Saturday, March 12, 2011

Stephen Bly's Throw the Devil Off the Train

* authored and co-authored 102 fiction and nonfiction books, including historical and contemporary westerns
* Christy Award winner, Westerns, 2002, The Long Trail Home
* Christy Award finalist, Westerns, 2003
* mayor of Winchester, Idaho, pop. 308 (1999-2007)
* pastor of Winchester Community Church
* speaker for men’s and writers’ groups, USA and Canada
* roving editor, Big Show Journal
* mentor, Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild
* represented by agent Chip MacGregor, MacGregor Literary
* Interviews and Media Kit available,
* Fresno State University, CA, Philosophy, summa cum laude
* M. Div., Fuller Theological Seminary, CA, 1974

Married to writer, Janet Chester Bly, 47 years; they’ve co-authored 18 books.
Resides in Winchester, Idaho at 4,000 ft. elev., on the Nez Perce Indian Reservation.
Father of 3 sons: Russell, Michael, & Aaron. The family includes daughters-in-law, Lois, Michelle & Rina Joye, plus grandkids: Zachary, Miranda (& husband Chris), and Keaton.
Third generation westerner, Steve spent 30 years working family ranches and farms in central California.
Hobbies: Collects and restores antique Winchesters; studies histories of Old West; does construction on Broken Arrow Crossing, a false front western village next to his home. He also plays a par game of golf.
Released June 2010: Cowboy For A Rainy Afternoon
Recent books include: Creede of Old Montana (2009), The Land Tamers (re-issued 2009), One Step Over The Border, Center Street/Hachette; The Horse Dreams Series—Memories of a Dirt Road Town, The Mustang Breaker, and Wish I’d Known You Tears Ago (B&H); Paperback Writer (B&H); and Fortunes of the Black Hills Series (B&H Publishers).

You can find Stephen online at his website,

Throw the Devil Off the Train

Catherine Goodwin heads west to a fiancĂ© she hasn’t seen in 17 years. She’s desperate for a change.

Race Hillyard heads west with a heart of vengeful justice and a body aching for sleep. The only thing these two agree upon: they hate each other. Holdups, hijacks, kidnappings and gold mine swindles bring them close, then push them apart. Fiery, opinionated and quick to react. . .can the Lord bring them together long enough to throw the devil off the train?

Here's an excerpt of Throw the Devil Off the Train:


“Is he dead?” The high-pitched voice whined.

“If he isn’t” came a low rumble, “I could fix that.”

“I ain’t killin’ no man over a saddle.”

“And a gun. He’s got one of them new Colt revolvers.”

“I still ain’t killin’ no man over a saddle and a gun.”

“I bet he has a bag of gold on him.” The lower voice had the power of a salesman on a slow day. “He’s as dirty as a prospector.”

“He ain’t as dirty as us.”

“Suppose he does have gold. Would it be alright to kill him then?”

The high-pitched bleat continued. “How much gold you reckon he has?”

“At least a couple twenty-dollar gold coins.”

“Maybe you’re right. For forty dollars, why cain’t I just hit him over the head with this fence post?”

“If you don’t knock him clean out, I’ll have to shoot him.”

“You got a gun?”

“I’ll use his.”

“Okay, but you do the shootin’. I ain’t shot nobody since the war.”

“Maybe he is dead. Shorty said he’d been laying there on his saddle without movin’ since daybreak.”

The whiner seemed hesitant. “If he’s such easy pickin’s, why didn’t Shorty clean him out?”

“Maybe he did.”

“In the middle of the day? Who sleeps in the train yard in the middle of the day?”

“Old man Ticcado did. He was sound asleep right smack dab on the tracks.”
“He was crazy.”

“You have to be crazy to marry one woman when you was still married to another.”

“Well, it didn’t work out too bad.”

“What? He got run over by a train.”

“Yeah, but they sent half to one wife and half to the other.”

“I say it’s goin’ to be simple. I’ll reach for the revolver. If he raises up, you clobber him with the fence post.”

“You got any whiskey? I could bust a skull better if I had me some whiskey.”

“We’ll have plenty of whiskey when we pick him clean. You ready?”

“I reckon.”

“I’ll just reach down here nice. . .and. . .slow,” the low voice whispered, “. . .and. . .stop!” The last word was a shout.

“Stop? He ain’t raised up.”

“Don’t hit him.”

“Is he dead?”

“I don’t think so. He’s got one eye open and a saddle pistol shoved in my belly.”

Race Hillyard opened his other eye. An unshaved man with matted hair and a tattered brown suit hovered over him. “Tell your pal to put down the post,” Hillyard growled.

“Put down the post, Cuke. You heard him.”

The little man with a big, black mustache jumped back, but held onto the broken piece of four-by-four.

Hillyard shoved the first man so hard, he tumbled to the dry dirt of the train yard. “Is there any reason why I shouldn’t shoot you two? You were going to kill me.”

The one called Cuke dropped the post. His bare toes wiggled through the holes in his boots. “Me and Willie thought maybe you was dead.”

Hillyard backed up, but kept his gun pointed at the men. “It’s alright to steal from a dead man?”

Willie struggled to his feet. “They don’t complain much.”

Cuke wiped his broad nose on the back of his tattered shirt sleeve. “Don’t shoot us, mister. Times is tough. They run us out of our homes after the war and won’t give us decent jobs out here.”

“You two Rebs?” Hillyard asked.

Cuke threw his shoulders back. “We didn’t rebel against nothin’. We are proud veterans of the Army of Northern Virginia.”

Hillyard shoved his saddle gun back into his bedroll. “That’s what I wanted to hear.” He reached in his coat pocket and tossed the man a coin.

Cuke turned it over in his hand. “A silver dollar?”

“That’s to buy dinner for both of you. I was on the losin’ side of the war, too, boys.”

“No foolin’?” Cuke scratched his head like a dog looking for a flea. “We didn’t know that.”

Hillyard’s glance whipped around the train yard, as if he expected another ambush. “Would it have made a difference?”

Willie eased close enough to smell the garlic and whiskey on his breath. “To be honest, mister, probably not.” He leaned against Race’s shoulder. “These is tough times, alright. A man’s got to do what’s right for himself.”

Hillyard felt his Colt being pulled slowly from his holster. His clenched right hand caught Willie under his narrow, pointed chin and lifted him off his feet. The gun blasted into the air, as the man slammed motionless to the dirt.

The Colt retrieved, he turned towards Cuke, who stumbled backwards through a cloud of black powder smoke.

“Get out of here,” Hillyard roared.

“Eh. . .yes sir. . .I, eh, didn’t know Willie was goin’ for your gun. I reckon you want your dollar back.”

“No, keep it and get out of here.”

“Thank you, sir. Us southerners need to take care of each other.”

“I’m not doing it for you. Nor the South. I figure it’s my Christian duty.”

“Well, praise the Lord, brother.” Cuke stopped in his retreat. “Say, if I had me a twenty-dollar loan, I could go west and start all over. Could you spare. . . .?”

Hillyard cocked the hammer of his revolver and aimed it at the man’s head.

The man pushed up his hands. “No offense. I’m goin’.” He paused. “I reckon you’re a Baptist.”

You can preorder Throw the Devil Off the Train from Amazon.

Stephen is giving away a copy of Throw the Devil Off the Train. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.


Linda said...

I don't know how I ever missed it, but I didn't know Stephen Bly is a pastor. That makes me really want to win his book.

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

This book sounds good!

Mary / Touch of Heaven said...

I recieved an autographed copy of one of Mr. Bly's books for my Dad who is bedridden and he loved it. Would love to win another of his books for Dad.
atouchofheaven2010 at gmail dot com
Mary B.

lgm52 said...

Would love to win and read this one...sounds great!

Marianne said...

i have quite a few of Stephen Bly's earlier titles on my bookshelf. not sure why i haven't picked up the later ones. but i would love to win this one.
Thanks for the interview and the chance to win.

Trinity Rose said...

Steve is a favorite author of mine. We pray for him and his family daily.
Great author and person.
Wandaelaine at gmail dot com

Julie Arduini said...

His books have appeal for all ages. I am a big fan.

apple blossom said...

please enter me thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Sylvia said...

I love books where the hero and heroine hate each other at the first. You're always set for an adventure. This book sounds great!


misskallie2000 said...

I have not read any of Stephen's books and look forward to reading Throw the Devil Off the Trail.
Thanks for this chance to enter.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Pam K. said...

This sounds like another good book by Stephen Bly; I'd love to win it.
I really enjoy the humor in his writing.


Courtney said...

Sounds like a great book, thanks for the chance to win it!!


Charlotte Kay said...

Thanks for the second opportunity to win this book!
I truly appreciate it!
Blessing and Smiles:)
Charlotte Kay
charlovesmark at gmail dot com

csthankful said...

i always love reading interviews that Steve does. I ahve known Steve since I was 7 and seem to find out something I didn't know all the time! How cool is that? I am prendering his "I must do those things in life I would regret not doing" and want to be sure to pay attention to follow that. Blessings, Connie Sue

csthankful at midrivers dot com

Meredith said...

I'd love to win this book! It sounds great!

meredithfl at gmail dot com

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