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Noah Gates

      Noah Gates had been robbed twice, first of his herd of trade horses and then of his travelling money. He was not a happy man. But life started to change in the Colorado gold fields and after he met Dora. But he still wanted his horses back.

      Quist's latest mind movie is undoubtedly his best work. Whimsical, adventurous and oft times downright humorous, his set of unique characters and unusual circumstances leads to an unparalleled old-West adventure that rivals the story-telling finesse of past masters. "They just don't write 'em like that anymore..." is no more. Slide on over Larry, Elmore and Zane - make room for one more writer on the purple stage.
     

Noah Gates is a western story, best reviewed by someone with a western bent. Mine grew as I grew: when my Grandma gave me and my cousin genuine Roy Rogers holsters and cap pistols (they still shoot); when I saw High Noon (still my second favorite movie); when I purchased a Lash LaRue bullwhip (I use it now to flick fallen branches off the roof); when Buddy Holly’s tex-mex singing became my favorite (his DVDs are always in my car); when I chose to attend the University of Texas to earn a Ph.D.; when I saw one of the first rodeos held in the original Houston Astro Dome. All of these experiences enabled me to appreciate Noah Gates in many different ways.

Each chapter is “told” by Noah, by Dora, or by the Narrator. So, I “told” Noah’s chapters out loud to my wife, using my best Texas twang to convey Reg’s story-telling writing style: matter-of-fact, no wasted words, mosie-along style in cadence with western life. As the story ambled from North Dakota through the rugged Rocky Mountains on to Colorado, I felt like the grandfather in The Princess Bride movie telling his grandson the story, because my wife kept asking for “just one more chapter” just like the grandson. Because Dora was from back east, my eastern-bred wife liked “telling” Dora’s chapters aloud to me. I read the Narrator’s chapters aloud to fill in parallel story lines for other characters and the larger plot: how Noah went searching for his stolen horses, helped Dora in a difficult situation and got himself a wife most unexpectedly in the bargain, recovered the horses the Barger gang had stolen from him and from his neighbors, and transitioned into a new life style as a horse rancher instead of wandering from place to place, alone and without real purpose or lasting friends.

Not only has Reg Quist captured the hard life surviving out west by your own wits and initiative to take risks, and by hard work that never ends, he has also conveyed the pervading sense of right and wrong, good and evil, civility towards women, respect for others and for law and order western style, being a Good Samaritan, the ethic of working and contributing to the general good.

Reg Quist has penned words that convey a western style of thinking and living. This makes Noah Gates a good read; this also makes it possible to “tell” this story in the spoken words of Noah, Dora, and the Narrator. The only thing that would make this book even better is listening to it as an audio-book, told by characters who can convey the distinctive “voices” of Noah, Dora and the Narrator better than my wife and I did. This will make you more fully appreciate the western nuance in these words – so you want more like we did.

William A. Gray, Ph.D.

Hamilton Robb

      Hamilton Robb quit his job as a deputy and bought a ranch. Things were going well until Big Bob Stanton rode into Canyon View with his family. Big Bob bought a neighboring ranch, but he didn’t plan on being neighborly. Bob’s daughter, Wanda, is the most beautiful girl Hamilton Robb has ever seen, but Bob makes it clear he’s not welcome at the Circle S. A devastating blizzard kills people and livestock, but nothing seems to thaw the wall of ice between Big Bob and Hamilton Robb. In Hamilton Robb, Reg Quist has written a moving story about people who seem real. He hooked me on the first page and held my attention to the end. Don’t miss this one, it’s a winner.
      Barbara Warrren – writer, editor


      Hamilton Robb is Vancouver Island writer Reg Quist's second Western book. The book is so good it begs the question, "Where has this older story-teller been all these years?" Quist's expert infilling of all the players with authentic old-west dialogue, sets this book apart from 99 out of 100 other western-flavored epics. The book's major stand-alone event is the Great Plains blizzard of '88 when 235 souls perished, many of them school children caught outside while trying to get home from school. Shifting ranch scenes and how the characters cope with the killer storm, forcing at least one cowman to shed distasteful personality traits, is handled with great skill by the author. Prime characters and events place the reader 'right there' with day-to-day ranch action, at church on Sunday where the 'reformed' Robb sings in the choir, and especially in the dialogue. Finally, with a writer's excellent 'tradecraft' of mini-stories and diversions, Quist uses up almost every utterance of the 80,000-word saga before Hamilton's suspected, proper and platonic coming-together with the new neighbor's daughter. Then... well, never mind, the author leaves that between Hamilton and Wanda.
      Quist's smooth and polished style, his knowledge of old-time words and expressions, and several other features make the effort hard to believe after only one previous release, Mac’s Way.

      Eric H. Nelson, Historical Fiction Writer,
      35 years newspaper writer

Mac’s Way

     Lose yourself in a story about pioneers working to find their way in a new west.
     Struggle, poverty, war, brutally hard work, hope, faith, love and eventually achievement chronicle the path of Mac and his friends as they find their way from Missouri to Colorado, via Texas.

     Raised in poverty in 1850’s Missouri, Mac is determined to wrangle a better life for himself and for the girl that is still a vague vision in his mind. Hustling on the Santa Fe Trail and on a Mississippi River boat give him a start, but the years of Civil War leave him broke and footloose in South Texas. There he discovers more cattle running loose than he ever imagined existed. Teaming up with two ex-Federal soldiers, he sets out to garner his wealth, one head at a time.
     While gathering and driving Longhorns, Mac and his friends run up against an interesting collection of characters, including Margo, who does her best to hide her interest in Mac. Mac and Margo and the cattle gathering crew learn about Longhorns, and life, from hard-won experience. Outlaws and harrowing river crossings are just two of the challenges they face.
     Tiring of the heat and dust of South Texas, Mac is determined to find land where it rains once in a while. Mac and his partners head West with a herd of breeding cows. There they meet Jimbo, a long riding character of the west. Jimbo offers to show Mac a green valley many miles to the west, in Colorado.

Click Here for excerpts of Mac's Way

Broken Promises

      The West's "Broken Promises" Come Alive
    "Broken Promises." A Collection of Great Short Stories from America's Newest Western Writers.

      The West was built on a handshake and a promise. But sometimes those promises were broken, and the consequences could be fearful. Whether it was the nation's broken promises to tribal leaders, or a vow to revenge a wounded heart, the price would have to be paid in blood and tears.
      La Frontera Publishing presents Broken Promises, its latest collection of thirteen fictional short stories and one novella about the Wild West from America's newest Western writers; men and women who may become tomorrow's legends of Western literature.
      Included for your reading enjoyment: "Tomorrow," by R.A. Quist; "Memory of Blood," by Carol Crigger; "A Bad Feeling," by W. Michael Farmer; "I Did You Wrong," by Dave Fisher; "The Legacy," by Jake Garrett; "Sometimes Good, Sometimes Bad," by Jerry Guin; "Introduction," by Michael T. Harris; "Echo Amphitheater," by Doug Hocking; "The Buffalo Runners," by Dale Jackson; "The Resurrection," by McKendree R. (Mike) Long; "Desert Dreams," by Deanna Dickinson McCall; "A Promise Broken, A Promise Kept," by Vicky Rose; "Amazing Grace," by Glen Singer; "The Trail," by Wesley Tallant; and "The Coat," by Jim Williams.
      Broken Promises
      $18.95 / trade paperback
      Published by La Frontera Publishing,
      Cheyenne, Wyoming

Mister Lister Comes Home.

A collection of short remembrances of a child’s life in the 1940’s.
The Ice Man tells about the horse drawn delivery wagons common on city streets.
Mister Lister tells about the impact of war on families.
Spring Breakup, Outdoor Skating Rinks, The Ice House, The Moms, The Noon Whistle, and others short stories will bring back memories for the older folks and entertain the younger ones.
And perhaps the stories will encourage the grandpas and grandmas to take the time to tell the kids about their childhood.

Read a review at MyShelf.com

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