Monthly Archives: August 2013

Atlantic City Book Fest a success!

Well, the Atlantic City [Wyo.] Book Fest was a huge success. A total of 56 folks celebrated the release of Blood Atonement and the book of five other Atlantic City authors! One author, 90-year-old Betty Carpenter Pfaff, came from her home 115 miles away! The furthest someone traveled to attend was from Rawlins, 140 miles away.

The readings were mesmerizing. As soon as the word was out in the saloon that the next reading would begin, the saloon emptied. Most people had never attended book readings, and so many spoke how they enjoyed it.

Hoorah to Atlantic City, a tiny mountain village with a winter population now up to about 25!

Thank you to all who attended!


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Released! Blood Atonement; A Pioneer Trail Mystery

Cover, low res  Today’s the day Writers AMuse Me Publishing released my debut historical novel!  So many thank yous to my publisher, most especially Mary Cote!

You can purchase the book at these places:

Writers AMuse Me Publishing, trade paperback and ebooks including Kindle, Nook, and Kobo

Barnes & Noble


I’m so thrilled.  Thank you for your interest!

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R. Ben Garant’s review of Blood Atonement

I had the pleasure to meet R. Ben Garant and his bride on their honeymoon.  They are such wonderful, thoughtful folks.  Ben is known for his screenplays for the Night at the Museum movies and an eye-popping host of other movies and television shows that he wrote, directed, produced, or starred in.

Ben kindly read and reviewed my novel.  Here’s his thoughts on Blood Atonement:

    I thoroughly enjoyed Blood Atonement, the new historical thriller written by Barbara Townsend.

     After reading and loving Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer ten years ago, and seeing a great documentary about Mountain Meadows, I became interested in the darker details of Mormon pioneer history. Barbara Townsend’s book touches on that history — it conveys a real sense of historic detail and accuracy, yet at the same time it manages to be a real page-turner.

     This book is a great window into a fascinating chapter in the American Pioneer experience — and is a satisfying crime novel to boot. If you know anything about the Mormon’s migration west — or if you know nothing about it at all, you will enjoy this book.

Robert Ben Garant, Screenwriter

To Ben, thank you.  I so appreciate your words and you taking your time and energy for me.  I wish you all happiness, and I look forward to seeing your next works!

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The coolest title ever!

Mike Shay, published author and Wyoming Arts Council member, blogged about the Atlantic City [Wyoming] Book Fest on August 24, 2013.  His title for his blog entry: Atlantic City set to make its debut as the smallest town in the U.S. with its own book festival.

Besides imaginative, it’s right smart of Mike to even discern this fact!  My fellow authors who’ll be in on the fest laughed with me.

Several publishers have published Mike’s work.  Here’s a few of his publications currently for sale:

Deep West: A Literary Tour of Wyoming by Pronghorn Press

The Weight of a Body by Ghost Road Press

As always, great job, Mike.  Thank you for your support!

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Atlantic City [Wyo.] Book Fest!

The press release for the Atlantic City Book Fest is heading out!

I’m so excited for this event.  Not only is it my book release celebration, but also a gathering of our tiny town’s authors and their works.

Local legend Betty Carpenter Pfaff will attend!  I’m so honored that she’ll be here and with her book Fine Gold. She’s ninety years old and grew up in this ol’ gold mining town.

I look forward to an afternoon of being with other authors and their book readings.

Flyer   I’m thrilled about the book covers on the flyer.  The background holds a special significance.  It’s a photograph of the back cover of a book published in 1880 by Fanny Stenhouse, Englishwoman in Utah: the Story of a Life’s Experience in Mormonism. I’ll never forget the first time I read her description of her own polygamous wedding ceremony. I wept for hours. The emotion I felt was key to the emotion and character actions in my novel.

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Margaret Coel and Pat Frolander’s reviews of Blood Atonement

Three weeks remain before the release of my novel Blood Atonement!   Nerves are starting to twinge in anticipation. Self-doubt raises its ugly head.  Would readers really appreciate my story?

Advance reviews are rolling in.  Two in particular are from notable women writers whose words and character I strongly admire.

Wyoming rancher and recent Wyoming Writers, Inc. president Patricia Frolander held the position of Wyoming’s Poet Laureate until about a month ago. If you’re ever been around Pat, you’d feel as if her kindness, gentle spirit, and captivating sweet nature are the shield protecting you from all the world’s monsters. Through her book and the title poem, She Married Into It, I finally understood the power of poetry.

Of my own story, Pat wrote:  Enter a world where women share a husband—only a curtain separates intimate moments as jealously, pain, and despair build each day in their male dominated world. Discover a tenderness between sisters rent apart as evil individuals twist a religious course to fit their malicious intentions. Don’t miss this absorbing mystery of a pioneer journey of Latter day Saints, its blessings and curses in the infancy of its church.

New York Times bestselling author and sought-after writing conference faculty member, Margaret Coel has an enviable writing career. Her Wind River Mystery series center on a nearby locale and is a constant favorite of mine. Her latest novel, Killing Custer, is due for release on September 3rd. I’ve been fortunate to have been in her audience during book signings and in several writing conference seminars. Her insight and intellectual talks make me dream of reaching her stature.

Of Blood Atonement, Margaret wrote: A powerful and haunting novel. Barbara Townsend has an uncanny ability to evoke the lives of Mormon women in 1846 shortly after the proclamation of plural marriage. We root for the women as they struggle for their rights in a world turned upside down. Read Blood Atonement for the history, the compassion and the understanding that Townsend brings to her characters, and for the spellbinding story. Just read it!

To Pat and Margaret: Thank you for bestowing upon me the gift of your time, your energy, and your words.

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Filed under Advance Review Copy, Blood Atonement, Margaret Coel, author of Wind River Mystery series and more, Pat Frolander, Wyoming Poet Laureate