From his vantage point on a gentle rise at the rear of the column, Cody Cavanaugh could see the line of blue coats stretched out for a mile or more between the pines hemming in the road from each side. On this fine autumn day under a bright sun, birds would have been singing if not for the drumming of feet, the clanking of arms, and the creaking of leather. These soldiers were young, they were brave, and the fact that they had penetrated so far into secesh territory filled Cody with pride. These were the boys who would preserve the Union.
Then he heard a sound like the distant bark of a muzzled dog. Moments later a ball arced through the sky, whistling, knocking limbs from trees, and it landed in the ranks with a fiery blast. He saw soldiers fall, and their blood painted the earth.
That was when the trees on both sides erupted in a riot of butternut and gray. Carbines flashed, and the gunfire sounded like a string of firecrackers going off right next to his ears.
Those are the first three paragraphs of O’Meara’s Gold, the first in the Cody Cavanaugh Western novel series I wrote for Wolfpack Publishing. It’s not a Civil War novel, though Cody is a veteran of that horrible conflict, and a survivor of a Confederate prison camp. The action in that camp spurs the rest of the novel, so there are three chapters before we skip to 1877, when Cody arrives in the growing mountain town of Pedregosa, in the Arizona Territory. He comes bearing a secret that could change the lives of some of the locals, and he inadvertently walks into yet another war.
In Pedregosa, Cody will meet Freeman Douglas, born into slavery and, after Emancipation, raised by the family of a Cherokee Freedman. He’ll meet other folks, too, like Julia Waycross, publisher of the Pedregosa Eagle, and Eleanor Bishop, owner of the Empress Ranch, which is run by women for the benefit women who need a place of safety, and rival rancher Ethan Holm, and drifter Juke Dupree… He’ll find that there’s no place in Pedregosa to buy new books–but he travels with a good supply, and Julia has a source. He’ll find trouble, and action, and mystery, and losses and wins–all the stuff that makes for an entertaining and dramatic tale.
I’ve written a lot of books, but I’ve never had more fun writing than I did keeping company with Cody and co. These are “traditional Westerns,” but I like to say they’re for people who love Westerns, and for people who never thought they could love Westerns. Whether you’re a Western fan or not, if you like exciting tales, witty dialogue, and good fun, you’ll like these. I hope you’ll try them.