| By Tiffany Schofield |
Homespun, unflinchingly honest, a natural humorist, and prolific writer, Will Rogers’s legend has been celebrated since 2008 with the Will Rogers Medallion Awards, recognizing outstanding western literature. Five Star Publishing is proud of their recently announced 2021 Medallion Award winners, including first place in Western Fiction for The Sons of Philo Gaines.
Western genre fans are loyal and committed readers—and Five Star Publishing never disappoints, delivering alluring stories told by some of the most engaging voices in American historical fiction. Learn more about our winning titles in Western Fiction, Western Romance, and Western Fiction – Young Readers below.
The Sons of Philo Gaines (first place)
Michael R. Ritt
Philo Gaines is a legend—mountain man, Indian fighter, Texas Ranger, and army scout. But Philo is also a father with three sons, a scholar, a gambler, and a gunman. Each one is trying to leave his own mark on a hard land that requires the best out of hard men. In September 1873, Matthew Gaines arrives in the west Texas town of Mustang Flats. A quiet scholar, Matthew left Princeton to become the town’s new schoolteacher. Haunted by a past he can’t seem to outrun, he discovers an unexpected connection to his own family in Mustang Flats—a secret that could cost him his life and brings his brothers, David and Luke, heading toward Mustang Flats and a showdown with destiny.
The Odyssey of Geronimo (second place)
W. Michael Farmer
Based on history and Apache culture but told through Geronimo’s eyes using the truth from fiction, this novel is a revealing account of his strengths, weaknesses, and character. As a prisoner of war for 23 years, Geronimo escaped being hanged by civil authorities in Arizona, rose to become a national superstar, and also became an astute businessman. During his captivity, he fathered two children, lost three wives, and married two more. Upon his death, he had amassed a small fortune in a Lawton, Oklahoma, bank from selling his autographs, autographed pictures, headdresses, bows and arrows, and other mementos. Geronimo was hated by some of his own people, loved by others, but respected by all.
Grasshoppers in Summer (fourth place)
Grasshoppers in Summer tells the epic story of making and breaking the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 as seen through the eyes of opposing political, military, and tribal leaders. Relentless fraud, corruption, and cultural and political pressures frustrated President Grant’s effort to reform Indian policy. A conspiracy of military, railroad, and mining interests destroyed the Fort Laramie Treaty, leading to the drumbeat of war. The plains tribes’ last great victory at Greasy Grass would win the bitter spoils of total defeat.
Tangled Times (third place)
Irene Bennett Brown
Book two from the Nickel Hill series is set in 1901 Kansas, where newlyweds Jocelyn and Pete Pladson are determined to make Nickel Hill Ranch a successful cattle operation. For that to happen, they must stop cattle rustlers who constantly plague their herd, defy a crazed woman with murder in her eye, and fight fire. A decision about two homeless youngsters who’ve landed on their doorstep and into their hearts is the easy part.
WESTERN FICTION – YOUNG READERS
Dilly (second place)
Matthew P. Mayo
The is a coming-of-age story about an abused orphan boy, Orville Dillard Jr., aka Dilly, who travels west from Ohio to Wyoming and ends up at the Hatterson Cattle Ranch. He also finds himself smack in the middle of the infamous and all-too-real Sheep Wars, in which dozens of sheepherders are murdered and few of the attacking cattlemen are ever held accountable.
All featured titles are available in large print. Five Star Publishing titles are available through all major wholesalers and distributors. Speak to a library sales consultant to learn more.