When not at play with his family, Joe enjoys reading, writing, and relaxation. When he can, Joe also practices various martial traditions in which he has attained the Victim level of proficiency.

Spellslinger by Joseph J. Bailey

No one should ever come between a man's family and his guns.

Not if they want to live.

Not even a dragon.

Especially when those guns belong to a spellslinger.

The dragon who had killed his brother had a death wish.

Koren D'uene is a ja'lel, a gun knight, and his is the job of granting wishes.

His guns spoke and the world listened.


The unique, staccato-style of storytelling captured me right away. From the moment I found our gun knight buried up to his neck in the desert, I was hooked, and the man's focused determination hit that sweet spot of a Western gunslinger. The story was a downhill run all the way to the end. – Blair MacGregor



  • "A magical gunslinger hunting a dragon in a world with similarities to the Old West, with elements of both science fiction and fantasy. What King's "The Gunslinger" should have been."

    – Kyra Halland
  • "Cowboy-Wizard... okay, I had to read it. The author uses masterful descriptions. Most of this book felt like I was viewing incredibly majestic fantasy artwork."

    – Rob Baldwin
  • "A fascinating blend of three very different genres, including certain expectations of writing style and characterization.

    Bailey gives the protagonist, Koren D'uene, a rich inner life that supports the honored image of the "lone hero of the West", who sees much and says little. The readers move through that inner life a step at a time, just ahead of the external details of the strange world Koren inhabits; we share his impressions of the situation at hand, get glimpses of the trail he has ridden to get here, and taste the heady brew of his emotions as a young "ja'lel"-in-training."

    – Perrin Rynning



The Earth's Anvil

I woke to the buzzing of flies.

The sound reverberated through my head like echoes from another world.

I could not open my eyes.

Where was I?

Why was I here?

Why couldn't I move?

Where were my guns?

My head felt heavy and leaden, stuffed with gauze.

My tongue was swollen and unresponsive, like it belonged to someone else.

I hurt all over.

My brain felt loose, severed from its moorings. I worried that, if I moved too quickly, it might detach.

My lips were parched, scabbed, cracked, and bound. The metallic taste of blood-soaked fabric filled my mouth as I struggled to move them.

The sun was a hammer above, beating down relentlessly.

The earth was an anvil taking the sun's blows.

I was caught in the middle.

My skin was unbearably hot, burning from exposure from my scalp to my chin.

Insects crawled all over my head, the tingling of many tiny legs sending pulses of unwelcome sensations that I could not scratch. Others bit, leaving bright lancets of pain that I could not dislodge or shake off.

Lowering my cheeks and raising my brow, I finally managed to open my eyes.

I was buried up to my neck in dirt.

And I couldn't remember how I'd gotten here.