Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Guest Post & #Giveaway with Lane Heymont - The Freedman and the Pharaoh's Staff

The Freedman and the Pharaoh's Staff
by Lane Heymont

When I first wrote, rather finished, The Freedman and the Pharaoh’s Staff I went down the traditional route of querying agents. I have a list of every agent I ever queried...92 to be exact. Forty of which were rejections, half a dozen partial requests, and a few more full requests. Overall, I would say fifty were no responses, IF I'm being kind to myself.

It took me six months to find an agent. Admittedly I felt foolish saying, "It took me six months!" Why? Well, because some people never find agents. This isn't to say you can't get published without one! So, don't worry, there are plenty of small presses, e-pubbers, and other means out there for unagented authors.

Before I “sold” The Freedman and the Pharaoh’s Staff my agent and I ended up parting ways—he fell ill. So, I hit the grindstone myself, and eventually ended up at Sunbury Press, Inc.

Luck I suppose. 

Back to rejections. I was ecstatic about the first few rejections that came. RESPONSES? YAY! But, a dozen rejections in and I thought, "This sucks." When I reached 20 rejections—peppered with some requests—I faltered. It’s not easy to maintain while “losing”, but that’s the crux of this rant. 

When querying and/or piling on rejections there is no losing. Each rejection teaches you something—even if it’s just to grow that thick skin all writers must.  Through out my querying I was already writing my second novel, and that's what helped stave off the rejection blues. NEVER STOP WRITING! If you're a writer you need to write. It’s in your blood. 

Back to querying agents. It's hard, draining, time-consuming (if you're doing it right), but full of hope, excitement, and can often be dream shattering. Yeah I said it—it can and probably will at some point drag you into the depths of chocolate and ice cream.

That's life. We live in a world of failure and success. But you must continue on through the failure. You begin any process as a failure, and you are one until you succeed. Heck, Einstein failed math and was a patent clerk. However, he never gave up until he was a success. Metaphorically speaking?

Your job as a writer is to write and query if you want to get published. It's like anything else. In order to get results you need to do the work.

Whenever the rejection blues got so overwhelming that they threatened to crush my determination, I reminded myself of H.P. Lovecraft. He earned over 200 rejections before getting published. That's right, the master of the Cthulhu Mythos received over 200 letters saying, "Tough cookies, Mr. Lovecraft. You’re stuff’s too weird and will never sell." And do you know what he did with those 200 rejection letters?

Lovecraft plastered the walls of his office with each letter saying “screw off”. The office that gave birth to one of the most frightening literary mythos was lined floor to ceiling with rejection letters. 

Two hundred? Jeez, I only got forty! Now THAT is one dedicated author, AND he didn't stop writing while querying.

All a rejection letter means is "try again" and Lovecraft knew it. He never gave up, and neither should you. We all deserve the life we want. So, just take it. Query. Query. Write. Write. Write. Query, Query, and Query some more.

*Expanded from an earlier/crummier post of mine.

About The Author:

Lane Heymont was born in Pennsylvania. He earned a BA in Liberal Arts with a focus on literature and history. He also holds a double minor in psychology and business. After college, he turned his focus back to writing. Lane has several short stories published, one of which was recommended for the 2012 Bram Stoker Award in short fiction.

Genre: Historical, Fantasy, Slipstream
Publisher: Sunbury Press, Inc.
Release Date: December 23, 2012
Buy: Amazon

Book Description:

Jeb, a former slave, rescues his brother-in-law Crispus from the Ku Klux Klan, pulling him into a world of Creole Voodoo, hatred, time travel, and redemption. The two brothers-in-law set out to stop Verdiss and his Klan followers from using the Pharaoh's Staff, a magical artifact from ancient Egypt. Soon, Jeb and Crispus learn Verdiss’ diabolical plan and discover that he is working for an even more evil force. In the end Jeb and Crispus must stop the eradication of an entire people and each must find redemption for his own past sins.


Allenville flashed in Jeb’s head. Bodies burning, people tortured and brutalized in the streets. Somehow he felt the same thoughts in Fallon. The way his slender hand tightened around his when he’d said the word. He imagined hatred blistering inside the boy. Maybe the need for a father blinded him. Thank the Lawd–that ain’t the case no more…I hope.
Jeb. Fallon. This way. I found a mambo a few blocks away on Laurel Street.” Crispus’s voice broke through the crowd.
Come on!” Fallon pulled Jeb through the throng of people. Crispus’s voice always sounded just beyond them, amidst the night madness of Baton Rouge. “Wait!”
Where’d he go?” Jeb tugged on Fallon’s hand, pushing aside a doughy man.
He took a right down Nacadian Road. Wait, Crispus!” The hideous ensemble of vendors, farriers, knackers, and other merchants crying out their goods seemed to drown out the boy’s call.
One moment, mayhem wracked the market, the next it fell silent. Fallon stopped, so Jeb did. He couldn’t move, the herd seemed to stop stampeding. Footfalls echoed in the street. The crowd spread. Then came the heavy clacks of soldier’s boots on the flagstones. A band of men, too many to tell. But Jeb knew them by the procession’s cadence–Confederate soldiers. Men clad in gray uniforms marching through Baton Rouge. No doubt, they’d be Klansmen too. Shouts of jubilation spread like wildfire among the townspeople.
Kill them carpetbaggers!” came a woman’s elegant voice.
Long live the general!”
The South shall rise again!” shouted a boy.
Jeb felt the panic in Fallon’s hand, his heartbeat racing as he pulled him away. “What general? I know that cadence like I know my field.” Jeb focused on dodging whatever lay in his way, stumbling over garbage and bumping into people.
Fallon stammered over his words, “Not–not–nothing. Nathan Bedford Forrest?” He gasped, tightening his grip on Jeb.
Somehow Jeb overcame his instincts, keeping his head bowed. Not daring to look up in fear that monster of a man would see him. Though blind, Jeb saw Forrest clad in the gray Confederate officer’s uniform, adorned with medals. He’d seen photos of him. Tall, in his fifties, a receding hairline and a curly mane of black hair. A well-kept goatee tinged gray like his uniform.
I can end it all. Fight through the crowd. A single shot to the head. To hell with being blind, I can do it. For a moment Jeb meant it, caressing his pistol. It’d be easy. Instead, he listened to the Ku Klux Klan founder, savior of the white race, and ender of Reconstruction, parade along the street. Celebrated by a throng of who knew how many people. They were closer now, close enough for Jeb to count them. Four guards following him. Plus Forrest, that’s five. Six shot pistol. Just enough for one miss. He gripped his pistol. It didn’t matter that the crowd loved Forrest, even cheered him on. Six rounds is enough. Jeb edged his pistol free from its holster.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Chatting With Pete Densmore - DADspirations with #Giveaway


MM: Many authors relate their characters to people they know. Is this the case with your characters and do you see yourself in any of them?
Well, I am one of the characters in my book as it’s non-fiction, but sometimes I don’t always see myself as that person in real life. In the past 4 years, I met my wife, got engaged, got married, welcomed a baby boy and a baby girl (18 months later), moved three times, changed jobs and, in my spare time, had my first book published in August of 2012, called DADspirations: The 1st 100 Days of Fatherhood. There has been so much change in such a short amount of time that I often do double-takes in the mirror once or twice a week to see if I still recognize the person looking back at me.

MM: Who is your most favorite character from any book of all time?
My favorite character is Chemo. No, that’s not a type. Chemo is a character that appears in two of my favorite author’s books (Skin Tight and Star Island by Carl Hiassan). Chemo is a technically a bad guy, who uses a Weed Whacker for a prosthesis after a barracuda bites off part of his arm. In both books, Chemo is the perfect mix of deranged, brilliant and hilarious. You will laugh out loud, repeatedly, when he does pretty much anything at all. “Chemo almost felt sorry for Laurel. The lyrics were brainless and repetitive yet Cherry kept getting lost, even on the refrains. Chemo made her chug a Red Bull, with no improvement. Eventually he had to leave the room. It was the most monotonous crap he’d ever heard, and he had once worked the door at a white rap club.’’

MM: If you could dive into the pages of any book, which book would it be and what character would you be?
One of my favorite books is The Beach by Alex Garland. I came close to living it when I backpacked Australia for a year, just after I graduated college. There were some parallels, but the exoticness described in the book was something that fell a tad short. To be Richard, the main character, and receiving a hand-drawn map of a supposed hidden beach located in the Gulf of Thailand that is inaccessible to tourists would be supreme.

MM: If your book was to become a movie, which actors/actresses do you see playing the parts of your characters?
This is a fun question! My wife would be played by Charlize Theron, my daughter would be…well, I don’t know too many 1 year old actresses, so I’d feel pretty confident she could play herself. And for me, I think an accent-free Gerard Butler would do me justice just fine.

MM: What can we expect from Pete Densmore in the future? Any new projects?
I'm currently working on another super fun and cool book for dads to read to their children. The book uniquely combines two things that I love and cherish: watching movies and reading to my children.  My goal is for dads to stop reading Mother Goose to their toddlers and, instead, begin a new literary generation of reading stories from my upcoming book, DADspirations: Hijacking Hollywood for Fatherhood.

MM: Where can readers connect with you?
For more information on Pete Densmore or DADspirations: the 1st 100 Days of Fatherhood,
please visit these websites:
  • Website: www.DADspirations.com
  • Book Video Trailer: http://youtu.be/CtIUWO27C0M
  • Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/DADspirations
  • Pinterest Page: www.pinterest.com/DADspirations
  • Twitter Page: www.twitter.com/DADspirations
  • Ordering Pages:
    • Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/dp/061566363X
    • Kindle http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008U0MSHU

On a related note, People Magazine has asked Celebrity Baby Trend Expert, Rachel Florio-Urso, to host a BIG giveaway! The publish date is March 25, 2013. My book, DADspirations: The 1st 100 Days of Fatherhood will be included in the prize pack giveaway open to the public. In addition, I am making the eBook version of DADspirations: The 1st 100 Days of Fatherhood FREE for Kindle on 3/25 and 3/26 at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008U0MSHU

Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today. It's been a wonderful pleasure.

DADspirations_PeteDensmore_HeadshotAbout The Author:
Father of two, Pete Densmore doesn’t consider himself an expert in parenthood by any means. He makes the same number of mistakes as every other parent and doesn’t have any fancy combination of letters after his name. Densmore believes that anyone can be an inspired dad as long as he wants to put the time, effort and heart into becoming one.

DADspirations 3D

About The Book:
Genre: Parenting | Inspirational | Fatherhood
Publisher: DADspirations
Released: August 1, 2012
Paperback: 176 pages Language: English ISBN-10: 061566363X ISBN-13: 978-0615663630 Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 8 inches Amazon Price (Paperback): $13.95 Amazon Price (Kindle ): $7.99

Book Description:

DADspirations: The 1st 100 Days of Fatherhood is a fast-reading, humorous book which includes an actionable checklist of essential ideas to help inspire dads to become the best father they can be. In short, this book offers a strategy for the expecting/new father focusing on 35 weekly ideas that Dad can do for himself, his wife and his newborn. A few of these ideas, which Densmore refers to as DADspirations, include:
  • Develop a baby birth time capsule, which captures all of the precious moments from a day you're likely to forget.
  • Send your loving wife to the spa, which secures for you an afternoon of introducing Bob Ross and Kung Fu to your baby.
  • Build a toy box, which gives you the perfect excuse to spend an entire day alone in the garage with power tools and beer.
  • Make up a holiday, which affords time for infant and grandma to bond, and gives you and your wife time for nookie.

GoodReads Reviews (3 out of 3 reviews)
  1. Josee Phillip, December 10, 2012: Thank you for Goodreads and to the author for providing me a free copy of this wonderful book. I read this book along with one of my good male friends who is expecting a baby girl. This book is fun and realistic and makes a future dad "as ready as can be" to take upon this terrific challenge. I ended up giving him the copy of he book; he can always learn something new.
  2. Jennifer Dilks, December 13, 2012: Hilarious! This book should be required reading for all new dads. And those who aren't "new"...there's always room for improvement, right? A comical outlook on the first 100 days of fatherhood, with enough sentimental touch that moms will enjoy reading also. A light-hearted, quick read that would be a perfect gift for the father-to-be. I'm so thankful to have received this book as a Goodreads first-reads giveaway...but I'm passing it along to a friend (a new dad!).
  3. Lacey Gordon, December 16, 2012: I won this book through the GOODREADS GIVEAWAYS and it was a win that I am glad I won. I did read this book but I mostly won it for my husband. I want to give it to him when we start our family. I know he'll enjoy it as much as me. Great book!
  4. Sandra Slack, January 28, 2013: This book surpassed all my expectations.I wanted it to give to my grandson who is currently "expecting".This is an ideal "Daddy" gift, to be given during the pregnancy so he can learn his role in the launching of Missy or Junior.Best, would be the expectant parents reading this aloud to each other in the weeks before the actual arrival of the adored bundle of noise, needs and nocturnal disregard, so soon to dominate the household.It is obvious the "Daddy" who wrote this book loves his children and managed to keep his sense of humor through it all.
  Amazon Reviews (3 out of 10 reviews)  
  1. Best Book for Dads!!! November 5, 2012: An excellent an awesome book!!! Written by a DAD. Great advice, easy to read, funny and smart, I totally recommend this book to first time Dads. It would help you and entertain you a lot while the first months of your baby. 5 STARS!!
  2. Makes the perfect gift for your buddy who's about to be a dad! October 15, 2012: This book couldn't be more perfect for that buddy of yours who's about to be a dad. Filled with awesome ideas and great tips to make those first couple of months easier on you and mom.
  3. First hand Creativity and Confidence October 14, 2012: Lets be honest, as exciting and miraculous the birth of a child can be for a father, it is an experience that can challenge ones confidence. That is where the book Dadspirations steps in. This first hand account of fatherhood will help calm your nerves, keep you laughing, spark your creativity and give you the confidence you are looking for. It gives you ideas on how to keep daddy, mommy, and baby supported and happy. What a great gift for all the soon-to-be dads in your life or a new perspective for those who already have children.

Daddy Letter For My Daughter
On the day Marie was born, I was a mess. We had a false labor the previous day, I had to give a client presenta-tion at work that morning, and our babysitter for Henry bailed on us, causing a last minute scramble. When Marie is old enough, I will share with her the excite-ment, the anxiety and the fear that was bottled up inside me the day she was born. Every dad is a complete wreck that day, whether he admits or not. After all, you are in a dimly lit, cold hospital room, surrounded by strang-ers, while your wife is in pain for hours on end, you feel helpless to make her feel better, and all while the best experience in the world is going to happen at any moment.
Looking back on that day, I want my daughter to know that her dad was swearing like a sailor as he fought un-precedented traffic at 9:00 p.m. on the way to the hospital; that her dad nearly missed her birth because he was in the parking lot transferring her brother’s car seat to grandpa’s car; and that her dad stole a piece of pizza from the hospital floor’s community refrigerator. (Give me a break; I hadn’t eaten in twelve hours.) And, above 14 PETE DENSMORE all, there are three things I want her to know that I was thinking when I first held her in my arms: boy that pizza was good; how do I make sure she ends up with a good guy like Daddy; and how do I make sure she knows that being smart is cool. These are the types of thoughts, feelings and ideas I will share with my little girl so that she can understand her OCD father a little bit better.

Beautiful Baby Tower Gift Set - An adorable tower with a large variety of gifts for the new baby. Open to US/Canada. International choice of Paypal Cash or Amazon Gift Card for same value. ($39.95 Value)

Follow The Tour Here


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Trailer and Book Promotion with #Giveaway: Til The Last Drop by Marquis Boone

Til The Last Drop
by Marquis Boone

Author Bio:

Marquis Boone is a pastor, motivational speaker, author, entrepreneur, mentor and spiritual advisor to a host of celebrities. Marquis is the Lead Pastor of Fresh Start Church which exists to revive, refresh, release and restore people back to God. He has been deemed one of America's most influential and talented pastors in his generation. His message of resurrection, healing and restoration is unparalleled and transcending cultural barriers within the church. Boone holds a Master of Arts in Christian Leadership and Masters of Divinity from Luther Rice University. He studied at World Harvest Bible College and completed a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a minor in Management from American InterContinental University.

Genre: Fiction/religious/ general/medical
Publisher: iUniverse
Release Date: Jan. 24, 2013
Buy: Amazon

Arthur and Valencia share happily ever after as husband and wife until tragedy comes knocking at their door. Life deals Valencia a crisis that requires a miracle of biblical proportion. She'll have to find a love so strong it defies logic, reason and heartbreak. After receiving a life changing phone call that no one ever wants to get Valencia Todd's life is left in shambles, with no signs of ever getting better. Struck with grief, frustration, sickness, and loneliness, Valencia is determined to find the cure to life that will get her back to normal.
Til the Last Drop is a supernatural story filled with passion, pain, sadness, twists and turns that will leave you in awe. The story of Valencia and all of the drops she experiences along the way teaches, as only a few stories have done, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to never give up, and, above all, trusting God.
A vow, betrayal and story...good until the last drop.



The almighty Father stormed into the room as a mighty rushing wind. As His very presence passed by, each servant stood at attention as they lined His pathway. Gabriel followed Him very closely and spoke: “Lord, I don’t understand.”

The Father stopped midway and turned to Gabriel and gave a declaration. “The Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings. You shall trample the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day that I do this. It is warfare, Gabriel. Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers.”

The Father continued toward His seat. He sat in heaven exasperated. He turned and looked at His Son, who was looking down at Earth. “Son, what seems to have your attention?”
Father, come look at this,” the Son said as He stood gazing down toward Earth at Arthur and Valencia Todd and their daughter, Lindsy Todd.

The Father walked over, joined His Son, and together they looked down at the Todd family. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Snow by Kathryn Hewitt - Book Bash & #Giveaway

About The Author:

Kathryn Hewitt was born and raised in the small town of Camden, South Carolina. Breaking away from becoming a statistic, she was an Honors Graduate from Camden High School and went on to study British Literature and Sociology at Charleston Southern University, inspiring to teach High School English.

Kathryn has a passion for teaching teenagers and reaching out to those who seem as though the world has closed the door. Because of her own experiences, including becoming a teenage mother at fifteen, Kathryn knows the value of life and the blessings it contains. Understanding the importance of making wise decisions, Kathryn passionately seeks to instill that wisdom into the minds of every young lady she encounters. The inspiration for Kathryn's writings comes from her own experiences, and she is never afraid to speak the truth that others refuse to acknowledge.

Kathryn married in 2005 and is a stay at home mom with her four sons. She and her family currently live in the same town she grew up.

Author Bio Summary

As a teenage mother, Kathryn Hewitt understands the consequential trials and sacrifices resulting from teen pregnancies. Leadership positions throughout high school, college, and church provided a forum for her activism in promoting premarital abstinence and accountability, and pro-life support.

Kathryn currently lives in Camden, South Carolina with her husband and four boys.

Book Genre Religious Fiction/ YA (13+ or 7th grade)Publisher Westbow Press, Inc A Thomas Nelson DivisionRelease Date May 2012

Snow is a fiction novel, based on true events, about the struggles of a teenage girl and the consequences of a devastating mistake. Whether readers are young adults, exploring their sexuality for the first time, or an older adult, struggling to understand their teenage daughter, everyone will have a character in which to relate.

Young adults will be gripped by the reality and bluntness of it's characters. Parents will appreciate the censorship of otherwise “uncomfortable” topics. With sexuality among young adults beginning at an early age, "family values" are now being pushed back into the forefront of parental teaching. Snow influences people with Christian values, such as sexual abstinence, pro-life advocacy, and prayer, without pushing God as the subject of the book. Biblically based information is strategically scattered throughout the novel with dialect and personal thoughts.

The protagonist's quest to discover the path she needs to take unearths findings of a secret life, lead by her boyfriend. With two lives at stake, readers will eagerly anticipate the outcome only to find themselves with lessons and warnings about the consequences of making detrimental mistakes. Comfort will be found in understanding that God is bigger than any situation and He catches ever tear. Miracles so often go unnoticed, yet powerfully affect those they touch. Snow will set the stage for future novels reflective of countless miracles and divine intervention.


Mrs. Davis grabbed Luke by the arm and pulled him along behind her as she purposefully marched toward the bar. After ordering a Grey Goose martini, she turned around to face Luke.

"You know why I brought you over here," she glared at him, her voice shaking with anger.

"Yeah, I know." Luke sat on the bar stool and folded his arms on the counter.

"What are you going to do about this, Luke?"

"I don't know, Mom. She wants to have it."

"You can't allow that to happen. You know that."

"I can't make her do it." Luke ran his hands through his un-gelled hair. " And her mom! She just won't stop interfering. She had this church lady come over yesterday and talk to Ruth about
having the abortion. That lady managed to change her mind, because, believe it or not, I did have her convinced."

Mrs. Davis sipped her martini and lit a cigarette. "Well, we have to get rid of this one. You can't have two of these things hanging over your head for the next eighteen years."

"I don't know how to convince her." He laughed as he said, "I told her, when we first found out, that I'd hire someone to beat her up and make her miscarry."

Mrs. Davis chuckled, "Or you could just kill her."

"Mother, please."

Mrs. Davis tapped the ashes off her cigarette and motioned for Luke to leave. "Don't worry; I'll take care of this. Tell her to come here."

Luke got off the bar stool and went into the arcade. He should have gone straight to look for Ruth, but part of him didn't want his mom to convince her to have the abortion. He loved how
sweet and obedient Ruth was and didn't want to lose her. His eye caught a military game, so he headed over, ready to release some frustration.

What Readers Are Saying:

"Heart-tugging, heart-warming. beautiful story." ~InsightfulTruth

"The honest account girls need!" ~M. Morgan

"Finally! A book that isn't afraid of the truth." ~T. Gill

  • Characters & Important People (From Amazon)

    • Ruth McColl: 20 year old Ruth McColl walks a treacherous road to her past where she is faced with the demons that have haunted her for years. Broken and filled with unworthiness, Ruth sabotages every relationship. Will she do the same with the man she's about to marry?15 year old Ruth is a fun loving, outgoing young girl filled with innocence and determination. An honor student and active in her church, Ruth is caught up in a whirlwind romance with a man, too many years her senior. The decisions she must make will alter her life forever. The question is, will it be for the better?

    • Luke Davis: Luke, a charmer, shows up in the small town of Westbrook just in time to catch the eye of young Ruth. Captivated by her innocence it doesn't take long for Luke to set his sights on his newest prize. But what is his ultimate desire? And why was he sent to Westbrook?
  • Notes for Parents:

    • Reading Level: Young Adults

    Read this yourself. You'll gain a great understanding of what your kids are going through at school and socially. Then, give it to your daughter (or son). This novel was written to tell the truth. It's not sugar coated...it's just blunt. The main character, a virgin, looses her virginity to a guy she believes loves her. Over time he has made her feel obligated to prove her love to him. After a one time mistake she finds herself pregnant at 15. Her boyfriend has a checkered past filled with girls that either were pregnant or are pregnant. He and his family pressure her to abort the baby. The novel graphically describes the abortion process and reveals the emotions that overwhelm Ruth. There are many lessons in this book and although it may invoke discussions about premarital sex, abortion, and abuse you will be grateful that your daughter (or son) is receiving a valuable, positive message.Because of the content, I do not recommend this book to anyone under 13 or 7th grade.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Watch for the FREE! Doggone Dead by Teresa Trent

Doggone Dead
by Teresa Trent

Teresa Trent wasn't born in Texas but after a few glasses of sweet tea and some exceptional barbecue she decided to stay. With a father in the Army, she found herself moved all over the world, settling down for a while in her teens in the state of Colorado. Her writing was influenced by all of the interesting people she found in small towns and the sense of family that seemed to be woven through them all. Teresa is a former high school teacher and received her degree from The University of Northern Colorado. Teresa is presently working on the third book in her Pecan Bayou Series. Her second book, Overdue For Murder, came out in June of 2012.

Book Genre-Cozy Mystery
Publisher – Tightwad Tess Press
Release Date February 2013

Book Description:

Give me land lots of land....and a puppy on the loose. When Betsy Livingston's puppy runs away, she has no idea it will lead her to a murder on a movie cowboy star's estate. Not only has there been a murder, but the town reports sightings of the dead cowboy himself. He's out to seek revenge on all who wronged his daughter who became the victim of her own money-loving butler. Enjoy a little time on the Fourth of July in the tiny town of Pecan Bayou Texas where old cowboys never die...

Doggone Dead Excerpt

His little butt wiggled as his wagging tail seemed to propel him down the street. Butch looked all around, happy to be exploring. He came upon the biggest house in the neighborhood, the old Loper home, and shimmied under two giant wrought-iron gates that joined the large segments of gray brick walls surrounding the house.
“He went in the cowboy house!” shouted Zach.
“Butch!” I yelled out, now grasping the black curlicues of the gate.
“Butch! You get back over here. Bad dog. Bad dog!”
Butch, not feeling the guilt, went right on taking time to pee on the historic fountain, a bronze depiction of Charlie Loper on a bucking bronco with his six gun shooting into the air. Once he’d finished tagging the statue, he happily scampered around the back of the house.
I shook the gate, the sound of metal rattling in our ears. There was a black box with a speaker and a button ner the bottom. I pushed the button.
No answer.
I tried the latch on the gate. It was locked. God forbid someone from the other side of the park should get in to experience opulent cowboy luxury.
I hit the buzzer again. “Hello, is anyone in there? I’m sorry, but our dog just crawled under your fence.”
Again, no answer.
Zach now slid in front of me and pushed the speaker button. “Helllllllooooo …” He elongated his greeting as if yelling into an empty canyon. Feeling his approach might work, he repeated it.
The black box rustled. “May I help you?” a clipped British accent came over the airway. Not exactly the voice you would expect to hear while staring at a statue of a man on a bucking horse. Whoever this guy in the box was, he didn’t sound pleased we were pushing his button.
“Yes,” I answered. “Our puppy crawled under your front gate, and I’m afraid he’s running around on your grounds.”
Silence. I waited for around ten seconds until Zach pulled at my sleeve, urging me to push the button again.
“Are you there?” I asked. “Sir?”
More silence.
“Sir? Did you hear what I said? Our puppy has …”
“I heard you,” he cut me off.
“Have you seen him?”
“No. I have not. Please leave.”
I pushed the button, ignoring the black box’s command. “Are there any other ways out besides this gate?”
“I have not seen your puppy,” the increasingly perturbed voice said. “You are at the only entrance and exit of the estate. You must have been ... mistaken. Good day.”
We had been dismissed. Zach breathed in deep and exhaled with a cry. “Where’s Butch, Mom?”
“I don’t know, baby. Let’s walk down the block and call for him. Maybe he got out the other side somehow.”
“But the guy said …”
I know what the guy said.” Upon looking at the grounds inside the fence a second time, I noticed overgrown foliage around the house. There was also a line of rust around the fountain. From the street all you could see was the fountain and paved area around it, but once you looked inside the gate, the façade of Hollywood elegance fell flat. The grass was too high, the shrubs looked like monsters from a second-rate horror movie, and there were no flowers. They might have an uptown butler, but the place was looking ragged. 

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