Monday, November 30, 2015

An Unedited Snippet from the The Curse of Billy the Kid's the LAST day of my 5-day hiatus at work and I'm busy writing the book this afternoon, but I set this post up to give you one last taste of a historical section that I did the other day. It takes place near the end of March, 1878, when the Regulators met with Alexander McSween at the South Spring Ranch owned by the Cattle King himself, John Chisum. In this scene you have a lot of the Regulators, Susan & Alexander McSween, Montague Leverson, and one Miss Sallie Chisum.

This is the last segment you'll get for awhile so it's a bit longer than the others.


Tamsin :)


Dismounting off of Colonel, the black beauty pranced about and let one of the farm hands of South Spring Ranch take him for some water, food, and a healthy rub down. Dick let his mare be lead to the stables along with him and we wandered toward the house. Not even to the gate yet, we heard the pounding of hooves behind us. Turning, we saw a group of ten men on horseback coming our way. Dick and I shared a glance of worry, so I cupped my mouth with my hands and let out a loud whooping call, only to have it answered in kind by none other than my pal, Charlie Bowdre.
“Looks like the message hit San Patricio,” Dick said.
“Looks like,” I adjusted my hat and gave him a side glance. “Your secret is safe, Dick. Breathe. They won't be able to tell by just lookin’ at ya. Now, you start actin’ weird and then they’ll begin to wonder and ask questions. Just relax.”
“Easier said than done,” he said, and dropped the topic, walking toward the arriving Regulators with his usual swagger, which I’d not seen in days.
I looked back at Uncle John’s one story home to examine it for weaknesses, but found none. The Spanish style ranch was long and surrounded by a white picket fence that stood no further than ten feet from the thick, adobe walls that protected all who were inside from attack. Unlike the common flat rooftops in the region, the Chisum home had an angled roof, with two chimneys. Both of which currently had smoke furling out of them likely due to the damp chill in the air that spoke of oncoming rain. The overhang of the room doubled as a cover for the narrow porch that ran along the entire front of the building as well.
The sight of the smoke made me eager to get inside the warm, dry, home, where it was likely Miss Sallie had requested the cook prepare coffee and cakes for us all. Anxious to head in, I turned my attention to my arriving compadres. Dismounting from their horses were Charlie, as suspected, Frank McNab, John Middleton, Fred Waite, Henry Brown, and Big Jim French. Chavez y Chavez and a few other Mexicans I knew were with the group as well. Men I trusted and who I knew were good in a fight. It was good to see them joining the group.
Charlie dismounted, his auburn hair catching the sun as he took off his hat to resituate it on his head. “There you two are! Wondered if you’d beat us here.” He clasped hands with Dick. “Good to see you’re feelin’ better. Billy here told us you were sick as a dog.”
“That I was,” Dick said. “Feelin’ better now though, mostly.”
“It’s just good to see ya, big man!” Charlie said before grabbin’ me for a hug that turned into an arm around my neck that he dragged down toward the ground and taking my hat with whoop before letting me up. Tossing it to McNab he said, “We thought maybe this one had gotten the sickness too since he’d not come back to San Pat!”
I walked toward McNab for my hat, “Nope, just takin’ care of Dick here.”
McNab tossed my hat to Middleton, “You missed out on some good trainin’.”
I eyed Middleton and my hat. “I will scale you like the tree you are, John, give me my damn hat!”
“Oh, is this yours?”
Standing my ground I crossed my arms and raised my eyebrows at him. “I got at least two souls in the chamber so I could lift a wagon on my own. Give me the hat.”
“Sure thing, kiddo,” Middleton said, his gruff voice sounding strange with the words as he handed my hat toward me.
As I reached for it he tossed it to Fred Waite, who was to my left. “If you know what’s good for you, Fred―” I started to say.
“Boys, stop the lolly-gaggin’ and get in the house,” Susan McSween yelled out at us. “Alex is waiting on you.”
“Yes, ma’am,” Dick said, opening the gate of the three foot high picket fence. “Fred?” He motioned giving me the hat.
Fred grinned and walked up to me, handing me the hat. I reached for it and he pulled it away, switching hands before putting it up on his right shoulder, which he hitched up as he leaned toward me, causing the hat to roll across his shoulders. Grabbing it with his left hand, he set the hat on top of my noggin’.
“Points for style, Waite,” McNab said with a laugh as he went through the gate, punchin’ Dick on the shoulder, not moving the man even an inch. “Ow! You been throwin’ bales of hay while you’ve been sick? Damn!” He shook his hand and kept moving.
If Dick had been a boulder before, he was a mountain of strength now. He looked at me with worry and I shook my head with a laugh to let him know he was being hypersensitive. In retaliation for me laughing, he hit the top of my hat, indenting my Surgarloaf Sombrero again.
“Damn it, Dick, I just fixed that.”
“I like it that way,” a young lady’s voice said from the doorway. “That high top looked too formal for the likes of you, Billy Bonney.”
I looked up to see Sallie standing there in a pretty blue dress with a white lace pattern at the top. “Why Miss Chisum, don’t you look lovely, and what for? A bunch of filthy cowboys comin’ in to dirty up your home?”
She grinned. “You all will be takin’ your boots off as you enter, and you’ll let Miss Lavetta give you all a damp cloth to wipe your pants and such of dirt, dust, and so on.”
I took my hat off to her as I stepped behind the adobe wall that blocked the main door. “Really? Better with the dent?”
I hummed in an acknowledging thought as I nodded, following the rest of the men into the house. Here by the door, each of the cowboys were workin’ to take their boots off, hopping this way and that. Trying not to laugh at the sight at all the big touch cowboys jumpin’ around, I leaned my backside against the wall and pulled my boots off with ease. The beauty of having small feet and boots that were a bit too big.
Setting them in the corner, I took a cloth from Miss Lavetta, and wiped the dirt and horse hair from my britches. Tossing it in a pail she indicated near the door, I walked into the center room, which was one of eight large rooms in the home that surrounded a patio at center. However, it was always his dining room that I loved the most. Mostly because it had a wooden floor and after meals he would have it pulled to the side and turn the room into a dance floor as others would play instruments.
This was no small feet considering the table sat twenty-four people. Uncle John would fill plates to capacity each meal for each person seated in his home to eat. It was one of the evidences of his hospitality. For he could be a generous man when it came to sharing the things he had an abundance of due to his successes with his cattle, but in business he could be ruthless. I suppose one has to be if they are to be the Cattle King.
No sooner had I walked into the room than Deputy Sheriff Barrier walked past me with a polite nod, grabbed his shoes, and was out the door before I could ask where he was going. I threw a questioning look at Sallie but she just shrugged her shoulders.
Glancing into the main room, my eyes landed on Alexander McSween first. He sat in a rocking chair near the fireplace with Susan standing beside to his right, her hand on his shoulder. He patted it and she smiled down on him, her other hand smoothing out a section of his bright red hair, which was thinning a bit, but we were never dumb enough to mention that.
Without knowing if Susan had mentioned to her husband that Ben and I had been to the house about three weeks ago, I walked up to her and gave her a peck on the cheek. “Good to see you are back in town, ma’am.”
McNab actually took her hand and kissed the top of it, “Good to see you are safely here, Mrs. McSween.”
She, as well as the Regulators sworn by oath, knew the real meaning of this. We were happy she had made it safely to the Chisum ranch after suggesting she and Leverson come here to be away from Lincoln town.
“Thank you, Billy, Frank, it’s good to be back. Missouri was nice but it’s always nice to be home.”
“I wish you were returning to more pleasant news,” Dick said.
“Yes, I’m so very sorry to hear about John’s death, he was a dear friend to us all. Alex here sent me a letter while I was visiting family to let me know about this and the arrest warrant.”
“We’re not going to let that happen, ma’am,” Dick said.
She laid a hand on his arm, “I know he is safe with you keeping an eye on him, Richard.”
Coffee and cakes were served as more pleasantries and hellos were said, then McSween cleared his throat and started in. “I’m glad the Regulator Network got messages to you all, as well as me, last night. Thank you for coming.”
“I’m guessing we’re here either for the same reason Barrier left or because he did.”
“Deputy Barrier left?” Fred asked.
“Out the door like his behind was on fire,” I said.
There was squelched laughter through the room and I mouth the word, “Sorry,” to Alex.
“He has left to be with his family,” McSween informed us.
“What?” Dick said, and he wasn’t the only rumblings in the room, just the loudest. “But he’s your assigned protection until Spring Term of court.”
McSween smoothed his long mustache, which ran all the way to his jaw line. “He’s been with me non-stop for three months. He was anxious to return home to his family.”
“Umm...did I miss something?” I said, “Do you not need protection anymore?”
Susan spoke up. “Captain Smith from Fort Stanton was here yesterday and gave his word as an officer and a gentleman that Sheriff Brady would make no attempt to serve the warrant he had for Alex’s arrest.”
Leverson stepped forward, “I believe his words were, ‘You may make a football of my head if a hair of his head is injured or if the least insult be given him by word or sign for the highest to the lowest, madam.’“
“Is he going to tell Sheriff Brady that?” Middleton asked.
“No need,” Leverson said, “Brady was standing right next to the military Captain when he said it.”
This caused the room to burst into chatter. To hear one of our main enemies had come here just yesterday had us all very upset, to say the least.
“What was he doing here, and with a military escort?” Middleton demanded to know.
“It seems he was unable to convince any civilians to travel with him down to the Pecos Valley to summon veniremen for grand and petit jury duty. He apologized for showing up with soldiers,” Leverson explained.
“Oh, well, isn’t that just swell of him,” I said sarcastically. “Because that makes it all okay.”
“No it doesn’t,” Jim French said, misunderstanding my meaning.
“I know, Jim, I was just kidding.”
“Oh, okay.”
“That’s why Barrier has left,” McSween said. “Now that I’ve been promised military protection he headed home. I would’ve preferred he stayed, but I can understand being away from your wife and missing her, so I can’t fault him much.” He reached up and took Susan’s hand from his shoulder and kissed it, letting his eyes stay on her just a moment before turning back to us. “However, I still believe that as soon as I arrive in Lincoln that Brady is going to try to arrest me. I called you all here to say you shouldn’t let him get away with it. For if I am arrested, they’ll lynch me for sure.”
“So what do you wish we should do, Governor?” Middleton asked, using a name we’d started to call him since he was the man in charge of the fight for justice concerning Tunstall on a legal front as well as the bank roll of the Regulators.
“Seeing as I’m to believe I’m fully under the protection of the military, I want you boys to head out, as if you’re no longer acting as my protection either. But I want some of you in Lincoln on Sunday when I come through town on my way to Fort Stanton to give myself over to Captain Smith. And if Brady goes against his word to follow Smith’s orders, you stop him.”
“Are we to kill him, Governor?” Jim asked.
McSween shook his head. “I’d love nothing more than to tell you to kill Brady and earn a mighty reward, but I can give no such command.”
It was evident by his tone and facial expression that what he was really saying was that if we just so happened to kill Brady to save McSween, we would be rewarded. I knew it and I was sure everyone else in the room knew it. But no one said a word about what he'd said.
Chavez y Chavez stepped forward though, for he had a different issue to address. “Governor, I’m low on ammunition, sir, and low in the purse, if you get my meaning.”
“I do,” McSween said. “That’s why I want those of you who go to Lincoln to go into the store and take anything you wish prior to meeting me there. For those who do not go to Lincoln, I have a bit of coin for you after we are done here.”
Once we discussed the logistics of his surrender at Fort Stanton, there wasn’t much more to cover, so McSween dismissed us. We spent the day at the ranch relaxing, socializing, and getting a good meal in. However, before it got too late, I mentioned the fandango I’d heard about that was going on over in Berrendo, a small hamlet east of South Springs, and suggested we attend.
“A fandango?” Sallie asked with light laughter. “What is that?”
“You know,” I said, doing a few dance moves, “It’s a dance. But this one is done in triple time by couples with castanets.” I snapped by fingers in place of the wooden instrument and took a silly pose to make her laugh, which she did.
“Oh, Billy, you’ve a weak spot for dance parties.”
“And for the pretty Latina women who go to them,” Charlie said quietly.
I hit his arm. “That is not the only reason I like to go, and you know it.”
“But it is one of them,” Sallie said, her smile accusing me in a playful manner.
“Might be, but I’ll not admit to such things in such company.”
Sallie set empty coffee mugs on a tray Lavetta held as she walked by. “Oh, so you think we ladies don’t know you boys attend dances to flirt with the skirts?”
“Miss Sallie!” Lavetta said, her tone mildly astonished.
“Oh please, Lavetta, that wasn’t nothin’,” Sallie said before looking to me. “So, do you?”
“I’m going to plead the fifth right about now,” I said, “But you should come with us and see for yourself.”
“Thank you, Billy, that’s sweet of you. But this time I must stay here and tend to our guests.”
“And tend them well you will, I am sure,” I said, placing a peck on her cheek. “We will be getting’ out of your way then.” I gave her a slight bow and headed for my shoes.
She followed me toward the door and looked down at the pile of boots, most of which were the same make and brand, and said, “How do you all tell which ones are whose? They all look the same.”
“Well, Dick’s are too big for anyone other than maybe Middleton so they usually set theirs far apart from each other,” I said, shoving my foot into one of mine as we watched Fred put a boot on and take it off again, picking up another. “Or we try on and try again,” I explained, giving her a big smile before picking up my second one.
“And you know those are yours because they are smaller than most?”
I couldn’t help but laugh. “No, because I etched my initials inside ‘em,” I told her, showing her the inside of my other boot.
“Well, look at you, using your smarts,” she said.
I couldn’t help but beam at her as I put my second boot on. With a wink I said, “It can happen from time to time, but don’t get used to it now.”
She laughed and Dick walked up, grabbin’ his big ol’ boots, and said, “We best get going before sunset.”
“Yes, yes we should,” I agreed, and stepped out the door, turning back to Sallie. “As always, it was good to see you again, Miss Chisum,” I said with a slight bow, my hat on my chest.
“It’s good to see you too, Mr. Bonney,” she replied with a small curtsy.
I put on my hat, dent in the top and all, and walked out, unsure when I’d see her again. 


And that is the end of this segment from another "raw" chapter and the last you'll get for awhile. I hope you've enjoyed these and I will post a few more when I can. Sadly, I cannot share the exciting sections that give away big plot points in my story that revolves around the history, but I'll share what I can.

Take care and maybe at Christmas we'll (Billy, Dick, and I) share something new...until then, stay tuned to the Facebook page for The Curse of Billy the Kid!

Hope you and your family had a great Thanksgiving weekend!

Tamsin :)

Sunday, November 29, 2015

An Unedited Snippet from the Chapter, OUTLAWS

Hello again!

That's's the 4th day of my 5-day weekend and I'm here to bring you yet another snippet from The Curse of Billy the Kid. This one is from the top of a chapter currently entitled, Outlaws. This takes place on the night of March 9th, 1878. All the historical information here is true and the Regulators were in San Patricio that night. Whether Dick rode there after learning the news he did when in Lincoln is my assumption and used for story purposes. Either way, enjoy!


The Regulators decided they wanted to go celebrate in San Patricio, but Dick said he needed to deliver the news to McSween about Morton and Baker, so he turned off and headed to Lincoln. Secretly, I wanted to go with him. Not that I wanted to go play law-boy, but it would finally give me a chance to get a look at Dick’s injured shoulder without all the others around.
However, seeing as there was no way to follow along without it looking odd, I "forced" myself to go to San Pat. Besides, we was gonna throw a baile and I love to dace! Plus, the señoritas in that town were beautiful!
So we split up, sending our Constable off one way while we went another, but not for long. For that same night, while we all were in the middle of dancing and enjoying the ladies, Brewer showed up. Ducking his head to enter through the doorway, Dick strolled over, tension evident in every muscle of his body.
“This is not going to be good news,” I said to no one in particular.
The pretty senorita I’d been dancing with heard me and said, “¿Qué dijiste?”
“Nada,” I replied, then politely excused myself from her company to intercept Dick as he headed for the biggest group of us in the room. “Whoa there, cowboy, what’s on fire?”
“We are,” he said. “Axtel has made us outlaws.”
“Say that again,” the pretty boy of our group, Frank McNab, said.
Seeing as McNab, which is what I called him because I already had a friend named Frank, used to be a lawman workin’ for John Chisum as a cattle detective, I wasn’t surprised he was the first of us to look worried at the news.
Dick motioned with his head to follow him and we all made our excuses and stepped outside into the night. Once far enough away from prying eyes and ears, he said, “Seems Governor Axtel was escorted by Colonel Purington to Lincoln today to investigate the trouble going on.”
“The trouble?” I parroted. “That’s what they’re calling John’s murder? You have got to be―”
“Oh, there’s more,” Dick said, and his voice made it clear it was worse. “Seems after an extensive interview process, and when I say extensive I mean three hours spent primarily with Murphy and Dolan, he removed Justice of the Peace Wilson from office and voided all processes issued by him.”
“Wait a sec,” Doc Scurlock said. “He can’t do that. It would bring into question every single action, including arrests, weddings, and warrants, for two years. That’s a lot of retrials, annulled marriages and―.”
“It would also negate Widenmann’s U.S. Marshall status,” McNab added.
“And our warrants for Morton and Baker,” I pointed out, “Which is why we’re outlaws, since they died while under arrest by us.”
Dick nodded. “You are all correct. He also declared that starting today, the only valid legal processes for Lincoln County would be those issued by Judge Bristol in La Mesilla and Sheriff Brady in Lincoln itself. And Brady’s deputies are the only officers empowered to enforce them.”
Fred Waite, a good law abiding man like McNab, stepped forward. “So all legal power in Lincoln County, hell, in all of New Mexico, is in the hands of the Santa Fe Ring. Is that what you’re telling us?”
“Yes, that’s what I’m sayin’.”
“Is he still in town?” Doc asked.
“Nope. Hell, he wasn’t even there when I arrived. He’d already headed back to the capital. McSween said that Axtel briefly spoke to him, Isaac Ellis, and Widenmann, but he declined to listen to their views on John’s death.”
“McSween needs to get out of that town or he’s a dead man,” Charlie Bowdre said, his hand resting on his gun. “We need to get him out of there.”
“I agree and I told him as such. He’s still in the custody of Deputy Sheriff Barrier, so at least that’s something.”
“Not much of something,” Charlie interjected, “But at least he has some protection.”
“Oh, like Barrier is any match for the lot of them if Brady and his boys decide to shove their way into the McSween’s house,” I pointed out. “Damn it all to hell!”
To say I was madder than a march hair would’ve been an understatement and I had to walk away from the group for a moment to collect myself. It wasn’t the idea of being labeled an outlaw that upset me. God knows that wasn’t new. But it seemed that each time we gained a bit of ground, the Santa Fe Ring pulled the rug out from under us.
Hearing someone approach behind me, I spun about, hand on my gun.
“Just me,” Charlie said.
I nodded my apology for almost drawin’ on him. “So what do we do now? My gut instinct is to always go for action, but that might not be the best for everyone.”
“We probably just need a few days to figure it out. Lay low, see how the chips fall.”
I looked over at Dick and the rest of the men and felt a heavy weight on me. I refused to show it though, and said, “You know what? Axtel can try all he wants to hold us back, but we still made headway today. I’m gonna go back inside and dance with that pretty little señorita again and maybe…” I winked at Charlie, “Maybe I’ll steal me a kiss or two.” I didn’t give him a chance to reply. Instead, I headed back to the baile and did exactly as I said I would. 


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Part 3 of 3 - Sample of unedited pages from The Curse of Billy the Kid

Hello again!

If you're back for the 3rd installment, I hope that means you've enjoyed the first two and have returned to see what happens to Ben and Billy in this scene that takes place in March of 1878. Obviously, since this is Historical Fantasy Fiction, there are segments in the book that are me inserting story into sections of history that contain holes in information...such as...

The Regulators went to San Patricio after Governor Axtel revoked Justice of the Peace Wilson's office, thus negating the deputizing of Dick Brewer, Billy the Kid, and the other Regulators. This not only made them outlaws (for the death of Morton and Baker that same day) but it put all the power in Lincoln County in the hands of the Santa Fe Ring. More specifically, it made Sheriff Brady and his deputies the only lawmen in Lincoln. That's in the top of March. We then do hear much about them until the last day of March when five of the Regulators show up in Lincoln and a shoot-out occurs the next morning, killing two men.

These holes in documented history open up chances for me to write freely and give some extra adventures and expound on the fantasy sections of my story. Hence the scene you've been reading.

Speaking of, let's finish the chapter, shall we?

If you missed Part 1, it is HERE

If you missed Part 2, it is HERE

For the rest of you...on to Part 3...

*Note: I'll give a tiny bit of the end of part two here as lead in to help with the flow of it all.

Tamsin :)


From the chapter titled, "Damned if I Do, Damned if I Don't"

"Where'd they go?" He asked at a whisper.
"Hell if I know.”
“I don’t have a good feelin’ about this.”
“Either do I, but we need to get this stuff loaded into—”
"Could you two be any louder coming down the street? Idiots is what ya are, riding up to my property like a pair of drunk hooligans!” Came a female voice to our left by the house.
Turning, we saw Mrs. Susan McSween holding an oil lantern high. Her dark hair was piled high and she still wore her elegant traveling attire, gloves and all.
"Ma'am, you should get inside," I said.
She walked toward us, her eye on the wagon bed before settling on my face. "I certainly will not, that is, not until you tell me what in blazes you are doin’ riding onto my property like hell is on your heels!" She sat the lantern on the seat of the wagon. "And give me that before you shoot a passerby, for God's sake."
She took my rifle and for no reason I can fathom, then or now, I let her.
"Well, we sort of did have hell on our heels, ma'am. There were these wolves and—”
I cut him off. "Just two of nature’s creatures, Mrs. McSween. They spooked the horse and us a bit, if we're to be truthful. Took a shot or two and they ran off. We apologize if we disturbed you. To be honest, we didn't know you were back from Missouri."
"Just got in a short bit ago," she said, walking past me, her head swiveling to inspect the property around us. Feeling satisfied in what she saw, she looked at the lumps under the blankets in the wagon bed and then to me. "Came home to find my husband gone to who knows where and a letter. I'm hoping you can explain some of this to me."
Susan had been gone since before John's murder so there would be a lot to cover. I saw a long night ahead of me and was prone to a grumble, until my stomach did so instead.
"Dear heavens, I could hear that from here. When did you eat last? Never mind, seeing as Alex took both servants with him, I'm sure my sister or I can fill your belly for your time and information. What are you unloading there and where does it need to go?" Her dark eyes bore into me as she raised an elegant eyebrow.
"I'll explain inside. First, we should get you and these inside, away from the Murphes," I said, using the word Charlie had made up for the Murphy/Dolan gang.
Ben jumped down from the wagon and pulled the blanket back, "It's just some—”
A wolf, smaller than most I'd seen, leapt out from under the blanket. I pulled my gun and was about to fire when a loud blast went off and hit the animal in the head moments before his jaws would've sunk into Ben, who stood frozen in fear.
Turning to see who had taken the shot, I found Susan with my rifle raised up, perfectly poised, in firing position, smoke still seeping from the barrel.
With no idea what to say, Ben and I just stared at her for a moment.
"Silver?" She asked.
I nodded, for that's all I could seem to do.
"Good, then that's done. Let's move your...?"
"Ammunition, ma'am," I barely got out.
"Let's move your ammunition inside."
Ben and I shared a glance and then got to work. Susan directed us to the front room of the west wing. She walked over to the far wall with no windows where a tapestry hung. Pulling it back, she revealed a large closet that held a trunk with the initials R.N. as well as a bar along the top where she and her husband’s nicer clothes hung.
"Put one crate in here, behind the dresses, that'll hide it best. Bring the one you already opened into the parlor once you finish. I'm going to change. I’ll meet you in there." She began to leave but turned back to us. “Oh, and don’t be startled, the gentleman in the parlor is a friend of Mr. Chisum’s who assisted him with his trials in Las Vegas. I think you’ll like him, he’s a crusader like you, but he tends to attack his enemies with words.”
She walked out and I looked to Ben, whispering, I said, "Was that an insult?”
Ben only partially hid his smile and quietly said, “I think it was.”
“Why do I have a feeling that Mrs. McSween knows more than she is saying?"
“‘Cause she does,” Ben said. “And it’s probably a hell of a lot more than me, so you’re gonna give me some answers or this is the last time my father or I help you, Billy. As God as my witness, I want answers."
I thought back to Regulator training, to Garrett’s emphatic rule of, “Tell no one without my permission.” How many had I told now? What was one more really going to do? Wasn’t like tell three and it’s okay, tell four and there’s hell to pay. I was in trouble no matter what at this point so I might as well make sure I didn’t lose the Ellis’ help in this war. They were key in helpin’ us out, what with John’s store not open for business anymore.
“I’m not kiddin’, Billy,” he prompted.
“I know you ain’t,” I snapped. “Damned if I do, damned if I don’t. Shit.” I pulled out my tin and flipped it open. “Hell, my hide is already poised for a-good tannin’, might as well make it worth it.” I took out a toothpick, set it between my teeth, and closed the tin. “Come on, you’ll get your answers, but first, let’s meet this crusader of words and see why he’s come to Lincoln.”
“You don’t trust anyone, do you?”
I slid the metal container into my pocket. “Not if I don’t know you…and I don’t know him.”
“Then let's head on in. After you,” Ben said, motioning me to go first.
With a nod, I opened the door to the parlor to find a man sitting by the fire, wearing a British suit not unlike ones Tunstall used to own. Lying next to his cup of tea was a tin just like the one Garrett had given to each of the sworn in members of the Regulators.
“Mr. Bonney, I’ve heard a lot about you,” the man said, his voice as British as his clothes. Standing up, he extended his hand out toward me. “Montague Leverson, fellow Regulator here to help the cause. Do have a seat; I’m sure there is a lot to discuss.”

STAY TUNED FOR MORE UNEDITED SNIPPETS FROM THE BOOK AND PLEASE GO LIKE THE PAGE IF YOU STILL HAVE NOT. I promise I won't over post and drive you crazy if you do. Besides, the best way to learn there are more snippets of the book on here is to be a fan of  The Curse of Billy the Kid page. 
Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed this 3-day serial with Billy. Remember, though this part is an inserted section of the fantasy story line, the characters are real. You can look Susan McSween, Ben & Isaac Ellis, William Bonney (aka Billy the Kid), and Montague Leverson up in books and online to learn more about who they were.
Until next time...write hard and bathe in imagination!   xoxo - Me :)

Side Note: Just a kind FYI - The reason I've stated these are "unedited" is because they are. I've definitely not gone in and added all the visual details or possibly all the internal dialogue of the main protagonist yet either. I've also not labored over the grammar. It's what I call a, "raw file" please refrain from commenting with things you feel need to be "fixed."  That'll be my editor's job or the job of those proof-readers I ask to read this later on. ALL UNEDITED POSTS here are solely for fans of my work (and of the story) to enjoy. I hope you did. 
Thanks!!!! - Tamsin

Friday, November 27, 2015

Part 2 of 3 - Sample of unedited pages from The Curse of Billy the Kid


Welcome back...that's right...I've got part 2 of my 9 page sample from my WIP, The Curse of Billy the Kid for you today! :)  What? Missed part 1, just look below, you don't have to go far. Or hey, if you hate to scroll, just click HERE.

Well, last we saw Billy and Ben they were neck deep in wolves...

Hope you enjoy!  - Tamsin :) 


From the chapter titled, "Damned if I Do, Damned if I Don't."

“Oh my God, Billy, did you hit him?”
My eyesight cleared a bit and I could see better, which told me the answer to his question. “Injured him, didn’t kill him. Hurry up.”
If they were gonna gang up, I needed more fire power, so I pulled my second gun from my back, saving my rifle for when we put some distance between them and us, which I hoped we did soon. So as the wagon roared down the street, I used the little bit of the extra strength and sight I’d gained in injuring the one wolf to aid me in standin’ up next to Ben as he sat holding the reins of a horse with a mission.
"They are running along both sides, Billy! What do we do?" Ben yelled as jaws kept snapping up at him, luckily just missing.
"I know, just focus on keeping Mable on track. And don't make any sudden movement that'd put you in the way of a bullet."
A wolf jumped up to get Ben and I shot, this time I hit him in the head.
"No sudden movements, you're funny. You know my horse has lost her mind, right?" Ben said.
I grinned, “She’s fine. Hang on!”
The full weight of the wolf's life force I’d just killed hit me and I almost lost balance and fell. “Damn, forgot about that.”
Racing down the street, I got my bearings and noted two more had joined us from behind. Spinning to face them, the larger of the two jumped up into the wagon bed. I took a shot at him but he dodged, my silver punching a hole through the ear of the other wolf still on the ground running behind us.
I shot again at the one in the wagon, this time firing from both guns. The bullet from the one in my outstretched arm missed as he went to the left, while the bullet from my other gun hit him in the right side of his chest. With a growl, he stared me down, his eyes beginning to glow an orange-ish yellow.
"That's new," I muttered and shot again, catching him in the leg, causing him to jump out the back. Yelling out to Ben I said, “If you can drive and shoot, I highly recommend you do that. Once we hit the Torreon there’ll be more.”
Ben pulled his gun. “How do you know?”
“Just a feelin’,” I said, and sadly, I was right. As we passed, two more joined in the chase and I fired at them both, catching one in the neck, who went down instantly. This time I sat down before my head did a loopty-loop.
“Duck!” Ben yelled over the roar of wolf growls, wagon wheels, and pounding horse hooves.
I did as told, realizing as I did so that my eyes were shut.
Feeling Ben’s arm balance across my shoulders I heard him fire.
“Got ‘em!” he yelled, taking his arm back to shove the gun under his thigh. "Hang on!” Pulling on the reins, he directed Mable to make a sharp right just as we passed the McSween house.
Ben pulled her to a stop at the stable and I leapt down. Grabbing my rifle, I turned to face the pack, but there wasn’t one furry bastard anywhere. I glanced at Ben, who stood on the wagon seat, rifle in position.
"Where'd they go?" He asked at a whisper.
"Hell if I know.”
“I don’t have a good feelin’ about this.”

(And hey, if you like these samples or are at least intrigued by them, and you 
have not liked the fan page for The Curse of Billy the Kid, please go do so! Thanks! xoxo)

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Part 1 of 3 - Sample of unedited pages from The Curse of Billy the Kid


So...this post is for the fans of my page on Facebook for my current WIP, The Curse of Billy the Kid. If you have not liked that page yet, DO IT! Trust me, you won't regret it! I share cool moments in history, pictures of Lincoln, NM (old and new), things about that time in the Wild West, and other cool stuff that surrounds the legend that is Billy the Kid.

Anyway, without further ado, here is the first part of three I'm going to release!

Happy Thanksgiving, all!  -Tamsin :)


From the chapter titled, "Damned if I do, damned if I don't."

“I’ll leave you boys to organize as you see fit and I’ll bring the horse-n-wagon ‘round to the back door.”
“Thanks, Isaac,” I said as he left.
“So, what’s first?” Ben asked.
Noticing he wore a cartridge belt and his six-shooter, I said, “You’ll need new ammo for this trip. Trust me.”
“We’re just goin’ down the street, why would we—” he started to say.
“All right, if you say so,” he said, walking over to where I sat with the two crates of silver ammunition.
“Take off your belt. I’ll have you load it up, just in case. Same with your rifle.”
“Any chance you’re gonna explain why, or should I just smile and nod?”
“The latter is a wiser option.”
“All right then,” Ben said, beginning to swap out his bullets for the silver ones I handed him.
While we worked, I figured it would be a good opportunity to verify the rumor we’d been told in San Patricio. “Have you heard any information about Jessie Evans and Tom Hill?”
Ben removed the bullets from his gun and began to replace them, saying, “I have, Tom is dead, just like Morton and Baker. Did y’all really kill those two men?”
I sat and began to fill up my belt. I couldn’t tell him the truth about what had happened that day so all I said was, “We did. Killed them while they was tryin’ to escape.”
“Serves ‘em right, then,” he said, then filled me in on the word he’d heard from customers and the like. It all matched up to what we’d heard, except that Ben had been told Jessie’s elbow had been hit, shattering his arm.
“We heard it was his wrist, but either way, son of a bitch is in a hospital in pain and botherin’ no one since he’s under arrest,” I said, finished with my reload.
“Jimmy Dolan broke his leg yesterday.”
“And I thought there couldn’t possibly be more good news!” I joked, standing up and brushing the dust from my knees. “How the hell did he do that?”
“Stupid SOB was chasing some unarmed man and jumped off his horse while it was still at a gallop.” Ben started to laugh. “Drunk as a skunk is what he was. I’d be surprised if he even felt it break.”
I started to laugh. “That’s hilarious! Oh my Lord, wait until I tell the boys.”
“Maybe that’ll slow his mean streak,” Ben said.
There was a pause where we both looked at one another and said at the same time, “Doubt it.”
After a good belly laugh we loaded up our rifles, took the crates to the small wagon out back, covered them up, and prepped to take the silver shipment down to he McSween’s house. Lookin’ up at the sky, I saw we had a half moon, givin’ us some light for our ride. I wasn’t sure what the werewolves did on half moon nights, but I was hopin’ we’d not get the chance to find out. However, we were not that lucky.
As Ben and I reached the Juan Patron Store, I felt a tingle up my spine and cocked my rifle.
“Is there a problem?” Ben asked.
“Not sure…feels wrong. Pick up the pace a bit. Let’s get these boxes into the patio of the McSween home as fast as we can.
Ben snapped the reins on the family horse only picked up the pace a little and I said, “When you said she was a calm horse, you meant it.”
“Steady and true, my girl Mable is, aren’t ya?”
The horse whinnied and I cringed. Right now was not the time for slow and careful. I took a deep breath and said, “She might wanna go a bit faster.”
“Why? I thought you didn’t want us to draw attention.”
The howl of a wolf split the night air like lightning, chilling me to the core.
“We’re already being watched,” I told him.
“By who?” he asked, sounding skeptical.
“More like what,” I said, scanning the dark.
It didn’t take long to find them, their movement giving them away. Two wolves ran past us and onto the road. Causing Ben to swear and start to pull Mable to a halt.
“Stopping is not a good idea,” I told him.
“Did you see those—”
“That’s why you can’t…”
I let my words trail off as I noticed the wolves stop on the road as two more joined them, all four turning to face us like we was playin’ some weird game of chicken.
“This is not good,” I said. “Ben, listen to me carefully, those are not just mindless animals, we cannot get caught by them. Do you understand?”
“What is going—”
“Do you understand?”
“Yes, but—”
“Just drive! Now!”
Ben snapped the reins hard and yelled out at Mable, but she just pranced a bit and whinnied at her owner. The wolves began to walk toward us a unit so I decided to take a chance. Without knowing if it would work or not, I reached out and lay my hand on Mabel’s right flank. Pushing some of the energy stored in me from Morton and Baker into the horse, I told her what was needed. She huffed air out of her nose in reply.
Hoping she was on board with this, I gave her flank a slap and yelled, “Now!”
Rearing up, she kicked out toward the wolves with her front legs, but once those hooves hit the ground she was off and running.
“Holy shit!” Ben said, grabbing fast to not lose the reins.
“She’s got us, just hold on!”

Not knowing what to do with a large horse barreling toward them, the wolves split two to each side and let us through before running alongside us. The one closest to Ben jumped up to take a snap at him and I pulled the trigger.