So many reviewers have remarked on the variety in my writing, I’ve decided to post some teasers, aka excerpts, to illustrate that variety in my collection Wild Rides from Dirt Road Books.
A few days ago, on a Facebook group, the subject was vampire stories. I've done very few, but I mentioned one, “Jessebel”, a story set post-Civil War in the Sierra foothill gold country. Someone commented, “I’d read that in a hot minute!” So why not start out here with that one? Who knows, maybe I’ll hit pay dirt with some of these excerpts and encourage folks to to read the full stories in Wild Rides for very many hot minutes.
“See there, Cap’n, ain’t she somethin’? Jezebel, they calls ‘er, but most likely she’s just plain Mabel or Hildy underneath it all.”
I looked through a blur of drifting cigar smoke and shifting bodies. Maybe three or four of those figures were recognizably female, for damned sure not counting my own well-concealed form, but there was no doubt as to which one had sparked the old stable hand’s enthusiasm. I couldn’t see much; her back was to the door, and a rancher’s burly arms enveloped her in a most unchaste fashion as they danced, but even so there seemed to be a glow about her that drew the eye. Chestnut curls tumbled across slender shoulders, and emerald silk clung to rounded, swaying hips that promised the uttermost in carnal delights without sacrificing the least degree of elegance.
“Sure is, Bill,” I agreed, “but what’s a fine piece like that doing in a place like this?”
“Plenty of business, that’s what.” Bill elbowed me in the ribs. I only just managed to pivot enough to keep my bound-up tender bits from taking the full impact. When I turned back the girl swung around so that for a moment, before her partner’s bulk blocked the view, I saw her face, beautiful in spite of all its paint, not because of it.
The room swirled around me. The floor tilted. I clutched at the back of a chair, muttered an apology to the card player occupying it, and lurched back out through the swinging doors.
The last time I’d kissed that face it had been ashen, dirt-smeared, streaked with blood and my tears. The last time I’d held that dear body in my arms, life and warmth had seeped away.
The last time I’d seen her, she’d been dead.
(Note: Have you ever wondered whether a vampire drinking the blood of a victim seething with lust would become overwhelmed with that lust herself? You might find out in this story.)