Category Archives: Latest News

Book signings, personal appearances, interviews, and more from Mark Marchetti

Texas Jack: Morgan Hawk’s Last Ride

A Western Adventure: Texas Jack Book 6

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.

Continue reading Texas Jack: Morgan Hawk’s Last Ride

Texas Jack: The Ranger

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.

Continue reading Texas Jack: The Ranger

Texas Jack: The Bank Robbers

Texas Jack: The Bank Robbers: A Novel of the Old West (A Texas Jack Western) Paperback – August 13, 2020

The fast-paced, action-packed third Western adventure in the new “Texas Jack Western” series from Mark Marchetti!

Phineas Todd was a strange little man. He arrived in Filo, Texas many years before the Civil War and was a familiar fixture in Filo since he was the president of the only bank in town. Even when he was young, for some reason he just seemed to be older than his years. He was known in town simply as ‘Old Finny’ and was loved by the townspeople, in spite of his quirky ways.

For many of the town’s people and ranchers in the area, it was ‘Old Finny’ who had helped them navigate the hard times during the war and after. He was the wealthiest man in town yet lived like a pauper, his only interest being the welfare of the town. Receiving the love and respect of the town’s people was the only thing he believed was of value. Unknown to the town’s people was the secret of his past in the days before he came to Filo.

When four bank robbers arrive in town, led by the notorious gunman Russell Blye, the world of ‘Old Finny’ and the town gets turned upside down. The former Sheriff, Tommy Vee, comes out of retirement and recruits ‘Texas Jack’ McKenna to track down the robbers and bring them to justice.

As a longtime friend of ‘Old Finny’, Jack knows his secret… and doesn’t want it revealed. As they set out to hunt down the outlaws, Jack and Sheriff Vee discover they each have a different vision of how justice should be served… the legal way and the ‘Texas Jack’ way. 

Grab your copy today! Texas Jack – Bank Robbers

Texas Jack: The Robber Baron

Texas Jack: The Robber Baron: A Novel of the Old West Paperback – November 2, 2020

The fast-paced, action-packed fourth Western adventure in the new “Texas Jack Western” series from Mark Marchetti!

The old Gillman ranch had been vacant for several years and Michael McGiven wanted the property. He planned to buy it in auction when the taxes weren’t paid, but mysteriously, the taxes on the ranch were paid every year, preventing him from acquiring it. McGiven was a shrewd, self-absorbed little man who saw himself becoming a Texas cattle baron and making his ‘Bar X’ brand one of the biggest in Texas. The Gillman ranch was located between his and the ‘Circle J’ ranch, owned by Jack and Josie McKenna. McGiven had stolen several smaller ranches in the area by driving owners out… stealing their cattle or burning their crops. He was careful, always keeping his hands clean… hiring others to do his dirty work. McGiven firmly believed ‘Texas Jack’ McKenna was the person standing in his way of obtaining the Gillman ranch.

To complicate matters, one day the new owners, Claire and Robert LaClief, move into the old Gillman ranch. Claire LaClief… formerly, Claire Gillman, the daughter of Clayton Gillman, is well aware that ‘Texas Jack’ was responsible for the killing of her father and brothers. As the only living heir to Clayton Gillman, she and her husband arrive in Filo to take possession of the ranch.

If his quest to become a Texas cattle baron is to move forward, Michael McGiven will have to come up with a new plan to remove both the LaClief’s and ‘Texas Jack’ from his path. With his resident outlaw thugs and hired gunman, Luke Madsen, he just might succeed… but he’ll have to cross ‘Texas Jack’ in the process.

The residents of Filo, Texas know a showdown is coming between Michael McGiven, Luke Madsen and ‘Texas Jack’ McKenna. They’re all waiting to see what happens… because, ‘Texas Jack’ is coming to town! 

Grab your copy today! Texas Jack – Robber Baron

Texas Jack Rides Again…

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

All my other books, Lizard Key, Black Bart’s Treasure, Face the Lion and The Story of Rocky the Rodeo Pony are still available through AMAZON under LIZARD KEY PUBLISHING. I am currently working the third book in the Lizard Key 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.

Stay safe.

Mark Marchetti

Texas Jack: Scalp Hunters

Texas Jack: Scalp Hunters

The fast-paced, action-packed second Western adventure in the new “Texas Jack Western” series from Mark Marchetti!

The Texas-Mexican border was a dangerous place in 1875. Outlaws and Indians crossed the border with ease keeping the law… what little of it there was, at bay. Of all the outlaws and bandits, the one known as ‘El Diablo’ was the worst. He made his living robbing, killing, stealing cattle, taking hostages and scalp hunting. He was a psychopath in every sense of the word and a man to be feared.

Ten years after the Civil War ended, Jack McKenna returned home. He had been a famous hero in the war, known as ‘Texas Jack’.  Mystery surrounded him in the years before he returned home to Filo, Texas, a small border town. It was rumored he had been a train robber, a gunman, a hired killer… and while some of that might have been true, the fact was most believed he was dead.

When he does return and tries to settle back into the peaceful life of a rancher, trouble comes calling in the form of ‘El Diablo’. When ‘El Diablo’ takes his former commander and father-in-law, Colonel Clayborn hostage, the U. S. Calvary and the Texas Rangers can’t cross the border to rescue him. It’s up to ‘Texas Jack’ and his friends to come to his aid.

In the process, Jack relies on his friendship with the Apaches and a convicted horse thief for help. He also learns the secret of who ‘El Diablo’ really is, why Colonel Clayborn was the target and who is paying him to collect scalps. 

Grad your copy today: Texas Jack – Scalp Hunters

Memories of Catalina

Reprinted from the Catalina Islander October 14, 2016

It was many years ago when I first met Artelle. She was an elderly lady who ran the Credit Union where I had an account. She was over eighty years old at that time and I wondered why she was still working at her age. As I got to know her, I found that her husband had died and she had an adult son, still at home, who had some problems. The money she earned helped but it seemed equally important for her to be connected and involved in the world around her. She always took the time to converse with the customers and showed an interest in their lives.

One day prior to a holiday period she asked if I had vacation plans. I mentioned I was going to spend the holidays at my home on Catalina. It was as if a light went on in her eyes. “Catalina! I grew up in Southern California and used to go to Catalina all the time,” she proclaimed. She then asked me to come into her office and she told me about her remembrances of the island.

When she was in her late teens/ early twenties, Artelle and her girlfriends used to catch the ferryboat, the S.S. Catalina, in Wilmington and go to Catalina for the weekend. It was the late 1930’s and the main attraction was the big bands playing at the casino ballroom.  There was no TV at that time but the music was broadcast on the radio all over the country. The boats also featured bands, dancing and entertainment on the passage over. Back then, the boats weren’t as fast as the express boats of today and the trip took about two and a half hours. She and her friends got “all dolled up” as she put it. “The ladies all wore fancy dresses and the men wore suits and ties and we danced on the boat all the way to the island,” Artelle stated. Then she mentioned with a sly grin that she and the girls sometimes had a few cocktails on the boat ride over.

When they arrived at the island there was always great excitement. It was like you arrived in a foreign country. Today we are used to a boat arriving almost hourly but back then it was just a couple of times a day and it was a big deal. Speedboats would jump over the boat wake as it approached, people came to the dock to sing and kids would dive for the coins passengers would throw overboard as the “Great White Steamer” docked. 

Then it was off to the Casino to dance all weekend long. She could still remember all the big bands she saw. It was clear to me that sharing these memories allowed her to step back to a time and place she remembered with great fondness. I felt privileged to have heard a bit of Catalina history from someone who lived it. Artelle passed away a few years ago but I can’t help to think of her every time I go to the New Year’s Eve event at the Casino… it always seems like I just stepped back into the 1930’s. 

Mark Marchetti-Author and Catalina resident 

Finding Catalina

Reprinted from the Catalina Islander March 25, 2016

The Catalina Islander is a weekly community newspaper serving Avalon, Catalina Island (California), and its mainland friends, since 1914.

In 1983 Jimmy Buffett wrote a song called One Particular Harbor which almost perfectly describes my relationship with Catalina Island. I was raised in Northern California and always had a fascination with the ocean and beach but neither of my parents were ‘beach people’. Never the less, it seemed I was destined to find my one particular harbor. My mother never learned to swim, but insisted that her sons would become swimmers, so as a youngster I got swimming lessons. It was fine with me because I loved to be in the water and it was the first step towards finding Catalina.

There have been many turning points in my life that have made an impact… even at a young age. In the 1950’s there was a TV show called Sea Hunt (1958-61) starring Lloyd Bridges as Mike Nelson, a retired Navy Diver who had all sorts of exciting adventures. By our modern standards, the SCUBA diving sequences and special effects would be seen as amateur but to a boy of eight with an imagination it was magic. Many of my diving friends reference Sea Hunt as their first introduction to SCUBA and credit the show for sparking their interest in diving. After seeing Sea Hunt, I had only two goals in life… to become a SCUBA diver and to own a boat (he had a cool cabin cruiser named Argonaut on the show). I was too young to learn SCUBA but quickly learned to snorkel and when I turned seventeen I took a SCUBA class and got certified. I did my check out dives in the cold, dark water of Monterey Bay and at that point in my life I had no idea a place like Catalina existed… but I was getting closer!

When my local dive shop sponsored a boat dive trip I signed up. We boarded an old rusty boat called the Emerald and headed out to sea. I don’t recall where we dove but I remember the Captain saying we would get a mooring in Avalon for the night. It was a hot, sunny summer afternoon when the boat pulled in and I’ll never forget my first impression of Catalina. The harbor was full of beautiful boats, many had music playing, there were girls in bikinis everywhere… on the beach, walking downtown, dancing on boats… everywhere!  When I ordered a beer at a local bar the bartender wasn’t overly concerned about seeing an ID (things were a little looser in the 1960’s). On top of all this, the water was clear, warm and provided great diving! I found Catalina Island and it was a very positive experience. After that, I returned as often as possible.

As my life progressed, I got married, had children and Catalina remained an important part of my life. Every visit to the island was viewed as an adventure. My children learned to swim, snorkel, SCUBA dive, paddle board and play golf here. We brought our friends so we could share the island with them and over the years have made many local friends. It was about twelve years ago when we realized the dream of buying our own home here. While we don’t live here full time, we now get to spend considerably more time on the island.

I write historical fiction novels and have traveled to many places encountering interesting people along the way… many have inspired characters in my books. Places like Key West, Saint Augustine, Port Royal, and Avalon have long and colorful histories that can provide a backdrop to a story. I have also found the best stories are told around a campfire, on a fishing boat or at a local bar. If you don’t hear a good story in places like The Marlin Club, The Lobster Trap, Coyote Joe’s or The Locker Room, well, you just aren’t listening!

Many years ago I found myself sitting at a bar, having a few beers with Joseph Wambaugh, a very well-known author… which is a separate story in itself. My first book was in the beginning stages but I was struggling with some aspects of the craft. We talked about writing, etc. and I learned some things from him about listening to the stories around me, but more importantly, seeking stories out and remembering them. Many of the tales heard can be inserted into a novel through a character in the story. I also learned writing is a process that can’t be hurried and all about ‘writer’s block’… when you just can’t make the process happen.

Fortunately I have Catalina. Maybe it’s the weather, the people, the relaxed atmosphere, the cocktails… but there are two places I never have writer’s block; Catalina Island and aboard my boat! So I’ll just keep coming back to Catalina… like Jimmy said in the song, ‘I know I don’t get there often enough but God knows I surely try.’ 

Mark Marchetti, Author and Catalina Island Resident