Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Lone Star Series by Wesley Ellis

Another of Jove’s many Adult Western series, Lone Star had a unique premise and should have lasted much longer than it did. A western mixing the Kung-Fu antics made popular by the films of Bruce lee and the Kung-Fu television series starring David Carradine, Lone Star offered a strong female lead character and the usual bedroom peek-a-boo scenes. I enjoyed them when I read them, but occasionally the martial arts scenes struck me as being written by a non-martial artist. The series ran for 153 books. Credited to author Wesley Ellis, I understand that author Jeffrey M. Wallman wrote the first one, On the Treachery Trail, and many more. I have no idea who wrote any of the other titles in this series. The stylistic similarities between the Lone Star covers and the Longarm books appears to have been a marketing ploy. There were even a few Longarm - Lone Star Team-ups. As a martial artist myself, I thought the books were fun. I bought them specifically because they offered that mix of western action and Kung-Fu action. Throw in some sex with a hot babe and your day is made. In On the Treachery Trail, Jessie Starbuck is a gorgeous gal intent on avenging her father’s death. Partnering up with Ki, a mysterious martial artist (clearly inspired by Bruce Lee), Jessie is described as being capable of “shooting like a man, loving like a woman,” and thus the Old West would never be the same again. Over time I felt they could have done so much more with both Ki and Jessie Starbuck. In fact, I’d love to see them return in some form, perhaps as guest stars in a Longarm book again.


  1. This is one of my favorite adult Western series. I wrote the final book, LONE STAR AND THE MOUNTAIN OF FIRE, and when I took over the Giant Longarm editions I brought back the tradition of teaming up Longarm with Jessie and Ki. They appeared in two Giants I did, LONGARM AND THE OUTLAW EMPRESS and LONGARM AND THE LONE STAR TRACKDOWN. They'd be perfect for e-books, but I'm not sure there's anybody at Berkley who even remembers the series anymore.

  2. Thanks James, that's cool! I liked this series too and wish it had run longer. I agree they would make great e-books!

  3. Afraid Berkley has called an end to Longarm, anyway, so alas, it is never to be.

  4. Are you saying that Longarm is cancelled?!

  5. Yep, Longarm has been cancelled, along with the other three Adult Western series. But I believe The Gunsmith is going to continue with new books from Piccadilly Press after the Berkley series ends.

  6. That’s devastating news. I had a suspicion something was up when I learned that The Gunsmith was converting to e-books. I think this is yet another example of a major New York publisher not understanding the popularity of their own product line, nor really understanding how to market them. What a truly damn awful shame! Thanks for letting me know. I’ll post more on this sad topic in the near future.

  7. You've convinced me. I'll look for some of these next time I'm in the used bookstore. I've got some Longarms that Harry Whittington wrote, but don't have any Lone Star novels.

  8. Hi Kurt, I can sometimes find them in Half Price Books and of course e-bay has lots of these. Let me know what you think, Tom

  9. "Longarm and the Model Prisoner (Longarm Series #436)" and "The Gunsmith #399: Death in the Family" might be riding off into the sunset. Mass market paperback and e-book editions were published in February 2015.

    This might have been a decision by Random House, after the merger.

    But...Random House also has a significant Louis L'Amour catalog, so, perhaps with a gentle social media campaign, perhaps the Longarm fandom can convince RH to continue the series.
    (If you're a decent writer, you might even pitch a few plots...)

    Myself, I'd suggest turning Lone Star into a graphic novel series! (Toning down the visuals, of course.)

    1. Thanks Torsten, I agree a nice graphic novel would be great!


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