E-published another historical novel, that is. And it's Western like my first e-venture, Vengeance on the Sweetgrass. It's called Above the Caprock and is live online at amazon.com at the Kindle Store. It will soon go live at the Nook Store on Barnes and Noble too. It sports another striking cover designed by my super-talented associate Britt Kaufmann and was steered online by my dear wife Ruth who, unlike me, lives solidly in the 21st century and understands all things computer-wise, as does Britt. I of course stubbornly insist on dwelling in the past because the present is to me a puzzle I cannot solve.
Above the Caprock tells the story of a group of people, good and bad and in-between, who are ranching in the high plains country of West Texas known as the Llano Estacado, or Staked Plain, in the late 1870s. A man and a boy, each damaged by loss in different ways, come together by chance on a ranch owned by a beautiful (of course) widow named Helen Logan. A raiding party of hostile Indians has wiped out the family of ex-army scout Clint Slater, leaving him hardened and disengaged from others. The boy, known only as Cant, born to a prostitute mother lost in morphine addiction, has fled his degraded life as a whorehouse errand-boy. Helen Logan and her well-watered grazing lands are coveted by neighboring cattleman Print Boatwright, who commands a dangerous crew of rustlers and hired gunmen. When Boatwright recruits a mysterious killer named Santiago to seal his conquest of the Logan spread, Slater, now Helen Logan's foreman, is forced to act. Cant, longing for the father he has never known, must choose between Slater's principled yet distant resolution and the strangely compelling evil of Santiago.
I hope readers of this blog will purchase this book (it's cheap, mind you) and enjoy reading it. In writing it I had the technical assistance of a lady in Texas who is past president of an association dedicated to the breeding of the famous Texas longhorn cow. In future weeks I'll also be putting online another Western, Four Sixes to Beat: John Wesley Hardin in El Paso. Be warned, the Hardin book will not be fare for sissies.