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

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Six-Guns and Slay Bells, Story 4

Christmas for Evangeline

Christmas and eggnog and bourbon all seem to go together. At least it seemed that way to Jim Murray. A year ago, he had his own bank held up. Robbed. And he got a third of the take.

Problem was, one of the tellers was a hard ass and always carried a hideout derringer. He shot Mort, one of Murray’s hired robbers, right in the eye. Killed him dead. The bloodstain never completely washed out. And it bothered Murray. The more he drank, the more it bothered him. But what really bothered him was Evangeline, Mort’s wife. She was dead, too. Hanged herself.

Pooch was in on the robbery, but his wife was Murray’s sister.

Murray drinks, drinks a lot. He thinks of Mort. And Evangeline. He plans the perfect crime, but will it work. Can he pull it off while the carolers sing “Oh little town of Bethlehem . . . . . . . .”? Can he?

Courtney Joyner writes screen plays by the dozen, and his short stories appear in numerous anthologies. In addition, you'll never find a better book on Western movies and their actors than his, called The Westerners

C. COURTNEY JOYNER has written the screenplays for  more 25 movies, including THE OFFSPRING starring Vincent Price, and the new telefilm, RETURN OF CAPT. NEMO. His fiction has been anthologized in A FISTFUL OF LEGENDS, LAW OF THE GUN and the new BEAT TO A PULP, ROUND TWO. Courtney lives in Los Angeles with his fiancé and a ton of movie posters.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Six-guns and Slay Bells, Story 8

It was still summer when Eddie Thompson got lynched. Strung up because of a story a young girl told about how a cowboy assaulted her, ripped her dress, and handled her in an unseemly way. Strung up without benefit of a hearing. Strung up by the town’s five-man council.

Little did they know that watchers from afar saw every move. People in a galaxy far far away. A young being, in fact, who felt the situation needed to be resolved.

They took on human form and went to the Kansas town in question . . . just in time for the Christmas holiday, which they thought would work to their advantage.

Jerry Guin weaves a tight story that ends on Christmas. I don’t dare tell you any more for ruining the plot for you. So why don’t you come to Delano along with Gat and Vir to watch over their son Galex and see how he resolves the problems caused by Eddie Thompson’s lynch party?

JERRY GUIN is the author of the western novel "Drover's Vendetta." He has written a number of magazine articles and several anthologized short stories about the old west. Jerry and wife Ginny live in the extreme Northern California community of Salyer.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Something new from fellow Arizona writer Marsha Ward

Spinster's Folly

Marie Owen yearns for a loving husband, but Colorado Territory is long on rough characters and short on fitting suitors, so a future of spinsterhood seems more likely than wedded bliss. Her best friend says cowboy Bill Henry is a likely candidate, but Marie knows her class-conscious father would not allow such a pairing. When she challenges her father to find her a suitable husband before she becomes a spinster, he arranges a match with a neighbor's son. Then Marie discovers Tom Morgan would be an unloving, abusive mate and his mother holds a grudge against the Owen family. Marie's mounting despair at the prospect of being trapped in such a dismal marriage drives her into the arms of a sweet-talking predator, landing her in unimaginable dangers.
This fourth book in the Owen Family Saga is infused with potent heart and intense grit.

Marsha Ward is an award-winning writer and editor who has published over 900 pieces of work, including three previous novels in the Owen Family Saga, numerous newspaper articles, and sections in books on the  craft of writing. She is a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, and American Night Writers Association. Born a while ago in the sleepy little town of Phoenix, Arizona, Marsha grew up with chickens, citrus trees, and lots of room to roam. She began telling stories at a very early age, regaling neighborhood chums with her tales as they snacked on her homemade sugar cookies and drank cold milk. Visiting her cousins on their ranch and listening to her father's stories of homesteading in Old Mexico and in the Tucson area reinforced  Marsha's love of 19th Century Western history.
After many years in the big city, Marsha now makes her home in a tiny hamlet under Central Arizona's magnificent Mogollon Rim. When she is not writing, she loves to spoil her grandchildren, travel, give talks, meet  readers, and sign books.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Six-Guns and Slay Bells, Story 7

We only know him as Cobb. He’s a big man, and a Texas Ranger. And he’s a man who’s out in the snow on Christmas Eve and looking for a shelter. A gully, if it comes to that.

A wagon passes. Dark and bulky, crawling along, pulled by teams of horses . . . no, mules. Maybe it would lead to shelter. A place with a pot-bellied stove. And hot coffee.

Cobb closes with the wagon, and the driver fires a warning shot over his head, then trains the rifle on his middle. Still, he lets the ranger ride in, with his hands in the air.

An old duffer drove the wagon. Knitted red cap and checked flannel coat. He held an ancient Henry. The foot he held against the brake was enclosed ion a high-top black boot. The wagon held a full load. The man says his name is Pop Edmunds. Says he’s going to Antelope Springs, the only bit of civilization around. Edmunds finally agrees to let Cobb follow along.

Then the outlaws come after them. And Edmunds fesses up to having a wagon full of toys, “fur the kids, they should get presents, one and all. It’s Christmas, after all.”

Cobb finds out it’s no simple thing, delivering a load of toys to a bunch of tots. He hangs in there and makes his way to Antelope Springs. But what happens after that is what makes this a creepy Christmas story.

JAMES REASONER, a lifelong Texan, has been a professional writer for more than thirty years. In that time, he has authored several hundred novels and short stories in numerous genres. Best known for his Westerns, historical novels, and war novels, he is also the author of two mystery novels that have achieved cult classic status, Texas Wind and Dust Devils. Writing under his own name and various pseudonyms, his novels have garnered praise from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and the Los Angeles Times, as well as appearing on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists. He lives in a small town in Texas with his wife, award-winning fellow author Livia J. Washburn.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Six-Guns and Slay Bells, Story 6

Jingle bells takes on a completely new meaning with Douglas Hirt’s creepy Christmas story.

There was an old woman who lived under the hill near our old elementary school. She used to tell a story about when Geronimo came with five horses to trade for her when she lived in Forestdale. Well, Calvin Durham’s kinda like Aunt Sarah Mills.

Cal came into town because he heard the Wheatland Baptists were putting on a Christmas Eve potluck. Cal lived by himself out to Hondo Gulch, but once in a while he came into town. He’d rode a mile or two and he’d met a man or two during his long life. Bat Masterson knew him to say hello. Him and Wild Bill had raised a glass or two in Deadwood. Cochise’d let him sleep in his wickiup back when Tom Jeffords’d been making peace with the Chiricahua chief. Problem was, Cal sometimes let slip that he knew Bat or Jim Bridger, or Wild Bill, or someone, and every time he did, the stories come back to haunt him. Tonight, though, he keeps hearing the sound of sleigh bells.

He had his plate loaded up with potluck ham and potatoes and provender when people started hazing him again. He tells them he’s headed back to Hondo Gulch. And he is. But youngsters just won’t let him be.

Out on the street, Cal busts one of the youngsters with the barrel of his Winchester, and another with the butt. The sheriff shows up and takes Cal’s side of things. But for some reason, the sleigh bells keep sounding. And he really misses Annie, the wife who left him in death almost four decades ago.

The three youngsters come after Cal, bent on killing him, sure no one will miss him. They want to rub out the shame of an old man beating them. Cal sees them, hears them, knows what they want, and the sleigh bells ring.

DOUGLAS HIRT was born in Illinois, but heeding Horace Greeley's admonition to "Go west, young man", he headed to New Mexico at eighteen. He drew heavily from this "desert
life" when writing his first novel, DEVIL'S WIND. In 1991 Doug's novel, A PASSAGE OF SEASONS, won the Colorado Authors' League Top Hand Award. His 1998 book, BRANDISH, and 1999 DEADWOOD, were finalists for the SPUR award given by the Western Writers of America. A short story writer, and the author of twenty-nine novels and one book of non fiction, Doug now makes his home in Colorado Springs with his wife Kathy and their two children, Rebecca and Derick. When not writing or traveling to research his novels, Doug enjoys collecting and restoring old English sports cars. You can find more about Douglas Hirt at

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Six-Guns and Slay Bells, story 5

By Matthew Mayo

Maple Jack’s gotta be a New Englander, just gotta be. But the man knows cows, and partner him up with Roamer and you never can tell what’ll happen.

If you know anything about line shacks, you know they can be lonely. Often, like Howey Simpson was, a line rider’s alone. But with Maple Jack and Roamer, the brand hired the two of them to help cattle on the far reaches of the ranch make it through the winter.

Maple Jack was reticent, but big ol’ Roamer was persuasive. They ended up on the line in one of the worse winters for years.

The ranch was in the lowlands of Wyoming, a place where a man can see clear into tomorrow if he can find a piece of high ground. At any rate, the winter was hard, and folks around predicted, and the two cowboys spend days keeping cows from getting buried in snowbanks and drinking hooch to keep warm at night.

The men go riding out into a snowstorm on Christmas Eve day, and as might be expected, the snow gets them turned completely around. When the flakes are falling thick and fast, not only can you not tell where you’re headed, but after a few minutes, you can’t tell where you’ve been. Your tracks are completely filled up with new snow. They rode tied together with a lariat so one wouldn’t drift away from the other. Maple Jack rode his tough old mule, and Roamer was aboard a mighty half-Percheron. The big animals could buck the drifts all right, but that didn’t help the riders keep their directions straight.

Then they find shelter. A lean-to for their mounts and a . . . a . . . house of sorts . . . for the riders.

From this point on, Christmas Eve becomes something special, something creepy, something Maple Jack and Roamer are not sure they’ll escape.

MATTHEW P. MAYO is a Spur Award- and Peacemaker Award-nominated writer whose short stories appear in a variety of anthologies (his collected “Maple Jack” tales is forthcoming from Gritty Press). Matthew’s novels include the Westerns Winters’ War; Wrong Town (Roamer, Book 1); Hot Lead, Cold Heart; Dead Man’s Ranch; and Tucker’s Reckoning. His critically acclaimed non-fiction books include Cowboys, Mountain Men & Grizzly Bears; Bootleggers, Lobstermen & Lumberjacks; Sourdoughs, Claim Jumpers & Dry Gulchers; and Haunted Old West. Matthew can frequently be found roving the highways and byways of the West with his wife, photographer Jennifer Smith-Mayo. Visit him on the Web at .

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Six-guns and Slay Bells, Story 4

Christmas for Evangeline

Christmas and eggnog and bourbon all seem to go together. At least it seemed that way to Jim Murray. A year ago, he had his own bank held up. Robbed. And he got a third of the take.

Problem was, one of the tellers was a hard ass and always carried a hideout derringer. He shot Mort, one of Murray’s hired robbers, right in the eye. Killed him dead. The bloodstain never completely washed out. And it bothered Murray. The more he drank, the more it bothered him. But what really bothered him was Evangeline, Mort’s wife. She was dead, too. Hanged herself.

Pooch was in on the robbery, but his wife was Murray’s sister.

Murray drinks, drinks a lot. He thinks of Mort. And Evangeline. He plans the perfect crime, but will it work. Can he pull it off while the carolers sing “Oh little town of Bethlehem . . . . . . . .”? Can he?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Six-Guns and Slay Bells -- Story 3

Bitter Mountain

Donald Andrews killed Curtis Baker for no more reason than he wanted Baker’s wife for himself. He wasn’t too happy about the boy that came with the deal, but figured he could work around that.

He’d felt a spark from Martha the moment he met her. It wasn’t that he hated Baker, he just wanted Martha more. He figured it would be next to heaven living with her. But he had to compete with a ghost to get her. That’s some competition.

And even after he’d won her hand, the ghost would not let go. What’s more, it had a tighter hold on the son than on the mother.

The kid came right out and said it. “I don’t like him.”

But Baker was dead on Bitter Mountain. Dead and moldering. Dead and gone. Left his wife and son behind. Gone. Gone. Gone.

But little Jimmy says his daddy’s bringing a Christmas present. The best present he’s ever had.

From Bitter Mountain.

This story’s from Troy Smith, who frying college kids’ brains with dry history when he’s not writing award-winning historical novels. One of the fine authors who belongs to Western Fictioneers.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Six-Guns and Slay Bells, Story 2

Angel of the Badlands

This is my story, so it's hardly fair that I review it. So I'll just give you enough of what's going on to whet your appetite.

On a lonely trail in the New Mexico badlands, Jonah Stark takes a bullet in the back. Men rob him and leave him for dead. But Jonah's not one to give up. The robbers have kicked him down the hill to die, but he refuses. Though delirious and bleeding, he refuses to give up.

A rider comes, looks him over, but doesn't help. Still, he won't give up. Delirium takes over, and he dreams of Katherine, his long dead sweetheart and wife.

Jonah Stark is back-shot, sunburnt, dried out like a prune, but still alive. For all that can mean. I'll leave it to you to find out if this tough man can survive.

Six-Guns and Slay Bells -- Christmas anthology

Sheriff Santa

Western Fictioneers, the organization of authors who write Western fiction, recently published a strange new book: Six-Guns and Slay Bells. Christmas in the West, with a liberal touch of the paranormal. What’s more, it works.

In this book, you get the best writers in the genre giving you the best Christmas present ever. The Western stories you love, mixed with a dollop of supernatural.

Let me tell you about the first story in the anthology—Sheriff Santa and the Ghost of Two-Gun Jim.

It all happens in a town where a portly sheriff also plays Santa Claus every year. Only last year, someone tried to hold up the bank and Sheriff Santa had to stop it . . . in his Santa suit. Furthermore, Sheriff Santa doesn’t need either a fake beard or a fake belly.

Each year, it seems, the suit must be let out a little to fit the ever more portly Sheriff Santa. And while the fitting is going on, robbers hit the bank again.

Now, you’ll just have to read the story, by prolific Western author Robert Randisi, to see how Sheriff Santa subdues the outlaws, or does he?

As eBook or Print, at your favorite online bookseller.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Comanche's Revenge

The Comanche’s Revenge is a Black Horse Western by D.M. Harrison, and it’s a good one.

The boy Mitch Bayfield got captured by the Comanches, who named him Broke because of his wounded leg. Now Broke has returned to Hell, the town that left him to die by Comanche lance. He’s back, and he wants revenge.

Broke’s revenge is aimed not only at his older half-brothers who left him as dead, but the whole town, because no one came to look for him. But Broke finds that revenge may not give him a sweet taste when it’s over. And when it is over, Broke finds he must leave, regardless of the fact that his father wills him the ranch, regardless of the fact there’s a young lady available, regardless of the fact a whole town now owes him, Broke must leave. But why?

Let me say it again. D.M. Harrison has written a good Western novel. And the follow-up to The Comanche’s Revenge is in the production process as you read this review. 

Navajo Springs

Before the Atlantic & Pacific railroad reached Horsehead Crossing on the Little Colorado and renamed it Holbrook, the Wells Fargo stage line had a station at Navajo Springs.

The name says Navajo Springs, but it's really a seep. Still there. No stage station. Nothing, really, but a single commemorative stone.


Correct. When Arizona was separated from the territory of New Mexico, the new governor stopped at Navajo Springs, the first stage station into the new territory of Arizona, where he took his oath of office. 

This is the photograph of a photograph I took of the seep at Navajo Springs. If it were dug out, there would be water. At least, that's what the reeds in the swale seem to say. There were only shards of old wood left there, which I took to be what was left of the old stage station. A warped old wooden water trough still lay there as well. But 360 degrees showed only a flat horizon such as you see in the photo. 

When the new governor, John Noble Goodman, assigned by President Lincoln, arrived in the new town of Prescott, he had to set up his government in the military camp nearby. It might be good to remember the first capital of Arizona, especially if you are a reader of this blog. 

Fort Whipple!

Friday, October 19, 2012

WWA's Only Japanese member

This is Duke Hiroi. He's holding the one and only commemorative belt buckle for the 2012 WWA Convention in Albuquerque held in June. Duke out-bid a hull bunch a other WWA members to buy the buckle at the charity auction. Now, now only is Duke the only Japanese regular member of WWA, but he's also he owner of the only 2012 WWA Convention belt buckle.

Duke writes books and articles in Japanese. He's a former Japan Ground Self Defense Force special services officer and a small arms expert. He enters and often wins fast draw competitions in Japan, and many of his articles are about Western era arms. One well-known article was on a Japan-made replica of a Colt Navy percussion cap pistol. These replicas were made in the 1850s and used in the assassination of one of the feudal government's most liberal leaders, Naosuke Ii. 

This is what's interesting about Japan. Guns are no recent addition to Japanese arms. A Portuguese ship wrecked off a Japanese island called Tanegashima. The sailors had matchlock guns. Within months, replicas of these matchlocks made their way to the main islands of Japan and were called Tanegashima guns. The great battles of late 16th century Japan were won and lost by the positioning and use of Tanegashima guns. Not an invention of Japan, but one brought in from Portugal. 

Townsend Harris presented the Tokugawa government with Navy Colts. A few years later, replicas of these guns were used to assassinate a major official of that government. Sam Colt's gun. Japan's replica.

Anyway. Duke will no doubt show up at the 2013 convention in Las Vegas.  
A whole lot of things have gone by since last I wrote anything in this blog. I could plead busy, but that's not good enough. A few books have come out since way back then. And here we are about ready to sign off on 2012.

 Took a long trip through Arizona on my way to the WWA convention in Albuquerque this year. Got to see Fort Apache up close and personal for the first time in about fifty years. That was some fort in its time. Worth a visit to any western history buff. Better than going to Monument Valley by far. I put a lot of the pics on Facebook, but I think I'll put them up here, too. Maybe do a bit of explaining at the same time.

In my novel Guns of Ponderosa, bounty hunter Matthew Stryker gets beaten about the face with brass knuckles, and the scars made him somewhat less than a handsome man. Not long ago, Road to Rimrock came out from Black Horse Westerns. This book also features Matt Stryker, but as the marshal of Rimrock, a small town above the Mogollon Rim that looked like it was dying. On Matt's watch, the town drunk is killed, but not before he's asked Matt to take care of some things in case he dies. Keeping that promise gets Matt Stryker into more trouble than a man might think possible. Trouble that leads from Prescott, Arizona, right back up the Road to Rimrock. Try it. You might like it.

As ever, the Book Depository is the best place to buy Black Horse Westerns because they pay shipping world around.

Just a few days ago, Western Trail Blazer issued my novel Pitchfork Justice. It's the love story between a landed heiress and a footloose cowboy. And that means trouble. Lots of trouble. This novel is a Havelock story, and Ness Havelock gets more than his share of trouble. But he's got all the character you'd want in a good man, because that's exactly what he is: a good man.