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Saddle up and enjoy these 14 new tales of hot lead, cold hearts and more leather-slapping action, adventure and edge-of-the-seat danger than you could ever hope to find on either side of the Mississippi. From high-noon showdowns and shade-tree lynchings, to raging prairie fires and scrub-country manhunts, Express Westerns' first collection, Where Legends Ride, will grab you by the vest front and won't let go until you've surrendered to the posse. So sink spur and hang on... it's time to go where legends ride !

Express Westerns

Express Westerns is an imprint created by writers and readers of Black Horse Westerns. It produces anthologies of western short stories, from both well-established authors, and talented newcomers. The books are available both in physical format, softbacks with glossy covers, and as ebook downloads. The stories are varied in theme, with something for every mood. The stories are a mix from out-and-out humorous, like the delightful 'Hard Times For The Pecos Kid', by Lee Pierce, to adventure stories and thoughtful pieces like 'The Man Who Tracked A River' by Derek Rutherford.
I have contributed a story to each of the two anthologies, each one featuring characters from my novels.

Where Legends Ride

Where Legends Ride is the first anthology of short stories published by Express Westerns. It was published in 2007 and contains 14 short stories about the West, by both new authors and established Black Horse names like Lance Howard, Ben Bridges and Duane Spurlock.

My own contribution is 'Easier Than Working'. The heroes of the story are Tomcat Billy and Irish, the two rogues from my novel 'Darrow's Badge'. I loved writing about them. and was delighted to have a chance to put them into a short story. Here they are, a year or so before 'Darrow's Badge', encountering a lone wagon out on the Nebraska prairie. They might be rogues, but they stop and help, risking themselves to help the brave Edison family. Tomcat and Irish might believe that stealing is easier than working, but they still admire those who do an honest day's work, expecially when they have a taste of manual work themselves:

covered wagon
The day seemed to get hotter and hotter as they heaved the first iron-banded wheel into place. Tomcat leaned against it, feeling sweat run down his face as Irish wrestled with the hub, scewing it into place. He felt an increasing sense of urgency to get the wagon fixed, without knowing why.
Little Duke appeared and sat on the grass, watching them as they struggled.
"Will you get it done before it rains ?" he asked.
"Rain ?" Tomcat asked incredulously.
"There's a black cloud over there," Duke said, pointing away from the wagon to the north-west.
Tomcat and Irish both looked up to see what he meant. Sure enough, black clouds were billowing up on the horizon, but it wasn't rain. Under the cloud was an ominous orange glow, and Tomcat realized that he'd been smelling smoke in the wind for some time.

A Fistful Of Legends

The second anthology was published in 2009. This one has even more to enjoy, with 21 new stories written by the likes of I J Parnham, Chuck Tyrell and Jack Giles.

cover of A Fistful Of Legends

My contribution here is 'More Than Meets The Eye'. It features Jonah Durrell, the handsome manhunter who stars in 'Two-Gun Trouble'. He's a fun character to write, and his life as a manhunter made him a suitable subject for a short story. In his backstory, Jonah is the son of a doctor and attended medical school before quitting to head west in seatch of a more exciting life. This was mentioned in 'Two-Gun Trouble' but he never really got the chance to show off his skills. In this story, as well as bringing a murderer to justice, Jonah is also called upon to save life by delivering a baby. Some people though, never see beyond his outer appearance:

"That there's one might smart piece of work," Brown remarked. "Looks like some doctor or law wrangler maybe."
Parsons turned his head to spit on the boardwalk. The wodge of sliva narrowly missed the skirts of a young woman who had stopped ostensibly to check the contents of her basket, though she kept glancing at the handsome rider. "That there's Jonah Durrell," Parsons said bitterly.
Brown's pale blue eyes opened wider. "The manhunter ?"
"That's what he likes to call himself; I call him a bounty killer." Parsons snarled. "All those dandy clothes, that horse, them fancy guns - all bought with blood money."
Brown studied Durrell as he turned his fine dapple-grey and rode on up the street. "I never saw no killer all gussied up like that."
"He can dress as fancy as he pleases," Parsons said. "But under them fancy duds he's nothing but a low-down piece of scum who cares only about hisself and the dollars he gets for hunting down other scum. He ain't got the discipline to get hisself a regular job. All he cares about is getting dollars for the fancy clothes and fancy women. A bounty killer like him don't know nothing about friends or being a Good Samaritan like it says in the Bible. I hope he's heading out of town for good."
Parsons took a long chug of his beer and tilted his chair back against the wall of the saloon to watch as Durrell rode north out of the town.

Both anthologies got good reviews online:
Western Fiction Review
The Tainted Archive
Laurie's Wild West

Buying the books

Where Legends Ride:
is on Amazon.co.uk at £10.50
and on Amazon.com $13.95
Lulu sell it both as a book (£8.70/$13.95) and as a download (£3.12/$5.00).

A Fistful of Legends
is on Amazon UK for £9.00
and Amazon USA for $15.95.
Lulu have it as a book (£9.95/$15.95) and as a download (£3.21/$5.00).

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