Saturday, March 17, 2018

Spring in the Desert – Tucson Festival of Books 2018

Spring is here and it’s time for the Tucson Festival of Books, 2018 style. This is a very special event where readers, onlookers and kids can meet with outstanding authors and have a good time. This was the tenth annual festival with another record attendance for the two day event.

Again, I got to see many of my Spotlight authors. This year started off talking with two of my favorites, C. Michael Bennis presenting his new release, Ralph's Place II (coming soon) and Sharon Skinner showing off her new release, Collars and Curses. 

Some of my old friends were there including Jeffrey J. Mariotte and Marsheila Rockwell from the Dreams Convention Group, the Amigos and Ladies of the West and the Murder, We Wrote writers and some new friends in the Mostly Books booth and the Brick Cave Books booth.

This is my sixth Tucson Festival of Books and again I had a mission. I am at the festival as a Blogger this weekend to find out how my fellow authors are handling direct marketing. I leave my Mystery writer’s hat at home.

As always, my goal is to talk to as many authors as I can, take a lot of pictures and to see how the authors are trying to market their books and themselves.

It was a nice, overcast weekend with a hint of rain in the air. I even considered taking an umbrella. Then I remembered what my papa told me one time. “Only a fool or a tourist would say it was going to rain here.” In the desert anyway.

Author’s Goals

An author should have a set of goals when they attend a book festival. Here are some of the goals that comes to mind.
1.      Sell your books directly to the attendees. Have that sales pitch ready.
2.      Get the reader/prospects to look further after they leave the festival. If you sparked their interest, they will check your books out online.
3.      Make an impression and maybe the reader/prospects will tell someone else about meeting you.

A book festival requires a different approach than a regular book signing at a bookstore. The fun continues at the Tucson Festival of Books. Lots of swag. Great entertainment. Wonderful weather.

As usually, I give the best materials a shout out for being the best of the best.

Observations – Sales Tools

Business Cards
There were lots of 4-color quality cards with cover pictures and much better contact information, including email addresses and internet links. This year there were many great author business cards. There were two that stood out with pictures, color and information.

Deena Remiel @deenaremiel – Book: Trinty
Jenn Windrow @jenmwindrow - Book: Pricked by Thorns

Almost all the bookmarks I reviewed had great presentations. Most of the bookmarks were high quality, done with covers pictures and contact information. In years past that was a problem. I saw several marks highlighting book series. A couple had 3D barcodes. My choices were:

Anna Questerly @AnnaQuesterly - Book: Basic Alchemy with Essential Oils / The Alchemist's Guild
Elise M. Stone @EliseMStone – Book: Double Pink Murder

Post cards
Cards are indeed getting better every year. They offer more space to have more and better information. Most of the post cards had copies of the author’s book covers and series. I did pick two in this category.

C. Michael Bennis @CMBennis - Book: Ralph's Place II – Spotlight Interview
Jim Stevens @JimStevensWritr - Book: The Case of the Dearly Departed – Spotlight Interview

Large Variety of Promotional materials
This year I added a new category. I asked for swag and boy did I get some. Teresa reached into her bag of swag and the items kept coming. She started with a paper hat on a stick highlighting a series, followed by several bookmarks, a pen and topped by a glass cleaning towel and a small bottle of hand sanitizer.

Teresa Burrell @teresaburrell – Book: The Advocate’s Illusion – Spotlight Interview

Best Presentation

The best presentation by an author this year was easy to pick again. Remember everyone is a prospect even a blogger roaming the festival.

Gail Ann Gibbs @gailanngibbs – Book: Sketches in the Air and They Called Me Dragon
She had a quick prospect presentation but her promotional materials were well organized including a bookmark, 2 postcards and festival special (all clipped together).

This Year’s Takeaway Ideas
Idea 1
Several authors were offering free or discounted ebooks to readers. Some were even giving free, autographed paper books. If done properly, giveaways during the event could increase your Amazon rating.

Idea 2
The authors did a great job displaying their books. A quick check of their displays, their name was easy to see. They still need to display their genre somewhere. If I’m a mystery reader, I probably waste my time at a Sci-Fi booth. Then again I might get a prospect interested in a new genre.

Idea 3
Most of the authors were wearing show name tags on strings. They were very difficult to read as they flopped around in the wind. Use a clip or something, please.

Name tags/plates are still a problem. There were not many name plates at all. Have a name plate made up and place it on the table in front of you. I wore my name tag: James Moushon - Mystery Writer – Blogger.

Finally, a Great Time in the Desert Comes to an End

Authors need to have a plan to get the most bang for their buck. You need to focus on what sells your books:
Have marketing materials with great cover pics and contact information.
Qualify your prospects quickly and then give them a short, quality presentation.

Other related posts:

Follow me:

Or visit my blog: Indie Author Corner
Take a look at my Author’s blog: HBS Author’s Spotlight

Check out the Jonathon Stone Mystery Novels:

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Authors: LINK Your Social Media to Your Blog and Newsletter

Authors, Listen to the Chatter about connecting your social media accounts to your blog and newsletter.

Object: Place a link to your blog or newsletter in your social media entries and make the post interesting or inviting enough the reader will follow the link. Pretty Simple, Right?

There is a little more to it than that. The interesting or compelling part is the trick.

To give you some idea, here is a sample of a recent tweet I made to my twitter account, pointing to my blog: HBS Author’s Spotlight.

HBS Author’s Spotlight showcases Dianne Harman @DianneDHarman new book: Murdered at the Gallery. Dianne is an Award-Winning Bestselling Mystery, Suspense and Romance author. #mystery - #RT 

Tweet Notes: 
  1. Author name and tweeter handle included
  2. Book Title
  3. Author Byline (280 characters allows extra information on the author)
  4. Hashtag to author genre
  5. Link to my blog post for her novel which includes book cover, blurb, buy links, and an excerpt plus her contact information and book list
Included in the tweet was a picture of the cover plus the author’s twitter handle in the ‘Who’s in this photo?’ space. This got a large response from my followers and her followers

Here is what some of our Spotlight Authors have to say about getting your book information out to readers using social media.

Connect Social Media to Your Book Information

R.A. Barnes @Ruby_Barnes   
10000 twitter followers – Spotlight Interview

Ruby is the author of Mystery & Thrillers novels including the Zombies v. Ninjas series.

I’m a firm believer in building a social media platform and regular sharing of interesting content. My first book, Peril, came out before I had engaged with social media but I made the conscious decision to blog on various topics and built up quite a large amount of traffic on my site

Tweeting the blog posts created further traffic and I started to gain Twitter followers. One small but important thing I learned was that a good blog post is “evergreen content”, which means it’s timeless and can be periodically pushed out on social media regardless of its age. With billions of people on the planet I can reach new potential readers by recycling my tweets every month or two, using eye-catching wording.

Lorhainne Eckhart @Leckhart   
4155 twitter followers – Spotlight Interview

Lorhainne is a Romance, Mystery & Thrillers, and Young Adult Author.

Social media is a process that I started building back when I first published in 2007, and then seriously focused on building in 2011. It is not a process that happens overnight, but I have focused on Twitter, Facebook, building my newsletter along with writing two blogs, The Choice of Giving and Illusion. One of the most important pieces is making sure that my contact information is in the back of every book, on my website and on my blogs, which includes a link to sign up for my newsletter and follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Connect Social Media to Your Blog

Russell Blake @blakebooks   
29400 twitter followers – Spotlight Interview

Russell is the best-selling, award-winning author of The JET series, Assassin series, and BLACK series.

I spend what time I do online not promoting books, but interacting with readers and alerting folks about new blogs I’ve written. I don’t try to use social media to sell books. I don’t believe that works. I also don’t believe that touting one’s books on forums does anything but annoy people, so I prefer to interact, offer opinions, and if they’re compelling and interesting enough, perhaps readers will take a gander at one of my books. I have no newsletter, and I view forums as purely entertainment, not marketing. Authors need to learn that their sales are often inverse to their desperation to sell. No good’s served by bombarding free channels like Facebook or Twitter with book advertising because it just makes you look like a desperate douche, and nobody wants anything to do with those.

Richard C Hale @Richard_C_Hale   
18900 twitter followers – Spotlight Interview

Richard is a thriller and paranormal writer and author of the Near Death Series.

Social media and my blog are the main ways I keep in touch with folks and though I’ve learned a lot about abusing it over that last two years, it still remains a favorite of mine and you can find me on FaceBook quite a bit. Twitter seems to be a little less effective for me and I thought I spent a long time building a following there, the room for a much larger forum on FB makes it my fav… Now, I concentrate on being myself and building relationships with people and I have so much more fun with it. You’ll rarely see me ‘selling’ anything on there.

Steven Konkoly @stevenkonkoly   
3417 twitter followers – Spotlight Interview

Steven is the Author of the apocalyptic thriller, The Jakarta Pandemic, and gritty covert-ops series, Black Flagged.

It’s an easy way for readers to reach out to me, without a ton of expectation. Twitter also draws people to my blog. I keep a Twitter feed rolling with book reviews (for other authors’ books) and articles that I have posted on my blog. I see these retweeted quite often. The bulk of my regular social media presence comes from Facebook, both my personal page and thriller-writing page. It’s probably the best place to catch what I’m doing, besides my blog. 

Joseph Lewis @JRLewisAuthor   
5362 twitter followers – Spotlight Interview

Joseph writes thriller fiction novels.

I'm pleased with my twitter followers. Not only will they receive book/writing updates, but I also tried to provide inspiration for everyday living. My tweets will coincide with my blog, Simple Thoughts From A Complicated Mind, Sort Of at I believe social media is extremely important, especially so because I am an Indie writer. I have built a nice loyal fan base, and it is growing mostly by word of mouth.

James Moushon @jimhbs   
2800 twitter followers – Spotlight Interview

I am the self-published Mystery Author of the Jonathon Stone Mysteries. Also, I am an Author Advocate and book industry blogger.

I have my book information on my three blogs and my website. The information includes buying links, book blurbs, covers, and excerpts along with my contact information. My goal is to use social media to get readers to go to my blog and read the complete marketing message.

As I make entries in my Twitter and Facebook accounts, I include a link to one of my blogs. I insert pictures in each entry to catch the eye of the reader. Also, I add a tag to another social media user account in the entry and/or a hashtag. This gives the entry the potential to expand to a broader audience (retweeting, etc).

Use an Interesting comment – try to get the reader to follow the link with an interesting tease like – Read the interview or New book release or Interesting series or set.

Connect Social Media to Your Newsletter

Lindsay Buroker @GoblinWriter   
9378 twitter followers – Spotlight Interview

Lindsay is the author of The Emperor's Edge, Swords & Salt, Rust & Relics and Dragon Blood series.

I think the best use of social media is to be out there, posting regularly, and being available to readers who also use those services. I’ll occasionally tweet book links or post snippets on Facebook, but I don’t rely on those venues to sell books. I do maintain a newsletter, yes, and encourage readers who enjoy the books to signup (I put links to my mailing list, blog, and social media profiles at the end of most of my books, to make sure people can find me).

Eliza Green @elizagreenbooks   
2337 twitter followers – Spotlight Interview

Eliza is the Science Fiction writer of The Exilon 5 Trilogy.

I’ve met some lovely people through Twitter and Facebook and I use social media as another way for me to connect with readers. It’s important to define how you’re going to approach tweeting and posting on social media. As well as sharing my own posts, I like to share other writers’ blog posts that I find interesting. There are people who follow me because of that. I’ve been blogging and on social media since July 2012, so building relationships anywhere takes time.

I produce a newsletter every so often to announce new projects or talk about what’s happening with the trilogy. People who subscribe to my newsletter are not necessarily the same people who are subscribing to my blog or following me on Twitter. Again, it’s another way to reach out to new, or interested, readers.

Be Active and Post Regularly

An important key to an indie author’s success is to be active on Social Media and connect the reader to your book information on your blog and in your newsletter.

Uvi Poznansky @UviPoznansky   
34700 twitter followers – Spotlight Interview

Uvi is a bestselling, award-winning author, poet, and artist.  She is the author of Contemporary and Historical Fiction novels.

Thank you for noticing my 24K followers on Twitter. The best way to gain followers is a simple one. Surprise yourself! Every day I publish a blog post about a different topic. Then I share it on social media, and readers come flocking.

What topic, you ask? I go for variety, so a post may be about the creative process, about a voice clip of one of my stories, a back story of what inspired a particular passage in my story, a peek at my art studio, the influence of art through history on my writing, readers’ reviews of my books, a verse or two from poems... 

Jami Gray @JamiGrayAuthor   
3604 twitter followers – Spotlight Interview

Jami writes Science Fiction & Fantasy, Romance, Suspense novels. She is the author of The Kyn Kronicles series.

Social media is the key in reaching your readers on a personal level. I tend to prefer Facebook, mainly because I don’t have to limit my characters, but I try to make sure I’m fairly regular across all outlets. Writers are reminded often to stay personable to their readers, and today’s social media can really give a writer that forum to make connections, not just to readers, but within the artistic community.

Carol E. Wyer @carolewyer   
8101 twitter followers – Spotlight Interview

Carol is the award-winning author of the Detective Robyn Carter crime thriller series. She writes Thriller, Humor and Comedy novels.

I love social media purely because it allows me to hook up with my readers and develop relationships with new ones. I was a blogger before I became a published writer and many of my relationships grew from blogging.

You may think me naive, but I was surprised at how effective twitter, Facebook and more recently, Instagram, have been in garnering interest in my books, and in gaining readers. I treat it all like a giant online party. If you chat to people at a party, you become friends and build relationships. If you're a wallflower and don't chat with anyone, they instantly forget you.

P. C. Zick @PCZick   
7039 twitter followers – Spotlight Interview

Patricia is an award-winning writer for her essays, columns, editorials, articles, and fiction.

My first novels were published traditionally, and I grew disillusioned with the publishing world, but not with writing. Then I realized I needed to change my thinking and climb on the social media train. I began educating myself in this new world. I grew (and am still growing) my twitter followers and my Facebook “likes” through my blog and by helping out other writers. I think social media works best when you have a support group to shout out for you (and vice a versa). No one wants to see you only promoting your own work. Launching a book via the Internet requires hard work, but I find it easier than the other way.

Post By James Moushon @jimhbs

Other Indie Author Chatter Posts

HBS Author's Spotlight
The blog's purpose is to help authors get exposure in the book publishing industry. He has interviewed and showcased over 900 authors to date.

HBS Mystery Reader's Circle
The HBS Mystery Reader's Circle provides information about the latest novels and what is coming next from a collection of Bestselling and Outstanding Authors in the Mystery, Thrillers, Historical Fiction and Crime genre.

Indie Author's Corner
The Corner is a collection of Author advice, ideas, experiences and studies including Marketing, Social Media and other major topics created to help writers in today's ever-changing world of book publishing.

Authors: Improve Your Twitter Messaging and Control -
Melissa Foster - Developing Social Media Relationships -
Troy Blackford - Using Social Media to Connect with Readers -
Paul Western-Pittard - Importance of Social Media Relationships -
Laurel A. Rockefeller - Importance of Twitter and Social Media Relationships -
eBook Marketing: What Goes Around Comes Around
Indie eBook Marketing: When You Get to the Fork in the Road, You Must Take It. -
Your Book Launch: Marketing Methods and Ideas Used by Outstanding Authors – A Study -

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Mostly Books Booth - Tucson Festival of Books 2018 -

Today the HBS Author's Spotlight is showcasing 2018 Tucson Festival of Books - Mostly Books Booth. These authors write Romance and Suspense novels.

University of Arizona Campus – March 10 – 11, 2018

Mostly Books 2018

The Art of Running in Heels

Author: Rachel Gibson


Running in five-inch stilettos is an art form

Leaving your fiancĂ© at the altar on live television is a disaster. Lexie Kowalsky thought she was ready to get married in front of millions of people, but at the last minute she fled the set of television’s hottest reality show, Gettin’ Hitched. Wearing a poofy white dress and a pair of five-inch sparkly shoes, Lexie hopped a float plane for Sandspit, Canada. She figured no one would find her there. But she was wrong.

Sharing her flight was the Seattle Chinooks biggest star, Sean Knox. Lexie wasn’t just a reality-show runaway, she was his pain in the butt coach’s daughter. She was chaos and temptation and definitely off limits, but getting her luscious body out of that wedding gown, he couldn’t resist getting her in his bed for one amazing night.

Then a photo of Sean and Lexi breaks the internet—and suddenly they’re both swept up in a crazy plan to spin the whole story. But you can’t run from love—

Author: Rachel Gibson
Author: Rachel Gibson
Author Genre: Romance

Website: Rachel Gibson
Twitter: @rachel_gibson
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Amazon Author Profile

Author Description:
With the publication of New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Rachel Gibson's first book, readers discovered one of contemporary romance's freshest voices. Four of her novels were named among the Top Ten Favorite Books of the Year by Romance Writers of America.

Rachel's storytelling career began at the age of sixteen when she ran her Chevy Vega into the side of a hill, retrieved the bumper and broken glass from the ground, and drove to her high school parking lot. With the help of her friend, she strategically scattered the broken pieces and told her parents she'd been the victim of a hit and run. They believed her, and she's been telling stories ever since.

When not writing, you can usually find Rachel hunting for the perfect shoes, or on the tennis court where she is a solid 2.5. Someday she hopes to hit the ball half as many times as she swings and misses.

Montana Heat

True to You

Author: Jennifer Ryan


A Montana Man risks everything for the woman he loves . . .

Undercover DEA Special Agent Dawson King spent five months in a Montana prison establishing a fake identity to take down a ruthless drug dealer and put him behind bars. Except there’s a wild card . . . the killer’s beloved daughter. Cara Potter may appear to be on the right side of the law, but King has learned the hard way to trust no one—even someone as tantalizing as the coffee shop owner. She’s irresistible . . . but is she also dangerous?

From the moment he enters her life, King makes Cara . . . nervous. The handsome drifter says he wants to get his life together . . . but there is something about him that doesn’t quite ring true. Cara wants to believe in him, yet she holds back despite the way he awakens dormant dreams and leaves her breathless with his sexy smile, steamy kisses, his every touch.

When the explosive truth comes out and she’s betrayed by the ones she loves, Cara must decide—can she trust her heart, or should she listen to her head?

Author: Jennifer Ryan
Author: Jennifer Ryan
Author Genre: Romance, Suspense

Website: Jennifer Ryan
Twitter: @JenRyan_author
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Amazon Author Profile

Author Description:
NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Hunted, McBride, and Montana Men Series. Jennifer lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and three children.

When she isn't writing a book, she's reading one. Her obsession for both is often revealed in the state of her home, and how late dinner is to the table. When she finally leaves those fictional worlds, you'll find her in the garden, playing in the dirt, and daydreaming about people who live only in her head, until she puts them on paper.

For more information about Jennifer and her upcoming releases, visit

Cupid, Texas

How the Cowboy Was Won

Author: Lori Wilde


Return to New York Times Bestselling Author Lori Wilde’s beloved town of Cupid, Texas, where wedding fever is in the air . . . and two best friends discover that sometimes the perfect match is standing right in front of you . .

Ember Alzate is a fantastic matchmaker with one big problem: she can’t find the perfect mate for herself! Alzate family legend says that when she kisses “the One” she’ll hear a mysterious humming in her head. Well, Ember’s kissed a lot of guys and she’s never heard a thing. Now, instead of searching for herself, she vows to find her best friend, Ranger Lockhart, a bride. It’s clear this smart, sexy man just needs to meet the right gal.

Ranger’s returned home to Cupid with marriage on his mind, but he’s not interested in the parade of women Ember pushes under his nose. His thoughts keep returning to his best friend—with her combustible combination of curves and sass. No one compares to Ember, but what’s it going to take to convince her she’s the woman for him?

Author: Lori Wilde
Author: Lori Wilde
Author Genre: Romance

Website: Lori Wilde
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Amazon Author Profile

Author Description:
Lori Wilde is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 80 romance novels. She is a three-time RITA award nominee, a four time Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice nominee and has won numerous other awards. She earned a bachelor's degree in nursing from Texas Christian University and holds a certificate in forensics. She is also certified yoga instructor.

Her books have been translated into 27 languages and featured in Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Complete Woman, All You, Time and Quick and Simple magazines. She lives in Texas with her husband, Bill.

Mostly Books
A Tucson, Arizona, independent bookstore carrying new and used books.

Some links may be connected to Associate sites. Sponsored by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
Indie Author’s Corner
HBS Mystery Reader’s Circle
HBS Author's Spotlight

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Amigos and Ladies of the West - TFOB 2018

Today the HBS Author's Spotlight is showcasing 2018 Tucson Festival of Books - Amigos and Ladies of the West group. These authors write Western novels and short stories. They will be in the Amigos and Ladies of the West booth.

University of Arizona Campus – March 10 – 11, 2018 – 9:30am to 5:30pm

The Wildest West

An Anthology Of Stories about the Southwest in the 1850s & 60s

Author: Doug Hocking


An anthology of short fiction and short non-fiction. Showdown at Echo Amphitheatre is an historical fiction concerning an event in Kit Carson's life. In Can We Still Collect the Bounty gunfighter Clay Allison is embarrassed. What do you do when the government won't permit any law enforcement? Find out in the Marshal of Arizona. Wind Wagon Thomas sails all the way to New Mexico in Pirates of the Llano Estacado. A soldier who fought in the bloody battle of Cieneguilla writes home in Letter from Fort Burgwin. In the Power of Fox and Snake an Apache poses as a Spanish Grandee and becomes a riverboat gambler. Seven men escape from advancing Confederate forces at Mesilla in a stolen stagecoach only to encounter Cochise. In the Lady was a Gunfighter a girl raised by Indians is taught to be a lady by a gambling courtesan. Penitent Child is a Christmas story.

Author: Doug Hocking
Author: Doug Hocking
Author Genre: Westerns, Mystery, Historical fiction

Website: Doug Hocking
Author's Blog: Way Out West
Twitter: @HockingDoug
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Post with Profile + Interview: HBS Author's Spotlight

Amazon Author Profile

Author Description:
Doug writes historical fiction bringing the Old West back to life while making another generation proud of the accomplishments and struggle of their ancestors. Each book is a history lesson wrapped in an riveting story.

Doug has led an exciting life. Born near New York City, a fact he very seldom admits, he learned to speak from his Cornish grandmother.

As an adult, he learned he understood Cornish slang and thought it normal speech. He also knew the whole story of Jack the Ripper and the Titanic. Grandmother was 10 and in Plymouth when the Ripper prowled. A uncle was swept away with the Unsinkable Ship. Still very young, Doug was taken West where he grew up on the Jicarilla Apache Reservation in the Rio Arriba of New Mexico among piasonos and indios. At 18 he hitchhiked to Albuquerque and enlisted in Army Intelligence.

The next decade was spent in Thailand, Taiwan and at the Pentagon and at bases so secret the Army often wouldn't say where they were. This made it difficult to comply with orders to report, but Doug is a great intel analyst and interpreted the "indicators" to track them down. One soldier almost passed out when Doug asked directions: "That's classified!" "Hey, I'm assigned there, but they won't tell me how to get there." He became an interrogator. Doug stopped in Taiwan for several years and acquired an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the University of Maryland. Returning to the US he studied Ethnography in graduate school and then returned to the Army in Armored Cavalry finding the cavalry more fun than musty tomes of forgotten lore. In Germany, he was eyeball to eyeball with the Soviet beast before it fell. His final tour of duty was the most difficult of all, trying to turn Military Intelligence lieutenants into officers. He also played a role in intelligence gathering and interpretation during the first Gulf War.

Since then Doug has earned honors with a graduate degree in US history and garnered his certificate as a field archaeologist in historical archaeology braving a summer at a wilderness camp with college students in southern Colorado excavating Fort Massachusetts. "Bears only poked their heads into the mess tent a couple of times." Doug has sold real estate, built homes, taught college and worked in the hospitality industry. He spends time exploring lost towns, ruins, old forts and trails, interpreting foundations and trash, ranging far. A trip to Guadalupe Canyon hard by the borders of Arizona-New Mexico-Sonora and Chihuahua found him stopped by Border Patrol who wanted to know his business. "I did the obvious and sold the man a copy of my novel."

At the urging of his mother, Doug began writing. His work appears regularly in Wild West Magazine and Roundup as well as True West. There are more books on the way: The Battle of Cienaguilla, Redwall Canyon, The Mystery of Chaco Canyon and Devil on the Loose.

The Pinks

The First Women Detectives, Operatives, and Spies with the Pinkerton National Detective Agency

Author: Chris Enss


The true story of Kate Warne and the other women who served as Pinkertons, fulfilling the adage, “Well-behaved Women Seldom Make History.”

Most students of the Old West and American law enforcement history know the story of the notorious and ruthless Pinkerton Detective Agency and the legends behind their role in establishing the Secret Service and tangling with Old West Outlaws. But the true story of Kate Warne, an operative of the Pinkerton Agency and the first woman detective in America—and the stories of the other women who served their country as part of the storied crew of crime fighters—are not well known. For the first time, the stories of these intrepid women are collected here and richly illustrated throughout with numerous historical photographs. From Kate Warne’s probable affair with Allan Pinkerton, and her part in saving the life of Abraham Lincoln in 1861 to the lives and careers of the other women who broke out of the Cult of True Womanhood in pursuit of justice, these true stories add another dimension to our understanding of American history.

Author: Chris Enss
Author: Chris Enss
Author Genre: Western History

Website: Chris Enss
Twitter: @4par
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Amazon Author Profile

Author Description:
Chris Enss is a New York Times Best Selling author, a scriptwriter and comedienne who has written for television and film, and performed on cruise ships and on stage. She has worked with award-winning musicians, writers, directors, producers, and as a screenwriter for Tricor Entertainment, but her passion is for telling the stories of the men and women who shaped the history and mythology of the American West. Some of the most famous names in history, not to mention film and popular culture, populate her books. She reveals the stories behind the many romances of William "Buffalo Bill" Cody who moved on from his career as a scout on the plains to bring the enormously successful performance spectacle of Buffalo Bill's Wild West to audiences throughout the United States and Europe between 1883 and 1916. And she tells the stories of the many talented and daring women performed alongside men in the Wild West shows, who changed the way the world thought about women forever through the demonstration of their skills. Chris brings her sensitive eye and respect for their work to her stories of more contemporary American entertainers, as well. Her books reveal the lives of John Wayne, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, bringing to light stories gleaned from family interviews and archives. The most famous American couple of the 19th Century, General George Armstrong Custer and Elizabeth Bacon Custer draws her scrutiny as well. None Wounded, None Missing, All Dead reveals the personality of the fiery, lively Libbie and her lifelong effort to burnish her husband's reputation.

Chris takes readers along the trail with the Intrepid Posse as their horses thunder after the murderer of Dodge City dance hall favorite Dora Hand, and she turns her attention to the famous Sam Sixkiller, legendary Cherokee sherriff, but perhaps most extraordinary are the stories of the ordinary men and women who shaped American history when they came west as schoolmarms, gold miners, madams, and mail-order brides.

Ropes, Reins, and Rawhide

All About Rodeo

Author: Melody Groves


Heart pounding, blood pumping, the cowboy nods, chute gate opens, and his world begins. Eight seconds of adrenaline rush. Eight seconds of gripping, pulling, and holding on. The animal under him bucks and twists attempting to dislodge the cowboy's seat but the rider sticks like glue. The buzzer sounds, the cowboy dismounts, tips his hat to a cheering crowd, and nods at his proud fellow riders. Just another day at the office."--from Ropes, Reins, and Rawhide.

Melody Groves, a native New Mexican and former bull rider, examines the sport of rodeo, from a brief history of the ranch-based competition to the rodeos of today and what each event demands. One of the first topics she addresses is the treatment of the animals. As she points out, without the bulls or horses, there wouldn't be a rodeo. For that reason, the stock contractors, chute workers, cowboys, and all the arena workers respect the animals and take precautions against their injuries.

Groves writes for the rodeo novice, explaining the workings and workers (stock handlers, veterinarians, clowns, "pick up" men, event judges, etc.) seen in the arena and behind the scenes. She then describes the rodeo events: bull riding, saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, tie-down roping, and barrel racing. Interviews with rodeo legends in every event round out the "feel" for this breathtaking sport. Over ninety photos depict what is described in the text to more fully explain the rodeo, with its ropes, reins, and rawhide.

Author: Melody Groves
Author: Melody Groves
Author Genre: Historical Fiction, History

Website: Melody Groves
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Amazon Author Profile

Author Description:
Growing up in southern New Mexico, my mind raced with characters from the Old West--gunfighters were my favorite. My novels reflect my fascination--and ties--with that era. As a New Mexico Gunfighter re-enactor, I entertain visitors at Albuquerque's Old Town, allowing them a glimpse into earlier times. My books reflect my passion for rodeo and appreciation of historic wooden bars. Yes bars--the front and back wooden structures. They are amazing--just like the rodeo performers. I rode bulls a few times and it's not easy. But riding provokes a feeling like no other--adrenalin at its finest. So, come with me on an amazing adventure.

Tuzigoot National Monument

Images of America

Author: Rod Timanus


The native people, known today as the Sinagua, inhabited the Verde Valley of Arizona for centuries. From around 700 AD to early 1400 AD, they farmed the land and built large pueblo communities throughout the area. They accomplished this task using only primitive stone tools, materials from their environment, and the strength of their intellect and muscle. One of the largest communal dwellings, and later the most extensively excavated, is called Tuzigoot. This sprawling, hilltop complex contained over 100 rooms and was once home to several hundred people before it was mysteriously abandoned. Excavated and partially restored between 1933 and 1934, Tuzigoot is currently administered by the National Park Service after being designated a national monument by Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939. Today, although off the beaten track, it hosts more than 100,000 visitors a year.

Author: Rod Timanus
Author: Rod Timanus
Author Genre: History

Website: Rod Timanus
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Amazon Author Profile

Author Description:
ROD TIMANUS was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, raised in Cutler Ridge, Florida and currently resides in Glendale, Arizona. He served in the U.S. Army Infantry in Viet Nam and Germany from 1968 to 1971 as a Grenadier, an Operations Sergeant and Mechanized Infantry Squad Leader.

He has an Associates degree in Commercial Art from Middlesex Community College in Middletown, Connecticut, a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design from Paier College of Art in Hamden, Connecticut and a Certificate in Illustration from the Comic Art Workshop in Stratford, Connecticut.

His artwork, maps and diagrams have appeared in several books, including Eyewitness to the Alamo, Battlefields of Texas and Death of a Legend by Bill Groneman (Republic of Texas Press) and The Alamo Story by J.R. Edmondson (Republic of Texas Press). His work has also appeared in The Alamo Almanac and Book of Lists and The Davy Crockett Almanac and Book of Lists by William R. Chemerka (Eakin Press). He has contributed cover art, illustrations, and written articles for The Alamo Journal, official publication of The Alamo Society. From that career he began to write and illustrate his own books about the Old West.

He has retraced the last journeys of David Crockett, from Rutherford, Tennessee to the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas and Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer from Fort Lincoln, North Dakota to the Little Bighorn valley in Montana. On the Crockett Trail (Pioneer Press) is a history/travel book released in November of 1999, On the Custer Trail (Pioneer Press) was released in 2001, in time to coincide with the 125th anniversary of the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Also in 2001, An Illustrated History of Texas Forts (Republic of Texas Press) was released. Additionally, On the Lewis and Clark Trail (Pioneer Press), a retracing of the 1804-1806 expedition through the Louisiana Territory, was released in January 2003. He wrote and illustrated The Alamo entry for the 4-volume encyclopedia Americans at War (Macmillan Publishing) released in 2005 and, until his move to Arizona, wrote and illustrated monthly history articles for The Middletown Press newspaper in Middletown, Connecticut.

After relocating to Arizona he contributed sixteen entries to the two-volume The Settlement of America Encyclopedia of Westward Expansion (M.E. Sharpe) released in 2011 and had articles appear in The Wild West Gazette, The Tombstone Times, and The Arizona Republic newspapers. Additionally, he wrote the article I am Doc Holliday for The American Cowboy magazine online edition. In 2014, Creating Texas a Brief History of the Revolution (Lauric Publishing), coauthored by Jeffrey Dane, was published. The same year, Montezuma Castle National Monument (Arcadia Publishing) was released.

He is a member of The Western Writers of America, The Alamo Society, and The Arizona Historical Society.

Empowerment of North American Indian Girls

Ritual Expressions at Puberty

Author: Carol Markstrom

Empowerment of North American Indian Girls is an examination of coming-of-age-ceremonies for American Indian girls past and present, featuring an in-depth look at Native ideas about human development and puberty. Many North American Indian cultures regard the transition from childhood to adulthood as a pivotal and potentially vulnerable phase of life and have accordingly devised coming-of-age rituals to affirm traditional values and community support for its members. Such rituals are a positive and enabling social force in many modern Native communities whose younger generations are wrestling with substance abuse, mental health problems, suicide, and school dropout.

Developmental psychologist Carol A. Markstrom reviews indigenous, historical, and anthropological literatures and conveys the results of her fieldwork to provide descriptive accounts of North American Indian coming-of-age rituals. She gives special attention to the female puberty rituals in four communities: Apache, Navajo, Lakota, and Ojibwa. Of particular interest is the distinctive Apache Sunrise Dance, which is described and analyzed in detail. Also included are American Indian feminist interpretations of menstruation and menstrual taboos, the feminine in cosmology, and the significance of puberty customs and rites for the development of young women.

Author: Carol A. Markstrom
Author: Carol A. Markstrom
Author Genre: Western Writers and Western Songwriter

Website: Carol Markstrom
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Author Description:
Tucson-based, Carol Markstrom, sings with the heart of a folk singer with her musical inspirations including Americana, Outlaw and Classic Country, Western Roots, and Rock. She is thrilled to share the news that in March 2016 she received the prestigious 2015 Vocalist of the Year Award from the Academy of Western Artists! Then, she was again Top 5 nominated for the same award for 2016 and is nominated once again for 2017. Her second album, Crossing Borders, was awarded the 2017 Original Classic Western CD of the Year by the Rural Roots Music Commission. Along with Carol's first CD, Vision Across the Range, both have received highly favorable reviews. You can hear Carol’s songs played on radio programs across the U.S. and even internationally including Spain, Portugal, Sweden, New Zealand, and other countries. A third album is underway.

As a songwriter, Carol draws inspiration from many sources, and loves to tell stories about engaging people, places, and events. Some of her original songs draw from her published works and personal experiences among American Indians. Her ballads and love songs range from the whimsical to bittersweet, and she loves to perform crowd favorites delivering them with a fresh approach. Carol’s vocal delivery comes through with clarity and emotion, and listeners are quickly engaged. It might be vocals or style, but Carol has been compared to the likes of Emmylou Harris, Joan Baez, and Suzy Bogguss. Some of Carol's favorites artists whose songs you might hear from her include Sheryl Crow, Lucinda Williams, Emmylou Harris, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Linda Ronstadt, and Patsy Montana.

Carol performs in a wide variety of venues including restaurants, wineries, coffeehouses, and guest ranches and she is equally comfortable in a concert settings such as festivals and house concerts. Once heard, she is invited for return engagements.

Carol is a member of the Western Music Association (WMA) and Secretary of the East Coast Chapter of WMA, the Academy of Western Artists, Folk Alliance International, and the Western Writers of America.

Lukas Yates and the Roses

Author: Lowell F. Volk
Book Trailer: Lukas Yates and the Roses

Lukas Yates comes to the aid of the families of Herbert and Brandon Rose crossing the plains of Texas. After Brandon Rose is killed by Indians Lukas rescues Shawnee Rose and her daughter Connie. Trying to locate Herbert and Elsa Rose who have Shawnee’s son and wagon, they miss each other on the trail when Herbert and Elsa leave the trail with their sick daughter Abigail. Agreeing to meet at Fort Bascom, New Mexico, they continue to the fort. Lukas, Shawnee and Connie arrive there before Herbert, Elsa and the remaining children. Lukas and Shawnee develop a liking for each other while traveling together. They have the obstacle of the resent loss of her husband and Herbert and Elsa intervention to overcome. Lukas considers leaving the families to go on his own. Having promised that he would stay with them till Colorado, he continues to help Herbert in search of land. While searching Lukas finds a rancher, Erin Roberts who lost his family to Indians and was alone on his ranch. Finding Erin, too sick to stand Lukas does what he can to help him, but needs more help so he fetched Shawnee to Erin’s ranch where she nurses him back to health. After Herbert arrives with the rest of the families and wagons, Erin helps Herbert get some property he holds title to and offers Lukas a partnership in his ranch.

Author: Lowell F. Volk
Author: Lowell F. Volk
Author Genre: Western, Historical, History, Fiction

Website: Lowell F. Volk - Tales of the West
Author's Blog: Tales of the West
Twitter: @lowellv_
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Author Description:
Lowell F. Volk is a native of Minnesota, where he graduated from Madison Public High School in 1964. Lowell has a BS from California Lutheran in computer science and an MBA from the University of La Verne. Lowell retired from General Dynamics in 2004, where he was a Manager of Software Engineers which required extensive travel both in the USA and overseas. He currently is living in Pleasant View, Colorado, where he is active in several community activities. He is former President of Trinity Lutheran Church in Cortez, former President of the Pleasant View Fire District board of Directors, a former Major of the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Posse and currently an active member, and he was a former substitute teacher at the Cortez Middle and High School. Lowell and his wife, Mary Lou, have five children: Terri, Scott, Paula, Lowell Jr., and Kathy. Since his retirement, he has enjoyed horseback riding, deer and elk hunting, and writing historical fiction about early America.

Deadwood Dead Men

Author: Bill Markley

Barnes and Noble
KOBO Store

In August 1876, Jack Jones, a reporter for a Chicago newspaper, is assigned to write about the doings of Deadwood, Dakota Territory—an illegal gold camp that knows no law. The lure of gold in the Lakota’s Black Hills draws prospectors and many colorful characters, such as Al Swearengen, Calamity Jane, Colorado Charlie Utter, Seth Bullock, Madame Mustache, and Sol Star, and it also lures crime. After the shocking murder of an acquaintance, Jack Jones begins investigating an entire string of murders that begins with Wild Bill Hickok and leads Jack down a treacherous trail that has him wondering if he won’t be next.

Author: Bill Markley
Author: Bill Markley
Author Genre: Historical Mysteries

Website: Bill Markley
Twitter: @BillMarkley
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Amazon Author Profile

Author Description:
Bill's latest book, Deadwood Dead Men,released September 2013,is a historical fiction account of Deadwood, Dakota Territory, in August 1876 during the time of Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, and others.

Western Fictioneers has selected Deadwood Dead Men as a finalist for its 2014 Peacemaker Award in the category Best First Western Novel. History, especially American history, and travel have fascinated Bill Markley since he was a boy growing up on the family farm in Pennsylvania. Moving to Pierre, South Dakota in 1976, to work for the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources was a natural fit for Markley, where he immersed himself in local history and participated in Civil War and Western frontier reenacting.

Markley has been in films such as Dances With Wolves, Son of the Morning Star, Far and Away, Gettysburg, and Crazy Horse. He worked in Antarctica, traveled the South Pacific, kayaked and backpacked in Alaska, chaperoned a Boy Scout troop to Japan, and has camped, hiked, and rode horseback through the West. Markley has written two books, Dakota Epic, Experiences of a Reenactor during the filming of Dances With Wolves, and Up the Missouri River with Lewis and Clark. His third book has just been released, American Pilgrim, A Post September 11 Bus Trip and Other Tales of the Road. He writes for South Dakota Magazine, Roundup, True West, and Wild West.

Markley's story "Kenneth McKenzie, King of the Upper Missouri" appears in WWA's anthology, Roundup! Markley and his wife Liz, live in Pierre where they raised two children.

Some links may be connected to Associate sites. Sponsored by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
Indie Author’s Corner
HBS Mystery Reader’s Circle
HBS Author's Spotlight