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.
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.
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!
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:
Here’s the link to my author page at Amazon:
THIS JUST IN! THE WOLF CREEK BOOKS ARE NOW AVAILABLE IN BOXED SETS!
If you’d like to read all the Wolf Creek stories, go here:
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!