Sunday, 5 February 2017

Offer: Free on Amazon: Life and Laughter by Joanne Walpole

Around 2003,  I picked up writing again after a clean break of about 15 years. I didn't get straight back into westerns and used to write about anything and everything.

This is a collection of the short stories I wrote for fun. Over the years they've given friends, family and peers a lot of laughs. With the advent of Kindle Direct Publishing I've been able to extend them to a wider audience.

Here's what one reviewer had to say -

I love a good short story and that is exactly what Joanne Walpole writes. This collection is a series of light observations tinged with drama and tragedy that range from the dangers of smoking to the consequences of not paying attention when driving a truck. After a couple of stories I found myself wanting to find out what Joanne Walpole could come up with next - an unusual kind of page turner. 5 stars on Amazon.

Now, for a limited time between 6-10 February you can download my non-western book of contemporary shorts with a twist for free on Kindle. UK or US and the rest of the world.

If you're looking for something quick and light to read, something you can dip into at random, why not give it a look?

Here's the lowdown...

Short stories of everyday life with a twist in the tale. From the annoying husband to the embarrassing fall in public, if you sometimes wonder 'why me' or 'what if' you'll find a kindred spirit somewhere in these pages. Some are nice, some are naughty. So enjoy a titter or a belly laugh over a nice cup of tea and be glad your day's not quite as bad as you thought it was.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Books I read in January

Here are the westerns I read this month. I've included links to those that I've already reviewed and comments to those I haven't.

Undercover Gun (A Clay Nash western) – Brett Waring

Rimrock Renegade – Ned Oaks

High Hell (A Bodie the Stalker Western Book 3) – Neil Hunter
Comment: I'm enjoying the Bodie books and only wish I had more time to read them.

Arizona Wild-Cat (A Larry and Stretch Western Book 2) – Marshall Grover
Comment: A partnership made in heaven, a tight plot, fist fights, gun fights and humour. What's not to like?

Showdown In Badlands - Shorty Gunn
Comment: I bought this book by accident but I'm happy to say it was a fortunate slip of the finger. Once the story got going I couldn't wait to read on. The bad guys are as mean as mean can be. The good guys are...I leave you to decide. All I will say is that everyone seemed to get their just desserts in the end and I didn't feel any remorse over the outcomes. I'll be reading more by Shorty Gunn.

See you in February.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Terry James - news

A NICE START to the year with The Crowood Press accepting my latest story for publication under their Black Horse Western line. I've really enjoyed writing this one and I'm confident that it will go down well with my regular readers. It's called Legacy Of A Gunfighter and here's the preliminary back cover teaser to whet your appetite.


Following his release from prison, all gunfighter Luke Nicholls wants is revenge against William Grant the man who almost killed him. Unfortunately, when the two meet, things don’t go the way Luke had imagined. Struck down by a mysterious malady, his confidence is shaken. More complications arise when Kate Portillo, a woman out to avenge the murder of her husband, tries to enlist his help. He refuses, determined not to lose sight of his own ambition, but Grant has other ideas. Dragged into a fight for survival, the odds are suddenly stacked even higher against Luke. As outside forces emerge and the game starts to take shape, Luke realises that his part in it was never in doubt.  This is the legacy of a gunfighter and he will have to dig deep to claim his reward.

I'M ALSO HAPPY to report that my previous release The Badman's Daughter has been receiving good reviews. It's been given 4 and 5 stars on Goodreads and fellow author Jack Giles (aka Ray Foster) gave it 5 stars and a nice review on Amazon..If you have not read a Terry James western then this is a good place to start. Full characters and a taut plot puts this book into the unputdownable category. It's also spent quite some time in the top 100 Kindle downloads on Amazon UK (Westerns genre) reaching no.11 at its peak, so thank you to all those who have been kind enough to buy it.

I'M NOW GEARING up to get started on a new story tentatively titled The Crooked Brand about cattle rustling and revenge - with a twist of course.

That's all for now. Keep reading.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Read and reviewed: Rimrock Renegade by Ned Oaks

Hank Chesham spent five years in a New Mexico prison, convicted of a crime he didn't commit. When he was finally released, he only wanted to return home to his ranch, the Rimrock, and resume his old life. But then he discovered that he had been betrayed by both his wife, Phoebe, and his best friend, Ted Flynn, who had conspired to steal the Rimrock from him. Now Chesham has but one thing on his mind: vengeance. Before he can take action, however, Flynn unleashes some of his hired killers and nearly succeeds in murdering the Rimrock's real owner. Chesham barely survives after he is secretly nursed back to health by his former wife's sister, Mandy. They decide to make a future together. Back in fighting shape, Chesham takes the fight to Ted Flynn, and he will stop at nothing until he brings his enemies to their knees and reclaims what is rightfully his.

I’ve read all of Ned Oaks’ Black Horse Westerns and I admit that he is still one of my favourite authors. This one has been sitting on my Kindle since it was released November 2016 and it has taken me until now to get to it. I’m happy to say, it didn’t disappoint me.

Heavily populated with a good mix of characters, it moves along at a breakneck pace, being action-packed from start to finish. It is violent in places but this is well described, not sanitized but not overly gory, which is what you expect with a Black Horse Western. Although Hank Chesham is a man wronged, I admit that I found myself losing sympathy for him as the body count started to rise. However, by the end of the book as I settled into his psyche, I was rooting for him. The ending didn’t quite ring true for me based on the lead up but, all in all, it was satisfying and didn’t detract from my enjoyment.

I’ll definitely be looking out for more by this author.

If you'd like to find out more about Ned Oaks, you can read an interview with him here.

Available from Amazon, The Crowood Press and other good booksellers.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Read and reviewed: Undercover Gun (A Clay Nash Western Book 1) by Brett Waring

Clay Nash and his neighbour Cash Matthews were never going to be friends. Matthews was a big, powerful rancher who always wanted more. Clay was just a homesteader, content with his lot. But when Matthews went after Clay’s land—and fenced off the water Clay’s cattle needed in order to survive—Clay had no choice but to declare war.
It was a foolish gesture that could only end one way, and it did—with Matthews sentencing Clay to a long, lingering death on the high desert. But somehow Clay survived, and when he came back for revenge, he was a new man, a harder man, a man who showed no mercy to his enemies. Clay Nash was Wells Fargo’s secret weapon … an undercover gun.

I enjoyed everything about this book. From the moment I picked it up, I didn't want to put it down - couldn't put it down.

Clay Nash has adversity thrust on him at every turn and like a true hero he survives and rises above it. The action is relentless in this story, as are the events that lead to the exciting finale. The author provides well developed characters, colourful scenery and enough violence to satisfy those readers who like their fiction gritty. If you're after a sanitised western look elsewhere because this one doesn't pull any punches.

Brett Waring is a pseudonym of Keith Hetherington, a prolific Australian writer whose books I have had the pleasure of reading previously. This is an older title that has been rereleased by Piccadilly Publishing and forms part of a series of 3 to be available between now and April. I've already pre-ordered mine.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Books I Read in 2016

I thought for my last post of the year I'd follow Western Fiction Review's example and post a list of the books I've read this year (mostly westerns). I've also included a couple of audio books but I didn't get on well with the format - I like to read not listen.

Along the way, I've discovered a few new authors I've enjoyed. These include BS Dunn (Laramie series), Mike Linaker (The Bodie Series), Ben Bridges (O'Brien series)


Paper books
Showdown at Dirt Crossing – Jack Dakota (Dec/Jan)
Smuggler’s Gulch – Logan Winters (Jan)
The Hellrakers – Owen G Irons (Feb)
Comes A Horseman - CJ Sommers (Feb)
Blood Money – DD Lang (Feb)
Long Ridin’ Man – Jake Douglas (Mar)
Death Comes Easy – Will Black (Apr)
Dry Gulch Revenge – Clay More (Apr)
Hell Come Calling – Josh Lockwood (Apr)
Old Guns – Ross Morton (May)
Border Gold – Sydney J Bounds (May)
Saloon – Owen G Irons (May)
McAndrew’s Stand – Bill Cartwright
The Devil’s Deacon – Emerson Dodge (Aug)
Tall Man’s Woman – Jake Douglas (Sept)
Yellow Town – Derek Rutherford (Oct)
The Mexican – Lee Clinton (Dec)

E-books
High Valley Manhunt - BS Dunn (Jan)
Apache Country – Christopher Kenworthy (Feb)
The Trail To Trinity – Owen G Irons (Feb)
West Texas Gunrunners – BS Dunn (Feb)
Mountain Justice – BS Dunn (Feb/Mar)
Killing Time – Jack Giles (Mar)
Slaughter Above The Border – BS Dunn (April)
Last Stand In Sanctuary – BS Dunn (April)
Redemption Trail (Short) – Clay More (June)
Brolin – BS Dunn (June)
Fury at Bent Fork – BS Dunn (June)
The Drygulch Trail – Ned Oaks (July)
The Gunsmoke Serenade – Thomas McNulty (July)
Death Came Calling – Adam Smith (July)
The Angry Land – Samuel A Peeples (July)
The McCallum Boys – CJ Sommers (July)
Dead man’s Eyes – Derek Rutherford (Aug)
Long Trail to Redemption – BS Dunn (Aug)
Hell Paso – Matt Cole (Aud-Sept)
The Silver Trail (1) – Ben Bridges (Sept)
Shadow Peak – Matt Cole (Sept/Oct)
Last Stage From Hell’s Mouth – Derek Rutherford (Oct)
Hard As Nails – Ben Bridges (Oct)
Mexico Breakout – Ben Bridges (Nov)
Trackdown (A Bodie the Stalker western 1) – Neil Hunter (Nov)
Bitter Is The Dust – Scott Gese (Nov)
The Boot Hill Breed – Ned Oaks (Nov/Dec)
Savage (A Drifter Western Book 1) – Jake Henry  (Dec)
Bloody Bounty (A Bodie the Stalker western 2) – Neil Hunter (Dec)
Drift (A Larry & Stitch Western Book 1) – Marshall Grover
An Elephant in the Garden - Michael Morpurgo

Audiobooks
M or N – Agatha Christie (Feb)
Caves of Steel – Isaac Asimov (Feb/Mar) – unfinished

Friday, 7 October 2016

Author Interview: Mike Linaker

As promised, here is one last interview for 2016. I hope you enjoy it.

Please tell us a little about yourself.

We were an Army family, my late, much-missed dad was a regular soldier and we moved around a great deal, even abroad for a couple of years (Malaya). Now I didn't excel at school, though oddly my favourite subjects were Art and of course English composition, so I guess it started there. After I left school I started to experiment with writing, but didn't settle down seriously with it until I was in my early twenties and it was then I knew I had to write.

How many books have you written?

Ninety-six to date (with 97 – Brand 11- under way.) This is a mix of Westerns, Sci-Fi, Horror and Action Adventure.

Do you write under any other names?

A few years ago I did but of late I stick to Neil Hunter for all my efforts. I was Richard Wyler originally and when I wrote under the Mack Bolan-Executioner imprint I had to use the house-name, but as long as my own name was on the contract I was happy.

What’s your latest writing project?

Working on Jason Brand 11 (for Piccadilly Publishing eBooks) and preparing the next couple of Westerns in the Brand/Bodie team up and the Ballard/McCall series.

You’re a British writer, what attracted you to writing westerns?

Since I first saw a Gold Medal book in a window, I was attracted to the cover and bought it I was hooked on Westerns. At that time dozens of US Westerns were available and I just fell in love with the genre. Couldn't get enough. So when I made my decision to write I went for Westerns.

Where do you get your writing inspiration from?

I'm thinking about new ideas most of the time, even when I'm working and I guess I'm lucky that new stories keep coming along. That and the plain fact I just love writing, so I stick to what I know.

Do you have any unusual writing habits?

I like to try different ways of working. I've tried writing a book like a movie is made, by working on different sections, then editing it all together at the end. Makes for an interesting time if not hard work. Last book I didn't have any chapter breaks, just kept on with the story with a simple * to denote a scene change. Helps keep the brain working. But at the end of the day it's down to a simple premise. Keep working and don't quit. Some days are more productive than others but if I only manage a single page instead of a half-dozen it doesn't matter. There always comes the long, long day and even longer night, when the work demands it. But what other job allows me to stop and start when I want without someone at my shoulder having a moan. Only writing lets me choose my hours and that's when it's great.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve heard about writing westerns?

Keep them honest. Don't write down to your readers because they deserve to be given the best. Western readers are faithful and they will stay with you if you give them what they want.

What does the well-known adage ‘write what you know’ mean to you?

Does every crime writer know everything about criminal activities? How many Sci-Fi authors have actually been into space? And how many current Western writers have experienced real life out there? Been in a real gunfight? If you love your chosen genre you research, read, and do your best to present a solid piece of writing. That's all any writer can do and I try.

What do you read for pleasure and what are you reading now?

I read in all genres. One of my favorite authors is James Patterson. Really love his books. I like thrillers, action, have read many of the classics. I've read most Louis L'Amour books because I found him so good and liked the way he wrote. His style looked easy but it was hard to emulate him.

Is there one book or author you’ve read that inspired you to write westerns and, if so, why?

As I just said Louis L'Amour and back when they were going strong I liked all the Gold Medal Books when that imprint was bringing out such great novels. So many good writers. I can still re-read those books and marvel at the great covers they produced.

Which of your books would you recommend to a first time reader? Why have you chosen it?

I would choose BRIGHAM'S WAY. A book I'm very fond of. It's about three brothers who come to Colorado in the middle of the gold strikes and set down roots. They find gold, one of them starts in the cattle business. They make enemies and have to fight to survive against the weather, the land and help build the new country. They stand together and face whatever is thrown at them and survive. Plenty of action, Western style, and a satisfactory ending. There was a second book JACOB'S ROAD, and the third SETH'S LAW is under way.

If you could go anywhere at any time- past, present or future - where would that be and why?

I would like to go and see the American West I write about. Just to view the wild country and see what it is really like. My only US trip gave me four days in Chicago. No time to go further unfortunately.

Thank you.

Here's a special treat...a full list of Mike Linaker's works.

WESTERN NOVELS

SAVAGE JOURNEY
INCIDENT AT BUTLER’S STATION

Originally written as Richard Wyler and Published by AVON BOOKS, USA. 1967. Both published by Robert Hale-UK and re-issued in USA by HarperTorch in 2004. eBooks coming.

BOUNTY KILLER – SUNDANCE 15

A badly presented mess from Nordon Publications. Original script HIGH KILL adapted for a misjudged Sundance book. Not writer’s choice and a good story ruined by the editing butchers. Published by NORDON PUBLICATIONS in SUNDANCE series, USA, 1975.

SAVAGE GUN
TALMAN’S WAR

Originally written as Dan Stewart and published by HERBERT JENKINS, GB, 1976.
Savage Gun - Large Print by Dales Large Print. ebooks coming.

BRIGHAM’S WAY
JACOB’S ROAD
SETH’S LAW (under way)
Originally written as Matt Jordan and published by HERBERT JENKINS, GB, 1976. Serialized in Norwegian magazine "WESTERN". Plus thirty short stories centered around the characters in the books. eBooks from PP.

JASON BRAND SERIES: Written as Neil Hunter. Western series devised for and published by BLADKOMPANIET AS, Norway, from 1978 onwards. Four short stories to introduce character in WESTERN magazine. All titles in series now reissued by PP as eBooks.

#1  Gun For Hire
#2  Hardcase
#3  Lobo
#4  Kill
#5  Day Of The Gun
#6  Brotherhood Of Evil
#7  Legacy Of Evil
#8  Devil’s Gold (self-published and also in Large Print-also from PP).
#9  High Kill (Original for PP)
#10 The Killing Days (Original for PP)
#11 The Vengeance Gun (Upcoming-Original for PP)

BRAND/BODIE Tieups: (New Titles for PP)

#1 - Two Guns North (Original for PP)
#2 - Two Guns West  (Original for PP)
#3 - Two Guns East   (Upcoming)
#4 - Two Guns South (Upcoming)

BODIE SERIES: Created and written for STAR BOOKS, GB as Neil Hunter. Six books, 1979.

#1 Trackdown
#2 Bloody Bounty
#3 High Hell
#4 Killing Trail
#5 Hangtown
#6 Day of The Savage
#7 Desert Run (Original for PP)
#8 The High Riders (Original for PP)
#9 Ride The Savage Hills  (Original for PP)
#10 Along The High Divide (Upcoming. Original for PP)

Ballard & McCall Series

#1 Two from Texas (Original for PP)
#2 Guns of the Brasada (Original for PP)
#3 Colorado Blood Hunt (Original for PP)

TRAVIS: Western novel. Written as Richard Wyler and published by Robert Hale, GB, 1985. eBook from PP.

ANGEL: Western series written as Frederick H. Christian on a commission from the original author Frederick Nolan. Only published in Germany. 1978.
#1 Hell’s Angel
#2 Wild Angel
#3 Angel’s Law
#4 Angel’s Way
#5 Long Ride To Hell

NEW ENGLISH LIBRARY

SCORPION: Horror/thriller published under own name by NEW ENGLISH LIBRARY, GB, 1980.(US Edition 1981 by New American Library, Swedish Edition 1982). eBook from PP

TOUCH OF HELL: Horror/thriller published under own name by New English Library, GB, 1981. eBook out from PP.

SCORPION-SECOND GENERATION: Horror/thriller published under own name by New English Library, GB, 1982.(Swedish Edition 1984). eBook out from PP.

GOLD EAGLE BOOKS, CANADA

PHOENIX FORCE SERIES

#1 Missile Menace - 1988
#2 Amazon Strike - 1989
#3 Search and Destroy (Super Novel) - 1989
#4 Main Offensive - 1989
#5 Barracuda Run - 1990
#6 Extreme Prejudice - 1990
#7 Survival Run  - 1992
#8 Dirty Mission – 1992

MACK BOLAN/EXECUTIONER SERIES

#1  War Hammer - 1993
#2  Sudden Fury -1994
#3  Hostile Action - 1995
#4  Hard Contact - 1995(Audio version of Hard Contact now available).
#5  End Game - 1997(Audio version of End Game now available).
#6  Black Dawn Rising- 1999
#7  Shadow Search – 2004 (Audio version of Shadow Search now available)
#8  Deadly Contact
#9  Dark Alliance
#10 Desperate Cargo
#11 System Corruption
#12 Cartel Clash
#13 Deadly Command
#14 Hostile Force
#15 Blind Justice – #400 in Series
#16 Viral Siege
#17 Maximum Chaos
#18 Cartel Hit
# 19 Kill Squad (published 2016)

SUPER BOLAN SERIES

#1  Zero Option  (Audio version available)
#2  Circle of Deception
#3  Blood Dynasty
#4  War Drums
#5  Patriot Play
#6  Judas Project
#7  Betrayed
#8  Chain Reaction

STONY MAN SERIES

# 1 Nuclear Nightmare -#19 in series - November 1995
# 2 Flashback -#26 in series - January 1997
# 3 Command Force -#47 in series - June 2000
# 4 Dragon Fire -#49 in series - October 2000
# 5 Extreme Measures - #55 in series - October 2001
# 6 Slingshot Project 1 - Defensive Action - August 2002
# 7 Slingshot Project 2 - Rogue State - October 2002
# 8 Day of Decision – February 2004
# 9 Freedom Fire  1 - Gathering Storm  – 2005
#10 Freedom Fire 2 - Full Blast – 2005
#11 China Crisis
#12 Terminal Guidance
#13 Terror Trail
#14 Pulse Point
#15 Double Blindside
#16 Death Minus Zero (Sequel to Zero Option)

CADE: Future fiction series for GOLD EAGLE.

#1  Darksiders - 1992
#2  Hardcase  -  1992
#3  Firestreak  - 1993
#4  Spiral (Upcoming for PP)

Now out in Large Print from Linford. eBooks out  from PP.

FUTURE TITLES

Out Of The High Country – Western Novel

The West Bay Murders – Police thriller set in 1895 Lancashire – [possible series].

Touch & Go (Crime novel - under way).

Advisor and contributor to new edition of: 20th Century Western Writers - Published by St. James Press, Chicago - 1991.

Article in Dec-Jan 2003 edition of  Writing Magazine   'Doing It My Way'

Updated – August 2016