What’s happening on the Bad Side of a Wicked Moon?

During the month of December, as a special introductory Christmas offer, Bad Side of a Wicked Moon can be yours for only 99 cents.

We who write live on both sides of a street that separates illusion from reality.

We probably know our imaginary town better than the one where we reside.

Why not?

We built it.

We populated it.

We know where the secrets are buried.

Even though I spend most of my time in the real world, my mind drifts back and forth from one side of the street to the other.

That’s why we like to write series.

We know our characters.

We worry about our characters.

We hate to tell them goodbye.

We are so eager to write the end on one book.

And we can’t wait to write the beginning of the next one.

That’s why I have spent the last six months writing the sequel to Back Side of a Blue Moon.

I missed Eudora.

She’s tough.

She’s determined.

She’s beautiful.

She’s been ridiculed.

She’s been humiliated.

She struck it rich.

I missed Doc.

He’s cunning.

He’s charming.

He’s a con artist.

He’s a scalawag.

But he found oil in East Texas ground that geologists swore was barren.

Doc was a fool, they said.

Doc fooled them all.

They are both back in my new novel, released just in time for Christmas, Bad Side of a Wicked Moon.

The little town had been dying.

But oil breathed life into its streets.

In the midst of the Great Depression, oil meant jobs, and here came a whole new set of characters flooding into Ashland.

One came to town riding in a pine box in the back of a hearse.

As I wrote:

She saw a boy, a young man really. He had hair the color of wheat straw lying in the field after a rain. His face was ruddy and packed with freckles. He wore denim overalls, a little on the large size, and a Gretsch guitar had been wedged into the casket beside him.

Eudora touched his face.

His skin felt warm as if he had been lying for too long beneath an August sun.

She jerked her hand away.

The boy smiled.

He opened one eye.

He winked with the other.

“Name’s Johnny B. Goodnight,” he said. “I perform at weddings, funerals, bar fights, and will stoop to accept tips for playing my guitar on street corners in rowdy towns big and small. I have been known to partake of good whiskey and am still in search of my first wild and wanton woman, who I’ve been assured can be found on most any street in Texas. I’m here and now and mostly tomorrow, and I am indeed pleased to make your acquaintance, ma ‘am.”

Eudora’s face had turned as pale as the specter of death.

“I’ve been known to dance a good bit, too,” he said.

Mortimer T. Thurgood, a stranger, an out-of-towner, had been driving the hearse.

As I wrote:

He was unusually tall and thin. Without the broadbrimmed hat and black funeral coat, Eudora thought, she could have slid him through a keyhole. His face was gaunt with high chiseled cheekbones, and he wore a gray mustache that drooped below both sides of his chin. His dark, piercing eyes gleamed like marbles in the last, fleeting moments of moonlight. They left little doubt. The driver was no stranger to dancing with either death or the devil.

He removed his broad-brimmed beaver hat and bowed slightly. “Mortimer T. Thurgood at your service, ma am.”

Eudora tipped her head to one side and smiled. “You have arrived awfully early for such a solemn and unfortunate occasion,” she said.

“I follow the road,” Thurgood said. “The clock doesn’t always catch up. I’m here when I’m here and usually never when I’m expected.”

“Like death itself.”

Thurgood straightened his hat. “We do travel a lot together,” he said.

Eudora folded her arms across her chest. “Have you come to collect someone?” she asked, “or leave someone?”

Thurgood shook his head. “I was given a casket and the name of a town.” He shrugged and took a deep breath. “The passenger began his or her travels in St. Louis, came to Arkansas on a train, and rode a mule-driven wagon to the upper reaches of East Texas. I picked the casket up just south of Texarkana and was paid eight dollars and fifty-four cents to bring it to the little town of Ashland.” Thurgood lowered his voice. “You know, your little village is not on the map, at least not where I come from.”

“Then how did you find us?”

Thurgood threw his head back and laughed. “They told me to travel down the Sabine River until I found a town with the richest men and the prettiest women, and that would be my final destination.”

Eudora raised an eyebrow. “Is that what they really told you, Mister Thurgood?”

“Well, not exactly,” he said. “They said to travel down the Sabine River until I found a town that smelled like Sulphur and rotten eggs and had wooden oil derricks rising upon the farmlands, and I would be in Ashland.”

So welcome to Ashland. Find out what’s going on. See if you can figure out what I haven’t been able to do.

Is it a romance?

Or a mystery?

One thing’s for certain. Nothing is ever as it appears to be in a Texas Boom Town.

During the month of December, as a special introductory Christmas offer, Bad Side of a Wicked Moon can be yours for only 99 cents.

Please click HERE to find Bad Side of a Wicked Moon on Amazon.

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