Matt Forney
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Christmas in the West by Lloyd Fonvielle

The most recent release from Lloyd Fonvielle, Christmas in the West is a collection of six short stories set in various time periods in the West. While the majority of them are authentic Westerns, “Christmas in December” is set in contemporary times and “Twilight” takes place during World War II:

We didn’t push the horses too hard on the way back to El Paso del Norte, which turned out to be a terrible mistake. A few miles outside of town we looked back and saw a band of twenty men riding hard after us. It was difficult to be sure, but it looked as though Emilio Fernandez was riding at the front of them. He wore a particular black sombrero with a lot of silver sewed on it, and I seemed to recognize it.

If you’ve read Fonvielle’s previous work, Christmas in the West is largely more of the same. His characterization and plotting is as tight as ever, interweaving characters from all walks of life in a believable, honest and non-sentimental way. My personal favorite story is the aforementioned “Christmas in December,” about a neglected young man who takes up with a Vegas escort, deftly avoiding even the slightest hint of bathos:

She said, “My name is Felina. I don’t care if you cry. You can cry all you want to. You sound like you’ve got some stuff to cry about. My daddy was a drunk, too. He walked out on me and Mama when I was six. This was in Ciudad Juarez, in Mexico. That’s where I was born. My mama was an American citizen, though, which made me an American citizen. I got lucky there.”

If you’re looking for a brief but enjoyable fiction collection, Christmas in the West is worth a read.

Click here to buy Christmas in the West.

Read Next: Missouri Green by Lloyd Fonvielle