Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Lancer; Hero of the West AND YOU!

Did you ever want to write a book? Most people have the desire but never get around to doing it.
Did you ever think to yourself when you read a book "Gee, I think this should have taken another turn?" Of course you have.

Well, how would you like to do that? I begin writing the fifth installment of the Lancer; Hero of the West series of western novels, in January. "The New Orleans Affair" is next on the list of Lancer adventures. I would like your help in writing the story. Seriously.

Here is how it will work.

1. Take your ideas for the next Lancer book and email them to me at brillpro@gmail.com.
2. Make sure you make it short (a paragraph or two) and tell me if you have read any of the Lancer; Hero of the West books and which ones. 
3. Put your full name, email city and state in the email.
4. If you like you can write "Bob Brill has my permission to use these ideas in his Lancer books without compensation." (Actually you don't need to do that because by responding to the offer you are already giving me such permission)

Please understand you will NOT be paid or compensated in any way for the use of your idea. You WILL receive written "contributors credit" in the book. The name you give me in the email will be the name I use and I will also put your state and hometown, unless you request I not put that in.

You should know, and you do if you have read the Lancer books, there are certain characteristics about the character which are constant, and will not be changed. Lancer is who he is, and he will remain so. However, there are always changes and growth which take place in a book series. You can contribute to this growth if you like.

If you haven't read any of the Lancer; Hero of the West novels we suggest you read at least one. You can find them on Amazon, order from you local bookstore, or you can purchase a paperback copy from my website; www.bobbrillbooks.com. 

We hope you like the offer and want to contribute. We have contributions so far and are taking stock of those over the next few months as we plan out the next novel. We look forward to hearing from you.

Monday, May 7, 2018

YOU Write the Next Lancer; Hero of the West Book

Wow! Okay! Check this out. I have decided to let readers/listeners have input into the next Lancer; Hero of the West saga.

I begin writing the next Lancer book, "The New Orleans Affair" in January. This will be the fifth installment in the western series, "Lancer; Hero of the West." Between now and then, I'm offering listeners and readers the opportunity to help me write the next adventure. You heard Correctly!

I am seeking your input on story lines, characters Lancer will meet along the way, the basic plot lines, twists and turns, what to reveal about Lancer's past or anything else you want to see in the next book. I'll take that input and see if it works and if it does it will be incorporated into the story. It may not work, but it may be good enough or interesting enough to change the story line overall and get entered into the saga.
  (The books;The Prescott Affair, The Los Angeles Affair, The Santa Fe Affair, El Paso Affair.) 

You should know the story itself takes place in New Orleans (or the surrounding area) and Lancer will begin the story in his home base of Tombstone, Arizona. Lancer usually mixes with legendary characters of the day and there are certain things which happen along the way which pretty much take their course in every Lancer book. Don't let that dismay you however, feel free to open your mind about Lancer. If it's too far off the beaten path I still may like it enough to use it.

At the bottom of this blog I'll give you an email to send your comments or suggestions. You can also make suggestions on the Lancer FaceBook page but I will tell you up front, taking the time to send me an email with your comments will carry more weight than the FB page.

I think you should be aware of one thing however and that is the fact Lancer; Hero of the West is the tale of a good guy gunslinger for hire. As such, he has certain qualities. And the best way to learn about those qualities is by reading the first four Lancer; Hero of the West novels. Now before you see this as a shameless plug to get you to buy more books you should know, YES, it is a shameless plug to get you to buy more books. Now, if you've already read the books, you are ahead of the game.

However, the book series is successful and to continue to make it a success there are certain characteristics which fall into place. So you should read some if not all of the books to get that feeling of who Lancer really is.

I'm going to offer you this special deal if you want to purchase all the books. The books sell for $13.99 plus $4 shipping. That would translate to roughly $72 if you bought them individually. If you want all four books just send me that request in an email and I will work it out so you can buy all four for $60 shipping included. Books are heavy and packaging and shipping four will cost just about $10. You can also buy the books or download them on Amazon. If you only need to pick up one or two books from my website, let me know and I will make them available for the special price.
                                                      (Bob and cover illustrator, Julia C.)

So get on board and help me write the next Lancer; Hero of the West -- the New Orleans Affair, right away. If I use your suggestions I will give you credit in the back of the book. You won't get paid for that but you can tell your friends your name is in a new book!

Thank you to all of our readers and our new listeners who can join us on a writers internet radio show which I've been asked to co-host. The Writers Block appears on LA Talk Radio and I'll be co-hosting with Jim Christina who has had the show for years and who also hosts the Buckaroo Book Store at the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival.

The email to submit your book suggestions is brillpro@gmail.com. Please put "Lancer" in the description line so I don't delete it or it doesn't go to my spam. I am looking forward to hearing from you!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

LANCER; Hero of the West - The El Paso Affair is "LIVE"

Yes! We are rolling out the fourth adventure for Lancer; Hero of the West. This one is the El Paso Affair.

Of particular interest in this novel is it takes place the day before the famous Gunfight at the OK Corral. As you know if you follow the series, Lancer is very good friends with Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, both of whom make early appearances in the El Paso Affair. They are prepping for the famous fight as Lancer is getting ready to leave.

Since my fictitious character wasn't there, it was convenient to have him heading out to his next assignment or he WOULD have been helping his friends at the Corral. It seemed only right.

Our hero is on his way to the border city to help an old friend, a real life character named Dallas Stoudenmire. And if you don't think it was a chore writing the name "Stoudenmire" what seemed like a billion times over nearly 200 pages of text, you haven't written a novel before. Here I place a big "LOL" in the story.

Stoudenmire was a famous lawman who had his time in El Paso and the story itself is inspired by true events with some pretty strong literary license. I hope you will enjoy the story and my daughter Julia's new artwork.

You will notice for the first time we actually have people on the cover. I've always resisted this but times change and so do theories and it was time to put some bodies on the cover. She did a great job. Of course, the holster minus the pistol is still there. My motto regarding the Lancer; Hero of the West character is still; brains first, brawn second and the gun only when it's necessary. This hero remains true to form.

Although you will see some subtle changes in the man as you read due to his growth as a character, you will also see the same distinguished gentleman gunfighter who respects all around him and does what he has to do. I reveal a little more about his past in this book so I hope you enjoy Lancer; Hero of the West - the El Paso Affair, either on Amazon, or from booksellers or on our website.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

New Lancer Book and Cowboy Festival Coming Soon

I have finished the latest adventure in the "Lancer; Hero of the West" Series of western novels with the El Paso Affair. This adventure takes our hero to the West Texas City of El Paso about the time of the Gunfight at the OK Corral in Tombstone.

With a dedication to western balladeer, Marty Robbins, the new Lancer book goes back to a time when Marshall Dallas Stoudenmire patrolled the streets of El Paso. While we actually draw leather and insights with real life legendary characters, as in the past, the story is purely fictional.

Lancer meets some usual and unusual people along the way and there is plenty of gun play for those who love the western shootout, despite the fact Lancer is a non-violent man. If you know Lancer, you know it's "wits first, brawn second and guns only as a last and deadly resort."

It should be released sometime in March just in time for the April 21-22 Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival in Southern California. The festival is held each year in Newhall on the grounds of the William S. Hart Park and Museum. If you've never been you can visit the museum for free all year round and it's a fabulous little tour.

The festival will feature lots of western food, gear for sale, folks roaming around in costume, exhibitions and of course music and books. Films and lectures are also a part of the event and there is free parking off site with a shuttle every 15 minutes which is also free.

Check out the festival on-line now and get your tickets. My good friends Al Bringas and Eric Heisner will also be at the booth selling their books and other western items. Al illustrates and Eric writes western books, and they act as well. I will also have DVD copies of my modern day western short for sale; The Girl From Sweden, for $5. It's an enjoyable dramatic film with great music and lots of action with horses to boot. Currently it's entered into festivals. We are currently working on a feature length script for the film project.

Hope to see you there and look for "Lancer; Hero of the West - The El Paso Affair" shortly. The previous Lancer; Hero of the West books are "the Prescott Affair," "the Los Angeles Affair," and the "Santa Fe Affair."

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

MLB Player sues LAPD and loses

The case I am about to relate to you stems from a police case of mistaken identity and the victim was major league baseball player, Don Rudolph. In 1963 Rudolph was a pitcher with the Washington Senators. He had signed his contract for 1964 and after the incident signed his 1965 contract for $7,000. As stated in the court papers this was a 40% cut in salary. Rudolph blames this on the incident I am about to relay here.

It began in December 1963 when Don, his wife Patti Waggin, their child Julena and Patti's brother Al Hardwicke, his wife Margie (although in court papers it states Mary), child and a relative named "Borden  Anderson," were at Don's home on Index Street in Granada Hills. If I am not mistaken Borden was a relative also known as "Scootchie" in letters I have written by Patti during her life.

At about 9:00 at night on December 5th, according to Don's testimony in court papers, Police officers (detectives) burst into the home without warrants, entered "wrongfully and with force," and the police "cursed, manhandled and berated" Don and Al. Finally they were "forcibly taken from this home and taken to two police stations, detained, interrogated, threatened and ultimately released."

Furthermore the testimony follows "All conduct was done in the presence of women and children, causing great fear, hysteria, upset and pandemonium." As a result they were compelled to seek medical treatment and continue to do so." Another key is as follows;

"In addition, Mr. Rudolph suffered injury to his left shoulder and arm, which may affect his occupation as a major league professional baseball player to the total damages of $500,000."

Don was a left handed pitcher. Don sued for half a million dollars in damages and another half million in punitive damages. He seems to claim his 1965 contract reflects the incident in one way or another. He goes on to say it now takes him "longer to warm up" and he must throw all year round to keep his arm loose. Whether this is true or not, it makes a great point for the suit. At any rate MLB at the time would have sided likely with law enforcement and Don may have been an outcast at the major league level.

As it was, Don never pitched in 1965 in the big leagues. His 1963 season, he was a workhorse throwing nearly 175 innings but lost 19 games for a lousy team. In 1964 he was 1-3, mainly in relief pitching only 70 innings. His brother told me they wanted to send him back to the minor leagues but he refused and was released. He was only 34. There might be some thinking the incident reflected on his status in MLB at the time.

We have tried to reach out to his lawyer at the time to get a feel for what Don was really thinking and if he wanted to pursue this as it happened. The lawyer refuses to talk to us. He has had his own issues with the state bar over the years. In his suit, Don named both police officers, Chief Parker, and two other uniformed officers as well as the City of Los Angeles.

There is a lot of confusion because the police report, while granting this was a case of mistaken identity, claimed a lot less violent confrontation.In court documents the defense testifies they were actually polite and did not burst in but "rang the doorbell" and were "admitted."

Furthermore, Don claims they were fingerprinted and photographed and the FBI and the State Bureau of Investigation held those photos. Don wanted them back because he didn't want, as a professional ballplayer, those photographs or mug shots circulating. He was right in demanding that but wrong in his assumption. Police records show he was never the subject of a mug shot. Don later admits in sworn testimony he assumed he was photographed but later learned he was part of "a line up."

In reality, what happened was a true case of mistaken identity. The cops were looking for two white men in a bunco fraud scheme involving the sale and licensing of fire extinguishers and later cosmetics. The two men fit the description of Don and Al. The fact Al was a convicted felon didn't help matters. The fact Don screamed at them he was a major league pitcher with the Washington Senators during the incident, didn't give police cause to believe him either.

The cops waited in a stake out across the street from the Rudolph home on a tip and their own investigative work (which evidently wasn't as good as they thought it was). A car came home shortly before 9:00 and Don got out and went into his house. Shortly thereafter while the Rudolph's and the Hardwicke's were enjoying a night watching television and snacking, the police came to the door.

Don's own handwritten notes (which I have) explain in detail how they busted into the room without a warrant, made accusations, threw him to the ground and handcuffed them both.  Both in total contrast to the police who say they questioned the two men directly before handcuffing them while they were standing up. They state they cuffed Hardwicke "in front," which in itself is unusual but maybe not for the day.

In the end the judge (no jury trial which seems odd) sided with the police. In 1965 Los Angeles this is not out of the ordinary. It was under Chief William Parker's regime. Parker is one of the least respected police chief's around.

The judge let the cops off Scott free and ordered Don to pay their court costs of $353.00.  The judge said his injuries were not significant, they were not fingerprinted or photographed, and they were not held illegally and were released in a couple of hours when it was realized they were not the crooks the cops were really looking for. Sort of a no-harm no-foul situation.

Don on the other hand was crying foul for everything from his injuries to false arrest and imprisonment. Certainly being hauled away in a police car in front of friends and neighbors in a quiet community, was not how he wanted to be remembered. It took a year almost to the day of the incident to get a final court ruling from Judge Aubrey Irwin of the Superior Court of Los Angeles...December 21st, 1965.

Don got nothing for his injury, except it looks like some insurance coverage and he never again pitched in the big leagues, or the minors for that fact. He was killed three years later in a tragic  accident in the San Fernando Valley at age 37. The brakes went out in his truck on what was to be the vehicles last run before being disposed of, according to a family member, and it rolled over throwing him from the vehicle.

It is a sad case and there are still some questions left open which I believe his attorney at the time could answer. He won't talk to me however despite numerous attempts. He is in his 80's but still has an office.

The difference in today's world and 1965. I have reported on numerous cases recently with multi-million dollar settlements for much less than happened here. The bottom line is the city and the county today won't fight in court if they feel they can get off much cheaper by settling than paying legal fees. If the city had settled for half a million with Don Rudolph today it would have just gone away. Instead, the city got $353 which Rudolph had to pay, plus his own attorney fees.

The world has changed since 1965 and while back then few people would know about the case (very small write up in the LA Times when it was filed), today Don's face, and especially former burlesque queen and wife Patti Waggin, would have been plastered all over every station in the world. He might have even won at that point.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Lancer's China Adventure

No, Lancer is not going to China, he's still in the West in the latest book, "The Santa Fe Affair."

Lancer's challenge in the third novel in the series "Lancer; Hero of the West" is to rescue a little boy and his father from the likes of former KKK members who run a small town in New Mexico. The pivot here is the little boy's mother was the daughter of a Chinese war lord and a Santa Fe rancher. The mother died in child birth.

Since the Klan doesn't like any ethnicity, and was particularly violent during it's early days, the little boy and his father are in real danger. Lancer is summoned. Throw in the fact the Chinese war lord is coming to America with a small army to regain his grandson, you have an international adventure where Lancer must sort things out.

The Santa Fe Affair actually takes place mostly in the town of El Macho. El Macho was a real place along the Pecos River about 14 miles from present day Santa Fe. We did take some historical license with the city. We searched graveyard records for names and brought in some legendary figures as we always do.

Two of the characters who play smaller parts were borrowed from other fiction, with credit, and honor as we really loved these characters. The cover of the book has some historical significance as well. Two local stores in the San Fernando Valley were nice enough to let us photograph some of their hardware which fit the theme of the book. We also gave them credit in the beginning.

We hope you enjoy this latest adventure of Lancer: Hero of the West and we look forward to the next adventure; The El Paso Affair.

Don't forget to join us at the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival April 22-23. I'll be in the Buckeroo Bookstore selling and signing my books along with other authors from 1:30 to closing each day. C'mon out, enjoy some cowboy coffee and the best peach cobbler you've ever eaten. You'll need to stand in a long line for that though.

You can purchase paperbacks either on-line or at my website www.bobbrillbooks.com.

You can also buy it on-line in the Kindle download version by clicking here.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Santa Fe Affair is "LIVE"

We are "LIVE" with the latest Lancer; Hero of the West novel called "the Santa Fe Affair," in which Lancer takes on injustice at every level.

You can pick up a copy on Amazon at this link or you can purchase from my own website which is www.bobbrillbooks.com

Stay tuned for more.

I will also be signing books at the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival in Santa Clarita at Hart Park in old Newhall on April 22-23 and will be there about 1:30pm each day. C'mon out and enjoy the fun. More to come.