ABOUT THE BOOK

Branded is based on a true story detailing the outrageous events and exciting, colorful and humorous antics of cowboy Bob Harold Leach, aka “The Most Notorious Cattle Rustler of Our Time,” and the nicest guy you’d ever meet. A man who has managed millions of dollars of illegal cash, most of it said to be buried under his north Texas ranch in 55-gallon drums. He has survived 19 stabbings, poisonous hamburgers, prison tear gas attacks, and being thrown over a third story railing while in jail. A tough hombre for sure. But also, a man generous to a fault, often showering those he knew with gifts and financial help. 

Bob’s journey through life takes him from early thoughts of running herds of cattle, finding a ranch to call his own, and marrying the girl of his dreams, to a life of stealing cattle, using other men’s ranches to do it, and screwing around with every woman that crossed his path. But when Bob becomes entangled with the infamous Diamond Jim, he is “branded” like a steer, stamped with Diamond Jim’s mark for life. He is reluctantly herded into a relentless stream of crimes including theft of animal medicines, cattle rustling, drug running, fraud, porn, kidnapping, rape, prison escapes, and a plethora of other deeds that put the “common criminal” to shame. 

Unable to escape Diamond Jim’s clutches, Bob resorts to his own plan to circumvent the rules, but will Diamond Jim catch up to him?

As he is chased by the Texas Rangers, FBI, scorned women, fraught investors and his nemesis Diamond Jim, Bob is still affixed on those precious thoughts of wide-open spaces, beautiful cowgirls and a herd of cattle as far as the eye can see. He is destined to ride off into readers’ minds as they live vicariously through his charming character and bristling, energetic persona. Will his final ride be into a last sunset? Or into something much hotter? 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Texan Jon Armour developed his passion for writing as a young student in middle school under the encouragement of his English teacher, Ms. Susan Smallridge. Her attention and prodding to attain a witty and descriptive prose in his subject matter bled over into every area of Jon’s life. He is a jack of all trades: carpenter, cook, electrician, plumber, builder, designer, welder, cheesemaker, home brewer, project manager, IT professional, husband, father and author. But aside from this vast array of interests and roles, he has come back to applying his creativity to writing, a first love that was side-tracked by life’s busy schedules and bustling activities. Jon’s once-blank pages are now overflowing with creative splatter transcending across scenes of crime, love, sex, humor, and other varied emotional conditions of the human existence. Jon captures the essence of raw life and true grit in his subjects. From his recent work, Branded, to his future endeavors, readers are sure to be entertained with his wit and style depicting colorful evocative vignettes that take the reader deep into this story based on a real live cattle rustler. Jon lives in Magnolia (near Houston), Texas, with his wife Karen.

TALKING POINTS

  • Bob Harold Leach is a real person, and a former kind and friendly neighbor of the author. Jon can speak to their relationship then and now.
  • Bob’s arrest and story has been covered in GQ, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and other top news outlets across the nation, which will bolster excitement and curiosity about the life of this cattle rustler.
  • Jon’s writing combines true events with fictional prose, capturing the varied emotional state of his real characters and combining a humorous or “serious but funny” dialog.
  • Bob is currently in prison serving 14 life sentences, claiming some of the charges against him  are false. Jon can share his opinion about this and urges readers to come to their own conclusions about the story.
  • Jon is creatively using social media to get readers deeper into the schemes and plots of his characters and provide backstory for the book.
  • How much of the crime, greed, love, sex, torturous acts and shady characters in the book are true and how much are fiction? 
  • Jon’s valuable insight into the personal lives of his characters, and actually unknowingly participating in the main character’s life, provides tremendous knowledge of the inner-workings and emotions that were exhibited by them during their debauchery.

TIMELY TIE-INS

November

  • National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)