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!

Friday, October 23, 2015

YEEHAW! The FIRST WF Convention

WOW! What a line-up for the Western Fictioneers very FIRST Convention in St. Louis, Missouri, over Halloween weekend!
Only one week from today!!

And here's the hotel, the Sheraton Westport at the Westport Plaza - and a FREE SHUTTLE from the St. Louis (STL) airport, too, every half hour!

I can't wait to get to St. Louis and finally - FINALLY - meet some of the Western Fictioneers I've met and written with over the years! The schedule looks AMAZING. And don't forget to check out the reasonable price for the convention - trust me on that. This is YOUR CHANCE to 'gather round the campfire' with some of the best writers/published authors in western fiction.


2:00      ROMANCING THE WEST (Kathleen Rice Adams, Kat Martin, Meg Mims, Cheryl Pierson, Jacquie Rogers)
                BADGES & BAYONETS: LAWMEN, RANGERS AND THE CAVALRY (James Griffin, Robert Vaughan)
                THE YOUNGER GANG: TARGETING THE Y/A MARKET (James Griffin, TBA)
9:00      LIVING LEGENDS PANEL (Robert Vaughan, Robert J. Randisi, Dusty Richards, Frank Roderus)
10:00    TAMING SOCIAL MEDIA AND OTHER NECESSARY EVILS (Kathleen Rice Adams, JES Hays, Tom Rizzo, Jacquie Rogers)
                WHAP! BAM! PAW! PUNCHING UP YOUR FIGHT SCENES (Robert J. Randisi, Frank Roderus, Robert Vaughan)
            LITERARY AGENT Q & A (Cherry Weiner of Cherry Weiner Literary Agency)

 1:00      PUBLISHERS PANEL (Mike Bray of Wolfpack Publishing, Cheryl Pierson of Prairie Rose Publications, Dusty Richards Golway Publishing , Duke and Kimberly Pennell of Pen-L Publishing, Dr. Troy D. Smith of Western Trail Blazer Publishing, Louella Turner of High Hill Press)

                THE “RIGHTS” SIDE OF THE LAW: LEGAL LABYRINTHS (W. Michael Milom)
3:00      DECONSTRUCTING CUSTER (Steve Kohlhagen, Robert Vaughan)
4:00      THE CIVIL WAR AND THE WEST (Steve Kohlhagen, Dr. Troy D. Smith)
               HOLLYWOOD WEST: THE SCOOP ON SCREENPLAYS (Courtney Joyner)

            Wear your over-the-top 
cowboy and cowgirl duds for Halloween!
9:00      WOLF CREEK: BEHIND THE SCENES (Dr. Troy D. Smith)

COWBOY CHURCH!! Wow, I can't wait to hear some good ole Cowboy Preaching - wonder if we'll have to sing the old hymns without hymnals? 
COME ON OUT and MEET the legendary  Western Fictioneers!

Here's some of the authors: Troy D. Smith, L.J. Martin, Cheryl Pierson, Kathleen Rice Adams, Robert Randisi, Dusty Richards, Robert Vaughan, Frank Roderus, Jacquie Rogers, Keith Souter, Tom Rizzo, Meg Mims, James J. Griffin, Chuck Tyrell ...and many more! 

And grab their books and autographs at the Western Fictioneer Book Store.

Thursday, October 22, 2015



the blog about 19th century Medicine and Surgery

Keith Souter  aka Clay More

Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) bites are common in western novels and movies. The treatment of them always involved pulling out a knife,  cutting a cross over the bite, then sucking out the poison and spitting it away. The knife blade would then be heated to red heat and used to cauterize the wound. The bitten person would then develop a fever and probably rave deliriously throughout the night beside a stoked up fire. By morning, he would probably be shown to have recovered.

            It would not be so simple, but that is an abbreviated form of the treatment that was usually advocated in the Old West of yesteryear.

Most rattlesnake venom actually contains a hemotoxin. (especially the western and eastern diamondback rattlesnakes). This toxin causes blood cells to burst and it tends to cause blood clotting and it also causes (sometimes widespread) tissue damage. Shock can occur and bites can prove fatal to humans, although it is rare. Currently, about 7,000 to 8,000 people receive rattlesnake bits every year, but only about five prove fatal. How serious a bite will be depends on what part of the body is bitten, the amount of venom injected by the snake and the species involved. The fatality is more likely if the person is very young, very old or in impaired health.

            Some species also have a neurotoxin. This can cause paralysis and is more dangerous. The Mohave rattlesnake, for example, has this toxin in its venom.

Sushruta, a surgical genius

            The basic treatment outlined above has been used by people throughout the world for centuries. The Indian physician Sushruta, who practiced in the fifth century BC, described the treatment for a venomous snakebite. A tourniquet was to be applied to the limb bitten, to contain the venom. The wound should then be sliced open, between the fangs, to allow drainage of the venom. The venom should then be sucked out, or encouraged out by use of cupping. Basically, a glass cup would be prepared by burning a candle or burning ball and placing the cup over it, which would burn the oxygen away to create a vacuum. The cup was then rapidly put over the wound to draw the venom out by suction. Then cauterization would be used.
            In the Old West branding irons, cigars or even gunpowder would be applied to the wound to cauterize it. Some doctors advised cutting the wound out entirely. This was because the hemotoxic can cause extensive necrosis or death of the local tissues.
Bibron’s antidote
Dr John Packard, surgeon to the Episcopal Hospital and St Joseph’s Hospital, Philadelphia, wrote about snakebite treatment in the International Encyclopedia of Surgery in 1882. He states that Bibron’s antidote was advocated by many doctors. It had been invented by Professor Gabriel Bibron (1806-1848), a French naturalist.  It consisted of bromine, mercury bichloride and potassium iodide.
            The following case in which it was used was reported by Dr Charles H Hughes, surgeon of the 1st Infantry Regiment, in the American Journal of the Medical Sciences, 1864.
“Private William Vinoss, Co. F. Ist Infantry Mo. Vol., Mil., a German,
aged 22, entered the regimental hospital July 13th, having been bitten a few
hours previously by a genuine specimen of the reptile known in the West-
ern States as the copperhead. The seat of the bite was the extremity of
the little finger of the left hand.

Immediately after the reception of the bite, the comrades of the bitten
man applied a tight ligature around the finger, a little anterior to the
metacarpo-phalangeal articulation, which effectually prevented the venom
from mingling with the general circulation, and dosed him with whiskey,
but not in sufficient quantities to produce intoxication. In this condition
he was brought to the hospital, and on the morning of the fourteenth,
the treatment to which we attributed his recovery was instituted.

Few other surgeons would have hazarded an attempt to save the finger,
but would have removed it at once, and been content with the salvation of
the patient's life, considering it cheaply purchased at the expense of simply
a finger; we began our treatment with the design, if possible, of not only
saving the whole, but of preserving the part also.

To fulfil the indications which presented as necessary for the salvation of
the finger, we loosened the ligature, incised the finger as for whitlow, and
immersed it in warm water for twenty-four hours. To this treatment we
added an emollient anodyne poultice on the third day, and continued it
through the fourth, when simple cerate dressings were daily applied until
July 30th, at which time he was returned to duty.

This constituted all the local treatment save the lancing of the sacs of
infiltrated blood and serum, and the application of anodyne and astringent
lotions to the hand and forearm.

In the part all the customary symptoms of venomous snakebite were
manifest. The black and deadened appearance around the bite, the sero-
sanguinolent exudation and the excruciating pain were all present in the
finger from the time the bite was received, and as soon as we loosened the
ligature, became apparent in the hand and forearm. Here the swelling
was great and the pain intense; the former extending to the elbow, and the
latter reaching to the axilla.

Constitutional symptoms were but slightly manifest. They consisted in
slight nausea, a little anxiety of countenance, faintness and rigors, all of
which very speedily disappeared as soon as the antidote had taken full
effect upon the system.

The constitutional treatment consisted exclusively of Bibron's antidote,
which was commenced ( a fluid drachm diluted with a tablespoonful of wine or brandy) soon after the ligature was removed and the dose
repeated, on the first day, every three or four hours, on the second three times a day,
and on the third day pro re nata (when needed). In all, about twelve doses were given.
No internal anodynes were exhibited, and no other internal remedies, ex-
cept a copious draught of whiskey at bedtime to procure sleep.”

The patient recovered and his finger was saved. It is unclear why this treatment would have worked, yet clearly it was considered efficacious for decades until it became obsolete by the end of the century.
            Ammonia was another treatment that found usage throughout the century.

Tobacco juice and Snakeroot
Native Americans used to apply tobacco juice to snakebites and make a poultice from mashed leaves of tobacco.
            Snakeroot, Aristolochia serpentaria, was also used. The root would be chewed and a poultice of the root applied to the wound. It is, however extremely nephrotoxic, meaning that it can damage the kidneys, so it should not be used today. In fiction, however, under the administration of a wise medicine man, it would be plausible.

What should you do today?

  • The 'ligate, cut, suck and burn treatment’ advised in the past is no longer advocated. Instead, you should:
  • aim to protect the person from getting bitten again
  • identify the species of snake if possible
  • keep the person calm, so be reassuring
  • call for help, to get the person to medical care
  • place the bitten limb, if it is a limb that was bitten, below the level of the heart, to minimize movement of the venom make the limb comfortable by removing rings, bracelets, etc
  • don’t cut or suck the wound
  • don’t give alcohol or other drugs

Some of Clay More's latest releases:

Redemption Trail published by Western Trail Blazer
- a novelette- novella

Sam Gibson used to be a lawman, until the day he made a terrible mistake that could never be taken back. Since then, he has alternated between wishing there were a way he could redeem himself and believing he deserved punishment. 

He’s about to get both… 


And his collection of short stories, including Rattler's Nest,  about Doc Marcus Quigley is published by High Noon Press

Available at

And his latest western  novel Dry Gulch Revenge was published by Hale on 29th August.

And the collection of these posts has just been published in book form by Sundown Press.