Sunday, 30 August 2009


At BEAT TO A PULP this week Sandra Seamans takes on the role of western writer with an excellent story called 'Midnight Showdown'. Absolutely brilliant.
More people should make the crossover and write a western.

Saturday, 29 August 2009


Shaun Hutson is a fan - even appeared on stage with them.

I'm a fan. I think that I've done my best writing with the music of Iron Maiden playing in the background.

Whether it's their albums or one of the many compilations their sound has been going since the band was formed in Leytonstone in London's East End back in 1975.

The band went through several changes of personnel until in 1978 it found a useful lead singer Paul Di'Anno. The band started to record their music and had low chart success. They reached number 35 with a song titled 'Women In Uniform'. This one has never been released on an album. The label in purple and silver showed the early artwork that would become synonymous with Iron Maiden album covers.

However this single did appear on a CD with 'Invasion', 'Phantom Of The Opera', 'Twilight Zone' and 'Wrathchild'. Very rare and costs the earth and I wouldn't part with it.

Iron Maiden draw the lyrics for their songs from many sources. 'Lord Of The Flies' from the novel by William Golding and a 13 minute long effective telling of Coleridge's 'Rime Of The Ancient Mariner'. Aldous Huxley's 'Brave New World'. As well as 'The Prisoner' and 'Back To The Village' inspired by the tv series - the former has Patrick MacGoohan's "I'm not a number. I'm a free man." speach on it.

On one tour of America they were denounced by Christians as Satanic and made a public display of burning their albums. Obviously, they had not listened to the lyrics of such songs as 'The Number Of The Beast' or 'Fear Of The Dark'.

In 1981 Paul Di'Anno was replaced by Bruce Dickinson and, to my mind, it is his voice that has brought distinction to the group as a whole. When he left to persue a solo career he was replaced by Blaze Bayley but the two albums that he appeared on were not as good as the previous ones.

Having said that there were many other factors involved.

But when Bruce Dickinson returned to the group it seemed as though the good times were back.

The last three albums 'Brave New World' which includes a song called 'Blood Brothers' is one of the best that they have recorded. 'Dance Of Death' and the sensational 'Matter Of Life And Death' that brings the slaughter of the First World War battle of 'Paschendele' to life.

The album SOMEWHERE BACK IN TIME covers the best tracks from the Iron Maiden albums from 1980 to 1989.

Unfortunately, this does not include their only number one 'Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter' which was written for the soundtrack of 'Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child'. Still it can be heard on the album 'No Prayer For The Dying'.

Included in this compilation is the western inspired 'Run For The Hills'.

The album opens with Churchill's rousing speach followed by the story of the Battle of Britain pilots in 'Aces High'. This album includes many of the well known tracks like 'The Trooper', 'Children Of The Damned', 'Powerslave', and 'Can I Play With Madness'. In many ways a perfect intro to the music of Iron Maiden.

Iron Maiden have made a movie 'Flight 666' and the live album of songs has just been released.

For the best video I can recommend 'Rock In Rio' where Bruce Dickinson shows his acting ability in 'Fear Of The Dark'.

Just another word about Bruce Dickinson. He's a full airline captain and he ferried out 200 UK citizens from Lebanon back in 2006 during the Israel/Hezbollah conflict. A man of many talents with an interesting bio worth reading.

And the origin of the name. Well according to Steve Harris, the founder, the bass player and composer he was watching an adaptation of Alexander Dumas' 'The Man In The Iron Mask' at the time.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

WHERE LEGENDS RIDE 2 - The Line Up Announced

The full line up of the western writers who's story appear in this new western anthology can be found at Nik Morton's blog Writealot (
It is a very impressive list of writers and includes the likes of Lance Howard, Ross Morton, Chuck Tyrell, I.J.Parnham and not forgetting my granddad, Jack Giles.
Also, there is a story by me. Chantel Foster.
You know, you pick up a book and read it and think this is easy. I could do that.
Writing, even a short story, is not easy. It involves hard work.
When I first wrote my story and showed it to my granddad he said that it was good. I felt pretty pleased with myself. Then I asked what I should do with it. He said finish it. Finish it? Yes, he said, there's a good story there but it's just a sketch. I went off in a huff.
A few days later and we were having a coffee at The Ace Cafe. We were talking bikes. About how I would like to ride a Harley. He explained that I would have to work my way up to one. Start with a 125 cc. He warned me that I might fail my driving test. Just don't give up on anything that you want in life.
We were talking bikes but my granddad was telling me something else.
So I grabbed my aunt's computer and wrote my story out again. What I typed was what I had written in my notebook. All the time, without really seeing it, I was expanding the story. I would show it to granddad and he would nod and say that the story was getting better.
Then one day he said that he thought that it was good but that he was not the best person to judge. Would I mind if he showed the story to someone else? Like yes, granddad.
The story was sent to Nik Morton who was both encouraging and critical. I cannot begin to thank the editors, Nik Morton and Charlie Whipple, enough for all their help and encouragement.
Also would like to say thank you to people like Lance Howard, I.J.Parnham, Jo Walpole and James Reasoner (I know he's not a Black Horse Western writer). If I had not read their books would I have been inspired to write? Or even attempt a western? I don't think so.
The end result can be read in the yet to be titled anthology.
Writing is not easy but if anyone wants to write then the effort has to be put in.

Like the man said never give up on anything you want in life.


It's one of those actors where you know the face and ask the question who the hell is he.
He only had onestarring role and that was way back in 1961 when he played the title role in a movie called 'Mad Dog McColl'.
But it was his role in this movie and 'The Young Savages' that would mark the type of character that he would play in the future.
Remember the creepy Johnny Hammond in 'Ride The High Country'? That was John Davis Chandler born 1937 in Hinton, West Virginia.
He was, also, one of the bounty hunters in 'The Outlaw Josey Wales'.
He made three movies with Sam Peckinpah - the other two being 'Major Dundee' and 'Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid'.
One of his best moments has to be from the Lee Van Cleef movie, 'Barquero' where John Davis Chandler shows a lighter side with some marvellous interplay with Forrest Tucker.
Chandler has turned up on the small screen playing Kid Curry in 'The High Chaparral'. He appeared in some of the series from 'The Virginian' to 'The Rifleman'.
Not all his appearances were of the western variety. There have been roles stretching back from 'Star Trek: Deep Space 9' to 'Route 66' including a recently shown episode of 'Murder, She Wrote'.
John Davis Chandler may not have been a big star but to put him down as one of the supporting actors is a mistake. When on screen he makes his presence felt.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

WILD BUNCH WEDNESDAY: Short Story Challenge - part 4

The short story begun by Black Horse Western writer I.J.Parnham continues with the fourth instalment from Dave Lewis at

Part 1 can be found at The Culbin Trail -
Part 2 is right here on this blog
Part 3 is at

Who's up for part 5? Claim your spot at Davy Crocketts Almanack

Friday, 21 August 2009

Friday's Forgotten Movie: BOY'S DON'T CRY

How can a 1999 film with a BAFTA and Oscar winning performance be considered forgotten?
Well, I guess, maybe it's because it is one those movies that hardly gets a mention.
This independant, low budget movie that was directed by Kimberley Pierce who co-wrote the script with Andy Bienen did provide an award winning performance from Hilary Swank as well as nominations for best supporting actress for her co-star, Chloe Lavigny.
The film is based on the true story of Brandon Teena who was raped and murdered in 1993.
The problem was that Brandon was born with female organs but felt that he should have been born a man. He gets involved in a bar fight over a girl he has beeen seeing and because his cousin doesn't want to be involved he evicts Brandon from the trailer that he shares.
He turns up in Falls City, Nebraska where he becomes friends with two ex-cons, John Lotter and Tom Nissen, and their circle of friends which includes Lana Tisdel. It is not long before Brandon feels that he is a part of a 'family'. A close relationship develops between Brandon and Lana.
However the past catches up with Brandon and he is arrested and placed in the women's section of the Falls City Prison from where Lana bails him out. Curious as to why Brandon was in a women's prison he explains that he is a hermaphrodite awaiting a sex change. Lana accepts him for who he is and tells him that she loves him for who he is and not for what he is.
Nor is it long before Lotter and Nissen discover Brandon's true identity.
Hilary Swank does such a good job with this role that it becomes easy to forget that she is female. In fact both leads do such a good job that the viewer is drawn into the intensity of the tragic story. And Kimberley Pierce brings out strong performances from all the players.
Although this film was nominated as Best Motion Picture 'Boy's Don't Cry' picked up nothing but in my considered opinion it should have.
Maybe, I should have chosen the 1999 Oscar winning movie because I can't remember what it was.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009


Strange thing is that blokes seldon admit to reading poetry let alone write it. Yet years ago I, evidently, did. I could only recall one but one of my daughter's was having a clear out and discovered a book full. Some of the poems are only half completed while others are full of angst. Though taking into the situation at the time I can understand them. They were written about 1999/2000.
Not great poetry.
However, this one really struck me - I don't know what the inspiration for it was. Well, maybe a rough idea.


Temptation waits
On runaways fates
Welcome to sin city
Where there's no pity
A world of users
Losers and abusers
Of wheelers
And dealers
And whores
In their scores
Perverts and perversions
In so many versions
You can tell
Life is hell
For you kids
On the skids
Life's tough
Sleeping rough
None survive
Or leave alive
At this city gates
Temptation waits.

WILD BUNCH WEDNESDAY - Short Story Challenge 3

Part 3 of the short story challenge is now at Charlie's Tokyo West blog at In the event this link doesn't work then a link is on the side panel.
Charlie is better known as Black Horse Western writer Chuck Tyrell who's new book 'Guns Of Ponderosa' will be published in February 2010.

This short story was started by Black Horse Western writer I.J.Parnham at The Culbin Trail at

Part two appeared on this blog.

Next week's episode will come from Dave Lewis better known as western writer Evan Lewis. You will find this next Wednesday at Davy Crockett's Almanack (

Monday, 17 August 2009


Yuma, Arizona was there long before the Southern Pacific Railroad routed the 3:10 there.
Nor would the railroad had gone there had it not been for an Army Surveyor called Lieutenant Amiel Weeks Whipple. Whipple had been born in 1817 in Greenwich, Massachusets and had assisted in the boundary locations with Mexico from El Paso through to the Pacific Coast. The War Department, therefore, thought that A.W.Whipple would be the ideal choice to survey and find a transcontinental railroad route from Fort Smith, Arkansas to Los Angeles, California.
The story of the Whipple Expedition is fascinating and too lengthy to go into here - but there is an account of this on the web.
Whipple was killed at the Battle of Chancellorsville in May, 1863.
Yuma's real history though dates back to about 1540 when the Spanish explorere Hernando de Alarcon was the first European to set eyes on this territory. In 1697 Father Eusebio Francisco Kino established a mission on the banks of the Colorado River but this did not last a year. Yet it is he that pioneered the desert route that became known as El Carmino del Diablo.
It was not until 1774 that a new mission was built by Father Francisco Garces from where he led an expedition under Juan Bautista de Anza to California. The mission was destroyed by the Apaches in 1781.
The territory lay dormant for a while until re-discovered by Kit Carson but it was not populated until the late 1840s. It was at this time that Whipple arrived only to find that it was only populated by Indians.
The California gold rush found the crossing of the Colorado to have it's own means of making a profit. L.J.F. Jaeger opened up a ferry for those seeking their fortune and within a year an estimated sixty thousand hopefuls crossed over at $2 a head.
Steamboats brought passengers and materials to the crossing and in 1870 the Southern Pacific Railroad bridged the river.
Arizona, at the time a part of New Mexico (Arizona did not become a state until 1863) became a territorial US possesion in 1854 and Fort Yuma was built on the opposite bank to the town. It remained an Army post until 1883.
Nearby placer findings in 1858 brought further prosperity to the growing town.
On the Ist July, 1876 the territorial prison open it's gates to admit the first seven prisoners. Yuma's Territorial Prison would, in it's lifetime, house 3069 prisoners - 29 of whom were women. Construction of the prison was ongoing and built by the prisoners themselves.
This would serve as a harsh reminder of frontier justice. The prison was sited on a bluff overlooking the Colorado River. Adobe walls 18 feet high and eight feet thick at the base surrounded stone buildings, solid rock dungeons and a sun baked yard. Outside, a Gatling gun on a tower stood guard over the single entrance. Beyond - well anyone attempting to escape had not only the desert to content with but Indians who were paid a bounty of $50 for every prisoner that they brought back.
Between 1854 and 1858 Yuma was known as Colorado City when it changed the name to Arizona City.
Yuma as a city and a county did not come into being until 1873 and was named for the original indigenous tribes.

Friday, 14 August 2009


This is the event of the year amongst both gaming and wrestling enthusiasts - the scheduled autumn (fall) release of THQ's Smackdown vs Raw.
THQ's vice-president stated that the company's goal was to offer 'players extensive creative freedom and make WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2010 the most authentic, entertaining and compelling simulation of live WWE programming to date."
The WWE wrestler, John Morrison, has said that one of the main themes for this game would be around customisation.
More info will be released by THQ at the WWE pay-per-view 'Summerslam' on the 23rd August.
The first gameplay footage was seen by viewers of 'Late Night With Jimmy Fallon' during an interview with the wrestler, Triple H.
The official Smackdown vs Raw site should be open by the time that 'Summerslam' is screened.
Already the net has sites showing proposed rosters and gameplay but I take this as speculation and nothing more.
Meanwhile Asda is advertising the game at prices that range from £37 for the XBox 360 version of the game down to £24 for the PS2.

Friday's Forgotten Book: THE RAGING MOON by Peter Marshall

The Raging Moon was first published in 1964 - 189 pages.

You need a strong stomach for this book as it takes the reader through a rollercoaster ride of emotions.
The book comes in three parts and tells the story of two people. Bruce Pritchard tells his story in the first person while Annette Perel's comes in third person. The reason for this becomes apparent as the story unfolds.
Bruce Pritchard is a young working class lad full of angst and rebelliousness - but don't be misled as this is not a stereotype figure. He lives a normal life with his family and older brother who is about to get married. Make no mistake Bruce enjoys life to the full.
Annette Perel, on the other hand, comes from a middle class 'sensible' background. Her mother is always doing something for the Church and Annette's father is a respected doctor. She is going steady with Jeremy and everyone is waiting for him to propose and for Annette to settle down.
Then tragedy strikes.
Jeremy proposes to Annette.
Bruce is best man at his brother's wedding.
Within hours of each other they are in hospital and both are diagnosed with polio.
Paralysed they are confined to wheelchairs and this is where the second short part of the book deals with how each character copes with their situation.
The third section sees Bruce in a bitter state of mind now transferred to a home run by the church. Visitors come and go leading to a lady commenting "Isn't it nice when people come to visit us. It makes us feel as though we're not entirely forgotten." Like prison visitors is Bruce's opinion.
His anger builds a wall - a prison within a prison. He even clashes with another new arrival Annette Perel. Except that they are kindred spirts and it is not long before she takes his wall apart and they are locked in a relationship.
This third section of the book made it controversial at the time. Disabled people in wheelchairs falling in love and having sex - disgusting was the reaction as though disability means that people aren't human anymore. Well each to their own.
However Peter Marshall deals with these issues sensitively. The author was involved with the working of a care home and writes about his subject with understanding and authority. A brilliant book which contains many issues that still exist forty years on.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

The BULLDOG BASH Controversy

For twenty three years the Bulldog Bash has been held just outside Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire at the racecourse at Long Marston.
It is one of the biggest motorcycle events to be held in this country and attracts visitors from across the world.
This year saw 'Motorhead' headline the music acts.
The Bulldog Bash celebrates both music and motorcycles from the bog standard to the customised. It caters for families as well as the bike enthusiasts. In simple terms it makes for a good day out or all weekend depending what you go for.
I go to a few bike meets and I'll talk to anyone. Most times I turn up in my leather or my denim with it's badges but that doesn't make me a Hell's Angel.
In fact even the name Hell's Angel is a collective term like a pride of lions.
Bikers come in various, how can I put it - kinds, I suppose. There are Outlaws, One Per Centers, Old School Rockers - and, of course, Hell's Angels. But it is easier for the press and police to just lump the whole lot together under one name.
There are sixteen chapters of Hell's Angels in the UK. The first of these dates back to about 1973 five years after The Beatles brought a couple of American angels to Britain.
The profile of Britain's Hell's Angels is so low that, unlike America and Canada, there is no special police force to investigate their activities.

So why is the Chief Constable of Warwickshire, Keith Bristow, getting so steamed up about the Bulldog Bash?
He wants to stop the Bash from becoming an annual event. He doesn't want a motorcycle/musical event to be staged on his turf by the criminal fraternity who's one aim is raise funds for their criminal activities. On the other hand he would be quite happy if the event was carried out by 'responsible' people - as long as they weren't Hell's Angels.
Despite losing the appeal to have the 10 year licence granted to the organisers because he had no evidence to back up his claims, Keith Bristow is determined to plough on and search for any legal opportunity, whether criminal or civil, to put an end to the Bulldog Bash.
He complains that the organisers won't show him the books to show where the money goes - but then, the organisers are a registered limited company who, by law, and do file their company accounts. Second, most people know that funds go to charities that support our armed forces.
What most people don't know is that Hell's Angels arranged days out for disabled children and Christmas Toy runs for children in hospital and countless other charitable works throughout the year.
See you at the Bulldog Bash 2010 - then.
So they have a bad rep but that goes with the territory. Just read Hunter S. Thompson's 'Hells Angels' or Julian Sher and William Mardsen's 'Angels Of Death' and you wouldn't want to meet one in a dark alley. But up close and beneath those leathers, badges and tattoos are some of the nicest blokes you could meet.
There has been publicity like the shooting of Gerry Tobin on the M40 after the 2007 Bulldog Bash and the battle at Birmingham Airport earlier this year between Outlaws and Angels. On the other hand there have been a lot more bad things that happened in the world that have dwarfed these isolated instances.
But don't take my word for it - a spokesman for the Hell's Angels of England and Wales had this point to make: "If we are organised criminals why do we ride around quite openly displaying patches saying who we are.
We get together to ride our bikes, visit our brothers here and overseas and party. Just because some of our members have crossed the line doesn't make every member a criminal nor a club a criminal organisation."
And Angels come from all walks of life.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

WILD BUNCH WEDNESDAY - Short Story Challenge - Part 2

This is the second part of a short story started by Ian Parnham at The Culbin Trail ( If you missed it last week then you can catch the first part there.
The idea is that each writer writes a 500 word (or thereabouts) section of a short story until it reaches the end.
Today's piece comes from Jack Giles

Part 2.

“What’s the hold up?” this curt question came from the portly conductor, Henry Cox, as he eased himself down the steps from the front of the first carriage. This as heads began to appear through the carriage windows behind him. He paused long enough to slip a fob from the pocket of a vest that was stretched, tightly, across his paunch and examined the watch face before glancing in Jerome’s direction.
“Better be good,” Henry snapped, shoving the watch back,as he turned to glare at Merrill who had halted with one foot on the footplate while gripping on to the brass handrail to maintain his balance. “We have a schedule to keep.”
Henry pounded towards them with a hiss of serge upon serge as his thick thighs collided with each other but neither man paid him much attention for they were watching the old man rise from the ground.
“Well, I guess, that’s my fault,” the old man told the trio of gaping men as he approached them brushing dust from his clothes with his hands. “Sorry if I’ve disrupted your schedule but you see I – yes, I needed to stop the train.” As he spoke his eyes wandered along the line of carriages until he spotted a red and white one at the end. Suddenly, he swung up an arm to point downline. “Hey, isn’t that Silas Bartlett’s private carriage?”
“It certainly is,” the conductor responded, pompously, finding it easier to answer the question rather than follow the oldster’s rambling drawl.
“Thought it was,” the old man nodded. “Good. I wasn’t sure if I’d stopped the right train.”
“And what if we hadn’t’ve stopped?” Merrill bellowed dropping to the ground. “God, by rights you should be dead.”
“But, don’t you see, you did stop,” the old man said, sagely.
“But if we hadn’t?” Merrill persisted.
All three stood there mesmerised as the old man reached inside his jacket and pulled out a stick of dynamite. As a man they took a few quick paces backwards.
“I’d’ve had to use this,” the old man mentioned. “Last resort – but the train would’ve stopped.”
“Just who the hell are you?” the conductor demanded, his eyes watchful as the old man slid the dynamite, carefully, back into his pocket.
“Didn’t I say?” the old man looked confused. “Walt Arnside.”
“You can’t be,” the Jerome gasped. “I knew Arnside and he’s dead.”
“Heard that rumour myself,” Walt nodded. “All the time I was in Yuma I had people telling me I was dead. But as you can see I’m very much alive.”
“Whoa! Whoa!” the conductor called out. “All this may be interesting but I don’t hear you saying why you stopped the train.”
“I didn’t, did I,” Walt nodded, scratching at the hairs at the side of his neck and glancing downline before facing the conductor. “Well, I’d’ve thought that was a mite obvious. I mean why would anyone try to stop a train, huh?” he glanced at each man expecting an answer and when none came stated the obvious. “To get on board.”

Next week's instalment will come from Black Horse Western writer Chuck Tyrell

Sunday, 9 August 2009


This week's offering at the on line magazine Beat To A Pulp is a must read story 'I Celebrate Myself' by Nik Morton aka Black Horse Western writer Ross Morton.

The August release of Linford Large Print Westerns (now available from Amazon and The Book Depoisitory) includes Lance Howard's 'Blood Creek'; Ross Morton's 'Last Chance Saloon'; Matthew P. Mayo's 'Wrong Town' and Jack Giles' 'Lawmen'.
All four writers belong to the Yahoo Group at Black Horse Westerns Express (

There is a piece by Lance Howard at Dark Bits ( that is worth reading. In it the author explains his thinking behind his short story 'Billy' that will be included in the latest anthology from the team that brought out 'Where Legends Ride'.
This is an anthology of short stories written by Black Horse Western writers and readers.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Friday's Forgotten Book: THE TRAP by John Burke

The Trap by John Burke is a Pan Books original published in paperback in 1966. Although this book is a film tie-in novel the reader has a novel that not only brings the film to life but gives a lot more in the 152 pages.
It is 1849 British Columbia and fur trapper Jean La Bete is looking for a wife and hoping to make a profit with his furs. He arrives in town as a ship docks bringing in 'mail order brides' and, as luck would have it, there is one spare as the purchaser has died. A dockside auction is held but La Bete is outbid and would have to wait another year before another batch would be brought in.
The same ship also brings in a piano for trader McKenzie's spoilt daughter - but as events unfold it becomes clear that it is La Bete's money that has paid for it.
Mrs McKenzie has illusions of grandeur and her home is decked out as though it is one of the fine houses that she has seen in San Francisco. Their servant, Eve, was saved fro m an Indian massacre where she had seen her mother tortured and raped. From that moment on Eve has been mute.
When La Bete comes for his gold Mrs McKenzie sees a way out of a predicament. "Last night," she says. "you wanted a wife. For a thousand dollars I can give you one today."
And so Eve is sold to Jean La Bete.
From here on in there are only two characters in this book and they are La Bete and Eve. And it is also here that the book departs from the movie for John Burke gives more depth to the characters.
Not only are they faced with survival in a hostile territory where wolves, bears and cougars are ever present predators but with their own personal problems. At first La Bete's attempts to assert his rights over his 'wife' are rebuffed. Nor is it long before the reader is involved with a story about dependence and communication.
Eve cannot communicate her own feelings and La Bete has difficulty in understanding her.
La Bete teaches her how to trap and what to look for and how to fish. In once instance sends her home while he inspects a bear trap. Here he is attacked by a cougar and falls into his own trap. Attracted by the smell of blood the wolves come and harrass La Bete as he tries to drag himself and the trap towards the safety of his cabin. His survival now depends on Eve who helps to free him from the trap and she has no alternative but to amputate his leg.
What is so good is that it the reader who is aware that this is a pivotal moment in the book while both principles are not sure how to relate to this revalation.
John Burke has such a descriptive flair in this book - "At first impact it was nearly stopped by a wall of water and then, rising to the crest, (the canoe) leapt forward like a salmon and smacked down on the raging surface beyond." - and gives great depth to the characters of La Bete and Eve that the reader cares about what happens to them.
I have found this book listed on Amazon.

Thursday, 6 August 2009


WILD BUNCH WEDNESDAY - Short Story Challenge Update
The challenge set by Black Horse Western writer I.J.Parnham (The Culbin Trail at has been taken up. Fellow Black Horse Western writers Jack Giles and Chuck Tyrell will be adding the next two instalments. The first of these will appear here.

Interesting piece at The Tainted Archive on second hand bookshops at which encourages readers to review their local second hand bookshops.
Apart from the usual charity shops I seem to live in that part of the south-east that has seen the second hand bookshops disappear.

Black Horse Western writer Terry James, author of 'Long Shadows' which is currently at No. 6 in the Amazon top ten westerns, has received news that a new western 'Echoes Of A Dead Man' has been accepted for publication. It will be out in 2010.

A couple of interesting pieces to be found on You Tube.
Metallica gives 'The Ectasy Of Gold' form The Good, The Bad and The Ugly the heavy metal treatment.

Look out for Muse with 'Knights Of Cydonia' complete with the 'Man With The Harmonica' intro that they played live at the 2008 V Festival.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009


Black Horse Western writer I.J.Parnham has written the first 500 words of a story at The Culbin Trail (
The objective is simple - to create a story with each writer contributing 500 words - the contributing author being either the first person to comment on the piece or offer to continue the story.
It is a great idea and thanks Ian for starting the ball rolling.

Monday, 3 August 2009


Out on DVD.

This series continues from where TERMINATOR: JUDGEMENT DAY left off.
Sarah Connor is still suffering from nightmares where she sees her son John killed by a Terminator.
In the real world of 1999 John Connor is getting friendly with a fellow college student Cameron Phillips while his mother has settled into a steady relationship.
This idyllic time is about to be shattered when FBI agent James Ellison gets close to bringing Sarah Connor in; while at school John Connor gets a new teacher who is on a mission.
The Terminators are back in the shape of a T-888 known as Cromartie. With the help of Cameron, John Connor manages to escape.
Agent Ellison, who has been convinced the Sarah Connor is a delusional psychopath now finds himself confronted by twenty two witnesses that saw a man with a robotic leg.
Cameron, Sarah and John are now on the run and seek sanctuary in a bank vault where the components for a time vortex have been stored. Once activated the trio are transported to 2007 - but not before it is revealed that Cameron is a Terminator sent back to protect John Connor.
But there is no safety in 2007 for this war has an underground army of resistance fighters from the future as well as Terminators with hidden agendas. Amongst the resistence is Kyle Reese's brother Derek.
The first series of 9 episodes chronicles the various attempts to adjust to the new world that they find themselves in as well as make an attempt to put an end to Skynet before it becomes a reality.
This series had a good storyline that concluded, frustratingly, with a cliff hanger of an ending.
Lena Headey takes over the role of Sarah Connor from Linda Hamilton and is very impressive in the role. John Connor is played by Thomas Dekker.
The stand out character has to be Summer Glau's Terminator, Cameron Phillips. By the end of the first disc (three episodes) all doubts that a female Terminator could replace Arnold Schwarzenegger's T-100 were dismissed.
I am looking forward to Series 2 which is out (in the UK) on the 16th November while Terminator Salvation comes out the following week on the 23rd.
Despite the success of this series American TV did not pick up on Series 3. Though I do understand that various groups have petitioned the networks to continue with the series.

Sunday, 2 August 2009


Misfit Lil Cheats The Hangrope - BHE - 2009
Available from

Lil Goodnight, best known as Misfit Lil, is a mite confused for two reasons. It seemed as though an era had passed but there was a wagon train travelling the wrong season well south of the usual route.
The trailsman, Luke Reiner, figures he knows best and won't take advice or sass from the irrepressible Misfit Lil who knows they are running into trouble.
And when a blizzard hits our intrepid heroine is there to get the children to safety.
In view of the problems with Reiner, the leader of the train Winton Petrie agrees to hire Misfit Lil's friend, Jackson Farraday, to take charge. This decision leads to fisticuffs between Farraday and Reiner.
Into the mix are Prudence Hannigan, a pastor's daughter, and Petrie's daughter Honesty who is being courted by Reiner but shows a preference for Farraday.
And the question crops as to why Luke Reiner is anxious to get to a derelict town of Buzzard City? When Farraday tries to find out he is ambushed and left unconcious but when he returns to the wagon train he finds himself accused of the murder of Honesty Petrie.
Misfit Lil has no choice but to waste no time in finding out the truth.
This is a well constructed and written novel from Misfit Lil's creator Chap O'Keefe who builds the tension and keeps the reader guessing to the end.
This is a first edition paperback novel and a must buy for fans of Misfit Lil.
The current price is £10.84 UK and $15 US but for the money you get a quality paperback - all in all I look at this book as value for money.
A sample of this book can be read at - Black Horse Extra.