Sunday, 31 December 2017

Westerns I read in 2017

Here's my annual summary of the westerns I got through during the year - about 40, which is 7 fewer than last year. However, I have written 3 books this year, which is an amazing feat for me.

You'll see there's a definite pattern. I've read a lot of series books, which I hadn't done previously. As regular readers will know, Sundance has been far and away my favourite find although my interest waned at book 7. I'm still very much enjoying Bodie - Neil Hunter, O'Brien - Ben Bridges, and Fargo - John Benteen.

Some I've reviewed and some I haven't but most I've enjoyed.

Undercover Gun (A Clay Nash western Book 1) – Brett Waring
Rimrock Renegade – Ned Oaks
High Hell (A Bodie the Stalker Western Book 3) – Neil Hunter
Arizona Wild-Cat (A Larry and Stretch Western Book 2) – Marshall Grover


The Enforcer (A Bannerman the Enforcer Western Book 1) – Kirk Hamilton
A Gun is Waiting (A Clay Nash western Book 2) – Brett Waring
Long Ride To Serenity – Harry Jay Thorn (started)
Valley Of Thunder – Sam Clancy
The Vigilance Committee – Bill Sheehy (started)

A Man Called Crow – Chris Adam Smith
The Guns of Skeleton Ridge (Laramie Davies Book 5) – BS Dunn
Riding The Line – Will DuRey

Lightning Strike – Brent Towns

To The Death (A Company ‘C’ western book 1) – Brent Towns

A Gun For Shelby (a Drifter Bk 1) – Jake Henry
The Red Hills (A Crow Western 1) – James W Marvin
Even Marshals Hang – Sam Clancy
LeRoy US Marshal – Neil Hunter
Overkill (A Sundance western Bk1) – John Benteen

Hart The Regulator: Cherokee Outlet – John B Harvey
Dead Man’s Canyon (A Sundance western Bk2) – John Benteen
Nomads From Texas (Larry & Stretch Western Book 3) – Marshall Grover
Hangman’s Noose (An O’Brien Western Book 4) – Ben Bridges
Long Trail To Yuma (A Clay Nash Western Book 3) – Brett Waring

The Killing Trail (A Bodie the Stalker Western Book 4) – Neil Hunter
Hang ‘Em All (A Judge and Dury Western Book 1) – Ben Bridges
Heller (Luke Heller Book 1) – Ben Bridges
Silence Rides Alone – Charles Milstead (started)
Dakota Territory (A Sundance western bk3) – John Benteen

Trapp – MR Law

Riding For Justice (A Judge and Dury Western Book 2) – Ben Bridges
The Box Maker – SD Parker
Death In The Lava (A Sundance western Book 4) – John Benteen
Vermijo – Nelson Hunter
Fargo (Fargo no.1) – John Benteen
Reckoning At Rimrock (A Clay Nash Western Book 4) – Brett Waring

The Deadly Dollars (An O’Brien Western Book 5) – Ben Bridges
Panama Gold (Fargo no.2) – John Benteen
Shadow Flats – Brent Towns


Blaze! Redrock Rampage (Blaze! Western Series Book 15) – Ben Boulden (started)
Squaw Man (An O’Brien Western Book 6) – Ben Bridges
Taps At Little Big Horn (A Sundance Western Book 5) - John Benteen
The Bronco Trail (A Sundance Western Book 6) - John Benteen

The Wild Stallions (A Sundance Western Book 7) - John Benteen (Dec)

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Books I read in October/November

Not a lot read in October and November so I've put them together. Far and away my favourite reads have been by John Benteen - Sundance/Fargo. Both full of action and historical detail. It's my intention now to read Sundance exclusively until I run out of books in the series or get fed up with him.

Panama Gold (Fargo no.2) – John Benteen
Shadow Flats – Brent Towns : An interesting mix of standard western and supernatural brought together in Brent's easy to read and well paced style.
The Reluctant Terrorist – Gary M Dobbs : A contemporary tale set in Wales with a very current plot. Ordinary people and situations painted larger than life and nicely complicated by a series of misadventures that are believable and unbelievable at the same time and lead to a complete and satisfying finale.

Squaw Man (An O’Brien Western Book 6) – Ben Bridges. 
Taps At Little Big Horn (A Sundance Western Book 5) - John Benteen
The Bronco Trail (A Sundance Western Book 6) - John Benteen

See you next month.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Re. Brit-West: Riding The Range With Jo Walpole

I've made a lot of new friends on the Internet, among them Paul Bishop. Ex LAPD detective, multi-published author and script writer, Paul keeps a very interesting blog. Very kindly he asked me if I'd answer a few questions for him and you can see the result of that exchange at his website here.

While you're there, I strongly recommend taking a look at his other articles which are, in his own words, an eclectic mix of pulps, film noir, sixties spy shows, and other topics - plus the required book news, articles, and promotion. Make sure you have tea and biscuits to hand though because you might be there awhile.

Monday, 6 November 2017

AVAILABLE NOW Maggie O'Bannen 1: Days of Evil by Joe Slade

At long last Maggie is unleashed on the world. I just hope you can handle her.

Available from all the usual e-outlets.


Maggie knocked back the hammer with the heel of her hand and fired again, lower this time as his body sunk on weakened legs. The bullet missed, instead tearing splinters from the porch. Panic washed over her but she had practiced rapid firing time and again and the action came without any thought. Her third bullet hit him in the face, shattering his nose and taking out the back of his head in a spray of splintered bone and pulped brain.
Behind him, Sonny Bomer felt the heat of the same bullet as it skimmed his leg. Older and more experienced, a veteran of the war, staring down the barrel of a gun hardly seemed to faze him. Instinctively, he reached for his belt gun, turning his body as he fired.
Maggie’s shot missed. Sonny’s didn’t. The .38 caliber slug hit her in the shoulder. For a couple of seconds, she didn’t realize. She tried to draw back the hammer for another shot but the gun slipped from her grasp as a strange tingling numbed her hand. It hit her then. Excruciating pain. Burning through her like the red-hot tip of a branding iron. She started to sway, sure she was dying as hot blood poured down her back and her strength drained away.
Before she could fall, Sonny grabbed her by the hair and lifted her chin with the muzzle of his gun so that she could see his cold and impassive face.
‘You killed a couple of good men tonight, girl. To tell the truth, I wouldn’t have thought you had it in you but …’ He stroked her cheek with the cold steel. ‘Hey, I’ve never understood women.’
She tried to stay focused on what he was saying but all she could think about was the blood. Hot and flowing. And the inevitability. For seven years she had lived with the promise of death never more than a day away. I’ll kill you tomorrow, Frank used to say. As the years had gone by, Frank’s bedtime warning had turned in to a habit, but she had never stopped believing it. For some reason, she was glad it wasn’t him that would finally pull the trigger.
The click, click, click of the hammer being drawn back sounded loud near her ear. A countdown to death.
 ‘Close your eyes,’ Sonny ordered. ‘It’ll be easier that way.’
She ignored him and swallowed hard, desperate to say one last thing. ‘Killing … should never b-be easy.’
For a second, he contemplated her words then his brow furrowed. He seemed angry as he stepped back a few paces and leveled the gun towards her.
‘I meant dying,’ he said, roughly.
Weakened by loss of blood and without his hand to support her, she started to sway. She wondered how much time had passed since her encounter with Walt McLean. It had been mid morning. Now she was struggling to make out Sonny’s features through semi-darkness. Yet there was Frank, standing right behind him.
She chuckled mirthlessly. ‘Better close your eyes, Sonny.’

Saturday, 21 October 2017

First Review for Maggie O'Bannen 1: Days of Evil by Joe Slade

Maggie O'Bannen Book 1: Days of Evil is released on 6 November courtesy of Piccadilly Publishing. Thanks to all you lovely people who have already pre-ordered it. Here's the first review courtesy of Western Fiction Review.

This book is definitely a page-turner that I couldn’t put down. Jo has created a superb new western heroine in Maggie O’Bannen and I’ve been left hungry for the second book

Read the full review here.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Guest Blog - The Westcon Trail by Charles Millsted

I was approached a while ago by Charles Millstead, fellow writer and western enthusiast, who asked if I'd be interested in attending a western convention in the UK, if there was such a thing. Having made many friends in the genre from writers and readers to publishers and artists, I thought it was an interesting idea. Since then, the concept has taken shape and I have invited Charles to contribute a guest post for my blog so that he can get the word out to a few more people and hopefully gauge more clearly what the interest might be. So, I hand you over to Charles...

The roots of Westcon started before I got involved. I like to imagine a scene in which there were four of them sat at a round table while the barman stood behind the long bar, slowly polishing a glass. The four were Pistol Pete Sutton, Captain Claire Fisher, Jonathan ‘Doc’ Howard and the mysterious Stark Holborn. They were plotting something big. At some point Pistol Pete contacted me and I agreed to join the ride. Someone raised a hand with all five fingers upwards.

Westcon, the ‘something big’ mentioned above, is a convention planned for 2018 celebrating all things western. We are going to hold a one day event in Bristol at which we hope to have as many western creators as we can entice. There will be authors reading from their books, panels discussing as many aspects of the western as we can fit in, display space for artists, tables for dealers in western books and related merchandise and possibly some western re-enactors (there are two groups in Bristol alone). We might also have quizzes, whisky tasting and other activities. If you have ideas please get in touch.

Who are we? Pete Sutton organises the Bristol Festival of Literature and other events as well as being a talented writer of speculative fiction. Claire keeps Pete in order. Jonathan L. Howard is a games designer and writer who has created ‘The Broken Sword’ game and the Johannes Cabal books among many other things. Stark Holborn is the writer of the acclaimed ‘Nunslinger’ book. And I’m the author of ‘Silence Rides Alone’. Collectively, we all love a good western.

As a build up to the 2018 event we are planning a series of events this October to build interest and awareness. On 14 October the good folks who run Bristol Horrorcon are letting us run a panel discussion about weird westerns as part of their programme. We are being joined for that by horror legend Kim Newman. (See for how to get tickets). 23 October is the date for an event we are calling ‘Once Upon a Time in the West’ which will be a showing of the Coen Brothers version of ‘True Grit’ followed by a discussion of adapting novels for the screen. This is part of the Bristol Festival of Literature and tickets can be obtained at The last of the trilogy of events is courtesy of the organisers of the local science fiction convention, Bristolcon, who are hosting us for a panel discussion entitled ‘A Fistful of Genres’. That will be on the 18th October. See for details.

If you are finding this at Jo Walpole’s blog then you are obviously a person of taste and distinction and we would welcome your input. What would you want to see at a western convention? Who would be your ideal guest of honour? Do you know others that might be interested to whom you could spread the word? Contact me at Details of the venue should be available soon. A website will follow that.  

Crime fiction has Harrogate and Crimefest. Science Fiction has Worldcon, Eastercon and many others. Isn’t it about time that the western had a convention of its own?

Wagons ho!

Ian Charles Millsted
On facebook at @charlesmillstedwesterns