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Tuesday, May 31, 2016



As the result of a chance meeting, aging U.S. Marshal Alistair B. Taggart recruits middle-aged blacksmith John McKinney as his deputy. Out of the marshal's final act of mentoring, a steadfast friendship develops between the two men. 

Six years later, the elderly Taggart is eyeing the end of his career as McKinney settles into his new job as sheriff of Winfield, Kansas. The quiet McKinney regrets missing out on helping his eighty-one-year-old friend tame the frontier in its wilder days. 

But fate often lays bare the foolishness of regrets, and Sheriff John McKinney is about to face the biggest challenges of his life; both of which holds life and death consequences for him and Marshal Taggart. 

Only friendship stands between them and a bullet...


 A cry for help, from a past he thought he'd left behind...

Harlan Shea never planned to set foot in Timber Ridge again. Not after the shoot-out that had taken the lives of friends and brought the wrath of his employer down upon his head.

Now, his old boss is begging for his services once again.

Cattle shipment after cattle shipment is disappearing without a trace! Loaded onto freight trains, not a head has arrived at its destination.

Who is behind the elaborate scheme? Can Shea uncover it, before it's too late to make a difference? Shea has a proud history of fighting rustlers, but will he be able to serve under the very man who fired him? Can he put his past behind him, or is his destiny inevitable?

Shea returns to find a changed Timber Ridge, where the telegraph and railroad line reign supreme, where ghosts from the past lie in wait around every corner, and where the haunting eyes of a mysterious young girl may just be his undoing...



Hunter James Dolin raised himself in the swamps of Florida. Half-white and half-Indian, he belongs in neither world—and he knows it. A loner, he’s matchless when it comes to a fight of any kind—but can he outgun the private armies of two powerful tycoons who unite for a single purpose?

Lilith Montgomery is the adopted “daughter” of one of these men, Richard Montgomery—but it becomes clear she is more to him than a daughter. Hunter swears to free her from the life she’s been forced to endure, but he’s going to need the help of his old friend, Matt, the saloon owner.

When the entire town explodes in a field of fire, Matt and Hunter face a force that seems unstoppable. But Hunter’s a gambler, and he’s determined to win this bet—with Lilith and a young boy’s lives at stake, THE HALF-BREED GUNSLINGER can’t afford to lose.



While  J.T. Silence is away at war, a man he trusts betrays him. When Silence returns, he finds his wife murdered. Now, he’s out for vengeance—and he intends to kill Silas Brady for what he’s done, no matter how long it takes to find him. 

A wealthy rancher, Frank Decker, buys Brady’s willingness to use a gun. But Silence knows Brady can’t hide forever, and when the man from his past crosses him again, he takes action.

The killing of an entire Jewish family on their way to settle their claim, and violent threats against Silence’s old friends, add up to more than a coincidence. When Silence discovers the plan the railroad has to lay track across the very land the settlers were killed for, he knows he has to see Decker and his henchman, Brady, dead.

With only a young emigrant boy and Judge Henderson’s apprentice to help him, Silence vows to see the boy claim his land his family gave their lives for—but first, he’s got to kill Brady and Decker. And though SILENCE RIDES ALONE, there’s a young woman who is determined to do what she can to help the man she loves...


When Sam Gibson accidentally kills a young boy, he knows he can never forgive himself. He sets out on a journey to try and do some good in the world to make up for the action he can never forget.

But when he rides into the small town of Cooksville, he’s set up to take the fall for his part in a bank robbery—a robbery he was trying to stop. Tried and convicted of murder, he’s sentenced to hang at sunrise. But a newspaperman who knows the truth manages to help him escape and flee the crooked law of the town, sending him to an old miner, Cole Flanagan in the Pinto Mountains.

When Sam arrives, he finds Cole dead, his body still warm—and Sam is captured by the outlaws who are part of the widening plot he’s unwittingly become a part of. Will Sam be able to escape his fate a second time and warn the other innocents who stand to be murdered by this lawless gang? Will he be able to convince them the new marshal is part of the plot? Their lives depend on him, as he rides the REDEMPTION TRAIL…



The day the Yankees came and took everything from wealthy landowner Vincent Bayonne was a day he’d never forget—how could he live with the uncertainty of not knowing what happened to his wife and children? Forced to watch as his plantation was burned to the ground by one of the slaves, Bayonne has sunk to the bottom of the barrel. A drunkard who has only his consuming hatred to sustain him, he makes his way from Louisiana to San Francisco, barely managing to survive on the Barbary Coast.

Just when he thinks he has nothing to live for, he discovers that William Sherman, the former slave who torched his home, is alive and well—and Sherman bears a hatred for his former master to match Bayonne’s. When Sherman bests Bayonne in a fight, the once-wealthy Southerner wakes up in a coffin, prepared for a fate he could never have imagined.

Hatred fuels Bayonne’s survival, but Sherman has cursed his nemesis with powerful voodoo magic that dooms him to an eternity of only half-living in the twilight existence of a zombie. Can an old Chinaman provide the answers Bayonne needs to survive in the world of the UNDEAD?


Be sure an leave a comment to be entered into the drawing. We have six ebooks we're giving away.



Tuesday, May 24, 2016

New Release - Panhandle Freight by Livia J. Washburn - Giveaway!

I have been writing Lucas Hallam stories for over thirty years. I'm a big fan of old westerns and I was amazed at the stunts of stuntman Yakima Canutt.  One day I had the idea of writing mysteries about an older stuntman/riding extra who was once a legend of the west.  I was so excited, I even called my husband at work to tell him.  I remember his words to this day.  "Livia, that's a great idea, but you'll never sell it."  I didn't let it stop me.  Now 3 awards, 3 novels, and many stories later I am still writing about Lucas Hallam. PANHANDLE FREIGHT is one of his early adventures.

A bitter winter storm was blowing fiercely when Lucas Hallam rode up to the isolated railroad station. It wasn’t a fit night for man or beast to be out, but Hallam found himself joined by a number of other pilgrims waiting for a train – and one of them just might be a killer. But the big man has a secret of his own . . .

PANHANDLE FREIGHT was a finalist for the Peacemaker Award in the category of Best Short Fiction in 2012, and now it’s finally available as an individual e-book. Full of mystery and action, it’s another fine adventure of Lucas Hallam, author L.J. Washburn’s iconic gunfighter detective.


“Close the damn door!” the station agent yelled at Lucas Hallam. 
“You’re lettin’ all the warm air out!”

And all the cold air in, Hallam thought as he shoved the depot’s front door closed behind him. People sometimes said there was nothing between the Canadian River and the North Pole except a barbed wire fence, and on a night like tonight, when a blue norther swept down over the plains, it sure felt like that old saying was right.

Hallam was a big, rugged man in a sheepskin coat, with his hat pulled down tight on his head so the wind wouldn’t blow it off. He tugged his gloves from his hands and stuck them in a coat pocket as he crossed the spacious waiting room toward the ticket window.

“I hope you ain’t here to buy a ticket,” the agent said from the other side of the counter. “No passenger trains comin’ through tonight, only a freight that’s due in about an hour.”

“No, I don’t need a ticket,” Hallam told the man, who looked like he wanted to just close up and go home for the night. “I’m here because of that freight.”

He unbuttoned the coat and slipped a hand inside it.

Make sure you leave a comment for a chance to win a free ecopy of Panhandle Freight.

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Friday, May 20, 2016


I've talked a bit about the Wolf Creek series before, here. It's one of my most favorite projects I've ever worked on, anywhere, anytime.

The series is the brainchild of Troy Smith, a good friend of mine and an excellent writer and "idea man". His thought was to create a bible to be used by the participants of the series to work from for the fictional post-Civil War town of Wolf Creek, Kansas. Any member of the Western Fictioneer professional writing organization could contribute when their character was called for in the plot structure.

Now, this is quite a daunting task when you think of having at least 23 (and climbing!) people who wanted to contribute, having to come up with plots that would involve at least 6 characters in each book--some of them the same as a common thread-- and keep all the books fresh and interesting. But Troy managed to do it.

Wolf Creek Book 6: Hell on the Prairie, differs. It's an anthology of short stories by some of the contributors about their characters. I loved this idea because each participant was able to write a short story featuring their character(s) and show a depth to their character they might not be able to convey in a collaborative effort such as the other books before this have been.
My story was called IT TAKES A MAN, and of course, Derrick McCain, my foremost character, is at the center of this one. When Derrick and his mother are ominously summoned to the Cherokee settlement of Briartown, Indian Territory, Derrick is determined to set things straight with the man he’s learned is his real father. But once he arrives, he’s distracted by Leah Martin, the beautiful cousin of his best friend’s wife. Leah is hiding a secret—one that could be the death of her. Once Derrick discovers it, will he walk away? Or will he save her…and possibly himself? IT TAKES A MAN to do what his heart tells him.

IT TAKES A MAN was a finalist in the 2014 Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Awards in the Short Fiction category. It was released for a brief time as a single sell story with Western Trail Blazers, and I'm proud to say IT'S BACK! And isn't this cover beautiful? I have to say, this is one of my favorite covers Livia has made for me--I love it. She is a genius when she works her cover voodoo!

I'm giving away a copy of IT TAKES A MAN to one lucky commenter today! Be sure to leave a comment and contact info for a chance to win!

If you just can't wait to see if you won, see the purchase links below--it's a bargain for only .99, and there are lots of other wonderful Wolf Creek stories out there waiting to be read!

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Tuesday, May 10, 2016


Who likes the stories of King Arthur and his knights? I do! I have been fascinated with the entire legend of Camelot since I was a child. The Sword In the Stone, the Disney cartoon movie, was a favorite when I was young.

As I got older, I couldn’t get enough of the movie musical, Camelot, with Vanessa Redgrave, Franco Nero, and Richard Harris in the starring roles. I valiantly tried to struggle through T. H. White’s “The Once and Future King” but finally had to admit, it was too heavy for a twelve-year-old. As an adult, I enjoyed it, along with Mary Stewart’s series of the Arthurian legend as told from Merlin’s POV—a “must read” set if you’re a Camelot fan.

So, the story I wrote for the “Six Guns and Slay Bells: A Creepy Cowboy Christmas” anthology is one that is dear to my heart in many ways. Even the title, “The Keepers of Camelot”, was not something I had to think about for long.

This story was a finalist for the 2013 Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Awards in the Short Fiction Category. It also received a specific mention in Publishers Weekly when the anthology came out. Here’s a bit about the story itself.

Legend says that Arthur will rise once more when the world needs him the most. But in my story, something goes awry, and Arthur has returned in many times, many places, throughout the centuries since his final battle.

The story opens with Arthur on a stagecoach in the American west—Indian Territory—of the 1880’s. But in this life, he comes across two people he’d never thought to see again—Lancelot and Guinevere. Why are they here—and how will it all end…this time?

The stage is attacked by Apaches minutes before the driver gets the passengers to the safety of the next stage station. Though they’re safe for the time being, a nerve-wracking Christmas Eve is in store as the Apaches wait for them outside.

Arthur has a plan. He’s seen the fearless leader of the Apache—the man they call “Sky Eyes”, a man he knew as Lancelot du Lac a hundred lifetimes ago.

Will Lance’s prowess as a warrior combine with his legendary arrogance to seal the fate of the people inside the station—including Guinevere, the woman he gave up everything for in the past?

One young boy in the group unknowingly holds the key to Lance’s decision. But will the glorious legend of Camelot be remembered?

I'm giving away one free digital copy of THE KEEPERS OF CAMELOT to a commenter today, so be sure to leave your contact information with your comment! If you just can't wait to see if you won, here's the Amazon buy link:

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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A Higher Platform

Last month I talked about getting a platform started. I covered things like getting an author site started, getting business cards printed and setting up social media blasts.

All of that is necessary, but is not the end all. Below is a list of other things I did to market my book in advance and after it came out. Some were successful, others, it was hard to tell. I would recommend that you try some or all of them and see which ideas work for you.

  • Blog: I have had a blog for several years. I've found it keeps my writing fresh and keeps me writing on a regular basis. I post a couple times a week. Because I had an audience before I had a book, I used the blog to post teasers about the characters in the book. It got people curious and because I did it over about the course of six weeks, it was a great build-up to the book release.
  •  Conventional Radio: I was fortunate to have my writing instructor recommend me to the local NPR affiliate at WUWM in Milwaukee. I had an interview that lasted about 20 minutes. I can't say enough about air time. I had a number of people say they'd heard it and it prompted them to buy the book. This was a springboard to at least three other radio interviews. Getting that first one allows you to point to it when soliciting interviews from other stations.
  • BlogRadio: I did my own research and found out about a couple of stations that interview authors. It is probably a much smaller audience than conventional radio, but when it's free, some exposure beats no exposure. Plus I had a great time talking to the radio folks. 
  • Guest Blogs: Talk to your friends with blogs and see if they'll let you guest post or interview you about your book. Again, any exposure could lead to sales.
  • Library Notifications: I sent blind emails out to probably fifty libraries. Most of them bought books -through Ingram or the Publisher - but several also hosted me for presentations, which sold more books and got the word out.
  • Mail Chimp: Mail Chimp is a free service to make professional looking emails and send them out to large groups of people. Put links to your books in along with cover art and send it to anyone you know. People are more apt to buy if you put it in front of them.
  • Goodreads: Goodreads is a great way to connect with readers. Give a book or two or ten away as an incentive to get people to check out your book and/or spur interest. 

There are several other good, productive ways to market your book that I haven't covered. It's a full time job, but a rewarding one. 

With that, I want to say that it has been a great privilege being a guest blogger here at Sundown Press. This is my last post, but I am happy to be part of the publishing family at Prairie Rose/Sundown Press and look forward to submitting more of my work to them and others.

Thank You!

Jim Landwehr