Monday, February 15, 2016

Sequel to The Devil's Bride--THE DEVIL'S FURY--Now Available at Amazon...


“Lou Prophet and Mathilda Anderson, I now pronounce you man and wife!”

Getting hitched in Colorado is one of the last things Lou Prophet remembers before he finds himself stumbling around the Mexican desert with a bloody gash in his head and a small army of Mexican cutthroats hot on his trail. The mercenaries are being led by a stubborn Pinkerton detective named Wolcott.

Wolcott is looking for the stolen train loot that Prophet had been supposed to return to the U.S. Marshal in Denver.

But that was before the bounty hunter got married. Before he was supposed to live happily ever after with the charming, beautiful mail-order bride, Mattie Anderson, whom he’d met in the Colorado Rockies while retrieving the loot in question from the outlaw Frank Beauregard.

Now Prophet is stumbling around Mexico, dodging bullets and bad men and trying to find out just how deep a hole he dug for himself when he said “I do.”

Maybe Louisa Bonaventure, the Vengeance Queen herself, can help the confused and badly battered bounty hunter make some sense out of the mess his marriage and his life have become...and find the woman and the loot before the diabolical rurale, Colonel Rafael TeviƱo Quintero, can turn them all toe-down in a Gatling gun hail of deadly Mexican lead!

From the book:

“Cuttin’ it a little close, maybe,” Prophet muttered, leaning his rifle against the rail to his right.
A dove-colored cloud of jostling shadows ran outward from the post house, flames lapping from pistols and rifles. A couple bullets chewed into the rail around Prophet’s tower. A couple more plunked into the underside of the brush roof above the bounty hunter’s head. One spanged off the housing of the Gatling gun just as Prophet reached for the handle.
He jerked his hand back as though from a hot stove, then grabbed the gun, raised its brass snout, slanted it down toward the oncoming crowd of yelling rurales, and turned the crank.
As the machine gun commenced roaring and lighting up the area around the tower, spitting red flames, a similar roaring kicked up from the tower to Prophet’s left. The bounty hunter turned the crank and swiveled the canister from left to right and back again, grinning in satisfaction as the rurales were blown off their feet and sent rolling in the dark dust, bellowing and cursing.
Prophet glanced toward the Kid’s tower, grinning again as he saw jets of fire licking out into the night from beneath that tower’s thatched roof, pale smoke wafting thickly. Prophet hadn’t fired a Gatling gun in years, and the thrill of it caused him to cut loose with ripping Rebel yells as he gritted his teeth and turned the crank over and over again...until the gun clicked and fell silent.
The clip poking up from the canister was empty.
A few seconds later, the Kid’s gun stopped hiccupping, as well.
Prophet’s blood was up. “Take that, you demon-worshippin’ dogs!” he shouted, reaching for his rifle.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

The Devil's Fury: Sneak Peek!

Chapter 1 

THERE IS NOTHING quite like the ratcheting snarl of a coiled diamondback to send fear into a man like a hot Apache war lance being driven into a hot, still-beating heart.
Friends and relatives...if there are any relatives here...we have gathered here today at the invitation of Louis Hammond Maxwell Prophet and Mathilda Lenora Anderson to share in the joy of their wedding...
The sound is something akin to coarse sand being poured slowly out of a hollow gourd and the ratcheting click of a gun hammer being drawn back to full cock. If you could marry those sounds and give them two beady copper eyes, flat with passionless savagery, two long curving white fangs, and a flicking button tail rising from the end of a serpentine body coiled like cold, scale-covered, sand-colored hemp, you’d have the very essence of what a man fears most in this world...the essence of what jerked Lou Prophet out of a dead sleep in the Mexican desert with a yelp.
This outward celebration that we shall see and hear is an expression of the inner love and devotion that Louis and Mathilda have in their hearts toward one another...
Prophet turned to see the copper eyes glowing at him from a dark nook in the nest of volcanic rock he’d holed up in. The viper was coiled tightly, looped upon itself, head sliding slowly toward where the bounty hunter slouched against the rock, blood running down from the deep gash in his forehead, into his right eye, and down his cheek. He couldn’t see through that eye. Only the left one.
That wasn’t good. Being right-handed, he was also right-eyed.
I, the Reverend Ezra Thaddeus Waggler, believe marriage is of God, and that Mathilda Anderson and Louis Prophet have come here today to stand before me and God who is truly Holy, desiring to be united in this sacred relationship of marriage...
Slowly, Prophet slid his Colt from the holster thonged on his right, denim-clad thigh, and, oh-so-very-slowly, pressing his tongue taut against the backside of his cut and swollen bottom lip, clicked the hammer back.
As he did, he kept his eye on the snake, which kept both eyes on him. The snake’s forked, colorless tongue tested the hot desert air, following the tongue toward its target, which was likely the vague, sunburned shape of a man and the smell of several days of desert sweat and soiled buckskin and denim and the spine-splintering fear of certain death...or something worse than death.
Now, Mister Prophet, Miss Anderson, will you please turn and face one another and join hands to express your vows of love and devotion each to the other?
The diamondback shook its button tail again.
“I, Lou Prophet, take you, Mathilda Anderson, to be my wife...”
The revolting sound turned Prophet’s blood cold. He stretched his lips back from his teeth as he slid the cocked Colt across his belly toward his left side. The snake was coiled in a nook behind the bounty hunter, over his left shoulder. He could see the viper in the corner of his left eye. It moved its head and slithering tongue forward, forward...ever closer...
“ have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer...”
The bounty hunter knew the serpent would strike at any second. He had to get the gun across his body and aimed behind him before he did. A snakebite on top of his other sundry injuries would without a doubt be the last nail in his already sanded and varnish proverbial coffin.
“ sickness and in health...”
Boom! Boom! Boom-Boom! Boom!
 Prophet had fired half-blind, afraid to make any sudden moves lest the viper should sink those razor-edged fangs into his left shoulder. Now, as the echoes of his gun reports still banged around inside his battered head, he turned to see the snake in several ragged, bloody pieces behind him. The head was still opening and closing its mouth, as though chewing something, and the button tail was still writhing.
But for all intents and purposes, the beast was dead.
“ sickness and in health, I promise to love and cherish you.”
From somewhere around the rock nest, a man’s distant shout made its way to Prophet’s ringing ears. His shots had alerted his hunters to his position.
“Ah, damn...”
Wincing against the rotten-egg odor of powder smoke, he punched out the spent shell casings and replaced them with fresh from his shell belt. More shouts rose on the hot Mexican wind. The shouts were in Spanish.
Running footsteps grew louder. Spurs rang. A boot kicked a rock. The rock rolled past where Prophet was hunkered down in the stone outcropping rising up from a spur of a remote Mexican mountain range.
I, Mathilda Anderson, take you, Lou Prophet, to be my husband...
Prophet flipped the Colt’s loading gate closed and spun the cylinder as a stocky Mexican in deerskin charro slacks and calico shirt came running up on Prophet’s right from around a bulge of sandstone. The man turned his head toward Prophet. His eyes widened beneath the broad brim of his steeple-crowned sombrero.
He brought the two pistols in his hands around as Prophet’s Colt went to work once more, shredding the Mexican’s heart, blowing the bloody bits out his back, and punching him off the edge of the escarpment.

(The complete book, a sequel to The Devil's Bride, will be up on Amazon by February 15!)