John Timmerman's latest novel is a classic Western

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. — Sunbury Press has released High Passes, John Timmerman’s latest novel, set in the American West.

Ben McCallister returns to the peaceful valley where he grew up, only to find it torn apart in a range war. With lies and deceit on every side, who can he trust?

hp_fcEXCERPT:
Snow swirled through the mountain passes, pushed by every contrary wind. At first a heavy wet thing, it hung between snow and rain—the kind of snow that holds to the jacket like a wet hand and drips from the hat brim in sad gray drops.

The drops hardened to ice, and the leather jacket stiffened and snapped with the horse’s gait. The wind rose and howled across rocky passages, drifting snow quickly on the leeward side of rocks.

The sky closed, white sheeting out peak, forest, and valley. By the time the snow rose hock high on the horse, gathering well over an inch an hour, cold settled in like a pick axe’s bite.

Ben McAllister felt that bite deep between his shoulder blades. He also felt his chances of making the ranch sink to near zero. After a week straight of hard pushing, it was tragic to quit this close. That’s the only word he could think of: tragic. The snow was tragic. He had once sworn he would never return. Now maybe he wouldn’t. Not without shelter soon. He and the stallion he rode would be one more icy sculpture against the cold rock of the high passes.

The wind-packed snow an inch deep across his broad back. The traditional rounded and peaked cowboy hat, wonderful for shedding rain, now lay nearly caved in under the weight of ice. From the crown of that hat, over the high, up-turned sheepskin coat collar, and down to the long, muscular tapering of his back, man and animal seemed one desolate being tossed in nature’s grip.

For a time Ben had not named the black stallion. He’d just never thought of a name fitting for the magnificent animal. Then one day, out of the blue as it were, Ben named him Treasure. Mostly, though, they communicated by a series of whistles, finger snaps, and other sounds. Right now Ben let the stallion have its way, hooves skittering on icy rock as it slowly found a trail. Ben scanned the sides: up, down, right, left. Any spot out of the howling wind. He felt the stallion’s muscles tremble anxiously under his thighs, its breath heaving in white, wet clouds that immediately became one with the air.

He felt the horse veer to the right, pause at some tumbled rocks, then slowly pick its way through and Ben had no idea why the animal had gone off the trail. He let it go. Suddenly they stepped into the lee of an enormous rock outcropping, rimmed around by a stand of stunted jack pine. Ben lowered himself and led the stallion well into the shelter of the rocks.

He expected to feel exhilaration to get out of the blasting storm. He didn’t feel that. He felt exhausted. He barely had strength to wrestle the saddle off, his arms trembling with tension and weariness. Well, he told himself, it’s heavy. But it was just the usual: the tooled saddle, the scabbard with Oliver F. Winchester’s finest 30-30, the emptying panniers, and his bedroll. There were things still to be done. He hunted among the jack pine for some firewood. He found small branches he could break over his knee, but they’d do for tonight. He didn’t see any larger ones.

With the hot eye of fire watching, Ben removed the horse’s halter and let him forage. The horse hooved aside the icy snow that had drifted into the clearing and grazed on sparse tufts of grass. From one of the nearly empty panniers Ben scooped a handful of oats. The horse licked his palms clean like a dishrag and then went back to foraging. He deserves much more than that, Ben thought. He made promises of what he would do if they ever got out.

High Passes
Authored by John Timmerman
List Price: $14.95
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
158 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620066140
ISBN-10: 1620066149
BISAC: Fiction / Westerns / General

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/High-Passes-978162006614…

Mark Mitten's "Sipping Whiskey in a Shallow Grave" nominated for a Peacemaker Award

Mechanicsburg, PA – Western Fictioneers (WF) is pleased to announce the NOMINEES for the third annual (2013) Peacemaker Awards. Mark Mitten’s “Sipping Whiskey in a Shallow Grave” is a finalist in the Best Western First Novel category.

Sipping Whiskey in a Shallow Grave

Sipping Whiskey in a Shallow Grave

About Western Fictioneers:
Western Fictioneers is the only professional writers organization composed entirely of authors who have written Western fiction, the classic American genre.

Western Fictioneers is comprised of writers who love what they’re doing and who believe in the literature of the old west–devoted to keeping the traditional western alive.

Stories of the west have been entertaining readers since the days of James Fenimore Cooper, and Western Fictioneers believe that western fiction is just as compelling ever. They have already produced a fine anthology of western tales. There’s a lot more to come in 2012, so look for some exciting announcements in the months ahead.

Membership in Western Fictioneers is open to professional authors who have written Westerns, as well as fans of the genre who can join as patron members. If you’d like to join the group and be a part of the fun, you can find the requirements at the website below. They welcome everyone who shares their love of traditional western fiction.

About this year’s nominees:
Western Fictioneers (WF) is pleased to announce the NOMINEES for the third annual (2013) Peacemaker Awards

** Nominees are in no particular order.

The Lifetime Achievement Peacemaker will be presented to Robert Vaughan

2013 BEST WESTERN NOVEL:
City of Rocks (Five Star Publishing — Cengage) by Michael Zimmer
Unbroke Horses (Goldminds Publishing, LLC) by D.B. Jackson
Apache Lawman (AmazonEncore) by Phil Dunlap
Wide Open (Berkley Publishing Group) by Larry Bjornson

2013 BEST WESTERN SHORT STORY:
“Christmas Comes to Freedom Hill” (Christmas Campfire Companion — Port Yonder Press) by Troy Smith
“Christmas For Evangeline”  (Slay Bells and Six Guns — WF ) by C. Courtney Joyner
“Keepers of Camelot” (Slay Bells and Six Guns — WF) by Cheryl Pierson
“The Toys” (Slay Bells and Six Guns — WF) by James J. Griffin
“Adeline” (Protectors: Stories to Benefit PROTECT — Goombah Gumbo Press ) by Wayne Dundee

2013 BEST WESTERN FIRST NOVEL:
High Stakes (Musa Publishing) by Chad Strong
Wide Open (Berkley Publishing Group) by Larry Bjornson
Red Lands Outlaw, the Ballad of Henry Starr (AWOC.com Publishing) by Phil Truman
Last Stand At Bitter Creek (Western Trail Blazer) by Tom Rizzo
Sipping Whiskey in a Shallow Grave (Sunbury Press) by Mark Mitten

Congratulations to all the nominees.  Winners will be announced on June 1, 2013 on the WF website (www.westernfictioneers.com)

Western Fictioneers (WF) was formed in 2010 by Robert J. Randisi, James Reasoner, Frank Roderus, and other professional Western writers, to preserve, honor, and promote traditional Western writing in the 21st century.  Entries were accepted in both print and electronic forms.  The Peacemaker Awards are given out annually.  Submissions for the Peacemaker Awards for books published in 2013 will be open in July, 2013. Submission guidelines will be posted on the WF web site.  For more information about Western Fictioneers (WF) please visit:  http://www.westernfictioneers.com/ or  http://westernfictioneers.blogspot.com/

About “Sipping Whiskey in a Shallow Grave”
It is 1887. Snow is falling in the high country of Colorado. Bill Ewing led a bank heist in the small mountain town of Kinsey City — but just woke up tied to the back of a mule. “Sipping Whiskey in a Shallow Grave” is an epic novel chronicling Bill Ewing’s gang of thieves and the posse that takes after them, the cowhands of the B-Cross-C, and the unexpected turns of life which bring them all together.

Following the Great Die-Up, the harshest winter to ever hit the West, LG Pendleton and Casey Pruitt lead a mixed herd of Polangus and Durham cattle down the stage road in Lefthand Canyon. Their way of life is fading with the changing times. Fences cross what once was open range, locomotives are eliminating the trail drive, and both Casey and LG must learn to change with it — or fade away themselves.

At once both personal and immutable, “Sipping Whiskey in a Shallow Grave” is a sweeping tale of randomness and destiny, reminding us of the power of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

Sipping Whiskey in a Shallow Grave
Authored by Mark Mitten
List Price: $16.95
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
338 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620061466
ISBN-10: 1620061465
BISAC: Fiction / Westerns

Also available on Kindle and Nook

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Sipping-Whiskey-in-a-Sha…