Monday, October 1, 2012

Outlaw by Matthew Pizzolato

by Matthew Pizzolato

A Western Novella featuring Wesley Quaid.
The outlaw Wesley Quaid wants to put the past behind him and start his life anew in another place where no one has ever heard of him. When a mysterious woman he once knew resurfaces, Wesley discovers that a man can't run from his past anymore than he can run from the kind of man he has become.

The pounding of the horse's hooves jarred my beaten body. Being tied belly down over a horse wasn't the most comfortable position, but it did bring me around.
I kept my eyes closed tight. Blood from the wound in my thigh trickled down my leg. Lightning bolts of pain stabbed my skull with every hoof beat.
I didn't realize the horse had stopped moving until I was flung to the ground. Burning agony raked my body.
"Quit fooling around. I know you're awake."
I opened my eyes and still couldn't see. Blackness faded from the center out. A face loomed over me, and it took me a second to recognize the man. The jagged scar on his face jarred my memory. "Well, if it ain't ole Snake."
"I told you that only my friends call me Snake."
"It really pains me to hear that."
"I'm sure it does." He raised his hand from his side and began removing bullets from my ivory handled Colt.
"You'd better go ahead and kill me."
"It ain't in me to shoot a helpless man, so I'm leaving you one bullet. I don't care what the boss said."
I couldn't help smiling. Morality kills more men than the plague.
"Chances are, you ain't gonna make it. With the way that leg's bleeding and that head of yours. I wouldn't be surprised if Billy cracked your skull with that rifle butt. I'm leaving you one bullet."
"You'd better kill me."
The man eyed me for a moment and then climbed onto his horse. He rode several paces and dropped my Colt. "If you're smart, you'll finish yourself off."
The sound of hooves clattering on stone was the last thing I remembered until the howl of a wolf echoed down the ravine.

By Janine Williams 

Outlaw by Matthew Pizzolato was a delightful little western that was a nice change of pace from what I usually read. A man named Quaid is labeled an outlaw in the usual sense, but a lovable character with his own sense of honor. Along with the gray rider, a love-interest-assassin-renegade-type who calls herself Sabrina, the two make an interesting pair of characters who like taking the law into their own hands. Pizzolato has a talent for making his characters on the wrong side of the law, but still ones we will eternally root for. Although for a brief time Quaid has an interest in a little priss named Colleen, thankfully, his thoughts of settling down were fleeting and he lives another day to take care of the bad guys and charm the women and be the outlaw we know and love. In the same style of his short stories in "The Wanted Man", in this novel, Pizzolato weaves a tale of the great West that are easy to submerse yourself in, the only difference being now we get more of a feel for who Quaid was.

I think my only complaint of this book is that I would have liked to see more character development. There are so many that we could gotten to know a little better. But I guess since this is really more of a novella than a book, there wasn't enough time for it. And although I felt the ending remained a little open, it left room for the story to continue. I really enjoyed this book and hope we can look forward to reading about these characters again.

About the Author
Matthew Pizzolato is a member of Western Fictioneers. His short stories have been published online and in print in such publications as: BEAT to a PULP!, The Copperfield Review, PULP MODERN, Frontier Tales Magazine, The Pink Chameleon Online, Perpetual Magazine, Long Story Short, and The Storyteller.
Matthew writes a weekly NASCAR column for Insider Racing News and is a contributing writer for
The Wanted Man is a collection of eight of his short stories that he recently self-published.
He graduated from C.E. Byrd High school with a 3.92 cumulative GPA and attended college for two weeks but quit because, as Louis L'amour says in his memoir, Education of a Wandering Man, "school was interfering with his education."
After languishing at a job for several years, he decided to get serious about writing and applied for and was accepted into two courses offered by Long Ridge Writing Group, the first a short story writing course and the second a novel writing course. He completed and received diplomas for each course. Long Ridge helped him to polish his writing and taught him the mechanics of how to submit his work.
Matthew has always had a love for reading and accepted the fact that one day he would be a writer. He would have been an artist but since the only thing that he can draw is flies, he decided to paint his pictures with words instead.

Matthew Pizzolato's first novel, Outlaw, was officially released on 1 October 2012.