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Thursday, November 30, 2017

New Release -- A Ranger Returns (Lone Star Ranger Volume 9) by James J. Griffin


Nate Stewart and his Texas Ranger partners return to Austin from their grueling assignment in west Texas, expecting only a few days’ rest before they are sent back on the outlaw trail. Instead, they learn that the state legislature has refused to extend funding for most of the Rangers. All but a few have been given their walking papers—placed on indefinite furlough.

Forced to face an uncertain future without the Rangers, Nate and his best friend and partner, Hoot Harrison, travel to the land Nate still owns outside San Saba. With mixed feelings, the pair heads toward Nate’s family's ranch—now, where Nate’s parents and older brother are buried.

But when they reach San Saba, they’re met with guns and force. Someone is attempting to take over all the ranches in the area—including Nate's. Vowing not to lose the land his father had struggled so hard to tame, Nate is determined to unravel the plot—and the people responsible—for the hostility. The trail to the criminals, ironically, takes him back East—to his own home town of Wilmington, Delaware…and someone he’d have never suspected.

Once Nate confronts the man who means to take everything from him, he and Hoot waste no time in getting back to Texas. There, they’ll stand together once more against outlaw guns as A RANGER RETURNS…

EXCERPT

     Nate leaned back against the whitewashed west wall of the Salt Flat CafĂ©, where the Rangers had been staying. He was seeking the least bit of shade, since the temperature was already well into the eighties, even at this early hour. He stretched out his legs, and pulled his Stetson over his eyes.
     Boy howdy, a lot sure has happened to me, includin’ sayin’ stuff like ‘boy howdy’, over the past year, he mused. First, I lost my family, then I gained another one, sort of… my Ranger pards. At least the men who killed my mother and father, and Jonathan, are all dead. Me and my pardners made certain of that. I’ve learned that I don’t hate Texas, like I did when my father first dragged our family here, but love almost everything about it, except maybe the dust. I’ve learned how to care for both myself and my horse, and how to survive as a lawman. I’ve been shot by outlaws, and shot them, been in fistfights….
     He shook his head as a soft chuckle escaped his lips. ’Course, I’ve lost more of those than I’ve won. I still have a lot to learn about fist fightin’. I’ve traveled all over most of Texas, and have grown up a whole lot. Gotten a year older, too. I still don’t know what to do with girls, though. Maybe someday. I’ve had to fight white outlaws, Mexican desperadoes, and renegade Indians. Me’n Hoot have had some high times, too. I just hope someday he’ll quit tryin’ to convince me to smoke. I don’t want any part of tobacco. Just can’t stand the stuff. Wonder where we’re headed after Austin. I guess I’ll find out soon enough. Doesn’t make a difference to me. I know it’ll be in Texas, and I sure don’t hanker to ever leave this state again. Might be I’m still only fifteen, but it doesn’t seem like that matters, not any more. Jeb says I’ve proved myself as a man to ride the river with, and that’s good enough for me. Mebbe we’ll be sent…”
     Nate drifted off. The next thing he heard was Hoot’s voice, as his partner and best friend kicked at the sole of his boot.
     “Hey, Nate, wake up, ya idjit,” Hoot shouted, using his nickname for his partner. “We’re gettin’ ready to pull out. Unless you wanna stay here with the road runners, cactus, dust devils, and rattlesnakes.”

     

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Flight of Lydia Grimm (Jo Harper No. 9)



by Richard Prosch

In 1979 I was 13 years old, and the Space Age was still all around. The launch of America’s new space shuttle was imminent, and my dad and his friends were excited about the coming of home computers and video tape machines.
My grandpa’s Aunt Rose shared my enthusiasm. When she was 13—in the same year as Jo Harper—the 20th century was just beginning, and technology was beginning to make serious changes to everyday life in the West.
While the German immigrant grown-ups in Nebraska embraced steam powered tractors, then gasoline engines, telephones, electricity and wireless telegraphy, Rose let her imagination soar into the future.
When I was 13, I sat at her table sipping instant coffee and listened to her stories.
She talked about moving pictures projected onto bed sheet view screens in the back of the old mercantile store.
The thrill when she first saw an airplane move through the sky above the Nebraska prairie. 
The excitement of listening to music in her farm kitchen—music pulled straight out of the air.
These stories have stayed with me.
And haunted me for the past couple years.
I always hoped there would be another story for the series that began with Waiting for a Comet.
The first four, gathered together in Finding the Sky, capture Jo’s enthusiasm for the wonders of the nature. The following collection, On Solid Ground, are crime and mystery stories—almost like a young Nancy Drew on the range.
The Flight of Lydia Grimm picks up on that enthusiastic sense of life that is so much a part of Jo and leads off a series of four that combines the qualities of the first two.
This time, influenced by Aunt Rose, Jo’s engaged with man-made wonders even as she thwarts the crime or solves the mystery.
I hope you’ll join Jo, Frog, Abby Drake, and their friends and foes alike as they rush to embrace the future, first in The Flight of Lydia Grimm (now available) and coming soon, Last Wytch Park.

After growing up on a Nebraska farm, Richard Prosch worked as a professional writer, artist, and teacher in Wyoming, South Carolina, and Missouri. His western crime fiction captures the fleeting history and lonely frontier stories of his youth where characters aren’t always what they seem, and the windburned landscapes are filled with swift, deadly danger. In 2016, Richard roped the Spur Award for short fiction given by Western Writers of America. Read more at www.RichardProsch.com

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

New Release -- THE FLIGHT OF LYDIA GRIMM by Richard Prosch

Jo Harper Book 9


Jo Harper and her sidekick, Frog Beemer, are on their way to the movie in small-town Willowby, Wyoming. Beautiful Hollywood heroine, high-flying Lydia Grimm, is Jo’s role model—and she’s sat through Lydia’s latest movie, Wings Aflame! countless times. The only thing that can stop Jo and Frog from sitting through it again is the real thing—wings aflame—right over their heads!

Fantasy becomes a flaming reality on the Wyoming range as a burning airplane falls from the sky, and Jo and Frog grab their horses and ride to the scene of the disaster to help.
But when Frog returns to Willowby for help, Jo is held at gunpoint by the German pilot who has survived the crash!

All bets are off when Jo learns that her captor is involved with the very star she idolizes—Lydia Grimm! Lydia’s in danger, but it’s up to Jo to figure out why—and she’s determined to get to the bottom of this deadly mystery.

Will Frog return with help in time to save Jo? Can Jo unravel the mystery she’s caught up in? With a madman on the loose, Jo has no choice but to join in THE FLIGHT OF LYDIA GRIMM…

EXCERPT:

     “I’d swear that was the sound of a gasoline engine,” said Frog. “Listen! There it is again.”
     “It is a gas engine, but it’s no car,” said Jo, grinning.
     She pointed to the sky.
     “An airplane!” said Frog.
     It was extremely rare to see an airplane in the clear sky above Willowby, but to see one at night, just after she’d been talking about flying, was an exciting change of pace from a typical weekend night. Jo watched the dimly lit shadow putter along the blue horizon. Jo couldn’t help but think how lucky she was to be growing up in such a time as this, when, after centuries of trying, people flew through the air like birds.
     And just like that, something that sounded like a loud firecracker went off above them and the airplane motor started to whine.
     “It’s coming down! The airplane is coming down,” said Jo, pointing at a spark of light falling out of the purple night toward the dark shadows of nearby Autograph Rock. “She’s on fire!”
     “She?”
     “Hurry! Grab a horse and let’s ride!”
GET THE ENTIRE JO HARPER COLLECTION! Books 1-4 are available in the FINDING THE SKY set, and ON SOLID GROUND contains books 5-8! You will want them all!
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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

New Release -- Sarah's Music by Stella Long with Jessica Pierson Illustrating



~ A children's tale of dreams, sharing with nature, and accomplishment from Choctaw storyteller Stella (Fichek) Long ~

Sarah wishes with all her heart that she could make beautiful music, but her voice won't carry a tune. Determined to play her songs, Sarah sets out in search of a way to make her dream come true.

On her journey, she receives a special gift that will finally make her music real ... but how? Can her friends in the forest help her unlock the secret, or will the music she dreams of stay trapped in her heart forever?


Stella Long's mountain path was one of beauty as she walked alone at the age of six, talking with her friends, the creatures of the wild in the Choctaw language. (Fichek is her Choctaw name; Estella is the English name she likes best.) The mountain was her playground. There were times when she'd forget to go home until the night musicians, the insects, began tuning their instruments.


Stella (Fichek) writes and tells children's stories, getting her ideas from the animals and birds as she sits for hours in the solitary quietness of the lakeside observing animal behavior. She weaves a part of her life into these stories combined with Choctaw songs and sounds of the flute.

Available in Trade Paperback


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

New Release -- THE CHRISTMAS SPIDER by Randy Lee Eickhoff -- Giveaway!

Christmas promises to be a bitter time of change for Samantha “Sam” McCaslin following the death of her mother. At thirteen years old, tomboyish Sam tries to fill her mother’s place on the family’s South Dakota ranch, the Bar X. Pressure from her grandparents forces her father to choose between sending Sam to live with them, or seeking a housekeeper to help at the ranch.

When Mrs. Six Feathers and her two children, Sarah and Timmy, arrive at the Bar X, Sam deeply resents their coming. She chooses to ignore them as much as possible. But when Sarah and Sam become the victims of Billy Kincaid’s vicious bullying, a bond begins to develop between them as they fight back.

As Kincaid’s behavior becomes dangerously psychopathic, Sam’s very life is threatened. With only her quick wits to survive Kincaid’s ruthless cruelty, every second counts. Will her friends be able to help her in time, or will she become a victim of Billy’s deadly vendetta? At what should be the happiest season of the year, Sam will learn just how important family really is…

With The Christmas Spider, Randy Eickhoff has written a warm, wonderful, off-beat tale.  Yet, it also illustrates a modern problem concerning the bullying of children in today’s society. The timeliness, however, of the Christmas season will make it be a great choice for families to read aloud on Christmas Eve.  – Lucia St. Clair Robson Award winning American historical novelist
A heart-warming and beautiful fable for a beautiful season. Real people with real, human problems discover through the myth, spirit, and ultimate truth of Christmas that there is healing and hope in the world. Randy Eickhoff has given us an instant classic! – William Martin, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Lost Constitution and The Lincoln Letter
EXCERPT

     “Sam,” he began. “We need to talk.”
     I sighed. It was going to be worse than I suspected. Whenever Pa prefaced his words with “we need to talk” I knew to prepare myself. I made an elaborate show of closing my book, staring up at the exposed beams in the ceiling.
     “Sam, I would appreciate your attention.”
     Pa’s voice had a warning to it, and although I had heard what he said, I knew what he meant. I pulled my feet from between the cushions and swung around, sitting and facing him.
     “Sorry,” I mumbled. “I was caught up in my book.”
     “What are you reading?” he asked, although I knew he had seen the title. This was going to be really bad news if he felt he had to wade around in shallow water before jumping in.
     “Roy Rogers and the Mystery of Howling Mesa,” I said, holding the title so he could see it.
     “You’ve read that before.”
It wasn’t a question, but I treated it as such.
     “Yes, but I like it. Old books are comfortable, sometimes, like when you really don’t want any surprises, or can’t find another book like it that you want to read, so you read it again.” I shrugged. “Sometimes, I just like reading something familiar.”
     He cleared his throat again. “Sam, your grandparents and me’ve been talking about you maybe going in and living with them so you could go to school this year in Fort Pierre.”
     I shook my head, remembering suddenly what I had overheard the night when Pa and I had stayed over in town. A bad feeling came over me.
      “I don’t want to, Pa. I want to stay here.”
     “Sam,” he began, but I broke in.
     “Besides, you need me here, Pa. Especially with—” I couldn’t say the words about Mother being gone. The words just wouldn’t come. I continued, fumbling for something to say, rattling on desperately as if I could talk long enough, everything bad would go away.

Be sure and leave a comment for a chance to win a free ebook, THE CHRISTMAS SPIDER!

     

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

New Release -- A Ranger Grown (Lone Star Ranger Vol 8) by James J. Griffin

This is my Lone Star Ranger novel, continuing the saga  of Nate Stewart as he grows from an insecure boy of fourteen to a confident, capable, valued member of  the Texas Rangers.

From my own perspective, this is my favorite story of Nate's adventures yet. For the first time, not only is he separated from the company of Rangers commanded by Captain Dave Quincy, he also has to take command of a Range patrol when he and his partners are pinned down by renegade Mescalero Apaches. Will Nate be able to take charge, and if so, how will he think through the situation, and save himself and his comrades?. What happens makes compelling reading for young and old, as the still a boy Nate fights inner struggles with the Nate on the cusp of full-grown manhood.

BLURB

With renegade Apaches and deadly gangs of outlaws running rampant in the Texas badlands, Texas Ranger Captain Quincy has no choice but to divide his band of Rangers and take on some new recruits. This mission is the most dangerous yet for Nate Stewart, who, at fifteen, is the youngest Ranger in the company. Now serving under Lieutenant Jeb Rollins, Nate and his best friend, Hoot Harrison, must face the fact that this may very well be their last mission—ever. The odds are stacked against them from the outset, with prairie fires, roaming bands of dangerous desperadoes, and the harsh conditions of the land they’re traveling. Pinned down by a party of Mescalero Apaches, it falls to Nate to lead—will he be up to the task? Getting himself and his fellow Rangers out alive is a job for A RANGER GROWN…

EXCERPT

     It was about four o’clock the next afternoon when Jeb ordered his Rangers to stop for a moment, on one of the low hills to the northwest of the capital city.
     “There she is down below, for you boys who haven’t seen her before… Austin,” he said. “The heart of Texas.”
     “Well, what d’ya think, pard?” Hoot asked Nate. “Ain’t Austin just about the biggest town you’ve ever seen in your whole life?”
     “Well, I hate to disappoint you, Hoot, but everythin’ ain’t bigger in Texas, despite what you might think,” Nate answered. “I’ll grant you Austin’s the biggest town I’ve seen since I got to Texas, but it’s nowhere near as big as Wilmington. And Wilmington ain’t nowhere near as big as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I’ve never been to New York City, but I understand that’s bigger’n any of ’em. I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but Austin’s probably not even in the top twenty or thirty. Mebbe not even in the top hundred.”
     “You’re tellin’ whoppers again, Nate, ya idjit,” Hoot objected, using his favorite nickname for his friend. “There can’t be any towns hardly much bigger than Austin.”

Be sure and leave a comment for a chance of winning a Kindle ebook, A RANGER GROWN.

        

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

New Release -- Ginger: Orphan Filly by Frank Roderus

When Leonard Dawkins hears about a newborn sorrel filly that has recently been orphaned, he knows he has to rescue her—otherwise, she will end up dead, as well. Len and his sister, Lynn, hatch a plan to talk their parents into letting them ask their neighbor, Mr. Carey, if they can take the little filly, Ginger, and try to save her. Though he believes it to be a lost cause, Mr. Carey agrees—and their adventure begins!

Len and Lynn enclose an old corn crib to make Ginger’s new home. They do everything they know to give her a good place to live with them—but they have a lot to learn. With very little money to buy the things Ginger needs, they have to come up with some ingenious ideas to make sure she gets the care she needs.


When Len meets another boy who owns a horse, he learns that he can enter Ginger in a local horse show. Will Ginger win a blue ribbon? Len and Lynn learn that winning doesn’t always mean what they thought it did—and that love can be the greatest reward of all.

EXCERPT

      Their father looked down for a moment and nudged some gravel with the scuffed toe of one of his heavy work shoes before he asked the question both children feared to hear answered, “Is the foal still alive?”
     “It was the last time I looked, John. That was yesterday some time, I don’t suppose there’s any reason for it to have died since. Unless it got whatever sickness took the mare. Kept it shut away from the other stock, just in case.”
     The children’s hearts were racing now. It might be— probably was—still alive somewhere in one of Mr. Carey’s buildings. It just had to be all right. It had to be.
     “The reason I’m asking,” their father went on for them, “Len and Lynn, here, think they can bottle-raise a foal. I told them it’d likely die anyway, but it might teach them something, either way.”
     “Mmm. You can’t hardly raise a foal that way. Not like you can a calf or a pig. They don’t take to it, seems like. Cow’s milk, milk replacer, and such is too rich for them to handle. They do pretty good for a week or two an’ then go down. It ain’t worth the time an’ expense, I figure.”

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