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Spur Award Winners

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Migrant Mother: How a Photograph Defined the Great Depression
by Don Nardo
Winner of Spur Award for Best Western Juvenile Nonfiction. The author explores and analyzes the historical context and significance of the iconic Dorothea Lange photograph of a migrant mother during the Great Depression.
Crossing Purgatory
by Gary Schanbacher
A young farmer in 1858 sets out across the American frontier in an attempt to deal with his guilt at not being home to prevent a devastating family tragedy and finds himself tested in ways he hadn't imagined. Winner of the 2014 Spur Award for Best Western Traditional Novel.
Greasy Grass: A Story of Little Big Horn
by Johnny D Boggs
Boggs brings the events and personalities of Little Big Horn to life in a series of first-hand accounts. Finalist in the 2014 Best Western Historical Novel category.
Series -
Spider Woman's Daughter
by Anne Hillerman
When one of her colleagues is gunned down, Navajo Nation Police Officer Bernadette Manality helps her husband, Sergeant Jim Chee, find the shooter and discovers a link to a cold case involving Jim's former boss and partner, Inspector Joe Leaphorn. winner of 2014 Spur Award: Best First Novel.
The Promise
by Ann Weisgarber
1900. Young pianist Catherine Wainwright flees the fashionable town of Dayton, Ohio in the wake of a terrible scandal. Heartbroken and facing destitution, she finds herself striking up correspondence with a childhood admirer, the recently widowed Oscar Williams. In desperation she agrees to marry him. But when Catherine travels to Oscar's farm on Galveston Island, Texas - a thousand miles from home - she finds she is little prepared for the life that awaits her. Finalist: Best Western Historical Novel
Legacy of a Lawman: A Western Story
by Johnny D. Boggs
Winner of Spur Award for Best Western Short Novel. Bass Reeves is a man of color and a deputy United States marshal. When Bass's son shoots down his unarmed wife who had been cheating on him and then disappears, the U.S. Marshal has reservations about handing the warrant to Bass. But for Bass there is no reservation. His son has broken the law and is a fugitive.
Remember Ben Clayton: A Novel
by Stephen Harrigan
Winner of Spur Award for Best Western Long Novel. Exiled to Texas with his grown daughter, sculptor Francis "Gil" Gilheaney is commissioned to create a statue for a man who recently lost his son in WWI. But as work on the statue progresses, secrets slowly reveal themselves and Gil's fragile family threads begin to fray.
West Texas Kill
by Johnny D. Boggs
Winner of Spur Award for Best Original Mass Market Paperback. The harsh lands between the Pecos River and the Rio Grande are ruled by renegade Texas Ranger Captain Hector Savage. Into this realm rides Ranger Dave Chance with a prisoner shackled to his side. An honest ranger, Sergeant Chance determines to deliver the locals from Savage's bloody reign. But to succeed against such long odds, Chance must do the unthinkable -- unshackle and arm his prisoner.
The Mormon Rebellion: America's First Civil War, 1857-1858
by David L. Bigler
Winner of Spur Award for Best Western Nonfiction Historical. In 1857, President Buchanan ordered US troops to Utah to replace Brigham Young as governor and restore order in the territory. Bigler, former director of the Utah Board of State History, and Bagley, an independent historian of the West, use long-suppressed sources to show that, contrary to common perceptions, the Mormon rebellion was not the result of Buchanan's "blunder," nor was it a David-and-Goliath tale in which an abused religious minority heroically defied the unjust government. The authors argue that Mormon leaders fully intended to establish an independent nation in the West.
Tornado Slim and the Magic Cowboy Hat
by Bryan Langdo
Winner of Spur Storyteller Award. A coyote asks Tornado Slim to deliver a letter to the sheriff of Fire Gulch City, giving him his special hat as incentive, and as disasters along the trip begin to pile up, Slim discovers that the hat is indeed special.
Updated 06/17/2014
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