December 10, 2011

Miles To Little Ridge

My exposure to Westerns was mainly limited to films and television until Edward A. Grainger. His stories changed my perceptions of what the genre had to offer.  Fueled by superb writing, the continuing adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles provide the same excitement of the films I’ve enjoyed while confronting all those big things about existence the literary types like to claim as theirs and theirs alone.

I was nervous when I heard other authors were going to be writing tales featuring Grainger’s two heroes. Would it feel...right? Could they pull it off? Would these new stories have the same mix of action and humanity?

Heath Lowrance’s does.

With clear and direct prose, he tells the story of Gideon Miles’ arrival in the town of Little Ridge, Montana where the Marshal tracks down a fugitive who’s raising his daughter on his own following his wife’s death. Despite his claims of innocence, the wanted man is reluctant to leave his fate up to a jury and his daughter in someone else’s care. Miles’job is further complicated by a foe from his past, hellbent on getting revenge for the death of his friend in a robbery.

“Miles to Little Ridge” is a startling testament to Lowrance’s abilities as a writer. He’s captured everything you’ve come to expect from Grainger’s Westerns without resorting to pastiche. It’s well-paced and exciting without sacrificing any of the humanity as it confronts the tricky boundary between duty and justice.

"Miles To Little Ridge" Is Available Now.



December 9, 2011

The Best Black American Novelist Writing Today by Shane Stevens


Curious Shane Stevens fans looking for some of his non-fiction to read might check out The Critical Response to Chester Himes. Included in Charles L. P. Silet's compilation of reviews and essays is a Stevens piece called: "The Best Black America Novelist Writing Today."

Originally published in The Washington Post and Times Herald in 1969, Stevens' essay offers more than just a review of Blind Man With A Pistol. In only a few short pages, Shane uses the publication of Blind Man to discuss the importance of Himes' entire body of work, its relation to the American dilemna of race and his own opinions on the "moral" responsibilities of the novelist. If nothing else, Stevens fans may enjoy the tiny bit of personal reminiscence when Shane recalls living in Harlem, working on his own first novel and discovering the work of Chester Himes.

Regrettably, The Critical Response to Chester Himes is over priced. Amazon's new copy is currently available for $110. However, at least here, it seems to be readily available from a number of libraries.

December 7, 2011

A Rip Through Time Review

A couple of days ago, I learned from David that James Reasoner reviewed the Rip Through Time e-book on his Rough Edges blog. Despite my cool and detached demeanor, it's always nice to see pleasant things about your work. Especially when they come from a talented and seasoned veteran like James.

Read his thoughts here.


December 4, 2011

Claudia Sensi Contugi's The Climb


One of Christopher Pimental's students has her first published story up now at The Flash Fiction Offensive. You should really go check it out. Claudia Sensi Contugi's The Climb is impressive for such a young writer: great dialogue, nice crisp lines, tension and desperation that rises as the character makes a literal ascent, all building to a sharp ending.

December 2, 2011

My Shane Stevens Materials


My Shane Stevens materials: books, articles, letters, reviews, and photographs. Below Black Review #1 is the current draft.
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