Friday, December 28, 2012

Six-Guns and Slay Bells -- Story 12

They’re an odd couple, an Indian medicine man and Blanchard East. Odd, very very odd.

The Indian kills for East, animals of course to sustain him. And sometimes the Indian robs the dead of what is necessary to keep East alive, if that’s the word to describe him. They ride for one particular town, a town that looks dead, even from far away. But these odd men are the only hope the town can ever have, and on the longest night, on the night when the earth revels most in the blackness away from the sun, on this night, East will meet those who tried to destroy him. Thanks to the Indian, he will meet them.

But the town has lost its women and children to the men in black. And, counting the Indian and East, seven men ride to rescue them. Seven men ride into the mouth of hate and danger and blood and fear. But will the night be long enough?

LARRY D. SWEAZY ( ) won the WWA Spur Award for Best Short Fiction in 2005, won the Will Rogers Medallion Award for Western Fiction 2011 and 2012, and was nominated for a SFMS Derringer award in 2007. He has published over 50 articles and short stories, which have appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine; The Adventure of the Missing Detective; Boys’ Life; Hardboiled, and other publications and anthologies. Larry is the author of the Josiah Wolfe, Texas Ranger series (Berkley). He is a member of MWA (Mystery Writers of America), WWA (Western Writers of America), and WF (Western Fictioneers). Larry lives in the Midwest, with his wife, Rose, two dogs, and a cat.

Yeah, I know Christmas has come and gone, but these stories are special. Stories you can enjoy any time of the year. So I'm giving you another chance. The book's still available at Amazon. Just click on the story title.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Six-guns and Slay Bells -- Story 11


Do you believe in Arthur? In Camelot? In the Round Table? Can you get your head around Arthur and Guinevere and Lancelot and Merlin being brought back again and again until their roles are completely fulfilled?

Fast forward to the 1880s, to a lonely stage station somewhere in Apache country. Fast forward to a racing stage, to a man with an arrow in his neck, an Apache arrow. Fast forward to Arthur Pender; once known as the Once and Future King. Why here? Why now? Why me? He automatically fires his revolver at the attacking Indians. He wishes he’d had one back in the day, back when he wore steel and attacked with lances.

Lances. He wondered if Lancelot would be here in this place and time. They made it through the attack to the stage station, leaving one dead man behind. Arthur finds Ginny, Guinevere, inside the station, wife of the operator. She recognizes him almost as quickly as he recognizes her. Can they overcome the pain of Camelot? What can be done to overcome the fate that keeps them coming back again and again, thousands upon thousands of times.

The keepers of Camelot, surrounded by Apaches, helped by Merlin, hindered by their memories. Can they? Will they? Read on and find out.

CHERYL PIERSON, a native Oklahoman, was born in Duncan, OK, and grew up in Seminole, OK. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma, and hold a B.A. in English. Her short story, THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS, is included in the Western Fictioneers anthology THE TRADITIONAL WEST. Other western short stories are available through Western Trail Blazer (WTB) publishing, as are her novellas, as well as her debut historical western, FIRE EYES, and her time travel western novel, TIME PLAINS DRIFTER. WOLF CREEK:  BLOODY TRAIL is available from Amazon. A joint project co-authored with five other western authors under the pen name of Ford Fargo, it's the first in a series you won't be able to put down once you start. You can visit her website at

Friday, December 7, 2012

Six-guns and Slay Bells -- Story 10

You’ve heard of them. Sheriffs who rule the roost by reputation. Let their deputy do all the work, but can’t seem to make it with the only good-looking widow in town. You’ve heard of them. Well, Wes Runyon’s one of them.

Seems Wes Runyon’s got a pet peeve or two. One of them is Christmas. Another is kids. But damn it, bells tinkled and kids laughed, and that pissed Runyon off. Royally.

The first time he heard the bells and the laughter, he thought it was Christmas, but he was only dreaming, and autumn had hardly begun to fall. He sighed with relief, but then the bells come again, and the laughter come again, and Runyon grabbed his gun.

The culprit was Professor Thaddeus G. Saxpuddle, phrenologist and pharmacological physician, mesmerist, chiropodist, oculist, inventor, and sole legal purveyor of Saxpuddle’s Snake Oil Embrocation and Saxpuddle’s All Purpose Elixir.

To make a long story short, Saxpuddle hoodwinks the entire town, including the sheriff, which has results no one figured on. But that’s some of the good parts of the story and I shouldn’t talk about them so you’ll have to get the book and read the story for yourself. Well, maybe I can tell you this. The sheriff got his revenge. Or did he?

CLAY MORE lives in England within arrow-shot of the ruins of a medieval castle. He is a part time doctor and writes medical books, general non-fiction books, crime novels, historical crime and westerns for Robert Hale.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Six-guns and Slay Bells, Story 9

When Joshua Jones was only eight, he went with his family in a covered wagon hoping to make it to Oregon. They started late, with substandard gear and no knowledge of the country or the dangers it presented. What with this thing and that, by the time they reached the barren flats, the Jones family was one broken-down wagon with four skinny mules. The family began to die until only Joshua was left, a boy with one canteen slung across his shoulders, walking and hoping.

Then the voice came. A voice ancient as the day of creation, yet not the voice of Lucifer, son of the morning. The voice interfered with what was naturally happening, and saved Joshua. Told him what to do, taught him how to live off the land, kept him for a decade, maybe more. The voice only relented long enough to give Joshua a wolf cub as companion. The two grew up together.

Then another wagon came to the barren land, and it too became bogged in the sand and unable to move. The voice sent Joshua to help, telling him never to return. It was final. So Joshua and Wolf went. They helped get the wagon out of the sand trap, set up camp, hunted for meat, and settled down for the night. The man’s daughter Nellie came to thank Joshua for his help. And he was mighty glad it was Christmas Day.

CHARLIE STEEL has put heart into countless dreams and brought them to life just as he has done with the people in his tales. Steel has worked since early childhood and held many jobs He has traveled widely, read voraciously, and obtained five academic degrees including a Ph.D. He is the common man; he is the eccentric man. Hunting, fishing and the solitude of the outdoors are his great loves. This solitude provides him with the catalyst for many stories. Charlie lives on an isolated ranch at the base of Greenhorn Mountain in Southern Colorado Web