Friday, December 22, 2017

Seasons Greetings

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

I've been on a "Sabbatical" for the last few months (how time flies) and will probably stay on it for a while longer. I've had so much running around to do that I just turn on the computer to check my email or work on Part 2 of Bobby Chase-the-Lord. It's coming along fairly good and am looking to finish it summer of 2018.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

ENJOY THE HOLIDAYS and look here for an occasional post. 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

National Poets' Day

Thanks to Charles Gramlich for the news of this being Poetry Day. I'm an amateur poet but don't know it, so here's is my contribution. It has been posted before but not on National Poet's Day and I can't vouch for its authenticity as a poem.

A Warm Spring Day

It was a warm Spring day in 1940.
I was in the second grade and feeling sporty.
The horses, cows and pigs were content
In the fields where they were sent.
The birds were tweedle-dumming and tweedle-deeing,
The dogs and cats were lying and sleeping.
The boys and girls were in the schoolhouse,
Some were dozing and dreaming.
The lunch recess had come and gone,
When we ran and played so long.
The sun was passing through the sky,
Causing the heat in the rooms to be high.
My old gym shoes were ragged and torn,
And on my sockless feet, were worn.
The odors were building in the room so close,
The teacher looked at me and was morose.
From those sockless feet came a stink,
So bad it made some eyes blink.
Teacher raised her arm, pointed her finger, and said
I was taken aback and completely dejected,
But went home and did what was expected.
I'll never forget that awful day,
When the teacher had her way.
Now, I wash my feet,
Before taking my seat,
On a warm Spring day in May!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Coffin for Cash by Nik Morton

This novel is another in the Cash Laramie series and I enjoyed the read. It starts with a Prologue with Cash Laramie buried in a coffin and uses the back story to tell how he got there. He was helping a lady, Berenice Rohmer, look for her brother who came up missing after withdrawing $50,000 from the bank. His partner Miles is also working on a case. He was taking a prisoner to Cheyenne for trial but suspects that the fellow was not guilty of murder.

Miles and Cash each follow their separate trails and end up practically with each other, except Cash was buried under two feet of soil in a coffin by a couple who had owned the hotel near the Lenore Casino. It was named after the wife of Baron Hans von Kempelen, the owner.

This was an interesting story and how it comes out is rewarding to me, the reader. There are many twists and turns which makes it even more exciting and kept my attention to the end. I will award it five stars.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Life at the Dakota by Stephen Birmingham

Too bad this book isn't about the Dakotas of the West and Deadwood, South Dakota,  but it's the Old New York version of the Old West. The Dakota (Apartments) was named after the Old West because at the time news about the Wild West was a popular subject and The Dakota was built outside of New York City about 30 miles away from downtown New York City. It had a bad name because it was on the West Side where the working people lived. It was actually on the west side of Central Park with a view of the park across the street from the upper floors and roof. It was built by Edward S. Clark and Isaac  Merritt Singer, the inventor of Singer Sewing Machines. Both were millionaires and the Dakota was built for rich people.

Some of the residents are/were the Steinways (the Piano people), Boris Karloff, Lauren Bacall, John and Yoko Lennon, Robert Ryan, Roberta Flack, Candace Bergen, Leonard Bernstein, Earl Blackwell, Henry Blanchard, Mrs. Winifred Cecil Blanchard, The Browning Sisters, etc., etc., and etc., all millionaires or had the money to live there. Mister Birmingham tells the history from the time it was built to present day, the structure, the layout, the services, and ll the esoteric plumbing and electricity when it came into being, the elevators, the rooms available, size and decorations, and so on.

The first years it was all rentals until it was bought out and the new owner threatened to tear it down and put up a commercial building of some type. It was finally worked out to be a cooperative where the apartments had to be bought and managed by the co-op itself. A lot of the services were covered by the Clarks in a haphazard fashion, but now the owners must pay for everything and the prices went up.

Some of the tenants were not happy with the arrangements and some moved out, making the apartments available for others to purchase and some lived there free. Miser Birmingham does a fine job explaining all this in the book and I found it very interesting as it still stands today. He tells about the uptown and downtown rich people that you can be right there with him.

I give the book five stars for enjoyment and it is well written.  

Friday, August 18, 2017

Manhunter by Matt Braun

Luke Starbuck, the private detective, is at it again in Manhunter. He is hired to find the James boys and kill them, especially Jesse. He puts on disguises as needed as usual and travels to Clay County, Missouri, where he thinks he may find the James boys. He passes time with a floozie named Alvina in a brothel where the Younger brothers hang out and occasionally Frank and Jesse visit. He plans to infiltrate the gang acting as a horse thief but doesn't quite make it.

He hears about the plan to rob a bank in Northfield, Minnesota, and Starbuck makes tracks there to thwart the robbery. As we know it was a mess and the bank was saved and the robbers get away. Starbuck doesn't get a clear shot of Jesse and has to follow them out of town where the Youngers brothers are wiped out, at least one of them.

Starbuck tries another tactic after the Northfield failure and catches up with Jesse in St. Joseph, Missouri, but his plan to get Jesse fails with the killing of Jesse by Bob Ford. He goes after Frank who is a different type and captures him.

I thought this was an entertaining rendition of the end of Jesse and Frank James and give it a solid four stars. Matt Braun is a fine writer and brings satisfaction to the reader. Recommended.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Jolly Old England

Deviating from my usual Western books, I've taken a diversion to England via Bill Bryson's book,  The Road to Little Dribbling. I really like books with comedy in them and this is one of the finest in my estimation. This is strictly, well almost, all non-fiction, but Bryson throws in some asides that could be either in this travel exposition. He travels a route from one end of the country to the other, ending in Cape Wrath in Scotland.

Along the way, he expounds on the railroads, the people, the towns and villages, the countryside and the museums. Bryson became a British citizen after he realized that it was better than the U.S. where he was born. He is a journalist and lived in London for some years, marrying an English woman and having a couple of kids there. He rattles on about the shabbiness of some towns since he was last there and how the people had changed and their sense of humor. Bryson spends time commenting on the railroad system and how the UK government has screwed up some of it and reduced the tracks to about half what they used to be. He spends a lot of time in Museums, explaining their exhibitions and how brilliant the English are in comparison to everyone else in certain fields. His descriptions of the countryside around these various towns and the beach resorts are really interesting. He doesn't include many sports, except walking. There are thousands of miles of trails through the countryside and along the seaside and he does quite a bit of it.

Bill Bryson is a funny writer and I enjoyed the book. I'll even give it five stars to show how much I liked it and if you like travel writing, I recommend it highly.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

A Bundle of Indifferene

This week has been nothing but one thing after another, almost from A to Z. I managed to work on Vol. 2 of the trilogy some though, so it wasn't all a loss. The thing with computers is, it's easy to find yourself in a bind by scheduling videos and canceling other things. I schedule some so-called training videos and the time passes before you know it, and I've missed them. I try to catch up on the replays, but the same thing happens. I don't pay for the training, but it's over before I think of it. Yesterday morning at 9 AM one came on, but I was out to breakfast after reminding myself that I had something to do. It must be old age. Yesterday was my 85th birthday and I was pre-occupied anyway.  All I can say is Thank the Lord for continuing life!

I try to keep things straight, but there doesn't seem to be enough time in the day. So from now on, I'll do things by the week and maybe it'll straighten itself out. Maybe a large calendar with Notes and Reminders on the wall. I don't have enough wall space to do it right and proper in my "Office." Maybe I'll move outside and paint the Notes on the wall in contrasting color paint on the patio. I can see it now, the HOA will send me a bunch of letters threatening legal action and telling me I can't do this. AndI'll tell them, do what?  Old age is fun.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Kindle Edition Out

The Kindle Edition of The Sorry Life of Bobby Chase-the-Lord is now available. I’ve bee working all week to get this out, but even using Kindle Creator, there are some spacing errors for which I apologize. I’ll be working on them, but right now I don’t have any time for it. The novel reads continuously from begging to end, so you shouldn’t have any trouble with it. For $2.99 you can’t beat it! Order your copy today!

Dying cowboy.

Y’all have a great weekend!

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


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.


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


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..

Sunday, February 12, 2017


I haven't had much time for blogging because of spending time trying to learn things on various sites. I've watched hour-long videos, most not getting anything from them. I've been working on my forthcoming book and am about finished with that. I'll have to decide whether to self-publish or traditional publish, and it's weighing on me, which one?

My in-box of e-mails seems to be growing. It takes me half my time to read through them and some require a response or other work. And visitors take up some of the time. Had company from Kansas last week and just today my grandson and wife stopped in. I appreciate 'em, my grandson brought me a CASE cap to go with some other CASE items. He picked it up at the annual old tractor show at Saguaro Park in Glendale.

Jerome Increase Case started building tractors in Detroit way back and so I have a couple small replicas, one old and one new just for the heck of it. He was an ancestral relative. Somebody in the family has made good and more power to them. Now I have a cap I can wear while I play farmer.

You can see how busy I am if you read my Cattle Dust blog on Wordpress. I stopped the Comments over there because of too may spam and trash responses. If you would like to make a comment about that blog, please do so here. Thanks for your time and interest. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

More Scrivener

I don't know what happened. One day I was editing my manuscript on Scrivener, the next, it had changed to single-spaced, and the next it repeated most of the script. I had seventeen chapters on there, now I have 12 double-spaced and twelve single-spaced. What the heck is going on? Am I being hacked or what?

I'm about ready to give up with Scrivener and try another program. This is ridiculous. I copied it from my files all double-spaced and look what happened. A-A-A-RG-H!!

I'm returning to my original files and starting over. I have enough problems without this.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Station at Diablo by Roger Raffee

I liked reading this book, although I had to stop three or four times and pick it up later. It is first in a series, Station at Diablo: Tumbling Dreams Series, Book 1, by Roger Raffee. This kid in Texas (the novel takes place in and around San Antonio after the establishment of the Texas Rangers and also in parts of Old Mexico) grew up with the Rangers, his father being the doctor for the group. Aaron, the young kid about six years old, meets Sungold Craig, who was living with the Comanches, and they become friends.

Aaron wanted to be a Texas Ranger all his life, and started training for it when he reached gun-handling age. He practiced all the time and when he became mature enough to join the Rangers, he was an expert shot, faster than anyone. He became a Ranger and was assigned to find out where the Comanches buried the gold, that Chief Quanah Parker and Sungold Craig had amassed. And that is the basic plot of the novel.

Along the way he meets up with Craig in Mexico. Craig is now a high-ranking member of the Northern Mexican Army and has a large hideout in the mountains with his gang of Comancheros and Mexicans, and tries not to get mixed up in a Mexican Revolution. Arron spends some time in Nogales where he meets his first true love, Maria Angelica, but they don't get married. He tells Maria he will be back after he finishes his business. And this romance is carried through the novel, even after he meets Sarah and falls in love with her, supposedly.

The story flows from one crisis to another in fine fashion, and may get tedious to some readers in parts, but I thought it read very well. A loner called "Bones" plays a large part with his ranch where he grew up alone and stole chickens from his neighbors to survive while living in a cave. "Bones" isn't too particular about his women, he just wants someone to marry him and be happy helping him on his ranch.

Aaron, Craig, and "Bones" find a train load of American money that is being prepared for shipment to Mexico by a gang of thieves, not one from Texas, being run by the son of the railroad owner. The money is being sent to support Porfirio Diaz in the revolution. And the story goes on to a nice ending back in the San Antonio area. They never did find the buried gold. I thought it made my list of four-star Westerns, being a fun, exciting, and suspenseful story.