OUTLAW WEST OF THE PECOS
An H.H. Lomax Western, Book 7
Genre: Western / Humor / Historical Fiction
Publisher: Wolfpack Publishing
Series: An H.H. Lomax Western, Book 7
Date of Publication: January 4, 2022 ** 228 pages
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Accused of cheating at cards on a Southern Pacific passenger train in far West Texas, H.H. Lomax is kicked off the train and finds himself at the mercy of the unpredictable justice of Judge Roy Bean, who calls himself “Law West of the Pecos.” After being fined of all his money, married, and divorced by the judge in a matter of minutes, Lomax discovers an unlikely connection to him.
Against a backdrop of a pending world heavyweight championship bout, Lomax heads to El Paso to interest someone in writing and publishing Bean’s biography. He winds up in an El Paso boarding house across the hall from Texas killer John Wesley Hardin. They despise each other, but Hardin fears Lomax’s straight-arrow Texas Ranger brother and treads lightly around Lomax. Because of Hardin’s crooked connections in El Paso, Lomax gets caught between him and corrupt constable John Selman.
El Paso is becoming the focal point of efforts to host a championship prizefight that everyone from the Presidents of the United States and Mexico to the governors of Texas, New Mexico Territory and Chihuahua have vowed to stop. Calling on his connections to his Ranger brother, El Paso officials and the promoter of the boxing match, Lomax uses his Judge Roy Bean friendship to pull off the oddest prizefight in heavyweight history.
Outlaw West of the Pecos stands as an entertaining mix of historical and hysterical fiction.
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NOTE: I’ve read several of these books, including this last one and they just keep getting better and better. If you like a fun Western yarn with a bit of that “you should have seen the fish that got away” feel to it, and a charming leading man, check out these books. Great reading for fun and pleasure.
***** SERIES SPOTLIGHT *****
The Demise of Billy the Kid: In the series opener, H.H. Lomax crosses paths with Billy from the beginning of the Lincoln County War until The Kid’s final night on earth when he was chasing Lomax. Though they start out as friends and riding companions, Lomax and Billy wind up at odds over a senorita and the politics of outlawing. Lomax sides with naïve business partners Alexander McSween and John H. Tunstall in the Lincoln County War but observes, “If I was as smart as McSween and Tunstall made out to be, I’d at least have been worried about being shot by a dumber man.” Lomax may not be the smartest man around, but he is a survivor.
The Redemption of Jesse James: Though the second book of the Lomax series, it is the first chronologically, a coming-of-age story of H.H. Lomax during the turbulent Civil War years in northwest Arkansas. This historical novel explores the difficult choices the neighboring Lomax and Burke families, who are on opposite sides of the secession issue, have to make to survive during the Civil War years. With a combination of childhood innocence and precocious insight, Lomax grows up, falls in love, faces Jesse James on multiple occasions and takes actions that will make him an outcast from his home for most of his life. (Spur Finalist)
Mix-Up at the O.K. Corral: H.H. Lomax stirs up more trouble than he can sort out in Tombstone, Arizona Territory. Lady Luck and a marked deck of cards win Lomax a saloon, which he parlays into a thriving Tombstone business against all odds, but as soon as things start going well they start turning bad on him. Sure he spat in Doc Holliday’s drink, took an ill-timed ride on the Benson Stage, started rustling cats and, worst of all, turned to a lawyer for help with a disputed property title, but that was no reason for the folks of Tombstone to start taking bets on where he would get shot! Maybe they were just mad that he was cutting their drinks or that he fired the first shot in the famous gun battle. (Spur Finalist)
Bluster’s Last Stand: Events on the Little Bighorn might have turned out better for George Armstrong Custer had he listened to H.H. Lomax rather than trying to kill him. To save his own skin–and scalp–Lomax must outwit Custer and his troopers as well as face the horde of Sioux and Cheyenne warriors swarming Last Stand Hill. At least that is how Lomax tells the story in his inimitable and humorous romp across Old West history. Lomax’s misadventures take him from the Battle of Adobe Walls to Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show. In between, he’s a bouncer in a Waco whorehouse, a prospector in the Black Hills, a bartender in a Dakota Territory saloon and a combatant in the worst defeat in the history of the frontier Army. Everywhere he goes, he is haunted by his past encounters with Wild Bill Hickok. (Will Rogers Gold Medallion Award for Written Western Humor)
Bluster’s Last Stand (Omnibus Edition): The first four volumes in The Memoirs of H.H. Lomax are combined in this Wolfpack Publishing e-book edition. All the initial Lomax editions are available for one low price in this digital anthology.
First Herd to Abilene: Escaping the violence in northwest Arkansas in the aftermath of the Civil War, H.H. Lomax meets Wild Bill Hickok in Springfield, Missouri, and begins a journey that takes the hard-luck Lomax on an adventure that starts with the first cattle drive to Abilene and ultimately ends with the demise of Hickok and Calamity Jane. By accident, Lomax is responsible for Hickok’s legendary gunfight with Davis Tutt. Fearing Hickok will hold a grudge in the aftermath of the shootout, Lomax escapes Springfield and agrees to promote Joseph G. McCoy’s dream of building Abilene into a cattle town by distributing flyers throughout Texas. Near San Antonio he meets a rancher, falls in love with his young cook and agrees to lead the first Texas herd to Abilene. Along the way, he encounters Indians, rabid skunks, flash floods, a stampede and the animosities of three fellow cowboys trying to steal profits from the drive. (Will Rogers Gold Medallion Award for Written Western Humor)
North to Alaska: Twice bitten by the gold bug, first in 1870s Colorado and later in 1890s Alaska Territory, Lomax is swindled out of a mining fortune in Leadville and blamed for an ensuing murder. Two decades later when he’s living under an alias, Lomax’s past and infamous western conman Soapy Smith, who he first met in Leadville, catch up with him as co-owner of a Skagway saloon and opera house. Along the way, Lomax encounters legendary Colorado madam Mattie Silks, noted suffragist Susan B. Anthony, aspiring novelist Jack London, and even a talking dog. To survive his previous missteps and avoid a prison sentence for theft, Lomax must outshoot infamous the Western scam artist Soapy Smith, outwit an unrelenting Wells Fargo investigator and outrun Shotgun Jake Townsend, the greatest frontier assassin who never was. (Will Rogers Silver Medallion Award for Written Western Humor)
Outlaw West of the Pecos: In an ill-fated trip through Texas, H.H. Lomax comes face-to-face with Judge Roy Bean, the worst but most colorful judge in Texas history, and John Wesley Hardin, the worst lawyer in the state and one of the most vicious killers in the Old West. His ill-fated encounters lead him to help stage the most bizarre heavyweight championship in history. In between, he literally cleans up the streets of El Paso with a little help from his Texas Ranger brother.
Call of the Wilde: Coming in 2023, H.H. Lomax pairs up with Oscar Wilde in the most unlikely partnership in the history of the American West and English literature.
Preston Lewis is the Spur Award-winning author of 40 westerns, historical novels, juvenile books, and memoirs. He has received national awards for his novels, articles, short stories, and humor.
In 2021 he was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters for his literary accomplishments. Lewis is past president of Western Writers of America and the West Texas Historical Association.
His historical novel Blood of Texas on the Texas Revolution earned a Spur Award as did his True West article on the Battle of Yellow House Canyon. He developed the Memoirs of H.H. Lomax series, which includes two Spur finalists and a Will Rogers Gold Medallion Award for western humor for his novel Bluster’s Last Stand on the battle of Little Big Horn. His comic western The Fleecing of Fort Griffin and two of his YA novels have won Elmer Kelton Awards for best creative work on West Texas from the West Texas Historical Association.
He began his writing career working for Texas daily newspapers in Abilene, Waco, Orange and Lubbock before going into university administration. During his 35-year career in higher education, he directed communications and marketing offices at Texas Tech University, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, and Angelo State University.
Lewis holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Baylor University and master’s degrees from Ohio State in journalism and Angelo State in history. He lives in San Angelo with his wife, Harriet.
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