My new Bodie Kendrick adventure, DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH, will be available on Kindle this coming Saturday (6/29). It's a corker, if I do say so myself. It takes a few bits of history (like the U.S. Army Camel Corps that operated in the Southwest both before and after the Civil War, resulting in a handful of escaped "phantom camels" that roamed the region for decades afterward) and then spins a wild fictional yarn around them.
Here's the Kindle blurb to tease with a few more details:
Bodie Kendrick wasn't in time to stop the stagecoach from being ambushed, but he did manage to save the lives of the driver and most of the passengers. Among the latter was Amelia Gailwood, a freelance journalist working on "the story of a lifetime." In order to try and make sure her lifetime doesn't end too soon, Kendrick agrees to hire on as her protector while she continues to chase her story. The chase will take them from the gunfire-laced streets of a rowdy mining town, to the smoky mysteries of an opium den, across a punishing desert, and into beautiful but treacherous remote mountains. At the heart of their quest is a legendary gem from the time of Caesar and Cleopatra. But before they can lay claim to it so Amelia will be able to reveal it to the world and tell its fascinating history, they will have to survive betrayal from within and menace from fierce mountain Apaches—all the while eluding pursuit by a pack of hired guns who will stop at nothing to seize the stone for their unscrupulous employer.
Three-time Peacemaker Award-winning author Wayne D. Dundee spins another exciting yarn of grit, gunfire, and gallantry in the Old West! Read Diamond In The Rough and find out why his work continues to win praise and gain followers.
If that doesn't whet your appetite, how about a sample of the kind of action you'll find inside:
Kendrick was just about to cross the mouth of a narrow, dark alley—after passing through a weak shaft of light that spilled from the window of a print shop with somebody working in the back—when a rifle barked on the opposite side of the street. The bullet passed close enough to singe the hair on the back of his neck before smashing into the corner frame of the shop and spitting back a stinging spray of wood chips.
Kendrick instantly pitched forward off the end of the boardwalk and went into a diving roll as he hit the hard-packed, sandy ground. He continued to roll, twisting and scrambling to make it deeper into the blackness of the alley, the cigar that flew from his mouth leaving a rooster tail of sparks as it sailed through the air.
More shots cracked and roared behind him. Two rifles firing now. Bullets whined all around him, some slapping off the sides of the buildings bordering the alley, others chewing into the dirt behind his frantically digging heels.
Kendrick bumped against a fat wooden rain barrel shoved up to the side of the print shop building. He dragged himself in behind it with one hand, got his Peacemaker unholstered with the other. Slugs continued to slam into the alley. One of them hit the empty rain barrel, making a hollow boom like a drum, and exited an inch above his head.
Scrunching down lower on his belly, Kendrick leaned out cautiously and spotted the muzzle flash across the street from one of the guns firing at him. He wasted no time returning fire, but he’d gained the advantage of having the muzzle flash to aim at. He triggered three rounds just as fast as he could cock and fire and had the satisfaction of hearing someone cry out as if hit. But there was no time to savor this because he’d now revealed his position in the darkness by his own muzzle flash. The second shooter was quick to act on that, pouring in a fresh volley of lead. The wooden barrel boomed and shook crazily as bullets pounded into it.
Kendrick pushed himself up, gathering his legs under him, and then shoved forward hard, away from the barrel, going into another double roll that took him to the opposite side of the alley. He found no cover there, but at least he’d distanced himself from the spot that was drawing such heavy fire. And he noted there was only one rifle firing now, giving a good indication that the cry he’d heard before meant he had indeed scored a hit on one of the shooters. What was more, the volley from the remaining rifleman now had his position revealed. Much like Kendrick, he was in the black maw of the same alley as it continued on the opposite side of the street.
Raising his .44, Kendrick aimed at the flashes he’d seen there and emptied the Colt of its last three loads. After immediately squirming to a new position, he began reloading as fast as his nimble fingers could perform the well-practiced task.
The shooting from across the street had let up also and, after a moment, Kendrick could hear somebody say in a harsh whisper: “Reese! … Reese, you there? … You okay?”
As he shoved fresh shells into the Peacemaker’s cylinder, Kendrick couldn’t resist responding. “No, he ain’t okay, you dumb sonofabitch. I killed him … And now I’m aimin’ to do the same damn thing to you!”
Additionally, as a kind of get-acquainted special offer for those of you who may not be familiar with Kendrick yet, I am offering for three days only --- Friday 6/28 through Sunday 6/30 --- the previous title in the series, RIO MATANZA, for the bargain price of $0.99.
You can buy both titles and still have enough left from a $5 bill for a dollar soft drink from Mickey-Ds. The soft drink may not last long (especially if you're experiencing the kind of heat we're getting out here in Nebraska these days) but the books will give you hours of great Western entertainment.
Trust me, you won't be sorry if you give 'em a try.