Outlaw West of the Pecos – #NewRelease from Preston Lewis @LoneStarLit

OUTLAW WEST OF THE PECOS
An H.H. Lomax Western, Book 7
by
PRESTON LEWIS
Western / Humor / Historical Fiction
Publisher: Wolfpack Publishing

Date of Publication: January 4, 2022
Number of Pages: 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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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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In this seventh book in the H.H. Lomax series, Henry has been caught cheating in a card game aboard the Southern Pacific Railroad. When the men he cheated dangle him from a railroad car over the high bridge, Lomax is sure he is about to meet his maker. With five hundred dollars hidden in his boots, he struggles to keep his feet in them while his head bumps the rails. Then, when the train stops at the tiny town of Langtry, his troubles multiply.
Judge Roy Bean has established quite a reputation for administering his own brand of justice, and Lomax finds himself on the receiving end of that justice, which includes being marched through town naked and a shotgun wedding to a woman who speaks no English. That is after the good judge relieves him of all his money for various fines.

That is where this story begins.

During his mandated stay in Langtry, Lomax becomes partners with Bean’s caged bear, Bruno, better known as Judge Roy Bear. He’s locked in the cage with the bear to entertain train passengers entering the Jersey Lilly, the famed judge’s bar. And that’s not all. In his desire to entertain train passengers when Bruno is too tired, the judge forces Lomax to play the notorious and fictitious outlaw Claude Bawls, better-known as Gringo Bandito. Then Bean commissions Lomax to find someone in El Paso who will write his life story after he discovers Lomax has met Oscar Wilde, the poet.

I won’t even attempt to go into everything that happens to H.H. Lomax in this story. He reminds me of a cat that keeps landing on its feet no matter how far it is dropped. With other historical characters, John Wesley Hardin, John Selman, and Bat Masterson, there are lots of colorful encounters. Then the story evolves around a prizefight for a world championship boxing match that every lawmaker in the country refuses to allow.

I love some of the author’s phrases and descriptions. For instance, this one: “It was the summer of 1895, and Texas had pretended it was a civilized state, passing the laws restricting the carry of guns and other weapons and acting as if it was finally a respectable place to live. It wasn’t before, and it wasn’t then…”
And this: “They argued in language that would’ve made the devil blush, though I suspect he was too scared to ever set foot in El Paso.”

And when Lomax lands a job with the help of his Texas Ranger brother, Andy Lomax, he has this to say about scooping manure from the El Paso streets: “That’s why I never cared to farm. Too Much Manure.”

This book is entertaining from start to finish. H.H. Lomax is a character I won’t soon forget. And even though it is a book in a series, it is completely standalone. There were laugh-out-loud moments as well as harrowing situations. The author did a fantastic job of painting a vivid picture of the wild west and what could be conceived as believable situations for many of its infamous characters. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes historical fiction with laugh-out-loud humor.

25 thoughts on “Outlaw West of the Pecos – #NewRelease from Preston Lewis @LoneStarLit

  1. Your reviews are so enthusiastic and ALWAYS make me want to go out and get a book and read it RIGHT NOW! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. LOVE Lomax books!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It sounds like a lot of fun, Jan. I’m familiar with Preston Lewis from his book Fort Griffin. I bought the Kindle copy when it came out, then loved it so much, I had to buy the paperback too. A hysterical and clever read.

    He’s such a talented author. I’m going to have to look into Outlaw West of the Pecos. Preston’s work is certainly unique and enjoyable. Great share, Jan!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have to agree with you, Mae. Preston Lewis is a talented author. It’s not easy to write humor, but he has it down in spades. This was such a fun book. It was a nice distraction from the heaviness of the world. Thanks for adding your comment!

      Like

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