December 2009 – February 2010


September 2009
Steve Hayes
BHE Books
Paul Lederer
Accurate words

June 2009
Jack Martin
Series Heroes
Riding the Range

March 2009
Blast to Oblivion
Tyler Hatch and Twins
Night Herding
Walt Masterson

December 2008
All Guns Blazing
Jim Bowden & Co.
Revolver Conversions

September 2008
Western Noir
Power of the Premise
West on Wheels

June 2008
Plot or Not Debate
Jack Giles
Whitney Revolver

March 2008
Walt Masterson
Plotters and Pantsers
More Horse Talk

December 2007
Peace at Any Price
Dan Claymaker
Horse Sense

September 2007
Artist Michael Thomas
Judging by Covers
The Schofield Revolver

June 2007
David Whitehead
Realistic Ballistics
Plot Twists

March 2007
Crime/western fiction
The Walker Colt
Sydney J. Bounds

December 2006
Lauran Paine
Jake Douglas & Co.

September 2006
Misfit Lil
Greg Mitchell

June 2006
Marshall Grover
Facts for Fiction
March 2006
Jeff Sadler
Mike Stotter
Writers and Money


The Genesis of Ross Morton    Hoofprints
Defending Faith a Futile Exercise   Sex, Violence – and Boredom
The Frank Gardiner Mystery   New Black Horse Westerns

Not all writers are comfortable writing about their writing. Many prefer to hide behind the anonymity of a pen-name or pen-names. Particularly, this has been the case with the Black Horse Western series published by Robert Hale Ltd. Various explanations have been offered. Some have proven ludicrous in enlightened times. "I wasn't born and raised in America" or "Well, I'm actually a woman" fall into this category.
In an age when promotion and publicity sometimes seem to count as much as, if not more than, substance, the Black Horse Extra has for the past few years striven to persuade many fine BHW writers to stop hiding their lights under bushels. With one or two notable exceptions, the job hasn't been easy. The exceptions have
in many cases been writers already at home on the Net, sometimes running their own websites and blogs. Since the Extra's inception, these other resources have proliferated – a welcome development, given the minimal effort made in earlier years to bring BHWs to the reading public's attention.

The exceptions have also been
authors who don't accept an assumption that the identifying qualities of a BHW writer come a poor second in significance to the imprint their books carry; that bylines can and should be attached and changed-about with a minimum of consideration.

Few readers base their preferences on a publisher's imprint alone, though elsewhere in the western genre author names owned by publishing houses confuse the picture. Only when a strong, consistent editor manages to impose his or her will and a rigid set of rules on "writers for hire" – and the readers like the results – can this method of producing books in series be one hundred percent satisfactory.

Also in such situations, an important requirement for unity and success would appear to be a series hero with a well-understood back story on which each entrant into the team of ghostwriters is thoroughly briefed.

The Black Horse Western line does not have one series hero, although it does have many sub-series in which individual authors continue the stories of their own creations. Iron Eyes and Misfit Lil would be among current examples.

A common-sense view was once expressed in our Hoofprints section in these words: "I really don't understand what imprints are for. Or labels in the music industry. I can't even be bothered to check which publishers have put out a certain book; why would I pay any attention to the imprint?  I keep track of writers."

In this issue of the Extra, we are delighted to host Nik Morton, aka Ross Morton, a relative newcomer to BHW ranks, but a writer with a wide range of experience in the writing of fiction. Nik offers a comprehensive and inspiring article on his writing career and his distinctive western novels.

Elsewhere, the thorny issue of violence and sex in fiction is re-examined. Thriller, adventure, crime and western fiction all frequently contain these elements in the plot mix. What is wanted; what isn't? Why is some sex and violence in bestsellers plain boring?

Some new Hoofprints can also be followed, and Paddy Gallagher, aka BHWs' Greg Mitchell, presents the fascinating true story of an Australian bushranger. Paddy's trail of history and mystery takes us to San Francisco and Colorado and back to Australia.

Your comments and western news are always welcome at

FREE excerpt here

From TV favourites to writing novels


She eyed the small scar on his forehead. Reaching up, she brushed a hand gently through his black hair, lingering on the clump of white hair on the left, just above the scar. At one time her touch would have sent his heart pounding; now he just felt sad. Finally, her gaze lingered on his. There was no mistake. Recognition widened her eyes and moisture formed at the rims. She stepped back a pace, a hand rising to her chest, over her heart. What little colour she had seemed to drain from her face. ‘Corbin? Is it really you?’
The $300 Man

LIKE most young boys of the 1950s, I’d been brought up on westerns – the movies, the comics and latterly the TV shows. In retrospect, it appears it was a golden period for the western. In 1959, for example, when I was an impressionable 11-year-old, there were 39 western movies in production and 48 western series on TV. That doesn’t mean that they were all great or even good, but they fed a need in the cinemagoer and viewer. My favourites were Wagon Train, Cheyenne, Maverick, Gunsmoke, Have Gun – Will Travel, Bonanza, Boots and Saddles, Laramie, The Range Rider, Rawhide, Tales of Wells Fargo and latterly Kung Fu.

While I’d read Shane at school, I didn’t normally read western novels until I joined the Royal Navy. Most armed services run libraries for their troops to while away the long periods of enforced idleness, especially those long weeks at sea in my case. I discovered Sudden, Edge, J. T. Edson’s many characters and Max Brand, among others.

Until that time, I’d read Burroughs’s Tarzan novels and Martian series, most of the great science fiction writers, the Saint, Dennis Wheatley’s Gregory Sallust and Duc de Richleau series, the horror collections of Herbert Van Thal, Ian Fleming’s books and all those spy series that followed Bond’s success, such as Jason Love, Modesty Blaise and Boysie Oakes. So it was a pleasant introduction to read western novels and appreciate the realism and excitement transferred, as it were, from screen to the page. Will Henry’s The Last Warpath showed me what could be done with the genre.


James Thorp eased his sorrel horse to a halt on the outskirts of the small town of Bethesda Falls, which nestled at the base of the mountain’s foothills. He was dressed entirely in black. Black because he was in mourning. Mourning the men he had killed. – Death at Bethesda Falls


I’d drawn pictures from an early age, learning by copying from comics and then photographs. I drew a fair share of western characters, some invented by myself, others copies from comics – Straight Arrow and Roy Rogers, for example. At the time I signed them Rob Ross – I was adopted and christened Robert and my adoptive mother’s maiden name was Ross. Then I moved on to drawing cartoons, spies, Tarzan and super-hero illustrations, abandoning the Old West. The two quick sketches here are from 1966.

I’d finished my first novel when I was 16, entitled A Man Is Known by the Company He Kills. That’s probably why I didn’t do so well with my GCEs…. The sequel followed, Kill a Man While He’s Down. I still have the manuscripts; they’re spy stories featuring novice spy Adam Strong. I had a polite rejection from a literary agent but didn’t pursue the matter further. Over the next few years I dabbled with writing articles and short stories, but didn’t send them out. In the meantime, I joined the RN and went on to edit the ships’ magazines – the days of ink, skins and Gestetner.

In 1970 I paid for a writing correspondence course which guaranteed that I’d earn my fee with my writing. The course also steered me to The Writer magazine. My first attempt at their 250-word competition achieved a win, and others followed. Encouraged, I knuckled down to write and study how to analyze markets and plot stories.

My first magazine sale was in 1971 and within a short time I was a regular contributor to Parade with adventure and crime tales. I was so successful that the course administrators asked me to be a tutor but the role clashed with my naval career – I had to be on the end of a phone.

Hovering in the background was the idea of one day writing a western, but I felt that this was a pipe dream. (I used to smoke a pipe but discontinued some time before our daughter was born.) I reckoned I didn’t have the knowledge to write westerns. I should have analyzed that belief, really. I didn’t have the knowledge to write crime or ghost stories, but I did, and they sold.

Birds stopped singing and it was as if the very breeze stilled in the sparse treetops. Wolf Slayer sang and a chill ran up Daniel’s spine and he felt light-headed, so tragic yet moving were the dying man’s words. Facing death. Not fearing it. Simply acknowledging it. – Last Chance Saloon

Since my early failures, I put off starting another novel until 1973. You guessed it – a spy yarn. It was inspired by a fun ouija session while on course in a naval barracks. In 1974 Robert Hale rejected The Ouija Message, saying it was better written than many books published, but he didn’t like the psychic elements. As the psychic aspect was the crux of the story, that was it, I guessed. I moved on to co-write with a fellow karate enthusiast a fantasy quest novel, which took a few years since we both lived long-distance and all correspondence was snail-mail then.

Time passed during which I acquired many reference books on the Old West. I left the navy, became an IT analyst and was involved in producing a small press science fiction magazine, Auguries, for many years. I felt my efforts should be directed towards SF, fantasy and horror and had some success with short stories. After I was made redundant, my wife Jennifer and I decided to move to Spain early. We’d always intended to move there, but brought it forward. That was in December 2003. I was still pushing my novels, seeking an agent or publisher; and came close many times, but got no cigar – didn’t smoke them, anyway. I also became sub-editor of a monthly magazine, the Portsmouth Post, continuing even after I moved to Spain.

In 2005 or thereabouts, I entered a Writing Magazine competition, the subject being "Chance would be a fine thing". I wrote a western tale set in a saloon, The House Always Wins: it didn’t – win that is. But I enjoyed the research and creating the characters. At about the same time, a phrase kept haunting me and I made a note, a beginning for a western: "He wore black. Black for mourning. Mourning the men he’d killed." That phrase lay there, among many other potential story ideas.

About a year later, as I was having no luck with my other genre books, I finally decided to write a western. First, though, I needed to do some market research. I found the Yahoo group website and helpful tips from Adam Wright’s website.

It had to be destiny. As luck would have it, a secondhand bookshop in our urbanization in Spain was selling a stack of Black Horse Westerns. I promptly bought ten and started to read and analyze them.

I began my western Death at Bethesda Falls on 20 August, 2006 and worked on it for eight days when I was informed that my competition entry (first three chapters) for the Harry Bowling Prize was a contender. I attended the ceremony, was joint runner up and diverted my energies to rewriting the novel Pain Wears No Mask in three months for an agent. The agent was enthusiastic but said "no", so, undeterred, I went back to the western on 18 January, 2007 and finished it 11 days later.

At this point I decided I wanted a different pen-name for my westerns and settled on Ross Morton. I sent off the first three chapters to Hale on 13 February, received a note asking for the rest and sent the full MS on 22 February and received the acceptance letter on 28 February.

After very many years, I had finally achieved the sale of a novel! This was a great feeling, and a month later my crime thriller Pain Wears No Mask was accepted by Libros International, following a month’s appraisal.

Corbin stepped down from the boardwalk, crossed the alley entranceway, and ascended the steps. The next lot announced that it was the Doctor’s Surgery. He glanced along the side-alley. An external staircase climbed to a door and there was a window in the wall; maybe the doctor lived above his job. His job? He corrected himself immediately on seeing the shingle dangling outside the surgery door. M. Dix, M.D. The left hand that he didn’t possess twitched and tingled, as if his ghostly memories were its own.
Captain Corbin Molina had survived the hell of battlefields, being half-deafened and suffering six or seven minor wounds; many mere grazes – fortunately none from the devastating high-calibre minié-balls – but this experience at the assault on Fort Fisher was something completely different.  The $300 Man

To help me with Death at Bethesda Falls, I drew a street map of the town, with names for the various businesses and citizens. Also I drew and labeled the outlying ranches, their owners, the land leading to the falls and the mountains. This would assist me in orientation during the writing. Character sketches and back story developed gradually as the plot unfolded; 11 characters described in all. I wanted to bookend the story so came up with the idea of having the same feature at the start and end of the book, namely the town’s "welcome" notice and population count, which would be somewhat depleted by the story’s close. In the editing process, I managed to lose 300 citizens, but don’t tell anybody – it might make a story, one day….

Preferring to show rather than tell a story, I used flashbacks to show some incidents in the past that would affect our hero’s present. I prefer chapters to have titles – goes a long way back, I suppose, to enjoying those cryptic chapter headings of Fleming. If I can invoke a little wordplay as well, that suits me fine. Chapter 1 is entitled "Rue the Lash" because a whip is involved in an altercation – but it’s also a nod to that film star Lash Larue. Chapter 6 has "Just the Facts, Ma’am" which is what detectives say to suspects in crime novels. Besides true love overcoming many obstacles, this book is about the past returning to haunt and do evil.

Rather than sit around waiting for the book to be published, I was busy writing other novels – The Prague Manuscript and its sequel, The Tehran Transmission. I certainly wanted to attempt a second western, hoping it wasn’t a fluke. That short story about the saloon came to mind and initially became the beginning chapter, but as the characters intertwined, additional sub-plots convinced me that the start had to be a stage robbery.

It seemed a waste not to use the same town, so I did, including some minor characters who were brought to more prominence. Originally entitled Showdown at Bethesda Falls, I started it on 15 May, 2007 and from then till mid-October spent some 30 days on it. (In that period, I also co-edited an anthology, Where Legends Ride, edited by Matthew P. Mayo for the Express Westerns imprint. My short story Bubbles was one of 14 featured.)

In all, there were 17 described characters in my second western. This was harder, and more words, because I was dealing with several character storylines converging to the showdown. Although Hale stipulates that they don’t go for Indian Wars storylines, I wanted an Indian as a major character and invented the most necessary shaman who could speak English and possessed a sense of irony. I utilized a flashback to describe the hero’s fight with an Indian warrior and his discovery of gold. The story begins and ends with the stagecoach driver, Alfred. Chapter 1 became "The House Always Wins", but was not the original short story in its entirety as other plot ingredients were now in the mix. Two chapters refer to "Chance" and "A Gamble" since the book involved gambling. The story is about the small people standing up to be counted, to fight for what is right.

I sent off the three chapters on 17 October, 2007, was asked for the full MS three days later and received an acceptance on 15 November. The first western wasn’t a fluke, after all. However, Hale asked me to change the title so it wouldn’t be confused with the first book. I offered several alternatives and they went for Last Chance Saloon.


‘Tomorrow, honey, it will all be over,’ Corbin said, cupping Malinda’s melon-shaped breasts and kissing them. A light scent of lemon verbena clung to her skin.
‘It’s a dangerous game you play,’ she whispered, running a finger over the welts in his shoulder.
‘With you – or the Walkers?’
‘Oh, the Walkers. This is no game we play, darling Corbin. This is serious.’ She kissed him and for the second time this night they made love, though now it was languorous and not a frenzied catching up of lost years.
 – The $300 Man

Brewing in my mind was the next western, inspired from a snippet of information I’d gleaned. During the Civil War, many states opted for conscription if they couldn’t supply the quota of men. However, a conscript was permitted to pay $300 for a substitute. I had my title, even if I had no story: The $300 Man. Sounded a bit like a cut-price Six Million Dollar Man, which convinced me the character had to have some kind of prosthetic – and settled on a hook in place of a hand he lost in the War.

Even so, the plotting took five days over as many months, while I worked on other projects. Then on 4 April, 2008 I started in earnest and in a different fictitious town, as the storyline demanded it. This was a complex story and there were 28 described characters. The word-count was roughly the same as Last Chance and it took 31 days to write and self-edit. Even more than previous books, the story hinges on a number of pertinent flashbacks, relating the hero’s adoption by a family and also how he lost his hand. The first and last chapters are titled "The Hook" and "El Gancho", the latter being Spanish for "the hook". The book starts with a train robbery and that’s the hook for the reader, too. Chapter 1 is "Heaven’s Gateway" which is the wordplay name of a bordello. Chapter 5 is "Lean Pickings" – I was tempted to call it "Slim Pickings".

While the hero is pretty handy with his hook, which is interchangeable with other utilities, he is also useful with the pen, as seen in Chapter 12, "The pen is mightier…" The two main protagonists enjoy poetry, notably Whitman and Rossetti, which may be a bit of a departure for a western. While this is another tale about the past emerging to confront the hero, it also says that something good can come out of the carnage of war.

Corbin bowed to the distraught woman and handed her the wedding band. ‘Yours, ma’am.’ Her hazel eyes widened as she noticed his bloodstained shirt and jacket. She swallowed, nodded and snatched the ring and put it on a trembling finger. He’d seen similar reactions before. People of a delicate sensibility tended to feel uncomfortable near him when violence erupted. – The $300 Man

I like strong characters who don’t flinch when the going gets tough; they just get on with it, trying to find ways round the obstacles, never ever giving up. All three books have this kind of hero – James D. Thorp, Daniel McAlister and Corbin Molina. They also feature strong-willed female characters: Jim Thorp’s lost love, Anna, Daniel’s lovely saloon-girl Virginia, and Corbin’s newfound love, Malinda. And of course a slew of bad guys, some of them being quite sympathetic. Certainly, I wouldn’t mind writing more about all three main characters some time soon.

A Ross Morton short story will appear in the anthology A Fistful of Legends which I’ve been editing for the Express Westerns imprint. There are 21 short stories, almost 100,000 words. It should be out at the end of the year or early 2010.

My fourth western – Blind Justice – has begun but I’ve been busy with a few other projects so at present it’s stalled, waiting for some of the characters to evolve the plot in the back of my head. Two new characters – Clint Brennan and his wife Belle – are going to be put through the mill and it’s also back to Bethesda Falls again to utilize a number of minor characters mentioned in the earlier books.

While BHWs are shorter by word-count than mainstream novels, they can still pack a great deal of characterization, a sense of place, suspense, drama and action, and that’s what I strive for, also adding a few additional layers of interest along the way.

– Nik Morton writing as Ross Morton


Mike's special trip.
Impressions of a diverting kind


The friendships between BHW writers are commonly formed and maintained online. Not so the one between David Whitehead (aka Ben Bridges and Matt Logan) and Mike Linaker (aka Neil Hunter and Richard Wyler). They were first introduced to each other by fellow western writer Peter Watts (aka Matt Chisholm) way back in 1978. Recently, they got together in person for the first time in almost 30 years, and more than made up for lost time. For Mike, the highlight of his trip from Derbyshire to Dave's place on England's east coast was realizing a long-held ambition to buy a Henry repeater. For Dave it was simply not getting shot at! During Mike's visit, Dave also showed him his copy of  Misfit Lil Cheats the Hangrope. Mike, a fan from way back of slim, original western paperbacks of the Gold Medal type, "was mightily impressed". Dave, who had a lot to do with the BHE book's production, said he found it ironic that the first book in the new venture was not reaching a wider audience. "I truly don't think prospective buyers and readers know just what they will be getting for their money."

Screen Daily reported that veteran US actor Sam Shepard and Eduardo Noriega will head the cast of Spanish screenwriter-director Mateo Gil’s new project, Blackthorn, a western set to shoot in Bolivia next year. It will tell the story of an old American named James Blackthorn (alias Butch Cassidy), played by Shepard, who raises horses in Bolivia but is dying and wants to return to the US. Along the way he crosses paths with a young Spanish mining engineer accused of robbing a mine (Noriega), and the two slowly strike up a friendship. Gil says, "One of the things I like most about westerns is that it’s a truly moral genre. The characters face life and death, and other very important matters (freedom, commitment, loyalty, courage, treachery, justice, friendship…and even love) in very pure and simple terms. The decisions they make are not only very dramatic, but set examples. What more can you ask from a film?"

Sam will be Butch.

Forgotten star writer.
Collectors of genre fiction are noting with interest the December BHW re-publication of The Kansas Fast Gun. Until now, it was understood Hale's policy on western reprints was to limit them to books that had appeared before only overseas or in a paperback, non-library format. Asked about the December book, bibliographer Steve Holland told us, "It was originally published by Hale themselves back in 1958." Steve believes author Arthur Kent, a London journalist, wrote only two westerns. Keith Chapman (aka Chap O'Keefe) tells us, "I met Arthur in the 1960s when he was working in the syndication department of Beaverbrook Press and I was a teenage junior on the editorial staff of the Sexton Blake detective series. Arthur wrote many fine hardboiled Blake thrillers including The Weak and the Strong, Special Edition – Murder, Wake Up Screaming and Stairway to Murder. I'm looking forward to reading his western, which I haven't seen before. I always held Arthur's work in high regard. When I edited the inaugural number of the Edgar Wallace Mystery Magazine in 1964, I chose for its second story a 16-pager by Arthur Kent, Night of the Hijack. The first story was an obligatory rare Wallace item, of course. At the time, Arthur was aged 38, had worked for the Australian Daily Mirror and the London News Chronicle and was the author of some 20 books. Long Horn, Long Grass (a western) had been published by Robert Hale in the spring and Black Sunday was due to appear in the autumn."

Nik Morton, contributor of our lead article, can boast a clutch of great reviews for his Ross Morton stories. Here is a selection. Steve M, Western Fiction Review, on The $300 Dollar Man: "Ross Morton presents a fascinating character in Corbin Molina, not least because his mixed blood causes him problems, but due to him having a hook in place of a hand...." Maureen Moss on Death at Bethesda Falls: "Ross Morton has created a vivid sense of place, and his use of language is so authentic that the reader is immediately transported into the times and mores of the Wild West. I couldn't put it down. A thoroughly enjoyable read." Ray Foster, aka Jack Giles, on Last Chance Saloon: "This is one good read. It is not a typical western – it has character, humour and storylines with enough questions in the plot to maintain interest from beginning to end. Strongly recommended." Richard, Meridian Bridge, on Bubbles: "I’m hard-pressed to pick a favourite story from Express Westerns’ anthology Where Legends Ride....One of the very best tales is Bubbles by Ross Morton, a work that starts out typically enough with Josh Mason and Scott Finley wrangling a herd of longhorns through a storm-swelled river. It’s soon clear, however, that the author has more in mind than just another buddy story. Within a handful of pages Morton presents three-dimensional characters that live and breathe and wander through the years like real people, and we’re treated to a heartfelt overview of a friendship that spans the decades."

Highly praised.

Good noose.
The good people at Magna Books recently sent out a plea for more westerns, prompted by a shortage of top-rated titles with world large-print rights available. Rights manager Diane Allen pointed out to David Whitehead, "Our readers still love their westerns." Magna will reissue over the next 12 to 18 months no less than eight of Dave's earlier westerns, which appeared as BHWs under his own name or as Ben Bridges or Matt Logan. The titles to be published in the all-new editions are Hangman's Noose and Shoot to Kill (stories of Carter O'Brien), Hang 'Em All, Law of the Gun, Barbed Wire Noose, and Judgment Day (stories of Sam Judge/Matt Dury), Gunsmoke Legend (first book in the Ash Colter trilogy) and The Spurlock Gun. More details can be found at Dave's Ben Bridges website. The books will be available worldwide, "including the United States of America and its dependencies". Other BHW writers making welcome returns in Magna's Dales Westerns series include Link Hullar (Wheeler, Bordertown Wheeler, Panhandle Showdown, Montana Shootout and Bones, Bullets and Badmen) and Mike Stotter (Tombstone Showdown, Tucson Justice and Death in the Canyon as by Jim A. Nelson).


By request, Dave Whitehead passed on the Dales SOS, and fellow author Chap O'Keefe was able to recover and offer rights in five of his rare, early BHWs of which good secondhand copies are sometimes offered by online dealers for prices in excess of $100. Dales will reissue all five. The Sheriff and the Widow was first published in book form in 1994 but is currently available only as an e-book at Gary Dobbs' Tainted Archive site. The four other Dales O'Keefe titles will be Shootout at Hellyer's CreekThe Sandhills Shootings, The Outlaw and the Lady and Doomsday Mesa. The first and second of the four feature the popular ex-Pinkerton adventurer Joshua Dillard. Shootout at Hellyer's Creek was the book that introduced Dillard and was the second O'Keefe BHW. Reader "Mister Roy" Bayfield, who is director of corporate marketing for English university Edge Hill, commented on the Dales moves at the Tainted Archive blog: "Good news for the book-on-paper enthusiast. Just read Misfit Lil Gets Even ... O'Keefe writes a fast-moving tale with panache, great characters and a real-West feel. I'll certainly look these out."

Another run.

Star at the Lone Star.
In our last Hoofprints we congratulated top Australian BHW writer Keith Hetherington (aka Jake Douglas, Rick Dalmas, Hank J. Kirby, Tyler Hatch) on his 52nd wedding anniversary. Congratulations are in order this time, too – on Keith's 80th birthday. He says, "I had a great birthday. Went down to [my daughter] Chris's for the weekend and she took me to a place called The Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon. Beauty, mate! Plain plank floors, patchy walls of corrugated iron or old timber, genuine heads of bison, longhorn steers, deer, wild boars and wanted posters of the James Brothers and so on. Also warning signs everywhere: Don't Mess With Texas! Gen-u-ine Texas steaks, which were good but nothing out of the ordinary. Then someone let slip it was my birthday and the staff descended on the table and I had to stand up while they put me through their version of Happy Birthday. Lots of hand clapping and yeeee-hahs! as well as boot-scooting. Then they presented me with a fish bowl full of ice-cream and chocolate sauce. Not cowboy fare, but the gesture was nice.... I dunno how readers take these things when they realize, with a bit of a shock, that some old bugger who can only shuffle around is writing all this action stuff. Incidentally, I can hardly believe I've hit the 80 mark myself. Mentally, I don't feel it; physically – well, that old saw about the spirit being willing, etc. Anyway, I know there are a few more hard-riding heroes hidden away in the depths of the old grey matter ... only a case of bringing them to the fore!" Keith has not one but two new BHWs publishing in December: Shoot, Run or Die! and Six for Laramie.

A Dallas newspaper told its readers that in Germany the love of the Wild West is bigger than Texas. A report from the Associated Press quoted Martina Hagedorn, secretary of a country and western club based in Oberursel, near Frankfurt. Founded in 1997 on a lark after someone's birthday, the Bommersheim group now has more than 300 members. Every Thursday night, Martina dons her boots and cowboy hat — and sometimes a fake pistol — and lets her inner Texan take over. "Sometimes I think the Germans are more into cowboys than the Americans," she said. The fascination is evident across the country. Mock battles between Germans dressed as cowboys and Indians draw crowds, as do Texas-themed restaurants with names like the Texas Bar. In Berlin, visitors to Old Texas Town can tour "Main Street", stop by the Bank of Texas and a gold mine, then practise square-dancing or drop in for a drink at a saloon. In Frankfurt, dude patrons of the Texas-American Saloon tear into a steak called the "Wild Bill" while the Texas House Band cranks out music with a Lone Star theme. Though many Germans express disdain for things they identify with Texas — the death penalty, gun rights, George W. Bush — their fascination with the state reflects longstanding cultural and economic ties. Author Karl May, famous in Germany for westerns he wrote in the 1800s, also deserves some of the credit. Though he never visited the US, his books sold millions and created perceptions that persist today.

Thursday's Martina.

A Lil from Lillie.
Busy BHW and Linford Western Library cover artist Michael Thomas, who was interviewed in our September 2007 edition, has produced a fine and appealing illustration for the new large-print edition of Misfit Lil Cleans Up. "The face was based on an old photo of Lillie Langtry," he says.  A hugely popular actress, Lillie (1853-1929) was the daughter of a dean and came to London from the Channel Islands. A renowned beauty, she was nicknamed the "Jersey Lily" and had a number of prominent lovers, including the future King Edward VII.  Edward – "Bertie" – arranged to sit next to her at a dinner party while her husband was seated at the other end of the table. Although Bertie was married and had six children, he became infatuated with Lillie and word was soon out that she had become his mistress. She was even presented to Edward's mother, Queen Victoria. The affair lasted from late 1877 to June 1880. Edward once complained to Lillie, "I've spent enough on you to build a battleship," to which she replied, "And you've spent enough in me to float one." In 1897, Langtry became a US citizen, and divorced her husband in Lakeport, California. Langtry was portrayed on film by Lillian Bond in The Westerner (1940), and by Ava Gardner in The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean. The legendary Bean – self-proclaimed "law west of the Pecos" – was played by Walter Brennan in the first movie and Paul Newman in the second, both times as a man obsessed by the beautiful  Lillie Langtry.

Work has started on a four-part  mini-series co-written by Mike Linaker and David Whitehead from an original concept by Mike. "In Colter's Quest," Mike says, "we plan to present a classic tale of the West. Ben Colter embarks on a hazardous trek when his wife is kidnapped, his horse ranch razed to the ground and his Apache helper murdered. The only true fact is that the raiders have left a clear trail for Colter – because they want him to follow them. While Colter can't figure out why his wife has been taken, he intends to get her back. The pursuit isn't going to be easy, though, as Colter is drawn into unforeseen incidents that take him along different paths, each delaying his urgent journey. Renegade Indians, the Army, vicious bounty hunters and an Apache on a blood hunt.... Colter's Quest has been a long-held dream of mine, but somehow I never got around to writing it. When I finally decided to ask Dave if he would like to collaborate, he jumped at the chance. Together we intend to tell an epic tale of struggle and loyalty.... The books will appear as regular-sized paperbacks, and the covers will evoke memories of the classic Gold Medal westerns we both grew up on."

Classic memories.

Peace in the valley.
Regular readers may remember that the family of author Chris Kenworthy (aka Walt Masterson) planned to scatter his ashes equally by the sea and in Monument Valley, Arizona – places where his novels and research projects showed he belonged. Chris's widow, Helen, writes to tell us that the mission is accomplished. "We had a wonderful ceremony on the beach near our house, led by a friend of ours. It was a beautiful, clear, windy day. The kind Chris loved. In July we made it to Arizona, and Monument Valley. I managed to book a Navaho singer/flautist/drummer, to sing a song of farewell to my hero, in the Big Hogan and on John Ford Point. He also sang a song of welcome to Anja, the sweet grand-daughter born a month too late for Chris to see. Chris would have loved it. We all felt his presence.... He's out there now as well as at home. He loved the West...." And Chris is still with the readers of his westerns, of course, most recently in the welcome Dales and Linford reissues of Gunfight at Dragoon Springs and Showdown at Painted Rock.

A western writer BHE respects highly is the late T. V. Olsen, whose BHW-reprinted titles included a Spur Award-winning Fawcett Gold Medal novel, The Golden Chance. In a piece he wrote in 1962 for the Western Writers of America, Olsen raised the question of what was wanted in westerns. He answered that the commercial writer of his day "would do well to regard each book as a new creative challenge in development of plot and situation and highly varied characterization, with mature and intelligent concepts of theme and treatment – but strive simultaneously to recapitulate more truly the traditional elements . . . the historical feel of the place and the people and the times, the sense of freedom of a wild and wide-open land, sex presented more honestly but still not sensationally, tough-minded men who did what they damned well had to and never mind about Mr Jones, a swift, close-knit pace carried by lots of fast-moving action, and the decisive triumph of good over evil by a protagonist who can make mistakes and commit an occasional wrong because he is understandably human." In 2009, Olsen's views remain as pertinent and timely as ever.

And golden advice.

Chap O'Keefe considers a changing scene

Riding into trouble was a habit with ex-Pinkerton detective Joshua Dillard and his sentimental journey to a mission graveyard in Texas proved no exception. Guns blazed and chips flew off the headstones as he intervened to save a girl called Faith from the clutches of Lyte Grumman and his gunhawks.
   Joshua learned that Grumman was a ruthless cattle baron who’d lost a thousand head of longhorns in what he reckoned was a rigged poker game. Grumman was intent on recouping his loss, whatever it took. . . .
  Buying in on Faith’s behalf, Joshua soon found his skills with a Colt Peacemaker to no avail against superior numbers and a deadly tangle of inopportune passions and doublecross.
  Then a grim past and a frightful present turned Faith’s hand insanely against all men!
Back cover
Faith and a Fast Gun

WORK in any business long-term and you will see changes. I leaped into the fiction business straight from school as a teenager and now, in semi-retirement, I'm still in it, though it's very different to what it once was.

Along the way, it was necessary to switch to less appealing career options. In my twenties, I chose with my wife to make a home in New Zealand. Here, no genre fiction industry existed, the markets were all far away and in those days we had no internet. To make a decent living, provide a comfortable home and fulfil responsibilities as a family's breadwinner, many years were spent in journalism – daily newspapers, trade journals, women's magazines. In all these, too, I saw changes.

Genre fiction, especially western fiction, has waxed and waned over the years, as a look at the books' formats alone will show. For a while, the slim paperback ruled. Now, the biggest sales in most countries appear to be of library books – hardcovers and trade paperbacks and large-print editions. Even within a series that has clung to a fairly consistent appearance, you will observe change. Overall, the covers of today's Black Horse Westerns emphasize brighter, carnival colours far more frequently than their predecessors of a decade or two ago. As one of the veteran English Hale western writers wrote to me recently, "Good, but I think I preferred the older style dustjackets."

Taste will always vary from person to person, and a bright, unsubtle cover on a paperboard book can still be a very good cover, but one drawback is that strong use of primary colours is perceived to be an appeal to young children or people of lesser intellect.

This assumes vital importance when you consider that the larger part of a western's print-run is bought by library staff who will not be reading the book. If an impression is formed from the cover and style of binding that a book is meant for juveniles, a library will not look kindly on receiving complaints that the content is in an adult vein.

I remember writing a few years back to an eBay seller who was auctioning Black Horse Westerns, including Frontier Brides, as children's books. Fortunately, the lady was most apologetic after she'd read the first few pages and obligingly corrected her mistake.


As well as libraries' expectations of "squeaky clean" kiddie books, we have to contend with a growing body of opinion that public-purse money should not be spent on providing the leisure reading of a minority; that it should go instead to funding non-fiction, computers and even drop-in coffee lounges. Thus we have more excuse for libraries to reduce their purchases and holdings of westerns. In recessionary times, the libraries have to find their budget cuts somewhere. Why not pick on the "nasty", politically incorrect little western?

Perhaps it should come as no surprise, therefore, that publishing houses like Robert Hale have become increasingly cautious about what they will allow authors to keep in their stories. Several cuts had to be made to Faith and a Fast Gun – as they also had to be made to most of the more recent O'Keefe westerns. What was okay in earlier Joshua Dillard novels, like The Gunman and the Actress (1995), Ride the Wild Country (2005) and Sons and Gunslicks (2007), is out for 2010.

The storyline survives, but at several irritating expenses. Consider this short passage which comes after Faith has entered into a marriage of convenience with Lyte Grumman's besotted but far from stupid son, Chet:

   He was persisting in extracting maximum pleasure from what he was pleased to call their honeymoon, overruling Faith's objections in the latest of a succession of hotel rooms.
   Today, he'd proposed they undress and take a bath together. Under pretence of washing her, he'd given his hands every liberty before finally taking forceful possession.
   `You're sick,' Faith said with a shudder as water slopped over the edges of the big tub.
     `I never said I was perfect.'

In the published book it's rendered as follows:

  He was persisting in extracting maximum pleasure from what he was pleased to call their honeymoon, overruling Faith’s objections in the latest of a succession of hotel rooms.
   ‘You’re sick,’ Faith said with a shudder.
   ‘I never said I was perfect.’

Though minimal, the cuts remove an entire picture in words, the bathtub scene. Thus the reader is merely told Faith is in a predicament; we are not shown she is.  To any experienced writer, if not to a publisher or editor, this goes against first principles. Politely worded protest was unable to make the publisher budge.

John Hale's decision was, "I do not believe that any reader of even basic intelligence could fail to realize the implications of the truncated text. There cannot, of course, be any reasonable moral argument against a man sharing a bathtub with his wife, or come to that, doing much else besides. The point is that we don’t want it spelt out in these westerns, even more so because I regard it as unnecessary to establish the point you are making in the book. The words ‘You’re sick,’ Faith said with a shudder’ say it all."

But do they say it all? I'll be interested to see what the reviewers think. Importantly, the repulsive advantage Chet takes of Faith validates and gives credence to her extreme actions later in the book.

My own thoughts remain that "truncating text" to accommodate unreasonable moral objections – presumably from the libraries as Mr Hale has warned on earlier occasions – is misguided practice. Readers do want it "spelt out". Fiction writing – storytelling – depends on detail for its colour, flavour and entertainment value. Taken to its extreme, the story of any novel can be condensed – even reduced to as little as a plot synopsis of a few hundred words. Nothing is lost in terms of "establishing the points", but the strength and the texture is.

Mr Hale also said, "whilst you are at total liberty to write exactly what you want, equally so we must claim the same right to publish what we feel is appropriate." And later, "equally the publisher is very much held to account if readers think the work is unpleasant and should not have been published."

Against that, the only recourse for an author who wants his work to reach unabridged an audience he is convinced doesn't find it "unpleasant" is continuous self-publication. 

So what will be the solution to the new, unwarranted library resistance and the publishing company response to it? One answer might be a return to the original paperback novel, but that remains to be shown. The retail book market's appetite is for the blockbuster-size paperback, which is far from the ideal format for a briskly written, action-packed western. Perhaps, too, the readers want cheap books. The old Gold Medal and Ace books, of which many have fond memories, were certainly inexpensive, readily available entertainment of a kind clearly no longer possible in today's business environment. Fifteen dollars or ten pounds for the slimmest of paperbacks – say, 160 pages – is the best that can be achieved until the western can be restored as a mass-market staple.

At  the end of the day,  the reading public will make a choice. Its answer might be something else entirely. E-books?  Change is always in the offing!

–  Keith Chapman, whose latest Chap O'Keefe westerns are
Faith and a Fast Gun (Hale hardcover) and
Misfit Lil Cheats the Hangrope (paperback; free UK p&p at Foyles).

John Hale

Candice Proctor offers thoughts on. . .

CANDICE PROCTOR has been a guest contributor here before. She is a successful, working writer who posts "must-read" accounts of her experiences at Candy's Blog. That means valuable short essays – like the one we re-publish below with her kind permission – are online at, free to all writers and prospective writers. As we've said on other occasions, Candy's observations are usually as apt for Black Horse Westerns as for other fiction.

Candy writes the Sebastian St Cyr Regency mystery series under the name of C. S. Harris and thrillers as one half of C. S. Graham. The other half is her husband, army intelligence officer Steven Harris, and their latest book is
The Solomon Effect (HarperCollins).

I’M in the midst of slogging my way through the latest thriller by a New York Times bestselling author. I’m putting myself through this torture because I like to keep current with the publishing industry, and because the subject of this particular book touches close to something I’ve written myself.

Since I’m not enjoying the process, I’m reading fast. And I’ve found I can skip the action sequences without missing anything. I’ll come to one and think, Oh, good; the bad guys are going to try to kill the heroes again; I can skip ahead at least ten pages!

If that isn’t the definition of gratuitous violence, I don’t know what is. I’m reminded of the gratuitous sex scenes that populate so many of today’s romance novels. When I was judging RITA entries, I frequently found myself skipping sex scenes, too. Now, since authors put in sex and violence in order to make their books more entertaining, yet some of their readers are actually skipping those scenes, something is obviously wrong.

So how does a writer keep an action sequence – or a sex scene – from being boring?

In the best action sequences or sex scenes, something happens that actually moves the plot forward. We learn something new about the characters. The characters learn something new about themselves or each other. The action ups the stakes. Or it changes the characters’ motivation. Or it changes the characters’ goal. Or the characters acquire new information that causes them to alter their course of action. But something has to happen besides just violence or sex.

When nothing changes – if the characters and the conflict are all the same at the end of the scene as they were at the beginning – then the scene is gratuitous. The writer could yank the car chase/shootout/sex scene from the plot (or the reader could skip it) and no one would notice. The plot line would flow on without interruption or confusion.

Unfortunately, today’s audiences are so addicted to sex and violence that writers frequently feel the need to insert sex/violence every so many pages/minutes. Now, it’s pretty hard to make each and every one of those scenes pivotal. Yet I do think it is possible to have gratuitous sex and violence without boring the more discriminating members of your audience. How? By creating sympathetic characters.

If your readers care about your characters, they will be carried along by the action, both because they care what happens to the characters and because they like spending time with them. If I’m watching a movie and I don’t like the characters, I have nothing at stake; I couldn’t care less if they get killed or caught. Oh, our heroes are being shot at again? Yawn. Let me go make another cup of tea….

Even if I don’t care about the characters, an action sequence can still hold my attention if it’s well done, if the sequence is original, or funny, or cleverly orchestrated. Ironically, the NYT bestselling author of the thriller I’m reading at the moment writes really, really bad action sequences. They’re unoriginal, unbelievable, and badly executed. There is absolutely nothing to entice me to read them. So, I skip. A lot.

Of course, a lot of people really don’t care if the sex and violence in a book or movie is gratuitous or unoriginal – they're actually reading/watching for the sex and violence. Sigh.


Black Horse Extra applauded Candy's excellent approach to a thorny issue and commented: "A related problem now creeping in is the editors who can no longer discriminate between what is and what isn't gratuitous. There's sex and violence, and there's sex and violence.... But the knee-jerk reaction is to delete the lot! The key is in your paragraph 5. Should be required reading by all authors and publishers."

Candy replied, "I suspect it's a house rules kind of thing. My St Cyr editor frequently wants me to tone down the violence ('Can't some of these people be allowed to live?') and show more of the sex. My thriller editor likes the violence, and also wants more sex (which I refuse to put in because I want the relationship between Jax and Tobie to be on a very slow simmer). Other houses don't want sex or violence, just lots of praying!"

HarperCollins describes The Solomon Effect as "a  riveting thriller that combines authentic CIA spycraft, unearthed Nazi secrets, and biological terror in a tale that races full-speed from the opening paragraph to a heart-pounding conclusion." The book is designed to appeal to a wide audience – from fans of Tom Clancy, James Rollins, and John Le Carré to dedicated aficionados of Tami Hoeg.

A true story from Greg Mitchell


Outlaws are plaguing the Santa Rosa area and Marshal Tim Cleary is sent there to investigate the theft of military rifles. He joins forces with Sheriff Lou Braga in an attempt to break up the gang and to determine the fate of Red Baxter, the freight company driver moving the rifles.
   Diaz, a delusional Mexican goat herder, claims to have seen the bandit leader and believes him to be the Devil. Now the two lawmen must try to decipher Diaz's terrified ravings, and weave their way through false trails, before they finally track down and unmask the Devil and bring retribution.
Back cover
Track Down the Devil

THE story of Frank Gardiner begins and ends in mystery. Only his criminal career has been fully documented. We know for certain, though, that he was one of Australia's most notorious bushrangers, that he was the only Australian sent into exile, that he spent the latter part of his life in the western United States and that he pulled off one of the biggest gold robberies in history.

But did two Americans – possibly his sons – later visit his old haunts and spirit away a fortune in his hidden loot?

Gardiner's true name was almost certainly Francis Christie although he also called himself Clarke, Smith, Jones and Gardiner. The latter name was believed to be that of the man who taught him to ride.

Some writers claim he was born about 1830 at Boro Creek near Braidwood in the southern part of the colony of New South Wales. Others say that he was born in Scotland and arrived in Australia aged four. All agree that his father was the storekeeper at Boro Creek cattle and sheep station [ranch]. These isolated stations brought in a year's supply of necessities at one time. The storekeeper issued supplies, kept track of the inventory and arranged the next year's orders

Legend has it that young Frank left home at an early age and wandered for a while with the native tribes along the Shoalhaven River. One of his nicknames was "Darkie" although he was not Aboriginal.

His first recorded brush with the law saw him convicted of horse theft in the colony of Victoria. Frank escaped from Pentridge Stockade and resumed horse stealing in New South Wales. He was captured again, served part of a prison sentence on Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour before being paroled to the Goulburn district. This was the Gold Rush era and the goldfields were nearby, but Frank had no intention of becoming a miner. He opened a butcher shop at the goldfield and had a good business until the police became interested in the source of his beef.

On the run but ever versatile, he opened a new trade. Robbery under arms could be a hanging offence but with his bush skills and the best of stolen horses under him, Frank quickly went to the top of his new profession. The police took a dim view of his activities but their efforts to catch him mostly ended in embarrassing failures that provided amusement for those who had nothing that bushrangers would want to steal.

In 1861, Gardiner gathered a gang around him and tried for the biggest prize in the Australian colonies, the Gold Escort. This was a coach guarded by police that regularly took gold from the goldfields to the Treasury in Sydney. The gang, as well as Gardiner, included Ben Hall, Johnny Gilbert and Johnny O'Meally, all destined to become legendary outlaws. Charters, Fordyce, Bowe and Manns made up the rest of the gang.

At Eugowra Rocks, an isolated part of the road, the gang stopped the coach and a brief gun-battle ensued. This was a time of slow-loading percussion firearms and the police escort with their Navy Colts and Terry carbines, outnumbered and outgunned, were forced to retreat. A police sergeant was slightly wounded and another trooper was killed after the holdup when a police revolver accidentally discharged.

The gang escaped with more than 2,087 ounces of gold conservatively estimated today at worth more than $US2,000,000. It was the biggest gold robbery since the pirate Henry Morgan sacked Panama in the 17th century.

Then the police, with their black trackers, had a bit of luck. They captured Hall, Charters, Manns, Fordyce and Bowe and managed to retrieve 1,500 ounces of gold. Charters turned informer, confirming that Gardiner was the mastermind but for some reason, he refused to incriminate Ben Hall who was released. Fordyce and Bowe were sentenced to life imprisonment and Manns, who foolishly incriminated himself, was hanged.

Frank Gardiner

Eugowra Rocks

Gardiner and the two Johnnies remained at large and Ben Hall changed from cattleman to professional bushranger. All were good at their work and held up coaches, stations, travellers and even towns. The mounted police efforts to curb the bushrangers soon became the subject of sarcastic comments and satirical poetry regularly appearing in various newspapers. The  police under Inspector Sir Frederick Pottinger were seen as figures of fun by the general public.

Gardiner rode into a police ambush one night while visiting his lady friend Kitty Brown at Wheogo. Mounted on a grey horse and an easy target on a bright moonlit night, he was surrounded by troopers but managed to shoot his way out again and escaped. Some anonymous wit described the incident in a poem entitled The Bloody Field of Wheogo. Describing Gardiner's escape, the poet wrote:

       But the 'ranger proud, he laughed aloud,
       And bounding, rode away.
       Sir Frederick Pott shut his eyes for a shot,
       And missed – in his usual way

The scene became too hot for Gardiner. He fled the colony with Kitty Brown and his gang joined Ben Hall. The police lost Gardiner's trail completely and there were even rumours that he was dead. It was Kitty who brought about his undoing. They'd been living quietly for more than a year in outback Queensland as Mr and Mrs Christie, when Kitty foolishly wrote to her sister. The sister's husband, a former policeman, saw the letter and noted the writer's address.
Gardiner was arrested and tried in Sydney in 1864. All who knew him, including Charters the informer, swore in court that they did not recognize him and he was acquitted of the escort robbery. He was, however, found guilty of wounding a police sergeant and other crimes that earned him a 32-year sentence.

Another anonymous poet wrote:

       Frank Gardner he is caught at last
       And now in Sydney jail –
       For wounding Sergeant Middleton
       And robbing the Mudgee Mail
       For plundering of the escort
       And Cargo mail also
       It was for gold he made so bold
       And not so long ago.

After ten years he was released on condition that he left Australia. In 1874 he sailed via Hong Kong to San Francisco. By 1877 he was the proprietor of the Twilight Saloon at 1051 Kearny Street. His saloon became a gathering place for Australians passing through San Francisco. In 1879 he was reported to have married a rich, young widow. This information was relayed from the Sierra Citizen in 1881 to an Australian newspaper. The couple were said to have had twin sons.

Nobody knows how or when Gardiner died. It was rumoured that he was shot dead in a card game in Colorado in 1903 and he would have been 73 if the report was true. The San Francisco earthquake in 1906, with its destruction of records, has been suggested as the reason why Gardiner's trail disappeared. But another mystery remains.

Australian author Frank Clune wrote that in 1912 two Americans, Monty and Fred, turned up at Wheogo claiming to be radium prospectors. The owner gave them permission to camp on the property and loaned them tools. After a week they departed with bags of "rock specimens" and were never seen again. Later, the property owner found Gardiner's old campsite dug up to a depth of two feet. Were these Gardiner's sons or members of a syndicate following written directions to recover the long-hidden loot ? We will never know as the trail has been cold for too many years. Frank Gardiner is still the subject of both history and mystery.

– Paddy Gallagher, who writes his BHWs as Greg Mitchell. His book
Track Down the Devil is a current Dales large-print reissue.


Ben Hall

Old San Francisco



Published by Robert Hale Ltd in November, December and January

McRae's Last Trail
Terry Murphy  0 7090 8814 1
Trail of the Burned Man
Thomas McNulty
0 7090 8817 2
Take Me to Texas
Ryan Bodie
0 7090 8819 6
Always the Guns
Matt James
0 7090 8820 2
Revenge by Fire
Bill Williams
0 7090 8821 9
Rustler's Range
Billy Hall
0 7090 8826 4
Waiting for the Hangman
Carlton Youngblood
0 7090 8829 5
The Kansas Fast Gun
Arthur Kent
0 7090 8794 6
Shoot, Run or Die!
Jake Douglas
0 7090 8825 7
Dalton's Mission
Ed Law
0 7090 8833 2
Gun Law
Lee Walker
0 7090 8834 9
Long Ride to Yuma
Will Keen
0 7090 8837 0
The Branded Man
J. D. Ryder
0 7090 8838 7
Six for Laramie
Rick Dalmas
0 7090 8846 2
Quinn's Last Run
Owen G. Irons
0 7090 8827 1
Dead Man's Guns
Logan Winters
0 7090 8843 1
Dynamite Daze
Ethan Flagg
0 7090 8852 3
Faith and a Fast Gun
Chap O'Keefe
0 7090 8854 7
Border Fury
Corba Sunman
0 7090 8859 2
Sharpshooter McClure
I. J. Parnham
0 7090 8860 8
To Die This Day
Clint Ryker
0 7090 8861 5

Misfit Lil Cheats
the Hangrope
Chap O'Keefe
978 1 4092 8943 2

Black Horse Westerns can be requested at public libraries or ordered at bookstores. They can be bought online from the publisher at, or from other retailers including  Amazon, Amazon UK, WH Smith, Blackwells and The Book Depository ("free delivery worldwide").

Trade inquiries to: Combined Book Services,
Units I/K, Paddock Wood Distribution Centre,
Paddock Wood, Tonbridge, Kent TN12 6UU.
Tel: (+44) 01892 837 171 Fax: (+44) 01892 837 272

US distributors: Independent Publishers Group,
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Tel: 312-337-0747 Fax: 312-337-1807
Customer service:
Trade sales: Jeff Palicki
Special sales: Richard T. Williams
Home page:

For Australian Trade Sales, contact DLS Distribution Services,
For Australian & New Zealand Library Sales, contact DLS Library Services,
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