October 31, 2016



Title: The Nettle Tree
Publisher: Chase Enterprises Publishing
Editors: Kenneth Weene and Clayton Bye
ISBN (print): 978-1-927915-10-3
ISBN (eBook): 978-1-927915-11-0
Format: Trade Paperback and eBook
Pages: 166
Genre: Speculative western
Price: $17.95 (print) $3.95 (eBook)


I have always been a fan of Cowboy Cinema since the late 1940s when Papa and I would go see westerns at the nearby Lindy Theater in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Add to that delight all those Lone Ranger radio shows on Sunday, the comic books featuring favorite cowboys like Hopalong Cassidy, and the paperback westerns of A.B. Guthrie, Jr., Louis L’Amour, Max Brand, and Luke Short. Just imagine my joy when my Godfather Uncle Dominic gave me a two-gun holster set for Christmas which I wore at my hips like Billy the Kid.

I don’t believe I have ever grown too far away from my love of the Old West. A good friend of mine named Conrad Jenkins, whose grandfather belonged to the Catawba Indian Nation from South Carolina, once told me of the three Hopi Prophesies which, as a writer, I filed away in my head for a future story.

Then the opportunity came knocking when I was invited to write a short story with an otherworldly cowboy theme for an anthology that would eventually be titled The Nettle Tree. Remembering Conrad’s account, my fascination with cowboys as well as outer-space alien invaders, I let them all mentally roll like tumbleweed as I worked out a plot for my story “Old Cowboys Never Die.”

I am honored to be included in The Nettle Tree which I highly recommend to readers in search of entertaining fiction that will keep you on the edge of your saddle till the final page.

The book and pdf eBook can be purchased at: http://shop.claytonbye

It is also available on Amazon in print form.

Nothing like an excellent Western to make you want to kick up your spurs, especially one that features stories with other-worldly diverse plots like The Nettle Tree.


An extremely well written and engaging collection of stories, this book will delight fans of short stories with a bit of a dark edge and fantasy elements to them. The authors convey their characters’ personalities and motivations very well. I liked the combination of a variety of subjects and the way the stories seem to fit well together as a collection in terms of tone. While each author has a unique voice, these tales share an overall style and mood as they explore some unusual, baffling, and scary happenings in situations in which the characters find themselves. 

Reviewed by Hilary Hawkes for Readers’ Favorite, 5 stars!

What is it with the Wild West that conjures up so many daydreams and imaginative rides into the sunset, even for those who never really cared that much for the genre? For some, it's the endless vistas and open spaces; for others, the thrill and danger of measuring oneself up against a tall stranger who's new in town and reputed to be the fastest gun out there. The Nettle Tree's authors share Western visions that are not the stuff of your everyday frontier mentality. Zombies, mages, the trickster, and all manner of odd and unexpected treats await the reader.

-- Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite, 5 stars!

It is not very often that one comes across a genuinely unique book, but this is what editors Kenneth Weene and Clayton Clifford Bye created in The Nettle Tree. The titles in this anthology take readers through many different settings, characters, and elements that no one has probably taken them before, and in thirteen different stories. The major theme is western, but it comes in different forms and genres like horror, science fiction, fantasy, science fantasy, magical realism and even alternative history. 

--Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers’ Favorite, 5 stars!


Sal Buttaci is an obsessive-compulsive writer whose poems, stories, articles, and letters have appeared widely in publications that include New York Times, The Writer, Writer’s Digest, Cats Magazine, The National Enquirer, and Christian Science Monitor. An English instructor at a local community college and middle-school teacher in New Jersey, he retired in 2007 to commit himself to full-time writing.

Two of his flash collections, published by All Things That Matter Press, are available at Amazon.com. Another of his books, still selling well, is A Family of Sicilians http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/ButtaciPublishing2008 

Buttaci resides in West Virginia with his loving wife Sharon.