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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

New Release -- LONE STAR RANGER VOL4: A RANGER'S CHRISTMAS by James J. Griffin--Giveaway

Be sure and leave a comment to throw your name in a drawing for a free ebook of James J. Griffin's A RANGER'S CHRISTMAS.

Nate Stewart has avenged the deaths of his family by seeing their pale-eyed murderer dead. But his days of being a Texas Ranger have only just begun. With Christmas on the way, and the Rangers sent to the Big Bend area to patrol, they’re faced with everything from a buffalo stampede to having to resort to finding water any way they can even if it means taking it by force. When Nate believes he may have accidentally killed a friend, he falls into danger that leaves the Rangers believing he’s been drowned. Can a Christmas miracle save him and reunite him with Captain Quincy’s men for A RANGER’S CHRISTMAS?

James J. Griffin's quest for authenticity in his writing has taken him to the famous Old West towns of, Pecos, Deadwood, Cheyenne, Tombstone and numerous others. While Jim's books are fiction, he strives to keep them as accurate as possible within the realm of fiction.

    “We gonna be able to outrun that stampede?” Nate called to Hoot, shouting to be heard over the horses’ thundering hooves and labored breathing.
    “You’d darn well better hope so,” Hoot hollered back. “I’ve seen men killed in cattle stampedes, more’n once. It’s not a pretty sight, and I’d imagine gettin’ trampled by a herd of buffalo would be even worse. I sure don’t want to die that way. I’d sooner take a bullet, any day. So just lay over your horse’s neck and give him his head. Let him run until he’s run out. You just might save your neck if you do.”
    Stung by the fear and urgency in Hoot’s voice, Nate bent as low as he could over Big Red’s withers, and slapped the reins against his neck, getting still more speed out of the long-legged sorrel. Within moments, Red was even overtaking Jeb’s speedy paint, Dudley. Jeb’s gelding had long been the fastest mount in Captain Quincy’s company, but right now, Red was pushing him for all he was worth.

BUY LINKS    B&N Nook   Smashwords

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Just in Time for Christmas -- New Release -- A COVEY OF QUAIL by RIchard Prosch -- Giveaway!

The Jo Harper series continues with an exciting new holiday story. Richard Prosch is giving away one free ecopy of A Covey of Quail to one lucky person who comments, so be sure and leave your contact information.  


He came to Willowby every Christmas, an Arapaho boy looking for something, looking for someone. The first thing Stranger Cat found in 1910 was Jake Trail’s bullets, the next thing he found was a family of friends. But then the weather turned bad, and Jo Harper would have to rely on everything she’d learned as Deputy Constable to lead her covey to safety and, just maybe, a Christmas miracle.

Jo Harper leads her friends straight into the coyote’s den and a Christmas miracle!

    Almost immediately, the teacher had Emily by the collar in one hand and Jo in the other. "I'm ashamed such nonsense is taking place on school property. I might have expected something like this of Frog Beemer. He's just a boy after all. But young ladies like you, Miss Jo Harper. And you, Miss Emily Bly. I expect so much more from you!" 
    Frog couldn't help but smile to himself. Mrs. Salamander was really laying it on thick.
    "And so close to Christmas Eve. Why...uh...girls? Are you listening to me?"
    Just like his teacher, Frog realized the girls weren't listening, at all. In fact, the attention of all four had been drawn away by the figure walking up behind them.
    Sneaking up!
    It was the Indian. Stranger Cat. But he was limping. He was hurt.
    "Excuse me," he said. "I seem to be...killed."

Buy Links          B&N Nook         Smashwords

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

PPB New Release -- Finding the Sky: The Jo Harper Collection by RIchard Prosch -- Giveaway!

Richard Prosch is giving away one free ecopy of Finding the Sky: The Jo Harper Collection to one lucky person who comments, so be sure and leave your contact information.  This is a great collection for old and young alike.


Twelve-year old Jo Harper thought 1910 would be another boring year in the Wyoming range town of Willowby, Wyoming. Then tough-talkin' pistol-shootin' Abby Drake came to town and made Jo a deputy law and order woman...

Collecting four exciting Jo Harper novellas, Finding the Sky pits Jo and her friends against cattle rustlers, outlaws, a bank robber and a tinhorn gambler. With explosions of fire, flaming arrows, and a wild ride in a Model-T, Jo's introspective, early 20th Century life will never again be the same. 


     Laughing and squealing, squinting into the sun, Jo didn’t see where she was going until it was too late. She hit the stranger full on, and bounced down, hard, on the boardwalk.
     Pain shot through Jo’s arm, and she cussed out loud, rolled onto her back, and kept her eyes squeezed shut against the tears.
     Funny bone!
     “Land sakes! Ain’t you a fireball,” said a woman’s voice.
     Holding her elbow tight, Jo opened her eyes.
     Scuffed leather boots, denim pants, a belt cinched tight around a thick middle, and a worn holster stuffed with iron. The woman’s gnarly bronze hand snatched up a big hat from where it had landed on the boardwalk and plopped it back onto a braided gray scalp.
     The face was impossibly old, a wind-burned landscape of chasms and puckered buttes with one eye, focused and alive, blazing over all, and the second one unmoving and made of glass. At her collar, a red neckerchief flapped in the wind “Name’s Abigail Drake,” said the woman. “And I wouldn’t take unkindly to an apology.”
     The breath caught in Jo’s throat. 

BUY LINKS      B&N Nook     Smashwords


Thursday, October 23, 2014

New Release--Shootout in Old Amarillo by Sara Barnard--Giveaway!

Could the Dairy King restaurant be a portal to the past? Kelly will find out on Halloween night.


Halloween night can't get any worse when her boss, Joseph Clanton, is a no-show and Kelly is stuck closing up the Dairy King alone . . . or so she thought. A cryptic order from an empty room and late-season twister combine to make Kelly's Halloween night a truly unforgettable one by sending her spiraling back through the folds of time and depositing her smack in the middle of an ancient grudge match between none other than Wyatt Earp and Ike Clanton. Can Kelly survive the shootout in the streets of Old Amarillo while dodging Virgil's knife and denying Doc Holliday's romantic advances all while trying to find her way back home?


I sighed as the icy Amarillo breeze skittered a handful of dead leaves across the blacktop. Leaning farther out of Dairy King’s drive-through window, I inhaled deeply and willed the heat that burned in my cheeks to cool. Still no sign of Joseph’s car.
The luminous moon, high in the inky sky, had long since risen overhead and beckoned all the little hobgoblins home to sort their candy and deal with the obligatory bellyaches that came with Halloween night. “So much for Dorie Smith’s Halloween party.” I leaned out farther and peered down the deserted highway. Sure enough, candlelight flickered in the old forgotten graveyard across the street. I should be there right now, having a séance with my friends, calling back the ghosts of the Old West.
The heat flared in my cheeks again as I pulled head back in the window and glanced at my watch for the thirtieth time. “Not the best first day of work ever, but I had never figured my boss not to show up and help me close, like he’d promised. He’s not even answering his phone.” I glanced over at the large strawberry milkshake that the last drive-thru customer had ordered then forgot to pick up. Picking it up, I slurped a long gulp and walked back out to the front. Not bad, once I’d figured out how to use the agitator without crushing the Styrofoam cups.
Flicking off the lights, one by one, I swallowed back the anger that tightened my throat behind the thick ice cream. “If I could lock up and just leave, I would.” I hit the last light switch hard. “But no. Joseph said he’d be here with the keys to help me through the last part of my shift then lock up. In plenty of time to get to my Halloween party.” My palm throbbed as I sucked up another soothing drink of milkshake. “Worst. Boss. Ever.”
With a trembling hand, I pulled my phone from the back pocket of my newly-bought-and-freshly-stained khakis. “Since he can’t bother to call or text to check on his new employee, I’m going to send Joseph Clanton a message to end all messages. Then, I’m leaving.” Suddenly aware of the heavy darkness that surrounded me in the empty dining room, I ignored a shudder and moved through the thick plastic doors to the back, where I’d left one light on. “If the place gets looted, it’s his own fault.”
I’d just managed to get my phone unlocked when a familiar buzz met my ears. Before my thumb could hit the text message icon on the touch screen, I froze. Utter terror gripped my bones as I registered the noise I’d heard all too often that day. An order ticket being printed.
The cooks had left much earlier, all having Halloween parties of their own to get to. I was the only one left in the building…wasn’t I?
Slowly, I turned around. Sure enough, a freshly printed ticket stood straight and crisp from the machine nearest me. The strawberry milkshake bubbled in my stomach with a nauseating roil as I reached and tore the ticket free. “Sent from Station One, the cooks’ station, to Station Three, the drive-thru window.” I gulped. Casting a glance over my shoulder at the darkness that loomed behind the metallic freezers, I could have sworn I heard the creak of a door.
Panic began to build in my feet, making my toes twitch in my black Nikes. With adrenaline charging through me, I took one last look at the ticket. The cryptic words sent a final shudder down my spine. “Why r u wet?”
    I gripped my phone so tightly that I feared I would crack the screen as I gave the ticket a fling and pushed through the heavy curtains, back into the dining room. Without looking back, I shoved open the double glass doors and raced into the parking lot. Every horrific scene from every horror movie I’d ever watched flashed through my mind. Bad things always happen in dark parking lots. Tears filled my eyes as I struggled to open the keypad so I could dial 9-1-1 on the touch screen.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

PPB New Release -- Shooting the Moon by RIchard Prosch

Richard Prosch is giving away one free ecopy of Shooting the Moon to one lucky person who comments, so be sure and leave your contact information.

Jo Harper looked forward to the Willowby, Wyoming fall festival all year, but will an explosive bank robbery blow up her career as a law woman?  Going it alone under the harvest moon, the twelve-year old deputy constable will question everything she stands for and push her skills to the limit to save her friends from enemies old and new.

A fiery explosion! A jail break! A ghost town! Jo Harper's most dangerous adventure is here in this exciting sequel to ROPING A PLANET.


October, 1910

    By four o'clock on Friday afternoon, Willowby, Wyoming's Fall Festival was well underway with a jillion people filling the town square. Twelve-year-old Jo Harper had looked forward to the yearly mix of farmer's market, circus carnival, and musical variety show for eleven months, 29 days and three hours. She just naturally kept track of the time. It wasn't like she was counting or anything!
    For a block in every direction, the brick-laid streets of Broadway and Main were closed off to automobile and horse traffic, and decorations were everywhere. Cornhusks tied in tall shocks with colorful ribbons, pumpkins piled high, and clean straw bedding made the streets come alive. Tables stocked with scores of winter goodies led the way to and from a central pine-board bandstand where The Sleepy Settlers would pick up their fiddles and rosin up their bowstrings for a dance on Saturday night. Acres of cozy quilts and thick blankets hung next to jars of fruits, vegetables, and canned meats. The moms traded coats, hats, and mittens. Dads traded jack-knives and know-it-all opinions.
    The sky was as blue as Jo could remember, and though Willowby had recently seen a dusting of snow, it wasn't winter quite yet. There were still a few leaves on the trees and most of the people at the festival had on light flannel jackets or simple yarn sweaters. Jo brushed a speck of dust off her leather jacket, walnut brown with fringes. Normally, she pulled her long black hair into a sturdy braid, but today she let it fly every which way in the autumn wind. She wore a green plaid shirt, tan corduroy trousers, and high lace-up boots. On her jacket, she'd pinned a polished deputy constable's star, but nobody noticed it.
    Probably they just pretended not to notice it.
    Perched on a bench beside the Congregational Church ice-cream stand, directly in front of the brick bank building, Frog Carpenter was dressed in his usual red flannel shirt, overalls and cap. Jo figured she wouldn't see him wear a coat until mid-winter. Not because his adopted parents, the Beemers, couldn't afford one. There were few families in Willowby as wealthy as the Beemers. It's just that Frog rarely slowed down long enough for the cold to touch him.
    "I've already et my supper and dessert," he said, cheeks full of chocolate cake. "And my noon-time dinner was hours ago. What do I call it when we sit down to eat tonight? I can't call it lunch. And I can't have two suppers. Can I?"
    "It's eaten, not et, and I'd call it a vulgar display of over-indulgence," said Jo, practicing her best high-falootin' vocabulary.
    "A booger's play of what?"
    "A vulgar display," said Jo.
    "Whatever that means," said Frog, washing down the cake with a fast swallow of bottled lemon-lime soda. "You're just sore because I got the last hunk of cake." Frog held his plate close to his chest, protective of the small bite that remained.
    Jo sniffed loudly. "Am not," she said, real snooty-like. Well, really. Her, angry with him? Over a piece of cake? The very idea.
    Frog was eleven years old; but next month, Jo would turn thirteen. She was certainly above being envious of Mrs. Beemer's German Chocolate Cake.
    Good as it was. And, it was rrrreeeeeaaally good.
    "Heard your dad was walking around on his stilts?" said Frog.
    Every year, Cecil Harper dressed up and strapped the stilts to his feet for the festival. Usually, Jo was embarrassed by the clown act. But this time, it might be a nice distraction.
    "He's right over there," said Jo, pointing straight into the crowd.
    When Frog turned his head, Jo scooped up the remains of his cake and stuffed it into her mouth.
    Frog stared at his empty plate with surprise. "Did you just steal my cake?"
    "Who's stealing what?" said a familiar voice, and Jo jumped up with a smile.
    "Hi, Abby," she said.
    "Jo stole my cake," said Frog. "Arrest her."
    Willowby's tough lady constable stepped past a pair of bearded homesteaders and stopped beside Frog's bench. She was dressed in her official best, a tan colored buckskin outfit, black string tie, and white Stetson hat. Around her waist, she buckled the weathered leather gunbelt she'd had since her days in Buffalo Bill's Wild West show, and she carried an old-fashioned black-powder Colt Paterson five-shooter in her holster.
    "Hope you two are enjoying yourselves," said Abby, with a wide smile that emphasized the deep grooves time had whittled around her eyes and cheeks. Happy grooves when she smiled, but grooves laid in by anger and sadness too. With more than sixty years living and working in the West, Abigail Drake had seen it all. She'd been a trick-shot and a tracker, a bounty-hunter and a judge. Once, when she’d been careless with a firearm, she’d paid for it by losing an eye. She taught Jo that one serious mistake was all it took to change your outlook on everything.
    "Hope you two are being careful," said Abby.
    Jo thought Abby's glass eye was a good reminder to always be careful. But why had she mentioned it today of all days?
    "Is something wrong, Abby?"
    "Maybe." She put an arm around each of them and led Jo and Frog into the intersection.   "Somebody I saw in the crowd. A man I thought I'd never see again. Seeing this owlhoot here, today of all days, got me to thinking.” Abby pointed at the Willowby Savings and Loan building. "Do me a favor and keep watch on the bank."
    Jo's heart skipped a beat.
    The bank?


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Painted Pony Books New Release -- Roping A Planet by Richard Prosch -- Giveaway

Rich will be giving away a copy of ROPING A PLANET to one person who comments, so be sure to leave a way he can contact you in the comments if you would like to participate in the drawing.

During the autumn of 1910 twelve-year old deputy constable Jo Harper is making the most of a warm Indian Summer until a deadly mystery brings a winter chill to the season. When chief badge toter Abby Drake asks Jo to help promote the movie career of Jupiter, an enormous prize-winning horse, neither of Willowby, Wyoming's top law & order gals expect the storm of fire and flaming arrows that follows.
And with so many other things straying off the trail—from a potential new boyfriend to keeping an autograph book, from a perpetually absent father to the unrelenting progress of 20th century technology—how will Jo rope her destiny and tie up her most dangerous adventure at the same time?

Jo Harper, Abby Drake, and Frog return with Jupiter, "a Horse to Remember!" in this sequel to RACING A DOG STAR.

Red faced with anger, spectacles sliding down her nose, her tiny fist clenched into a marble mallet, Beatrice Dunn pounded the old cherrywood lectern while her gray, crocheted shawl dropped from her long cotton shirt sleeves to the school room floor.
Twelve-year old Jo Harper had never seen the new school marm pitch such a hissy fit, and like the dozen students around her, Jo was fighting a nervous snicker. Chalk dust tickled Jo's nose with each thump of the lectern.
The target of Beatrice’s anger was one of the older boys in the row behind Jo, a farm kid with the unlikely name of Ned Salamander. The herd of wild boys sitting in the bench beside him called him Sally, and not appreciating the nickname, Ned complained aloud. So they teased him all the more, even during math lessons. Naturally, it was Sally, er, Ned that Beatrice blamed for the ruckus.
“Once and for all, I have had enough nonsense, Ned,” said Beatrice. “This is your final warning. Do you hear me young man? Your final warning.”
Seventeen year-old Ned couldn’t keep sober at being called a young man by the equally young Beatrice and, turning to the very boys who teased him, pulled a funny face. The boys laughed like a team of mischievous donkeys. Not that Jo could blame them.
Floundering behind the lectern, Beatrice was only a few years older than Jo, a student herself when the fall semester’s first teacher ended up in jail. As a stand-in, Beatrice was in above her head. And as a girl, she was completely the opposite of Jo. Where Beatrice’s hair was mouse brown and thin, Jo’s long, thick braid was raven black. While Beatrice dressed like a spinster with sweaters and long skirts, Jo wore tough canvas shirts and denim jeans. Beatrice liked to knit. Jo liked to shoot six-guns.
     Beatrice had really tried to be a good teacher, treading water for the past month or two, but she was going under.  Just as Jo started feeling sorry for her, the teacher turned and stomped down the center aisle, then ran from the building.

BUY LINKS:      Barnes and Nobles Nook        Smashwords

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Painted Pony Books New Release -- Lone Star Ranger Book 3: A Ranger to Fight With by James J. Griffin -- Giveaway

James will be giving away a copy of A RANGER TO FIGHT WITH to one person who comments, so be sure to leave a way he can contact you in the comments if you would like to participate in the drawing.

When Captain Quincy's company of Rangers is ordered to the Big Bend, Nate has no choice but to ride with them. It appears his odds of finding the men who murdered his family grow more distant with each passing mile. But a chance encounter with a patrol of buffalo soldiers provides the first solid lead as to the gang's whereabouts--and Captain Quincy's Rangers make a detour to find the pale-eyed demon whose gang has been responsible for so many deaths. Will Nate and his Ranger companions finally catch up with the killers? Nate's gut feeling says they will--but who will survive?

    Nate Stewart lay on his bunk, staring at the ceiling of his tent. His three Texas Ranger tentmates, Hoot Harrison, who had quickly befriended Nate, Jim Kelly, and Dan Morton, were all sleeping, snoring softly. However, Nate was having trouble falling asleep. 
    Tomorrow, the Rangers would break camp and head for the Big Bend. That meant Nate would be riding with them, leaving behind the ranch where his father, mother, and older brother had been murdered by outlaws, and Nate himself left for dead. The men responsible were still out there somewhere, and Nate was determined to see them brought to justice. However, that would have to wait. 
    The Ranger company he was with had been ordered to far West Texas, and he had no choice but to go with them. Already, everything which could be packed ahead of time was bundled up, most of the supplies loaded in George Bayfield’s chuck wagon. 
    At first light, the men would eat a quick breakfast, the tents would be taken down, and everything loaded on pack mules. An hour after sunrise, they would be on the trail, heading west.
    Nate sighed as he thought back on everything that had happened to him in the past few weeks; how unexpectedly his life had changed. He had moved with his family from a home in Wilmington, Delaware to a small ranch outside San Saba, Texas. 
    After the attack which left Nate an orphan, he had been found and nursed back to health by a company of Texas Rangers. With no family or friends in Texas, it appeared Nate would have to move back to Delaware, to live with his aunt, uncle, and eight cousins. However, fate had taken a hand when Jeb Rollins, the Ranger arranging for his trip home, had been confronted by a group of rustlers. 
    In the ensuing gunfight, Nate had saved Jeb’s life by tackling and knocking out one of the gunmen, before he could shoot the Ranger. Jeb decided Nate had enough guts, and potential, to be taken on as a camp helper for his Ranger company, despite Nate’s age of only fourteen.
    I’ve learned how to use a gun since then, Nate thought, to care for and ride a horse, and how to handle myself with my fists… not to mention takin’ on someone in a knife fight. I’ll sure never forget what Hoot taught me about that. 
    I’ve shot a couple of men, and been shot and nearly killed myself. If I hadn’t stuffed my train tickets and the rest of my papers back in my shirt pocket, then forgotten about them, the bullet which hit me in the chest would’ve killed me. Even at that, I’m real lucky those papers man-aged to stop that slug. 
    I’ve tried smokin’, which I doubt I’ll try again, drunk te-quila and whiskey, learned how to play cards, and thought about huggin’ and kissin’ a girl. 
    He softly chuckled. He—I mean, heck, I’ve even learned how to cuss some. My ma’d sure have washed out my mouth with soap if she ever heard me doin’ that. 
    I helped stop a bank robbery, and made some good friends. I only wish I’d caught up with the men who killed my folks. 
    I’ve had two more run-ins with ’em since, even managed to put a bullet into that pale-eyed son of Satan who leads the gang, but they’re still on the loose, after killin’ some of my partners, and more innocent folks. 
    Nate sighed again. After all that, I’m still not certain what I’ll do when I have to come face to face with a man, over leveled six-guns. I don’t know if I’ll be able to pull the trigger under those circumstances. 
    And for my pards to count on me, I need to be a Ranger they can fight with.

With those thoughts, he drifted into an uneasy sleep.    



Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Painted Pony Books New Release -- The Saga of Indian Em'ly: Book 2 On The Colorado Trail by Sara Barnard -- Giveaway

Our own Prairie Rose Publications author Sara Barnard has a new release through our Painted Pony Books imprints--the second in her Indian Em'ly series! She's giving away a free copy to one lucky commenter today! Be sure to leave a way to contact you in the comments if you would like to participate in the drawing for a free ecopy of this book, and wish her much luck with her new series!.


The pale face soldiers have torn Wind That Knocks Down Lodges and Cactus Flower's world apart. After finding themselves at the mercy of the Army, far from Apache Territory and well on the trail to Colorado, Knocks Down's choices are dwindling rapidly. After a failed attempt at escape that leaves Cactus Flower injured and both of them in danger, can Knocks Down bring himself to trust the soldier, Pale Face Joe? His life depends on it, and his little sister's does, as well!


    The feeling of needing to be sick and vomit rolled over me and my pounding head as the light from the sun attacked my eyes. Pale face chatter filled my ears, making the rolling in my stomach churn all the more violently. The pale face chatter grew louder as I struggled to come awake.
    Dirty brown fabric, the kind that seemed to be a favorite of the pale face soldiers, was all around me, like a cocoon.
    “Cactus Flower?” Her name was broken and dry on my parched lips. How long had I been asleep? “Cactus Flower,” I tried again.
    Pulling at the canvas, I studied our surroundings. We moved in a line, inside wagons pulled by Army horses. Soldiers, with their shooting horses drawn from their scabbards, rode alongside. The raw emotion of fear burned in my dry throat. Nothing about this land was familiar. Not the roll of a hill, or the shadow of a canyon. My heart began to thunder in my chest and a twitching in my legs urged me to jump from the Army wagon and run to safety far from here. Far from the soldiers that killed first Silver Sky, and then my mother.
    Glancing around the foreign land, my eyes hungered for something familiar. A wild rose perhaps? Wildly, my gaze danced over the rugged, dusty desert. The Army had taken us far from the land where the wild roses bloom, far from our home. I swallowed hard and blinked back the tears that brimmed, for a warrior of     The People must never show fear, even if his heart trembled with it.
    A terrifying thought pushed its way to the front of my mind. Can it still be The Moon When The Wild Roses Bloom if there are no wild roses to bloom? I looked down at my hands on the rough wood of the wagon box. They had begun to tremble. I struggled to find a logical reason to my newfound predicament. Perhaps time was measured differently here, faster no doubt, on the pale faces’ trail.
    “Cactus Flower!” I choked on her name in my dry, nauseated throat. Lifting one trembling hand, I shielded my eyes from the sun, which did little to ease my pounding head. While the wild roses weren’t blooming here, the same sun was still assaulting my tired eyes. Perhaps time was still measured the same on the pale face trail.
    Tom’s voice boomed loud, from just the other side of the dirty canvas, making me jump and forget my thoughts of timekeeping. Then, he laughed. My mother’s murderer laughed. I sit in here, terrified and miserable, and the pale face who has hidden my sister, murdered my mother, and taken me from my home rides free upon the back of a horse.And he laughs.  



Tuesday, August 19, 2014

New Release -- Racing a Dog Star by Richard Prosch -- Giveaway

A free ecopy will be given to one person who comments today. Be sure to leave a way to contact you if you want to participate in the giveaway.

Flung headlong into the Dog Days of summer by multiple mysteries that may or may not be related, Jo Harper and Frog Carpenter face: 

An uncanny schoolmaster! 
A bubbling, bucking Model-T! 
Rattlesnake danger! 
Old West outlaws! 
and the worst thing of all...the first day of school! 

In this sequel to WAITING FOR A COMET, Jo, Frog and sure-shootin' lady Constable Abby Drake return for another visit to the exciting town of Willowby, Wyoming in the hot, dry summer of 1910.

    Right after sunrise on the first day of school, Jo Harper beamed with radiant pride while constable Abby Drake pinned a polished silver star over Jo’s heart. The deputy's badge gleamed in the early sunlight, and just to be sure, Abby bent over and breathed hard, fogging the surface before giving it a final touch with her big, red hanky. Standing tall beside Abby's oak desk, Jo dropped her chin to her neck and tried to read the badge upside down. It sure enough said "Deputy Constable."  She reached up and pinched her own ear. 
    “What’d you do that for?” said Abby.
    “Wanted to make sure it wasn’t a dream,” said Jo. 
    “How dumb is that?” said Jo’s friend, Frog Carpenter. 
    Around them, Abby's office came awake as the shadows of night melted away and the stove's iron coffee pot burped its fresh brewed fragrance into the air. Jo heard the familiar clop, clop of horses and wagons outside, taking to the streets of Willowby, Wyoming and, as befit that progressive year of 1910, she caught the sound of an automobile chugging to life in the distance.
    "You're a full-fledged deputy of the law now, Jo," said Abby. "Even if we do need to keep it between ourselves. I'm not putting it down in my log. It’s too much paperwork, and the city council would never approve a twelve-year-old girl deputy."
    Jo fought the tears coming to her eyes. She blinked hard and turned away from Abby, but the constable hooked a calloused finger on Jo's chin. Jo looked at the old woman and smiled. 
    "A good sob of joy ain't nothing to be ashamed of," said Abby.
    Abigail Drake didn't get to be as old as she was by letting things go. Jo pegged her at around sixty, but with the energy of somebody just starting out. Standing with her back to the window, Abby's windburned features were hidden in shadow. She was far from what anyone would call a ravishing beauty, especially with only one real eye—  and a second one made of glass. But Jo, whose mother died years before, saw the compassion in Abby's face. A warm smile tempered the stern discipline of her jaw and tough, long gray braid hanging over her shoulder. All the good folks in town admired Abby. And the bad people were scared of her to the worn out soles of their shoes.
    Jo wondered if she could ever command the kind of respect from both sides of the law that Abby had earned. She turned to the framed mirror that hung beside Abby's desk. Her gingham red shirt contrasted nicely with the green of her eyes. Unlike other girls on this first day of school, she wore rough beige canvas trousers. Her hair was the color of night, worn long in a sturdy braid that hung straight down her back. She took another peek at the star on her chest. "One day I'll wear this star out in the open."
    "It's best kept between you and me for now," said Abby.

Richard Prosch writes western crime fiction that captures the history and lonely frontier stories of his youth, where characters aren’t always what they seem and the wind burned landscapes are filled with swift, deadly danger. Richard’s work appeared in The Protectors, an anthology to benefit children; and most recently, his short story "Hester's Vanity" was featured in the hardcover anthology Rough Country from High Hill Press. His newest collection, One Against a Gun Horde is now available for Kindle at His work has also appeared at Optimist International and online at Boys' Life, as well as many non-fiction print publications.

99 Cent Buy Links     Smashwords  B&N Nook

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Why Westerns for Younger Readers

We all keep hearing it.  "The Western is dead". "No one reads Westerns anymore, except for old folks."

Well, that just isn't true, although Johnny Depp and Disney have probably done more to kill off the Western movie with their truly awful Lone Ranger movie than a hundred bad books. It was a disaster at the box office, and deservedly so.

But, back to writing Westerns, especially for younger readers. Kids do still read, despite the distractions of computers, video games, organized sports, growing up too fast, and so on and so on. However, you have to write what kids want to read. It's especially hard to write stories that will interest boys. This is where the Western novel fills the bill perfectly. A good Western has plenty of action, which is the main thing boys look for. There's riding, fist fights, laughs, and of course shooting and gunfights, which boys weaned on shoot -'em -up video games eat up.  So you've already got something that will appeal to a lot of boys.

Then, you add in a suspenseful plot, usually make the hero, or one of them, a boy of fifteen or a bit younger, and toss that kid into the middle of the action. You sneak in some history, and the reader has a learning experience without even realizing it.

And that's another reason I write Westerns. Too much has been forgotten about the heritage of our own country. Everything nowadays is diversity, and respect for other cultures. That's all well and good, but in too many cases we've neglected, or even worse, made the people who settled the United States and Canada out to be the bad guys. Diversity has to include everyone, and that includes the people who settled our countries and made them great. So I write Westerns to help keep our heritage and history alive. If they're entertaining, and enjoyable to read, then I've done my job. I hope some of you agree with me that I have.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

PPB New Release: Lone Star Ranger Volume 2: A Ranger To Reckon With by James J. Griffin

We are giving away one free ecopy of James J. Griffin's A Ranger To Reckon With. You have to leave a comment for a chance to win.

Nate Stewart’s parents and older brother are brutally murdered by a gang of raiders on the Texas plains, and Nate is left for dead. But a company of Texas Rangers saves his life, and through a twist of fate, Nate proves himself as a provisional Ranger.  At fourteen years old, he’s too young to join the ranks of the Rangers just yet—but he’s not too young to seek out the men who killed his family!
From fighting with a knife to imbibing his first bottle of tequila, Nate learns some much-needed lessons in growing up. But when he and pal Hoot Harrison confront a gang of bank robbers, Nate is faced with self-doubt.

A bloody confrontation with the pale-eyed devil who leads the band of marauders comes unexpectedly—quickly, violently—and ends with the deaths of more innocent ranch hands in a raid eerily similar to the one that took Nate’s family. Only this time, Nate isn’t the green youngster he was before. He’s got a gun and he knows how to use it. He’s A RANGER TO RECKON WITH…

   Texas Ranger Captain Dave Quincy had recruited two new men, Larry Cannon and Lee Shelton.  After supper that evening, they were sitting by the slowly dying campfire, along with Jeb Rollins, having final cups of coffee and cigarettes before turning in for the night.
   “Jeb,” Lee said. “Those two boys who rode in earlier today. They seem awful young to be Rangers, especially that Nate kid.”
   “They’re both older’n they look,” Jeb answered. “Hoot’s been with us for quite a spell now. As for how Nate became part of the outfit, that’s quite a tale. And, he’s still a probationary Ranger.”
   Jeb took another swallow of his coffee, then a drag on his cigarette.
   “Well, don’t keep us waitin’,” Larry said. “Tell us about him.”
   “All right. We came upon Nate just after his family’s ranch was raided. His ma, pa, and older brother were all killed. Nate had been shot and left for dead. We found him in a root cellar. After we patched him up and buried his folks, we had to decide what to do with him. Bein’ as he had no family left in Texas, the only choice—or so we thought—was to send him back to live with relatives in Delaware, where his family’d come from. Somethin’ happened to change those plans, though.”
   “That’s pretty plain,” Lee said. “What was it?”
   “Nate decided he wanted to stay in Texas. We couldn’t figure out a way to do that. Then, as luck would have it, I ran across a bunch of rustlers the Rangers had been after for quite a spell. Mort Stevenson, and four others. Ended up havin’ a shootout with ’em. Carl Swan, the hombre who rode in with those boys today, took a hand. So did Nate. One of Stevenson’s men was about to plug me. Nate jumped on him and knocked him out. Saved me from a bullet in my guts. So, I figured he had enough sand in his craw that we could take him on as a camp helper. Cap’n Quincy put him on as a probationary Ranger instead. And that sure turned out to be the right decision.”
   “How so, Jeb?” Larry asked.
   “Nate wasn’t so certain he could cut it as a Ranger. Truthfully, neither was I. The boy was real green. Still is, in some ways. But he’s a real quick learner, and got plenty of guts to go with his smarts. Not long after he joined us, the same outfit who killed his folks ambushed us. They’re a right clever bunch. Sent a deputy who was in cahoots with ’em to start most of us on a wild goose chase. We rode straight into a bushwhackin’. And while we were lookin’ for ’em, some of the outfit attacked the men we left behind. One of those was Nate. The deputy had also remained in camp, supposedly because he was too worn out to ride with us. But he was with another part of the bunch. They intended to hit the camp and wipe out every man in it. However, Nate ruined their plans. He spotted what the deputy was up to, and warned the camp just before they were attacked. We did lose six men that night, four who were with the patrol and two in camp, but Nate kept ’em from killin’ everyone who stayed behind, while they were sleepin’. Got himself shot that night, but he healed up right quick. No sir, don’t you worry about Nate bein’ too young. That boy’s gonna be a Ranger to reckon with.” 

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

New Release--The Saga of Indian Em’ly: The Apache and the Pale Face Soldiers -- Giveaway

We are giving away one free ecopy of Sara Barnard's new juvenile story. You have to leave a comment for a chance to win.

Wind That Knocks Down Lodges loves his Apache mother Shining Waters, his grandfather Chief Strawberry Moon, his baby sister Cactus Flower and the wildness of the desert canyonland they call home. He has even developed a rough-hewn trust for Cactus Flower’s father, the pale face soldier from the fort that their mother loves. In one night of gross misunderstanding and novice mistakes, Knocks Down and Cactus Flower’s innocent young world is broken and shaken before they find themselves locked in the soldier fort with the pale faces and their mother’s lifeless body. With no one to lean on but each other and the fragile balance between the Apache and the soldiers irreparably upset, Knocks Down and Cactus Flower must make their way as children of The People in the pale face world – pale faces who have now become the enemy.

Something wasn’t right. The night animals ceased their songs in unison, and another troublesome cloud shrouded the moon. An icy shiver trickled down my backbone to the tune of silence. The happy drumming coming from the camp, telling the world of the birth of Red Lake’s firstborn son, had slowed to a stop. I froze, pulling Cactus Flower back onto her bottom. She rose from the hard-packed earth, her bottom lip puffed out and her inky eyebrows knitted together above her eyes. Before she could open her mouth to speak, a flock of beating wings sent me cowering, nose first, into the dirt beside her.

“Knocks Down, why did those birds –”

Instinctively, I slapped my hand over her mouth, taking care enough to be gentle. No sooner had she quieted, than another sound echoed through the solemn night air.

“Halt! Who goes there?”

I slipped my finger over my lips, wordlessly instructing Cactus Flower to remain silent. She nodded and I removed my hand from over her mouth. 


Sara Barnard is the mother of four beautiful children and wife to a handsome Texan. She earned her BA in European History in 2006 is now pursuing her MA in her spare time, as well as her teacher certification.

Sara has been struck by the Indian Em'ly legend since her first visit to Fort Davis, Texas at the tender age of 8. Some of her other writings include Christian fiction, Amish fiction, children's fiction and children's nonfiction, as well as Civil War romance. Look for the three other books in the Indian Em'ly series; On the Colorado Trail, The Orphanage, and Coming Home, all coming soon from Painted Pony Books! 

Sara and her family make their home in the far reaches of west Texas with three rescue dogs (two from Italy, one from Texas) and three rescue cats (one from Colorado, one from Oklahoma, and one from Texas) amid the jackalopes, tumbleweeds, and of course, lots and lots of oil.

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Review of Lone Star Ranger: A Ranger to Ride With

Rough Edges: Faith and the Law #1: The Ambush/Lone Star Ranger ...: Nobody writes about the Texas Rangers with more passion and enthusiasm than James J. Griffin. He's recently started two new series which...