Mean Pete--Head Honcho of Mean Pete Publishing

Monday, August 3, 2015



Gideon Hawk is back riding the rough, lawless trails of the western frontier, piling up justices for his dead wife and son. 

Hawk is holed up in an old prospector’s cabin high in the Idaho mountains when he learns that an innocent girl has been kidnapped by the notorious outlaw businessman, Quentin Burnett. Burnett erroneously believes he owns this entire corner of Idaho...and all the people in it, including the girls. 

Burnett has a history of kidnapping young women and marrying them. He gets away with it because he’s rich and he knows the most powerful men on the frontier. When Burnett’s girls get too old for him, or he just plain tires of them, he sends them down to the second floor of his New Canaan whorehouse and puts them to work on their backs. 

That dark fate is not going to happen to Jennie Broyles. Not if Hawk can help it. 

With the assistance of the beautiful Saradee Jones, Hawk’s lover as well as his nemesis, Hawk goes to work showing Quentin Burnett what happens when bad men cross the Rogue Lawman’s trail. 

The only problem is Burnett has a passel of notorious gunslingers riding for him, and it might just be that this time Hawk and Saradee have taken on more than they can kill... 

“You know what, Saradee?”
“What’s that, Marshal Hawk?”
“I’m gonna miss you. Not as much as I miss my wife or my boy, but, may the gods forgive me, I am gonna miss you.”
“There you are—see?” Saradee said with delight, kissing him once more as the posse’s lead sung around them. “You’re under my devil’s spell!”
“I reckon.” Hawk laughed. He could laugh about it now, because he had so little time to live. Maybe ten more bullets was all he had left in his guns.
Then the torture of this life—all the bitter memories and strange hauntings and his hammering lust for this beautiful devil lying here beside him in this virtual stone coffin—would end.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

ON STARTING THE NOVEL, or Let Your Wolf Howl!


On Starting the Action Novel

            If you really want to write that novel you’ve been telling everyone...or secretly telling could write better than that guy Brandvold or any of those other fast-typing hacks living the high life and getting all the women...or’s time to sit your ass down and start typing.
            Too many writers or would-be writers think too long and hard about how to start. Sometimes they spend years—lives!--not writing but just yacking about what a gem they could produce if they could get a long vacation or if their wives or husbands would leave them. Of course it’s easier to yack about something and hold high opinions about it when you really haven’t done it yourself. For some reason writing seems to attract this kind of scrutiny and verbal bluster more than any other craft I know.
            It’s always the would-be writers who are the real writers’ severest critics.
            How many non-electricians sit around blathering about what a much better job they could do wiring a shopping mall than the real electricians currently mucking around the job site?
            (Yeah, I got baggage.)
            In the overworked parlance of the writing trade, show don’t tell!
            Drop some wood or vacate the privy!
            Sit your ass down and write that gem...
            What I do before writing that first sentence is take a long walk or head off on a bicycle ride and give my imagination “its head,” to use the argot of the Old West, my own arena of choice. I let the horse of my mind find its own way over mountain and plain.
            A long drive works well, too.
            If you want to write, you probably have a good imagination. So let it go. Turn your wolf loose. Let it howl.

            When I was a kid—and even now, at 52 years of age, I’m just a little embarrassed to say—I’d read a book or a story by Ray Bradbury or Edgar Rice Burroughs or watch a favorite TV show like Star Trek or Gunsmoke or High Chaparral (or like The Rifleman, which is playing now as I knock this out)—and then I’d go out to the grove of trees that separated our yard from the open prairie, and reenact the story. I’d cut loose and gallop my imagined horse or shoot my phaser with all the appropriate sound effects.
            Believe me, before it was time to head inside for my nightly bath, the bad guys would go down ahowlin’!
            And I’d be lucky the neighbors hadn’t had me locked up in the local nuthouse...
            That part is fun. But it has to be focused fun. Close off from your mind all other thought-clutter and worries and remembered petty and/or major slights you endured that day from your kids or dogs or boss or spouse, and really see in your mind the world of the book you want to write. See all the color, hear the sounds, smell the smells. See the characters in details every bit as cinematic as those on the movie or television screen or on those brittle, faded but still crystalline pulp pages bowing your shelves.
            But don’t take all day about it, fer cryin’ in the Queen’s ale!
            You can’t imagine every scene. Just a couple of the main, gnarliest, most high-octane ones will do. Entertain yourself. Make your eyes bulge and your heart skip beats. Laugh out loud! Don’t worry if the neighbors come to suspect you’re demented. I can tell you from my own personal experience that if you’ve gotten this far in this essay, your neighbors (and probably everyone you’ve ever known) already suspect you’re a few shots shy of a full barrel.
            Give yourself an hour or two of focused daydreaming fun, and then get to work. Don’t worry about trying to see all the plot points and twists and turns in the story. Just bring brief but three-dimensional flashes of your book to life in your mind’s eye and then come up with a terrific opening scene that will set up everything and draw your readers into your story.
            The main thing is to imagine the general thrust, a compelling hero, and an equally or even more compelling villain. (The general thrust might even be going too far; mine usually change by the third chapter, anyway.) Just for kicks and giggles, you might want to also conjure a dusky-eyed damsel...or stud...or two. Then quickly imagine an opening scene that will hook the reader and keep them turning the real or virtual pages. Don’t worry too much about the scene that will follow that first scene, because that scene will lead you to the next, and the next scene will lead you to the next, and so on, until your book has taken over your life and your spouse is thinking you’re in dire need of a Carnival cruise or a lobotomy. (Aren't they the same thing?)
            By the time you’ve done that first, fun, hard work—inside of an hour or two, because you’re a doer and not just a talker—you should feel as though you’ve just peed on an electric fence. You should feel your hair spiking and your heart hiccupping and your fingers tingling, and all you can think about is sitting down at your desk or grabbing the laptop and sinking into your favorite chair and letting your wolf howl.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

New Western With New Western Hero Now Available!


Meet Dag Enberg, a brand-new western hero from the pen of Peter Brandvold...

In this violent, sexy tale of bloody redemption, Dag Enberg is a shotgun rider for Arizona’s Yuma Stage Line. A big, rawboned Norwegian, he’s one of the best in the business. But when a group of outlaws led by Cougar Ketchum kidnap Enberg’s pregnant wife and threaten to kill her if Enberg doesn’t turn over a valuable strongbox, Enberg is forced to go against his instincts.

He turns over the strongbox without a fight.

The owner of the strongbox, Logan Cates, believes that Enberg has thrown in with Ketchum. Logan Cates owns the stage line and half the county. He’s a powerful man as well as the stepfather of Enberg’s wife. He also knows that Enberg has many weaknesses, not the least of which is whiskey and women.

When Cates turns his sites on Enberg, a bloody war breaks well as a desperate chase into Mexico for the stolen gold and Enberg’s woman.


Enberg dropped the table leg. He strode across the room, pushed through the batwings, and stopped on the saloon’s front porch to watch Leclerk kneeling in the street before a woman dressed to the nines in a stylish salmon dress, white shirtwaist, and feathered picture hat. She was taking mincing steps backward, tripping over the hem of her gown as she tried to flee the big man who was clawing at her as though trying to maul her.
She was Constance Norman, wife of one of the county’s wealthiest ranchers.
The panicked, strangling Leclerk was only beseeching the horrified woman for help. Which she, of course, couldn’t offer.
The best sawbones on the frontier couldn’t have fixed Leclerk’s busted windpipe.
The woman screamed again as she tripped over her gown and fell to her butt in the street. Writhing in horror of his fast-approaching demise, Leclerk flopped down on top of her, kicking his legs and arms and raking his fingers across his throat. His grisly strangling sounds rose above the woman’s shrieks.
Leclerk turned over and over as he fought death, his horrifically swelling face growing bright red and then blue until, after nearly a minute of violent convulsing, the woman screaming and trying to kick him away, he finally stopped fighting.
The dark angels of death swept over him.

Leclerk rolled onto his back, legs spread wide. He blinked one last time, gave a final twitch, and lay glaring toward Heaven.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

New Ben Stillman Now Available!

The long-awaited Ben Stillman novel is available at last!

Available as a 3.99 ebook and in hardcover from Five Star Publishing...

When Doctor Clyde Evans is kidnapped from his home in the middle of the night to tend a wounded outlaw, Sheriff Ben Stillman’s problems are only just beginning. Stillman tracks the doctor to a remote cabin deep in the Two Bear Mountains. He springs the doctor, shoots the outlaws, and confiscates the bank loot. 

He also arrests a beautiful young outlaw, Hettie Styles, who promptly puts a bounty on Stillman’s head. Compounding his problems, his old foe Jacob Henry Battles rides into town with a steel hook replacing the arm Stillman shot off years ago before sending Battles to prison. 

Dying from consumption, Battles was recently let out of Deer Lodge Pen. He says he’s in town merely to settle down, but after a shot is fired into Stillman’s house in the middle of the night, the sheriff thinks Battles is out for revenge. Meanwhile, Doc Evans must navigate more personal torments when young Evelyn Vincent, the waitress from Sam Wa’s Café, professes her love for the older sawbones only weeks before Evans is due to be married to the Widow Kemmett! 

From the king of the fast-action, sexy, hard-hitting western novel, this one has it all—love and death, bullets and blood...


Monday, May 11, 2015

Read the Rogue Lawman Screenplay for Free--New Link!

Go on over to SimplyScripts and read my recently penned screenplay adaptation of my first Rogue Lawman novel featuring Gideon Hawk. It's free!


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Legends of the Fall

Jim Harrison is one of my favorite writers and has been since I was a kid. He was one of the writers, including John Steinbeck, Jack London, Flannery O'Connor, and Harry Crews, who made me want to write in the first place. I don't like much of his current stuff, because it seems to be a parody of his earlier, better work, but because of this book and Farmer, the first book of his I ever read, I still mark him as a top favorite. He was one of the few writers I wrote a fan letter to. And got a letter back, which I've posted here before!

My well-worn copy, bought from the B. Dalton Bookseller's in Grand Forks, North Dakota, when I was maybe 15 years old. (1978 or '79) "Suddenly he was terribly lonely for the greenery, the cold lakes and the snow of his childhood." From one of the three novellas in the collection, "The Man Who Gave Up His Name."

As for the movie adapted from the title novella? It's so far from the novella itself, that you can't really even call it an adaptation. But then adapting Harrison's work must be like trying to adapt a poem. He's a very stripped-down, condensed writer. A lot of people like the movie, but whenever I've seen it on and tried to watch it, I couldn't get through more than one or two maudlin, overblown scenes. (I think it's also hard on a movie when the leading man is way more beautiful than any of the actresses in it…)

Thursday, April 2, 2015


Purchase at AMAZON

Purchase at B&N

A favorite western series of readers world-wide, the Cuno Massey .45-Caliber series continues with:


Cuno Massey is just passing through central New Mexico when he’s ambushed by town tamer, Lawton Briggs and three other men and one pretty but angry young woman, Stacey Ramos. Stacey is owner of the San Juan Valley Stage Line.

The group thinks Cuno Massey is working for the notorious stage robber, Jack Salmon, who killed Stacey’s father. None of the men and Stacey will take no for an answer.

Instead, intending to send Salmon and his gang a clear, brutal message, they strip young Massey naked, lay him out spread-eagle and tied to ground-sunk stakes, and leave him to die.

Cuno is rescue by the beautiful ranch woman, Olivia Taffly, and her son, Hob.

Now Cuno is back on the vengeance trail that takes more than a few bloody, twisting turns until it ends in a smoky hail of flesh-tearing lead!

Western novelist Peter Brandvold has penned over 90 fast-action westerns under his own name and his penname, Frank Leslie.  He is the author of the ever-popular .45-Caliber books featuring Cuno Massey as well as the Lou Prophet and Yakima Henry novels. The Ben Stillman books are a long-running series with previous volumes available as ebooks.  Recently, Brandvold published two horror westerns—Canyon of a Thousand Eyes and Dust of the Damned.  Head honcho at “Mean Pete Publishing,” publisher of lightning-fast western ebooks, he has lived all over the American west but currently lives in western Minnesota with his dog.  Visit his website at  Follow his blog at: