Friday, September 13, 2019

Deluge Reviewed at

A First-Order Disaster Story About an Atmospheric River

It’s to his credit that he focuses his attention on the human element of the deluge, rather than going all technical on the reader. We read as citizens, law enforcement, academia, politicians and outlaw gangs deal with the deluge. In the process, Best makes this a compelling—indeed frightening—story. Again and again I was impressed with Best’s characterizations and grasp of how profoundly a storm such as this can disrupt life. The potential power of water stayed with me for days. This is a highly recommended natural disaster thriller, written with acute attention to reality and little, if any, needless melodramatics.
Storms, politics and street gangs pummel California ... and that's not the scary part.

Monday, September 9, 2019

No Peace, A Steve Dancy Tale — Available Today
No Peace, A Steve Dancy Tale

Available today in paperback (6X9 Trade Paperback) and for Kindles.


“Stay put. You’re not leaving until I see my wife. Bring her to the door.”
“Hell, she’s fine. I was just trying to rattle you. You know how it is.”
“No, I don’t know how it is. That’s why I want to see her.”
“Which one’s your wife?” he asked tentatively.
“The older one,” I answered automatically, thinking only of Virginia and Jenny.
He laughed. “That old hag. I thought she might be your mother. Hell, she’s right as rain.”
I flipped my rifle up, grabbed the end of the barrel, and rammed the butt as hard as I could into the man’s face. I hit him square on the bridge of his nose, and I heard the cartilage crushed into his skull. I pulled back to hit him again, when I noticed the other men were going for their guns. Damn it. I dropped the rifle and went for my pistol, hitting the wall with my shoulder to get behind the collapsing man I had just hit. The first shot rang out from the next man on my side of the hall. I grabbed the lapels of the man I had bludgeoned and tried to pull him in front of me. I saw other muzzle flashes, one from my side of the hall and two from the men on Sharp’s side. I jerked my human shield away from the wall and extended my arm behind his head, firing at the second man on my side. I shot him three times before I shifted my attention to the other men. Both remained standing but writhed in pain. I shot them both again.
If the outdoor shooting had been noisy and hazy, the confines of the hallway made this fight ten times worse. If Virginia opened the door to see what was happening, I would never see her through the gun smoke. My ears rang, my eyes stung, and my throat felt raspy. The battle seemed like it had lasted for at least ten minutes, but I knew that was an illusion. The fight had lasted under five seconds.
I glanced behind me and felt relief to see Sharp still standing. I surveyed our assailants. None were dead yet, but three of them would die soon. I still held up the man I had clubbed. His bloody face appeared lifeless. Then I felt my shirtfront getting wet. Had I been shot? I let go of the body, and it fell to the floor. My entire front was soaked in blood. I ran my hand over my stomach and felt a wound. I probed a hole in my shirt with my finger and could feel a bullet just inside my skin. That didn’t make sense. Then I reexamined the man on the floor. He had been shot at least twice. I kicked him over with my foot. One exit wound. Damn. The bullet had spent its energy passing through his body, or at least most of its energy. I began to feel pain in my stomach.
 Someone put his hand on my shoulder and turned me around. Out of fear or shock, I almost fired my Colt but recognized Sharp at the last moment. I wasn’t reacting right. What was happening? My stomach hurt like hell, and Sharp’s mouth was moving, but I couldn’t hear what he was saying. I felt wobbly. Is this what it was like to get shot? I didn’t know. I didn’t know because I always won my gunfights.
My legs felt weak, and I knew Sharp was holding me up. I was passing out.

james d. best, action adventure novels
Honest Westerns. Filled with dishonest characters.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Author Interview at

Today, NFReads published my author interview. They ask good questions, so if you want to know my dark secrets, take a gander. Just kidding. I kept my darkest secrets in a closet under two tons of rubbish.

P.S. Don't forget to pre-order No Peace, A Steve Dancy Tale

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

No Peace, A Steve Dancy Tale

western novels western book
Publication Date, September 9, 2019

After marriage, Steve Dancy has quietly settled in San Diego. He can hardly remember his days of wanderlust, and he’s grateful to have left behind the violence of a raw frontier. In a celebratory mood, Steve invites his mother to a meet her new grandchild in a chic resort in Monterey, California. With the delivery of a handwritten note, his world suddenly reverts to the savagery of his bygone days.
There will be no peace.
Honest westerns filled with dishonest characters.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Coming soon!

western fiction historical novel
Honest Westerns. Filled with Dishonest Characters

We've selected our book cover for No Peace. We chose this one out of a set of six prototypes. As you can see, the photo is watermarked, but I have since bought a use license. All that remains is the final art work. Getting close.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

How to get documents to your Kindle

One of the people who requested a free Steve Dancy short story (See the box to the right) asked if there was a way to get it transferred to her Kindle. I've been transferring documents to my Kindle forever, so I forgot that some people don't know it's possible. Every Kindle has an email address associated with it that can be used to get almost any kind of text document onto your device.

It's a two-step process:

1. Authorize the sending email address

This step safeguards your device. No one can upload to your Kindle without prior approval. Go to "Your Digital Contend and Devices under "Accounts and Lists." Then select "Preferences." Under "Personal Document Setting" you can add approved sender email addresses.

2. Attach a file to an email and send it to the Kindle email address

That's it. Before retiring, my assistant sent work documents to my kindle because I found it easier to read large documents on my Kindle rather than on my PC. It also works with a Kindle app on a phone or pad.

P.S. I don't want to know your Kindle address, so I'll send the free short story as an MS Word document that you can then transfer to your Kindle.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Point of View Shift

Stories are told from a point of view (POV) and I prefer a predictable POV. Within a story, I find sudden shifts jarring.
Jarring bad, keeping the reader in the story good.
The most predictable POV is one that never changes throughout the course of the novel. All seven Steve Dancy Tales are written from Steve’s POV in first person. My Best Thrillers never change POV either, but the stories are told in third person. The advantage of a single POV is that the reader develops a closer relationship with the protagonist. Another plus is that the reader is pulled through the story at the same pace and with the same information as the protagonist, which helps the reader participate in the story.
A single POV doesn’t always help the story, however. In Tempest at Dawn, I alternate POV between Roger Sherman and James Madison. This allows me to portray the conflicts at the Constitutional Convention as the two warring camps strategize and maneuver against each other.
What brought all this to mind was an offer I recently made to give away one of my Steve Dancy short stories. (See the box to the top right.) When I was invited to write this short story for Wanted, A Western Story Collection, I decided to do something different with the project. Captain Joseph McAllen is a recurring character in the Steve Dancy Tales, but we never got inside his head. (You only read the thoughts of the POV character.) I thought it would be fun to tell this story from McAllen’s POV. I think it worked out well, but you can see for yourself by requesting the story.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

No Peace: A Steve Dancy Tale

Available soon
No peace
After marriage, Steve Dancy has quietly settled in San Diego. He can hardly remember his days of wanderlust, and he’s grateful to have left behind the violence of a raw frontier. In a celebratory mood, Steve invites his mother to a meet her new grandchild in a chic resort in Monterey, California. With the delivery of a handwritten note, his world suddenly reverts to the savagery of his bygone days. 
There will be no peace.
New release adventure book
Honest westerns filled with dishonest characters.