New Town, New View, New Book (Same Me)

On April 10, 2017, in Uncategorized, by rsguthrie

Does anyone make major changes anywhere is the vicinity of their 50th birthday and not be accused of some type of midlife crisis?

First of all, obviously there’s some truth (a LOT of it?) to the statistics that a higher percentage of men and women make a relatively bigger life change near midlife than any other period (okay, okay, stop mentally screaming, ladies—predominantly men, I believe). But stop and think:

At the middle-point of a journey, isn’t that the perfect time to sit down, evaluate, examine the water past beneath the bridge, unalterable, but perhaps fixable; examine the current situation; maybe go ahead and throw in a dash of dreams yet unfulfilled; and contemplate the continued (or altered) path of the trip?

What necessarily makes it a crisis?

I would submit each case should be weighed upon its own merits (if there is any cause to weigh it in the first place.

Surprisingly few people have used the MLC moniker on me. In fact, I’ve received overwhelming support from family and friends on my move back to the hometown that raised me and which I use for the backdrop of my Sheriff James Pruett Mystery/Thriller series.

I’ve not told many people this factoid, but in college, when I realized I one day wanted to write novels—preferably a Mystery series based on the Wyoming town in which I grew to manhood (or, more reasonably, rookie adulthood)—my dream was to be doing it from that Wyoming town’s grandeur.

So I look at it more that I have made a big step, rather than reached some manner of crisis:

Five hundred mile’s worth.

After twenty-nine years in the big cities (eight in Los Angeles and twenty-one in Denver), I figure no can say I didn’t earn the short, yet personally monumental, leap:

From the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, to my hometown Rockies—the Wind River Range—at this point along Life’s journey. The only punctuation mark left to put on the whole event is a new book.

And I’ve almost got one. I put up the pre-order link on Amazon this week. As is usual with my books, it’s coming down to the wire and even I do not know exactly how the story is going to make it to the grand finish (though I always say at this point, if your characters are worth their salt, they have long since taken over their own world, making you a bit of a omnipotent spectator, and they know exactly what they are doing).

Sounds a bit like Life, doesn’t it?

For you writers: I must say that, assuming your hometown is a place you consider high on the list of places to live, the rejuvenating effects of “returning home”, even to a man thirty years absent, are incredible, and do wonders for the muse inside.

And if it’s not your hometown, there must be somewhere you envision as the dream spot from which to “pen” your masterpieces. I can tell you, from experience, don’t wait too long. You’ll be kicking yourself in the hind parts for not doing it sooner.

For the readers: here a glimpse, a synopsis, and a clip from the book as a thank you for your patience!

Aryan Land is the fourth in the popular and riveting Sheriff James Pruett Mystery/Thriller series.

The newly-elected sheriff, Jake Walker, who’d replaced Pruett, has seemingly committed suicide; Pruett’s best friend has been savagely beaten—left for dead; and the White People’s Republican Army have clandestinely taken up land and strategic ground all over Sublette and Teton Counties, planning a horrific coup.

Having no legal authority or standing as sheriff, James Pruett must still find the will—and a plan—to answer the call of his town and homeland.

The “Republican Army” is a well-funded organization with heavy ties inside the Aryan network of America’s most dangerous prisons—being funded by, and operating as the eyes, arms, and legs for the enormous might of the Aryan Alliance, the largest militant, pro-white organization in the world.

Gaining the final territory in northwestern Wyoming—along with already-occupied lands in Idaho and Montana—will finalize their stranglehold of position and power in the Northwest, forming a tactical advantage the AA and RA have been building for decades. Enough power and locus to begin their campaign of war against the masses—a new racist civil war meant to unbalance the very bedrock of the United States Government.

James Pruett must create his own tactical pieces on the deadly game board; enough to topple the RA and AA’s final clamp on the Northwestern territory. The Wyoming Rocky Mountains are key to the Aryan’s plans and crucially strategic for a victory and must therefore not fall to the aggressors.

Lawful opportunity provides foundation for the RA/AA occupation, leaving Pruett with tactics (and even alliances) that border the fringes of lawful action. As ever, Pruett will operate from whatever side of that ethical and moral line he must, in order to protect the land he loves.


Racism is man’s gravest threat to man –
the maximum of hatred
for a minimum of reason.”
~ Abraham Joshua Heschel

The frigid temperature outside was nowhere near as cold as the abyss inside Pruett.

And that chill was worse than biting—a clawing cold in a ruthless blackness without even ambient light. A hole in the man that nothing could fill.

The void was there for almost the whole of a year spent in Cheyenne with his godson, away from Wind River and a community that had been induced to divide against him and, after nearly twenty years, voted Pruett out of office.

Sublette County without a Sheriff James Pruett?

The blow was miles beyond devastation. The sheriff had been ripped apart. Each day it felt as if some animal inside him needed to reopen his heart with its fangs, just to prove to the old man he could still feel the pain.

And worse—far worse—was the steely grip of the need for a drink. Like a self-aware entity, the need spoke to him, comforted him.

It promised him all the good things; and the one thing he needed so much—hungered for: the filling of the abyss; the bliss of total forgetfulness.

Alcohol’s voice, forever lodged inside him like a tiny, splintered speaker—Pruett drunk or sober—made so many promises Pruett had lost count. He tried not to listen, but every start of every day was a new war against the beast of alcoholism.

The thought of respite from the crushing pain to his pride, love of community, sense of self—he would never have believed such an event possible, but neither would he the power of the agony that rained down on him.

Pruett considered himself a thick-skinned, no-nonsense individual. Life was rarely kind—often, however, it was downright savage.

Now he dove through the frozen night because a sheriff had seemingly taken his own life, committing suicide inside the office he upheld.

And while Sheriff Jake Walker, only a year in office, was dead in a County building, still fifty miles away, Malcolm Whitefeather, James Pruett’s best friend in the world, lay in some cold, metal, pre-coffin, in the morgue.

Beaten to death.

Pruett’s most precious friend had been tortured and killed, the phone call had told him. Pruett could not even remember who called, so overwhelmed by immediate shock.

That was all he knew.

Beaten to death.

Well, there was also the news from Deputy Sheriff Red Horse Baptiste that the township and county was already rumbling about the requisite return of SHERIFF James Pruett.

Once such news would have saved the man. Gorged his starved heart. Filled the abyss. But this time was not then. He’d finally discovered a way to somehow survive the indescribable loss of his career—his life—without drinking. His godson had returned the favor from the trial and, this time, saved Pruett’s life.

Now—now after he’d recovered, or at least put the devastation to rest—they wanted him back. With the true sheriff and Pruett’s greatest friend gone.

Still, regardless of resident horrors, there was always the lawman inside that could never be stifled. That lawman; Pruett, the lawman—perhaps a throwback from the sheriffs and town marshals from the old West—only saw the beacon of one light, blazing white, even in the distance.


Or was it more?


Yes. It was that, too. The true Pruett, Pruett the lawman, would do whatever he could for any man or woman in his jurisdiction, bend whatever rule that needed bending, step on any toes that needing stepping, wrangle any bad people who needed wrangling—anything, particularly this time, to find elusive righteousness.

Oh, what that Pruett would do to the men who would dare murder his friend so barbarically—to whatever inhuman person who would even dare.

Sheriff or not; across the line of law or not—the beast of an un-blindfolded Justice, inside him, was fully awake.

Completely focused.

He would slaughter them all.


6 Responses to New Town, New View, New Book (Same Me)

  1. Madonna Christensen says:

    I vaguely recall turning 50. Cheers to the new location, the new book, and the next 50 years.

  2. Scott Bury says:

    I think this is going to be your best, and most important book yet. Congratulations!

  3. I am certainly looking forward to reading this book. Congrats!

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