Thursday, 27 September 2018

First review for Maggie O'Bannen Book 3 - Nowhere to Run by Joe Slade

Thanks to Western Fiction Review for kindly reviewing my latest release here.

It's good to know there's at least one happy reader out there.

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

October 2018 - Maggie O'Bannen 3: Nowhere To Run by Joe Slade

‘What if I don’t want to play?’
‘Then your friends die one by one until you do.’

After surviving a series of traumatic events, Maggie O’Bannen is at last starting to heal and the scars of the past are fading. Not to mention that things with her close friend Doc John Simpkins could be about to get interesting. However, the depiction of her exploits in a series of dime novels mean her reputation reaches far and wide and when a couple of down on their luck gunmen believe what they read, they hatch a plan to make Maggie their quarry in a deadly hunt.
A bungled bank robbery, a kidnapping and the arrival of an old friend bearing bad news are only the beginning as Maggie is drawn into a fight for her life. Armed with a short temper, outlaw Frank O’Bannen’s Schofield and the resolve to use both, she refuses to let anyone stand in her way.
Outnumbered and outgunned, she might be. What her enemies don’t realize, is that her biggest weakness is also her greatest strength and when there’s nowhere to run, they’ll be the ones looking for a place to hide.

Available 1 October 2018 from Amazon and other ebook sellers.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Books I read in March and April

I actually read more than I thought despite getting bogged down with a non-western that never seemed to end (I guess it would have been a thick book had it been paper not digital). The story was okay but I missed my gunfights and fisticuffs. At least I can say I read one non-western this year. I must admit, I prefer a short read about what I know.

My new favourite is Brand. He's as tough as old boots, knows his strengths and gets the job done with the minimum amount of fuss. He also seems to have a lot of blood judging by how much he loses. I'm looking forward to binge-reading a few of these in the next couple of months.

Here's the list with links to any reviews.

Gun For Hire (Brand 1) - Neil Hunter
Deception Creek - Ned Oaks
Blaze – Ben Boulden
Apache Raiders (A Fargo Western Book 4) – John Benteen
Hot Lead: Issue One – The Piccadilly Cowboys (review here)
Modern Sorcery (Jonathon Shade Book 1) – Gary Jonas  (the non-western, entertaining but long)

Canyon Of The Dead – Andrew McBride
LeRoy 2: The Savage Breed – Neil Hunter (review here)
Hardcase (Brand 2) – Neil Hunter

Happy reading.

Friday, 27 April 2018

Film Review: The Warrior's Way (2010)

A warrior-assassin reaches the pinnacle of his career only to discover he has a conscience. This leads him from the mystical East (think Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) to the old West (think Sin City type visuals). There he discovers himself whilst helping the odd assortment of people he meets there to regain their dignity.

I've seen this film several times since its release in 2010 and I enjoy it every time. As a fan of martial arts and westerns, it ticks two boxes wonderfully well

The visuals and the beautifully choreographed fight scenes, incorporating lots of wire work, are stunning. The story itself is interesting with several threads and the acting is second to none. The cast contains several familiar faces - Kate Bosworth, Geoffrey Rush, Tony Cox and Danny Huston. The lead, Dong-Gun Jang, isn't well-known to me (although he has been in the last season of Suits), but he impresses even in his quiet scenes.

To summarise - good story, martial arts, traditional western elements and stunning visuals make this a joy to watch and I'd recommend it every time.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Review: LeRoy US Marshal - The Savage Breed by Neil Hunter

Latimer was a tough Texas town. But things got a whole heap tougher when Ralph Elphick decided he wanted the oil discovered on range owned by Callum Bascombe and his wife Abby. Elphick’s first move was to have Callum Bascombe ‘vanish’. He figured Abby would be only too willing to sign over the land after that.

But Abby was tougher than she looked—resourceful, too. Accepting that her husband was most likely dead, she penned a letter to the US Marshal’s office, asking for help in solving her problem.

That’s where US Marshal Alvin LeRoy came into it.

LeRoy slipped quietly into town, playing an undercover role while he checked out the lay of the land. But things didn’t go according to plan. He took a beating that laid him up and did nothing to make him feel any more kindly toward the bad guys.
Stubborn as hell, LeRoy just kept coming, until Elphick’s hired guns took a hand. Bullets flew and bodies piled up, but there was just no stopping him. By the time he was through, Latimer knew the fury of one man’s fight for justice ... US Marshal Alvin LeRoy’s kind of justice.

Having very much enjoyed the first book in the series, I was looking forward to reading more about LeRoy. Tough and on the whole uncomplicated, he is a man of action not afraid to put himself right in the middle of trouble to get the job done. This outing sees him up against a group of men arrogant enough to consider themselves too clever and important not to succeed in their evil plans. This makes LeRoy's understated handling of them that more satisfying.

If you enjoy a no-nonsense, well-rounded story with plenty of action I'd definitely recommend LeRoy. As always, Neil Hunter writes in an easy to read style and the story is well paced and leaves no loose ends whilst promising more adventures for the US Marshal.

Finally, make sure you read the bio at the end. 

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Jo Walpole at Gravetapping

To coincide with the release of the second book in the Maggie O'Bannen series, fellow writer and western enthusiast Ben Boulden asked me a few questions for his Gravetapping blog.

Interview: Jo Walpole 

Jo Walpole published her first novel in 2005—a well-received Western romance she would “prefer to keep…in the past”—and since then Jo has written another eight novels and a short story collection. Her recent work has been in the Western genre, both traditional—“standard [and] non-offensive”—written as by Terry James, and a more violent and graphic variety with her tough-as-nails Maggie O’Bannen series, written as by Joe Slade.

Jo’s work has been well-received by critics and readers alike. The first Maggie O’Bannen novel, Days of Evil, was called “absorbing” with “smooth writing, real characters, and a great story” by novelist Paul Bishop. Her writing has also been hailed as “fun”, “fast moving, hard hitting”, and “unputdownable”.
Jo was kind enough to take a break from her writing and answer a few questions. The questions are italicized, and as always, the answers are so much more important.

What’s your latest novel?

It’s called Wanted - Deadand is the second in the Maggie O’Bannen series, which I write as Joe Slade for Piccadilly...You can find out what I had to say here.

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Promo: The Maggie O'Bannen Series by Joe Slade

After the success of the first book in this series, I'm excited to announce that Maggie O'Bannen rides again on 1 April.

If you read book 1 and are expecting more of the same from book 2, I hope you won't be disappointed, but make no mistake, Maggie is evolving. No more is she the frightened girl fighting for survival. Now Maggie is ready to dig deep and face trouble head on. Be assured, the results will be no less bloody.

You'll find reviews for Days of Evil at Amazon and Goodreads. There are reviews for both titles at the much respected Western Fiction Review. Also, I recently received a positive mention in the new Fanzine Hot Lead (review hereunder the pseudonyms of Joe Slade and Terry James where it is alleged that I (and a few others) have 'embraced the Western with a genuine understanding of its current tenets and a healthy respect for the traditions that have gone before'. High praise indeed! However, to quote a fictional character from A Knight's Tale: 'That's for every man to decide for himself'.

Book 1 - Days of Evil

Kidnapped at the age of sixteen, Maggie has survived the fickle temper of notorious outlaw Mad Dog Frank O’Bannen for seven years. Now he is dead and she is about to find out that there are worse ways to live and die than as the wife of a wanted man.
Frank had prepared her as best he could for what would follow and when she leaves her prison in the hills she has the blood of three men on her hands and knows the feel of hot lead. Soon her hard-won freedom is in doubt and she finds herself pursued by Frank’s old partner, a man with a vicious reputation and more than one score to settle.

Maggie has Frank’s gun, her keen wits and new friends to help her, but will they be enough to save her from the brutality of a maniac bent on revenge?

Book 2 - Wanted: Dead

Frank O’Bannen wanted five thousand dollars to let you go. I offered him ten thousand to kill you.’

Kidnapped at sixteen, Maggie O’Bannen returns home after seven years to be reunited with her father. No longer the idealistic girl she once was, her return is meant to help put her demons to rest. Instead, it sets in motion a series of events that will put her on a collision course with trouble, and this time, Maggie has no qualms about speeding towards it.

Discovering who was behind her abduction is just the beginning. Murder with no apparent motive and no suspect soon brings her under the scrutiny of the local sheriff. As the body count rises, Maggie fights for her life against a foe who will stop at nothing to win.

As events escalate, Maggie will need to rely on her friends more than ever before if she is to survive. But at what cost?