I finished your second book and liked it a lot. In a world where about everything has been done in telling stories of the old west you did a great job in Spirit of the Snake. I liked the Golden Amulet a little better, but both were good.
Spirit of the Snake is the story of Buck Landers, a Civil War veteran who leaves Tennessee for Texas after four long years of death, having seen and done too much.
He has become cold, hard and calloused, the lines of age crossing his young face. In Texas, he meets a young lady, one who offers the promise of a future. But she loses her life to men of no morals, no conscience and Landers is left to die.
He recovers and pursues the men to exact his revenge and become known as a gunfighter. The memory of his loss haunts him, but an encounter with thieves, a snake bite and the curative powers of an Indian medicine man change his life forever, allowing him to break from the past.
The history of North Central Texas is one of great danger and great opportunity – Landers sees much of it.
It is available through Amazon.com, Target.com or unlimitedpublishing.com
This is the second book to be published ... the first was The Golden Amulet, a western with a little different twist. Published by Unlimited Publishing, it is available on Amazon and unlimitedpublishing.com.
For either autographed book, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark, Finished the book early this morning. You've done it again. It is a great read. I always knew you had the gift of communication, just goes further towards confirming that knowledge. I envy you your ability to set down and combine history, people, and community into an experience that is both enjoyable and rewarding. Thanks old buddy.
John began reading The Golden Amulet yesterday morning (Sunday) and again, he didn't stop until he finished it last night. He had a strange smile on his face as I watched him close the book. I asked him what was wrong and he said "I didn't want it to end".
John has commented on your writing as a "refined" Louis L'Amour or Zane Grey! You've got a huge fan there Mark! Just thought I'd let you know.
John started reading Spirit of the Snake when we got home and didn't put it down until he was finished which was about 2 AM! He said it was EXCELLENT! I was going to start reading The Golden Amulet today but I guess I'll let John read it first and I'll read Spirit of the Snake.
Received the following letter regarding The Golden Amulet:
Mark, I loved The Golden Amulet. I was very impressed with your knowledge of sailing the high seas in the 1800s. Your book is fast paced with a great story line. It is imaginative, exciting and suspenseful - a real page turner for me. Your friend, R.D.
Thursday (Aug. 6) I am scheduled to be a guest speaker at the Noon Lions Club in Mineral Wells. Looking forward to that. On Saturday, Aug. 15, I'll be at the Strawn Museum for a book signing, noon-3 p.m. Hope to see a number of folks I haven't got to visit with in a long time. Then, Sept. 26, I'll be at the Old Post Office Museum and Art Center in Graham as a guest speaker for that community's Western Heritage Days. Also, noticed that Target is now carrying The Golden Amulet.
Spirit of the Snake is now on Amazon.com. In Mineral Wells (Texas), the Booksatchel has copies as well. Or for a signed copy, e-mail me at markeng@nsb-pklake,com. They are $14.99 each. Also, The Golden Amulet is at Amazon and the Booksatchel.
The third, which I started in earnest today, again features Buck Landers initially in pursuit of a white renegade who has vowed revenge on all whites for the hanging death of his brother. The characters are real, the time, 1871 Texas, when Comanches and Kiowas redoubled their efforts to drive settlers from their lands.But there's more as Buck Landers travels east to make right that which has wronged his family. Again, as in Spirit and the Amulet, characters are drawn from history, this time beginning in 1971 ... the continuation of a very dangerous era in Texas history.
The photo at right is at the premier of Mouth of Caddo, a prospectus for the The Legend of Hell's Gate, a western based upon the story of the naming of Hell's Gate at Possum Kingdom Lake, Texas. Left is Tanner Beard, producer and actor in the film. Next to him is actor and artist Buck Taylor, best known as Newly in the TV series Gunsmoke. Following is Brendan Wayne, grandson of John Wayne, also in the movie. Finally, Olympic gold medalist, actor and stuntman Dean Smith, who also appeared in 11 John Wayne movies.
In researching this story, I discovered that Texas, during the post-Civil War era, was probably as dangerous then as say Afghanistan is today. Comanches, Kiowas, renegades ... and no military protection. Having lost the war, southern armies were disbanded, pending the arrival of Union troops. Meanwhile, Indian raids continued, having increased during the war. That's part of what this story is about ... an unsettled and dangerous time. As an aside, consider that areas around the sprawling Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, inhabited by millions, were once the locations of Comanche and Kiowa raids - very, very dangerous.