Monday, January 19, 2015


Purchase at AMAZON
Purchase at BARNES & NOBLE

Or, The Bounty Poachers

Lock and load with bounty hunters Lou Prophet and the Vengeance Queen, Louisa Bonnaventure, as they ride the hardest, bloodiest trails on the western frontier, on their relentless quest to bring the baddest of the western badmen...and sometimes justice.

This time out, Prophet and his comely partner and sometime-lover are on the trail of the notorious rapist and killer, Chaz Savidge. Running Savidge to ground is one thing. Holding onto the slippery killer is another thing altogether.

A knew kind of bounty hunter is infesting the west. Bounty hunters who steal the quarry of other hunters. Bounty poachers is what Lou Prophet calls them, and it’s men of this seedy, back-shooting variety who shadow Prophet and Louisa as they try to get Chaz Savidge from Dakota Territory to Denver, where they intend to turn their prisoner into the Chief U.S. Marshal and collect the bounty on his head.

Several of these men, including a ruthless Englishman and former buffalo hunter named “Squire” Chivington, who packs a Big Fifty Sporting Rifle, are out for easy meal tickets in the form of Chaz Savidge’s already-captured head.

But maybe Prophet’s and Louisa’s most formidable foe isn’t among the countless men hunting them, after all. Maybe their most dangerous enemy is a young, grief-stricken pioneer widow whose husband and lover lie dead on her cabin floor...

“Wake up, there,” Prophet said, louder, and opened the man’s blankets.
A red-haired man, Burrow, lay staring up at him. His mouth was twisted in horror. A long, wide gash shown across his throat. The man’s chest was covered with a thick blood pudding.
“Holy Christ,” Prophet raked out, stepping over the dead man to the other man on the other side of the fire.
That man lay on his side. Prophet kicked him over, and he lay staring up at Prophet with much the same expression as Burrow. His throat, too, had been cut from ear to ear and he was still trying to scream a scream that, even when new, likely hadn’t made it past his vocal chords.
Cold sweat bathed Prophet as he stared down in wonder.
Then the word snapped like a small-caliber pistol in his brain:
Before he even realized what he was doing, he was launching himself off the heels of his boots and into the darkness beyond the fire. At the same time, he heard a low screech, like the beginning of a scream issued by a very old woman.
The screech grew until it merged with the thumping roar of a high-powered rifle, and slammed loudly into a tree inches from where Prophet had been standing, spraying bark and large wood chunks in all directions.
Prophet hit the ground and rolled, wincing as the sawed-off shotgun dug into his back and then hammered the back of his head as he rolled farther away from the firelight. As he rolled, he realized with a sickening feeling that he’d lost his rifle...

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Coming Next Week!

SAVIDGE KEPT HIS EYES on Louisa, who stopped beside Prophet. She was thumbing fresh cartridges through her Winchester’s loading gate. She didn’t say anything as she regarded the killer coldly.
“Why, that’s nothin’ but a girl who...came in there...done all that....”
Savidge was deeply confounded.
“Nothin’ but a girl,” Prophet said.
“Nothin’ but,” Louisa said, pumping a round into her Winchester’s breech and taking one step toward Savidge.
“Louisa, take it easy,” Prophet said.
“I’m gonna kill him,” Louisa said coolly, staring at Savidge.
“Hey, now, wait a minute!” Savidge said, backing away, holding his hands up higher. “I done tossed my guns down. That was the deal!”
“What about the folks in the barn?” Louisa asked him.
Savidge stared at her, his little, too-close-together eyes darting around in their sockets like frightened mice scurrying around in a hole.
“Louisa, settle down,” Prophet said. “We’re taking him in alive.”
“Why should he get to live?” Louisa said. “The folks in the barn didn’t get to live.”
“There’s a two thousand dollar bounty on his head,” Prophet told her. “Seems Uncle Sam wants this bastard alive so they can play cat’s cradle with his head their ownselves. Don’t know why Sam should get all the fun, but that’s the way it is. They won’t pay if he’s dead. I’ve dealt with Sam before.”
Louisa just stared solemnly up at Chaz Savidge. Her blond hair blew around her shoulders in the wind. She had her Winchester aimed at Savidge from her right hip. “I don’t care about the money.”
“Maybe you don’t, but I do. I for one have about three dollars and some jingle in my pockets, and my stomach’s been growlin’ for nigh on three weeks. Stand down, Louisa!”
“I’ll buy you a meal in the next town, Lou,” Louisa said in her dull, even voice that she kept so low that Prophet could just barely hear her above the breeze scratching around in the barren branches behind him. “I’ll buy you some whiskey and even a whore. I know that’s all you’re worried about. Whiskey and whores and having enough money to gamble away. So I’ll even slip you a few extra dollars to buy into a stud game. How would that be?”
Her voice was fairly dripping with sarcasm.
Rage was beginning to boil inside of Prophet. “Louisa, you got little more jingle than I do. We do this for a living, not the religion of it. Now, stand down, partner!”
“I do it for the religion of it, Lou.”
Prophet stomped up beside her. “Stand down!”
Chaz Savidge was flushed and flustered. He kept his hands up even with his head, palms out. He was breathing hard.
“What is she—loco? She can’t just out an’ out kill me. It ain’t right. Especially a girl doin’ it. That ain’t right!
“What’s not right is you killing innocent folks. Raping innocent girls.”
“I had nothin’ to do with that! That was the others.”
Louisa smiled grimly.
“It’s true. I had none of that. That...that’s just not how I am. I don’t operate that way.”
“Oh, I think you do.”
Prophet reached over and jerked the rifle out of Louisa’s hands. Inadvertently, she tripped the trigger. The bullet sailed off behind Savidge but not before drawing a red line across the outlaw’s bulging left temple.
“Hey!” the outlaw screamed, brushing his hand across his forehead and looking at the blood on his fingers. “She’s goddamn crazy!”
Prophet tossed her rifle away.
Louisa glared up at him for a full thirty seconds. Her jaws were so hard they made her cheeks dimple. “I got two more,” she said, lifting the bottom of her poncho above the pearl handles of her pretty matched Colts.
Prophet leveled his Winchester at her belly. “If you use ‘em on him, I’ll shoot you.”
She stared up at him, her right eyelid dropping slightly down over that eye. “You wouldn’t. What’s more, you couldn’t.”
“On principal,” Prophet said, “I would. And I could. I don’t do that. I don’t kill in cold blood. And I’m not gonna let you do it, either.”
“Mighty high principal for a man who has so few.”
“I got that one.”
“What about whiskey and whores?”
“Those I don’t got.”