Monday, December 31, 2012

Lou Prophet Gallops Into 2013!

Available soon at Barnes & Noble...


The bounty hunter Lou Prophet wakes up in bed with a soiled dove to find a penciled note deposited in the dove’s cleavage.

“We have the girl.  If you want her back in one piece, ride to Santo Domingo Station.”

Prophet rides out to the abandoned stage station to learn that his beautiful partner, Louisa Bonaventure--“The Vengeance Queen” herself--has been kidnapped and locked away in a snake-infested mine shaft.  To get her out alive, Prophet must do a job for the kidnappers:

Bring them the head of Melvin Badthunder!

Can Prophet hunt down the savage border bandit in time to save his comely partner’s life?

On the trail of Melvin Badthunder, Prophet rides to the little desert town of Muleville to find not only Badthunder but that, as always in a Mean Pete yarn, nothing is quite as it’s supposed to be...


       He had to turn one ear to the heavy door to hear Louisa behind it.  “Yeah?”
       “Whatever those sonso’bitches want, don’t give it to ‘em.  I’m just fine in here.  All this peace and quiet is right welcoming after having spent the last two months looking at your ugly face and listening to your endless jawboning!”
       A hard knot welled in Prophet’s throat.  Emotion rolled through him like a heavy ocean wave.  Insulting though she was, her voice was music to his ears.
       Prophet gritted his teeth and looked at the old man, who was gazing at Prophet and chuckling.  The three younger men were chuckling, as well. 
       And the next thing Prophet knew, he’d slammed his right fist against the old man’s right cheek.
       The old man screamed and hit the dirt like a two-ton bell dropped from a church tower...

A collection of Mean Pete's first six shorts are up now at Amazon, as well, and will be up shortly at Barnes & Noble.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

New Lou Prophet Story Coming Soon--"Killing Melvin Badthunder"

The old man seemed to wait for a reaction.
Prophet just narrowed an eye against the razor-edged bayonets that the sun was slinging at him, and tipped his head to one side, trying to find a comfortable position.
The old man slid down off his timber.  He was holding a small, flat, hide-wrapped flask in his free hand.  “The only way to get Miss Bonaventure out of that mine shaft is with a key to the padlock.  I’ve hidden the key up in these rocky hills.  Only I know where it is, and I’m very good at keeping secrets.  Even if you managed to gun down me and my boys, you’d never find it before your pretty partner expired.”
Dabbing the handkerchief to the bloody cut Prophet had punched in his cheek, the old man grimaced with feigned regret.  “I’m guessing there’s not a whole lot of air in that shaft.  Even if there were, I think it only fair to tell you that we left her with no food or water.  Unless she can see well enough in the dark to kill one of the many rattlesnakes I’ve heard slithering around in there.”
Prophet’s guts writhed like diamondbacks in his belly.
The old man held the flask out to him.
“Take a sip of this.  Make you feel better.”
“Don’t mind if I do,” Prophet said with irony, and took a long pull from the flask.
The whiskey had such a soothing effect on his cracked skull that he went ahead and polished it off.  He tossed the empty flask high in the air.  It landed somewhere behind him with a dull thud.
The half-breed Apache called A.J. ground his jaws and took a step toward Prophet, aiming his rifle at the bounty hunter’s head.
The old man held his arm out.  “Stand down, fellas.”
He kept his gaze on Prophet.  “I want you to ride over to Muleville and kill a man named Melvin Badthunder.  Half-breed Comanche.”
“How did this hombre Badthunder get your neck in a hump?”
“He killed my son,” the old man said, his eyes hard.  “I want you to bring his dead carcass--or just his head, if that would be easier--back to me for incontrovertible proof that you’ve accomplished the task I’ve given you.  Then, and only then, after I’ve seen that devil’s walleyes staring up at me, with every ounce of his life drained out and his spirit screaming in the butane fires of hell...will I open that door to the mine, and set free your comely partner.”
Prophet probed the growing goose egg on his temple with his fingers.  “You got some bad information, friend.  You see, I’m a bounty hunter, not a regulator.”
Touche,” said the old man.  “And I’m offering you a bounty.  The living head...and very pretty body...of Louisa Bonaventure in exchange for the dead head of Melvin Badthunder.  That sounds like a pretty fair reward to me.  Doesn’t it to you, boys?” the old man asked his men.
They all shrugged and nodded.
“Doesn’t it to you, Mr. Prophet?”
Prophet told the old man to do something physically impossible to himself.  And then he gained his feet heavily and stumbled over toward where Mean and Ugly was still grazing by the burned out barn.
Behind him, the old man said, “Better hurry, Mr. Prophet.  She’s far too pretty to leave moldering in that cold, dark mine shaft without any food or water!  Far too pretty for snake bait!”
The old man and the others laughed.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

No-Account Girl Gets a Slightly Different Look

Mean Pete has changed the cover for his short-story "The No-Account Girl" slightly, so it more reflects the grittiness of the story.  And he'd taken the pic of that horse skull a couple weeks ago and he'd be damned if he wasn't gonna use it!

The story is up and running at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Addendum to "Mean Pete's Gang on Christmas Eve Day--A Summing Up"

[Dec. 25--Due to inebriation and general sloth and absent-mindedness, I forgot to mention a couple of things, so I've added some short paragraphs at the end of my summing up.--Mean Pete, his own fool and nasty self]

This is the view from above Mean Pete's floozy- and cur-infested lair this Christmas Eve morning at the end of a busy year.

See out there toward the Mummy Range?

That's where all of Mean Pete's characters are holed up together for Christmas, in a big timber cabin, preparing elk roasts and plum pudding, and jawboning about their recent adventures.  Probably complaining a little about all the nasty stuff that Mean Pete has put them through this year--Colter Farrow running into the "No-Account Girl" and nearly getting his wick trimmed by bounty hunters, for one...

Yakima Henry helping a beautiful woman with a dark secret and a husband with a gnarly past and a pack of human coyotes on his trail (Dead Man's Trail).  

Wilbur Calhoun having to contend with a young lawman who says he's Wilbur's long-lost son.  The young lawman discovers old Wilbur's hideout up in the San Juan Mountains and thinks he's going to arrest old Wilbur for killing the lawman's ma half a lifetime ago ("Old Gun Wolf").  Wilbur might be old as the hills, but he has other ideas for the whipper-snapper lawman...  Ha!

And then there's poor old Spurr Morgan who even with his weak ticker was sent after a pack of wild savages called The Vultures in The Last Lawman.

Lou Prophet and his beautiful blond sidekick Louisa Bonaventure were on the run from Apaches and two different gangs and ended up in a remote desert ghost town with a curse on it.  Louisa not only ended up in the hands of some lusty bank robbers but Lou Prophet found himself tossed into a deep pit with the moldering bodies of three murdered deputy U.S. marshals!

(I bet Miss Louisa would really give Mean Pete an earful about that little misadventure that Mean Pete put them both through in The Devil's Laughter!  Mean Pete was really snickering when he was hammering that one out.  Don't tell Louisa!)    

Then there was the Rio Concho Kid in "Bullet for a Virgin" and Yakima Henry (again) in the horror-western yarn that came out around Halloween, "The Canyon."

Boy, I can just hear those main and secondary characters comparing notes and wagging their heads over all their misadventures this year, while Lou Prophet and Yakima Henry arm wrestle and Louisa swills her sarsparilla and old Wilbur Calhoun adds a liberal jigger of who-hit-john to his six-shooter coffee.  Ben Stillman, Doc Evans, Jody Harmon and Leon McMannigle (The Ben Stillman novels) are probably playing cards under a smoky lamp while Stillman's wife, Fay, and Crystal Harmon peel potatoes and carrots to go along with a big roast.  Crystal says, "I just hope that awful Mean Pete eases up on us a little this year.  If he doesn't, I for one am rebelling--are you with me Fay?!  I say we put a little extra starch in his shorts!!"

All in all, 2012 has been a rousing good time for Mean Pete but probably not so fun for his characters.  But Mean Pete hopes his readers have enjoyed the (mis)adventures as much as he enjoyed writing them.

Stay tuned.  There are many, many more adventures to come in 2013, and in the mean time, Mean Pete will be trying to stay one step ahead of Miss Bonaventure.  That nasty little gal would love to get her hands around Mean Pete's wicked old neck, and if she ever did, there'd be hell to pave and no hot pitch!

See you on over the divide in 2013, pards.  Gidyup from that nasty old Mean himself!

[As has been pointed out, I forgot to mention my two best-selling short-stories--"Poison Mean" and "The Lonely Widow."  Not only did I put the nasty outlaw Chet Villanova through some mean and nasty misery with a pretty blond and a passel of rattlesnakes, and involve Gideon Hawk, the Rogue Lawman, with another 'No-Account girl' and some stolen stagecoach loot, but I forgot to even mention their trials and tribulations.  Colter and Gid, forgive old Mean Pete, will you.  Keep in mind that while you're out shootin' an' cavortin' with fallen wimmen an' such, Mean Pete's been swilling beer and cheap wine and eating way too much this holiday season.  

However, don't expect me to go any easier on you in 2013!

Speaking of Colter Farrow, he'll have a whole new novel out about him in April--Bad Justice.  I intend to write another Gideon Hawk book over the summer and if Berkley or no one else wants it, Mean Pete will publish it himself!]

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The No-Account Girl Rides!


Colter Farrow has been through a lot in his short life.  He's killed a lot of men in self-defense.  Now the red-haired young gunfighter with the Mark of Satan on his cheek is on the dodge, trying to outrun the bounty hunters and get himself to Mexico.

But then he runs into a beautiful young woman with the unlikely name of Kyle Bruner.  Kyle is transporting her dead outlaw brother for burial.

The trouble is Kyle's brother is wanted dead or alive.  Bounty hunters are after him, too.

Colter falls under the girl's haunting spell.

He'd better not fall too hard, because sometimes love can be just as deadly as bullets!

"Thank you, Colter," Kyle said.  "You might be hell with a six-gun, but you're right sweet."

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Coming Soon From Mean Pete Press!

This will be up for Christmas.  Mean Pete's going to publish "No-Account Girl" as a single story for .99 and as one story--a long one--in a collection of all the stories Mean Pete has written, snarling all the way, this year.  Should be six stories packed with dust, blood, and gunsmoke all total.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Redemption of Cade Beauchard by Kit Prate

I've written about Kit Prate before, but I'd like to write about her again because she deserves to be written about until she gets at least half the recognition her wonderful writing warrants.

Here's my Amazon review of her latest short-story, pictured above:

This is not a good story, it's a great one.  It rivals Kit Prate's best works--JASON KILENNY'S GUN and LONG RIDE TO LIMBO.  Kit Prate is sort of a cross between the classic western movie directors Sam Peckinpah and Henry Hathaway--visceral and elegant.  I don't know what other writer to compare her to, because she really doesn't write like anyone else.  That's to say I really don't know of any other western writer, living or dead, who is anywhere near as good.  Kit's a totally unique voice.  She's pitched her tent in her own camp on her own hill.  It's a crying shame that she isn't better known than she is, because she deserves to not only be a widely read writer but one who is sufficiently compensated for her truly great contributions to the American Western.  Please read this short story.  It's worth every penny and many more of the 99 it's being sold for.  And then search out all the rest of Kit Prate's stuff.  There's not a lot out there, because Kit's lived a tough life, with damn little time for writing when she wasn't making enough to live and feed her family on writing alone, but you won't be disappointed in any damn one.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Lou Prophet Ain't Poison Mean!

I've been so busy writing that I forgot to write that this reprint of the first Lou Prophet book is up and running at Amazon and elsewhere--from Piccadilly Press.  It's 2.99 and worth every penny!

Now, for an entirely different character....  My short-story, "Poison Mean," is selling like hotcakes over at Amazon.  It's already topped one hundred copies for the month and is averaging between twenty and thirty a day.  This one's about the bad-ass outlaw Chet Villanova, who runs into a mighty obstacle in the form of a pretty prospector's daughter.  (I mean, the girl's pretty, not the prospector.)  It's only a buck but it's worth much more!

Go on over and check it out: