Wednesday, August 28, 2013
HELL ON THE PRAIRIE--by CHERYL PIERSON
I've talked a bit about the Wolf Creek series before here. It's one of my most favorite projects I've ever worked on, anywhere, anytime.
The series is the brainchild of Troy Smith, a good friend of mine and an excellent writer and "idea man". His thought was to create a bible to be used by the participants of the series to work from for the fictional post Civil War town of Wolf Creek, Kansas. Any member of the Western Fictioneer professional writing organization could contribute when their character was called for in the plot structure.
Now this is quite a daunting task when you think of having at least 23 (and climbing!) people who wanted to contribute, having to come up with plots that would involve at least 6 characters in each book--some of them the same as a common thread-- and keep all the books fresh and interesting. But Troy managed to do it.
The latest book, Wolf Creek Book 6: Hell on the Prairie, differs. It's an anthology of short stories by some of the contributors about their characters. Here's the blurb for it:
Welcome to Wolf Creek.
Here you will find many of your favorite authors, working together as Ford Fargo to weave a complex and textured series of Old West adventures like no one has ever seen. Each author writes from the perspective of his or her own unique character, blended together into a single novel.
In this volume -an anthology of stand-alone short stories: ... Marshal Sam Gardner confronts a notorious gunfighter who hates lawmen; Deputy Quint Croy learns the secrets of Asa Pepper's place; Billy Below learns to be a cowboy; Doc Logan contends with a specter from his past; Derrick McCain faces family secrets; Ben Tolliver gets the shock of his life; and strangers get caught up in the Danby Raid...
I loved this idea because each participant is able to write a short story featuring their character(s) and show a depth to their character they might not be able to convey in a collaborative effort such as the other books before this have been. My story is called IT TAKES A MAN, and of course, Derrick McCain, my foremost character, is at the center of this one. When Derrick and his mother are ominously summoned to the Cherokee settlement of Briartown, Derrick is determined to set things straight with the man he’s learned is his real father. But once he arrives, he’s distracted by the beautiful cousin, Leah Martin, of his best friend’s wife. Leah is hiding a secret—one that could be the death of her. Once Derrick discovers it, will he walk away? Or will he save her…and possibly himself? IT TAKES A MAN to do what his heart tells him.
Here's a short excerpt:
As Leah neared the outcropping of stone, her steps slowed.
Derrick stopped, waiting to see what she would do. She walked out onto the rock shelf and stood staring down into the rushing water.
She watched the churning current, mesmerized for a moment, and Derrick read her thoughts. Desperation was written across her lovely features. She was about to do the unthinkable. The beautiful fire in her eyes guttering out forever seared him to think of—much less have on his conscience. He stepped out from the shadows, coming toward her at a leisurely pace.
Now, he understood the turn of the dinner conversation. Had he known her circumstances, perhaps he’d have been more circumspect in his comments.
Leah glanced up as he came closer. “What are you doing here, Mister McCain?” She lifted her head, and Derrick could see the way she tried to push the dread of what she was about to do out of her expression. Her voice was low and almost sultry, with a forced hint of disdain.
Derrick smiled. “Carson and I used to play down here every chance we got.” He stepped up onto the outcropping of rock, and Leah moved away a step, just out of his reach.
He looked around, judging which way she’d jump, if she still was determined. The look in her eyes said she was.
“Current’s vicious tonight,” Derrick said, nodding at the water below. “Drowning wouldn’t be the way I’d choose to go. I thought you were stronger than this.”
Leah gave him a long stare. “You’ve never been in my situation, Mr. McCain, and you never will be. Sometimes, there’s …simply no choice.”
Just this past month, all three of the Wolf Creek books I contributed to (Bloody Trail--Book 1, Showdown at Demon's Drop--Book 5, and Hell on the Prairie--Book 6) were on the Kindle top 100 bestselling western list! Wolf Creek Book 1--Bloody Trail, is on sale right now for only .99 to get you started on the Wolf Creek series. The others are available for only $2.99.
You can find Hell on the Prairie and all my other work at my author page here:
Or go here for all the Wolf Creek books, 1-6, that have been published so far. Scroll down on this page to find all of the Wolf Creek books. Look for book 7 sometime in September!