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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

New On The Shelf This Week

Having only ever read a couple of books featuring mysteries with a ‘Western’ theme, when this great new series and its interesting author, was introduced to me by the lovely Samantha Lien, from publicity company ‘Roger Charlie’, with the Kindle download being facilitated by the folks at NetGalley, I jumped at the chance to be part of the promotional tour and of course, to dip into the genre again.

To coincide with the book’s official release in September, Shannon has agreed to stop by with a guest post, so watch this space for more details 🙂


Kate Fox is living the dream. She’s married to Grand County Sheriff Ted Conner, the heir to her beloved Nebraska Sandhills cattle ranch, where they live with Kate’s orphaned teenage niece, Carly. With the support of the well-connected Fox Clan, which includes Kate’s eight boisterous and interfering siblings, Ted’s reelection as Grand County Sheriff is virtually assured. That leaves Kate to the solitude and satisfaction of Frog Creek, her own slice of heaven.

One night Kate answers a shattering phone call from Roxy at the Bar J. Carly’s granddad Eldon, owner of the ranch, is dead and Ted has been shot and may never walk again. Kate vows to find the killer. She soon discovers Ted responded so quickly to the scene because he was already at the Bar J . . . in Roxy’s bed. And to add to her woes, Carly has gone missing.

Kate finds out that Eldon was considering selling his ranch to an obscenely rich environmentalist. Some in town hate the idea of an outsider buying up land, others are desperate to sell . . . and some might kill to get their way. As she becomes the victim of several “accidents,” Kate knows she must find the killer before it’s too late. . . .

Clicking on the book’s cover image will link you directly to its Amazon ‘buy’ page.


Image Of Author Shannon Baker

Having grown up with a father who worked in big retail, Shannon’s family moved around frequently, living in California, Colorado, and Missouri. She married a rancher and moved to the Nebraska Sandhills for nearly 20 years, where cattle outnumber people by more than 50:1. After escaping Nebraska, she continued the nomadic life, moving seven times in ten years and while it may seem schizophrenic, it helped to create the incredible western settings in her novels.

Her ‘Nora Abbott’ mystery series, is a fast-paced mix of Hopi Indian mysticism, environmental issues, and murder, set in Flagstaff, AZ, where Shannon lived for several years and worked for The Grand Canyon Trust, a hotbed of environmentalists who, usually, don’t resort to murder.  It was a 2013 finalist in the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards.

Shannon’s latest ‘Kate Fox’ mystery series, will be loved by all fans of character driven stories in a western setting, who will appreciate and enjoy the landscape brought to life in the Nebraska Sandhills.

Shannon has now ‘settled’ in Tucson, Arizona, with her favorite person, and her Weimaraner, Jezebel and whilst a devout fan of the beautiful Arizona sunsets, she still is, and always will be a Nebraska Husker. Go Big Red!

Shannon serves on the board for RMFW, Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and is also
an active member of International Thriller Writers , and Western Writers of America . She has
also been a featured keynote speaker for Friends of CU Libraries .

Because the goal in writing is always to get to the truth of a character, dig inside and find out what drives them and how they feel, I think there is a part of me in every character I write.

For me, the first and foremost challenge is plotting. How can I take all these really cool facts and other things I learn in research and fit them all together and add danger and intrigue and make it all keep building to a heart-stopping conclusion? After that is the sometimes plodding drudgery of getting it out of my head and onto paper (or screen). Now, I’m finding the push of marketing to be a challenge. So to sum this up: Plotting, Plodding, and Pushing.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on Shannon’s website

Follow Shannon on Twitter

Connect with Shannon on Facebook

Picture of an English red post boxMailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house during the last week. Be warned that Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home, where links may be added each week. So why not stop by, leave a link to your own Mailbox Monday post, oh! and don’t forget to leave a comment for our three new joint administrators, after all, we all like to receive them … ‘Mailbox Monday’

Leslie of ‘Under My Apple Tree’

Serena of ‘Savvy Verse & Wit’

Vicki of ‘I’d Rather Be At The Beach’

This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… You never know where that next “must read” book will come from!

Written by

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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    • Hi Kathy,

      The two I have read, were written by the same author, Meg Mims, so I hope that counts as separate entries? 🙂

      Author of ‘Stripped Bare’, Shannon Baker, has also written a series western, however this looks very much like a stand alone novel, so I have every opportunity to decide if I enjoy the genre or not, without needing to become deeply involved in several books.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, even though this is not one of your preferred genres, I really appreciate it 🙂

    • Hi Tracy,

      I am always torn about which way both my reading habits and the path of Fiction Books, should ultimately take.

      I do enjoy an eclectic mix of genres, however I recently find myself focusing more and more on psychological thrillers as my primary choice. Therefore, I wonder should Fiction Books become a specialist site for the genre?

      Whilst I continue to ponder, I am looking forward to increasing my portfolio of Western themed stories and preparing Shannon’s guest post for my slot in September’s book launch 🙂

  • I always liked old western movies and have read a few western-themed books.

    Some of what is described here sounds interesting, but some also makes me a bit hesitant. I’d just have to try the first and see what I thought. I look forward to learning more from the author’s guest post.

    • Hi Kelly,

      I remember that my dad was always big into his western themed books, when we used to visit the local library each Saturday afternoon, so that we could all max out on books for the week. Although back in the day, you were only allowed to borrow a maximum of three books at a time, which never used to last me past Wednesday latest!

      As a family, we always watched western TV shows such as Bonanza and The Virginian and even today, hubbie still enjoys watching the odd Clint Eastwood spaghetti western.

      The modern day western novels have probably moved on a great deal with the nature of their content and strength of characters and storylines and ‘Stripped Bare’ does sound very good, as does the excellent guest post copy Shannon has sent through 🙂

      • To those shows I’ll add Rawhide, Gunsmoke, and Have Gun Will Travel (Palladin). And I can’t fault anyone for enjoying Clint Eastwood films. 😀 I’m a fan.

        • I had forgotten about Rawhide and Gunsmoke. Just in case I checked out Have Gun Will Travel, but I definitely don’t remember that one being on UK television.

          I should have said, that we both enjoy any film with Clint in the starring role, but only hubbie enjoys the westerns!

          If I was 30 years younger, I would also be allowed to drool just a little over Clint’s son Scott 🙂

    • Hi Vicki,

      So do I at first glance. Although I guess if Kate is heir to the ranch and the present owner has just been killed, things might start to look bad for her.

      Add to that her husband has suddenly been shot and injured, just before it comes to light that he is having a fling with a local bar owner and I’m sure Kate is going to have more than a few questions to answer!

      I have read a couple of books with similar premises – outsiders buying up land and property in a small town, with the ensuing tension and feuds that fuels – so it will be interesting to see how Shannon deals with the personal relationships and business scenarios.

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment, I appreciate it 🙂

  • This also isn’t a setting I often read about but it sounds interesting (the most recent fiction I read set in a ranch is Annie Proulx’s short story, “Tits-Up in a Ditch”).

    I also like these posts for the insights writers give into how they approach their work, and how they drew on their background to flesh out the story.

    • Hi Hila,

      I managed to find a copy of ‘Tits-Up in a Ditch’, that I could read online, courtesy of The New York Times, so have just spent a very productive few minutes with that.

      I have never read Annie Proulx’s work before, so had no preconceived expectations. I really like the storyline of this short story and was suitably impressed by the quality and descriptiveness of the writing style.

      I was also impressed that the story came neatly packaged and complete, when so many short stories fail to meet the content I look for – A strong opening, good middle-space story content and a definitive and credible end-game.

      This is definitely an author I would like to read again, so thanks for the introduction 🙂
      Shannon’s guest post will definitely be worth stopping by to read, I can promise you that! I think we are just about agreed on September 7th as a publishing date, although I shall be running a couple more feature posts for ‘Stripped Bare’ before then hopefully.

      Thanks for stopping by, you always leave such interesting comments 🙂

Written by Yvonne