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DESERT HEAT, DESERT COLD AND OTHER TALES OF THE WEST is a collection of seventeen short stories.
No matter the challenge or adversity, Chalie Steel�s protagonists attempt to do what is right. They are caught in disputes beyond their control and must utilize inner strength and faith as they struggle for survival. Set mostly in the Front Range of the Colorado Mountains with its searing heat, numbing cold, limitless sky, endless prairie, and rising peaks--the land itself becomes a character. The stories are thrilling and unforgettable. When the last page is turned the reader will be disappointed that the journey has ended.
|Publisher:||Condor Publishing Company, Incorporated|
|Edition description:||CONDOR PUBLISHING INC|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.50(d)|
What People are Saying About This
Charlie Steel�s ease with words and talent in creating characters makes his latest collection of short stories a masterpiece. Throughout this easy read, Steel brings his characters alive and endears them to our hearts. In doing so, Steel gives us all a reprieve----a welcome escape---from the trials of our own lives. --(Janis Stein, Assistant Editor, The Lakeshore Guardian)
Television in its infancy was a black and white campfire in a box. Western stories were told, sometimes to four generations seated in front of those home fires. Thirty-two different Western Shows aired each week during the 50's and 60's. "Wagon Train" alone told 284 stories over an eight year span. Charlie Steel's stories are much like the ones told on "Wagon Train." They tell of a new self-reliant, freedom loving creature-The American. My imagination was invited by Charlie Steel's stories to join the adventures. I gladly accepted the invitation! (Denny "Scott" Miller, Motion Picture and Television Actor/Author)
At the base of Greenhorn Mountain in Southern Colorado, a prolific writer pounds the keys. For over 40 years, celebrated western author, Charlie Steel, has poured out his heart and soul in the form of the written word. Charlie Steel can write, no doubt about it. Just take a look between the covers of his newest book, Desert Heat, Desert Cold and Other Tales of the West.
You will find no truer testament of a man who has mastered his craft, than with the title story of this book, Desert Heat, Desert Cold. Its main character, Sandy, beaten, robbed, and left to die, is determined to turn the tables on his would be killers. The story takes you on a trek across a hot and arid desert. The details of Sandy�s slow and painful journey will leave you searching for a tall glass of cool water.
From the desert�s scorching heat, to the bitter cold of a raging winter storm, in the story Mountain Man Comes Home, Mike Pardee learns that �Grass is not always sweeter on the other side of the fence� as he finds that life in town, married to a woman who doesn�t love him back, is more than he can take. Eventually heading back to his rustic mountain cabin, he finds what he had been searching for, in the middle of a blinding snowstorm.
Something in the Woodpile is a humorous tale about a packrat going about his business, as only packrats tend to do. When small, but important objects begin to come up missing, the accusations fly. It brings to light the ease we have as humans to accuse others when things are not as they should be, even before we have all the facts, and as you shall see, sometimes with disastrous consequences.
All of the stories are well thought out and masterfully written. I found them very enjoyable and easy to read. The book held my attention from the first page to the last, and with me, that�s not always an easy thing to do.
Throughout this book I found a central theme that bound these stories together as a single unit. It�s the theme of relationships. How we treat each other, react to each other, and especially how we handle ourselves and our relationships as we deal with unusual situations and the pressures of everyday life.
Charlie Steel keeps it interesting, keeps it lively, and most of all, he keeps it entertaining. If you enjoy reading western short stories as much as I do, you�ll enjoy Desert Heat, Desert Cold and Other Tales of the West. --( Scott Gese, publisher, Rope and Wire) Book Review 3: WWA (Western Writers of America) member Steel offers seventeen short stories in this new anthology, with evocative silhouette illustrations by Gail Heath. Eight of the tales appear here for the first time, four have appeared previously in the National Congress of Old West Shootists� publication The Shootist, two each in The Lakeshore Guardian of Michigan and the on-line magazine Rope and Wire, and one in the late, lamented Storyteller: Canada�s Short Story Magazine. The stories range from entertaining to memorable to the kind that stick in your craw�this reviewer is not precisely sure where his craw is located, but when a story gets stuck there, he knows that it�s stuck, and that�s certainly true with one like Steel�s �The Edge,� among others. Steel lists his masters as James Oliver Curwood, Zane Grey, Max Brand, L�Amour, and Jack London, but to this reviewer, there�s more than a touch of Ambrose Bierce in some of the shorter tales---and I�m hardly one to complain about that! There�s also just as much of the round-the-campfire flavor to these yarns as there is of the old pulps----and either quality is a high recommendation, from my side of the fire. ROUNDUP MAGAZINE (WWA publication) RJP
Western author and �Tale Weaver Extraordinaire� Charlie Steel dedicates his volume of short stories, Desert Heat, Desert Cold and Other Tales of the West, to the memory of those writers who inspired him. Steel is, himself, a worthy representative of the tradition of Zane Grey, James Oliver Curwood and Jack London. If you�re looking for stories that are clean, hard hitting, varied, and which may even move you, look no farther than this collection by Steel.
The author�s unembellished style of storytelling will have you quickly turning pages, certain of what he�s saying but unsure of how things will end. Steel also draws inspiration from the western matinees that those of us old enough to remember names like Gene Autry and Hopalong Cassidy will recall. His characters often speak in the manner of the old-time double bill features of the Saturday afternoons of our childhoods. These are stories that reflect both the history and the mythology of the old west.
There are stories here that evoke the theme of survival. Desert Heat, Desert Cold and Boy on the Desert are tales of single individuals attempting only to stay alive in a harsh, southwestern landscape. Death Comes in the Afternoon may remind you of Shane or High Noon in its story of an ordinary man facing extraordinary odds.
Not all of Steel�s stories rely on the cowboy or gunfighter for inspiration. This writer found Kid on the Run to be a moving tale, reminding him of a story by O�Henry. Hot Desert, Hot Rock, Hot Snake is a simple narrative that reveals the existential reality of a brutal landscape.
In this relatively slender volume of stories, Steel accomplishes a lot. He provides us with seventeen portraits of the old west in its realities and its mythologies. --( Rick McGaw, Chairperson, Humanities Division, Delta College)
Television in its infancy was a black and white campfire in a box. Western stories were told, sometimes to four generations seated in front of those home fires. Thirty-two different Western Shows aired each week during the 50�s and 60�s. �Wagon Train� alone told 284 stories over an eight year span. Charlie Steel�s stories are much like the ones told on �Wagon Train.� They tell of a new self-reliant, freedom loving creature---The American. My imagination was invited by Charlie Steel�s stories to join the adventures. I gladly accepted the invitation! --(Denny �Scott� Miller, Motion Picture and Television Actor/Author)