Sunday, October 4, 2015

A peek at Jake

“The Great Liquor War” is available once again and now we are working on “The Making of Jake McTavish”. It was going to be “Jake’s Justice” but there are at least two efforts out there with that title and one of them is a SF or perhaps fantasy which might upset a reader who got something he wasn’t expecting.
Perhaps another four weeks and you’ll be able to read about Jake and what happened to him after he ran away from home in Upper Canada.

Here is a little clipping from Chapter 6

Southern Manitoba, 1887

 It was May 16, 1887 when Egan and four other men rode up to the cabin. Jake had just finished having lunch and was on his way out, intending to ride around the cattle.
Jake was feeling cocky and proud of himself. Of the hundred and fifty cows he first started out with he still had one hundred and four. They had also increased their numbers with sixty-three calves, which was not a great rate of reproduction, but considering that the cows were all malnourished and many had wounds, it was a good number. Besides, other people Jake had talked with had lost far more. Some had lost most of their herds.
When the five men rode up Egan opened his mouth as if he was about to say something but the man riding beside him, the only one with a full beard, spoke first. “You get out of here saddle tramp, and be damn careful what you take with you. Everything here is mine.”
Jake hung his jacket on the saddle horn, turned slowly, jacked a round into his rifle and fired a round under the man’s horse. A dirt geyser peppered the horse’s belly slightly. The mount liked neither the blast nor the geyser, reared slightly and then bucked. By the time it hit the ground Jake had chambered another round and fired again. When Jake fired the third round the horse took off bucking across the prairie. The other four horses were backing, humping, and dancing. Jake’s mount, used to him shooting wolves, coyotes and wounded cattle turned his head to watch the antics of his equine brethren with some interest.
“Damn it, Jake,” Egan complained. “Settle down. I lost everything to him in a poker game. It’s his.”
Jake looked over to see if the other three riders were close enough to hear, then asked, “Everything? What about the pay you promised me? If I’m lookin’ fer a place t’ live, I’d say I’m in a bit of a pickle.”
“Now just settle down and keep quiet. I’ve a plan for that, but don’t interrupt. I expect it’ll take me a few minutes, now that you’ve upset Carter.”
They sat in silence for a few moments as the other men brought their mounts under control.
“As far as that goes, you could have had no place to live over the winter,” Egan pointed out.
“Now that’s true,” Jake admitted. “But I did a damn fine job on these cows an’ figure I deserve some recognition.”
“Well, you won’t get any from Hal Carter. As for me, I certainly appreciate it as I’ve already said. Not that your efforts will help me much now.
“My own fault. I know better than to gamble. I’m a good card player, but when I take chances, I lose. If I had followed my own rules I’d still own this herd.”
The other four riders returned with jumpy, snorting, head-shaking mounts. Jake still held a loaded rifle in his hands so they came up in such a way as to keep Egan between them and the wild man with the weapon.
“Now, Hal, you just take it easy for a minute,” Egan said. “Jake here has managed to make it through the winter with about three quarters of the animals he started out with and that’s a lot better than many have done.”
“Cattle ‘r damn thin,” Carter observed.
“They’re alive,” Jake said.
“That’s enough,” Egan said, glancing at Jake. “He’s right, though, they’re alive. I’ll get back to that in a minute.
“As for you owning everything, Hal, I put up the cattle and horses I own out here. That includes anything wearing an E C connected brand and most of the horses are wearing Bar 2. There are four horses here aren’t wearing either brand. Jake’ll be taking them when he leaves. And there are several other things around here that aren’t wearing those two brands I mentioned, like the food in the cabin.”
Egan paused, turned his gaze and unreadable expression from Hal to Jake, and then looked back at Hal. “What do you say you and your men take a look at the cattle and I’ll help Jake pack up?”
Hal chewed on the ends of his moustache for a moment and then nodded. He let his eyes flicker to the Winchester Jake still held under his arm, nodded again and said, “Reckon that sounds like a good idea.” He turned his mount away and the three other men followed.

 And here is a look at Tracy's work:
Check here out at 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Changing Plans, Driving, Braking, Waiting your turn.

Apparently my title “Jake’s Justice” is not a good idea since there are at least two others out there and may lead to confusion about my novel. The other two have nothing to do with Jake McTavish looking for justice for the rape and murder of his wife. Nor do they appear to be located in the North West Territories in the 1890s although I have read neither of them. Therefore we (I have a couple helping me including Tracy Wandling; looker her up on Google and try one of her services) have to come up with a new title.
More info to follow, such as what the title will be.
I’ve also been working on another new one, same local and era as Jake’s story and, so far, I’m calling that one “Cattle Business.”
A couple of ideas for a cover:

There is seldom a day goes by that I am not cut off by someone as I’m rolling along with a load of Diesel fuel or gasoline; certainly not less than once a week. Therefore I’m posting something I believe important for the health and welfare of all.

Semi-truck driver, Eric Boling Bracey, posted what he labeled as a public service announcement to his Facebook page.
His objective: To show people how difficult it is to stop a semi-truck and what fellow drivers on the road should or should not do when they encounter a large tractor-trailer.
According to Bracey, it takes 414 feet of road for a 10 foot, 44,000 pound semi-truck to come to a complete stop when traveling at 60 miles per hour.
“I’m telling you this so that the next time you’re on the road, on the express way, and you see a truck, don’t pull in front of it and hit your breaks. Because you could die.” Eric explains. “And I would have to live with the fact that I killed somebody.”
Eric also suggests that when a driver is coming off an exit ramp and a semi-truck is coming down the far right lane, either hit the gas or hit the brakes because a truck can’t move, but “you can.”

Remembering these important tips on the road will make the highways and byways safer places for cars and trucks alike.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Review of GLW from Cold Coffee Cafe

Cold Coffee Cafe has just posted their review of The Great Liquor War and I present it here/ The first part, that which appears under the cover picture is the press release . Following that is the review which includes a short excerpt. They also offer a connection to access but an even easier method is to click on the book covers to the right.

 Just Released!
The year is 1885. Hank James has been in Canada several months panning gold from a stream near Roswell, British Columbia. When he hears a prizefight will be held in town, he attends along with everyone for miles around. With a little help from the fight referee, he wins big betting on the fight. Having realized that the life of a miner isn't nearly as romantic or rewarding as he expected, and with advice from the policeman who helped him win money on the fight, Hank goes to Farwell to haul freight with pack horses for contractors building the transcontinental railroad.
The railroad's security, a detachment of North West Mounted Police, have maintained across the West that no liquor be allowed one mile on either side of the rail bed. Provincial authorities disagree. Hank James believes in honoring and repaying his debts, but that doesn't mean he should be involved in a war between the BC Provincial Police and the North West Mounted.
He and his partners have trouble enough running their freight business, they don't need to be caught between competing policemen. They are already stuck between Canada's transcontinental railroad people and the contractors doing the actual construction. While the police are fighting one another, who is looking for criminals, particularly those stealing Hank's horses? Despite a variety of jobs, D.M. McGowan now works as a commercial driver and lives near Mile "0" of the world-famous Alaska Highway.
His stories bring Canadian history to life. "I believe in seeing morality and societal responsibility rewarded. Too much of today's fiction seems to lead into the dark instead of the light."
Great Liqour War by D. M. McGowan is a western pioneering era saga that combines great story telling, true-to-life cowboy experience with US and Canadian history combined with legends from the 1800’s.
The main character Hank James was born in Canada and migrated south into the US with his family after the Civil War. Hank’s father headed towards Oregon in search of a farmstead while protecting his family from raids by outlaws and Indians. They made it as far as Kansas to find that the land was too dry to farm so pushed on to Oregon to find the land was too wet. With Mother Nature as their biggest obstacle and many mouths to feed young Hank James set out on his own. He settled down with his own gold mine claim near Rossland, British Columbia in 1984.
Hank wasn’t afraid of hard work, but he wanted more out of life than to eke out a living on his claim. With tenacity Hank took advantage of the Transcanada Railroad, found some partners and started his own freight business. Life should be good, but where there is industry, technology, commerce and economy, there are criminals.
In all my reviews I quote a passage so readers can get a feel for the authors writing style. I quote from page 37.
“It didn’t take a detective to know that the horse thief had played a little joke on the Provincial Police. Constable Art Hubbard was over six feet tall and probably ten pounds lighter than the one eighty mentioned in the description. Not only was he a long way from round, he was also clean shaven.
I gave Constable Hubbard my story, ending with the recovery of the bay gelding and the description I had from Miller. “An’ the fella called himself Art Hubbard,” I added.
The Constable’s expression didn’t change. He worked his chew around into one cheek and sent a stream of tobacco juice into the waste basket. “Feller with a sense o’ humor,” he noted, and then added. “It’ll be one ‘o Bulldog Kelley’s outfit. They work out o’ some of the illegal saloons t’ be found back in the bush. We catch one or two of ‘em every now an’ then, but we can’t get Kelley, an’ he’s the head o’ the snake. I can think of one or two that might fit your description, but not a one that had a full beard. An’ this fella’s probably shaved by now.”
I wrote out my story, signed it, and returned to work.”
Between the horse thieves, authority over liquor sales and a war between the BC Provincial Police and the North West Mounted Hank is he in over his head? Only time will tell if he makes the right choices and will he win the heart and loyalty of Sharon Dalton?
Saddle up your horse, holster your gun and join a rugged western cast of characters that will take you back to the reality and the legends of the Wild West.
Cold Coffee Press endorses Great Liqour War by D. M. McGowan for the nuggets of history told within a great story of human experience in the Wild West. This book was given to us in a PDF for review. This review was completed on August 11, 2015. For more information, please visit Cold Coffee Press.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Dan Frechette and Laurel Thomsen

We had a great concert here (Diamond Willow Retreat) Sat. night (July 25/15) from two of the most versatile and accomplished musicians I have had the pleasure to hear and observe in a very long time. Some great songs as well, written by them in genres from country through folk to jazz. I was blown away by a composition that reminded me very much of Django Reinhardt and St├ęphane Grappelli of the “Hot Jazz Club”.
However, those two greats from France did not have the lyrics and outstanding harmonies presented by Dan Frechette and Laurel Thomsen.
I hope to see them back again as do all those who attended.

You can take a look for yourself at:

or at their web-site which is:

And while I’m thinking of it I’ll mention again that after you have “liked” their facebook page I would appreciate it if you did the same to mine …

Here is a shot of them performing but I didn't get one when they were here the other night. My bad.

Monday, July 13, 2015

McCabe and Me by Lee Cheney

A highly entertaining read and a view of the American music business from the inside.

              I was waiting with anticipation for the release of this work since I had heard many stories about Lee Cheney. I knew that he had played folk, country and rock through the 60s, 70s and 80s. I knew that he had worked with song writers and musicians whose work I had covered in my two short excursions into the world of the road musician. I knew that he had done well with a novelty song he penned entitled “Fred” which had been recorded by Ray Stevens. I was hoping to hear, or more accurately read some great stories about the music world from someone who had been there.
I was not disappointed.
I am however disappointed that I did not have the opportunity to see Cheney perform live as a single, as a duo with the many partners he describes (including Chuck McCabe) or with a band. From what I have discovered of  his writing style, his method of telling a story, I’m sure his stage presentation was very entertaining. “McCabe and Me” had me laughing on several occasions.
Do you have an entertainer you once enjoyed – or even hated – but haven’t heard of for years? Perhaps you have one in your past that you wonder, “How did he ever get discovered?” If so you might find him or her in the pages of “McCabe and Me”. Even if you don’t you’ll be able to figure out the history of that particular person since the stories here explain the lives, emotions, distractions, abilities, talents and development of so many of those who offer their music for the world.
You may ask, “How would McGowan know that?”
Many of the stories are similar to those I experienced. True, none of my episodes were exactly the same, but I recognize it all and apparently I didn’t find some of it as funny as Lee Cheney. Or perhaps he learned better than I how to grin and bear (bare?) it.
True, I have never met the author but I must admit in the interest of full disclosure we’ve exchanged messages over the internet. In addition, that sister mentioned in the book seven years younger than him is married to me.
"McCabe and Me" is available on Amazon for $2.93 

By the way, the print proof copy of “The Great Liquor War” should be here in about two weeks and I can’t think of what mistakes they might make that would have me refuse it … but then again, everybody makes mistakes now and then.
I’ve also submitted “Jake’s Justice” but I haven’t heard anything back on that. Should have the first lay-out copy here in a couple of weeks on that as well.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Rex Murphy wacks Timmy

Tim Horton’s or “Timmy’s” as many call it has made a serious blunder in the world of “branding”, corporate identity and advertising in general. This gaff can not be better explained and understood than following the article/opinion that Rex Murphy has contributed to the National Post. It can be viewed and read at:

In many things I agree with Rex and even when I don’t I find his presentations highly entertaining.

The new release of “The Great Liquor War” has been through the usual three checks for technical perfection (and despite my best efforts I expect there will be a mistake or two) and the next step is for them to send me a test copy. Hopefully soon.

We went with the front cover as I presented it here.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Shrine Hospitals for Children

Those reading this not in North America may not know or understand what Shriners are. Even many on this continent only see the small groups or “patrols” that will often appear in parades or at community functions and will only understand them as the “old guys” riding motorcycles (full size and min), small or model versions of a Model A (tin Lizzies) or as clowns. These groups are designed to heighten awareness of the Shrine and to offer some entertainment but they are not the primary function of the club.
            Yes, the Shrine is a club made up of members who have become members of the Antient Order of Free and Accepted Masons. Freemasons can be found through-out the world but the Shrine is a club unique to North America. The primary function is to assist children (and their families) who require specialized treatment for orthopedic and burn surgery.
            There are Shriner’s Hospitals throughout North America usually associated with a sister facility. We only have one here in Canada, in Montreal, which is affiliated with the Montreal Children’s Hospital. The Shrine Hospital (Shrine funded) contains some specialized equipment and personnel as does the Children’s Hospital (Provincial and Federal funding) and the two institutions share this expertise and equipment.
            Here in Western Canada the various Shrine clubs are primarily concerned with transportation and access to Shrine Hospitals in the US. Most of the patients here in British Columbia, for example are bussed or flown to Portland or Seattle depending on their specific needs.
            Lately I have seen tables showing the amounts as a percentage of charitable donations various groups direct toward their actual advertised function and how much goes toward administration. In the case of the Shrine the administration – all Shriners – are all volunteers.
            The following are excerpts from the Shriner’s Public Relations Voice for May.

June is National Safety Month, and the perfect time for Shriners Hospitals for Children to launch its annual On Track for a Safe Summer campaign. This campaign showcases our commitment to keeping kids safe and injury-free, and will continue throughout the summer. With the support of NASCAR driver, Shriner, father and national spokesperson for the campaign, David Ragan, we hope to educate the public about the important role our health care system plays in children’s health and their overall safety when participating in summer activities. The On Track for a Safe Summer campaign combines public service announcements, community outreach, media opportunities and local activation throughout the summer to help parents reduce the risks of life threatening and life-changing injuries to children.

 Three-year-old Sapphyre Johnson and her new puppy, Lt. Dan, have been tugging at the heartstrings of many people throughout the world recently, making them overnight celebrities. Sapphyre, who has been a patient at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville since she was 3 months old, and her new furry friend, have been featured on USA Today, ABC News, Good Morning America, the Today show website, Huffington Post, New York Post, BuzzFeed, the Rachel Ray Show and more, bringing far-reaching exposure and attention to both the Greenville Shriners Hospital and the Shriners Hospitals health care system. When a breeder found she had a puppy born without a paw, she decided to give the hospital a call in hopes that he could become the special friend of a patient there, and a staff member instantly knew Sapphyre would be perfect for him. Born with only two fingers on each hand and one toe on each foot due to a congenital condition, Sapphyre had both her feet amputated as a baby so that she would be able to eventually walk with prosthetics. Sapphyre and Lt. Dan, named after the Forrest Gump character, formed an instant bond, and quickly became inseparable. Their story first appeared in the Greenville News and GreenvilleOnline before it took off nationally, and then internationally.

On May 8, Shriners Hospitals for Children was featured in an episode of the popular television show Hawaii Five-0, which aired on CBS. The heartwarming scene was filmed at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Honolulu, and provided a great opportunity for national exposure. During the show’s season finale, Danny, played by actor Scott Caan, learned he has a son with an autoimmune disease and came to the hospital to see if he was a bone marrow match. The scene showed the hospital's beautiful building with its sign and colorful lobby. The Silent Messenger statue and two Fezzy bears were also seen by viewers. To view the entire episode, please visit