Friday, November 25, 2011

Christmas Campfire Companion


Have a reader on your list that likes Christmas? Or likes westerns?

Or Both?

Fourteen of America's top western writers publishing today have contributed delightful Christmas stories to this collection, fourteen saddle-hardened writers who reached down to give a glimpse of  their sensitive side. Each story is a gift, and each a take on Christmas . . . a western Christmas.

Livia Reasoner (Livia J. Washburn) has been writing award-winning, critically acclaimed Western, mystery, romance, and historical novels for more than twenty-five years.

Troy D. Smith  has published eight books and more than fifty short stories and magazine articles and was a 2001 winner of the Spur Award, the western writer's equivalent of the academy award.

Frank Roderus is a well-published author of over 300 books, twice received the most prestigious award
a western writer can receive, the Spur Award.

Tim Champlin (pseudonym of John Michael Champlin) is the author of 30 historical novels over the past 30 years as well as 35 short stories and non-fiction articles.

Larry D. Sweazy won the WWA Spur award for Best Short Fiction in 2005, and was nominated for a Derringer award in 2007 and has published over 50 non-fiction articles and short stories. 

Robert Vaughan sold his first book when he was 19 years old, and, under his own name and several pseudonyms, he has sold more than 400 books, including approximately 200 Westerns. He has hit the NY Times, Publishers’ Weekly, and USA Today bestseller lists numerous times, and is the recipient of the
Spur Award (SURVIVAL, writing as K.C. McKenna).

Douglas Hirt won the Colorado Authors’ League Top Hand Award. His 1998 book, BRANDISH,
and 1999 DEADWOOD, were finalists for the SPUR award given by the Western Writers of America.He is short story writer, and the author of thirty-two novels and one book of nonfiction.

Dusty Richards is the author of a hundred western novels under his name and pseudonyms. He’s won two Spur Awards, one for a novel called “The Horse Creek Incident” and the other a short story on, “The Comanche Moon.” He also received the Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center’s Wrangler award for his book, “The Sundown Chaser.”

Kerry Newcomb was born in Connecticut but had the good fortune to be raised in Texas. Newcomb is a New York Times bestselling author with over forty novels to his credit. He has been published in several countries.

Matthew P. Mayo’s short stories appear in a variety of anthologies, and have been finalists in both Western Writers of America Spur Awards and Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Awards.  He also contributes to several popular series of Western and adventure novels and has a number of non-fiction books.

Robert J. Randisi is the author of more than 540 books in the Western, Private Eye, Men’s Adventure, and Horror genres under a number of pen names. As J.R. Roberts he is the creator and author of the long
running series “The Gunsmith.” He also wrote and created the Tracker, Angel Eyes, Bounty Hunter, Mountain Jack Pike.

Rod Miller is author of Things a Cowboy Sees and Other Poems, published by Port Yonder Press. Other recent work includes a historical novel, The Assassination of Governor Boggs as besides poetry and
fiction, he writes nonfiction, magazine articles, book reviews, and essays.

James Reasoner has been a professional writer for more than thirty years. In that time, he has authored several hundred novels and short stories in numerous genres. Best known for his Westerns, historical novels, and war novels, he is also the author of two mystery novels that have achieved cult followings, TEXAS WIND and DUST DEVILS. Writing under his own name and various pseudonyms, his novels have garnered praise from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and the Los Angeles Times, as well as appearing on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists.

They even allowed me to hang out with them in this collection:

Terry Burns writes Christian fiction with a western theme and  has over 40 books in print, including 10 novels. He has a two-book set from Port Yonder Press, included in The Sagebrush Collection. These contain the best of his short stories and a Young Adult book, Beyond the Smoke,  won the Will Rogers Medallion in 2009.

How long has it been since you read stories from such well know authors? Well, that's too long.

It is now available for order at

Thursday, November 24, 2011

It's Thanksgiving!

Oh yeah, turkey and dressing, side dishes, deserts and good friends to share the meal, then there is the football game coming up and . . .

and . . .

what am I thinking? Thanksgiving is not about food and football.

The name says it all. Thanksgiving is about stopping to count our blessings and to give thanks to our creator for all He has given us, and I don't know about you but Saundra and I have been blessed far beyond what we have any right to expect.

The greatest blessing, that I'm afraid we Christians too often take for granted, is the gift of our salvation. We didn't earn that and there is nothing we could do to deserve it. It is an unthinkable gift from a loving father, one we don't stop to give thanks for often enough.

Then there is our health, we are indeed blessed there. Sure, at our age we have some small issues, but overall we have been blessed in that department our entire lives.

We're blessed with family, five kids, ten grandkids, one great-grandson and yet another great grandkid on the way. What a huge blessing, and they are all happy and healthy and we are immensely grateful.

We have a nice home that is paid for and fits our needs very well. We don't have a lot of money but our finances are stable and we have what we need. Oh sure, there are things that we want, we wouldn't be human if there weren't things we'd like to have, but I can't think of a thing that we REALLY NEED that we don't have.

We really miss mom, particularly on holidays, but we console ourselves knowing how wonderfully happy she is and who she is with. Today of all days I remember a statement she made to me once, "I've never been hurt, never been mistreated, never been hungry. I've walked with the Lord all my life and it has been a wonderful life." She said something like that just months before she passed on, and thinking back on it that would pretty much go for me as well. I've had some hard times, but overall have been blessed my entire life and like mom have walked with the Lord for all of it.

I'm going to cut me off a big slice of gratitude and completely cover it with praise gravy because that is going to be my main focus today, giving thanks. And maybe having a little dressing on the side.

What have YOU got to be thankful for?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

"Soldiers Serve with Heart" to present Wogbook's to Deploying Soldiers at DFW Airport in USO Event

Dinner and entertainment are provided while the soldiers receive orders of their deployment. “As a veteran it is heart warming to see the response of so many volunteers wanting to show their support of our Military families on a day when most are thinking about being home,” said Ryan Lynn, founder of Soldiers Serve With Heart. “Last year I actually ran into a soldier from my unit who was re-deploying, it was awesome to connect with him on this special day.”

In addition to dinner, gift bags will be provided to the Soldiers by Monster Energy Drinks, and Crossover Publications will provide copies of its latest release, WOGBOOK - The KJV400NT Edition books.

WOGBOOK, the Words of God in a book, (written by Terry's client Randall Mooney) provides a uniquely spiritual reading experience. By removing the verse numbers and reworking the structure into a more fluid flow of information and dialogue, we have created a New Testament book that can be read in only a few days. This structure allows one to read the book many times over and to find the inspiration and wisdom for life’s journey. Discover the Words of God in a refreshingly new way. This unique approach to reading the New Testament allows the reader to experience the whole story of Christ and the Christian life in a book format.

For more information about Soldiers Serve with Heart, WOGBOOK, and Crossover Publications, visit the site and link at

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Is Amazon putting coal in small publishers’ stockings for Christmas?

Some authors’ books which last week were listed as available (ship in 1-2 days) are now listed as 5-8 weeks or 6-9 weeks or some 1-2 weeks. There doesn’t seem to be any discernable logic about what is marked with what availability. It doesn’t take a genius to see what marking a book as ‘available in 5-8 weeks’ means at this time of the year. So, what’s the deal?

Many of these books marked with such a delivery time are available right now, and if an order is placed at Amazon, it will indeed ship right away, but how is the public to know that? And if someone is ordering a book as a Christmas present how would they have any faith that they would receive it in time with the delivery date marked like that?

Amazon is the big gorilla in book sales expected by some to sell over 80% of the books in the market. What’s the old story about “where does a 500 pound gorilla sleep? Anywhere he wants to. Is that what’s going on here?

Actually, I can’t think of any reason Amazon would want people to think books they could be selling would not be in stock until after Christmas. Selling those books is what they do. Another small publisher told me when he saw that on some of his titles he quickly ordered a copy through them and it updated immediately. That’s the kind of thing that makes it look like a software glitch, not some kind of action they have taken.

As we get closer, you can expect me to talk about Christmas not being about gifts, but rather to remember whose birthday we celebrate. I very much believe that, and bristle every time someone tells me “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” But even if we put our priorities in the right place we do have to take care of business too.

Retailers make or break their year on Christmas sales and it is important to booksellers, publishers and authors as well. In today’s economy with money very tight we don’t need software problems throwing roadblocks in the way of making the most of the season. I’m told that they are working hard to correct the problem and I hope it gets resolved very soon.