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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

New Release — Blood and Gold: The Legend of Joaquin Murrieta by Jeffrey J. Mariotte and Peter Murrieta

 

Gold Camps of California—1850s

 

When Joaquin Murrieta’s older brother and cousin head for the riches of the California gold fields, he cannot resist the restless desire to follow. In a bold move, he convinces Rosita, the young woman he loves, to run away with him under cover of darkness. They follow the irresistible lure of the future they might grasp for their own in America, the land of dreams.

 

Instead, they face deep prejudice and explosive violence that leads to unspeakable tragedy, and forces Joaquin to set his sights on being a leader of men—becoming a legend, in the process. To make a place for himself and his people, he strikes back at the whites and the devastating, perpetual hatred they feel toward the Mexicans. Determined not to fail, to carve out a place in this vast land for himself and his followers, Joaquin Murrieta fights back with a stubborn will that is sure to win all…

 

But can he succeed? With his band of outlaws—and then, an army of patriots—he is determined to drive the Americans from the land that had so recently belonged to his beloved Mexico. It seems an almost unattainable achievement to some, but Joaquin cannot consider failure in this obsession.

 

With Joaquin’s brother murdered, and his band of renegades on the run, they must make their final stand and face Murrieta’s evil nemesis—cruel California Ranger Harry Love—who has been given carte blanche to do whatever it takes to kill Murrieta and drive his followers out of California for good. As the battle rages in a final showdown between Love and Murrieta, it’s kill or be killed.

 

Only one of them can walk away from BLOOD AND GOLD…



In BLOOD AND GOLD,  award-winning author Jeffrey J. Mariotte and acclaimed TV producer/writer Peter Murrieta have joined forces to create a compelling blend of history, legend, and folklore. BLOOD AND GOLD is more than a richly detailed examination of the life and dangerous times of legendary California bandit Joaquin Murrieta. It's also a colorful, entertaining novel full of passion, violence, and adventure, a splendid retelling of those days in early California when men and women would do anything for gold.

— James Reasoner, NY Times bestselling author

     

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

New Release - Gypsy Rock by Robert D. McKee

 Central Wyoming—1892

 

Wyoming Territory is the kind of land where a man can make a life for himself, but it can be just as easy to take the outlaw trail as to do the right thing…easier, sometimes. 

Deputy Hugo Dorling is determined to take the hard way—and stand up for justice, no matter how rough things might get. In the midst of the vast grazing lands and the discovery of precious metals, greed abounds, and there are a few who will commit murder to take what they want.

But Deputy Dorling isn’t alone in his fight. Twenty-year-old Billy Young stands with him through it all. Billy has suffered losses, and views the grizzled deputy as the family he no longer has. His loyalty runs deep for his mentor and friend.

When one evil act sets off a chain of events that spirals downward culminating in dozens of brutal deaths, Billy is determined to join Hugo Dorling in the almost insurmountable fight against the hate and prejudice that envelopes Gypsy Rock and the entire community. But the corruption and brutality runs much deeper than Hugo or Billy realize, and the only people they can trust are one another. When guns blaze, will either of them be able to survive the showdown at GYPSY ROCK?

EXCERPT


“Seems to me,” said Hugo, “any fella who’s been living in the middle of Wyoming since he was four years old oughtta be able to handle the crisp climate better than you do.”

Billy shrugged. “Pa always said I had thin blood. He figured that’s the way some folks’re built.” Billy pulled his blanket tighter around his shoulders.

Hugo spread the two long tails of his heavy duster and plopped down, too. He brushed his bushy mustache away from his lips and dug out his tobacco and papers. “I kinda like the chilly months myself,” he said. He rolled a thin, tight cigarette as he spoke. “Folks get into less mischief when the air’s a little on the frigid side, which tends to make my job some easier.” He struck a match, and as he lit his smoke, he cupped his hands to protect the blaze from the wind.

“Maybe you should explain your opinions on cold weather and crime to Mr. O’Dell,” Billy suggested. No matter the season, Ben, his brother Thatcher, and their gang of ruffians were eager to cause trouble. “Killing an old woman just because she’s a Gypsy sounds like mischief to me.”

“Well,” Hugo said as he flicked away the spent match, “Benjamin O’Dell is worse than most.”


     

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

New Release - Clear Cut Justice by J.L. Crafts (A Will Toal Novel Book 3)

Spring 1876…

When a bomb explodes in a sawmill near Glenbrook Harbor, the residents and businessmen on the shores of Lake Tahoe are left reeling. Will Toal and his wife, Beth, are caught in the deadly, fiery fragments of the devastating explosion, and Beth is severely injured.  

Will gets Beth to the doctor and sets out to find those responsible. Once again, he is drawn back into the crosshairs of business barons clashing among themselves while competing for economic and political clout amid the silver riches of the West.  Will’s been in this position before in earlier days, but this time, the big company money is out to get him—and things just got personal. 

Will just wants those who hurt Beth brought to justice, but he must find out who’s responsible for setting that blast— the first of many to come, if he figures right. With the timber business leveling the forests around Lake Tahoe, and the silver mines clamoring for the necessary wood, the arsonists could be working for anyone. Those who don’t believe in the deforestation process will go to any lengths to save the woodlands, but those who need the jobs lumbering provides are just as determined.

In a race against time, Will is forced to work with an old nemesis, private investigator Dale Paris, to try to stop the arsonists and save the sawmills from disaster. Can they stop the bloodshed? At any price, Will is determined to have CLEAR CUT JUSTICE…   

EXCERPT

“It’s so beautiful,” she said. So clear, so untouched until they built those sawmills and sunk all the pilings. And look at the slopes uphill. Those slopes once held a forest of pine trees. Now, only a few small trees and saplings sprout here and there. It looks stripped.”

Will replied as he closed his eyes, “People say he destroyed the forest by clear cutting it. But Bliss told me he leaves all trees less than twelve inches across because he knows he’ll have to come back in a few years for more wood, and if he did cut everything he’d be out of business,”

“He might think he is preserving some part of the forest, but if you look around, it sure doesn’t seem like there is any timberland left. Lots of people down in Carson City are not shy about saying Bliss ruined Tahoe.”

“You’re right about that,” Will added. “There are some who think the fires last year in two of the mills were started on purpose by those who were mad about the logging.”

As if Will’s comment on fire called up lurking powers of destruction, an explosion rocked the beach, the meadow and Glenbrook House itself. To Will, it felt like the entire harbor moved. The violence and upheaval was enhanced by the deafening sound. He jumped up, losing his hat, but instantly noticing the mass of wood and metal pieces flying into the air amid dark smoke.

     

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

New Release - Out of the Darkness by Robert D. McKee


Micah McConners returns to his hometown of Probity, Wyoming, to set up his law practice. He never dreams his best friend, Doctor Chester Hedstrom, will be his first courtroom case—and Micah will be defending him for a crime that could put him in prison for fourteen years!

Doctor Hedstrom, bound by his moral convictions, has admitted to what he did—performed an illegal abortion on a young woman who has been raped. The perpetrator of the rape, Sonny Pratt, is the entitled son of a wealthy rancher—and he’ll go to any lengths to keep his freedom—even commit a murder or two.

Can an inexperienced Micah defend the doctor well enough to exonerate him from the charges he faces and set him free? And can the citizens manage to survive the psychopathic vengeance that Sonny Pratt has begun to wreak on the town of Probity?

As the tension builds to a shattering climax, the two friends must bring Sonny to justice, but at a terrible life-altering cost for both of them. Justice may be served in this frontier town, but can it bring them OUT OF THE DARKNESS…

EXCERPT:

Micah McConners had been back in his hometown of Probity, Wyoming, less than fifteen minutes when the peaceful afternoon was cracked open by a gunshot. He could tell it came from around the corner on Main Street, so Micah, being curious, edged in closer to the buildings and started in that direction. The second shot, though, brought him to a stop. By the sound of it, the gunfire was getting closer, and his natural curiosity began to drain.

It was August 1900, and central Wyoming was mostly civilized. From time to time, a band of young Indians would ride around the countryside raising a little havoc, and trains were robbed often enough to cause the railroad barons back East some sleepless nights, but the land's wildness, for the most part, had been tamed.

Micah's father, John, used to tell stories of the old days when about everyone wore a sidearm. During those unruly times, gunfights in the streets were not uncommon, but now, times were modern, and such things were rare. After all, it was almost the twentieth century. Some wrongly believed the new century had begun on January 1, 1900, but Micah knew it wouldn't really start for another four months.

As Micah reminded himself that times were less wild now than in his father's day, he heard a third shot, and that pretty much took away whatever curiosity he had left. He decided it would be wise to duck between the buildings until he could determine what was going on. As that prudent thought came to mind, a riderless horse raced around the corner at full gallop.

     

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

New Release - Silver City Reckoning (A Will Toal Novel Book 2) by J. L. Crafts

 

Will Toal’s sons have been kidnapped by Sam Brown, a brutal desperado who wants revenge for the death of his brother. When Will returns home from a business trip to discover his sons taken, his foreman murdered, and his woman, Beth, already gone after their boys, he heads out after them to set things straight.

With a $25,000 ransom on his sons, Will has to think fast—he certainly can’t raise that kind of money. But help comes from an unlikely source—a man he’s never met, wealthy mine owner John Mackay. After helping Mackay save his mine and men from a devastating fire, Mackay offers to give Will the much-needed money to save his boys.

Just as things begin to look up for Will, he discovers that Brown has Beth, the woman he loves, the mother of his twin sons. Can he find Beth before Brown murders her? It’s a tall order for one man to face Brown and his evil henchmen, but for the first time, Will realizes he is not alone. He’ll do whatever it takes to protect his family, starting with killing Sam Brown.

Hell is on the horizon. There will be a SILVER CITY RECKONING…


EXCERPT:


The party passed the priest without slowing or paying any heed.

Roberts looked at Brown again. “We’ve robbed banks, stages, and payrolls together. But we’re headed out to a ranch where you’ve been told the guy you want dead is gone on some job. Not sure I understand what we’re doin’ this for.”

Brown spoke in a low voice staring straight ahead. “Because he has to feel a loss. If I just shot him from behind a rock out on some road, he’d never know the loss I’ve felt since he killed Drake. Drake was my twin. Twins are special close. I feel like a piece of me is missin’. This hillbilly rancher must feel a kind of heavy loss first.”

Killing Toal with a rifle had some appeal that was not necessarily out of character for Brown. Not as quick on the draw as his deceased brother, he confronted his targets only on rare occasion. He preferred to surprise his prey when in a position of superiority and they were either caught off guard or unarmed altogether. But if he killed Toal with a rifle, the man would never know why he’d been hunted, no less killed. Will Toal had to know and feel the loss. He had to know the name of the man who’d cause the loss. Sam Brown. He’d know the name.

     

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

New Release - The Bounty Trail by Clay More

 

Doctor Marcus Quigley is a man of many talents. He’s a qualified dental surgeon, as well as a deadly bounty hunter. And he’s equally capable in both fields.

For years, he’s been working his way west, always on the move. His reasons for choosing such a lifestyle are deeply personal, and he can’t pursue the kind of life he’d envisioned for himself until he finishes what he’s set out to do.

A dear personal friend—his benefactress—was murdered years earlier, and he won’t stop until he’s found her killer. With few clues to go on, Marcus is sure he’ll know the man when he finds him—and he looks forward to the day when justice will be met. But in the end, will Marcus get his man? Or will the tables be turned in one last deadly gamble?

This collection of short stories follows him on every dangerous step of THE BOUNTY TRAIL…


EXCERPT:


Ted Brisby winced as his hand went to his jaw and he tasted the fresh blood in his mouth. He glared at Doc Quigley for a moment, then leaned to the side and spat into the spittoon that the dentist had placed there in readiness just moments before he had relieved Ted of his left lower back molar.

“Ugly thing, isn’t it?” Doctor Marcus Quigley asked rhetorically, holding up the offending tooth remnant between the jaws of a pair of dental pliers. “No wonder you were in pain. This thing was rotten to its very roots. Do you want it as a keepsake?”

“The hell I want it, Doc. The durned thing has been near killing me for two weeks. Do whatever you want with it.”

Marcus scrutinized it for a moment. It was a dark yellow, almost brown at the top from years of tobacco staining, and black in the center where the decay had eaten right down to the nerves. There was nothing of the tooth that could be salvaged, so with a shrug he dropped it in the spittoon.

     

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

New Release — C.C. Crane: Bounty Distractions by J. L. Guin


Hoping for a better life ahead, young C. C. Crane leaves Arkansas and heads west with no particular destination in mind. In Kansas, he lucks into his first job as a deputy sheriff under the seasoned sheriff of Sumner County, E.D. Johns, who shows him the ropes—and how to keep himself alive.

As their duties take them on a manhunt into Indian Territory, C.C. questions straying so far from their own county. Sheriff Johns is a dedicated lawman who isn’t about to let a border stop him from getting the men he’s after, and C. C. realizes he has the chance to make his own mark as a lawman if he can manage to keep dodging bullets.

When the sheriff is ousted from his position, C.C. must face a crossroads, as well. He accepts the position as a deputy U.S. marshal under Judge Isaac Parker’s jurisdiction in the most lawless area of the United States—Indian Territory. Then, after three years of dealing with the worst criminals in the nation, C.C. knows he’s ready to use his skills in another area of law enforcement—bounty hunting.

But C.C.’s decision to strike out after lifelong criminal Rudy Barrett could cut his bounty hunting days short—with a bullet. Barrett has been on the run since he was a teen, and he’s as mean as they come. With a long list of crimes to his credit—the latest a vicious murder—Barrett isn’t afraid of anyone. His reputation as a fast gun should have any lawman running scared…but not C.C. Crane. He’s learned from the best, and it’s time to bring Barrett to justice.

C.C. Crane is just the man to do it…


EXCERPT


The elder Barrett hollered out, “Rudy!” as he rode into the yard. Rudy apprehensively stepped out of the barn as his father slid from his saddle, with a scowl on his face. The man busied himself removing his belt from his trousers as he spoke.

“I heard in town you was seen last night going through the pockets of a fallen-down drunkard, behind The Three Aces Saloon. Milt Ames told me. He’s the one that seen you do it! You know better than to steal—been told so time and time and time again, but still, you sneak around and do it anyway!”

Rudy swallowed hard. He had done it, alright, but was surprised and unaware that anyone had seen him. He had believed that he would never be caught. Rudy often waited until his father had passed out from the cheap rot gut whiskey he swigged, seemingly constantly, then stole into town, sticking to the shadows, watching for any opportunity to sneak food or anything of value into his pockets. He had become quite good at it, and had a few dollars stashed away secretly. Now that he’d been observed and his old man knew, there’d be hell to pay.