book news

Montana Records: Hottest, Driest Summer followed by Earliest Winter?

"Into each life some rain must fall."

Thanks to Longfellow for that phrase.  And we're thankful around here that the summer weather was finally broken by rain, snow, and amazing drops in temperatures.  It is so much easier to breathe since the heavy smoke conditions have subsided.  Most U.S. residents should be glad when the weather-related catastrophes of 2017 are behind us and recovery is well along.  Our condolences and support go out to the people of Mexico afflicted by the recent earthquakes.  Life has its challenges, no matter who you are ...

[The above paragraph was written before the Las Vegas shooting incident occurred. I am still sorting through the many varying reports of that episode, all of which I find mind-boggling.  Naturally our condolences and well-wishes go to the survivors and the families and friends of those affected.  May peace attend you all.]

While writing the current work-in-progress there have been more than a few interesting surprises springing from some of my research.  I'm more than hopeful that these will work well into plot twists, as well as bringing forth some historical revelations for readers' enjoyment.  

To that end, let me mention something which should be obvious. I write for my own enlightenment and entertainment as well as yours.  Sometimes the final product succeeds on both levels.  And some readers take the time to write and/or review the work, which is much appreciated, especially those such this one from Randy Llywelyn:

     "I have just finished the first two of your Longshot books (over a 2 day period), and wanted to share with you how much I enjoyed them. Being a 67 year old student of the origins and early history of our country, I was amazed and impressed with the ways in which you intertwine the actual FACTS & PEOPLE of our history, with the FICTION of your story lines. Amazingly done. I was also extremely happy to see the open-minded and clear-eyed focus that you put upon the issues behind, and the politics of, that tragic war which divided us. Would that more people these days were willing to look at, and learn from, the actual historical facts and actions which led to those fateful days.    I have just signed up for your newsletter, and will be eagerly awaiting word from you on your next offering. Keep up the good work, and thank you."

Thank you, Randy, for the kind words, and to all who read and connect with this author's work.  Your encouragement and support mean more than you can imagine.  Please continue to share our books with your friends and family.  All are available FREE for Kindle Unlimited subscribers and for purchase as either e-book downloads and in paperback or audiobook format from

Keep those cards and letters coming folks!  They are a balm to this old soul.

Until next time,


P.S. I'm participating in a FREE book promotion of 16 historical fiction books. You have until October 15th to download your collection of great reads and enter to win a $25 gift card.

When a Newsletter is Called a Blog


First off, I proudly stand upon my promise to you when you signed up for this newsletter that, "I would not send you a lot of unnecessary emails and stuff."  I hope you have noticed how well that promise is being kept.  Haven't sent out so much as a scrap in these past four months.

This page used to be called the 'Blog' page on this website.  As of right now, I've asked Monica to change it to Newsletter.  I hope she does.  She knows how and is good at that sort of thing.  Me?  Not a chance that I wouldn't mess that up.  You'll know right off if Monica has made the change: The Home page will say 'Newsletter' where it formerly proclaimed, 'Blog'.  Not that you would or should care.

Having now brought you up to speed on the important IT functions of this site, we're bringing in the bigger news items below.

What's happened since last Newsletter (April 11th, 2016)?

Longshot Into Darkness by Keith R. Baker


In that last newsletter, I stated that Longshot #3 had an elusive working title.  That's changed.  The title is now fixed and the cover is finished for the Kindle version.  I think Monica outdid herself, especially given how little info she's received from me in doing the design.  As a reward for your faithfulness, subscribers here can now see what is referred to as a cover reveal.  I really hope you like it!  You may also recall being told in that last letter that Book #3 would open in a mining camp.  That's still technically true, but not entirely accurate.  The first page of LONGSHOT FROM DARKNESS takes place on a battlefield, in an entirely different part of the country in one of the States of the United States.  It opens in 1863, and I promise you'll recognize some of the places and some of the names, just as in the earlier books of the series.  Others that you don't recognize are just as real; it's just that you may not have learned of them previously.  This third book in the series has presented me a few unexpected challenges that I hope will translate to making it the best of the three when completed.  No, I can't say when it will be finished.  But I do promise you that I am working diligently and daily toward that end.

Also, in case you are interested, LONGSHOT IN MISSOURI, (the first book in the series), achieved #1 ranking in the Entire Amazon Kindle Store for two days, June 22nd and 23rd!  We're all pretty jazzed about that around here, and I have to say that Monica had more to do with it than did the writing effort.  Marketing, (as an independently published author), is what makes the difference.  With over 500,000 active independent authors around writing our fool heads off, it's easy to get lost in the crowd.  And that doesn't even take into account all the books pouring forth from the traditional huge publishing companies and their massive stables of authors.  So a big THANK YOU to YOU, my reader(s) for making that first huge milestone possible.  I am more grateful than mere words can convey.

In case you were not aware, LONGSHOT IN MISSOURI is already available as an Audiobook.  Monica is attaching a link to the free sample clip as well as to where you can find it on Amazon.  A.W. Miller is a superbly talented and experienced voice actor and narrates the book in such a way that, when I listen to it, I am caught up anew with the characters–all of them.  He manages to capture the essence of each character with their voices and accents.  Mr. Miller is a Theater coach and teacher as well as an accomplished actor and writer in his own right.  It is no wonder that he is known as the "man of 500 voices"–he really delivers all the characters extremely well.  We are so fortunate to have him narrating the LONGSHOT series.  A.W. Miller is presently producing LONGSHOT INTO THE WEST in the Audiobook format.  I cannot wait to hear it!


Monica Haynes is a talented book cover designer and personal assistant who provides marketing and design work for authors.  If you or someone you know is needing such help, you can contact her here: or visit her website here:  There is no one more competent, nor easier to work with and no one more efficient with her time and mine. Period.


Despite the great advice I regularly receive from more experienced authors, publishers, Personal Assistants, my wife, friends, relatives and all ... I read every review my work receives.  EVERY SINGLE ONE!  And most of them multiple times.  I don't get involved in arguments with those who critically rate or review my work, but there are many times I'd like to do so.  You know, the folks who say in their review that they loved the book and then rate it THREE STARS!!!!!!   Amazon star ratings have meanings that have been assigned.  Three stars is a NEGATIVE rating on Amazon's scale of 1 to 5.  How can folks read entire books and then not bother to read the three words alongside their rating choice?  Then there was the person who "loved" the first book in the series while rating it FOUR STARS and (same person) rated the second book FIVE STARS while commenting that (in his opinion), "it was not as good as the first book."  What's an author to think?  My real quest in this paragraph is this: If you like my work and have signed up for this newsletter, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE give it an honest rating on Amazon.  It REALLY IS THAT important.  And if you have already reviewed my book(s) there, THANK YOU!  I LOVE YOU!  Especially if you gave it a great rating and wrote a great review.  YES I SAID LOVE!!  LOVE YOU!! Man or woman!  Doesn't matter to me, I'm Bi-Polar.


I've just entered the stage of life where I am officially closer to the beginning of my 8th decade than my 7th.  You might think about that for a minute to make certain you are counting your decades correctly.  As a result of the insane number of hours my aging eyes are focused on computer, or tablet, or smart phone screens while writing and researching, I've developed an annoying condition know as, "dry-eye syndrome".  Some of you likely have it.  The "gamer's glasses" I'm now wearing to mitigate the problem are ridiculous to behold.  Perhaps I'll one day post a photo of myself, thus accessorized and typing away furiously.  Don't hold your breath.

A new office chair arrived yesterday to support my ever-increasing writing effort*. (You'll figure that out, too, if you give it a second)  I must say that, so far, it is a superior delight in every way over its three predecessors.  I go through office chairs like some of my neighbors change pick-up trucks.

*In English the word 'butt' is actually an acronym for this italicized phrase.  I know the letters don't quite line up, but I think the guy behind it may have been speaking a Welsh dialect.  At least, he was probably wishing that he had been ...

And with that important and informative last bit of information, I'll leave you alone again for a while.  Comments and reviews are always welcome.  We wither here without 'em.



P. S. LONGSHOT INTO THE WEST is on SALE for a very limited time. Pick up your Kindle copy for only $0.99 and please, spread the word.