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January - March 2012     VOLUME 16 ISSUE 1
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Rick Tonyan

Festival of Reading

Civil War Novel Shows Florida as Wild as West
“Mitchell was at the bar, his back to the door, sipping from a shot glass. There was no sign of the pot-bellied man or any of the girls. For a man in boots and spurs, Tree made very little sound as he walked on the sawdust.  Light from the doorway shone on Mitchell and cast both his and Tree’s shadows across the bar."  
"Mitchell didn’t look up from his glass until he heard a voice growl and then bark out: "Hey, you!"  Tree’s right hand already was on the butt of the belt gun when he shouted. Mitchell tried to draw, but the Colt’s cylinder didn’t clear the belt before Tree fired." 
“Another showdown in another cow town saloon. It’s a scene that’s been repeated countless times during the century-or-so that writers have been penning tales from the sagebrush.  But this time it’s different. The saloon isn’t in Dodge City or Tombstone or any other the other hundreds of names, both real and fictional, of rustler-plagued towns in the West.”
“This saloon’s in Enterprise, Florida, Yep. Florida. The state that’s known for theme parks and drug smuggling, but not for cattle raising and rustling.  But, Florida is now and always had been more of a cattle state than most Western states. And its history is filled with action as wild as anything that ever came out of Texas, Arizona, or anywhere else west of the Mississippi.”
An excerpt from an article on Guns of the Palmetto Plains taken from

Mr. Tonyan will be appearing at the 2012 Festival of Reading.  The complete schedule can be found at