Residents of a small dusty town are held fast in the grip of a controlling, cruel egomaniac. Those who try to leave are hunted down and killed. When a stranger comes seeking medical help, enforcers begin dying one by one. Only one person knows why, and that person may be the town’s only hope. This is a tale of secrets, hope and the bravery it takes to stand up to cruelty.
Available now for less than the price of lunch at Smashwords in all formats!
There is a town held fast by the powerful grip of fear – of one man. No one dares to stand against him until a secretive, mysterious stranger comes to town looking for medical help. They just want to be patched up and leave town, but the raging infection and a stunning brunette doctor won’t allow that. When enforcers start dying one by one, suspicion starts to fly as thick as the dust on the street. But no one suspects the stranger.
One day, there is a showdown between the stranger and the man who rules the town with fear, and only one of them will be left standing.
This is a tale of secrets, hope and the bravery it takes to stand up to cruelty.
Cheaper than a burger, you can find it at Smashwords, Amazon or other fine retailers.
Can a chef from the Rose City find true love in the heart of Texas?
I was caught by the cover, so of course, I wanted to know the answer to that question!
I loved everything about this book, the cover, the descriptive passages painting a humid picture of Texas, the horses, and did I mention the cover? There is humour here, heartache, frustration, hope, and did I mention horses? The writing is top-notch. The characters are so real, you can feel their dreams, feel their disappointments, their passion and fears. I could smell the horses, see the stars, taste the food…oh, the food! The food alone is a great reason to read this book.
Seriously, I did not want this book to end. If I could give it fifteen stars, I would.
I will be reading this one again. It has definitely earned a place in my read-once-a-year-pile.
It’s that good.
And not just because of the horses.
Did I mention how much I love that cover?
Thank you to Jenn Alexander for a wonderfully captivating book, and Bywater Books for the ARC in exchange for an honest review that resulted in my love affair with this book.
Even though this is #3 in the series, it was quite easy to read without having read the previous ones. I don’t think I missed out by jumping in at #3.
William W. Johnstone is the author of over 300 books, and while that kind of productivity as an author is staggering, this was my first introduction to his writing. It’s my understanding that this book was one of many written by either a basic outline or an unfinished manuscript by William W. Johnstone, after his death. While I found that tidbit interesting, as both an author and a reader, it did not detract from the story.
Let’s talk about the less-than-wonderful parts first.
There were a number of sentences that went on far too long. One in particular that stands out was an entire paragraph long. No, it was not dialogue. Passages like that can tire the reader. But I plowed on.
I would have liked to have been shown the land they rode through a bit more often. A better description of the cattle too.
Now, all that being said, this novel did have strengths.
The main character was well-developed, both in a easy-to-see sort of way and psychologically. His motivations were clear, relatable and he was a genuinely good guy.
Conflicts in the plot were resolved in a way that made sense for the land and the time.
It was an entertaining story that was easy to read and highly enjoyable.
I’m very glad Netgalley and the publisher granted me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Like everyone else, I’m cursing this insidious, sneaky and frightening virus we’ve called COVID-19. It has touched so many people all across the world, on so many levels, and it’s not done with us yet. We’ll feel the effects for some time to come, I’m afraid. We need to rise above the overwhelm, and one of the ways we can do that is by reading.
Read novels, poetry, short stories, whatever strikes your fancy. In order to help you do that, I’ve put Undercover Justice on sale. For free. If the Old West is your thing, or you just simply like going back to an era where good battled evil and the moral code was easy to understand, you might like Undercover Justice.
It’s a short read, you can read it wherever and whenever you like. In whatever format you like, epub mobi pdf lrf pdb txt HTML. Slip over to Smashwords and check it out. If you like it, I’d be grateful if you left a review! Anyway, here’s the link you need to get the short story.
Austin’s killed a man. Escaping his nefarious past and running from those who would force him to live as a woman, Austin dreams of becoming an upstanding man and homesteading alone on the fringes of the wild frontier.
The burgeoning tent township of Molasses Pond is clenched in the bloody fist of the deadliest gunslinger the country has ever known, Lightning Jack McKade. McKade knows who Austin is. In fact, McKade knows more about Austin’s past than Austin does. He had a hand in creating it.
On the last stagecoach until spring, a mail order bride, Sahara Miller, arrives in Molasses Pond. She claims to be Austin’s and has the documentation to prove it. But McKade’s gang will do anything to have her. Now Austin must choose: Strap on his twin six-shooters to protect the bride he never wanted, or turn a blind eye and keep his dream alive.
This is a brilliant book that meets every convention of Western fiction, but then goes far beyond. There are a couple of fascinating sub-plots that really added to my overall enjoyment of the book. The characters are all unique and memorable, and there seem to be more bad guys than good. A couple of them don’t make their allegiances clear right away, and we’re left wondering whose side they’re on. At times, it seemed like the townsfolk hated Austin, and then they didn’t, then did…so we’re left guessing. And there are twists! Twists written so well that they seemed to make perfect sense.
Now, I know a thing or three about the old muzzle-loaders. I know how to load a flintlock, and a percussion-cap, and I know first-hand how heavy Two-Feather’s Hawken is. So I can tell you that the author knows their stuff when they write about the guns in this novel.Yes, there are a couple of places that the book stumbles into a speed-bump, but overall, the pacing is great. This is a debut, and it’s not going to be perfect. it’s hard to write a book, y’all. But ignore those speedbumps and let yourself get sucked into the story.
I loved every moment of this book. It’s going to the top of my read-this-one-over-and-over-again pile.
Thank you to the author for writing the best Western I’ve read in years. Thank you to Bold Strokes for taking a chance on a Western and letting transgender folks see themselves represented. (And the cover artist needs a raise!) Thank you for letting me read such a great book in exchange for me gushing about it.
Did I mention I loved this book?
There is a town held fast by the powerful grip of fear – of one man. No one dares to stand against him until a mysterious stranger comes to town looking for medical help. They just want to be patched up and leave town, but the raging infection and a stunning brunette doctor won’t allow that. When enforcers start dying quietly, one by one, suspicion starts to fly as thick as the dust on the street. But no one suspects the stranger.
It’s the perfect solution to isolation. A quick read that won’t threaten your bank account. There are horses, a cow named…Cow, a tyrant and a hero. Wander back to the glory days of Louis L’Amour and get your copy at Amazon or Smashwords.
I’d love to know what you think!
I had very high hopes for this book. I thought the premise was a little odd and if I considered it, a little unbelievable. The cover was interesting, so I blazed ahead.
By the end of the first chapter, I wanted to slap the spit out of the main character, Tennesee, known as Tennie throughout the book. Now, if a woman is going to be a marshal, she should know that she’s not going to be respected with a shortened version of a name that sounds like it belongs on an eight-year-old.
Whatever. I kept reading.
She cried. All. The. Time.
Okay, maybe being a marshal and a step-mother will make her grow a spine.
She wanted to cry. All. The. Time.
I had to stop reading for a day or two because the speech patterns pulled me out of the story, the character development and growth I was waiting for wasn’t happening, and I couldn’t see the motivation behind the “romance” aspect. Because there really wasn’t one. Tennie fell in and out of having feelings for some stranger that never really told her the truth so often that after a while, I was skipping paragraphs.
Whatever. I kept reading.
The angst in this story is overdone. I grew extremely tired of Tennie’s lack of backbone. There were actions taken by secondary characters that had no motive and so were pointless. There were characters that Tennie interacted with that were unnecessary, crying jags that did not result in any kind of growth or decisions or…anything. She went off into a graveyard, cried and …we never found out if there was any point to it.
Putting the book aside again, I went to Amazon and Google to learn what I could about the true author, since Easy Jackson is quite obviously a pen name. I have no problem with that. I was perplexed to find that the author is a past journalist and award winner for some of her pieces. I was confused even more reading other reviews of this work that sang the praises of the prose, the characters and the setting. Were we reading the same book? I found the book riddled with open-ended sub-plot lines, questions about multiple characters pasts that were never answered and multiple scenes that didn’t contribute to the plot in any way. The ending was rushed, nonsensical and far too convenient.
Now, I will tell you that the three boys, Tennie’s stepsons, grew enormously as characters. So much so, that I was quite proud of them by the end. The book has a great cover, and apparently, a sequel is in the works, due out by 2019.
Maybe I’ve just read so many really good books that I’ve set my reviewer bar too high. Maybe I’m being harsh. But I expected a better quality story from an author that has written other, multiple works.
I was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review of this story. This is as honest as I can be.
I enjoyed this novella more than I expected. It’s entertaining escapism to be sure, but I could see a trio of determined sisters pulling off something like this. At least until they got a reputation. But history is peppered with women that were forced to get creative if they didn’t want to make money on their backs, so there is a precedent for this type of creativity. Anyway, each of the sisters stood out on their own. Annabelle and Ruby each grew a backbone after life dealt them a bit of reality and they certainly had grit. Meg was already tough. This is a quick read, but an entertaining one. The cover is a little hokey, but the writing inside is better. The author is an award-winning and best-selling with far more books than just this one that you can find at her website.
I’m pleased to see it launched other stories about the sisters. I plan on looking those up.
You can find the novella at Amazon
Can you guess what genre I’ve been writing in lately?