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.