Wednesday, December 27, 2023




A Jeremiah Halstead Western

By Terrance McCauley

Pinnacle Books

316 Pgs.  

This is the fourth entry in the Jeremiah Halstead series and like the previous books, a slam-bang action packed western ride. At the end of the last installment, Halstead, the protégé of Montana Marshal Aaron Mackey, had been falsely charged with the murder of to sheriff’s deputies and a warrant issued for his arrest. Knowing fully well his Deputy Marshal had been targeted by a corrupt federal judge, Mackey allowed Halstead time to escape the city and disappear into the western mountain ranges known as the Flatheads.

As “Born To Hang” opens, Mackey, fearing numerous bounty hunters are now on Halstead’s trail, dispatches another of his men, Jason Sanborne, to find the fugitive and bring him back to Helena before he’s gunned down. Mackey is right to be worried, as Halstead is indeed set upon by mountain trappers eager to claim the five thousand dollar reward on his head. After surviving two such ambushes and leaving five men dead, Halstead comes down out of the mountains to a small village known as Barren Pines. Here he hopes to resupply his provisions and wait out a harsh winter storm. 

Instead what he finds is a conniving dance hall queen known as the Glamorous Glenda who is working with the town lawman, to trap Halstead and bring him back to Missoula for the reward. At the same, Halstead’s nemesis, the one-armed Emil Riker, is on his way there along with a group of gunmen to mete out his own blood vengeance on the man who killed his brother and took shot off his arm. 

Between killers and surprise allies, Barren Pines soon becomes the nexus of survival for the weary Halstead. Will his uncanny luck finally expire? Once again, Terrance McCauley spins a truly terrific story with memorable characters and tons of gun-blazing action. “Born To Hang” is another of his bonafide western winners.

Thursday, December 21, 2023




An Aarastad Story

By Micah Swanson Harris

Minor Profit Press

104 pgs


“Incognito” is the fourth book in Micah Swanson Harris’ exciting fantasy swashbuckling series. It’s fantasy in that the stories take place on an alternate world, in particular a Scandinavian country called Aarastad which shares its history not only with the northern climes, but Russia as well. Most of the principalities border a gigantic glacier and the accepted mode of transportation is via massive skating ships. As if that wasn’t enough, the glacier itself acts as a portal between other dimensions in time and space.

Which is where this adventure begins. Captain Bulan and his crew, aboard a giant steam-powered ice-ship are returning to their home. What they don’t realize is that they have been manipulated of a powerful necromancer and are sent to the wrong Aarastad. Bulan believes Queen Freya to be his lover and when she loudly denies even knowing him in front of the entire royal court; he opts to take matters in his own hands by kidnapping her.

What Bulan doesn’t know is this Freya’s fiancée, Count Ambrose, is in actually the masked outlaw swordsman known as the Wurger Medicant. Think Zorro only with an ominous metal mask that hides his entire face. Naturally he sets off, with the Queen’s double, Ingrid, and a young man name Hans Brinker, to rescue his beloved. By the time he and his allies reach Bulan’s shipt, the story’s pacing is full into hyperdrive.

Harris’ imagination is deliriously over-the-top. There are plenty of great, fun, romantic characters and he’s not afraid to inject solid doses of slap-stick humor to lighten various scenes. In all, “Incognito” is a terrific adventure that will surely tempt you to hunt up the previous three volumes in his Aarastad tales. That would be a smart move on your part.

Monday, December 04, 2023




By J.P. Linde

El Dorado Publishing

212 pgs


We’ve always had a fondest for stories that bring together historical figures, who in reality never met. Such is the case in this new adventure by J.P. Linde. H has American writer Jack London venturing into the rugged mountains of Alaska after encountering none other that former western lawman, Wyatt Earp. Thay premise alone was enough to wet our appetite.


An old gold prospector named Chilkoot Charlie has discovered a fantastic gold mine. Unfortunately for him, the news of his claim is discovered by an unscrupulous dentist named Lee. Lee immediately sets about hiring thugs to capture the old man and learn the location of his mine. Before they can do so, Charlie draws a map and mails it his friend Jack London in San Franciso. Upon receipt of the map, London books package on a steamer bound for Juneau. Only a few days earlier he had met a young black boy named Tomas and the boy’s dog Terry. The boy’s father was missing and Tomas was desperate to find him.

Dentist Lee learns of the map sent to London and wires ex-lawman Wyatt Earp to retrieve it using any means necessary. Tomas, aware the mercenary gunfighter is also traveling on the steamer, stows away on the ship and warns London. And thus begins the chase with Earp, and a few of Lee’s thugs, after the famed novelist and orphan lad and his dog. What intrigued us was Linde’s using Earp as a villain.

He paints Earp as a cold-blooded killer whose only interest is money. Now that’s a very huge leap from the Hollywood hero most of us have grown up with. Still, history is a fickle animal and her accounts are often suspect to various interpretations. There were in fact lots of folks who consider Earp, and his brothers, just another rough-house gang no better than the other outlaws of the era. One has to wonder if the truth lies somewhere between the two disparities. In the end, Linde’s approach is a novelty. The writer even throws in a beautiful green-eyed brunette femme-fatale named Nicole who mesmerizes both the writer and the lawdog throughout.

By the book’s climax, we were soundly entertained and applaud what is an old fashion, rousing outdoor adventure much like Jack London would have penned himself. “Fool’s Gold” is a fun new look back when men and women accepted the challenge of the wilderness with gusto and a bit of foolish bravado, ala the book’s title. We think you’ll enjoy it.