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m j . hollingshead

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· Palo Verde: The Wanted Poster

· The Agent: Murder By Design

· A Teaching Handbook for the Non Teacher ... or I must have been mad to think I wanted to teach

· The Cats' Paw: Blue Death

· The Agent: Murder By Accident

· Daddy's One Acre

· Available Now The Wonderful Day children's book

· The Inspector’s Wife

Short Stories
· G'pa's Romantic Marriage Proposal

· The Door : Part 6 ......................... molly writes

· Adobe Ridge .... part 4 ... Molly Writes

· Adobe Ridge ...... Part 3 ....... Molly Writes

· The Door Part 3..................Molly writes

· The Door part 2.........molly writes

· The Door part 1...........molly writes

· Adobe Ridge.........part 2........................Molly Writes

· Adobe Ridge.....part 1.....Molly Writes

· The Blanket

· Hidden Impact book review

· Junie B Jones Kindergartener

· You and Me, Baby book review

· Fractured Legacy , Charles B Neff

· Seals, Sea Gulls and other Sounds

· Phoning Home Essays

· Van Gogh Book Review

· Timepieces Masterpieces of Chronometry

· Monday Morning Motivation

· Cry of The Fish Eagle

· Still Remembering Daddy

· And, I Still Remember Daddy

· I saw my President Weep

· GOOD BYE HELLO First Grade Poetry

· First Grade Spring CINQUAIN


· MARCH: Lion & Lamb First Grade Diamante

· LEPRECHAUN First Grade Poetry

· Santachaun . . First Grade

· Thanksgiving

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· Gigi Phillips....................................Molly's Interviews

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· Common Foe.................................Molly's Reviews

· Maria Osborne Perry........................Molly's Interviews

· Christine Spindler.............................Molly's Interviews

· Dorien Grey.....................................Molly's Interviews

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Palo Verde : the wanted poster
By m j . hollingshead
Posted: Sunday, April 18, 2004
Last edited: Sunday, April 18, 2004
This short story is rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent stories by m j . hollingshead
· The Blanket
· G'pa's Romantic Marriage Proposal
· The Door part 1...........molly writes
· The Door part 2.........molly writes
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           >> View all 25
moving from articles to

The bullet that should
have gone dead center
in the kidís forehead
entered just above his
ear instead.


Travis Hollen guided Nell down into the grassy draw. Glad he had put on that poncho after all he mused. He hadnít really wanted to, but Ma just insisted that he take it with him. Kinda cold out here this time of the morning he thought. Travis knew that it was sure to get hot later in the day. He reckoned he would tell Ma about the blossoms on the apple tree just this side of the ravine. Maybe he thought, Iíll just stop and get a branch of them for her on my way back. Ma always liked pretty things. Likes apple blossoms. He had seen a little bunch of cows huddled together down in the sheltered area in the middle of the arroyo. Was the spot they favored for birthiní calves. The fourteen-year-old had set out astride the mare quick as the sun showed over the horizon. Pa said last night at suppertime that he wanted the cattle counted by the time he got back from hauling the load for Mr. Hammond. Uncle Perry and Pa let their cattle run across all the land owned. Had near nine hundred acres between the two of them. Nothing like what Mr. Walker had, but was plenty for them.

Travis kinda liked coming out alone to check on the cattle. Ma fixed him up a lunch with corn bread and a lunch bucket of beans. And she had wrapped up the last of the pie that they had for supper last night and gave that to him as well. Of course both of his brothers had asked if they could come along too. Quick as they did the girls all started in too. Even Katie the three year old. Travis grinned thinking about it. Perry and John just wanted an excuse for not going to school. Pa saw right through their arguments that Travis might need help. Pa said no, the boys was to go on to school.
Pa said next year he might ask Mr. Hammond for a job for Travis driving one of the Hammond delivery wagons. Travis looked forward to it. He didnít care much for the school his pa and the others built last year. Ma already taught him his letters and his numbers. Pa said he had enough learning to do what he had to do. Travis figured to be a rancher like Pa and Uncle Perry.

Three wary cows eyed him from the shelter of the draw, sure enough Travis saw three new calves on the ground between their feet. Nearby stood four more cows. With a practiced eye Travis took in the heaving sides and wide eyes of two more of the critters. Reckon there will be two more calves right smart he thought. Them other two standing over by the little spring will be a little longer. Pa and Uncle Perry will be glad for the news he mused, this brings it to fourteen new calves this week.

Travis tugged the reins turning Nell just as the impassive, dark eyed man who had been watching him for the better part of an hour squeezed the trigger. The crack of the rifle sounded loud from the copse of cottonwoods down at the far end of the draw. Travis heard the noise but had no time to react. The bullet that should have gone dead center in the kidís forehead entered just above his ear instead. The youngster slid to the ground as the mare reared. Nell tore out of the draw and headed for the house.

Prologue of my book in progress: first time to attempt Western genre

copyright 2002 molly martin

Reviewed by LgP 4/17/2003

I liked it very much, but I would like to see a little more detail when speaking about the surroundings. Kudos to you!

Reviewed by Amor Sabor 7/30/2002

I am not a fan of westerns...but you know how to write in a way that pulls me into a story and that is what matters to me most. That is what draws me in and keeps me there. Loved this prologue! You managed to slide in mystery and suspense from a unique angle. I love the wya you see things.

Reviewed by Lynda 7/27/2002

You have my attention, waiting with hat in hand for the rest of it.

Reviewed by Jeremy 7/27/2002

I liked this a lot, and I am not a Western afictionado. Good characters, memorable, and ties into real life events well.

Reviewed by Bianca Boonstra 7/26/2002

The prologue is sounding excellent. Looking forward to more :-)

Reviewed by Margaret 7/26/2002

Will this be a young adult's book? I have an 11-year old nephew who loves western themed boks, especially if the main character is a young boy.

Reviewed by Laura Coleman 7/26/2002

I like the western stories. Look forward to reading more.

Reviewed by Theresa Jodray-Koch 7/25/2002


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Reader Reviews for "Palo Verde : the wanted poster"

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Reviewed by Ian Irvine (Hobson)
This has an authentic feel, the dialogue and setting work well - and it ends with a great hook. Good tight controlled writing!
Reviewed by Mary Coe
An excellent write. This was interseting reading. I like western stories. Enjoyed the read.
Reviewed by Sandra Mushi
You sure have gotten my attnetion, olly! This is such a great captivating write! I'm going to read more of your stories!

God bless,

Reviewed by Lee Garrett
Overall, an impressive passage. There is an folksy charm to the stream of consciousness style narrative that makes this easy to read, creating the authentic air of the western genre. However, there is a blatant POV shift in the first appearance of the shooter. The main character shouldn't have any idea how long the ambusher has been stalking him. If he'd known he was being stalked, he'd have done something earlier to save himself from being shot. Also, the attack comes out of left field. You may have wanted this for shock value, but I think you would have gotten more milage from the use of foreshadowing instead. You could have had the rider tensing his shoulderblades inexplicably, forcing himself to relax...wondering why he had the urge to look over his shoulder. You could have used a startled flight of crows to spook him a little--an indian type of omen--he could have counted the crows in flight, wondering about the significance of their number. A few touches like these would add tension, suspense, and increase the grip you have on your readers early own until you get to the action.
Reviewed by Saundra Washington D.D.
You really know how to tease the appetite. Great job.
Reviewed by Sandie Angel

This is neat! The imagery comes alive! One of my uncle is a great fan of the Western. I'm sure he will like this.

Sandie Angel a.k.a. Sandie May Angel :o)
Reviewed by Nordette Adams
Boy, that opening packs a wallop! And as we've all been told over and over again, catch 'em in the beginning. If you keep this up, you've got a sure winner. Great narrative style, good ear for the character's voice. You crated our vision of Travis enough in this brief opening to have us care about him so we want to know more and are concerned about his future. Way to go, madame. ~~Nordette
Reviewed by Barbara Terry
Molly if this is your first time with the western genre, you have done a wonderful job with just the prologue alone. I can't wait to read the book. May the Lord be with you always, and at your side constanntly. With much Love, peace, & (((HUGS))), Barbie

"If I have to...Then I may as well be."
Reviewed by Dana Reed
I really hope that Travis doesn't die. I really developed a liking for the boy and hope it's not going to end like Janet Leigh in Psycho. A small scene. Really good job.
Reviewed by Robert Montesino
One of the many things I wanted to be when I was little was a cowboy!This little piece made me remember that dream! The writing solid & descriptive narrative right on target! Now we need to know what happen to Travis?
Reviewed by Koty Lapid
I liked it.
Reviewed by J. Allen Wilson
This is really have me going about what happens next.

Reviewed by Regis Auffray
This captures the attention. Well done. Love and peace. Regis
Reviewed by A Serviceable Villain
A very entertaining story - well written!
Reviewed by Fr. Kurt Messick
Reviewed by Walker Jackson (Reader)
Molly such an interesting story line. I was pulled in by this prologue. Your writing just keeps getting better and better. Your original voice is delightful. Something nice should happen for you. You are a big boost to all of us who write for the love of it and hope for a little recognition.
Reviewed by Carol Chapman (Reader)
I could see the scene, you words painted a powerful image and the ending left me waiting and wanting more. I truly enjoyed this.

Reviewed by Safi
Hope the shot wasn't fatal? Great story, Molly!
Reviewed by Dallas Franklin
Well Travis seemed like a nice enough kid..why'd he have to go and shoot him!? *~;) That's what I wanna know. Great story, Molly!
Reviewed by Franz Kessler
Gives a taste of the wild country. Awesome ending. Franz
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
very nice write, molly! enjoyed much!

(((HUGS))) and much love, your tx. friend, karen lynn. :D
Reviewed by Mr. Ed
Vivid scene setting; and a powerful chapter ending. Enjoyed very much.

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