Sunday, November 29, 2015


Today is the day I went over 500,000 page views, reaching 500,030! Thank you folks for taking the time to check out my blog. And don't miss today's blog below, John Legg's Sheriff's Blood.

An E-Book by John Legg, Sheriff's Blood

The Sheriff of San Juan County, Colorado, Jonas Culpepper, is based in Silverton and doesn't very good relations with the town's Sheriff or the Anvil Mining Company or the Federal lawmen in that part of the State. It isn't because he wouldn't like to, but those other people keep interfering in his business. The Federal Marshal was crooked and Culpepper had to throw him and his two deputies out of his office, one through the front window. And things get worse after a train robbery by the Ellsworth gang and Culpepper chases them to attempt to bring them to justice. Things do not go well and he locks up the Feds and heads out again looking for Ellsworth. The Anvil Mining exec, Pennrose, lets the Feds out since he's on the County Board and is thinking he is doing the right thing.

And things get worse when the Feds kidnap Culpepper's wife and go looking for the stash from the train robbery. Culpepper's brother shows up out of work and joins the Sheriff in looking for the stolen money and silver which is supposedly buried in a canyon not far from Grand Junction. And it finally gets to the end of the trail where the Feds throw in with Ellsworth and there is a big showdown.

I found this story entertaining, stirring, and rather wordy with a number of grammatical errors that should have been caught. I can't say I didn't like it, because I did and would give it three and three-quarters stars.

John Legg has published more than 55 novels and is a copy editor with the New York Times News Service, so says his bio, and I'm sure he may not have re-read the story before it was published. In any event, I thoroughly enjoyed Sheriff's Blood. It is one of six books in the Western Best Sellers Box Set by the Western Fictioneers..

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Turkey Day

And so it has once again came to pass bringing with it the many blessings we all are thankful for.


May your week be productive and blessed with success!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

This 'n That

THIS: I've reached page 93 on my first draft of the next novel. I should have been finished a long time ago, but just too many interruptions and I fall asleep too early. It won't be too much longer before it's finished. Here's an excerpt from Chapter Seven:

     "We been travelin' two nights and a day and we finally got here this mornin' to deliver this immoral outlaw to you Sheriff. He and his brother was tryin' their best to defile Miss Merik under some trees on the trail to Great Salt Lake when we came upon 'em. Lock 'im up and throw away the key," said Kid Ferry, looking the sheriff of Idle Springs in the eye and trying to avoid seeing his big, red nose.

     "Me and Junior was just holdin' her up on her feet, Sheriff," said Castinat, staring at the man with the star on his chest. "She fell to the ground when she got off her horse and Junior grabbed her arm and I took the other one and made sure she didn't hurt herself. That was all we were doin' when these  two bastards rode up and shot Junior afore he had a chance to say anything."

     Sheriff Tubbins was perplexed. These strangers turned up at his door with that older Castinat feller and that pretty Miss Merik, Dale Merik's daughter, and Junior Castinat dead on the back of a horse. Helluva way to start a day. Nothin' ever happened like this in Idle Springs before. And that Injun , hah. By God, I never heard of such a thing. Do I lock up Serge Castinat or let him go? Was he tellin' the truth? That means that stranger is lyin;, and I'll have to throw him in jail.

     "Wat did Junior do that you had to shoot 'im, Stranger?" said Sheriff Tubbins, scratching his head and blowing his big nose before looking the Kid in the eye. He was still standing on the wooden sidewalk in front of his small office eyeing the small party astride their horses.

     "That crook is lyin',Sheriff. I didn't shoot nobody. This feller's brother, Junior, he called him, tried to kill us for interruptin' their dirty pleasure and Bobby, here, beat him to the draw. It was unfortunate for Junior that the bullet hit 'im in the throat area and he died from loss of blood," said Ferry, taking a look at the bulbous, red and purple veiny nose on the sheriff's face. His eyes moved lower over the big paunch that stretched the sheriff's shirt and the missing button over his large belly, exposing his dirty long johns.

     "That's right, Sheriff Tubbins," said pretty Miss Merik, blinking her eyelashes. "Junior and Serge were fixin' to defile my body and these gentlemen came to my rescue. If Junior hadn't pulled his gun, he wouldn't have been hurt. The Castinats are always tryin' to get me alone and they almost succeeded."

     "Let us pray to the Lord that we found her before it was too late," said Bobby, dismounting and untying the rope around Serge's waist and the saddle horn.

     Ferry dismounted and took the reins of Junior's horse and tied them to the hitching post. He pulled Junior's body from the saddle and let it drop to the ground.

     With all eyes watching Ferry, nobody noticed Serge turn his horse with his legs and race down the middle of the short street. He disappeared around a corner of the last building in town before anyone could get his thoughts in order.

     "Wat the. . .", said Ferry turning his head to see the man and horse disappear.

     "By damn, he's excaped!" said Tubbins, watching the rider turn the corner.

     "The Lord acts in mysterious ways," said Bobby, still staring at Junior's body lying in the dirt among the horse droppings and small rocks and sand.

     The only one with any sense, Daphne Merik, took off after Serge. The Kid and Bobby mounted their horses and took off after Daphne. The sheriff ran down the middle of the street after them, yelling, "Let 'im go! We'll catch 'im later!"

     Tubbins returned, huffing and puffing, and stared at the corpse lying by the horse. Raising his head to look at the bystanders, he said "Nordell, go see if Doc Sycamore is in his office and tell him to come and git Junior out of the road before gits stomped on by a crazy horse."

     Sheriff Tubbins heard a commotion and turned his eyes in the opposite direction of the sudden departure of Serge Castinat. He saw a lone rider racing toward the group of bystanders. Before he could wipe the sweat off his big face and nose, Castinat slowed to a lope, yelling, "Don't bury Junior until you hear from my Pa, Sheriff!" and whipped the horse with his feet and disappeared around the same building again.

     Daphne's horse slid to a stop and she climbed from the saddle and told Tubbins, "My horse came up lame, Sheriff, darn it, and Castinat is getting away. Here comes the two men that saved me. They'll never catch him with the old nags they're riding."
      The Kid and Bobby plowed to a stop near Daphne in a cloud of dust. The Kid dismounted, waving his hands at the dust, saying, "Which way did he go this time, Sheriff? Our horses are worn out and we'll never catch up with him without changin' horses. We'll go look for him as soon as we can."

     "I don't know how he's able to stay on with his hands tied behind him," said Bobby, gazing at the small crowd that had gathered near Junior's body. "May the Lord carry that man's soul to Hell." He climbed off his horse and stood facing the sheriff.

     "We'll catch that scoundrel later," said Tubbins. "Let's go to my office. I got more questions to ask you, Miss Merik, and your two friends. Doc will take care of the body."

'N THAT: We attended TWO funerals in the last few days, I'm sorry to say. One was a waitress that worked in the small cafe where we eat breakfast practically every day. She had told us she was going to be off for a few days to have an operation to remove a small tumor. She passed away with cancer, which she never mentioned. 61 years old and it came as a big shock to us. You just never know when your time is up. The other funeral was for a neighbor, a nice lady, widowed, who really enjoyed life. She was about 95 years old.  A good, long life. We'll miss her on our condo board.

'ND THE OTHER; Life goes on with the tragic attacks in Paris. I lived not too far from one of them in my time in Paris a long time ago in the '60's, and I wonder why they pick restaurants to shoot up when there are much bigger crowds at other places and probably better targets. Our condolences go out to all the victims relatives and friends. 


Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Shopkeeper by James G. Best

A "greenhorn" comes to the little town of Pickhandle Gulch in Nevada and joins new friends in their   whist game. But all is not peaceful, and the greenhorn finds himself in a shootout with two henchmen of greedy Sean Washburn killing them both. The green horn is Steve Dancey, former owner of a gun shop in New York, but now just traveling the West.

Sean Washburn owns mines and other things and is trying to take over the State by having a cohort elected Governor. The competition is a man named Bolton, a big rancher, who is also running for Governor. Bolton, an older man, has a young, pretty wife still in her teens, and Steve Dancey takes an interest in her. Dancey, a man of some wealth, supports Bolton, but not for long because Bolton is shot dead by a hired assassin, Bill Sprague. Sprague was hired by Sean Washburn and his next target is Dancey.

The story proceeds with Dancey using his wealth to buy banks and politicians to become Washburn's biggest enemy. There are many twists and turns the story takes as it wends its way to a conclusion, which I enjoyed very much never knowing exactly how it was going to turn out. Entertaining and humorous at times, the time spent reading the e-book was time that was not wasted.
The Shopkeeper is the first of the Steve Dancey series of novels and I hope to catch the rest of the stories. In my estimation, it's a five-star deal available on Amazon as a printed book or an e-book.

(Note: The picture in the header and the last two are of the area in an around Sedona, AZ, and there will be a couple of more coming up.)

Another unrelated note: Thursday I found out that my Fruit of the Loom underwear is the same setup when worn inside out. I must be getting old.: . 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The CCC and the Building of Guernsey State Park by Neil A. Waring

The complete title of this book is The Civilian Conservation Corps and the Building of Guernsey State Park, With Folktales and Stories of the Park. The author Neil A. Waring did a very creditable job by writing this history of one of the most visited recreation spots in the State of Wyoming, the Guernsey State Park at Guernsey Lake near the town of Guernsey and not far from Fort Laramie. It contains everything you ever wanted to know about the park with the history of the CCC.

The Civilian Conservation Corps was one of Franklin D. Roosevelt's programs in the New Deal to return the country to prosperity from the deep depression it was in. There were CCC projects in about every State. This is why I wanted to read the book since three of my older brothers (or was it two?) joined the group back in the 1930's. They worked on the Moon Lake project in northeast Utah not far from home at the time. Neil's book describes the architecture, buildings, roads, trails, bridges, etc., that the CCC built from bare land around Guernsey Lake to make it what it is today. Two camps were built to house the workers during their time working on the project complete with all the amenities of home (er, just about), kitchens, lodging, latrines, canteens, etc. One camp on each side of the lake. They also built picnic tables, boat docks, parking lots, shelters, etc., for the visitors, including a "Million Dollar Biffy", as the author says for one of the park restrooms. Waring describes the wildlife that abounds in and around the park, including an occasional bear, and uses his photographs to illustrate the many buildings and remnants of buildings and architecture of the park along with pictures of the wildlife.

I found the book interesting and entertaining, but the author had a little trouble with the layout in placing the photos into the manuscript. It didn't interfere with my enjoyment of the book, though. A considerable amount of research went into this book and included is an extensive list of it. A fine book.