Saturday, December 22, 2012

Season's Greetings and all that jazz

FREE DECEMBER 22-23, 2012
Nighthawk here, wishing you a Happy Look-We're-Still-Here Day! I've got Chief of Detectives Igor Thorsen from Deadly Legacy back in the studio. The chief doesn't observe Christmas at this time of year. He and his family celebrate Yuletide.

Which predates Christianity, you know. In fact, Christmas stole many of it's traditions from the old religion.

Stole? A bit harsh. How about adopted?

Don't try to tell an old cop about what is and what is not theft.

Um... mistletoe.

Hmph! Clever hanging that in here. Peace then. Just don't expect me to kiss you, bird beak.

Isn't it bad luck not to kiss under the mistletoe?

Only if you're a couple... or wannabe couple. Mistletoe gives permission for young couples to kiss - but only as long as the berries hold out.  Of course I wouldn't pass up a chance to kiss my wife under the mistletoe... or any other time either.

Which mistletoe tradition is older - peace or kissing?

Good question. Motivated by jealousy, Loki the Trickster was determined to kill Baldr the Good. Warned by a prophesy, Frigg got all things living and inanimate to swear not to hurt her son. Mistletoe got left out of the pact on a technicality. Loki tricked the Blind God Hodr into shooting Baldr with an arrow poisoned with mistletoe. Baldr died, but fortunately that doesn't usually last with gods. Frigg forgave the mistletoe and kissed everyone associated with Baldr's return as a token of thanks.

So, you can see, the kissing part is there from the get-go, but it's about making peace, not making love. Enemies who meet under the branches of a tree growing mistletoe must keep the peace. On the other hand, mistletoe is also associated with fertility and that might go back before the Loki-Baldr incident. Lot's of strong magic in mistletoe.

And you, Chief of Detectives Thorsen, believe in magic.

I'm talking to you, aren't I?

Point taken. So, no kiss?

Maybe a peck.

On that note folks, whatever way you celebrate the season, we wish you...

Happy Holidays


Peace and Prosperity in the New Year

Friday, December 21, 2012

Free Book - Upcoming Interviews

(December 21, 2012)

"An interesting, evocative story where trail dust rises from the pages and you wonder how Marly will ever unscramble her past to choose a respectable future"

"Canadian author Alison Bruce has crafted a heroine every red blooded postmodern female wishes she were..."

"Alison Bruce has crafted a steamy tale of the old West that takes us out of the ordinary and into a rollicking world of romance and adventure."

Next on Nighthawk Talks...

Igor Thorsen from Deadly Legacy shares talks about his Yuletide traditions. (We tried to get him for today, but one of his traditions is spending the longest night with his family.)

Call for Characters...

Nighthawk needs some fresh victims - er guests - for the new year. If interested, please get your author direct message Alison Bruce on Twitter or Facebook.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Derrick McCain from Bloody Trail

Our last guest from Wolf Creek is Derrick McCain created by author Cheryl Pierson

I’m not sure why you want to talk to me.

Our last guest was Charley Blackfoot. After our interview he let slip that he knew you in the war. It sounded like there was a story there.

I did things when I was younger that I’m not proud of, but I guess a lot of others did, too.

What happened?

I left home just after the War started. My older brothers had already lit out. I wasn’t following them, though—I was out to make my own way. And when I got news that my Pa had been killed because of his politics, I deserted and joined up with Jim Danby’s gang, determined to find the men who’d killed my Pa. But then, Jim seemed to get crazier about the things he wanted to do—torturing and killing prisoners and such. I drew the line there, and I didn’t care what happened to me. I couldn’t have lived with myself if I’d done some of the things he was ordering us to do.

That’s how Charley Blackfeather and I got acquainted—Charley was one of the prisoners Jim was wanting me to kill. When I said no, Jim had the other men about kill me. He thought I was dead, or he’d never have left me. The reason I tell you all this is just to say, there were plenty of others like me, caught up in a world of not being able to know right from wrong. War does that to a man. I’m not making excuses. Just trying to explain.

I think I understand. What brought you to Wolf Creek?

We moved to Wolf Creek when I was twelve years old. My Pa was a headmaster at a Cherokee school in Indian Territory. Then one day, he came home and told Ma we were getting the hell out of there and moving to Kansas.

Why Kansas? I would have thought Indian Territory would have been a safer place to raise a family than Kansas before the Civil War.

From what I could hear, there wasn’t much of an explanation, but Ma seemed to understand without him telling her. She didn’t want to go, that much I knew, but we had to. I thought it was politics forcing us to go, but then I learned something later that shed a whole new light on things.

What did you learn?

When we moved to Wolf Creek, my older brothers, Benton and Eli, were still living at home with us, but Benton eventually got his own place nearby. That just left me and Eli and our younger sister, Kathleen, there at home, and Eli planned on going off on his own, too. But then the War came, and he and Benton went off, thinking it would be a high adventure. They both got themselves killed, and I had left too. Kathleen always held it against me that I went off and left her and Ma, but no one could have known that Pa was going to get himself murdered. Now that I’m back in Wolf Creek, Kathleen is married to a sour mouth preacher, and I’ve taken over the farming there at our home place and taking care of Ma.

So you've come home to settle down.

But I won’t be here forever. I’m too restless to stay in one place forever.

Is that because of your experiences during the war?

The War changed my life in a lot of ways. I was glad to get off on my own—that part was good. I’d never got on too well with my older brothers. They always treated me different, and Pa did, too. Turns out, there was a reason that I didn’t know until a few weeks ago.

What reason?


If you're not going to tell what you found out about your mother, why do you keep mentioning it?

Anyhow, I went off to make my own way in the world, and then felt honor bound to avenge Pa’s killing. Which was just putting me in a bad place, even worse than when I was a Confederate regular. Joining up with Jim Danby’s gang was something I have been sorry for since the day I did it. I was pretty young and needing someone to look up to. But Danby wasn’t the one, for sure. There wasn’t anyone more evil than Jim, but it took me a long time to understand it. When I did, I almost got killed for it. I came back to Wolf Creek when I healed up, and stayed with Ma. She was glad to have me back, having lost Pa, Benton and Eli. But she still never did tell me the truth that I needed to know so much. I had to learn that from someone else.

What? Never mind. I can tell by that smirk that you're not going to give me an answer.

You’re probably wondering what I’m going to do next with my life.

No, I'm wondering if anyone will notice if I strangle you... 
... Okay, I'll bite. What's next?

Chasing Jim Danby’s gang down gave me some satisfaction, like I was righting a lot of the wrong things I’d done earlier. But we didn’t manage to get them all. Some of them are still out there, going on with their lives and the killing and robbing they’re bent on doing. I’ve been thinking a lot about how I might finish up making amends for those years during the War.

One thing that keeps coming back to me is how I might just keep going after the ones that are left until they’re all dead. I know that might mean I’ll be dead first—just depends on who has a faster gun a lot of times. But even if I was to get killed, at least it would be doing something that needed doing.

You don't think taking care of the family farm needs doing?

Farming is not my calling. But neither is murder. I’m just wondering how I’m going to fit into this world. I’m not sure what I’m looking for.

So instead, you're hell-bent on the road for revenge.

You gotta understand, when Jim Danby’s gang rode into Wolf Creek, it changed everything for so many people. I was probably the one that had the biggest secret to keep, having been “one of them” in years past. Who knew there were so many secrets in one small town, though? And all of them important in their own way…

I learned some things about myself that I never would have if Danby’s men hadn’t attacked and brought it all out. I also learned some things about people I lived right there with for years that I didn’t know like I thought I did. But then, they didn’t really know me, either. Despite all that, I still feel adrift—unsure of what I want in life. I’m just not really sure how I need to go about figuring that out. It seems like what I got really good at during the war, that’s something I don’t ever want to have to do again.

On those cryptic words, we wrap up this series on Wolf Creek Book 1: Bloody Trail. Sometime in the new year we hope to have a few characters drop by from Books 2 and 3... maybe even Book 4. Meanwhile, buy or borrow Bloody Trail, written by the authors collectively known as Ford Fargo, published by Western Fictioneers.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Charley Blackfeather from Bloody Trail

Welcome back to Nighthawk Talks. This is the third in a series of four interviews with residents of the town of Wolf Creek who can be found in the pages of Bloody Trail by Ford Fargo. Ford Fargo, by the way, is not one author but many. Today's guest is the creation of Troy D. Smith, who is also the editor of the Wolf Creek series.

Tonight we are joined by Charley Blackfeather, a black Seminole who works as a scout for the cavalry outpost at nearby Fort Braxton and supplements his income by trapping, was dropping off some traditional Seminole medicines to the town doctor when the outlaws struck. He has encountered the Danby Gang before, when he was a Union soldier and they were riding with Confederate guerrillas William Quantrill and Bloody Bill Anderson. He volunteers for the posse, but is troubled when he recognizes one of the other posse members from the war as well…

This room is strange. But I’ve seen it before, in a dream –there is strong medicine here.

I've always thought so. How long have you lived in Wolf Creek?

I don’t really live in Wolf Creek, I just kinda pass through now and again. I live on the prairie. I scout for Colonel Vine over at Fort Braxton sometimes, when they need me–most of the time I hunt and trap. I bring my hides in to Wolf Creek ever’ month or so, and usually head over to Asa Pepper’s saloon to have a beer. I been comin’ around town like that, off and on, for ‘bout a year.

I take it, you have no family to tie you down to one place.

I used to have a wife and three young’uns. They’d all be growed by now with families of their own, if they’d lived – but they all died when the Confederate Cherokees attacked Opothleyahola’s band at the beginning of the war. And there’s my pa, I reckon he was born a slave in Georgia but ran away to the Seminoles in Florida and married my ma–but he got killed a long time ago, back yonder in the swamps when our people was fighting the U.S. Army.

And yet, you later fought with that army.

Like a lot of my Seminole brothers, I fought for the Union in the war. Partly because of what the Reb Indians did to my family–but I was Union before then, that’s why they done it.

Why fight at all?

Why was I Union? (snort of laughter) Well, let’s just say I wasn’t as much for the Union as I was ag'in' slavery. I take that kind of behaviour personal.

I understand you’ve had some prior experience with the Danby Gang. Can you tell us about that?

(Grunt) I don’t like talkin’ ‘bout that.

(Takes deep breath) But you been real polite and neighbourly, so I’ll say this much… That bunch that rode with Bloody Bill was as low-down as they come. I was at Centralia, where they slaughtered a whole sight of Union soldiers who had surrendered. One of the ones they killed was… well, somebody close.

So this is about vengeance for you.

(Grunt) My people believe in balance. In life for life, eye for eye. We call it Blood Revenge–till a death has been avenged, the world ain’t right. And I been out of balance ever’ since that day at Centralia… and when I seen Jim Danby robbin’ the Wolf Creek bank, I knowed I was gonna finally have a chance to get that balance back. And that’s all I’m sayin’.
Which means we'll have to find out the rest of this story in Wolf Creek Book 1: Bloody Trail, written by the authors collectively known as Ford Fargo, published by Western Fictioneers.