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Sidewinder

   (17 reviews)

Life in the Old West was harsh. The work was hard, but the men were harder, and death.... well... it came easy. Boone had no one until he met Coy, a handsome cowboy with a good heart. Their friendship was quickly formed, and meant everything to him, but after five years of being at each other's side, it was time to move on. Coy didn't need him anymore, and Boone wanted someone made like he was. Finally accepting that was never going to be Coy, and tired of being rootless, he sets out to find a home... land that was his, and a place he could belong. Coy? Left on his own, what path will he take?

What was life like for a gay man in the Old West? Westerns are not a popular genre, but this author grew up on them, and I wrote this for me. This is my second story set in these times, and I wanted to explore how these men coped... how they survived, and what the attitudes of the times were. A lot of research went into this, but the trappings of the story are only a small part of it. This is a simple human drama about wanting what we all want... to stay alive, have a place to call our own, and someone to share it all with. Sometimes, it's just a dream....

Copyright © 2020 Headstall; All Rights Reserved.

Story Recommendations (30 members)

  • Action Packed 13
  • Addictive/Pacing 21
  • Characters 30
  • Cliffhanger 11
  • Smoldering 14
  • Tearjerker 10
  • Unique 22
  • World Building 13

  • Like 9
  • Love 29

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centexhairysub

   9 of 9 members found this review helpful 9 / 9 members

Very well written and developed story, the descriptive nature of some of the chapters were truly wonderful.

Westerns are a genre that does not often find itself being plumbed by gay authors or have content that is gay centric in nature.  I have never understood this but Headstall has provided a prime example of what a talented writer can do with the setting and genre.  

Story was well developed but moved along at a good pace.  There was just enough background information provided in a timely and encapsulated manner so the reader fully understood what the backstory was and how it related to what was being played out.  It was easy to care about the characters and there were several that I could see deserving of stories of their own.  The authors prose in describing the natural setting of the story truly draws one into the time and place of the story.  I could easily have read a story twice this length with these characters.

Bravo...

Response from the author:

Wow! Thanks, centex! You've definitely made my day. I don't understand the shortage of gay-themed westerns either. They're out there, but certainly not numerous. Your words are very kind and I hope they "spur" other readers to delve into this story. It's been a terrific experience to write and post, and I loved the interaction from the readers. And, to be honest, I could have written a story about these characters twice the length of this one. They have become quite special to me. Thanks again, and cheers! Gary. 

  • Like 1
  • Love 6
Link to review
drsawzall

   7 of 7 members found this review helpful 7 / 7 members

Well worth the time to read and enjoy, a story that's well crafted that you will truly like!

Response from the author:

Thank you, drsawzall! I really enjoyed you being along for the ride, and I appreciate the support from a fellow author. God willing, another western might be on the horizon. Cheers! Gary.

  • Like 1
  • Love 5
Link to review
Onim

   6 of 6 members found this review helpful 6 / 6 members

This story with it's wonderful characters...Coy, Boone and others (Blue and Daisy, especially), ticked all the boxes for me, written so well, there was laughter, tears, adventure, cliffhangers, LOVE, a uniqueness, etc, etc, etc!!! Loved it, the ending was perfect!!:heart:

Response from the author:

What a wonderful review of a story so close to my heart, Onim. Thank you so much for this validation. This one took a lot of research and attention to detail, but it looks like my choices were well received. :)  Cheers!

  • Like 2
  • Love 3
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Albert1434

   5 of 5 members found this review helpful 5 / 5 members

A wonderful story full of Gary magic. Western love at its best! Well written and thought out! Two young men find there love for each other so wonderful! Them get to have there dream together which I just loved:2thumbs:

Response from the author:

Thanks, Albert! I always love to hear there might be such a thing as Gary magic. :)  Writing about the Old West again was a lot of fun, and the reception of this one was rewarding. Thanks for your support, and I hope your review helps convince new readers to give it a shot. Cheers!

  • Like 1
  • Love 2
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dughlas

   5 of 5 members found this review helpful 5 / 5 members

This is the dime store western of my boyhood with a twist. In those stories the cowboy won the shootout and the gal. Here there ain't no gal and the only shootout occurred just before the story begins. That shootout has ramifications though for two young men. It is the impetus for one of them, Boone, to seek out the life he dreams of and for his best friend, Coy, to decide what it is he wants from life. Like most westerns there's also a cantankerous mule ...

Response from the author:

Lol. There had to be a mule, dugh. :P  I used to read those dime store westerns too, and I would get lost in those worlds of horses and cowboys and good guys and bad guys. Who'd have thought that young kid would one day write a western where the hero is a gay man? Not me, that's for sure, but I've sure enjoyed doing it. We all have dreams, no matter what times we live in, but the challenge for finding someone to share them with might have been harder back then, and that is what Boone faces.  

Thanks so much for the great review, bro. I hope it will give others the impetus to read this little story... cheers! Gary. 

  • Like 3
  • Love 3
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James Baxter

   4 of 4 members found this review helpful 4 / 4 members

One of my favorite westerns ever!  Move over Larry McMurtry.

Response from the author:

Thanks, James for such a wonderful review. I don't think Larry McMurtry need move over, but I am humbled by any comparison to such a writer. It is high praise indeed that this is one of your favorite westerns ever. :D I hope more readers will give this little story a chance, whether they are fond of the western genre or not. Cheers!. 

  • Like 2
  • Love 3
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LD Stratton

   4 of 4 members found this review helpful 4 / 4 members

From one of the best GA authors an intelligent, well written story of self-acceptance and a growing love. Set in the old West, the author brings the story alive with colour, dialog and a cleverly crafted plot that engages the reader from beginning to end. Worth a read?  NO! This is a must read.

Response from the author:

Wow. Thanks, LD! I hope other readers take your advice and read Sidewinder. This has quickly become one of my favorite endeavors, and I'm pleased you found it so worthy. Cheers!

  • Like 1
  • Love 3
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JeffreyL

   4 of 4 members found this review helpful 4 / 4 members

I was going to write a review, but after reading the others mine would be redundant. I don't think you have to be a fan of westerns to enjoy this story. Boone and Coy are interesting, well written characters. If you're not certain try reading a couple of chapters. Remember Headstall is the author, and he has written several good stories!

Response from the author:

Nothing wanting for this review, Jeff. It's a wonderful testament for potential readers to absorb, and I thank you for it. This story turned out to be a wonderful experience to write and post, thanks in no small part to the readers. Cheers!

  • Like 1
  • Love 3
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CincyKris

   4 of 4 members found this review helpful 4 / 4 members

I loved this story!  One of Headstall's best.  If you like action, love, nature, and complex social relationships, this story is for you.  I envy future readers ability to binge read this pageturner!

Response from the author:

Thanks, Kris! Maybe I should get you to do my PR work for me. :) I truly appreciate the marvelous review, and hope it will resonate with potential readers. Cheers! 

  • Like 1
  • Love 3
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Atlboy

   3 of 3 members found this review helpful 3 / 3 members

Interesting story - strong writing and excellent editing.  I don't expect every story on gayauthors to be this well-crafted, but it's nice when one is.

Definitely recommended.

 

Response from the author:

Thanks, Atlboy! Reviews are so helpful in bringing other readers to a story, and I truly appreciate this one. Writing a multi-chapter human drama set in the Old West was something I'd wanted to do for a long time, and am pleased this one was so well received. If you like westerns, check out my shorter story called "Finding Refuge." It's a little over thirteen thousand words. Cheers! Gary. 

 

  • Like 1
  • Love 2
Link to review
wenmale64

   3 of 3 members found this review helpful 3 / 3 members

This story is very well written and includes nuances of the old west way of life. It is a serious tale with sorrow, loss, hope and love. As said above, it is very much worth a read. The author, Gary, has a wonderful way with his words that draw you into the story and make you want to reach out and help.  Give this one a read. You will not be disappointed!!!!

Response from the author:

Thanks so much for giving my little western a chance, wenmale64. I'm pleased you liked it, and thank you for your kind words and recommendation. No matter how much time goes by, I always appreciate my stories receiving reviews because they can stoke new interest in my work. Cheers! :hug: 

  • Like 1
  • Love 2
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Bft

   3 of 3 members found this review helpful 3 / 3 members

A great story about love of two people in the Wild West and how they overcome their own inhibitions. I like stories about cowboys and this story is a must read

Response from the author:

Thanks, Bft! The Old West is a fascinating time for me, and as someone who's been involved with horses for so long, I kind of relate to cowboys... I like them too. :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Sidewinder and recommending it to others. I truly appreciate that. Cheers! 

  • Love 2
Link to review
Sweetlion

   3 of 3 members found this review helpful 3 / 3 members

Another great story, as Gary can do. It has a bit of drama and doubts, but doesn't drag the plot, while still allowing us to peel several layers of the characters. A good day themed western.

Response from the author:

I appreciate you leaving Sidewinder a wonderful review, Leo! As you probably know by now, I don't like to drag a story out with unnecessary drama, and character development is something I like to unfold naturally. These guys have stolen my heart now, and I thank you for your kind support. Cheers!

  • Like 1
  • Love 2
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Story Reader

   2 of 2 members found this review helpful 2 / 2 members

I loved this story! You have a knack for westerns! I want more of these kinds of tales. Very inspiring and action filled! 

Response from the author:

Thanks for the wonderful review, Sherye. I fully intend to write another western, because I really enjoy delving into that time period. The Old West has been a magical place for me since I was a kid, and I hope others will be spurred by your enthusiasm to give this little story a chance. Cheers!

  • Like 1
  • Love 2
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chris191070

   2 of 2 members found this review helpful 2 / 2 members

Having read all the fantastic reviews for this story, I had to give it a read and find out what I'd missed.

I wholeheartedly agree with each and every one of the reviews.

This is a terrific story about two people in the Wild West who are in love with each other, who learn to overcome there individuall inhibitions.

This is a fantastic story from one of the best authors on GA and I highly recommend Sidewinder to everyone.

Response from the author:

That's the power of reviews, isn't it Chris? They can be enticing and help a potential reader in their choices. I knew westerns weren't a popular genre when I wrote this, but I have been very pleased with the response. Thank you so much for giving it a chance. I'm stoked you liked it, and I thank you for the kind words and the recommendation. Cheers!

  • Like 1
  • Love 2
Link to review
AFBNOW

   1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

Having been raised in a small settlement neighboring a Fort known as Lauderdale (a trading post known primarily for its liquid refreshments)  we had horses growing up.  Therefore I am attracted to horse stories (sorry Blue).   I'm not big on romantic stories.  This story was well written  and held my attention  to the end.  I didn't even notice any of the occasional spell check errors most stories have.

Response from the author:

Thanks, AFBNOW! I appreciate you reading "Sidewinder" and leaving such a great review. I'm a horseman myself, and was always a big fan of westerns while growing up. I like romance, but I prefer to think of my stories as human dramas, encompassing the themes many of us have in our own lives. Religion, for example, plays a part in this story because it was very much a part of the people of the frontier. And yes, this story is well edited, but the cadence, word choices and overall dialect in both dialogue and narration was something I worried about. As near as I could tell in my research, tenses were often mixed up, and the rhythm of speech was far different from today's. I am so pleased my interpretation was well received. :)  Just as a heads up, I am in the process of writing another western tied to this story. You might want to follow me on my author's page for updates. I am nearing completion of it, and will begin the editing process soon. Thanks again, and cheers... Gary....

  • Like 2
  • Love 1
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Geron Kees

  

Westerns are a very particular genre, and to really enjoy one it needs to be written by someone that knows the scenery well. All the little facts are right in this tale, which makes the romance that is at the heart of it all stand out that much more clearly. As a look at what could have been, it's memorable.

Gary's characters are always special people, and Boone and Coy and the other humans in this one are no exceptions. Look for some people you wish you could know, and a few you wouldn't want to! The animals in this story are also very well presented, people in their own rights, as our animal companions often can be. It was a real pleasure to go along with all of them on their journey, to participate in their adventures, and to ultimately reach the very satisfying conclusion.

A wonderful tale of the trail, all the way!   🤠

 

Response from the author:

I've been a fan of Westerns my entire life, whether books, movies, or TV shows. Yet, most of those were notoriously inaccurate. Bad guys didn't wear black hats all the time, and Indians weren't vicious savages. :)  I wanted to write an authentic western that happened to be a gay love story. Your kind words make me feel successful in that endeavor. 

Characters make a story, and like many readers, I fell in love with Boone and Coy early on. And of course, animals were crucial on the frontier, and it was only natural to make them characters in their own right. Thanks for supporting my little western, Geron, and for leaving such an affirming review. Potential readers take note. Geron knows his stuff and if he recommends it, you should give Sidewinder a chance. :)  Much appreciated, buddy. Cheers!

  • Like 1
  • Love 1
Link to review
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