To The Duke

To The Duke

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Cactus Country Publishing

In June High Hill Press took our fifth wheel and traveled on the Oregon Trail from Kansas City to the western border of Wyoming. It was an amazing trip. We walked in the ruts that the wagons of our ancestors drove deep into the ground on their trips west. We sat on the banks of the Platte River and walked the same earth that Buffalo Bill Cody walked in Nebraska. We toured museums and scrounged through junk shops looking for old books. I found a few.

When we got to western Nebraska we decided to detour for a week or so and visit Deadwood, South Dakota. We stayed in a campground at the edge of Custer State Park and got up early one morning to do the wildlife loop in the hopes of seeing buffalo before the traffic jams started. We did. Hundreds of them surrounded our truck. I know this sounds strange, but when a big mamma walked up next to my window, I swear she stopped and looked in at me with that wise brown eye of hers. I was almost overwhelmed with how magnificent I thought they were.But even though they were beautiful and I felt some kind of kinship, I kept my window shut.

Woman Hurt By Buffalo At Custer State ParkBuffalo in Custer State Park, SD | Favorite Things | Pinterest

Deadwood was also amazing. And we spent hours at the Crazy Horse Monument. Another day at Mount Rushmore and our visit to that part of South Dakota was complete. I came away with a strange feeling that the people who live there now are much like the adventurous pioneers and gold seekers who first settled there in the 1800's. They have that devil may care spirit. You can see it everywhere. It probably isn't a place for a middle-class boring old couple to retire, and I wouldn't because of the winters there, but it was invigorating to visit. We actually think we're going to go back and work at Crazy Horse next May. I'll let you know.

The rest of the trip was wonderful, tiring, amazing, and sometimes surreal. We stayed a week in Riverton, Wyoming in the center of the Wind River Reservation. We visited a ghost town called Atlantic City high up in the Wind River Mountains. There the Mormon Handcart trails cross the Pony Express Trails and they all dissect the Oregon Trail and overlook the Continental Divide. Then we headed to Yellowstone, on up to Montana to visit Little Big Horn, down to the Devil's Tower, and then on in to Cheyenne. By the time we drug ourselves back to Missouri, with a huge case of altitude sickness, we were tired yet still excited about everything we'd seen. Just like a family reunion where Uncle George wants to show you pictures of his vacation every year...I'll share a few of ours here.

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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Lassoing Up Fun and Fame in Lubbock, Texas

Photo: WWA
The 62nd annual Western Writers of America convention took place June 23 through the 27th, in Lubbock, Texas

WWA is home to over 650 members, whose writings take place in the historic American West.

During the WWA convention, members, agents, publishers, editors, and others gathered to talk, teach, learn, and shop, while making friendships and listening to music.

Each year, the WWA inducts members into its Hall of Fame. Famous past writers include John Steinbeck, Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain), Willa Cather, and Laura Ingalls Wilder.

This year's inductee and Owen Winster Award honoree, Win Blevins, is the first living writer to receive this honor. Blevins is best known for his classic "Give Your Heart to the Hawks."

Along with Win Blevins, others inducted into the Western Writers Hall of Fame include: Judy Alter, Matt Braun, James A. Crutchfield, David Dary, Max Evans, Andrew J. Fenady, John Lakes, Leon C. Metz, N. Scott Momaday, Robert M. Utley, Dale L. Walker, Richard S. Wheeler, and Jeanne Williams. John Wayne, John Ford, and Clint Eastwood were inducted as non-writers.

Since 1953, the Western Writers of America has honored writers for distinguished works about the American West with the Spur Awards, which encompass a variety of categories. 

For a complete list of this year's Spur Award winners, visit the link below.
Image courtesy of WWA

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Secrets, Lies, and Ghostly Encounters in Arizona

Cactus Country is thrilled to announce the release of Patricia Grady Cox's first novel, Chasm Creek. This Southwestern writer finds her inspiration from the rich history and scenic landscapes of Arizona.

In Chasm Creek, ghostly encounters and bloody confrontations expose the secrets of three unlikely friends based on lies.

Morgan Braddock is separated from his family by a noose. Ester Corbin and her children were abandoned by her husband. Rubén Santiago, a kidnapped Navajo, was taken to Mexico as a child and raised Roman Catholic.

Chasm Creek is a dramatic story of love, loss, and finding one's place in the unforgiving Arizona Territory.

Purchase your copy of Chasm Creek through the link provided below.

Order Chasm Creek - Patricia Grady Cox

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A Great Read on the Rise

Cactus Country Publishing and High Hill Press are honored to announce the release of Pulitzer Prize award nominee, David Lee Kirkland's newest novel, Rising Tide. This historical fiction novel takes place in the mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina during the American Civil War. Rising Tide is available in hardback where all good books are sold or online through the link below.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Meet McKendree Long

High Hill Press and Cactus Country Publishing are proud to announce that McKendree Long's newest novel, Higher Ground, hit the bookstore shelves this month. Mike's first two novels, No Good Like It Is and Dog Soldier Moon were awarded final honors in the National Indie Excellence Book Awards. All three books are available everywhere good books are sold. Kindle versions are also available. 

No-Good-Like-It-Is   Dog-Soldier-Moon
Check out Mike's website for more information about his books and about his life.
McKendree R. Long III

Mike's short story, Chouteau's Crossing, was a finalist for a Spur Award in Short Fiction given out by Western Writers of America. Mike was honored at the Finalist Luncheon in Sacramento, CA in June of 2014. The story was published in an anthology titled Rough Country edited by Brett Cogburn and published by High Hill Press in December of 2013. The anthology is available in hard cover everywhere books are sold, and is also available as a Kindle. 
Rough Country
And Watch this Site for an Interview with author McKendree Long.

Where did the rest of the West go?

Saddle up and Write!

I've got this John Wayne quote on mugs, t-shirts, wall plaques, and notebooks. It's always been my favorite, although until recently I hadn't given much thought to how much it fits with what a writer does.

Writers are almost always scared to death. They're scared to death no one will like what they write. They're scared to death they won't get their work published. Then when it is published they're scared to death it won't sell, or if it does, people won't like it. Then they start worrying about the next story, or essay, or book and they go through the whole process again; scared to death no one will like it, it won't sell and when it does, no one will buy it. The circle of fear, writing, publishing, fear, writing, just keeps going. So although we are always scared to death it will all end at any minute, we still get into that saddle and write the next story or novel or screenplay. We will always saddle up and write.