Author Lee Bishop
Following college at The University of Missouri and a stint in the U. A. Army, Lee began a 15-year newspaper career at The Phoenix Gazette in Phoenix, Arizona. He wrote more than two thousand news articles and feature stories for The Gazette.
His main work emphasis was government and politics, and most of his career was spent writing about the Arizona State Capitol, the Arizona House of Representatives and the State Senate. Lee also covered the Phoenix City Council and Maricopa County governmental issues. He wrote numerous stories about prominent Arizona politicians including U. S. Senator Barry Goldwater, Speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives John Rhodes, and U. S. Senator Paul Fannin.
Lee had three novels published during and after his newspaper career, including Gunblaze by Leisure Books; the first book in the Border Legend series by Walker and Company, and Davy Crockett for Dell’s American Explorers series.
He left the newspaper business to pursue a career in real estate and still owns a real estate company, Southwestern Homes Realty, in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Lee and his wife, Sue, have two sons and two daughters, who all live in the Phoenix and Tucson areas with their families. They have eight grand-children.
He is an avid outdoorsman who walks his boxers two to three miles each morning. Lee’s favorite passion is hiking the Grand Canyon at least once a year. He also plays golf regularly.
Lee has returned to writing novels on a full-time basis and concentrates on southwestern historical fiction with action and adventure being the dominant focus.
He and his wife continue to reside in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Border Legend Trilogy
Ricardo Montoya and James Barringer are one man with two names who switches his identity and clothing as he continually crosses between Mexico and the Arizona Territory to fight Apache raiders and to champion the cause of poor Mexican peons during years of rebellion.
He is raised in Mexico and rises to the top management position on a large Mexican rancho. Ricardo learns when his father is dying that he, as a baby, was the sole survivor of a stage coach robbery and murder in the Arizona Territory. Gustavo Montoya witnessed the killings, saw where the mother had hidden the infant before she was killed, and took the baby to Mexico where he raised Ricardo as his own son.
Ricardo becomes obsessed with uncovering his true identity and ultimately learns that he was born James Barringer and is one of the heirs to the Barringer cattle empire in southern Arizona Territory. Ultimately, he hunts down the men responsible for his family’s assassination and is merciless in his retribution.
Montoya constantly leads men in clashes with the Apaches who jump the reservations in Arizona and head south of the border to raid, plunder and murder the peons in Mexico. Apaches killed more than six thousand people and destroyed an estimated three hundred and fifty villages in northern Mexico during the Apache Wars.
Ricardo becomes James Barringer as he takes management control of the Barringer Ranch. James rejects constant pleas by peasants to join them in their rebellion against the Mexican land owners who treat workers like slaves. Ultimately he is drawn into the northern Mexico conflict and gives the peons and vaqueros much needed leadership. They begin to win battle after battle against the Mexican Army.
Victoria Barringer, his grandmother, is the matriarch of a huge cattle, mining and lumber empire. She is regal in bearing, without equal in being able to manipulate people and plan business strategies, cunning in her personal dealings with others and can be incredibly strong, unyielding and ruthless. Her will and personality dominate everyone she comes in contact with except James Barringer.
Montoya’s two love interests, Maria Bustamante and Christina Aragon, end up taking opposite courses of action involving Ricardo. Maria rejects him because of his constant involvement in deadly situations. Christina, although engaged to marry another man, ultimately decides she must be with Ricardo even if it means sacrificing the values she holds dear.
Ricardo Montoya/James Barringer has a strong sense of right and wrong, good and evil. In the lawless frontier on both sides of the border, he responds with fast action and a firm belief that justice must be swift and final. Protection of the downtrodden, poor and those preyed upon by others drives him to great lengths to help people in danger. This action-packed trilogy showcases a volatile man with a dual identity who becomes an unforgettable Border Legend.
Border Legend Trilogy Book 1
Author: Lee Bishop
Print ISBN: 9781629891507
E-Book ISBN: 9781629891514
Release Date 10/1/2014
Ricardo Montoya had never disobeyed Don Diego Salazar’s orders until he was told to execute Apache women and children. Montoya had risen to the position of second in command and was instrumental in the building of Don Diego’s huge cattle empire.
Montoya is stripped of his title for refusing to kill the Apaches. The confrontation occurred in front of a large group of vaqueros, which caused the Don to lose face. Ricardo becomes a target, assassins are hired to kill him and a price put on his head.
While recovering from wounds inflicted by a hired killer, he learns that his father, Gustavo, is dying and journeys back to El Rancho Grande. He is shocked by his father’s deathbed revelation that, as a baby, he was the lone survivor of a stage coach ambush in the Arizona Territory. From atop a hill, Gustavo witnessed the murders and was able to rescue the baby from where the mother had hidden the infant before she was killed. He raised Ricardo in Mexico as his own son.
Ricardo is denied a home and his future is bleak in Mexico. The news of his unknown parentage consumes his thoughts, and he heads across the border in search of his true heritage with only a few clues to guide him. Ultimately, he learns the truth and finds himself caught in a treacherous web of lies and murder.
Montoya learns that he is an heir to the Barringer cattle, mining and lumber empire in southern Arizona Territory, ruled by his grandmother, Victoria Barringer. She accepts him as a rightful heir, but his uncle plots to kill him. Ricardo’s birth name is James Barringer.
Simultaneously, the Apache Wars in the southwest reach the boiling point. Montoya/Barringer constantly leads men in clashes with the Apaches who jump the reservations in the Arizona Territory and head south of the border to raid, plunder and murder.
Apache Chief Sky Walker plays a key role in the constant raiding. Following years of fighting each other, the Apache Chief and Montoya achieve a grudging respect for one another
Don Diego Salazar continues to hunt for Montoya, and Ricardo must face his arrogant oppressor during a climactic battle with the Apaches.At the conclusion, Ricardo is more comfortable with his real name, James Barringer, and with managing the Barringer cattle ranch. But, will he stay in the Arizona Territory or be drawn back to Mexico’s widespread Indian raids and peasant rebellions?
Border Legend Trilogy Book 2
Print ISBN: 9781629894935
eBook ISBN: 9781629894942
Release Date 07/18/2016
The saga of James Barringer/Ricardo Montoya continues as one man with two names carries on his battles with Apaches and outlaws on both sides of the international border between Mexico and the Arizona Territory.
Ricardo Montoya is in love with beautiful Maria Bustamante, the daughter of a Mexican Don, who ultimately rejects Ricardo because of his violent lifestyle. A short time later he meets Christina Aragon, a Spanish beauty who has arrived in Mexico for an arranged marriage between the Aragon and Soto clans that will seal the bond for mutual mining investments by the two families. Ricardo and Christina are powerfully attracted to one another and Christina must determine if she is willing to sacrifice family values and obligations to be with the man she loves. Ricardo is spellbound by this woman with beautiful Spanish eyes and will go to any lengths to win her.
Apaches are about to strike the rancho owned by Maria Bustamante’s father and Montoya and his brother, Rafael, make a valiant stand against overwhelming odds at the small hacienda. These Apaches then join a much larger band heading towards Don Ramon Aragon’s mining property. The Don is Christina’s uncle and he and Ricardo become bitter enemies when the Don flees with most of his bodyguards prior to the attack, leaving Ricardo and a few men to protect more than one hundred women and children.
Rustlers in the Arizona Territory kill the Barringer Ranch’s chief tracker and wound the foreman, Silk Mathews, while stealing cattle. James Barringer searches for the outlaws and skillfully directs an ambush that destroys most of the outlaw band. He trails the outlaw leader to Tucson where they engage in hand to hand combat in a climactic fight.
James Barringer returns to Mexico as Ricardo Montoya and travels to Hermosillo where the heavily guarded Christina is about to be forced to take vows of marriage with Miguel Soto at a lavish, outside ceremony attended by several hundred prominent Mexicans. Loud firecracker explosions from all corners of the church grounds scatter the screaming wedding guests. Christina and Ricardo escape to Chihuahua where they are married in a simple ceremony and spend their wedding night in a beautiful lodge at the base of the Arriaga Rim, a two thousand foot high escarpment, overlooking magnificent forests.
Miguel Soto and his men ambush the couple the following morning as they prepare to enter a carriage and the newlyweds are forced to flee up a switchback trail to the top of the rim. Ricardo shoots several of the pursuers but becomes separated from Christina when they arrive at the top and clouds of fog roll in, obliterating everything. As the fog parts, Soto is standing in front of Christina and draws his knife to kill her. Will she survive and can they escape the assassins?
Border Legend Trilogy Book 3
Release Date to be determined
Rebellion is sweeping northern Mexico as peons attempt to gain freedom from wealthy land owners who treat workers and farmers like indentured servants or slaves. Periodically peons and vaqueros will visit Ricardo Montoya in the Arizona Territory, pleading with him to join the rebellion and lead the rebels who are continually being mauled by the Mexican Army.
Ricardo has become James Barringer. He has a new wife, Christina, and is content to manage the huge Barringer cattle ranch. James repeatedly turns down requests to lead the rebellion, claiming his responsibilities now lie with his family in the Arizona Territory.
James, his wife and grandmother, Victoria, travel to Hermosillo prior to taking a Clipper Ship cruise to San Francisco. Three assassins have been hired to kill James, but the plot fails, and the sea voyage is successful. James rescues a young Chinese girl from two sailors who are pursuing her in San Francisco. She has escaped from a slave ship that holds two dozen Chinese girls destined to be sold into prostitution in China Town. Barringer hires men and they attempt a rescue.
Apaches from Arizona and New Mexico territories escape from their reservations, band together and attack the Barringer logging operations, Victoria’s ranch headquarters and finally the rancho in northern Mexico that she has just purchased. Montoya warns leaders in a large farming community called White Valley that a band of nearly one hundred braves is preparing to sweep down through the valley, killing, plundering and kidnapping women and children. He organizes a defense strategy for hundreds of farmers and their families.
Ricardo has notified Mexican General Constantine Vorshoff as to the whereabouts of the Apache camps and his troops lie in wait for them to return. A huge battle ensues, and the canyon leading to their camps become a killing ground.
Montoya is finally drawn into rebellion when an elderly woman, who helped raise Ricardo after his Mexican mother died, is tortured by an Army Colonel and her fingers on one hand must be amputated. Ricardo breathes new life into the rebellion and turns a disheartened, disorganized group of peons and vaqueros into a fighting force that begins to win battle after battle against the Mexican Army.
Mexican President Benito Juarez, busy with another rebellion in the south, signs a proclamation granting amnesty to the northern rebels and allowing workers to live wherever they so desire. Montoya goes to Hermosillo to sign the document ending the rebellion and is among dignitaries on an elevated stage in the town square as an assassin climbs atop a building across from the ceremonial stage. Ricardo is the target and a shot rings out. Will destiny be denied or will fate intervene?
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