Traditional western novelist
A Score to Settle
A Score to Settle is set on the Goodnight-Loving cattle trail, New Mexico Territory. In 1871, Del Lawson fights to put his life back together after his family is killed. Along the way, he finds romance, revenge, and redemption.
It’s available on outlets like Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, and Bookbub.
Sinola, New Mexico Territory
“Tell me your story, Del. We got time.”
Del tried to piece the last few days together. He told Sonny about leaving Rose and—
She interrupted. “That your woman?”
“If she’ll have me. If I ever see her again.” He told her about the search to find Tyson. Riding through Santa Rosa, the trickery about Lost Creek, Potter’s ambush south of town amid the sandstorm. Riding for Wilkins’ ranch and Shade being played out. The desperate walk to find Sinola in the dark.
“You’ve had quite the adventure, Del Lawson.”
Back Cover Blurb
Broken after his family is murdered, rancher Del Lawson signs on to a cattle drive along the Goodnight Loving trail in 1870—unaware he's still in danger. When he falls for a pretty Army nurse, the killers target her.
If he's to recover from his grief and build a new life, Del must set out on a gritty hunt for the men who are hunting him.
Meanwhile, Del's mother, Maybelle, doesn't know her son survived that murderous night. When she discovers the gold the killers are after, she uses the treasure in an elaborate masquerade to try to take the murderers down.
Will mother and son's plans reap justice—or destroy what's left of the Lawson clan?
The Reckoning is a western mystery, set in South Park, Colorado, in 1868. It was released by my publisher, The Wild Rose Press, in 2016.
It's available on all e-outlets like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.
It’s also available on audible.com.
South Park, Colorado
Ike McAlister spurred hard for the two renegades galloping dead ahead. Early spring mud flew from his horse’s hooves as he closed on his prey.
He felt the familiar sense of cold fury come over him. His parents' killers had eluded him for far too long. Ike slapped his reins left and right on Ally’s neck, something he’d rarely ever done, even during the war. He’d catch these murderers like he’d caught the others, or die trying.
BACK COVER BLURB
Ike McAlister returns home to Kansas after the Civil War, his soul bruised and empty. Worse, his parents have been killed by Quantrill’s raiders who are still on the loose. No stranger to death and destruction, he vows to run the killers down.
A clue leads him to the high plains of Colorado, but when his sister, Sue, disappears there his world quickly spins out of control. In the midst of this turmoil a feisty landlady sparks an attraction that’s the only good thing in Ike’s life.
Now, in a race against time he must make a deadly choice. If he continues to pursue the killers, Sue will likely never be found. If he veers off to find her, the killers' trail will likely go cold. Which track to follow? Will the love of family triumph in his broken heart or will it be the passionate hate of revenge?
The Renewal is a western mystery released by The Wild Rose Press. It's the sequel to The Reckoning. Set in 1872, Ike McAlister fights to save his land from the railroad coming soon to South Park, Colorado.
It’s available on all e-outlets like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.
It’s also available on audible.com.
Ike McAlister spied three rustlers ahead as he rounded the rocky ledge. A bullet whistled by his head and pinged off a large granite boulder behind him. He dove off Ally and ducked behind the outcropping, waiting for their next move. Cattle thieves weren’t common in this part of South Park, but they weren’t unheard of either. Some of his stock was missing and he’d picked up these riders’ trail. His partner, Buster, was on the other side of the Park searching for the same stock, so Ike was alone on the valley floor.
He peeked around the rock, gripping his gun handle. The rustlers were driving five cattle south, away from his ranch. At least they hadn’t gotten either of his bulls. The drag rustler looked back occasionally, but none of them seemed to be in any hurry. Ike considered his options. He could follow and if he was lucky, scatter them with his rifle, then drive the animals back to his spread, or he could turn back now and let the bandits have the cattle.
He never was one to turn back. He’d get his stock one way or another.
BACK COVER BLURB
Ike McAlister has finally put the ghosts of his past to rest. He’s found new joy with a spirited wife, a young daughter, and a mountain valley ranch where a man can make something of himself. But a coming railroad through the South Park valley threatens to take his land and tear his hard-won peace apart.
Discovering that the railroad could easily bypass his ranch, he organizes opposition and earns the animus of the formidable foreman. When Ike’s brother Rob, the sheriff, is bushwhacked, Ike sets out on a high stakes quest to get the killer before the killer gets him.
I found out my grandfather had actually prospected in the Yukon for two years in 1898, and ever since, I've had a fascination with Jack London, Robert Service and tales of the Yukon. I've had a short story published in an anthology of short stories on Amazon, titled The Trade, that I wrote from a snippet of a story my mother shared with me about his time there. You can click the button below to find it.
They came ghostlike over the ridge, running silently in a spread formation. How many were there? Couldn’t tell. Moving too fast. Five, no six. Silver moonlight on their bodies blended with the driving snow—apparitions in full flight, running headlong for him, the sleds, and the dogs. The first wolf tripped a trap hidden in front of his sled and went down, howling and biting at the cruel metal. Gus held his pistol steady, his hand moist inside his glove. He snapped off a quick shot, cocked the hammer again and fired a second bullet, which brought another wolf down. The other four ran straight for the dogs.
The Trade Review
"From the beginning, I felt like I was part of the action–witnessing the events–feeling and breathing the cold–hearing all the sounds–learning about the respect for the dogs.
I felt myself almost yelling–‘grab your rifle! Why are you leaving it?’ Oh no!’ So, thank you for an eventful experience. You did the best thing a writer can do. You left me wanting more."
I'm now writing another western mystery, White Sands Gold, set in New Mexico Territory in 1890. It's a twisting tale of hidden gold bars, a religious relic, and the people who have guarded this treasure for centuries.
About the Author
My love affair with the written word began in grade school, when my fifth grade teacher made us read a book and write a book report each week of the school year.
I devoured every Zane Grey book I could get my hands on that year, sparking a lifelong love for the American West of the 19th century.
Finally, I'm a student of the Civil War, and have written the first of what I suspect will be several novels centered on that agonizing, but captivating period.
I've had a lifelong interest in things historical, especially mid-to-late 19th century America. I write about the fascinating events of that era- the Civil War, the opening of the American West, the gold rushes, the Industrial Revolution, Reconstruction.
MA, MASS COMMUNICATION -University of Denver
BS, INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS -US Air Force Academy