Monday, April 10, 2017
Having finished Book 2 in my Bloody Arizona Quartet featuring Yakima Henry, the staff of Mean Pete Press takes the day off and heads for the hills...
CHECK IT OUT HERE!
Monday, April 3, 2017
Here's a sneak peek at the second book in my Yakima Henry Quartet, which is all but finished and should be up and running on Amazon by this weekend or early next week. (Keep in mind that "the Kid" mentioned here is a paunchy, middle-aged old reprobate still wearing the moniker of the Rio Grande Kid, thereby clinging to the former "glory" of his outlaw years...)
The Kid checked his mount down off Yakima’s left stirrup, matching Yakima’s pace. Emma checked her buckskin down off his right stirrup, also matching the half-breed’s pace.
“I was listening for gunfire,” Yakima said, “thinking you two might shoot each other back yonder. It’s a wonder what gold will do to you.”
“We came to an agreement,” the Kid said tightly, staring straight over his horse’s twitching ears.
“Well?” Yakima said when neither one elaborated.
“We agreed that I wouldn’t shoot him if he left that gold alone,” Emma said, looking past Yakima at her newly minted nemesis, the Kid.
The Kid turned to Yakima, his eyes indignant beneath the brim of his battered Stetson. “I think she woulda done it, just like she said. She woulda gut-shot me an’ left me there to bloat up an’ rot with her old man’s gun wolves!”
Emma winked at him. “My trigger finger is still itchin’.”
The Kid said to Yakima, “She’s purtier’n a speckled pup, Miss Emma is. But I’ve come to believe she’s meaner’n back alley cur with fourteen sucking pups!”
“When it comes to that gold, you better believe it,” Emma agreed.
“What’s the plan?” Yakima asked her. “You going to hounddog him for the rest of his days to make sure he doesn’t ride back out to that canyon?”
“If that’s what it takes.”
“What about you, Yak?” The Kid studied the half-breed lawman, puzzled. “Don’t you want none o’ that gold?”
Yakima hiked a shoulder. “Believe me, when I first saw that church, I felt the fever. But how would you ever get that treasure out of that canyon without every seedy-eyed border snake in Arizona getting word and running out here to ‘help’? No one could ever be satisfied with only an ingot or two. You’d want the works or you’d never sleep at night.”
He spat over the side of his saddle, and chuckled. “Anyone tries hauling that gold out of that canyon is going to go up against an army of desperadoes intent on relieving them of it. Shit, there’ll likely be a war that’ll make the Misunderstanding Between the States look like a game of schoolyard kickball. Besides, look what that gold has done to you two.”
Yakima looked from the Kid on his left to Emma on his right. “An upstanding deputy town marshal and Hugh Kosgrove’s purty, polite daughter goin’ at each other like a wolf and a mountain lion trapped in the same privy. You two oughta be ashamed of yourselves.”
“It’s not the gold I’m after,” Emma said, defensively. “What I’m after is keeping the gold in the church in that canyon—where it belongs!”
“What do you think, Yak?” the Kid said after they’d ridden in silence for a while, the sun really burning down on them now at nearly midday, not a shadow in sight. “Do you believe that gold is really cursed like this purty wildcat says it is?”
“From the trouble I’ve seen it cause so far?” Yakima said, raking his gaze again between his two trail partners. “Hell, yes, I do!”
Sunday, March 5, 2017
SADDLE UP FOR A HARD RIDE WITH THE HALF-BREED DRIFTER, YAKIMA HENRY, IN A BRAND-NEW FOUR-PART SERIES...BLOODY ARIZONA!
Yakima Henry is holed up in an old prospector’s cabin in the wilds of south-central Arizona, between Tucson and Lordsburg, New Mexico. He’s decided to cool his heels until fall, prospecting for gold and hoping for a little color with which to fund a trek into Mexico.
It’s always nice crossing that southern border. It makes him feel like a brand new man. Makes him forget, if only a little, the horror of laying his life’s one true love, the beautiful Faith, to rest in that unmarked grave near Thornton’s Roadhouse in Colorado...
The half-breed wanderer just can’t shake Faith’s memory, however. Not even with the help of the firewater and pretty whore in the Busted Flush Saloon in the little nowhere town of Apache Springs. In fact, the firewater causes the crazed, jade-eyed half-breed to go into a rage and bust up the saloon and half the men in the town until he’s finally subdued and carted over to the local jail—locked up by his friend, Town Marshal Lon Taggart.
THE HALF-BREED PINS A BADGE ON HIS SHIRT...
Yakima’s life gets even more complicated when four strangers ride into town and shoot Taggart while Yakima is locked up in the lawman’s jail. They would have raped Taggart’s wife and burned the entire town to the ground if Yakima hadn’t shot his way out of the jail cell, and intervened.
Now Taggart’s wife calls on Yakima to wear her husband’s badge and go up against a kill-crazy, vengeance-hungry ex-mining engineer, Rebel Wilkes, who sent the men to burn the town and who will surely send more. Wilkes has it in for the town, which refused to sell him access for a spur railroad line, thus ending Wilkes’s dream of developing a mine in the area and, worse, causing him to lose his shirt as well as his pride and reputation.
For Wilkes, Apache Springs must die. His ex-lover, Julia Taggart, as well.
But Julia has become Yakima Henry’s lover now. So Wilkes’s grudge against Apache Springs is personal. So personal, in fact, that the sleepy little desert town will soon become a powder keg of raw emotion and hot-flying lead!
Saturday, January 28, 2017
MOUNT UP FOR AN EXCITING RIDE WITH A BRAND-NEW WESTERN SERIES IN THE SAME ADULT WESTERN VEIN AS LONGARM!
In fact, it’s written by a veteran Longarm writer...
Meet Bear Haskell, former union war hero, former Pinkerton agent, current deputy United States marshal, and lover of some repute.
Bear’s a big man--over six and a half feet tall and as broad as a barn door. He wears a necklace of bear claws taken from the grizzly that almost had him for supper. That’s the kind of man bear is. He’s holds a grudge and he gives no quarter--to grizzly bears or men.
Bear rides for Chief Marshal Henry Dade out of Denver’s First District Court.
In this fourth adventure, Henry Dade sends Haskell deep into the frozen bowels of Dakota Territory to solve a series of unexplained murders in the little town of Sioux Camp. Two of the town’s prominent businessmen and the postmaster have been gunned down. Tortured with bullets, in fact.
The county sheriff was also killed, and the first deputy U.S. marshal sent to investigate, from the territorial capitol in Bismarck, also met a grisly fate on the streets of Sioux Camp. So now it’s Haskell’s turn to investigate. On the way there, he meets the beautiful daughter of a prominent Dakota rancher, and they while away a stormy night in a storm-wracked hotel in Oxbow, in the best possible, toe-curling fashion.
When Haskell finally arrives in Sioux Camp, he finds the town’s sole lawman there to greet him. But the local lawman’s about as warm and accommodating as a side of frozen beef, for he’s hanging from a noose thrown over a beam in his office!
From there, Haskell’s visit to northern Dakota Territory continues to go even farther south. Things get crazier and even more dangerous when he meets up with a non-hibernating bruin while chasing a potential killer, and the beautiful Sioux madam who runs the local parlor house and calls herself Chance.
Oh, and there’s also Chance’s Sioux bodyguard, Jimmy Two Eagles, and his nasty sawed-off, double-barreled shotgun that threatens to give the nettled lawman from Denver a particularly nasty belly ache.
It’s all here, all-action western adventure in its rawest, fastest form—Bear Haskell, Bullets, Bruins & Lady Called Chance!
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
I was riveted to this one for 45 minutes. Great animated credit opening homage to the old spaghettis. Great setup. I thought I had a winner here. Then they killed the dog. Kill the girl or the dog and turn the story into yet another cliched vengeance quest, and you lose ole Mean Pete. Can't recommend it. More tired even than the zombie western. I hate it when they kill animals--not only because I'm an animal lover, but because it's a crutch for otherwise poor motivation and plotting. Uninspired writing. For crying in the queen's ale, come up with something fresh. It's not that effing hard! Ethan Hawk, John Travolta, and Taissa Farmiga were terrifically wasted in a poorly imagined and written script by Ti West, whose work--primarily his horror movies--I've admired in the past. This, however, misses the mark. If you raise money to make a western, make a good one.
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
MOUNT UP AND RIDE THE WILD TRAILS WITH THE MOST COLORFUL PAIR OF BOUNTY HUNTERS...AND LOVERS...THE FRONTIER HAS EVER SEEN
After a hot night in Spanish Gulch, Lou Prophet and Louisa Bonaventure, aka the Vengeance Queen, split up to follow a gang of kill-crazy cutthroats who have also split up as they journey through the Spanish Mountains of southern Arizona, heading toward Mexico. While Prophet shares the trail with one of the captured killers, Jack Flood and his daughter Nancy, as well as a wet-behind-the-ears cavalry lieutenant, Louisa finds herself on foot and without a gun, having become the killers' prey.
Prophet’s trail isn’t so easy, either. The ex-Confederate bounty man finds himself stalked by a notorious border bandito who doesn’t care one bit for the gringo bounty hunter--especially after Prophet cheated him at cards and killed his partner in a Juarez brothel. Enrique Granados wants Prophet’s valuable prisoner and the prisoner’s lovely daughter as sweet justice, and Prophet’s head on a stick for his own satisfaction!
First few paragraphs:
“Hey, Prophet—you know what’s even uglier than you are?” bellowed the outlaw, Kinch Broadwell, from a stony escarpment high above the bounty hunter, Lou Prophet, who was hunting him.
“No,” Prophet shouted, standing at the base of the scarp, staring up toward where Broadwell hid in the rocks. “What’s that, Kinch? Pray tell!”
Something streaked down past Prophet’s shoulder and landed with a heavy thump about six feet out from where the bounty hunter stood with his back to the scarp, squeezing his Winchester ’73 in both his gloved hands.
A sour stench filled the air as well as Prophet’s nostrils. He blinked against the dust and then looked down in disgust at what appeared to be a dead javelina.
Half of a dead javelina, make that.
Something had consumed the beast’s hindquarters and part of its trunk, leaving a ragged, bloody, fly-encrusted bit of jagged spine trailing out from behind its front legs, like a tail of some horrible sort. The ugly head tufted with coarse black bristles, jaws studded with razor-edged tusks resembling a raptor’s oversized talons, grimaced up at the bounty hunter, its dark eyes leering and somehow menacing. Prophet was suddenly having trouble keeping his breakfast down, though it had been a sparse one of three-day-old baking powder biscuits and coffee reheated from the night before.
He sidestepped away from the beast, turning his head and drawing in deep draughts of the dry, Arizona breeze still lightly perfumed from an earlier morning rain.Above him, Kinch Broadwell howled with laughter.
Sunday, November 27, 2016
I'm about 40,000 words into my next Lou Prophet novel, which means I'm around 10k words from the end. In this one, Lou and the Vengeance Queen split up to follow a gang of kill-crazy cutthroats who have also split up as they journey through the Spanish Mountains, heading toward Mexico. While Prophet shares the trail with one of the killers, Jack Flood and his daughter Nancy, as well as a wet-behind-the-ears cavalry lieutenant, Louisa finds herself on foot and without a gun, having become the killers' prey...
Louisa drew a deep, calming breath, and thought it through. Since there was no way up the wall, she had to get around it. Walking in either direction, east or west, she eventually had to come to an end of the ridge or an easier way up the wall. That route might lay a hundred yards or a hundred miles away, but she had little choice but to look for it.
Arbitrarily deciding to head east, she started walking.
She’d walked maybe ten feet when she stopped and swung to face the river, which she could see glimpses of through the trees. Above the river and the whooshing of the wind in the branches, she could hear hoof thuds again, and men’s voices.
Not finding her tracks up canyon, they’d returned.
Now they’d easily find her sign where she’d entered then left the river, and they’d be on top of her in five minutes.
Louisa looked around, trying to quell the hammering of her heart against her ribs. There was nowhere to hide. Nowhere that her tracks wouldn’t lead the killers right to her.
She swung to the wall. It looked as sheer as before, but she found a jagged, vertical seam. Not knowing any other way, she leaped up the wall, grabbed holds where her hands and feet found them, and started climbing.
Behind her rose the pounding of galloping horses.
Louisa released one hold, reached for another, moving her hands and her feet slowly but deliberately and as quickly as she could, amazed that each limb seemed to find something—a small cleft, a crack, or a knob of jutting stone—as though of its own accord.
Soon she was twenty feet, then thirty feet up the wall.
Something smacked the rock wall two feet to her left. It was followed by a Winchester’s belch.
Louisa’s ears rang from the screech of the hot lead off the rock way too close.
She paused, trembling, fingers and toes aching where they clung with all their might to their holds. She looked straight down the wall. The three riders sat at the base of it, staring up at her without expression, their eyes dark beneath their hat brims. Even their horses were lifting their heads, looking at Louisa clinging desperately to the ridge wall.
Apache Wade cocked the carbine in his hand with menacing casualness and slowly raised it to his shoulder.