Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Commitment, the novel

Today the opening paragraphs of my new novel, Commitment.

Chapter 1 – The Prologue

If the young cowboy had but one wish it would be to live. He would be thinking of nothing else.
But then it was obvious, he did. He thought back one minute to his unfortunate attempt to force legendary lawman Blade Holmes to draw. It was likely the worst decision he’d ever made. If present conditions were not so grave he might have smiled, but instead his mind flashed scenes of his impending death. The cowpoke felt the cold from the barrel of the Colt pressed under his chin, he shivered, but not from the cold.

From the bony tip of the cowpokes shoulder blood had started a slow seep through his threadbare shirt. The blood tickled his skin where the pain was still bearable. No longer standing tall, he seemed now to tilt slightly backward, frozen.

Afraid to move, even to take a much needed big breath, his eyes bulged, his face becoming an artist’s pallet of changing colors, from bright red to what was now a hopeless blue-grey. Still conscious, or so onlookers believed, he slumped against the bar fighting to stay upright. With the help of the bar he was motionless except for the, ever so slight in and out of his chest. The cowboy’s feeble breaths moved him so little that to the untrained eye he appeared more a poorly constructed cowboy manikin than a man under arrest. Didn’t have many years on him, but  he was old enough to know it was best not to move, not even so that he could fall to the floor.

As for the celebrated lawman, he looked business like but appeared relaxed holding the six-gun tight under the chin of the wobbly young cowboy.

The moment had been magical, Blade Holmes reacted so fast to the situation that time may not have moved. Years from now people would swear, actual clock ticking time, had been stopped. Blade Holmes, already a legend in west, made the impossible happen, for a moment he’d stopped time.  And for a moment one young cowboy likely wished he could go back in time, to a time before he’d handmade the unfortunate circumstance that lead to his present calamity.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Pitching a Book

Fun and interesting day. 

Gave a pitch for my nonfiction book on the CCC today to the Friends of Guernsey State Park.

Pitching my book in the CCC Museum in the park
Sold a few books met some great people and got to hang out with others who love the park.
Handing out a few bookmarks

Grateful to see all four of my books are selling a few copies a week. See all my books here!

 Book five will be either my second mystery, this one is sat in modern times, a native Indian and Wyoming Badlands tale or my book of western Christmas stories. Both are finished, but it takes quite a lot of time to get them ready for publication. I want to make sure I get the Christmas stories out on time so will likely do that one next. Depends a bit on how much golf, gardening, and hiking I do when I should be writing. 
View of Brimmer Point from Lakeshore Drive Boat Dock

Monday, June 22, 2015

In the Good Old Wyoming Summer Time

So many visitors this summer I have not had time to do much except, eat, talk about the old days and tour the area. Not all bad but my writing, photo trips, editing and blogging are suffering.
Did make it to Fort Laramie's, Fur Trade Days, last weekend

My fourth book is out in EBook, not in hard copy yet, maybe next week. I do have the proof, just need to approve, but have to look it over first. 
Historical Fiction set in and around Fort Laramie

But, to tell the truth, I am enjoying all the company.  Not sure about the food, might need more exercise and soon – glad some of our guests enjoy a round of golf. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

New Western - Commitment

My new western novel, Commitment, is now available for Kindle download. The book (the old fashioned book itself) should be available in a few days. This is my fourth book and my first western. At a bit over 300 pages and about 85,000 words, it is a nice western mystery. More adventure, mystery than genre western. The book is set mostly in Wyoming but also has secondary settings in Kansas. Want to take a look?
See it here.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Civilian Conservation Corps at Guernsey State Park Book

I have had a busy past few weeks. Most of my writing time has been spent trying to get my Civilian Conservation Corps book on Guernsey State Park finished. When I started the project I expected it to take about five months.  Now 21 months later it is complete and, at last, for sale. Availabel as both a print and Ebook.

Click book covers for links.

This makes three as the first two of my, Mike and Moose and Me Growing up Novels are also available. These are written for kids in the 7-12 age range but seem to have found a market with adults who grew up in the 50s and 60s. They make great bedtime stories for kids or a quick read for adults who want to relive a bit of their childhood. Three more books are coming in this series.


And the second book in the series.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Mary O'Hara and My Friend Flicka

Too bad, but it seems the great works of Mary O’Hara seem to be long forgotten in Wyoming. She lived in the Cowboy state for 16 years (1930-1946) and during that time wrote many books. Three of her novels stand out today as Wyoming classics, Thunderhead, Green Grass of Wyoming and My Friend, Flicka.

O’Hara was born and raised on the east coast but spent here early writing life in California working successfully in the silent movie industry. After a divorce and, several years later, a remarriage, she moved with her new husband to Wyoming.

O’Hara’s husband, Helge Sture-Varsa was a swede with army horse raising and training experience. The two bought a ranch in the windswept high country between Laramie and Cheyenne that would become became the famous, Remount Ranch.

They tried to make a living raising sheep and may have been successful if it were not for bad timing, The Great American Depression was just around the corner. They ended up eking out a living delivering milk and raising horses, but it was her writing that would pay the bills.

In 1946, after a second divorce she moved back east and continued writing, but not so much about Wyoming. She also composed music and was a rather successful musician along with her musical scores.

Her books are rich with Wyoming landscape, weather and animals and her love of horse’s shows throughout her works.

O’Hara died at the age of 95 after a rich and rewarding life of writing, composing and travel.
Still great reading today – give her a try. Unfortunately it looks, after a quick search, that none of her books have been converted to e-book formats. But there are many choices of new and used copies available from one cent up to a bit over ten dollars.

I do believe that, summer has, at long last, reached Wyoming. Feeling good!