Toby Ryker Endorsements

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"Toby Ryker" Will Steal Your Heart! Great Book! by B.R. Jones

The title character in this powerfully woven western novel rides into Laramie, Wyoming, looking for a friendly scuffle. An aging mountain man, built like the mountains he rode out of, Toby Ryker still has enough fight and spit left in him to wrestle with the best of them and an overwhelming urge to satisfy his lust for brawling. He finds just what he’s looking for at Kelly’s Saloon—a room full of cowboys he can easily aggravate. The fighting ensues, tables and chairs are broken. He pays the bartender for the damages, impresses everyone as the friendly but cantankerous fellow he is, and leaves Kelly’s a happy man. Then drops from a heart attack right outside of the saloon.

After regaining his strength and begrudgingly accepting a bottle of nitroglycerin tablets from a frustrated Doc Swensen, Toby sets out to complete the mission that brought him to this area in the first place—to look up an old Cavalry buddy, David Stewart, who has a ranch a few miles outside of Laramie. After arriving at the Stewart ranch and spending some time with David, his wife and children, Toby suggests to David that they go off on a high country hunt in the Medicine Bow Mountains, just the two of them, like old times. David readily agrees, but what he isn’t aware of is that a bounty hunter named John McQuiston is tracking Toby for the murder of a banker in Deadwood.

McQuiston is a nasty, soulless character, intent on collecting the reward money. Whether he brings Toby back to Deadwood dead or alive is of no consequence to him. Toby and David set out for the mountains on their much anticipated hunt, John McQuiston sets out after Toby, and the sheriff of Laramie, upon learning that McQuiston, himself, is responsible for a murder in Laramie, sets out after McQuiston. They all come together high in the mountains in an explosive ending that will leave you anxiously awaiting the sequel.

Written with marvelous detail and rich characterization, Steven Ulmen has done a wonderful job capturing the texture and quality of the Wyoming Territory of the late 1800’s. Toby Ryker is an endearing bear of a man whom you’ll come to love. I laughed heartily throughout the book at the witty and humorous dialogue, especially the exchanges between Toby and his friend, David Stewart.

I highly recommend this novel to anyone looking to satisfy their hunger for tales of the old west. From quirky cowboys to brave and compassionate heroes to saloon girls and sinister bounty hunters, this novel has become one of my favorites.

Reviewed by: B.R. Jones
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If you love westerns then you'll love Toby Ryker! by David W. Hoffman of Gloomwing Magazine.

Grab your boots and saddle that horse because you're in for a ride, one that is sure to intrigue all lovers of good western tales. Steven M. Ulmen has crafted a masterful tale that few will soon forget. And though the story is a work of art the presentation of the story has some flaws.
Toby Ryker opens with Toby arriving in the small town of Laramie where he proceeds to make an unforgettable impression upon the residents. Toby then moves on to find an old friend that's taken up residence outside of town. But his past soon follows, a past that threatens not only Toby's life but others as well.
The writing style of Steven Ulmen is a pleasure to behold. He’s captured the real feel of the old west and presents the tale of Toby Ryker in a colorful fashion. I highly recommend Toby Ryker to everyone that fancies a good western.
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Loren D. Estleman Endorsement (Picture with Steven Ulmen)
Loren D. Estleman, author in both the western and mystery genres, author of Writing the Popular Novel for Writer’s Digest Books, and author of The Undertaker’s Wife, says the following in his endorsement: “TOBY RYKER is a lightening-paced, granite-touch western told in the classic mode. Steve Ulmen’s style cracks like a whip, and his characters remain with you a long time after you come to the end, which you won’t want to. As a reader, I anticipate many more hours of pleasure from this author; as a writer, I need to get cracking before he runs me over.”
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Elmer Kelton Endorsment (Picture with Steven Ulmen)
Similarly, Elmer Kelton, award-winning western author, says after reading the novel: “TOBY RYKER'S hero harks back to the like of Wallace Beery, old and fat, yet raunchy and ready to fight, a man who strangles a buzzard just for the fun of it. Ulmen’s novel has humor and movement, and a fine story-telling technique, which weigh much in its favor.”
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Suzanne H. Schrems Endorsement
Toby Ryker is an easy, laid-back read, loaded with humor and affection for the western genre, which makes for an enjoyable weekend of entertainment. Suzanne Schrems, Ph.D., author of the non-fiction titles Uncommon Women, Unmarked Trails and Who’s Rocking the Cradle, reports: “Its 1885. East and West are linked by steel rails and the buffalo are almost gone. Nevertheless, old Toby Ryker still has a lot of fight left in him. It’s a good thing he does, because he has a past about to return to haunt him. You’ll be captivated by the story, enjoy the humor and the western caricatures, and come to love tough, gentle, irascible old Toby Ryker.”
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Johnny Western Endorsement
Toby Ryker is written as a tribute to the character-driven westerns introduced on such TV shows as Gunsmoke. These characters are strong enough to carry the story line for entire chapters in the absence of Toby Ryker. Johnny Western, who composed and sang the “Paladin” title theme from CBS TV’s Have Gun, Will Travel series, says of Toby Ryker , “A very interesting concept for both a book and a screenplay.”
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Ralph Cotton Endorsement
“TOBY RYKER is the kind of premier novel that wins its author a hearty welcome to the family of western writers,” says Ralph Cotton, creator of several western novels and best selling USA Today author. “Steven Ulmen creates believable, real-to-life characters we feel we have met along the trail and incorporates them into a seamless story that leaves the reader looking forward to his next work. Congratulations, Steven Ulmen, wonderful job!”

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