Tag: War Stories

COME WITH ME TO WOLF CREEK! by Cheryl Pierson

This past year, I was honored to be asked to participate in two more of the “Wolf Creek” collections that are the brainchild of Dr. Troy Smith, a wonderful author, outstanding history professor at Tennessee Tech,  and a very good friend. Troy’s vision, when he created the fictional post-Civil War Kansas town of Wolf Creek, was that it would be populated by a very diverse community. That, in itself, would cause its own brand of problems as the people of Kansas were sorely divided during the Civil War—and that conflict left its mark long after the War ended.

With over two dozen western authors making up the fabled “Ford Fargo”, author of the Wolf Creek anthologies and shared universe books, I have found myself in some very fine company to work alongside in these creations. The beauty of this project is that each author has the freedom to incorporate their character(s) into a loose framework that Troy lays out, and every shared story gets off to a great start, has no “sagging middle”, and comes to a very climactic ending—yet, it does so with the efforts of (usually) 6 authors per book.Imagine the thrill of being a part of such a collective effort—and seeing how flawlessly the eventual project comes out!

Available in print and e-book formats at Amazon.

In 2016, I participated in two anthologies. These are somewhat different from the “shared universe” books in which there is one story, divided into chapters. The anthologies are separate short stories, but they do propel the same story along to the completion, in many ways, a lot like the chapter books do.

I had a story in a book that was published in May, Wolf Creek: Book 14—WAR STORIES. This was a fun one, because there is a creepy barber, John Hix, who lives in Wolf Creek. He claims to have had nothing at all to do with the Civil War, yet he’s always wanting others to talk about what THEY did during the War…and he has his own reasons. And let’s just say, there have been some “unexplained disappearances”… This was a bittersweet book, as the incomparable western author, Frank Roderus, was a contributor—and this was one of his last publications before he passed away.

In my story, UNCLE JOHN, my character, Derrick McCain, discovers quite by accident that he has a daughter, six-year-old Viviana, that he didn’t know he had—and her mother is dying. But just as Vivi’s mother passes, Derrick is in for another surprise—one that troubles him to his soul: it becomes apparent that somehow, John Hix, the barber, is well-acquainted with little Vivi and her mother—and this is one man that Derrick doesn’t want anywhere near his family!

Available in print and e-book formats at Amazon.

The second book I contributed to this past year was called Wolf Creek: Book 18—HUNTER’S MOON. My story was THREE GOOD MEN, and this time, the town of Wolf Creek will soon be under siege by a band of raiding Kiowas who will show no mercy. They’ll reach the McCain family farm first, and though Derrick wants nothing more than to stay behind with the three men who’ve come to warn him and make their stand in his farmhouse, he knows he has to see his family to safety above all else. With the help of Sheriff Sam Gardner, a crusty lawman, Derrick and his wife, Leah, begin the trip to Wolf Creek in the dead of night under a hunter’s moon. But it isn’t long before Derrick realizes they are going to have to abandon the wagon and take their chances in the darkness of the forest to have any kind of hope of making it safely to Wolf Creek.

Some of the Kiowas follow, and while Sam and Leah make their way through the night with Vivi and her baby twin brothers, Derrick battles the Kiowas to save his family. When daylight comes, will the McCains and Sam be alive to continue the journey to warn the citizens of Wolf Creek of the impending attack? And what will become of the THREE GOOD MEN who have stayed behind to hold off the Kiowas and give Derrick, his family, and the town of Wolf Creek a fighting chance under a HUNTER’S MOON?

Available in print and e-book formats at Amazon.

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Here’s an excerpt from THREE GOOD MEN. Leah, the children, and Sam are making their way through the forest, and Leah is understandably worried about what’s going to happen. Here, she talks things over with Sam–and wonders where in the heck her husband is–or if he’s even still alive…

They walked in silence for a few more moments. Leah’s mind raced. Where is Derrick? He said he’d be right behind us. By her guess, it had been at least twenty minutes since they’d parted—maybe longer. Leah hurried to catch up with Sam, leaving Vivi out of earshot. “Sam, can you tell me—what was going on with you and John Hix? Were you–”

“Hix is a killer. I figured him out, followed him to your place. Charlie and Roman had ridden up just before I got there. You know the rest.” He shook his head and shifted Liam in his arm. “I hated having to go off and leave him there with Charley and Roman. But…there was no other choice.”

“Do you think—” Leah bit her lip. “I shouldn’t even mention my house at all, with the danger of the Kiowas killing three men. But…I love my home. I love what it means—a family…where my children lay their heads to sleep every night, in safety. Where my husband and I drink coffee in the mornings…and plan our dreams for the future. And where I finally have a place of my own, where I belong. To lose it—”

“Leah, they may not come—”

“Oh, they’ll come. Charley and Roman wouldn’t have stopped at our place if they’d thought there’d be any chance the Kiowas would’ve gone straight on to Wolf Creek. I have a feeling…I know my home will be destroyed.”

“If that happens,” Sam said carefully, “Wolf Creek will help you rebuild. I know that’s small consolation, but—”

She shook her head. “Forgive me. I shouldn’t even be thinking about my things when men’s lives are at stake.” She smiled at him as he glanced at her.

“It’s natural. Thinking about everything you stand to lose,” he replied.

“My family is all that matters. We will rebuild if we have to, of course. The most important thing is that we keep everyone…safe.” Her voice broke.

“You’re worried about Derrick,” Sam stated flatly. “He’s an excellent tracker, as you well know. Could be he decided to go after them; buy us some time. Don’t be thinking the worst, Leah.”

She nodded, and kept putting one foot in front of the other, trying to calm her thoughts. Don’t be thinking the worst. But how can I keep from it?

“Mama, Uncle John said he paid for some candy for me at the store,” Vivi reminded her.

Leah forced herself to smile back at the little girl. “I heard. That was nice of him.”

“He’s going away.”

“Yes.” If John Hix was killed by the Kiowas, or if he went away forever, it would be a relief. Leah had never liked Hix, and she knew Derrick felt the same. They tolerated Hix for Vivi’s sake. And to be fair, Hix doted on their daughter. It was strange to think that the odd little barber knew Vivi better than she or Derrick…or, at least, had known her longer.

“Will he ever come back, Mama?”

“I don’t know, Vivi. But at least he was able to say goodbye.”

Vivi nodded, but she looked downcast.

Leah’s heart clutched. Vivi had suffered so much loss—leaving her home, losing her mother, and now, John Hix. Leah refused to consider the further impending loss that weighed so heavy on her soul right now. Where is Derrick? The thought nagged. Thank goodness Vivi was too young to understand what was happening, truly, at the moment.

They could be in the process of losing everything. Everything, including their very lives.

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Both of my stories have been entered in the WESTERN FICTIONEERS PEACEMAKER COMPETITION. I’ve been a finalist in that contest three times before, so I’m sure hoping for a win this year in the short fiction category with one of these stories.

Y’all keep your fingers crossed for me!

My character, Derrick McCain, is an odd hero because he is “just a man”—not a lawman or an outlaw or anything glamorous. He is a farmer who did some things in the Civil War he isn’t proud of. He’s half Cherokee and half white, and though he didn’t set out to be a “family man”, throughout the Wolf Creek series, he’s found himself in that situation under very different circumstances.

I’m wondering what kind of heroes you all like to see? A lawman set on seeing right done? An outlaw who’s seen the error of his ways and turned his life around? A cowboy fighting for justice on the range? Or someone like Derrick, who just winds up through fate’s hand becoming a hero—though he never thinks of himself that way…

Leave me a comment! I always want to know what other people think, and I’m giving away a print copy of a past WOLF CREEK book that I’ve been a part of to TWO LUCKY COMMENTERS!

HAVE YOU VISITED WOLF CREEK? COME SET A SPELL! by Cheryl Pierson

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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. It’s been “in hiatus” for a few months, but will  be back with some new adventures this month! A brand new Wolf Creek anthology, WAR STORIES, will have one of my stories in it, and there will also be a two-part anthology called LUCK OF THE DRAW all about gamblers, wild women and rowdy times in Wolf Creek! I don’t have a story in that one, but it’s bound to be excellent.

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.

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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–though he likens it to ‘herding cats’. Wolf Creek: Book 1 Bloody Trail is available for only .99, and I’m proud to say there are many more that follow this one in the “shared universe” tradition!

But one 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.

 

I loved this idea, because each participant was 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.

WC 6 HELL ON THE PRAIRIE

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.

I’m also pleased as punch to say that this story was a finalist in the 2014 Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Awards in the short fiction category! What a thrill!

 

Another thrill? This story has just been released as a single sell short through SUNDOWN PRESS! Yes, it’s still available in the Wolf Creek collection, but it’s also available now all on its own. I’m giving away a copy of it today to one lucky commenter!

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Here’s a little about IT TAKES A MAN:

Can two strangers put their pasts aside and make a life together?

Ex-Confederate soldier Derrick McCain needs some answers from his father, Cherokee statesman Collin Ridge—and he’s waited long enough. But Ridge is on his death bed when he summons Derrick and Fiona McCain, Derrick’s mother, to return to Indian Territory. Will they make it in time? It’s the only chance Derrick will have to learn what he needs to know from the man who can tell him everything—if he only will.

As Fiona and Collin patch up their long-ago unrequited love, Derrick meets a young woman who is out of choices. Pregnant, disowned, and bearing the weight of guilt over the death of her sister, Leah Martin has nowhere to turn. But the dark-eyed beauty sparks something inside Derrick that he thought long dead, and when her father shows up with an abusive suitor, Derrick vows to keep her out of harm’s way.

Can he protect Leah from what her father has planned for her? Offering marriage would change his life forever—and he’s not in the market for a wife. To make matters worse, the child she carries is that of Derrick’s nemesis, Clark Davis. IT TAKES A MAN to do the right thing…can Derrick McCain deliver?

If you just can’t wait to see if you won IT TAKES A MAN, you can grab a copy of it here:
https://www.amazon.com/Takes-Man-Cheryl-Pierson-ebook/dp/B01FQ36K1I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp%3Bamp%3Bamp%3Bamp%3Bqid=1464754112&amp%3Bamp%3Bamp%3Bamp%3Bsr=8-1&amp%3Bamp%3Bamp%3Bamp%3Bkeywords=It+takes+a+man+by+cheryl+pierson&amp%3Bamp%3Bamp%3Btag=pettpist-20

Here’s the link to my author page at Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/author/cherylpierson?tag=pettpist-20

 

THIS JUST IN! THE WOLF CREEK BOOKS ARE NOW AVAILABLE IN BOXED SETS!

Wolf Creek Chronicles 1-Amazon

If you’d like to read all the Wolf Creek stories, go here:

https://www.amazon.com/Wolf-Creek-Chronicles-Western-Novels-ebook/dp/B01GNDYLCA/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&amp%3Bie=UTF8&amp%3Bqid=1465842685&amp%3Bsr=1-1&amp%3Bkeywords=Wolf+Creek+Chronicles+book+1&tag=pettpist-20

 

 

 

Wolf Creek Chronicles 2-Amazon

 

https://www.amazon.com/Wolf-Creek-Chronicles-Vol-2-ebook/dp/B01GGJZADK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&amp%3Bie=UTF8&amp%3Bqid=1465842962&amp%3Bsr=1-1&amp%3Bkeywords=Wolf+Creek+Chronicles+book+2&tag=pettpist-20

 

 

 

 

WOLF CREEK Chronicles 3-Amazon

 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Wolf-Creek-Chronicles-Vol-3-ebook/dp/B01GGKC71C/ref=pd_sim_sbs_351_2?ie=UTF8&amp%3BdpID=61LDt9Fqs-L&amp%3BdpSrc=sims&amp%3BpreST=_UX300_PJku-sticker-v3%2CTopRight%2C0%2C-44_OU01_AC_UL320_SR270%2C320_&amp%3BrefRID=Q80FJ1E53FE4VFBDG9R5&tag=pettpist-20

 

 

 

Thanks to everyone for stopping by today! I hope you’ll check out the Wolf Creek series and my short story single sell, IT TAKES A MAN. Also, be sure to pick up these awesome boxed sets–available in PRINT AND IN DIGITAL FORMATS!

Petticoats & Pistols © 2015