The Cherokee Strip (Second Edition)

by Dennis Doty, Dusty Richards

Norman Thompson doesn't seek out trouble, but it always seems to have a way of finding him, anyway. All he really wants is a job as a ranch foreman. He'd tried in Montana, but ended up in a gunfight with a pair of ugly-looking brothers over a horse. Leaving one dead and the other swearing revenge, Norm figures it'd be wise to make himself scarce. He heads south, making his way to Nebraska. Instead of work, though, he finds something he never expected—a partner. Edith is a beautiful young woman seeking to escape the clutches of her own sordid past. Together they buy a decrepit old cattle ranch—the legendary Rocking Chair— and start driving herds up to the lush grass of the newly-opened Cherokee Strip. With Norm’s brawn and Edith’s brains, it’s a winning combination.

The sins of yesteryear, though, are not so easily left behind. While Norm settles into a new life as a ranch owner and family man, forces are at work to take it all away. Will he and Edith find the happiness they’ve been searching for? Or will the ghosts of the past burn it all to bitter ashes?

About the Authors

Dennis Doty

Dennis is the Publisher/Managing Editor of Saddlebag Dispatches magazine and Chief Content Executive for Oghma Creative Media. He writes whatever his overly active imagination leads him to but specializes in Westerns and Historical Fiction.

During a wildly misspent youth, he spent ten years in the Marine Corps and two on the Rodeo Cowboys Association Southwest Circuit mostly falling off bareback broncs.

His first published novel, The Cherokee Strip, co-written with the legendary Dusty Richards was released in April 2021. His short fiction has appeared in Saddlebag Dispatches, Cheapjack Pulp, Storyland Literary Review, Inner Circle Writers Magazine, and in anthologies such as At Death’s Door and The Untamed West. He’s a member of Western Fictioneers where he’s has judged for the Peacemaker Awards the last two years.

He spends his days writing, editing and yelling at kids to get off his lawn. He can be found at  on Facebook at or at the home in Southeastern Kentucky he shares with his wife and two dogs.

Dusty Richards

IF THERE WAS A SATURDAY MATINEE, Dusty was there with Hoppy, Roy and Gene. He went to roundup at seven-years-old, sat on a real horse and watched them brand calves on the Peterson Ranch in Othello, Washington. When his family moved to Arizona from the Midwest, at age 13, he knew he’d gone to heaven. A horse of his own, ranches to work on, rodeos to ride in, Dusty’s mother worried all his growing up years he’d turn out to be some “old cowboy bum.”

He read every western book on the library shelves. He sat on the stoop of Zane Grey’s cabin on Mrs. Winter’s ranch and looked out over the “muggie-own” rim and promised the writer’s ghost his book would join Grey’s some day on the book rack.

Since English teachers never read westerns, he made up book reports like “Guns on the Brazos” by J.P. Jones. The story of a Texas Ranger who saves the town and the girl. Then he sold them for a dollar to other boys too lazy to read when teenagers were lucky to earn fifty cents an hour. In fact, book reports kept him and his buddy in gas money to go back and forth to high school.

After graduating from Arizona State University in 1960, he came to northwest Arkansas, ranched, auctioneered, announced rodeo, worked 32 years for Tyson Food in management, anchored TV news and struggled to get a book of his own sold. The three earlier books on the list were published without his knowledge and only discovered in 2011 as even existing.

In 1992, his first novel, Noble’s Way was published. In 2003, his novel The Natural won the Oklahoma Writer’s Federation Fiction Book of the Year Award. In 2004, The Abilene Trail won the same award. Dusty invests a lot of his time helping others who want to learn how to write by speaking at seminars and conferences all over the United States. There is no difference in writing any kind of fiction. In Dusty’s words, “You simply change the sets, costumes and dialect.”

Dusty’s website:
Interview on Youtube:

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