tombstone (of course), Prescott, Mining, Women, Guns, Pioneering, and the Indians (Cochise, Geronimo) and will be a handy quick-reference guide.

I recently bought a subscription to American Cowboy to help out my great-grandsons' school and received the first two issues of my subscription on the same day.. They have info on the rodeo circuit and riders among other things. One of the other things was an article on the cattle ranches in Hawaii. I was stationed in Pearl Harbor in the early '50's and knew there were cattle, but this article gives some in-depth info on the whole cattle business along with some history. There is only one ranch that has accommodations for overnight guests and you can arrange a nice visit the next time you go to Hawaii. Other ranches will show you around but you have to stay somewhere else. I think I will enjoy this magazine.

And the Writer's Digest was delivered Saturday, too, which always has something of interest if I have enough time to read it.

So, Saturday was a jackpot mail day. If could just win the Lottery it would be better though. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Welcome/Old Books

A warm welcome to Keith and my Greek or Russian follower. I apologize for not being able to understand the language his name is shown in, but I thank him for reading my blog.  

Was just thumbing through Huxford's Old Book Value Guide, 8th ed., and noticed that Zane Grey's fishing books are rather high, like for instance, Tales of the Angler's Eldorado, New Zealand, 1926, lst edition was listed for $1,250. Some others are listed for $400 to $650. The highest Western was Shadow on the Trail, 1948, Harper, lst. Ed., listed for $125.

I wonder if my books will ever reach that peak. Nah, not unless I raise the price.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

First Winter Storm of 2012

Our first winter storm passed through last night and the temperature dropped from 91 degrees on Tuesday to 62 degrees yesterday and even colder this morning - in the 50s. To those of us who are thin-blooded, it was C-O-L-D and I had to turn on the heater this morning. About an hour before sunset yesterday, the sky looked like this to the south:

And like this, still looking south:

Like this to the north:

The northeast:

And the northwest:

And one more, northerly, with a flock of starlings a little unsettled:

And, you know what? We didn't get a drop of rain, snow, sleet, or whatever out of it to my knowledge. I woke up this morning at 4:45 and hopped out of bed to check my rain guage and found nothing. The sun came up as usual and not a cloud in the sky. Oh, well, another beautiful day in the Valley of the Sun!

Thursday, November 8, 2012


The New Mexico Book Coop reports that two Santa Fe Publishers have bit the dust, Clearlight Publishing has declared Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and Pennywhistle Press is liquidating. Sorry to hear this. The Publishing Industry seems to be consolidating as reflected by this and Penguin Books is merging with Random House owned by Bertlesman, the German Company, the largest book company in the world! My, my! What is going on?

And the smallest Book Company owned by me, will have a signing at Gifts to Go in Surprise on November 16th. All my books will be for sale, all five of them: The Stranger from the Valley, The Upamona Gold Claim Wrangle, Blood and Blazes in Upamona, The Bloody Gulch, and Posse Justice. All are exciting and entertaining as my neighbor says: "I really enjoyed reading Posse Justice and just ordered two more."
And, "When is the next one coming out?" I will tell you that The Man from Hanksville is well underway, in fact it is written, complete, and will be coming out in a month or two if not sooner. And after that, there will be at least two more, Trouble at the Sagrado Ranch and Along the Sanpete, both tentatively titled.

So, I will not be going out of business this year! 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Some November Events in Arizona

Y'all come and bring your fiddles, gee-tars, banjos, and twangy voices to the Wickenburg Blue Grass Festival November 9 through the 11th at the Wickenburg Rodeo Grounds!

And for the exercisers out there from November 9 to December 28, on Fridays you can explore the town on a guided tour through Tubac, AZ. An interesting place with an old mud church built by the Spaniards or somebody.

On November 10 in Flagstaff a Navajo Rug Auction. Old and new handwoven pieces up for auction at the Coconino Center for the Arts, 2300 N. Fort Valley Road, 928-779-2300 for info. Everyone needs a Navajo Rug in their home!

November 10, visit the Happy Archers Arts and Crafts Fair in Sierra Vista at the Sierra Vista United Methodist Church.

November 10 and 17 and December 1: Book Events in Tubac where authors discuss their works including Father Kino's Herbs, Wild About Arizona Wildflowers. Wild Horses of the West, and Eight Valleys - A Linked Landscape at the Tubac Presidio State Park.

November 11, Sons of the Pioneers at Cottonwood, AZ, at the Mingus Union High School. Y'all come!

November 16-18, The Big Heap in Cave Creek. The Big Heap Vintage and Handmade Festival at 6245 N. School House Road.

And on and on, we go, from Art Shows to Dance Ensembles and Christmas Events!

(Thanks to the AAA magazine Highroads.) 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Little Bitty-Bit of Early American History

In case you may have forgotten, I will take you back to the 1600's to recall a piece of early American History, one of the first steps in the journey to the West. In this episode taken from a History of Norfolk, Connecticut,1744-1900, by Theron Wilmot Crissey, we see the beginnings of the expansion into the West.

     "The title to the land and right of Robert, earl of Warwick, was the first proprietary of the soil under a grant from the Council for New England. March 19, 1631, he ceded it by patent to Lord Say and Seal, Lord Brook, John Hampden and others. Before any colony could be established under their authority, individuals, headed by William Holmes of Plymouth had, September 1633, erected a grading house at Windsor [Connecticut]. The June previous to the arrival of Holmes, the Dutch from Manhattan, had established themselves at Hartford, having purchased twenty acres of land of a Pequot chief,--built a fort and mounted a couple of cannon. They claimed Connecticut, and never whiolly relinquished their claims until 1664 {those naughty Dutchmen]. The fur trade with the Indians was then very lucrative. The Dutch purchased of the Indians annually ten thousand beaver skins. [And I thought it was the white men who were doing all the fur killing and killing off the animal species. Where was the PETA?] In 1634, a few men from Watertown, Mass., came and erected huts at Wethersfield, which is the oldest town in the state. In 1635, a number of men cam from Dorchester to Windsor, and erected log houses. Other men from Watertown did the same at Wethersfield. [And these folks weren't unionized but free to build their houses.] In the autumn, having completed these preparations, these men returned to Mass. for their families, and on the 15th of October there set out about sixty men, women and children with horses, cattle, and swine. More than a hundred miles of wilderness through which no roads existed, whose streams were without bridges, and whose sole inhabitants were Indians and wild beasts, had to be traversed. [A trip repeated many times with the same conditions into the 1800's.] Dr. Trumbull says, "after a tedious journey, through swamps and rivers, over mountains and rough ground which where passed with great difficulty and fatigue, they arrived at their place of destination. But the journey had consumed much time, and the winter set in earlier than usual. [Shades of the Donner Party. People just never learned.]" [And their basic supplies ran out. They had to send some people back to the mouth of the Connecticut River, but when they got there, their boats with the supplies were not their. Most of the "invaders" made their way back to Boston.] Yet in the opening of the next year, 1636, the budding of the trees and the springing of the grass were signals of a greater emigration to Connecticut. The principal caravan commenced its march in June. Thomas Hooker, the light of the western churches, led the company. It consisted of about a hundred souls, many of them accustomed to affluence and the ease of European life............ Of this company, some settled at Windsor, some at Wethersfield, but the larger portion with Hooker took up their residence at Hartford."

     "Meantime the Pequot Indians had been exterminated, in 1637. This warlike tribe had from the first exhibited a hostile spirit towards the English. They had committed several murders.

     "Capt. John Mason, with ninety English, attacked Fort Mystic at daylight, May 28, 1637. It was set on fire, and in one hour above six hundred Indians, men, women and children, perished. This terrible blow struck dismay into the hearts of the other tribes, and secured peace to the colonists for a long period."
     [When you compare this massacre to those of Chivington or Custer or even the Mountain Meadows, the casualties are minimal, but, I suppose, it set the tone for the succeeding years of the westward expansion.]