Category : Westerns

A Bad Place to Be by John Hansen

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A Bad Place to Be is a Western novel by John Hansen.

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Josh jumped to his feet. “Let her go,” he commanded.
And with that the big guy, who had grabbed the girl with his left hand, suddenly released her and then swung across his body with a big left hook intended for Josh’s chin. Unfortunately for the big guy he’d telegraphed his intentions and Josh stepped back slightly, allowing the punch to miss. At the same time Josh snapped a left jab out that caused the big man’s nose to explode. Blood immediately began to stream down over the big man’s lips. The taste of his own blood seemed to enrage him even more. “You sonovabitch, I’m gonna kill you,” he seethed. And with that he lunged at Josh, only to be met by a left-right combination that dropped him to the floor. The big man lay prostrate, face down. Blood began to pool around his face.

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Josh Morrow is a young Texan, recently discharged from the Army after having spent the last five years fighting Comanches. He’s not a gunfighter, just a no nonsense guy who has a dream of owning a ranch but now all that is being jeopardized by the murder of his friend (Seth Jacobs) who was to have been his partner. Josh is not one to run from a fight but the odds are against him when he rides into the Idaho gold rush town of Bear Creek. Finding Seth’s killer immediately becomes complicated when he befriends a woman (Sarah) that has been forced to turn to prostitution in order to survive. Things get even more difficult for Josh when he and his new friend butt heads with the town’s corrupt sheriff.

Avenging his friend’s death is a struggle for Josh not only because of the evil men opposing him, but his feelings for Sarah who has deceived him. Josh must reconcile this as well as just what does he owe Seth?




A Word from the Author

Author John Hansen pictureWhen I set out to write this book, I wanted it to have a realism, an authenticity to it. It is set in 1870 in the Idaho Territory during a gold rush that actually occurred in the Boise Basin. The town of Bear Creek is fictional but Boise and Idaho City are not and I have attempted to depict them as they were then. I did considerable research for this book. The weapons, clothing, food, etc. depicted have all been referenced to that period in history. But even more I purposely wanted my main protagonist, Josh Morrow, to be believable. He is not invincible nor is he a brooding character with a dark past that must ride off alone into the sunset after he has cleaned up the town. He doesn’t wear a tie down gun rig and he makes no claim to being a gunfighter – but he is solid in a gunfight. I try also to write as if my words are a movie in the reader’s mind’s eye – if that makes sense. In other words when you read that Josh stepped into a saloon I want you to smell the cigar smoke, body odor and stench from a spittoon overdue to be emptied. My goal is to take the reader from the comfort of their home in suburbia back in time to where they’re riding along with Josh in the mountains of Idaho.
At some point in the future I may write further about Josh but for now A BAD PLACE TO BE stands alone. It has won two awards, most recently as a finalist for the 2016 Independent Author’s Network Book of the Year competition in the Action/Adventure category. And it also won the 2015 Indie Excellence Award for the Western genre. I have a new novel CHASING DEMONS that will be out in late September, 2016.

(John Hansen, August 2016)

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Walls for the Wind by Alethea Williams

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Walls for the Wind is a historical western by Alethea Williams

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Can an angel survive Hell on Wheels?

Raised according to strict moral tenets, 22-year-old Kit Calhoun’s rigid ideas of decency are stretched to the limit when she finds herself in charge of four New York City orphans in the very heart of rip-roaring Hell on Wheels.

Irish immigrant Patrick Kelley first spies Kit in Julesburg, pursues her to Cheyenne, but must still convince her that the best thing to do is to leave behind everything they thought they knew before and learn to forge new lives in the raw American West.

Alethea Williams is the author of Willow Vale, the story of a Tyrolean immigrant’s journey to America after WWI. Willow Vale was a Wyoming State Historical Society Publications Award winner. The orphan train story Walls for the Wind, her second novel, was a WILLA Literary Award finalist, a gold Will Rogers Medallion winner, and placed first at the Laramie Awards in the Prairie Fiction category. Her latest historical novel, Náápiikoan Winter, is a sweeping epic of cultural turmoil on the North American continent at the dawn of the nineteenth century.




A Word from the Author

Author Alethea Williams PictureAfter the American Civil War, the young nation turns to building a transcontinental railroad as one way to bind up wounds and once again unite the country. Eastern reformers quickly take advantage of the new technology, sending carloads of orphans and street urchins west as soon as the rails are laid and farmers take possession of grasslands vacated by the forced evacuation of Native peoples. As one young Irish placing-out agent from the Immigrant Children’s Home reaches “end o’ track” in Hell on Wheels, Cheyenne, Wyoming, she must decide whether she wants to stay and try to forge a life for herself and the remaining children in the raw new West, or admit failure and return to New York City and the tenets of her strict upbringing. The life altering decision she faces for herself and her four orphan charges is made only more complicated by her growing attraction for another Irish immigrant, a storekeeper to the railroad builders, who couldn’t possibly want to take on four rootless children and will surely move on once track laying resumes in the spring. Walls for the Wind was a WILLA Literary Award finalist, a gold Will Rogers Medallion winner, and first place winner in the Laramie Awards Prairie Fiction category.

(Alethea Williams, August 2016)

 

 

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Wagon Mound to Santa Fe – The Search for Sarah by Chris G. Derrick

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Wagon Mound to Santa Fe – The Search for Sarah is the first book of the Wagon Mound Western Series by Chris G. Derrick

Wagon Mound to Santa Fe - The Search for Sarah (The Wagon Mound Series Book 1) by Chris G Derrick

 

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“Without thinking he instinctively took hold of the body’s forearm, to steady it while he cut the rope which held the wrist onto the wheel. With a sensation which made Emmett feel physically ill the charred flesh moved under the pressure from his fingers. It slipped up the bone of the forearm and exposed the still slightly pink flesh remaining underneath. Emmett swallowed hard, then caught the first sickly smell of burnt flesh – and immediately felt the bile begin to rapidly rise in his throat. He let the forearm go, as if it remained hot to the touch, and grabbed the reassuringly solid spoke of the wheel. For a second there Emmett felt an overwhelming sweating and swimming sensation, as if he was going to faint. The feeling of the hard burnt wood was a pleasantly firm sensation to his fingers after what they’d been holding.”

Jake Base – the Texas town sheriff makes another appearance within the pages of this novel.
Here though the story is not about Jake, his family or his life.

The leading character is a new name – Alex Sawicki.

Young Alex’s family suffer terribly at the hands of the Apache while returning from a family visit.
Both parents are killed and his younger sister, Sarah, is taken captive.
He’s supported throughout the ordeal by his two young cousins and a similarly aged Comanche they give the name of Fingers.

Further west a group of men, unaware of the rather unique background of one of their band, head out into the wilderness of New Mexico to dig for their fortune.

In Santa Fe there’s a well respected wagon master with failing eyesight – recruiting for another trip up the Trail to Missouri.

Unbeknown to each of them the hand of fate is ready to play a major part in all their lives.
Together they will meet and unite with a single common goal.

To bring Sarah safely home once again!




A Word from the Author

author chris derrick

So…..eventually after the previous two books were ‘out there’ I was left with a pretty much complete book 3. It took a little while to create a suitable ending. One which didn’t appear contrived in as much as it fits in nicely with the preceding story. It also happens to give me a great start when I begin to write the follow-up novel. I was surprised when I received the first printed copy to see the number of pages – 575! Wow…..I found the figure rather impressive I have to admit! The downside of course comes every time the editing process gets underway. There’re just so many words to work through!
This book was published in January 2016. I’d hoped to make it happen before Christmas, but decided at the beginning of December to take my time and not too rush the work. So January it was.
As I’ve mentioned previously Jake appears once again within these pages – but not as the main character. That privilege rests with a new name – Alex Sawicki.
This story has several distinct themes running through it. The new characters are charged with developing this particular story from their own viewpoints and experiences.
I’m really looking forward to sitting down later in the year and writing the next episode in Alex Sawicki’s life – and seeing where it leads!

(Chris G. Derrick, 29th April 2016)

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