Monday, November 18, 2013

O Deadly Night by Troy D. Smith in WOLF CREEK 10: O DEADLY NIGHT #western @paladin_68 #Christmas

O Deadly Night
a short story in
Wolf Creek, Book 10:

Romancing The West is pleased to present a double feature: Wolf Creek, Book 9, A Wolf Creek Christmas, and Wolf Creek Book 10, O Deadly Night.  Each volume contains six Christmas stories, all centering around Wolf Creek in 1871, written by award-winning western authors.  Today, RTW is pleased to host the president of Western Fictioneers and the mastermind of this series, Peacemaker and Spur Award winner, Troy D. Smith

Troy D. Smith
About Troy

Troy D. Smith has published several short stories and novels, and is a past winner of the Peacemaker and Spur Awards, and current president of Western Fictioneers. He is also a history professor at Tennessee Tech, specializing in American Indian history. His article “Nations Colliding: The Civil War Comes to Indian Territory” is in the current issue of Civil War History. His most recent westerns have been the two Blackwell Chronicles books from Western trail Blazer, collecting his previously published short stories about the Blackwell family (more to come!)

Troy's story: O Deadly Night

Marshal Sam Gardner learns that, for a lawman in a town like Wolf Creek, there is no such thing as a night off. Even on Christmas.

About Sam Gardner

In “O Deadly Night,” Marshal Samuel Horace Gardner discovers that, in a town like Wolf Creek, you’re not even guaranteed a night off at Christmas. The story opens with the lawmen (both county and city) celebrating the holiday together, but when trouble erupts, Sam volunteers to be the one to go out and take care of it. The trouble winds up being a lot more than he bargained for.

I can’t tell you how much fun I have writing for Sam Gardner. He is a classic Old West town-tamer, in the Hickock/Earp mold, but he is more. The son of an Illinois lawyer, Sam has a way with words. He can be bitingly sarcastic, long-winded at times, and is ever ready with a quip. He is also vain and sometimes borderline corrupt.

In the books leading up to this one, though, we’ve been seeing a different side of Sam Gardner. They say every cynic is a disappointed romantic; Sam is a deeply lonely man, and this story in particular takes us inside his mind and lets us see – despite his apparent cavalier attitude – just how heavily his responsibilities can sometimes weigh on him. And in future books, we’re going to see that play out in some unexpected ways.

More stories from Troy

The Blackwell Chronicles, Volume 1: The first story in Volume 1, The Blackwell Claim, introduces the four Blackwell brothers: Max, Duke, Caleb and Jake. After that, my tales about the family jump around in time – Blackwell's Run occurs in 1864 with Max in the US Calvary fighting Indians. Next, The Stealing Moon takes place in 1855 and tells of Jake, a Texas Ranger, meeting a boy struggling to become a man. Blackwell's Stand is set in 1864 where Caleb has an unfortunate meeting with a grizzly and The Windigo is about Max's son Billy, and takes place during the Klondike gold rush.

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RTW Note: Blackwell Chronicles, Volume 2 is also currently available!

Wolf Creek Book 9: 

The Last Free Trapper 
by Jory Sherman
A Savior is Born 
by Meg Mims
That Time of Year 
by Jerry Guin
‘Twas the Fight before Christmas 
by Jacquie Rogers
A Kiowa Christmas Gift 
by Troy D. Smith
Renewal of Faith 
by James J. Griffin

Wolf Creek, Book 10: 

Sarah’s Christmas Miracle 
by Big Jim Williams
Irish Christmas at Wolf Creek 
by Charlie Steel
A Home for Christmas 
by Cheryl Pierson
The Angel Tree 
by Chuck Tyrell
The Spirit of Hogmanay 
by Clay More
O Deadly Night 
by Troy D. Smith


  1. Troy, you've done an excellent job of creating a classic cynic in Sam. All sorts of hints in the Wolf Creek books point to how deeply Sam feels -- but he's not prepared to deal with his emotions, so he covers everything with a veneer of sarcasm. One of these days, that veneer is going to crack. (Sounds like it may have in O Deadly Night, which I haven't read yet). I look forward to seeing how he deals with that.

    Sam and Rupert Tingley, Wolf Creek's town drunk, are opposite ends of the same stick, I think. That's probably why Sam has always been so tolerant of Rupe. He sees himself in Rupe's shoes if he's not very, very careful.

  2. I perceive Sam Gardner's gruff approach to everything as accepted admiration from some and the hard truth by others. He might be tainted but he is human. Wolf Creek's populace deserves him .... like it or not.

  3. Hey, I like that, Jerry. By the way, a hearty thankee to Jacquie for giving us all this forum!

  4. Lawman Sam Gardner, is indeed a troubled man, in a hard occupation. Too bad he and the town couldn't have had a more peaceful Christmas.

    Troy, quite a character development.


  5. Actually I think there's a little bit of Sam Gardner in most, if not all, of us, which is what makes the character so real, and one we can relate to. I know there's definitely a part of him in me.

    Jim Griffin

  6. I want to thank Troy and all the Wolf Creek authors for visiting Romancing The West. WC is a terrific series and I hope this gets the books a little exposure. It's an honor to have a story included with this bunch--12 stories in 2 volumes is a LOT of Christmas! And we nearly worked poor Dr. Munro to the bone. I'm thinking he needs an intern!


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