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Scott Harris

A Bloody Day in Destiny

“A Bloody Day in Destiny” is a collection of four short stories from an author new to writing Westerns, Russ Towne. While Russ has written quite a few books over the past few years, this is his first foray into our genre, and it’s a good one. The book’s namesake story, “A Bloody Day in

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Mile 11: Stephen King

Stephen King’s book on writing is called, you guessed it, “On Writing.” Some consider it a classic of the “writers helping other writers” genre. I don’t actually know if that’s a genre, but it should be, and King’s book is a good one. While he’s best known for his horror, fantasy and supernatural books, none

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Movie Review: The First Texan

1956’s “The First Texan” is a star vehicle for one of the biggest Western stars ever — Joel McCrea. If you like Joel McCrea, you’ll love this movie. It’s an hour and 22 minutes long, and McCrea is on screen for about an hour and 19 minutes. McCrea stars as Sam Houston, who resigns, in

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Forum Featuring Nik Morton

When — and why — did you first fall in love with Westerns? I grew up with them — a Western on TV virtually every night of the week in England in the 1950s. I read the Roy Rogers, Pecos Bill and Lash LaRue comics, among others, and the Buffalo Bill annuals. And in those

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Six Bullets to Sundown, Volume 13

“Six Bullets to Sundown, Volume 13” is (and this should be no surprise) the 13th book in the “Six Bullets” series. It’s a relatively new series, and a new volume is being released almost monthly. This particular anthology has six stories by six different authors. As with most anthologies, I liked some stories more than

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Mile 10: Be There!

If you read the previous post, “Mile 9,” you’ve hopefully written your first line. If so, congratulations! Now it’s time for the second line and to put some serious thought to your characters. I stole the title of this Trail Notes from James Patterson, one of the world’s best-selling authors. When talking about bringing life

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Book Review: Cloudy in the West

Some reviews are easier to write than others. This one could be very simple. Elmer Kelton Western novel ’Nuff said However, I’ll give you a bit more. “Cloudy in the West” is Kelton’s 1997 novel, a book that takes place in 1885, deep in Texas. Our protagonist is a 12-year-old boy, Joey Shipman, who loses

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Forum Featuring Juliette Douglas

When — and why — did you first fall in love with Westerns? I loved Westerns as a kid, then fell away from them. Picked back up watching and reading when I began writing them. Who are your three favorite Western writers? Hum … I think honestly for me there is only one. Louis L’Amour.

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Ride the Wild Range

This Thursday’s Featured Book blog post is on Cheryl Pierson’s “Ride the Wild Range.” Cheryl and I have been working together on a couple of projects, and I’ve enjoyed getting to know her. She’s a bundle of energy — and all of it positive. I asked her which of her books I should start with,

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Mile 9: First Line

The novel of 50,000 words begins with the first line. With apologies to Lao Tzu, writing a book is a journey, and at some point, you have to start. For most of us, staring at that blank page, or that blank screen, with not a word written, can be daunting, even overwhelming. Fight that feeling,

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