Blood on the Cards

Blood on the Cards
Now available at,,, and other online vendors

Blood on the Pen

Blood on the Pen
An unpublished author gets one rejection letter too many and starts killing literary agents. Can a troubled, modern-day Texas Ranger and a meddling, young woman stop it?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

I was very pleased with the presentation BTS Emag did on my short story, The Ladies of Hargrove Court, in their November issue. Very nice.  Now waiting to see when Blood on the Badge makes its way out of the queue.  I almost forgot about it while I've been working on new manuscripts. Is that like forgetting about one of your children?

Monday, November 4, 2013

The November issue of BTS Emag is out, and it features one of my short stories, The Ladies of Hargrove Court. That's nice.  The magazine is beautifully done.  It includes information and reviews on a number of genres.  I'm very pleased to see some of my work in it. :) The magazine is free and here's the link: 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Do you have a favorite fall memory linked to a train? What do you imagine you would see if you were riding a train in the fall? Join the authors of Wild Child publishing and Freya’s Bower as we Take an Autumn Train Ride through our blogs.

A Nice Young Man
by David W. Huffstetler
The cool air of late autumn and a panoramic view of trees clinging to tawny leaves brought a smile, as Eleanor stared out the window of the club car. She turned back to the knitting sprawled over the lap of her simple dress and adjusted the spectacles on the bridge of her thin nose. “Oh, my, what is that awful odor?” A plume of black smoke from the coal-fired engine stole its way through the open window, past her graying hair, and into her face. Pushing and bumping and groaning weren’t enough to close it, so she turned to the passenger riding beside her. “Young man, would you help me with this? I cannot abide the smell of smoke.”
            “Yes, ma’am, of course. Let’s see, yeah, there we go. The latch was stuck. Is that better?”
            “Indeed. Thank you. You must have very strong fingers to free that latch so quickly.”
            “Barrel making tends to strengthen the fingers, if it doesn’t break them.”
            “Are you a cooper then? Wait, let me guess. I’m good at this. You’re traveling from Nashville, as I am, and, ah, Mocker Barrel Factory. I am right, aren’t I?”
            “Very good. My brother and I spent the past three years there. That’s BJ across the aisle, the galoot with his hat pulled down. Oh, excuse me, ma’am. I haven’t introduced myself. Howard, Thomas Howard, at your service.”
            She offered her slight, gloved hand. “I’m happy to meet you, Mr. Howard. I’m Eleanor Fitzpatrick of Jefferson City, Missouri. I spent the summer visiting my sister in Nashville and now I’m headed home. I detest locomotives, but the stage is too slow and bumpy for me anymore. And, what about you, Mr. Howard? Is Nashville your home?”
            A broad smile crawled over his face. “Please, call me Thomas and no, ma’am.  I was born in Missouri, too, near Kearny. BJ and I were in business together there, but things turned for the worse, and we found work in Nashville. Now, we’re headed home to try our hand again.”
            “Oh, that’s exciting. What is your vocation?”
            “Finance. We tried to expand into Minnesota, and things went poorly, but we believe we have righted ourselves now.” He reached for his chest. “Forgive me, Eleanor. It’s an old wound from the war, and sometimes it pains me.”
            The leather seat piped a squeak, as she turned to take his hand. “You were one of our brave boys in the Confederacy, weren’t you? I knew it from your accent. What battle were you shot in, son?”
            “None. I fought in more battles than I’d like to remember, and never injured once. Then came the end of the war. I rode with a squadron of guerillas and, when we tried to surrender, some Billy Blue shot me through the lung. I suppose we weren’t fit to surrender.”
            She patted his arm and returned to her knitting. “Well, I’m happy to know you survived it and survived it well, apparently. You are a well-dressed, handsome young fellow. That’s the problem with war. It robs us of so many fine, young men and for what? It’s all a waste of life and effort, if you ask me. Of course, we should not misremember our sacred dead.”  Eleanor rocked forward, spilling her needles from her lap, as the train screeched to a stop. “What in the world?”
            He helped her gather her things from the floor. “Here you go.”
            “Why have we stopped? What do you suppose . . .”
            “Well, my guess is that there’s a stack of rocks on the track, big rocks, just around a curve by a clump of trees. The engineer probably didn’t see it in time, so he had to stop quickly.”
            “How could you know that?”
            “Pardon me, Miss Eleanor, it’s time for me to return to my chosen profession.” He swung out of his seat, stood back to back with his brother, and pulled two pistols from beneath his coat. “Stand and deliver!”
            Eleanor pulled her hands to her chest. She heard the sound of horses outside and men yelling, “Hands up.”
            The two brothers circulated through the car, collecting money and valuables into burlap sacks. Then her handsome, young man returned. He held the sack out and drew it back. “You have been pleasant company, ma’am. I’ll not take anything from you. If you’ll pardon me, we have an express car to rob.”
            “But, Thomas, how can you do this. I mean, I don’t know what to say.”
            He took her hand, kissed it, and said, “It’s not Thomas, dear lady. It’s Jesse.”




Friday, March 15, 2013


Edge of your seat, September 4, 2013
By: C. L. Exline (Pennsylvania, USA)  
Blood on the Cards (A Jack Harden Mystery) (Kindle Edition)
The story features a tough Texas Ranger. What's not to like about a Texas Ranger? Not a thing. Trust me, if you ever need help, you want this Texas Ranger, Jack Harden, on your side. The characters are well done. Some you'll like, some you won't, some will worry you, and a few--well let's just say, don't put anything past them.

Jack is charismatic and takes his job quite seriously. He's a bit of a hard nose, stomps the crap out of the rules, but he's honest and has a bit of a soft heart. The book kicks off with a horrendous murder, then as they say, the plot thickens. Readers will be taken on a edge of the seat exciting ride, hang on but don't close your eyes, you never know who will crawl out of the woodwork or who to trust. There is a selection of bad guys, but who is the worse or who is the next victim is up for grabs. Jack must keep one step ahead before it's too late. This is a must read.

Blood on the Cards is book two in the Jack Harden series. Although it stands alone, why should it? Blood on the Pen kicks off the series and is also a must read.

Review from Lynn Reynolds at All About Romance

My Thoughts:
At the start of this book, Jack Harden receives a late night call. He has a talk with two teenagers. As an adult, you’ll love how he gives them a little tough love. Elsie is a reporter who happens to have a thing for Jack. But this is not a love story. I’m one that usually only reads all things romance but I said that I’d give this book a try. I’m glad that I made that decision – Jack had me hooked right from the first page.

One character to watch out for is Reverend Benjamin Lu. He’s not like any religious man I’ve ever come into contact with. He seems to be one of those characters that keep you riveted to the story. You just have to see if you can figure him out.

Jack is a character that one minute you question his morals and then he turns around and redeems himself. He’s also a man that cares about his family and friends. He’s a man that I would want to have on my side.

David has either done a lot of research to get his scenes so perfect or he has a great imagination (or the perfect combination of both). It would be interesting to know if he would like to see his book on the small or big screen. And then it also has me wondering who he would cast as his characters.
This book is as good as any romance that I have read – I didn’t want to put it down. It has a lot going on and it gets a little complicated but isn’t that what makes a good mystery. If things got solved too early, what would be left to hold your attention? At one point you think you have it all figured out and then you realize that you don’t. The bigger mystery is if there is going to be a book three. If you also like to read romances, you will get a teaser at the end. The only disappointment I had was that I haven’t read book one

Blood on the Cards - Released

Blood on the Cards - Released
Mystery, thrills,and a touch of the paranormal. Now available at,,, and other online outlets

Blood on the Pen

Blood on the Pen
Available now from Wild Child Publishing at,,, and other websites. Jack Harden is a modern-day Texas Ranger haunted by his wife’s death a year ago. But, when a murderer strikes, he is called into duty. As he battles the urge to kill the drunk driver responsible for her death and the hunger to kill himself, he now must chase a killer who wants him dead. Elsie Rodriguez is assigned to report of the murders for her newspaper and ordered to stay with Jack Harden. He’s old school, tough, and doesn’t want her there, but, despite his gruff manner, the big Ranger triggers something inside her. Something more than just her Latin temper. Can she pull him back from the edge of sanity? Or will death win again?