The Kansas/Missouri border was a dangerous place during the Civil War and in the years that followed. Kansas entered the Union as an anti-slavery State only months before the war started and was bordered by the Pro-slavery State of Missouri. ‘Border Ruffians’ like William Quantrill fought for the Confederacy while ‘Free Staters’ and ‘Jayhawkers’ fought for the Union. They were all guerrilla fighters led by men of often questionable morality. There was only some measure of legitimacy given to them by the Confederate and Union governments respectively because they claimed they were fighting for the same cause. The results on both sides was the same… people killed while towns were sacked and burned.
The Ranger is the prequel to the novel Texas Jack!
This brand new adventure follows the story of a young man named Britt Logan who is a member of a wagon train on the way to Oregon in 1852. He and his parents are among just a few non-Mormons in a Mormon wagon train heading to the Salt Lake Valley. Their plan was to leave the train at the South Pass and head to Oregon with another train, but when Britt’s parents are killed by an influential member of the church, Britt finds himself on the run.
Back when I started diving… 50+ years ago, my primary interest other than exploring the undersea world was hunting. Spearfishing, lobster, abalone and scallop hunting were my main focus. As years went by I had visions of becoming a great underwater photographer. I’ve won a few awards for underwater photography over the years but back then it was a very difficult skill to master, which I never really did. I started with a Kodak Instamatic camera in a plastic box before moving up to a Nikonos camera and then 35 mm SLR cameras with large bulky housings. Strobe lights attached to the cameras made using them difficult to do sometimes and a complete underwater camera setup was an expensive investment.
As the name suggests, the Catalina Goby (Lythrypnus dalli) lives around Santa Catalina Island. It’s about 1/2 – 3/4-inch-long and can be found among the crevasses of rocks down to about 75 meters. It’s considered a nano fish and lives in the west coast waters from California to Peru. They remain gender neutral until they establish dominance within the harem. The most dominant will then become male and grow a longer dorsal fin.
These sharks lay on the bottom and mind their own business… until someone like me comes along. They have two very sharp needle-like spines at the dorsal fins and they will hurt! Trust me, I know. They also have several rows of teeth and a crushing bite.
Texas Jack rides again… and again… and one more time! Texas Jack, was originally released under Lizard Key books but last year I signed a contract with Outlaws Publishing to do five books under the Texas Jack story line. I’m sad to report that Outlaws has unexpectedly closed their operation. The closure came quickly and left not just myself, but several other authors without a publisher. No explanation was given but as of that time I was released from my contract. At the time, Texas Jack and Scalp Hunters, had been released in both paperback and Kindle versions. The week they closed down, The Bank Robbers, kindle version had been released.
The good news is, within a week of my contract release, I was signed by a division of ONCO Corporation, DUSTY SADDLE PUBLISHING. They have taken all three of the books, done new covers, and released the first two immediately. The Bank Robbers, the third book of the series has now also been released. So, as of now, all my western books will be released through AMAZON and DUSTY SADDLE PUBLISHING.
In addition, a boxed set of the first three books has now been released AND… the fourth book in the Texas Jack story line… ‘The Robber Baron’ is to be released very soon. Buy your box set now: Texas Jack Three-Book Series
COVID-19 has kept most of us indoors and close to home. It’s provided me with more time to read and write books… less time for fishing, hunting and golf, but things are slowly starting to open up and we’ve recently made a few fishing trips. We’re beginning to get outdoors a little more now although some restrictions and common sense apply… we hope things get better before hunting season!
We’re also updating the website to make it easier to access photos, prior newspaper stories, drink recipes, camping, fishing, diving and travels.
We were diving off a small, remote island called Mayaguana, the easternmost island in the district of the Bahamas. The diving there wasn’t that good. There’s about 30 local residents and not much in the way of services. They have medical folks who show up about once a month. I’m swimming along and there’s a good size Caribbean Spiny Lobster (Panulirus argus) walking across the sand so I grabbed him. He didn’t make it to the dinner table, I let him go.