A tale of three blurbs

I received the suggestion last week to show the original blurb alongside the changes. So, here goes. For my short story THE TAKING OF RHINOCEROS 456. 

Cover design by Molly Humphrey. Photo by Roxanne Rix

Cover design by Molly Humphrey. Photo by Roxanne Rix



Something mysterious goes on after hours at the San Antonio Daedalus Memorial Zoo. Myths live here. Mother Earth, for one. When the rhinos vanish, Steve the bum finds a talking dog. Maybe. Oddball whimsy combined with a puzzle: THE TAKING OF RHINOCEROS 456.

This is a short story.


A homeless man named Steve lives in the zoo in the empty cage next to the abominable snowman. There stupid zoo visitors hound him for photographs, mistaking him for the chimera.

Steve is much more dangerous than that.

Southern Gothic shot through with whimsy. Imagination let loose. THE TAKING OF RHINOCEROS 456.


Arguably the most vicious exhibit contained at this zoo—

Steve, the homeless man living in the empty cage next to the abominable snowman.

Things aren’t quite what they seem at the San Antonio Daedalus Memorial Zoo. Southern Gothic meets Texas Whimsy in this highly imaginative short story.

Contains The Taking of Rhinoceros 456

Contains The Taking of Rhinoceros 456



WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:  The River of Corn by John Rose Putnam. Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee.

Here is the link to the story http://amzn.com/B006P10KGM and here is a link to the collection  http://amzn.com/B00HQ0PH1O. Those of you subscribed to KU can read them for free.


Twisted RixterOver the next few months I’m going to redo all my product descriptions, commonly known as blurbs.

I started with the short story TRUEPENNY. Here’s what the new one looks like:

The braver the mouse, the better the supper. Not every house cat’s slogan, but Paw Paw likes them feisty. Cats eat mice, you know; even in stories.

As Paw Paw relates the latest Truepenny legend to his attentive mouse audience, he thinks of nothing but the food sitting so vulnerable in front of his eyes.

Until he remembers the real Truepenny, and what actually happened.

TRUEPENNY is available as a single story, or as part of the collection TWISTED RIXTER

TRUEPENNY is available as a single story, or as part of the collection TWISTED RIXTER



(Believe me, it’s a lot better than what I had.)

And here’s the one I’m working on for THE TAKING OF RHINOCEROS 456 (I’m not finished).

A homeless man named Steve lives in the zoo in the empty cage next to the abominable snowman where stupid zoo visitors hound him for photographs, mistaking him for the chimera.

Steve is much more dangerous than that.

Southern Gothic shot through with whimsy. Imagination let loose. THE TAKING OF RHINOCEROS 456.

Cover design by Molly Humphrey. Photo by Roxanne Rix

Cover design by Molly Humphrey. Photo by Roxanne Rix


Comments appreciated.


WHAT I READ THESE PAST WEEKS:  The Kingdom of the Sun and the Moon by Lowell H. Press.  Smoke-Filled Rooms by Kris Nelscott. Falling Down the Aether Sky by Sekji Ani. Never Trust A Dead Man by Vivian Vande Velde.


You can find my books and stories at http://amazon.com/author/gretchenrix

And most of the books at http://barnesandnoble.com/c/gretchen-rix and http://smashwords.com/books/view/494824.

Paperbacks are available in Lockhart, Texas, at Buffalo Clover on the square and at Logos off the square near Blacks BBQ. And in Austin at Bookpeople http://www.bookpeople.com/search/apachesolr_search/the%20safari%20bride  and in Round Rock at The Book Spot http://www.juliesbookspot.com

(Truth of it is, though, any bookstore can order the paperbacks for you).

After Armadillocon

Gnome and friendBest part of being in the dealer’s room for two and a half days at ArmadilloCon 37 this past weekend:

Number One: Getting to talk with Howard Waldrop! We’ve met him before, have heard him read before, but have never had the opportunity to chat. Priceless.

Number Two: Selling a copy of my short story collection TWISTED RIXTER to Joe Landsdale! Joe Lansdale, people! And we didn’t even twist his arm.

Number Three: Getting to meet Facebook friends Juan Perez and his lovely wife Malia, trading a copy of my TWISTED RIXTER for their SEX, LIES, and CHUPACABRAS.

Number Four:The birds-eye view we got of the autographing sessions that were smack dab in front of our two tables of books.

Number Five: Selling 32 books.

Number Six:  Meals delivered to the dealer’s room, a very good hotel experience, an totally easy and safe drive there and back again. Hotel was the Omni off I35 South.

Number Seven through Ten: Meeting and talking with all the other dealers in the room, some of whom we knew from other ArmadilloCons and others new to the con. Bought two novels from new writers selling in the dealer’s room, bought a lot of tea (a lot of tea), bought artwork. Spent more than we made, actually. Had fun being there.

Thank you ArmadilloCon staff and participants. Good job.

Here’s the book we sold the most of:Twisted Rixter



WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:  All Clear by Connie Willis.

Photo by Roxanne Rix (doesn’t have anything to do with ArmadilloCon or the hotel)


Armadillocon 37 July 24-26

Short stories

Weird western







The Safari Bride




Come visit us at Armadillocon 37 at the Omni in Austin, Texas this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We’ll be in the dealer’s room with my books (more than these three titles) and books by Patrick Kampman. All good reading. Giving away free rubber ducks. You know you’ll want one.


WHAT I READ THESE PAST WEEKS:  Day Shift by Charlaine Harris.  The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks.  To The Hilt by Dick Francis.  Blackout by Connie Willis.

Crossover Book for The Cowboy’s Baby

The Cowboy’s Baby has a crossover book called Baby Sings the BoosBaby Sings The Boos

What’s a crossover, and what is The Cowboy’s Baby crossing with?

A crossover book marries two different novels that seem to have nothing in common, but they do. The Cowboy’s Baby is tied into Talking To The Dead Guys and its sequel Tea With A Dead Gal by virtue of setting, time, and the coincidence of quirky animal characters.

You see, the made-up town of Creighton where The Cowboy’s Baby takes place is less than thirty miles from the real town of Lockhart,Texas, where Boo Radley, the dog character in the Boo Done It mysteries, lives and wreaks havoc.

So I had them meet.

The real Boo RadleyYes, Boo Radley meets Baby.

At the State Fair of Texas. Maxwell, Texas

At the local comic-con in San Marcos.

Baby Sings the Boos contains humorous short stories combining the two characters in adventures.






Photos by Roxanne Rix.






The sequel to The Cowboy’s Baby

Bet you didn’t know there was a sequel to THE COWBOY’S BABY. Here’s the cover.

The Cowboy's Baby Goes To Heaven


THE COWBOY’S BABY GOES TO HEAVEN. It’s a better book, I think. Takes the characters of Ralph Maybeath (the preacher man) and Leona Robin (the recently retired diplomat) and throws them in with Baby and Little Leon. But you’ve also got Cassie and Frank and a couple of new characters, and hay falling from the skies.

Next year there will be a third book, THE COWBOY’S BABY GETS MARRIED.





The Cowboy’s Baby with a professional cover

The Cowboy's BabyAbout a year after publication, I decided to stop using the DIY method and hire the hard stuff out to the professionals. By that I mean the cover and the formatting. This is what The Cowboy’s Baby looked like afterwards.


Cover by Streetlight Graphics


This was done by Streetlight Graphics (aka http://streetlightgraphics.com ). I’ve used them for everything since then.

Another Streetlight Graphics cover

How’d I find these marvelous people? Well, it was through the rising fantasy and science fiction writing star Lindsay Buroker (http://lindsayburoker.com).

I honestly don’t remember how I first found Lindsay, but it was most likely that she’d put one of her books up for free on Kindle and I took advantage of it.

When I started following her on Twitter, I decided I liked her covers and took a chance that she would answer a fellow writer’s business-related question. Thus my introduction to the Streetlight Graphics people.

So, thank you Lindsay Buroker, thank you Streetlight Graphics, and thank you Kindle, and Twitter, and Facebook.

What a great new world of publishing!

The Oil MuseumPhotos by Roxanne Rix

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:  Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris.


The Cowboy’s Baby and its first book covers

If you read from the June 20, 2015 post up to the June 29, 2015 post you will get the whole of the unused original prologue for The Cowboy’s Baby. It gives you a perspective of Cassandra Lennon’s life and how she came to be known as the Sleeping Beauty.

Below are the original The Cowboy’s Baby covers.

To the left, the first paperback cover (the black outline has been added to provide definition against this all-white background). Our original paperbacks came from Blurb.com and a designer we picked from their list. We were and still are very proud of this cover, and at this moment we still have two copies of this exact book in stock.

Obviously the paperback is a reworking of our original Amazon.com e-book cover (shown on the right). We did this one ourselves. My sister took the photograph in the area surrounding Maxwell, Texas. Our friend Mike McGregor helped us with the design. And I finally said, yes, this is what I want! It accurately represented the Sleeping Beauty Ranch that exists in The Cowboy’s Baby‘s world.

We used this design for a full year before opting to hire a professional cover artist. It was a very good decision, but sometimes I miss this simple cover.


cover photo by Roxanne RixThe original cover










You can find The Cowboy’s Baby at http://smashwords.com/books/view/79235 and at http://amzn.com/B003UYUVZC and sometimes at Buffalo Clover on the square in Lockhart, Texas.

Photos by Roxanne Rix butterfly

End of The Cowboy’s Baby prologue

Atypical Texas sceneryI’ve finally come to the end of the unused prologue to THE COWBOY’S BABY. Here it is.

The time passed. The camels weren’t real friendly and tended to attract motorists to her fence along the country highway, but she kept them anyway. The longhorns were now a herd and she had just begun to experiment with the miniatures of the breed, finding to her surprise something she loved and was really good at. The dog, the cat, the horses all multiplied and over the next decade Cassie’s family land became a ranch, and rich, widowed, childless, distracted Cassie became a cowboy, most of her time now spent riding up and down the fences and with her animals.

Cowboy Cassie tended the stock,moving it from one part of her land to better pastures on the other side of the highway, continually surprised at how much time that took up. Keeping trespassers from Creighton Lakeview Resort from getting in her way was her other main job.Angel

Some people still remembered her as the Sleeping Beauty, but to most of her neighbors Cassie Lennon was now “the cowboy.” The name switch changed nothing except the image. The moat was set, the walls were protected, and the knight patrolled the castle battlements. Cassie and her baby’s animals were all as safe inside as her lost Joseph was safe inside her mind. Cassie was now thirty-five years old. If he had lived, Joseph would have been about fifteen.

It was past time for the prince to come and save her. Off the Texas coast.

COPYRIGHT by Gretchen Rix

Photos by Roxanne Rix