Sunday, November 22, 2015


Unbelievably, the year 2015 is drawing to a close. Boy, was that quick! It was a great year for the Western Fictioneers. We added more members, saw the release of many fantastic new western novels and short stories, and gathered for our first convention. 

I can’t let the year go by without acknowledging a very special birthday. This year, the iconic Stetson hat is turning 150 years old! In 1865, John B. Stetson set up a little shop in Philadelphia and began hand-making the classic “Boss of the Plains,” which became the favored hat for ranchers, cowboys and movie stars. There is evidence that he had been working on prototypes since 1860. 

That means that, up until 1865, westerners wore an assortment of hat styles. The most common hat was actually the bowler, or derby hat. (Think Butch and Sundance.) Larger brimmed hats evolved from southern planter hats and sombreros worn by southwestern vaqueros. But it was John B. Stetson who is credited with the creation of the classic cowboy hat as we know it.
"The Boss of the Plains"

The felt was made from a mixture of fur and water and then shaped into a high-crowned, wide-brimmed hat that protected its wearer from rain and heat and cold. Later styles featured creased crowns and curled brims to suit each owner’s personality and needs. Click here for a cool video outlining the process of making a Stetson hat.

Buffalo Bill Cody, Annie Oakley, Calamity Jane, Will Rogers and Tom Mix all wore Stetsons. By the early 1900’s, Stetson owned the country’s largest hat factory. This popularity continued throughout the “flapper” and World War II eras, as Stetson released modified styles to suit changing fashion trends.

By the 1980s, it became more economical for Stetson to license other partners to make its hats. They also branched out into other products: fragrances, luggage, home decor items, and even bourbon.
The Stetson Hat Company continues to try new ways to keep “on top” of the mercurial world of fashion. The current CEO of Stetson is Izumi Kajimoto, a Japanese-born fashion executive who came up through the ranks of designer labels Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs and Calvin Klein. Kajimoto sees the brand appealing to the “hipster” demographic and European markets, since there is a shift toward more sophisticated dress. This year’s 150th Anniversary Collection includes both traditional western hats and smaller brimmed fedora types.
The Paragon
150th Anniversary Collection

The Benchmark
150th Anniversary Collection
Styles come and go, but it appears that the Stetson is an American classic destined to last. And, yes, every single Stetson is still made right here in the USA…Garland, Texas, as a matter of fact.

Happy birthday to you, dear Stetson…and many, many more!

All the best,


Keep up with Vonn!


Friday, November 20, 2015

Ranger Jim's Ramblings for November

Okay, I'll admit it, I completely missed the date for my posting. I'm still recovering from the fantastic Western Fictioneers convention in St. Louis. Thanks to Micki for all her hard work, and to everyone who helped in any way.

Plus. my 50th anniversary high school reunion is coming up in 2017, and we've  been having some mini-reunions. Yankee was invited to the most recent one. This photo was taken yesterday at Donovan's Reef Restaurant in Branford,  CT.

So, I'm just going to close this short post by wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving (which also happens to be my birthday this year.

"Ranger" Jim

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


Clichés are the bane of a writer’s existence. (I think I just used a cliché!) They’re so easy to fall back on because we’ve heard them all of our lives and they’ve become a part of our speech patterns—so, of course, when we write, they invade our work there, as well.

I really didn’t notice how often clichés appeared in the books I read until I wrote my own book, and my editor sent me a very nice note telling me I needed to go through and remove the clichés and find a different way of wording some of the passages…I had never seen so much red ink in my life!

(This is the first iteration of FIRE EYES--the one that had all the "red ink" in it!)

I got better as time has gone on, but there are still instances when I think, “Nothing else will do!” And I have to tell myself, “Yes. You’ll think of a different way to say it.”

As a reader, I do notice those clichés more now than I did before. And if there are too many of them, I have been known to lay the book down…for good. You might think such a thing isn’t a HUGE deal, but for me, being aware of it tends to jerk me out of the story when I see too many of them.

I subscribe to a newsletter called “QUORA” – it’s a fun little online publication, where people write in with questions and other people answer them. The rest of us can “upvote” the answers if we agree. Yesterday I came across this question: What are the most common clichés in fiction writing? Author Ellen Vrana gives these answers—and they're darn good! I had to laugh—I’ve used plenty of these. Take a look:

(PHOTO by Rick Burgess Photography )
Every oak tree is gnarled.

Every gentle wave is lapping upon the shore. Every mountain town is nestled in a valley, every chimney produces curled rings of smoke.

Every politician is slick, every banker is soulless. Journalists are moral and hardworking. Teachers are worn out. Every woman is unsatisfied, every man is flippant. Mothers are worn out too, but the fathers are emotionless. Every woman has jet black hair and every day starts with bitter coffee (which might also be scorching) and ends with whiskey (who drinks whiskey?) and ice that clinks.

(Or is it chinks? My eyes glaze over...)

In the city there are cars honking, lights blinking and there are many things that are incessant; noise, screams, cries, honking. Oh, and blaring lights. Lots of blaring lights which sometimes flicker.

The country has chirping crickets and waving grass. Parched earth abounds, there is lots and lots and lots of dust. The moon is always bathing things, the fog is always thick or dense, sometimes both. Thunderstorms rage while thunder cracks. Lighting illuminates, what, I don't know. The sun shines down, as opposed to up, and clouds really don't do anything except move.

Waves crash. Cars don't.

Tears roll down cheeks and faces break into smiles while the eyes always crinkle, when they aren't sparkling, or flashing. Hair shines or curls, always curls. People are clad in clothing, never just clothed in it. Necklaces dangle and bracelets chink. Arms are thick and strong and eyes meet more than people.

Thoughts race or sometimes pervade while anger boils. Chills run up or down spines, depending on where you live, and ideas aren't just clear, they are crystal clear.

What is crystal? It's what you drink your whiskey in. With the ice that clinks.

Things are notably pale, thick, greasy, cold, strong and dry which don't need to be. If it's a pillow we know it's soft. Ditto Coke and cold. Words like eat and ran and speak are passed over for gobbled and raced and exclaimed. People can't just hold they have to clasp, they can't cry they have to sob and they can't stop they have to come to a halt.

I'm not tired, I'm fatigued. I'm not messy, I'm disheveled. I'm not sad, I'm despondent.

Ah whatever, at least I'm not gasping for breath or not sleeping a wink over the use of clichés. Every writer falls for them, at some time or another.

Every oak tree is gnarled. Even this one.

(There was a reason I picked this particular photo that Rick did--the "gnarled tree", the colors that looked "as though they were painted", and the water that reflects those colors "like a mirror"...)

I’m giving away a digital copy of the PRAIRIE ROSE PUBLICATIONS’ upcoming Christmas anthology for 2015—A MAIL-ORDER CHRISTMAS BRIDE! This fantastic collection of stories will be available on November 27. It’s got a fabulous line up of authors, including Kathleen Rice Adams, Tanya Hanson, Livia J Washburn, along with debut author Jesse J Elliot, Patti Sherry-Crews, Jacquie Rogers, Meg Mims, and yours truly.

What cliché grates on your nerves or holds fond memories for you? Leave a comment about it to be entered in this wonderful give-away!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


The journey from Missouri to Arkansas aboard the steamboat Ella Hughes left the newly-appointed judge for the Western District of Arkansas exhausted and uncomfortable. 

Judge Isaac Parker  sat on the wooden bunk in his spartan passenger cabin thinking about the monumental challenges awaiting him. The court was considered disorganized and corrupt, a situation created by his predecessor William Story, impeached for bribery and forced to resign.

Parker arrived at  Fort Smith on May 4, 1875,  where he would spend more than two decades as head of the U.S. Court for the Western District of Arkansas. Wasting no time in establishing his presence, Parker appeared on the bench for the first time less than a week later.

On that day, May 10th, eight men were judged guilty of murder. Each received a federally-mandated death sentence. Less than four months later, six of the men were hanged at the same time—a clear, unambiguous message of Judge Parker’s hardline attitude when it came to law and order.

Born October 15, 1838, Isaac Charles Parker grew up just outside Barnesville, in Belmont County, Ohio. 

At 17, he decided to pursue a legal career. He passed the bar exam in 1859 and moved to St. Joseph, Missouri. Two years later, he opened his own law firm and earned a wealth of experience in the municipal and court criminal court system.

His political experience included winning election to the post of city attorney. He also served as a member of the Electoral College in the fall of 1864 and cast a vote for Abraham Lincoln. 

Parker won appointment as a judge for the Twelfth Missouri Circuit. In 1870, he won a Congressional seat. With no chance for re-election, he parlayed his loyalty to the Republican Party into an appointment as judge of the Western District. 

Because of the heavy migration of settlers into the vast Indian Territory, crime spiraled. 

Most US district judges spent their time on civil cases. Parker, on the other hand, dealt with thousands of criminal cases, many of which involved disputes and violence between Indians and non-Indians.

In his book, Isaac C. Parker: Federal Justice on the Frontier, author Michael J. Brodhead wrote that Parker, toward the end of his life, told a reporter: “The Indian Race is not one of criminals. There have been sporadic cases of crime among them it is true, but as a people they are good citizens.” Brodhead points out that in 1895, Parker told a congressional committee that “white intruders were largely responsible for lawlessness in the Indian Territory…”

During his more than twenty-one years on the bench at Fort Smith, he sentenced 160 people to death. For fourteen of those years, he did so while the condemned had no right of appeal. Parker appointed George Maledon as Lord High Executioner.

Seventy-nine were executed, 43 were commuted to life in prison or lesser terms, two won presidential pardon, 31 filed appeals and were either acquitted or had their convictions overturned, two were granted new trials and set free, one was shot and killed trying to escape, and a couple of men died in jail while awaiting execution.

In 1896, Parker wrote, “I am the most misunderstood and misrepresented of men. Misrepresented because misunderstood." 

He also emphasized his concept of justice was singular in nature: “Do equal and exact justice,' is my motto, and I have often said to the grand jury, 'Permit no innocent man to be punished, but let no guilty man escape.'"

Although Parker has often been referred to as the Hanging Judge, the term didn't appear until the 1920s—nearly thirty years after he died.


A novelist, storyteller, and naturally curious amateur historian, Tom Rizzo's new three-volume collection, TALL TALES FROM THE HIGH PLAINS & BEYOND, features more than 180 true stories. Featuring characters and events of the Old West, the stories are created with a fictional technique that eases readers into the middle of the action.

For more stories like this at Western Fictioneers, and for a FREE SAMPLER of all three volumes, visit Tom's Blog. If you enjoyed the story above, please share it with friends.

Rediscover the Historical West!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Convention Highlights: Social Media for Western Authors

In case you missed the convention - or even if you didn't! - here are the highlights of the Social Media Panel (Part 1):

According to survey findings, e-book reading consumers aged 18-29 are two times more likely to use social media for book discovery than those aged 45-60, and over three times more likely as those aged over 60.

Alan Rinzler, consulting editor, says, "The New Author Platform requires a focus on developing an unobstructed back and forth between authors and their readers, with the authors — not the publishers — controlling the flow. Now it’s the author, not a publicist, who inspires readers to buy the book. The New Author Platform allows not only well-established authors, but unknown, first-time beginners to do an end run around the conservative gate-keepers and reach readers directly.

Successful authors today are designing websites filled with their work-in-progress, writing frequently updated blogs, tweeting, and shooting home-style, brief videos to post on their sites and on YouTube. They’re offering original content in samples and chunks, with invitations for feedback, and taking every opportunity to comment and join forums and other online venues on topics that relate to their own work."

Tim Grahl, book marketing specialist, gives us three myths about social media

MYTH #1: Growing your social media following will increase your fame.
Social media is a reflection of your fame, not a way to increase your fame.

MYTH #2: There's a way to use social media that works - you just haven't figured it out yet. Social media is the most public thing you see - but it just doesn't generate a lot of sales.

MYTH #3: If I get a big enough following, it'll turn into book sales.

TRUTH #1: It's a great way to connect with individuals. Social media is not a mass strategy: it's a one-to-one strategy.

TRUTH #2: It's easier to leverage other people's followings than to build your own. Retweet and share so that your name pops up in their followers' feeds.

50% of marketing works -- we just don't know which 50%

7 Ways Agents Measure Social Media:
  1. Facebook likes - how popular your author page is on Facebook
  2. Facebook engagement - "number of people talking about this"
  3. Number of Twitter followers
  4. Twitter engagement - retweets, click-throughs, replies, listings
  5. Number of blog comments
  6. Followers on other social media networks
  7. Klout score - a rating from 1 to 100 based on your social media presence

Give a Call to Action:
  • 3 Most Common Types - "Buy Now," "Learn More/Explore," "Subscribe/Register."
  • Start with a strong command verb - let them know exactly what to do and how to do it.
  • Use words that provoke strong emotion or enthusiasm - rip-roaring adventure, fantastic offer, amazing story
  • Use action-packed text - substitute action verbs for boring words like "submit" or "try."
  • Use first-person text - In one study, changing resulted in a 90% increase in clicks!
  • Give them a reason to take the desired action - "What's in it for me?"
  • Take advantage of Fear Of Missing Out - Last Chance, Sale Ends
  • Use numbers whenever possible - 20% off; 7 Ways Agents Measure Social Media

Authors And Others Who Are Doing It Right:
Paulo Coelho / Stephen Fry / Margaret Atwood / Neil Gaiman / Elizabeth Spann Craig
Sterling Editing / Joanna Penn / Rachelle Gardner / Jane Friedman
@GrammarGirl / @AuthorMedia / @MaryDeMuth / @GalleyCat / @BookMarketer
@StephenKing / @JoyceCarolOates / @AdviceToWriters / @WritersRelief / @MelvilleHouse

7 Ways Authors Waste Time "Building Platform"
  1. Racking up thousands of Twitter followers. 50 engaged > 1,000 lukewarm followers
  2. Madly promoting your "Like" page on Facebook. Promote sharing instead
  3. Amassing a huge list of email addresses for a newsletter. Newsletters are old hat.
  4. Participating in expensive, grueling blog tours. Guest blog once or twice a month instead; network with book bloggers in your genre and comment on their posts
  5. Blogging every day. You either burn out or start "babble-blogging"
  6. Blog hopping. Coordinate joint sales or promotions instead
  7. Worrying too much about your Klout, PeerIndex or other social media rating

5 Social Marketing Tool Tips from the Pros:
  • Create multiple images for more Pinterest shares - pick several for each post
  • Use ClickToTweet to increase interaction - this costs around 30 cents per click for authors, according to the company, and drives traffic wherever you wish
  • Engage fans with valuable landing content - make sure your initial page welcomes your readers and wows them by providing further value.
  • Batch your content for more productivity - create a week's worth of content and post it a little at a time instead of wasting time every day trying to think of something to post.
  • Ignite your content to increase social sharing - a "share" is different from a "like"

Whenever you create a piece of content (article, podcast or video) for your blog or website, come up with a list of 10 to 20 social media posts at the same time that can be used to promote that piece of content over a period of time.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Meet Me in St. Louis! #WFcon15

Website | Pickle Barrel Gazette | Amazon

First Ever Western Fictioneers Convention!

The St. Louis Arch
Photo credit: Diane Garland

I’ve been looking forward to the first Western Fictioneers convention for a year, and it’s almost a dream that I’m actually here in St. Louis, Missouri, with some of the best writers of the 20th and 21st Centuries. This convention is filled with talented, productive powerhouses. It’s definitely an honor to get acquainted with these awesome authors.

Let’s have a look around and see who’s here a little early. 

Kathleen Rice Adams, Cheryl Pierson, James Griffin, Jacquie Rogers, Vonn McKee

First, special thanks to Vonn McKee, convention chair, who pulled this whole thing together. Believe me, the first convention is tough because she had to lay all the groundwork, and there’s no previous experience to know what works and what doesn’t. She’s also the program chair, entertainment director, IT Gal, and singer. Other than doing all the work, she’s been slacking. Hahaha.

Then there’s our fearless leader, Western Fictioneers President Cheryl Pierson, who co-owns Prairie Rose Publications with Livia Reasoner (she couldn't attend, unfortunately for us).  Cheryl is both a terrific author and an excellent editor.  She has a couple of characters in the Wolf Creek series, and writes western historical romance as well as a few genre blends.  We've been online friends for years, and when I started my Romancing the West blog, she was the very first author I booked, so we go back a long way.  It's definitely a pleasure to finally meet her.

WF President Cheryl Pierson directing traffic,
with Vonn McKee and James Griffin
One person I've been dying to meet for the longest time is Troy Smith.  He's a wonderfully talented author and the head wrangler of the Wolf Creek series.  He wrote one of the top five best books I've ever read, Bound for the Promise-Land, which will be reissued shortly.  And he loves Have Gun - Will Travel, which puts him right up there with those of us who have good taste in good old TV shows.  So here is the moment I've been waiting for... the chance to get my picture, two, actually, with Troy.  Just wow... rubbing shoulders with such a gifted person is quite a feather in my cap.

Troy Smith and Jacquie Rogers
There are some people in life who just click.  It took about five seconds of online communication with Kathleen Rice Adams (we call her Tex) to know she's one of those people that I could work with easily.  We've done several Facebook events together, and we have quite a system set up for the Prairie Rose Publications Fandangos.  It's always a pleasure to work with her , but please don't tell her that lest she get a big head.  No, that won't happen--her Chihuahuas make sure she knows her place.

Look for us to be planning another Fandango for the holidays.  We always have a blast!

The convention hasn't even started yet--we're still gathering--but watch for more pictures of incredible authors on my Facebook page.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Amnesty, Clemency, Pardon

Aware that the Western Fictioneers first annual convention was taking place in St. Louis, I thought my first Monday of the month blog spot may be needed for the inaugural official report. Having received no authoritative instruction to my query, and unable to attend the convention this year, I wondered what I should do about the blog. 

Well, the universe provides. My plot for Fugitive Sheriff is currently at the point where he is worried that the man who shot his father will escape the firing squad for political reasons. His worries start with a concern about the Governor’s Amnesty list on Christmas Eve, 1886. 

A fair amount of research into the meaning of amnesty and clemency and pardon led to the development of an internal smile thinking about the rowdy crew in St. Louis and all the e-mail traffic that preceded the Western Fictioneers convention. Assuming everyone who wrote stayed true, individually and as a group, to the tone of the e-mails, I started to have a vision of learning something that would prove useful information to my WF Convention colleagues.

So, with a slight tip of the fanciful hat and the belief that knowledge of which forgiveness to ask for will provide a safety net for all manner of rambunctious behavior and with an honest wish that no one in St. Louis will really need to apply for amnesty, seek clemency, or ask for a pardon, here are a few insights.


is a pardon extended by the government to a group or class of persons, usually for a political offense; officially forgiving certain classes of persons who are subject to trial but have not yet been convicted.  It encompasses more than pardon and is more and more used to express "freedom" and the time when prisoners can go free.

So, for those of you Western Fictioneers who get to having too much fun, I hereby implore whatever authority in St. Louis is willing to take it on to grant pardon to the large group of individuals known as Western Fictioneers – give them amnesty.


provides the meaning to the granting of a pardon. Clemency is the act of mercy or lenience that moderates the severity of the punishment due. Moderation has many degrees, the most extreme of which is complete leniency toward the punishment.

We all benefit from Google Search and Wikipedia. If you search on "clemency" you’ll find that it redirects to Pardon. (It is not, however, a synonym for pardon.)


The action of an executive official of the government that mitigates or sets aside the punishment for a crime.

Note that a pardon requires an executive to grant it. Some legislatures and some pardon boards also grant, but if you look into the act that enables them, it is a delegated power. To pardon, you have to be the president or a governor.

The power to pardon applies only to offenses against the laws of the jurisdiction of which the pardoning official is the chief executive. Thus the president may only pardon for violations of federal law, and governors may only pardon for violations of the laws of their states.

The granting of a pardon to a person who has committed and been convicted of a crime is an act of clemency, forgiving the wrongdoer and restoring the person's civil rights.

The power to grant a pardon derives from the English system. The king had the royal prerogative, the right to forgive crimes against the crown.

A president or governor may grant a full (unconditional) pardon – fully restores an individual's civil rights and innocence as though he or she had never committed a crime.

A conditional pardon imposes a condition before it becomes effective. For example, to commute a death sentence the president may set the condition that the accused serve the rest of his or her life in prison without eligibility for parole; whereas, a life sentence imposed by a court would otherwise be subject to parole.

A pardon does not imply innocence. It is merely a forgiveness of the offense. Unless explicitly stated that the recipient was innocent, since it must be affirmatively accepted to be officially recognized by the courts, acceptance carries with it an admission of guilt. One cannot be pardoned unless one has committed an offense. A pardon can be rejected.

Presidential Pardons

My interests lie in a Governor’s Christmas List and I found it frustrating to notice that most of my search results came back oriented to the pardons and pardon power of the President. One aspect of presidential pardons is of interest: Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution grants the power to pardon offenses against the United States "except in the cases of impeachment." Gerald Ford pardoned before the possible conviction (impeachment) of Nixon. Also, governors typically have to wait until after a conviction to pardon, presidents can pardon prior to conviction.

The presidents who served from Grant through the second term of Grover Cleveland granted 5,389 pardons or commutations.  I created a table but could not master the HTML to get it in this blog, so I will simply note one among them:  Benjamin Harrison granted amnesty and pardon to the Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the offense of engaging in polygamous or plural marriage.    

Governors’ Pardons

I have not yet succeeded in finding list of pardons by Governors. Two notable pardons by governors I did find. 

Governor Joseph Johnson of Virginia pardoned the twenty year-old John S. Mosby on December 23, 1853, the same Mosby of Mosby’s Rangers (or Raiders) for Virginia during the civil war under J.E.B. Stuart.  In fact, Northern Virginia became known as Mosby's Confederacy.

Perhaps better known, Bob Ford arranged with the governor of Missouri to take down Jesse James in exchange for a reward. After the Fords announced they had killed the infamous outlaw, they were convicted of murder and sentenced to hang. The governor quickly pardoned them.

I’m looking for more. I’m still trying to get my Fugitive Sheriff past Christmas, 1886, but this has turned out to be a fascinating new area of interest for me.

(One final note on both sources of pardons, it appears that pardons have been on the decline, certainly since World War II.  The question yet to answer is whether they are at a higher or lower level than in the West before 1900.)

E-mail Edward Massey with comments, author of 2014 Gold Quill winner, Every Soul Is Free and Amazon ABNA 2009 Quarter-finalist, Telluride Promise.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Send Submissions for the Peacemaker Awards

Just a reminder: Submissions to the Peacemaker Awards entries must be postmarked or received via email by midnight, CST, January 15, 2016. Get those entries in now to avoid the December crunch.


First time in print must be between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015, no reprints.  Limit of 2 entries per category.

Books and short stories may be published in any country in the world (submissions must be in English) in print or electronic format. Electronic submissions must be made with Kindle/mobi , or Word/text files. WF reserves the right to decline any submission for consideration of an Award.

Authors, agents, or publishers may submit a work for consideration of an Award.

At least three entrants in the Best Western First Novel must be received during the submission period for an Award to be presented.

Novels and short stories must be set in the time period between 1830-1920 to be considered Westerns under WF guidelines. Time periods beyond the 1830-1920 traditional western focus may be included in submissions as long as the periods outside of the 1830-1920 span constitute no more than 50% of the story. At least 50% of the story MUST TAKE PLACE in the 1830-1920 period. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Nominees for the WF Peacemaker Award will be announced on 05/15/2016 and the winners will be announced on 06/015/2016.

The WF Peacemaker Award will be awarded in four categories:

Best Western Novel – Any novel published during the award year set in the appropriate time period (1830-1920), 30,000 words and higher. There are no format requirements. The novel may be a hardcover, trade paperback, mass market paperback, or eBook.

Best Western YA/Children Fiction– Any fiction written for ages 1-17 published during the award year set in the appropriate time period (1830-1920). May be a hardcover, trade paperback, mass market paperback, or eBook.

Best Western Short Fiction
 – Any short story, novelette, or novella published during the award year set in the appropriate time period (1830-1920), 500 words to 29,999 words. There are no format requirements. The short story may be published in any publication, print or electronic.

Best Western First Novel – Must meet the same requirements as Best Novel, and must be the author’s first published Western novel. If the author has published novels in any other genre they will not disqualify the author from the Best Western First Novel Award competition. Submissions for Best Western First Novel may also be submitted in the Best Novel category in the same year.

Judges and forms can  be found on the Western Fictioneers website.

Thursday, October 29, 2015


Who’s ready for a Halloween and Fall story sale? With Halloween right around the corner and Autumn already upon us, Prairie Rose Publications is letting the bargains fly! So settle in for a nice juicy list of some wonderful books you can really “sink your teeth into” and enjoy. These stories are sure to put you in a “chilling” mood, but bring warmth to your heart!

Our 2014 two-volume boxed set of western historical romance stories with a spooky twist is now available for the lowest price ever. BOTH VOLUMES OF COWBOYS, CREATURES, AND CALICO CAN BE YOURS FOR ONLY .99! This double set includes twelve deliciously creepy tales by such authors as Lorrie Farrelly, Linda Carroll-Bradd, Tanya Hanson, Sarah J. McNeal, Kathleen Rice Adams, Cheryl Pierson, C. Marie Bowen, Cher’ley Grogg, Kristy McCaffrey, Jacquie Rogers, Kaye Spencer, and Shayna Matthews. You can’t go wrong for only .99—take a look!



Love anthologies? Try this on for size! NINE DEADLY LIVES: AN ANTHOLOGY OF FELINE FICTION. With THIRTEEN great stories included, this is one collection you won’t want to pass up! From magic to murder, from felines to faeries, the authors of NINE DEADLY LIVES spin thirteen tales featuring those sometimes aloof and occasionally dangerous but always adorable creatures we know and love as cats! Whether it's mystery, fantasy, historical, or romance, these cat tales provide plenty of entertainment and thrills!



We’ve got a ton of short stories that just released as .99 single sell stories, as well. If you’re looking for “out of the ordinary” historical tales, try some of these:


The Crow and the Bear


Angel of Salvation Valley

The following stories are included in COWBOY, CREATURES, AND CALICO, and are also available in single sell formats, as well:

Sarah J. McNeal—The Beast of Hazard
Tanya Hanson—The Bridesmaid
Shayna Matthews—The Legend Of Venture Canyon
Kristy McCaffrey—The Crow and the Coyote
Kristy McCaffrey—  Lily and Mesquite Joe

C. Marie Bowen has had a fantastic year for western historical romance stories that will send a shiver up your spine and keep you turning the pages. Her debut novel, PASSAGE, was released last year—the first in an edge-of-your-seat trilogy. PASSAGE is now on sale for just .99! For less than $1.00, you will be introduced to a wonderful reading experience with much more to come. Her second story in the trilogy, PROPHECY, bowed just this month, with the final book to become available in early 2016.


This talented author also has a PRP “duo” of two just-released novellas available. HUNTER features her charismatic Cajun bounty hunter, who also makes a lengthy appearance and plays an important role in her novel PROPHECY. One taste of Ms. Bowen’s story magic won’t be enough—you will want every one of these wonderful books. HUNTER is available for only $1.99!


Looking for a bit of medieval magic? Check out author Keena Kincaid’s release, ANAM CARA. This carefully woven story will keep you entranced by the intrigue and danger the characters must sort their way through—and if you can’t get enough of these characters, there’s a second book, TIES THAT BIND, with a third to release soon. ANAM CARA is now on sale for only .99! Fall under the spell of this marvelous medieval tale!

Deborah Macgillivray is one of the best writers in the business when it comes to Regency romance. Take a look at her latest release, A CAT IN JACKBOOTS...

He is a hunter...despite being a scion of one of the most respected families of the ton, he enjoys solving the mysteries that life a price. And he is hot on the trail of a burglar robbing the titled members of London society. She is saddled with a scatterbrained, matchmaking Grandmother and a retired battman for a butler...and a black cat named Romeo...and carries a world of secrets. One slip and it will cost her everything.

Neither is seeking romance...only sometimes love happens when you least


If you’re “on the prowl” for some spine tingling thrills contemporary-style, try MILE MARKER 59, by B.J. Betts.

With the help of the local sheriff, Michael Morris, and the victim of yet another near-tragic wreck at MILE MARKER 59, secrets are uncovered—and spells are finally broken. Can Marissa Daniels face a supernatural danger more powerful than anything she ever could imagine? Asking Michael to help her unravel the mystery of the Sioux curse that exists in that spot could lead to his death—and hers. The occurrences at MILE MARKER 59 are what holds this little town’s secrets in silence—and what could rip Marissa’s life apart…

If that doesn’t give you the shivers, I don’t know what will! But if you’re looking for more Halloween chills and thrills, grab a copy of B.J. Betts’s story BELLE’S CROSSING! This novella was released last year and is one of creepiest stories you will ever read—and both of these tales were based on true stories!


Do you love time travel? TIME PLAINS DRIFTER, a full-length novel by Cheryl Pierson, is one that you will love! Trapped in Indian Territory in 1895 by a quirk of nature, high school teacher Jenni Dalton must find a way to get her seven students back to the 21st Century. Handsome U.S. Marshal Rafe d'Angelico seems like the answer to her prayers: he is, after all, an Angel. In a race against time and evil, Rafe has one chance to save Jenni's life and her soul from the Dark One – but can their love survive?

Time Plains Drifter received a 4.5 star rating from Romantic Times Magazine! It’s on sale right now for only .99! Snap it up!

THE MISADVENTURES OF A TONGUE-TIED WITCH by Livia J. Washburn is a delightful boxed set of two wonderfully “bewitching” tales for your reading pleasure—and the best part? THE TWO VOLUME SET IS ONLY .99!

WITCH GOT YOUR TONGUE is the first novel in the Tongue Tied Witch series by best-selling novelist Livia J. Washburn. Aren McAllister, the Tongue-Tied Witch, returns in A PECK OF PICKLED WARLOCKS. In this sequel to the critically acclaimed WITCH GOT YOUR TONGUE, Aren searches for a way to rescue her father from the other-worldly realm of the witches' council. From the sandy beaches of the Gulf Coast to the bright lights of Las Vegas to the dangerous depths of an abandoned silver mine, Aren's quest is filled with adventure, romance, and humor.

Misadventures of a Tongue-Tied Witch: Boxed Set: Witch Got Your Tongue & Peck of Pickled Warlocks

Kathleen Rice Adams has a duo out featuring two brothers.

Everyone should have career at which they excel. At failing to commit crimes, nobody is better than Laredo and Tombstone Hawkins. Maybe they can bumble their way into love.

The Worst Outlaw in the West and Family Tradition are the two stories that comprise this double novella set for only $1.99—a “steal” you will not want to miss!

Do you love these stories about brothers and family? Well, maybe this collection will be something you’ll enjoy! WINTER MAGIC by Cheryl Pierson contains three stories gathered from previously published anthologies about a trio of brothers. HEARTS AND DIAMONDS, SPELLBOUND, and LUCK OF THE DRAW comprise this collection.

Three criminals who’ve lost everything… three women who have nothing to lose…is it love or magic that bring them together? The Diamond brothers are cast out into the world by a crooked business deal at a young age. They’ve lost everything—including their father. Although they are forced to make their own way, brotherly bonds remain unbreakable: It’s all for one and one for all.

Say, have you met Jo Harper? She is author Richard Prosch’s heroine in the small turn-of-the century town, Willowby, Wyoming. Here’s a bit about one of his latest tales in the Jo Harper series, DOGBREAD AND DIAMONDS.

In the wild west, decades before Willowby, Wyoming was founded, Stink Carmichael robbed a stage coach of the famous Dakota Diamonds and was never heard from again. When Jo Harper and her best friend Frog find the loot in a hidden cellar, old secrets come out and greed can't help but rear its ugly head. When Frog disappears and Jo is accused of pilfering the diamonds herself, things can't get any worse. But Constable Abby Drake has a few secrets of her own and a sack of warm, flaky breakfast rolls might just be the key to saving the day.

Once you start reading Rich’s stories about Jo and the people in Willowby, you can never leave…uh, quit.

Dogbread and Diamonds (Jo Harper Book 7)

For the younger crowd, how about a boxed set of FIVE novels about the American west, with both historical and contemporary settings? This entire set is just .99, and will provide hours of entertaining reading for ages 9 and up. Stories by Sara Barnard, Livia and James Reasoner, and Richard Prosch are included in this "FABULOUS" collection that you won't want to miss. Yep, one of these stories has a definite "spooky" flavor. Take a look at Livia and James Reasoner's  contribution, THE PHANTOM RANGER AND THE SKATEBOARD GANG. Here's a bit about it:

Codi Jackson has started a new school—again. Will she ever be able to settle down in one place and make friends? It seems unlikely, especially now that she has the ghost of her great-great-great grandfather appearing at the most inconvenient times! How can she explain him to her history project partner—and her own father? But Codi is determined to come to her dad’s rescue when he corrals a gang of young thieves on skateboards at a nearby mall—and they get some very unlikely help

Do you love a good ghost romance?  Livia J. Washburn's SPIRIT CATCHER is now available in A COWBOY's TOUCH which includes novels by Cheryl Pierson, Kathleen Rice Adams, and Kit Prate.

Ready for some REALLY spooky tales? Cheryl Pierson’s single-author collection, DARK TRAIL RISING, contains FOUR incredible western tales with a twist. They won’t let you rest until you’ve read the entire anthology. DARK TRAIL RISING is a group of old west stories that will keep you wondering and thinking long after you read the last line.


Dark Trail Rising: Four Tales of the Old West

We are so proud to present our Fall/Halloween line-up and hope you will find some very entertaining reading here that you will enjoy reading and re-reading for years to come! I will be out of town at the WF CONVENTION when this posts, but hope you all will take advantage of these wonderful prices on some fabulous reading during this fall season!