Wednesday, December 19, 2018


A very Merry Christmas to everyone! I had an excellent "early" present this year--two anthologies with a story of mine in them both released within one week of each other.


The first one is called BOURBON & A GOOD CIGAR, and is the third of its kind, the brainchild of Scott Harris. Scott comes up with some of the best prompts and then signs up 51 of the rest of us to each write a 500-word story using that prompt. I have to say, this has been so much fun, and it's helped me really remember how to tighten things up and get to the point of what I'm saying in the tale. Most of these prompts can be used anywhere in the story--there was only one that had to be used at the beginning, and that was for the 2nd book, A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT.

Here's what Scott's prompt was for BOURBON & A GOOD CIGAR: I slowly poured a full glass of bourbon and took my time lighting a good cigar.

Oh, the possibilities! It's amazing what 52 fertile minds can come up with that are so different from one short prompt. Lots of western fun, and be sure to check out the other books that came before this one, THE SHOT RANG OUT, A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT, and of course, BOURBON AND A GOOD CIGAR. The 4th one will make its debut early next year.

As I said, these stories are short at only 500 words, but here’s the beginning of mine to whet your appetite and see what everyone else came up with! For only .99 for the Kindle version, it’s a steal, and print versions are available as well.

My story is called “THE FIXER”—here’s an excerpt:

The click of the gun from the doorway gave me pause, but only for a moment. I already had the crystal decanter in my hand, and I needed a drink now more than I had five minutes earlier…before I had a .44 pointed at my head.

I slowly poured a full glass of bourbon and took my time lighting a good cigar that my soon-to-be father-in-law had so thoughtfully provided.

Finally, I looked up from where I sat at his desk—the desk he ran his cattle empire and his life from—to meet his thunderous gaze.

“Trouble, sir?” I took a draw from the cigar, savoring the fine tobacco. Then, I leaned back in his leather chair, as if it belonged to me, easing my back. But I kept the pain from my face. I’d never let him know how thorough his two thugs had been in the beating I’d taken last night. Tom Duncan was the kind of man who’d prey upon the slightest weakness. He was a bastard—a deadly one.

But, so was I.

You can snap this collection up at Amazon, and be sure to check out the other books that Scott's come up with, too, while you're there!

A few days after the release of BOURBON & A GOOD CIGAR, Sundown Press released a collection of traditional western stories, TALES OF THE OLD WEST. This anthology has some excellent stories in it by L.J. Washburn, James Reasoner, John Nesbitt, Darrel Sparkman, and David Amendola--and I’m sure proud to have mine included, as well.

My story is called HIDDEN TRAILS, and it was nominated for a WF Peacemaker award a few years back. I hope you’ll snap this collection up for some action-packed reading in these winter months to come. Here’s the blurb and buy links!

Get ready for seven action-packed stories of the old West that will pull you right in and take you along for the ride of your life! If you love traditional stories of bygone western days, this collection of tales is for you. You’ll find a wide variety of stories included in this anthology by James Reasoner, John D. Nesbitt, Livia J. Washburn, Cheryl Pierson, Darrel Sparkman, and David W. Amendola.

Saddle up and ride the dangerous range of Indian Territory, search for a deadly mysterious beast, track outlaws, or solve a grisly mystery—and never leave your easy chair! This collection makes a great gift to yourself or other fans of TALES OF THE OLD WEST!

May you all have a wonderful Christmas and here’s hoping that 2019 will bring us all the very best! Thanks for stopping in today!


  1. Yes, I really enjoyed working in those 500 word anthos from Scott. Lots of fun

  2. I did too. Your identity is coming up as Unknown, so I'm wondering who you are! LOL Those books were a lot of fun.

  3. Lots of great tips there, and the end of a very busy year. You deserve a holiday! Have a wonderful Christmas.

    1. Christine, it's really tough to write a scene with a beginning, middle and end in only 500 words as I discover every time I sit down to write my contribution to one of these anthologies. But it's so much fun! I've enjoyed doing that each and every times. And TALES OF THE OLD WEST was such a fun collection--all wonderful western fare to just sit down and enjoy--a truly wonderful vicarious escape.

  4. One of the most wonderful things about this time of year of me, the stories I get to read. Of course, I read during the year, but there is something special about the cooler winter months and settling in with a good story.

    I also loved your short in "Burboun". Doris

  5. Thanks, Doris! Those are so much fun to write. I really enjoy them! I agree with you about reading in the fall/winter. I read all year, too, but during those months it just seems so much more enjoyable somehow. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and get a good bunch of reading done over the holidays!