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REVIEW: Writ in Blood – Julie Bozza

Writ in Blood - Julie Bozza

Genre: Weird Western, Historical, Paranormal

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

Courage. Honor. Loyalty.

All fine things, but they’ve led John Ringo to kill a man. He was raised right and he knows he’s not a murderer, but otherwise he’s a mystery even to himself. Doc Holliday claims to have some insights, but Doc is too devoted to Wyatt Earp to spare much attention for the man who’s already lost his soul.

Which leaves Johnny Ringo prey to the distractions of a demon. Imaginary or not, if this creature abandons him, too, then surely his sanity is forfeit – and what will his life be worth then?

This Queer Weird West novel follows these three along the complex trails that lead into and out of Tombstone, Arizona in 1881.

The Review

“Writ in Blood” is a great, classic wild west tale, with a twist. Julie Bozza gets up close and personal with some of the men who lived near, fought in, and tried to tame Tombstone.

This semi-historical “weird western” novel brings to life Wyatt Earp, his brothers Virgil and Morgan, Doc Holliday, Johnny Ringo and other famous figures of the west.

Wyatt Earp is shown in a different light here – his life seems unsettled. He’s a law man and had also tried other jobs, but made his fortune with mining silver along with his brothers. The brothers followed Wyatt along with their common-law wives to Tombstone. Wyatt carried a heavy responsibility when it came to the people in his life. As they try to build the town of Tombstone, the Earps find themselves up against the Cowboys.

Doc Holliday and Kate Elder both met Wyatt Earp and a friendship was formed, especially between Doc and Wyatt.

Kate Elder made her own way and built her own reputation. Being a very independent woman she often left Doc on his own. And Doc was loyal to Wyatt, and in Bozza’s telling he seems to have a secret love for the Sherrif. He would follow Wyatt anywhere, anytime, no matter the danger.

I was really taken with Johnny Ringo, a man who never found civilization to be in his favor. He was a fierce gunslinger, but was actually a sad soul. He lived his life alone, in the wide open spaces, where he was content to sleep under the stars, but was often found drowning in a whiskey bottle. He found work at specific ranches during cattle season and sometimes ran with bad company in the way of the Cowboys.

He met Doc Holliday and a strange affair of sympathy/hate began between them. But Doc saw something different in Ringo – he loved to read and eventually write poetry. At times he would go into Tombstone and look for Doc, but often Doc was occupied. Ringo often feels that he no longer has a soul. He eventually meets Lucian, who he believes to be the one. Ringo’s friendless life becomes further complicated, and he has to face the disappointment of abandonment and betrayal.

I love wild west stories, and I was not disappointed with Julie Bozza’s interpretation and the twists that she brings to the classic western. Historical fact and fiction meet once again to create an epic tale of the Old West.

This was an impressive and fascinating novel, filled with vivid descriptions of the territory and the struggle to build new towns. The in-depth look into the brave men who lived and died trying to uphold the laws, bring justice to the territory, and rid towns of the criminals who defied them really piqued my interest. It’s the story of corruption, betrayal, loyalty, gambling, grief, revenge, love and strange events.

The Illustrations by Magdalena Kulbicka were a wonderful surprise that added to my enjoyment of this novel. At the closing of thebook, there are also a few extensive segments: “Historical Notes”, “List of Names”, “List of Books” that contain historical facts of people, places and events. With “Writ in Blood” Julie Bozza makes the 1993 movie “Tombstone” worth watching again!

This was a magnificent tale that I highly recommend – a pleasure to read!

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams. 


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