Wednesday 19 December 2012

The Devil's Marshal

Robert Hale have accepted my latest novel The Devil's Marshal for their Black Horse Western series. I assume it'll be published around December 2013 and it'll be my 28th western with them.

This novel was one of those stories where the title came first. The phrase Devil's Marshal popped into my mind and I just had to write a story to go with it. Unfortunately when I'd finished the first draft I came across a review for a novel called The Devil's Marshal and in one of those Doh! moments I realized I'd read this book years ago and that's probably where the title came from. So I changed the title to Spectre of a Forgotten Lawman and carried on writing.

As it turned out, although the publisher liked the book, the title was too long for them and they requested that it be changed. They suggested The Devil's Marshal would be a good title. So I reckoned that this one was just meant to be!

Here's my draft blurb:

When bounty hunter Brodie Latimer hears that his sister has been accused of murder, he heads to Hamilton for the trial. But before the proceedings start, the only witness who planned to speak up for her is killed and, although Lucinda's innocence is clear to Brodie, in a travesty of justice she is found guilty.

Brodie vows to find the real killer and, as more of Hamilton's leading figures are killed in mysterious circumstances, the clues lead him to suspect Derrick Shelby, a man known as the devil's marshal. The only trouble is, Derrick was killed a year ago. How can Brodie clear his sister's name and bring the guilty to justice when the killer appears to be the spectre of a long dead lawman?

The stunning image above came from here

Saturday 15 December 2012

Review of Miss Dempsey's School for Gunslingers

Like the previous two books in this excellent series this story is extremely fast moving and includes many how-are-they-going-to-get-out-of-that situations. There are plenty of laughs to be had too...

Read more at Western Fiction Review

Tuesday 11 December 2012

The Flying Wagon now available on Kindle

The fourth book in my Fergal O'Brien series is now available on Kindle.

As with all the Fergal stories, it's a standalone book and it isn't essential to have read the others. This one lives up to its billing and features a wagon that flies, although you'll have to read it to find out whether or not Fergal gets airborne. The book is now available for around £2.55 from the uk site and $4.11 from the us site.

The showman Fergal O’Brien and his assistant Randolph McDougal come to the aid of a damsel in distress who has been attacked by the bandit Van Romalli. She repays their kindness by riding off with their display of authentic historical memorabilia.

Now Fergal must find a new way to earn a living. An opportunity arrives when Jim Broughton sells him an attraction called the Treasure of Saint Woody. But all is not as it seems. Jim is really a US Marshal and the only patron he wants Fergal to attract is Van Romalli. Blissfully unaware he is being used as bait; Fergal is starting to rebuild his fortune when Ezekiel T. Montgomery rides into town to promote the wondrous maiden voyage of his flying wagon—a Conestoga dirigible.

Faced with a seemingly unbeatable competitor, Fergal tries to solve all his problems with a reckless wager, which leaves him facing his greatest challenge ever. He has twenty-four hours to learn how to fly or he’ll lose everything.

Buy from and

Sunday 9 December 2012

RIP - Sir Patrick Moore

I'd just like to add my thoughts at the passing of Sir Patrick.

The only reason I can identify stars and constellations, and take pleasure in noting the steady movements throughout the year of the planets is down to him. It was his enthusiasm and lively, eccentric manner that got me interested in science as a kid and even now, if I ever feel a need to check on such matters as the names of the main stars in Orion, I don’t look it up on the Net. Instead I'll get out one of Patrick's old dog-eared textbooks some of which were written back in the 50s or before.

In truth, his declining condition in recent years has meant this sad news was inevitable. This week on The Sky at Night I got the distinct impression this was the last time we'd see him. He was clearly in very poor health, but even then he presided over the monthly program, which has been an important fixture during my entire life, with his usual commitment to science and avoidance of dumbing down. Even when the likes of Brian 'I like loud music instead of content' Cox appeared on his show, the content would still be the same mixture of complex science about distant galaxies combined with basic help in identifying the pole star. As a man who made serious science accessible and fun, he was the simply the best.