Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cheryl Pierson: Wolf Creek #western @Cherokeegirl57

Wolf Creek: 
Book 1, Bloody Trail
Book 2, Kiowa Vengeance
Book 3, Murder in Dogleg City
Book 4, The Taylor County War
Book 5, Showdown at Demon's Drop
Book 6, Hell on the Prairie

by Ford Fargo

Romancing The West is featuring the authors of the Wolf Creek series the last two weeks of November.  While Ford Fargo is on the cover, this series is actually written by fifteen of the best western writers today.  If you missed out, here are the first three articles:

Today, another Wolf Creek contributor, Cheryl Pierson, tells us about her two characters and the series in general.  Please welcome her to RTW!

Cheryl Pierson, author
Cheryl Pierson
I truly loved working on this first Wolf Creek project. Getting to read the other parts first really helped me in my decision as to how to end it properly, since I wrote the last two chapters. It was important to "get it right" because the ending has to leave the reader wanting more. But every chapter built on the one that came before it, and Clay, Jim, Troy, Larry and James really made my job a lot easier than it might have been otherwise. This was Troy's idea, and he has been organized and kept the ball rolling all along. So for me, the entire experience was really a good one—and nothing like I'd ever done before.

I have two characters in Wolf Creek: Book 1 Bloody Trail; Derrick McCain and Carson Ridge.

Derrick McCain has come back to Wolf Creek after many years of "drifting" after the war. He's uneasy with himself and his past—he did some things that he regrets both during and after the war. But he has a personal stake in joining the posse to go after the gang that attacked Wolf Creek...he's seeking revenge of his own. Derrick is 18 when the War Between the States begins. His two older brothers leave immediately, refusing to take him with them. A few days after they leave, Derrick strikes out on his own, determined to make his own way. 

He joins up with the regular Confederate Army, with the hope that one day he will return to Wolf Creek and marry his sweetheart, Jolene. Things don't work out as he'd thought. His brothers are killed at Shiloh, and not long after, he receives word that his father, Andrew, has been murdered for his outspoken politics by a band of Jayhawkers. At this news, Derrick deserts to join up with Jim Danby's guerrilla band, who ride with Quantrill and Bloody Bill Anderson, to seek revenge on the Jayhawkers who murdered his father.

The day comes when Danby intends to do something so heinous that Derrick rebels, refusing to obey direct orders from the gang leader. Derrick tells him that he will not torture and murder their captives, a small band of black Union soldiers who were sent to attack Bloody Bill Anderson during the Centralia Massacre. Danby has Derrick beaten and left for dead, giving orders for the others in his band to shoot the Union soldiers. But one of the black men, Charley Blackfeather, manages to get away, never knowing that Derrick stood up for them.

Derrick is found by a farmer who lives nearby and taken to the man's house, where he's cared for. The end of the war comes as Derrick heals enough to ride once more. He returns to Wolf Creek, not sure of his place in the world—Jolene has married a Yankee, and he finds himself the only male survivor of the McCain family. He steps into the unwanted role of settling into the life of a farmer, his younger sister less than welcoming since she has married due to necessity because of his absence. Derrick's world is turned upside down a few years down the road when the Danby gang comes to pay the citizens of Wolf Creek a call. Derrick is sure of only one thing this time around: in order to make peace with himself, he has to ride with the posse to avenge what Danby's gang has done to his town. He swears to kill or be killed, on the Bloody Trail.

My other character is Carson Ridge, a member of the Cherokee Lighthorse law enforcement. He makes a brief appearance but will be back in future editions of Wolf Creek. Carson is a full-blood Cherokee and Derrick McCain's childhood best friend. Raised in the eastern part of Indian Territory in the Cherokee Nation, he's well-educated having attended the Indian school where Derrick's father was headmaster for several years. When Derrick's family moves to Wolf Creek, Kansas, Carson hopes that once Derrick learns the reason for the move, he will someday return to Indian Territory and the heritage that belongs to him. Carson's past is something he doesn't talk about much. He has become a Lighthorse officer for the Cherokee Nation. As the years pass, he believes he will never see his friend again...until fate brings them together under the most unlikely circumstance.

Along with the Wolf Creek series characters, I also have a short story The Keepers of Camelot, in the Western Fictioneers paranormal Christmas anthology, Six-guns and Slay Bells: A Creepy Cowboy Christmas.
“When King Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot are again united on the 1880’s western frontier, can forgiveness bring them the peace that has eluded them for centuries? It’s an unforgettable Christmas brought about through one young boy’s steadfast belief in rekindling the glorious hope of the greatest legend of all time.”
I’ve just had an anthology of my own stories released, A Hero for Christmas, a collection of four western and Civil War short stories that each have a touch of “something special” for the Christmas season. To see all my anthologies, short stories, novellas and novels, go to my Amazon author page.

It’s been my pleasure to be here today as Jacquie’s guest, sharing the time with my Wolf Creek co-writers on Romancing The West!

Below is an excerpt from Wolf Creek: Book 5 Showdown at Demon’s Drop, scheduled for release in the spring of 2013. Derrick has given himself up to the ruthless gang he was once a member of in order to save his younger sister, Kathleen. He’s been double crossed, and the gang has plans for him. Even if Charley Blackfeather and the posse from Wolf Creek make it to Demon’s Drop before Derrick and Kathleen are murdered, there isn’t much hope of escape for any of them. They’re badly outnumbered by the brutal men of the Clark Davis gang. One thing Derrick knows: If Charley and the others do get there in time, blood will flow on both sides, and the outcome will be uncertain. They’ll make their stand with hell to pay in a Showdown at Demon’s Drop...

Wolf Creek Book 5: Showdown at Demon’s Drop
The surviving members of the Danby Gang want revenge –especially against Derrick McCain, whom they believe betrayed them. They kidnap his sister, and threaten to kill her unless McCain comes to their mountain hideout in Indian Territory, Demon’s Drop, alone. But Derrick McCain’s friends won’t let him face the outlaws without help...

Wolf Creek Book 6: Hell on the Prairie
Our latest volume is an anthology of short stories, shifting the spotlight to several of Wolf Creek’s citizens. In the title story, Marshal Sam Gardner must face down a killer whose skill surpasses his own.

Excerpt from Book Five, Showdown at Demon’s Drop
(Cheryl Pierson’s chapter):

Something was burning. The smell of cooking meat was near. The hiss of it permeated the darkness, followed by indescribable pain.

“God dammit,” Derrick muttered, biting back the scream that threatened just behind the low-pitched curse.

“Yep, he’s awake,” someone announced.

A rough finger prodded his eye open, and Derrick tried to turn away from it. Someone held his head tightly to prevent him from moving.

Davis’s freckled face swam into view. “So glad you’re awake to join us, you murderin’ bastard. You killed one of my best men!”

“Four,” Derrick corrected hoarsely. “Four, so far.”

“By God, that’s the end of it for you, McCain!”

“Not...not yet,” he managed to grit out.

In the next instant, the burning heat of a brand neared his stomach. He hung by his arms, suspended from the tree. As the brand scorched into his flesh, he couldn’t hold back the harsh, agonized groan that escaped him.

From somewhere far away, he heard Kathleen scream, then plead with Davis to stop.

Davis laughed, breathing into Derrick’s face. “You might not beg, but your sister’s doin’ enough of it for both of you. Seems she’s had a change of heart about how she feels.”

“Kiss my ass, Davis.” Derrick slitted his eyes open to look into the redhead’s leering face. Then, he spat, hitting Davis’s cheek.

Davis jerked a filthy bandana from his back pocket, scrubbing at his face. “You damn filthy redskin!” He drew back his fist, but the blow never came.

Dawn’s first red streaks were lighting the gray of the sky. Dawn...the best time for attack, according to what Charley Blackfeather had always said.

Davis gave a startled cry of pain as an arrow ripped into his side. He fell to the ground on top of the still-hot brand he’d dropped, writhing in pain.

Derrick’s hands were cut free and he was gently lowered to the ground. When he opened his eyes again, Charley Blackfeather’s face was above his, concern etched deep in the Black Seminole’s rugged features.Gunfire and cries of alarm erupted from the camp, as the attack began in earnest.

“Don’t go anywhere, Cherokee,” Charley said quickly as he released Derrick.

“I’ll...be here...you damn fool...”

Charley’s deep laughter, accompanied by Clark Davis’s screams, were the last thing he heard.

Buy links (print or digital)
Book 1: Bloody Trail -- AmazonBN.com
Book 2: Kiowa Vengenace -- AmazonBN.com

Authors and their characters
Bill Crider - Cora Sloane, schoolmarm
Wayne Dundee - Seamus O'Connor, deputy marshal
Phil Dunlap - drifting bounty hunter Rattlesnake Jake
James J. Griffin - Bill Torrance, Livery owner
Jerry Guin - Deputy Marshal Quint Croy
Douglas Hirt - Marcus Sublette, Schoolteacher
LJ Martin - Angus “Spike” Sweeney, blacksmith
Matthew P. Mayo - Rupert "Rupe" Tingley, Town drunk
Kerry Newcomb - James Reginald de Courcey, artist (secretly the outlaw Sampson Quick)
Cheryl Pierson - Derrick McCain, small farmer
Robert J. Randisi - Dave Benteen, gunsmith
James Reasoner - G.W. Satterlee, county sheriff
Frank Roderus - John Hix, barber
Troy D. Smith - Charley Blackfeather, scout; Sam Gardner, town marshal
Clay More - Logan Munro, town doctor
Chuck Tyrell - Billy Below, young cowboy; Sam Jones, gambler
Jackson Lowry - Photographer Wilson “Wil” Marsh
Livia Washburn - Ira Breedlove, crime boss
Matt Pizzolato - Wesley Quaid, Anti-heroic shiftless type

Win Free Books!
Cheryl Pierson is itching to give you a treat!  So one commenter in the next two weeks will win a print copy of 
Wolf Creek: Book 1, Bloody Trail
(USA mailing only)
Comment on every post for extra chances!

Also, comment on this post and you'll be entered to win a Kindle copy of your choice of Troy Smith's Blackwell series (short stories).  (And you'll also be entered to win the Wolf Creek book!)

Drawing for both will be held December 1, 2012, at 9pm Pacific Time.

Please include your email address so we can contact you; otherwise, we'll draw another winner.


  1. I have to say, Cheryl has been a joy to work with. During the plotting of Book One we exchanged dozens of emails, working out the intricate backstory of her character and his relationship with mine. She has stepped up often since then, working hard to promote the series in general. And she's a darn good writer, to boot!

    1. Troy, I appreciate those very kind words, my friend. I have enjoyed working on this series so much--and it's not hard to promote it because I have such faith in its ability to entertain readers. What an idea you had! And I love the love/hate relationship between Derrick and Charley--that's so fun to work with. Let's keep 'em rolling!

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Cheryl certainly knows how to keep her readers turning pages. Her closure of Bloody Trail was superb, as is this extract from Book 5, Showdown at Demon's Drop. And I heartily recommend her story Six-guns and Slay Bells. It has a certain magic about it.


    1. Clay, thank you! I think I felt as nervous as you did about Bloody Trail, with you writing the opening and me writing the closing, providing the background and the start of the action on your part, and me having to bring all the loose ends together and tie them up to leave the reader wanting to go on to Book 2. I wonder if Troy was biting his nails to see what we'd come up with? LOLLOL All kidding aside, I want to say what a pleasure it has been working with you and all the other authors from Book 1--Troy, Larry Martin, Jim Griffin, and James Reasoner. I'm so glad you enjoyed The Keepers of Camelot from SIX GUNS AND SLAY BELLS. That means a lot to me coming from an expert on the subject of Arthurian legend and lore such as yourself!

    2. Cheryl, I am always extremely excited to get the latest chapter in and see what our team comes up with. This is honestly the most fun I've ever had on a writing project.

    3. I know what you mean, Troy--it is very exciting to see each new book and how it all comes together. I've enjoyed this project more than anything else I've done, too. I think it's always so revitalizing in our writing when we have the opportunity to bounce ideas off of one another and the way these books take shape and take on a life of their own, leaving everything ready and waiting for the next one.

  3. what a compelling excerpt, Cheryl. And how fun to be in such a storied ensemble of writers. Hats off to all of you for creating such an enjoyable western series.

    1. Maggie, I got my wounded guy in there again. LOL I promise, I'm really not "out for blood" in real life! LOL Oh, let me tell you, I was saying to Troy on another blog, I feel like I've won the lottery to be working with all of these guys. Not only are they a joy to work with, but I've looked up to so many of them in their careers that I have to pinch myself to make sure it's real. LOL Thanks so much for coming over today! Gotcha entered in the drawing.

  4. Cheryl--you are just too pretty to write such gritty stories. I knew you were talented, but to be in with these wonderful well-established western authors is a great thing for you. This truly shows your versatility, from tender love stories to a wild west tale. It was your lucky day when they found you!
    Congratulations on all your many successes--and keep it up. You aint' done yet!

    1. Celia! You crack me up, girl! You know I love to write gritty.Thank you so much for your very kind words! I'm so thrilled to be in the company of all these fine writers--I have enjoyed this project more than anything else I've ever done. Thank you for coming by!

  5. And there you go with the wounded hero again, Cheryl. You are just BRUTAL to these guys! I'm sure there's a gaggle of male characters in the fiction green room fighting tooth and nail NOT to be in your next story. :-D

    Seriously, though, love the excerpt. Of course, that's no surprise, really. For an Okie, you write a dang good western. ;-)

    1. Kathleen, you DID notice that I named Derrick's sister KATHLEEN didn't you? LOL Yeah, I always say, being in one of my stories is like wearing the red shirt on this week's episode of Star Trek--except my guys always come back, just a little worse for wear. Thank you, Tex, I appreciate the compliment, and I'm so glad you enjoyed the excerpt!

    2. I did notice that. I also noticed she seems to be a mite surly. Coincidence? ;-)

    3. Now, now, Kathleen! The Kathleen in the story just has a massive chip on her shoulder from being forced to wed a preacher man that she really just doesn't love, because she and her mama had to have a way to survive. You'd be surly too, if you had to do what Kathleen McCain had to. LOL She is just a wee tad resentful of her older brother Derrick... LOL

  6. Great excerpt, Cheryl, and left me wanting more. Hope I win a copy. If not, I'll have to buy one so I can read the book.

    1. Hi Caroline! That one won't be out until some time in the spring, if I'm not mistaken. But right now, 1 and 2 are out, and 3 will be out shortly--sometime next month. They're all good, just different, as you meet the characters of Wolf Creek and the ones who show up and make an appearance again. I'm so glad you enjoyed the excerpt!

  7. LOVED the excerpt thank you. I must find out what happens next. Job well done there.

    I am excited about these.


  8. Mary, thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed the excerpt--we try to keep our readers turning the pages and anticipating the next story, for sure!

  9. The Wolf Creek series sounds so exciting. I should have known that Derrick would have to be wounded--a Cheryl imprint. LOL
    I like the King Author legend used in a western for Christmas idea--now that was a real imagination explosion.
    Great blog, Cheryl.

    1. Sarah, I think Wolf Creek is one of the most exciting western series I've read, and not just because I'm a contributor. And of COURSE Derrick has to be wounded! LOL Thanks so much for your support and your very kind words about my Keepers of Camelot story. I like that description--an "imagination explosion"!
      Hugs, my dear friend!


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