Wednesday, November 28, 2012

LJ (Livia) Washburn: Wolf Creek & More #western @LiviaJWashburn

Wolf Creek: 
Book 1, Bloody Trail
Book 2, Kiowa Vengeance
Book 3, Murder in Dogleg City
Book 4, The Taylor County War
Book 5, Showdown at Demon's Drop
Book 6, Hell on the Prairie

by Ford Fargo

Romancing The West is featuring authors of the Wolf Creek series the last two weeks of November.  While Ford Fargo is on the cover, this series is actually written by fifteen of the best western writers today.  This is the last of five articles. If you missed out, here are the first four:
Today, another Wolf Creek contributor, LJ Washburn, tells us about her character as well as other projects in the works at Western Fictioneers.  Please welcome her to RTW!

Livia J. Washburn

Ira Breedlove could have grown up to be a cattleman. His father Tobias owns the T-Bar-B ranch near Wolf Creek, and Tobias always assumed that when the time came for him to step back, Ira would take over running the ranch. Ira had other ideas, though, and when his father sent him to St. Louis to complete his schooling, he rapidly fell in with the proverbial bad company and discovered his love for gambling, drinking, and other unsavory entertainments. Upon his return to Wolf Creek, Ira bought the Wolf's Den Saloon and winds up with his fingers in every somewhat shady pie in the area. He has what he considers his own code of honor, but it's a dubious one at best.

Ira is a particularly interesting character to write. He's not really a villain (although he does some pretty bad things from time to time) and he's certainly not a hero (although he might be capable of heroic actions under the right circumstances). The thing about Ira is, you just don't know what he's going to do . . . but you'd be wise to keep your eye on him if you're smart, or you might wind up regretting it.

Wolf Creek isn't the only Western Fictioneers publishing project with which I'm involved. The organization's first Christmas anthology was published recently. Six-guns and Slay Bells: A Creepy Cowboy Christmas isn't the usual Christmas anthology, though. All the stories feature paranormal elements along with being Western-themed Christmas tales. From vampires to Santa Claus, Six-guns and Slay Bells offers a wide array of entertaining stories by some of today's best Western writers and has already been praised by Publishers Weekly and Library Journal.

Also coming up next year will be an ambitious series with the overall title West of the Big River. These will be original traditional Western novels by members of Western Fictioneers. Each book is centered around a particular historical character or incident. I'll be editing this series, and I hope to be able to release a new book every month. The first book in the series will be The Lawman by Peacemaker Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author James Reasoner, which will be about the legendary Old West peace officer Bill Tilghman.

Livia J. Washburn, author
LJ (Livia) Washburn:
I have been a professional writer for 30 years. Received the Private Eye Writers of America award and the American Mystery award for my first mystery, Wild Night, and was nominated for a Spur by the Western Writers of America for a novel written with my husband, James Reasoner. We live in a small Texas town near Fort Worth, where I am constantly experimenting with new stories and recipes. Harlequin published my paranormal romance, The Vampire Affair (by Livia Reasoner). Witch Got Your Tongue was published small press July 2011, and a sequel, A Peck of Pickled Warlocks, July 2012.

(Visit Livia at her website or blog.)

Excerpt from Six-guns and Slay Bells:
A Creepy Cowboy Christmas:

L.J. (Livia J.) Washburn’s 
“A Creature Was Stirring”

"I got him! I got me a skookum!"

Well, that was just rude, thought Buffalo as his face went under the icy water and he came up sputtering. True, he was pretty big, and there was no denying that he was pretty hairy as well, especially in the long, shaggy buffalo-hide coat he was wearing. But that didn't mean he could pass for a dang monster!

On the other hand, he told himself as he tried to crawl out of the stream, he supposed there was a slight resemblance . . .

Buffalo's muscles wouldn't cooperate with what he wanted them to do. His whole left side was numb. He wound up flopping around at the edge of the creek like one of those trout would have if he'd caught it and tossed it up on the bank. It was humiliating.

Not to mention dangerous, because whoever had shot him was still out there in the woods and might come along to finish the job. Buffalo lifted his head and looked around, searching for any sign of the bushwhacker.

Rugged mountains rose all around him. The trees that covered their slopes were mantled in white from the snow that had fallen a few days earlier, but most of the snow on the ground had melted. The winds off the Pacific kept it from getting too cold on this side of the Cascades, even in December.

It was beautiful country, but Buffalo didn't see anybody moving around in it. Even the birds had flown off, spooked by the shot.

Buffalo thought back on that shot. He'd heard the report at the same instant as he was hit. Hadn't sounded like a particularly big gun, he thought, but big enough to put him on the ground, obviously. And the voice that had called out exultantly, yelling about getting a skookum, it had been high-pitched, like that of a woman or a . . .
Buy links (print or digital)
Wolf Creek Book 1: Bloody Trail --
Wolf Creek Book 2: Kiowa Vengenace --
Six-guns and Slay Bells -- Amazon,

Authors and their Wolf Creek characters
Bill Crider - Cora Sloane, schoolmarm
Wayne Dundee - Seamus O'Connor, deputy marshal
Phil Dunlap - drifting bounty hunter Rattlesnake Jake
James J. Griffin - Bill Torrance, Livery owner
Jerry Guin - Deputy Marshal Quint Croy
Douglas Hirt - Marcus Sublette, Schoolteacher
LJ Martin - Angus “Spike” Sweeney, blacksmith
Matthew P. Mayo - Rupert "Rupe" Tingley, Town drunk
Kerry Newcomb - James Reginald de Courcey, artist (secretly the outlaw Sampson Quick)
Cheryl Pierson - Derrick McCain, small farmer
Robert J. Randisi - Dave Benteen, gunsmith
James Reasoner - G.W. Satterlee, county sheriff
Frank Roderus - John Hix, barber
Troy D. Smith - Charley Blackfeather, scout; Sam Gardner, town marshal
Clay More - Logan Munro, town doctor
Chuck Tyrell - Billy Below, young cowboy; Sam Jones, gambler
Jackson Lowry - Photographer Wilson “Wil” Marsh
Livia Washburn - Ira Breedlove, crime boss
Matt Pizzolato - Wesley Quaid, Anti-heroic shiftless type

Win Free Books!
Cheryl Pierson is itching to give you a treat!  So one commenter in the next two weeks will win a print copy of 
Wolf Creek: Book 1, Bloody Trail
(USA mailing only)
Comment on every post for extra chances!

Also, comment on this post and you'll be entered to win a Kindle copy of your choice of Troy Smith's Blackwell series (short stories).  (And you'll also be entered to win the Wolf Creek book!)

Drawing for both will be held December 1, 2012, at 9pm Pacific Time.

Please include your email address so we can contact you; otherwise, we'll draw another winner.


  1. Livia, I loved your story in SIX GUNS AND SLAY BELLS. This is one of the best anthologies of western short stories! I wanted to say how much I appreciate all your hard work on editing the books we turn out through Western Fictioneers. That is a daunting job, and you are one fearless lady to take it all on. Ira Breedlove is one shady character that I look forward to reading more about. You do a fantastic job of keeping the "juggling act" going and never missing a beat!

  2. Thank you Cheryl, I've enjoyed working with all of these great writers and am looking forward to Western Fictioneers' future.

    I thought I might add a little history about my character Buffalo. My husband and I are friends with writer, Kerry Newcomb, and he wrote a novel that included a nasty mean character named Washburn, all in great fun. So I had to return the favor. I created a character named Buffalo Newcomb, which was a secondary character in my first western novel, Epitaph. My plan was to make him evil, but the more I wrote him, the more I loved the character and couldn't just make him evil. He was just too much fun.

    1. That sums Kerry up nicely- too much fun to actually be evil. I think.

    2. So true. We used to have a bookstore in Kerry's neighborhood. He'd come over for a chat and bring us a limeade. Good times.

  3. Livia is the oil that keeps our WF machine running. And Ira is a complex, fascinating character that I can't wait to see in action again.

    1. Thank you Troy. You had done a great job with Wolf Creek. I cannot wait to see what happens in the next one.

  4. Buffalo Newcomb's a great character! I think he needs his own book.

  5. I've never heard of a 'skookum' before. Most interesting.


  6. Buffalo has been in 2 novels, Epitaph and Riders of the Monte. Both of these are $2.99 ebooks.

    A skookum is a Chinook jargon word that means a monster similar to a sasquatch or bigfoot.


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