Sunday, March 30, 2014

Civil War and Dawn Drums in the News

Robert Walton's Dawn Drums, a Civil War historical novel, is perfectly timed for the upcoming sesquicentennial celebrations of the Civil War.

As Walton so aptly explains, "May of 1864 was perhaps the Civil War's most terrible month. Dawn Drums begins at this crucial time and its action coincides closely with the sesquicentennial of the events it depicts."

Far more "historical" than any historical novel I've ever read, Dawn Drums literally is an eye-opener to the most brutal of all wars that Americans have ever fought. Newly released information suggests that casualties were far greater than the 600,000 usually cited.

The book, originally intended for young adult readers and up, has proven to be a huge success with both the young adult and adult reader. Already several schools in California are using the book in the classroom. The Dawn Drums website even has teaching activities to accompany the book. You can find all this information and more at Walton's blog:

This is a book for all ages. Everyone in our office found Dawn Drums positively riveting, and trust me when I say we're no spring chickens. I personally learned more about the Civil War in this book than I ever ever learned in school where we spent perhaps 30 minutes on the subject. Gettysburg, Spotsylvania, and places like these were just words and had no meaning until I read Walton's book. I now "get it." This war was, indeed, the worst war this country has ever waged.


Announced late last year, and no surprise to anyone, Moonlight Mesa will publish only two books this year.
Gunslinger Justice, Jere D. James' final book in the Jake Silver series, will be released later this fall.

New to the calendar is a nonfiction travel/adventure book. "I hope to have it in print by Gold Rush of 2015," the publisher said. "It's going to be really, really close. To be honest, I'm not sure we'll make it. This will be a multi-volume undertaking, though, so we need to get off to a good, solid start."

Monday, January 6, 2014

Getting a Handle on Herpes with Vitamin C

Even though we almost exclusively blog about our Western titles, we do have other titles in print, and a most remarkable one is by P.A. Arnold who wrote Getting a Handle on Herpes.

How we came to publish this small ebook is a long story, but we did, and we are happy we did. When the author approached me with the project, my immediate reaction was no, not for us, but because she was such a kindly older woman I gave her manuscript a perusal, and I was blown away by what she'd written.

Arnold, a "woman of age," as she describes herself, has written not just an informative book about genital herpes, but an engaging, positive, and somewhat uplifting book.

Arnold deals with every aspect of genital herpes, from what exactly a virus is, to how it is spread (and she has documentation showing it is not always and only through sexual contact as almost all doctors insist) and various protocols for treating this condition. She is wonderful at encouraging the reader to keep the "disease" in perspective and to keep a positive attitude.

But Arnold goes way beyond this. The author quotes extensively from authors such as Dr. Thomas Levy (now considered by many to be the leading vitamin C guru in the country), Linus Pauling, a former leading expert on vitamin C therapy, and Dr. Eric Braverman (The Healing Nutrients Within).

The book, sometimes humorous but always sincere, discusses how each person may have to spend some time finding their own treatment protocol. While it is tempting to rush from one promising product advertised on the web to another, she feels the time a person spends figuring out what truly works for them is invaluable. She also discusses how to accept the condition and not let it take control of your life and happiness.

Arnold's goal in writing the book was not monetary. She wanted us to "give the book away," but we did have substantial costs in putting the book out (for one thing I had to buy and read all the books that Arnold references, plus pay for the cover design, editing, etc.) but we did agree to charge only a nominal fee. I suspected it would take years to get our money back. Was I ever wrong. Even at $3.95 we had recouped our expenses within the first quarter of the book's release.

You see, it turns out that 1 out of 4 women carry the genital herpes virus, and about 1 out of 7 men (some statistics say 1 out of 5 men). That's a lot of people, many of whom have no idea they are carrying and unwittingly spreading the virus. For many women, their first pregnancy is a shocker when their hormones rapidly change, giving the herpes virus a chance to raise its ugly head. For others, menopause is the welcoming time. The point is, a person can have herpes for decades and not know, yet be "shedding" the virus regularly.

Some people, obviously, discover they have herpes very soon after a sexual encounter. Many are very young and struggle with horrible depression and low self-esteem because of it. This is not necessary.

Arnold herself has not had a herpes outbreak in many years. Ultimately she started taking large doses of vitamin C every single day. She did this for two years and remained herpes free. Eventually her body began to rebel against such large doses of the vitamin and she was forced to cut back. She still takes the vitamin, between 2 and 4 grams per day, but spreads it throughout the day and has had no trouble...and no outbreaks. She works to keep stress at a minimum, since stress is a major cause of outbreaks. She eats well, exercises, and basically takes good care of herself. Her herpes has remained dormant. She admits her protocol may not work for everyone, but she believes that everyone can find the right treatment that will work for them.

Getting a Handle on Herpes is available in all e-reader formats for $3.95. If you have genital herpes, or you know someone who does, we think it's well worth your time to take a look at what Arnold has to say. She discusses many options a person may never have considered.

It is important to note that Arnold never advocates a specific remedy. She is upfront about the fact that she is not a medical practitioner. She simply shares with readers valuable ideas she has garnered from many resources. She hopes the ideas she presents will spur readers into exploring on their own and finding a natural way of treating their own herpes.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

New Award-Winning Titles, Mule Days, Throat Bacteria & Resolutions

Oh my gosh! It's been two months since anyone around here has blogged. I guess that "anyone around here" is me, since currently I am "staff-less."

Some Gave All, J.R. Sanders' terrific new nonfiction/historical book about fourteen lawmen in the old West who "died with their boots on" is finally, at long last, actually available. The book can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Sanders' website, and the Moonlight Mesa Associates website.


What with the upcoming Annual Boyd Ranch Mule Ride that I am in charge of, and the recent and unexpected tragic death of my beautiful mule, Bouquet, my time and attention has been largely focused on mules in one fashion or another.

I will not go into detail regarding Bouquet's death from colic. Suffice it to say it was the most horrible experience I think I've ever had. Anyone who has had a mule or horse die of colic will readily understand. Although mules seldom colic, they obviously do. The unfortunate thing about mules, however, is they are so stoic, that by the time they show pain, it is often too late to save them. Enough said. I need to move forward.

Brr. It's gonna be cold in Missouri. 
Pretty Reba
December 26 my husband and I are heading for Belle, Missouri, where I'm hoping to buy another mule: Reba. She is a nine-year old molly and seems like she will be a good fit for me. Meanwhile, during all this turmoil and drama, I have been recovering (I hope) from some sort of  bacterial throat infection I picked up either en route to Mexico or after landing there. It's rather shocking to be sick, since I never am. Anyone else have trouble with flying and getting sick?

We returned from our two-week trip four days early since I was scheduled for eye surgery on December 11 to have a fast-growing, rather large, obnoxious cataract removed. I wanted to make sure I was well. (Too much time on that sailboat out on the ocean using a sextant for navigation most likely brought on the cataract, although I think age may contribute, but I hate to admit that.) Unfortunately I had to cancel the surgery because of the excess coughing I was doing due to this "crud" I had attracted.

After two weeks on Augmentin, I still have not fully recovered, so I have resumed taking copious amounts of vitamin C. It's rather late in the game to resume the vitamin C routine, but better late than never I suppose. I also ordered some liquid Olive Leaf Oil. Hope it tastes better than the capsules that I have to break open and mix with juice since I have a choking phobia with pills. Ah me.


Although I did no events over the summer, I resumed doing events in November, beginning with the Bluegrass Festival here in Wickenburg; then I was invited to do the Cowboy Poetry Event, which proved to be very successful for sales. I've also consigned three titles to the Arizona National Livestock Show in Phoenix:  Casey Tibbs - Born to Ride by Rusty Richards; Developing the Art of Equine Communication by C.L. "Lee" Anderson, and Sam's Desert Adventure, by Jonah Arizona.


Sam's Desert Adventure, by the way, won FIRST PLACE IN THE ARIZONA AUTHORS LITERARY CONTEST in Children's Literature! Right on! In addition, the book was a finalist in the New Mexico Book Awards.

Lee Anderson's Developing the Art of Equine Communication was also a finalist in the New Mexico Book Awards.

2014 GOALS:

Changing gears here (I promise I won't whine anymore), most of my newsletter readers know by now that I will not be publishing any books in 2014 with the exception of the FINAL Jake Silver western by Jere D. James. It's even sitting on my desk, but I can't begin working on it until I get my new eyeball.

My goal in 2014 is to figure out some affordable marketing tactics to help spur sales of the amazingly great books we have in print. At least half of our books are award-winning titles and they should be selling in copious amounts. I should probably make a goal to get back to blogging more often, too!

In the meanwhile, please stay well and have a MERRY MERRY and HAPPY HAPPY!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Nonfiction Historical Western, Some Gave All, a Must Read for Western Readers

J.R. Sanders' nonfiction, historical western, Some Gave All, will be released in November according to publisher Becky Coffield. The book has been long in coming, but Coffield feels the wait will have been well worthwhile. "Sanders has put a tremendous amount of work and research into this project, and it shows. It is, quite simply, the best book of its type that I've ever read," Coffield said.

Meanwhile, the first official review of the book is in, written by Tom J. for

Nonfiction Historical Western a Must Read for Western Readers

J.R. Sanders’ Some Gave All, a nonfiction historical western, is in a class of its own. Readers of history, biography, and nonfiction about the old-west will find the book absolutely spellbinding.

Sanders has selected relatively forgotten old-west lawmen who “died with their boots on” in the line of duty from 1879 to 1910. As the book cover says, “They risked it all, and paid it all.” Each chapter focuses on a particular lawman and the outlaw(s) who brought about his demise. These stories are fascinating, and Sanders has done extensive research here. The author includes Police Officer Humphrey R. Symons, Deputy Sheriff Cassius M. Hollister, U.S. Marshal Harrington Lee Gosling, Detective John William Gilley, City Marshal James F. Isbell, Sheriff John Jasper Bogard, Deputy Sheriff Daniel Carlyle Cameron, Deputy Sheriff Joseph John Lerri, Deputy Sheriff Charles Milton White, Deputy Sheriff George Clinton Woodsum, Constable Gustave Adolph Koch, Sheriff John Henry Dillingham, Special Agent David Frank Calhoun, and City Marshal John Morgan Rennix. The officers served across the West, from Nevada, to Colorado, Kansas, Texas, California, and even as far east as Missouri.

Equally as fascinating as the stories of the lawmen are the entrancing accounts of the criminals who killed them. There is absolutely not a dull character or calamity in the book.

Sanders’ writing is highly engaging. Each chapter begins differently and immediately draws the reader in. In addition, the trade paperback volume contains over 40 illustrations that add so much impact to the stories. The illustrations bring an intensity and reality to the murderous accounts that one might not otherwise experience.

It’s extremely difficult to choose just one favorite from among the accounts Sanders gives the reader. Each lawman’s death is very disturbing. Yet an excitement pervades the book as one reads. To know the details of real-life killers and lawmen, with no romanticizing as one would find in tales of Hickok, Masterson, Earp, et al, provides quite an experience. Because of Sanders’ attention to detail, readers may feel that they personally know the characters in this book.

Some Gave All is a book that will be around for years to come. It is rare to find a nonfiction/historical/biographical book about the West that is heavily researched and not just a rehashing of Billy the Kid, Pat Garretson, Wyatt Earp and other over-indulged characters. Sanders’ book is real. True. These were real men, often beloved in their communities, who died in shocking, unpredictable ways – each death a tragic loss.

 Tom Jerome

Friday, October 4, 2013

Back from the Dead Review by Barbra Lee

Jere D. James has written yet another winner with Back from the Dead, the fifth book in the Jake Silver Adventure Series.

How can an author continue to get better with each book? Most authors start off with a bang, produce a good book or two, but inevitably put out a lemon. No doubt part of this stems from the pressure to keep producing. Unfortunately, unless the word gets out, the bad publication often sells well because of the author’s previous work. Not so with Jere D. James, the author of the astounding Jake Silver Adventure Series. Every book in the Jake Silver series has been completely unique, well-written, riveting and highly entertaining. James’ books are unlike any other westerns on the market. There is nothing ho-hum or boring about them. The characters are original, the plots are completely innovative, and the endings are unparalleled cliff-hangers.

James uses the same characters in every book, although each book introduces new ones, too. To have the best experience with this author, it’s best to start with book one, Saving Tom Black, and work through the series: Apache, Canyon of Death, High Country Killers, Back from the Dead, and the forthcoming Gunslinger Justice.

James’ latest book, Back from the Dead, is utterly and absolutely different than any of the previous four books, each of which takes place in a different location in Arizona. The setting for Back from the Dead is Baja California, Mexico. Jake Silver and Richard Moody sail, ride and shoot their way into the heart of Baja to rescue two captive women. In the process, a new and highly engaging character is introduced - the murderous bandit Diego del Fuentes. One can only hope that Fuentes will appear in the next, and last, Jake Silver book Gunslinger Justice.

No matter how one thinks things are going to go, James never goes that route with his plots. The twists and turns that James put in this latest novel are highly inventive.

The story begins with the trial of Richard Moody for the shooting death of Gunner McGraw, which is where book four in the series, High Country Killers, ends. But the plot quickly gets complicated when Moody is asked to be a deputy sheriff while Silver is recovering from being backshot by McGraw. Even more intriguing, is the introduction of Vincent Cooper, a PI from Chicago and a “friend” of sorts of Moody’s who shows up in Prescott. Of course, the villain in several books, Jeremiah Atkinson, appears as villainous and cunning as ever.

James wastes no time in moving his plots along, sometimes at a whirlwind pace, and Back from the Dead may be the fastest paced novel of any of his books. No matter, it seems the book, a scrumptious 246 pages, ends all too soon.

This is an engaging, exhilarating read. Highly recommended.

Barbra Lee, 
EzineArticles Author

Sunday, August 4, 2013



Moonlight Mesa Publisher, Becky Coffield, dropped a totally unexpected  bombshell August 1st when she announced that the publishing company will no longer be accepting ANY new manuscripts.

“We will only be publishing works by Jere D. James," the publisher said. “Those books sell well, and at this point Jere is producing a book a year. Should the author stop doing so, odds are we will not pick up another author.”

Coffield, the author of the award-winning Life Was a Cabaret, the award-winning suspense Northern Escape, the mystery Northern Conspiracy, and the international thriller Death in the Desert, would like to return to her own writing. Coffield has also won many other awards for fiction  as well as nonfiction short works.

“It’s true I’d like to get back to my own writing. I started this business more as a hobby, but it has turned into a full time job,” she said. “I don’t want a full-time job at my age. I’d like more time to write, paint, ride my mule, sail and do other activities I love doing. Plus, I’d really like to become more involved with my community.”

The publisher said the company would definitely keep its current titles in print, and would still do some events. “I’m not abandoning my current authors,” Coffield said. “If anything I’ll have a bit more time to spend on their projects. The bottom line is I can’t keep sitting at my computer 10 hours a day.  Life is short and getting shorter.”

J.R. Sanders’ latest work, Some Gave All, will be the last book that Coffield publishes other than Jere D. James’ forthcoming novels. 

“We have fabulous titles in print,” Coffield said. “I am so very proud of all of them. This is no reflection on my authors or their works. It’s a reflection on my age if anything. And, neither of my sons seems terribly interested in carrying on the business, so I don’t really want to keep creating a job for myself. I’m supposed to be retired!!”

Renee will continue to do the newsletter and most of the blogs, and Tom will continue to coordinate events and do some shipping. Vin Libassi will continue to do the covers, and Paula will still edit, so not a lot changes..."just the number of hours I'm on the computer and the number of books we publish. I will train our acquisition editor to handle orders and invoicing so I can leave town without being tied to my computer with a lifeline,” Coffield added.
Becky's Cape Dory 25, Lucky Me!

Coffield also plans to take up competitive rowing and wants to become adept at single-handling her sailboat, Lucky Me, a Cape Dory 25.

"If we were making millions of dollars I probably wouldn't decide to do this. We do okay, but at this point my time is more valuable to me. I've given this a lot of thought. This is what I need to do."

Friday, July 19, 2013

A Publisher's Scintillating, Secret Life

Another summer of a long list of things to accomplish at Moonlight Mesa Associates while my miniature staff is spread out around the continent and I sweat it out here in Arizona. Tom is in Oregon for the summer. Renee’s in Montana enjoying her cowboy; my other guy is in Phoenix, but preparing to go for a month-long stint in Sheriff Arpaio’s tent city. Naughty boy. My acquisition man is in Puerto Vallarta.

The problem with all of this, is that I can’t get to let me make corrections to my last entry. So, “writers” appear as riders among many other errors. I can blame my Dell computer…or hughes.worst satellite service…or someone out there. Plus, I never did answer the question I set out to answer.

Okay, back to business. My goal this summer was to establish a new routine for myself, but I’m off to a monumentally rocky start. Still, I figure if I do something for two or three months then it will be a solid habit, and when everyone returns, it won’t faze me because I’ll have all these new habits firmly established and will carry on. This is a grand idea, but fraught with many frailties – or something like that.

For starters, one of my goals was to do my exercising in the morning so I’d be all finished by the time others showed up to work. I’d be relaxed then because one of the top things on my daily to-do list would be finished – my work out. However, I hadn’t counted on injury! Guess what? I started a new program far beyond my abilities. It’s called Crossfit, and I’ve now screwed up my hip joints so badly from doing excessive numbers of squats, I only hope I won’t be in a wheel chair. Well, I exaggerate, but still, it’s the first time I’ve thought about AGE, and particularly MY AGE, when it comes to exercise. I’ve been largely inactive for over a month now because of my determination to try to train like I’m in my 20s and not decades older than that – well, I seem to be able to paddleboard and kayak okay, but that’s it. Then there’s the sciatica…I get an attack every ten years due to a fall from my horse about 20 years ago.

Next, I planned to spend time “meditating” every morning. And how’s that going? Not so well. My mind is filled with too much gibberish. Besides, I need my coffee first thing, and then there are the mules to feed and poop to scoop, a hen to tend to, and a kitty to pet, not to mention the dog and his deep emotional needs. Gotta water the new cactus, too.

Another goal I had was to start preparing for bed EARLIER at night, so I could actually still be conscious enough to take a shower, irrigate my teeth, put potions on my face, and lounge in bed reading. There’s still potential for this one, I think.

Lastly, I promised I’d quit snacking on things like CHIPS…. I have gone three nights now chip free. Yippee. Maybe there’s hope.

Meanwhile, I also had work goals…I’m not even close yet to accomplishing those, but now that everyone is GONE for the summer, I think I stand a fighting chance. There’s Robert’s museum letters to get out; Jere’s manuscript to line edit; John’s manuscript to proofread before I can line edit; Jere’s book to layout and format…the list goes on and on. That doesn’t include the mule articles I need to write. But what did I spend most of the day doing? Trying to figure out how to print envelopes on a HP Deskjet 3050A. After about 60 envelopes of failure, I just decided to hand address the little bastards. Where’s Renee when I need her?

Overall, life is good. I’ll recover and resume my morning exercise routine (just not Crossfit), I’ll probably never meditate worth a damn, but I’ll definitely get ready for bed earlier. In fact, that’s what I’m going to do now!

Our July newsletter is now available, by the way. If you'd like to find out about author updates and projects, let me know and we'll send you a FREE copy!