Blood οn the Cursed Railroad (Preview)

Prologue

Clipper Gap, California, 1875

Kenny Newton pulled at the collar of the oilskin duster to keep the rain from running down his chest. Lightning danced across the roiling black clouds, flashing slanted rain that blew in from the northwest. He huddled under the canvas lean-to drinking cold coffee. Whenever he looked down at the tin cup in his hands, rainwater poured from the brim of his hat into the cup. It humored Kenny because he knew his son Andrew would find it wholly entertaining.

Around him were eight filled bull’s eye railroad lanterns that hissed and steamed in the rainstorm. Their lights illuminated the provisional shelter and the side of the mountain behind Kenny. Those eight lanterns created an illuminated area easy to watch over. Beyond the light was everlasting darkness with snippets of countryside flaring whenever lightning flickered. Each lantern hung on stakes in the ground to maximize the available light.

Kenny wasn’t interested in the time of night, though he suspected it was well after midnight. He accepted the overnight shift because the former night security man stayed only a few weeks before leaving the area altogether. Kenny found it odd that the former security lookout hadn’t waited around for his payout. It was only through word of mouth that Kenny learned the temporary helper wasn’t interested in spending another night in the remote railroad worksite.

Kenny didn’t like the idea much himself. He’d heard the rumors, and the legends and stories about the area persisted since before the war. The jagged granite mountains clawed their way out of the redwoods and valley floor. From the elevated site where the Clipper Gap tunnel began, Kenny had a view of the Sierra Nevada mountain range as well as the sweeping giant redwoods further north. At least, during the day, he saw the majesty surrounding the location. At night, amid a thunderstorm, Kenny had no view of the surroundings beyond the glow of the railroad lanterns. Lightning created disturbing shapes in the trees, leaving him shaken and uneasy.

The thunder rumbling several seconds after the flickering sometimes lasted up to what Kenny thought was a minute, sometimes more. The deep droning echoed off the mountainside, making it sound like enraged spirits cried out in the night. Kenney shook his head, casting off more rain when he stood and dumped the last of the coffee. It was that kind of thinking that made people edgy about the place. He wasn’t superstitious. It wasn’t in his nature to fall for stories of haunted mountains or screaming apparitions.

He heard the tales from drunken drovers and wagon-masters passing through Auburn talking about how the blood of the Indians spilled on the lands awoke the great spirits that once protected the location. They spoke of people who had witnessed mysterious things happening in the vicinity of Clipper Gap. Many prospectors and local trappers avoided the area altogether. Kenny knew they got it for a song when the Central Pacific Railroad purchased the land around the mountain. The railroad didn’t care about local legends or Indians — the railroad slapped down train tracks through worse locations than an eerie plot of land six miles southeast of Auburn.

Kenny stomped his feet in the mud, trying to win back the circulation he lost to the chilly rain and from squatting for too long. Rainwater had saturated the canvas sheet overhead allowing droplets to splash on what had been his bedroll. Finding a dry place to sleep wasn’t possible with the gusting wind blowing rain sideways at times. If it weren’t for the long oilskin coat and deerskin gloves, he would’ve been soaked to the bone.

As much as Kenny didn’t like staying overnight — which had nothing to do with the misguided fears of other men, he knew it was necessary to watch over the railroad equipment.

The Chinese laborers had stacked the majority of the equipment at the tunnel’s mouth. Earlier that day, when thunder whispered on the horizon, Kenny and the local railroad inspector, a man named Troy Shickley, decided it was best to secure the dynamite and crates of tools at the head of the tunnel.

The laborers had clear-cut the surrounding area and leveled the ground leading up to the flat mountain face. The first dynamite charges detonated the day before when the quartz and granite met the ground, chipping away the first massive chunks of rock for the tunnel.

Shickley did a preliminary examination of what came away from the mountainside after the blast. The laborers had quickly moved away from the debris while Shickley determined they had more granite than iron to blast through. Both substances were problematic, but if the iron ore outweighed the quartz and granite, they’d have to go around the slab of the mountain instead of through it. The five miles of tracks leading up to the survey point needed reconfiguring if that happened. It was a lot of wasted manhours, and they’d never reach the second location before winter.

Shickley and Kenny knew the railroad had a contingency plan in place if they couldn’t get through the mountain tunnel. But Shickley had years of cartography and geology under his belt, ensuring the company they could drill through the tunnel within a few weeks — indeed before the snows came.

After the first dynamite blast, the weather turned sour. The Chinese laborers had worked hard to get the supplies into the tunnel opening and were covered with oilskin blankets before the rain started. Nothing looked out of place. The laborers didn’t like staying on site after dark. He had worked with Chinese railroad workers since after the war. They were superstitious people susceptible to hand-me-down stories they could embellish and use around campfires while smoking and sharing rice wine.

Kenny and Shickley helped secure the supplies and tie them down. They hoped the storm passed through the night. Shickley wanted to get a jump on the tunnel. So far, it was too volatile without shoring up the roof or sides. Kenny knew to stay away from the divot in the mountain until after they got other blasting done.

His mare nickered under her blanket, tamping her front hoof in the mud. The horse stood near the cliff wall, under the saplings that grew in profusion around the granite. Her chocolate coat had a sheen of rain reflecting the available light. Kenny wandered across the terrain and pressed his gloves on her muzzle. Her bridle strap gave her enough room to lie down and get to the pile of hay. Both options didn’t interest the mare.

Her tail swished, flinging water.

“Yeah, I know, I don’t like it either,” Kenny said. “Hopefully, the storm will let up soon.” He scanned the illuminated area.

As if to mock his hopes, thunder clapped the moment lightning crashed. A jagged streak hit the valley floor several miles from where Kenny and the horse jumped from the noise. He had to soothe the mare after the lightning strike.

“It’s okay, girl. That’s not something you get to see every day,” Kenny said. “I’ll bet Andrew will love it when I tell him we saw that.”

The mare continued to pull at the strap, turning against the saplings as if trying to get away from Kenny. He faced the horse, doing his best to calm her down. Her head jolted as she reared off the ground, whinnying suddenly. Her large brown eyes weren’t looking at Kenny but something over his shoulder inside the illuminated circle.

The hairs on Kenny’s neck pricked as goosebumps covered his face and arms. He whirled to see what had spooked the horse. It wasn’t the thunder and lightning, and something else caught her attention.

Heavy raindrops pelted the hat brim, making it impossible to hear anything but the hollow rattle on leather. The gun on his hip was inaccessible under the heavy oilskin coat buttoned to his neck. Kenny stared at the opening of the tunnel and the sagging canvas of the lean-to. Seven bull’s eye lanterns made the area bright enough to illuminate the mountain façade and stacked railroad ties.

When lightning flickered again, Kenny tried to dismiss seeing a black figure standing outside the ring of light. He felt foolish, thinking the stories had wormed their way into his head, making him see things that weren’t there. Kenny took off his hat, rubbing the rain from his face.

Six lanterns continued to keep the worksite visible in the rain and mist. Two of the eight lanterns went out, which wasn’t unusual given the environment. Kenny expected a few to burn out during the night. The rain likely got through the brass casings.

He couldn’t stop thinking about seeing a dark figure looming at the edge of the light. Wiping a wet glove over his eyes didn’t help. He ran his glove through his hair before pressing the hat on his head again.

When another lantern went out, Kenny saw something shifting near the farthest lantern in the space. The lantern wobbled in the gusting wind. When it disconnected from the iron hook and dropped to the ground, the oil ignited the flames, momentarily flaring around the stake. The sheets of rain put out the ground fire in a few seconds.

Kenny stared at the section beyond where the lantern fell. Narrowing his eyes, Kenny didn’t want to believe that something had removed the lantern from the hook. He wanted it to be the gusting wind. But it was impossible to deny the figure, standing just out of the light.

“Is someone there?” Kenny asked and immediately felt stupid for speaking to his imagination. But the mare continued to nicker and grumble. The storm had spooked her and made Kenny see something that couldn’t be there.

He took a tentative step toward the broken lamp at the edge of the fading circle. Feeling small and vulnerable, Kenny began unbuttoning his overcoat to get the pistol. Before he got three buttons undone, a godawful sound pierced the night made his knees buckle. An inhuman screech made him whimper. Kenny backpedaled, struggling with buttons in wet gloves. The mare reared up, whinnying. Kenny fell, and the horse’s hoof caught his shoulder.

He managed to roll away from the mare before she trampled him. Mud-covered, water in his eyes, Kenny scrambled to get to his feet again. His hat rolled away in the wind. The figure hadn’t materialized, but another lantern came off a hook, smashing against the ground a few feet from where Kenny crawled through the mud.

Arching his back, pulling at the hem of the coat, Kenny grabbed for the gun. He hadn’t gotten the buttons undone, so reaching across his chest from left to right, his fingers barely hooking the pistol grip. The rest of the lanterns went out, dousing Kenny in darkness. The inhuman screech was inches from his head. He couldn’t see anything, still trying to get to the gun. Behind him, the horse screamed. When lightning flickered across the sky, Kenny caught a glimpse of the thing that came to claim his life.

***

Sheriff Warren Hawkins wasn’t the kind of man who liked watching the sunrise. It happened almost every day with or without him watching, and he got out of bed to see each day eventually. The drink helped keep him in bed a bit longer. The morning following the heavy rainstorm that swept through the valley, he woke to someone banging on the front door. The roof over the bottom corner of his bed left a puddle on the floor and soaked through his straw mattress. His socks slid through it as he struggled to get out of bed.

Every part of his body ached. His damp foot kicked the empty whiskey bottle, sent it spinning across the floor. Walking was as difficult as getting out of bed. Hawkins lumbered to the door, using the wall as a guide. Unlocking the door, he opened it to a pale-faced man with black muttonchops and a brown homburg hat.

“Mr. Shickley, do you know what time it is?” Hawkins asked, recognizing the railroad inspector outside. He wasn’t sure about the time because the gray-streaked sky hid the sun. The thunderstorms had subsided, but the rains continued to fall gently. The mist and fog obscured the view behind the man. “What’s wrong with you?”

“Sheriff, you need to come with me. Something’s wrong up at the tunnel.”

Shickley appeared frazzled, and the more Hawkins sobered up, the more he saw of the man. He wore a jacket over a striped cotton shirt, poorly tucked into his trousers. The man typically wore fashionable attire and a tie. It looked like a wrinkled nightshirt.

Hawkins pressed the palm of his hand into his eye, rubbing hard to clear the sticky goo coating his vision, making it difficult to see clearly.

“Mr. Shickley, I ain’t interested in riding six miles after that hell of a storm last night.”

“It’s Kenny Newton, Sheriff. He’s dead.”

Death wasn’t new to the sheriff or the railroad man. Laborers often died working on the railroad. Disgruntled drovers and angry poker players sometimes shot each other in the streets. Hawkins knew Kenny for years. He was a reputable man, but taking the job with Central Pacific Railroad meant his death had nothing to do with the township of Auburn.

Hawkins leaned against the doorjamb. “It sounds like a railroad matter,” he said. “Ain’t you the inspector? What do you need me out there for?”

Shickley made a noise that sounded like a wounded animal. He shook his head, lips firm, jaw tight.

“I’m going back to bed,” Hawkins said.

“I need you to see it.”

“See what?” The hangover sapped the patience from Hawkins. “It’s a tragedy, I know. Kenny was an upstanding citizen, but the railroad was responsible for him. You can notify Summer, too, if you want.”

As Hawkins stood up and pushed the door closed, Shickley slammed his fist against it. He was a slight man, bookish, who came from the city thinking they were better than anyone else. He looked down his nose at most people, wasn’t very social and only stayed in Auburn because it was required for the posting from the railroad. Shickley arrived in Auburn shortly after the Chinese laborers left the worksite like frightened cattle. Shickley couldn’t get anyone from town to work at Clipper Gap. Everyone knew the tales. The last outsider who got hired had suddenly left without a trace a few days ago.

Hawkins heard all the scuttlebutt in the tavern. He didn’t give two cents to any of the local stories. But most people were easily duped into believing something that wasn’t true if they heard it over and over.

“I’m not going to tell his wife her husband’s death,” Shickley said. Hawkins never saw the skinny man angry. He had layers of emotions covering him like a prickly jacket. “I’m not going back there, Sheriff. I saw Kenny. That was enough for me. I came here to tell you because it was decent to do. I’m leaving on the afternoon coach. When I get back to Sacramento, I’ll let them know at the office. If the company decides to terminate my employment, I don’t care. You can’t make me go back there.”

Hawkins stood in the doorway, watching the man shuffle away in the deep mud. Other pedestrians wandered by the sheriff’s bungalow and tipped their hats at him. From the stoop of the cabin, Hawkins could see the tips of the mountains near Clipper Gap rising above the tree line like a black and gray snaggletooth.

“Damn it,” he whispered, slamming the door. Sighing, Hawkins found a dirty shirt and a pair of trousers to put on before heading to the livery stable.

Hawkins wasn’t interested in riding out to the worksite alone. He had to recruit a man named Arnold McDuffie to accompany him. It cost the sheriff $5, and a promised deputizing of McDuffie before the man saddled his horse to ride out with Hawkins.

McDuffie was a local drunkard — worked odd jobs to pay for his whiskey. Unlike Hawkins, who received a monthly stipend of twenty-seven dollars from Placer County for his duties as sheriff, McDuffie wasn’t interested in full-time employment with the government. Hawkins liked McDuffie, despite the man’s endless yammering when anyone was around to hear him talk. They had three hours in the saddle headed out to the ridge and the switchback climb to Clipper Gap. McDuffie talked the entire journey.

Hawkins didn’t tell McDuffie why he needed to accompany the sheriff. The man’s only stipulation was to leave the area and return to Auburn before nightfall. Hawkins didn’t want to spend any additional time than he needed to identify the body perhaps and find out what kind of accident happened to Kenny.

They reached the summit. The narrow pathway out of the woods opened to the cleared trail where workers had laid tracks up to fifty or sixty feet before the granite cliff face where they intended to dig the tunnel. The railroad tracks went to a safe zone outside the blasting area.

“You hear that?” McDuffie asked.

“I don’t hear nothing.” Hawkins glanced down the tracks leading away from the mountainside. A handcar had parked at the end of the train track with an empty car attached to it.

“That’s what I mean. There ain’t nothing to hear. No birds, no pickaxes, no Chinese yelling at each other.”

Hawkins frowned, pulled at the reins, and took another look around. They weren’t quite to the rock wall where they intended to put the tunnel, around the slight corner that veered to the right, following the leveled ground. Hawkins clicked his tongue, so the horse began ambling forward.

“What’s that smell? It’s something cooking.” McDuffie laughed and added, “Well, at least we’ll get some grub before heading back.”

Hawkins saw it before McDuffie, and his blood ran cold. It took his partner much longer before he realized what they saw lying on the ground in front. Nothing was disturbed at the worksite, and stacks of wooden crates against the mountainside hadn’t been dislocated. Oilskin tarpaulins covered several items, still tied down with ropes. There was a lean-to with a muddy bedroll under it.

“Oh God, Sheriff, what the hell happened here?” McDuffie said as he peered down at the sight from the safety of horseback.

Hawkins climbed out of the saddle. He pulled off his hat and squatted next to the body.

“Did lightning do that?”

Hawkins didn’t answer. He couldn’t think of any way something natural took Kenny’s life. The dead man lay on the ground wearing something that still clung to him. The area around the body had scorched the earth as the body burned. Beyond the circle where the body burned, the ground was unmarked.

Hawkins twisted the brim of his hat, fighting back the fear. A few feet from where the charred remains of Kenny Newton lay were the burnt remains of his horse. The animal had cooked down to blackened lumps of unrecognizable charring. Only the hooves endured — the only indication that it was a horse before the fire.

Hawkins glanced at McDuffie, squinting as he looked up at the sky. Gray clouds shrouded the sun. The light patter of rain persisted. It wasn’t lightning, but why bother to explain it to McDuffie? Hawkins had no explanation. He reached out his hand toward the corpse. Even without touching it, he felt the heat from the fire that had consumed the body.

“This place is cursed,” McDuffie finally said.

“Shut up.” Hawkins put on his hat, standing up again. He used the tip of his boot to move the blackened, slick fabric covering Kenny. The oilskin coat stuck to the body, melted, and glued with boiled flesh. He moved enough material to glimpse the dead man’s hip.

“What’s that?” McDuffie asked, watching the sheriff keenly. “Is that his gun? He died without pulling his gun?”

“Looks that way,” Hawkins said.

He stood very still, listening to the nearby woodlands. No birds sang in the trees. But that might have something to do with the rain. Hawkins frowned, looking around intently.

“What’s wrong? You hear something?”

“No, I was looking for lanterns.”

“I don’t see any.”

“Neither do I,” he said. “Kenny wouldn’t be up here sitting in the dark.”

“I don’t see any lamps, though.”

Hawkins waited a few minutes, feeling his skin creeping. It took him an extra effort to climb back into the saddle because the horse turned, pulling away from him when he tried mounting it. The horse got a whiff of the cooked flesh, making it uneasy. Once in the saddle, Hawkins made up his mind.

“What do we do?”

“We’ll get a few men to bring Kenny back to town,” Hawkins said. “You got to get Moody up here. Have him bring his tools.”

“It’s getting late. No one wants—”

“Shut up, Arnold,” Hawkins shouted, pointing a finger at the man. “I don’t want to hear any nonsense about this place. We’ll come back with Moody and a few others with a wagon. We’ll get out of here before sunset. You’re not to say a word to anyone in town about this. Word will get out soon enough. I don’t want his wife and child to find out about it before I get a chance to talk to her.”

They turned away from the worksite, and the horses’ gait picked up, leaving the area. Hawkins wasn’t interested in spending any more time than necessary on the supposed cursed mountain.

“How did you know to come here?” McDuffie asked.

“Troy Shickley from the railroad fetched me this morning,” Hawkins said.

“Why didn’t he come back here?”

“He quit his job and left town,” Hawkins said, thinking if he worked for the railroad, it was an intelligent thing to do.

Chapter One

Auburn, California, 1875

The overnight thunderstorms helped cool the valley and replenish the potable water supplies for the railroad workers. Lying awake in bed sometime after six in the morning, that was the kind of thinking Summer had on her mind. She thought about the railroad workers, the conditions they had to work. She didn’t have to get up immediately because Andrew slept like a warm log beside her in bed. He had crawled into his mother’s bed in the night when the wind rattled the shutters, and the thunder boomed. Andrew’s bravery finally collapsed, retreated to his mother’s side, seeking shelter from the storm.

The thunderstorm had kept Summer awake, not for the same reason as her son. She thought about her husband sitting high on the hill at Clipper Gap. Poor Kenny, dedicated to his work, was the only man in town willing to watch over the equipment left where they intended to bore a tunnel.

Kenny was passionate about the railroad. It was a good job providing the family enough to get by while they had a little left over every pay period to put away. Kenny had promised that living in Auburn was temporary — but that was eight years ago, right around the time they had Andrew. Still, Summer didn’t mind the rural location, vast wilderness, surrounded by mountains.

It wasn’t like they were isolated from the rest of the world. Sacramento was thirty-six miles southwest of town, and they made the trip once or twice a year. People told her the town of Sheridan was twenty-two miles north of Auburn, but they never had occasion to visit the place. Auburn had everything they needed for the family. The mail coach arrived once a week and the stagecoach came through town twice a week. Summer had simple tastes, and Kenny provided for his family like a loving father and a good husband.

When Summer got out of bed, she had time alone to use the outhouse and cook breakfast before Andrew woke up. They had been working on arithmetic together. Summer even had the neighbor’s boy, Sheldon Walker, join them to learn math for a few hours. Summer didn’t get paid for her time with Sheldon. He was a demanding young man, a foot taller than Andrew and slower when it came to practically everything. Sheldon didn’t like arithmetic, always got jealous when Andrew finished his problems first. Summer wasn’t looking forward to having the young man visit them that morning. She saw they had a few hours before lessons started so that she could have Andrew’s breakfast ready, and before the children finished their math, Kenny might be home.

Her husband was a handsome man, lean and tall, and was of the sort of personality that sometimes got other wives in town jealous because he genuinely cared for Summer and Andrew. Some women got saddled with men who weren’t nice to them. Summer stayed clear of men who mistreated their wives. Their immediate neighbors, Gail and Leo Walker, had a tumultuous relationship. Sometimes, when Leo got home after work, his shouting came through the walls for their cabin. She knew enough to keep her mouth shut about their behavior, but it didn’t stop her from resenting them. She had tended wounds on wives that didn’t live up to other men’s standards.

Auburn was a boomtown still enduring after most of the gold got mined. Most former miners who missed out on the big lodes had turned into loggers. They still provided for their families, and gold fever sometimes never wore off. If they had downtime from the lumberyard, the men went out in teams for a few days to prospect, still hoping to strike it rich. The city had abundant natural resources, which meant most people could stay self-sufficient.

Summer wanted to work, to contribute to the family earning. Kenny wasn’t opposed to her working, but it had to be within reason. He didn’t want her at the saloon, which was reasonable. Summer wasn’t interested in strangers thinking it was alright to put their hands on her. She had a figure that other women envied.

Summer had straight hair the color of wheat ready for harvest. She kept her hair hidden under a bonnet most of the time out in public. Kenny liked seeing her hair fall loose over her shoulders. So, Summer reserved that treat for her husband. Her large eyes were the color of winter evergreens. She had a tapered neck, a small nose, and full red lips. Her earthy beauty still made Kenny’s heart pound. He liked to kiss her nose while she pressed her hands to his chest, feeling his rapid heartbeat through her long fingers.

She fell in love with Kenny a year after the war ended. He worked for the Central Pacific Railroad in the San Francisco offices. Taking the outpost position in Auburn was a promotion, and when Kenny asked for Summer’s hand, she immediately wanted to be with him forever. Their love had made a wonderful little boy who had his father’s eyes and his mother’s disposition. Kenny wanted to give the world to Summer, but the best he could give her was a warm and loving home on a budget. She thought it was the best gift in the world.

Summer had breakfast ready before she woke Andrew. The boy grumbled and kicked at the sheets. When he got up, most of the chestnut hair on the top of his head stood on end. Summer patted it down before he waddled out the back door to the outhouse wearing his oversized long johns.

It was a little after nine, and the sun still hadn’t peaked out from under the cloud cover. They needed the rain, but it carried a chill off the mountaintops to spread over the valley. Summer kept the stove fire burning to warm the house.

“There was a lot of rain Mama, the barrel overflowed,” Andrew said when he slammed the back door.

“Wash your hands and come sit at the table.”

The aroma of eggs, bacon, and coffee filled the tiny cabin as Andrew scrubbed his face and hands. He sat down at the small table, still fidgety from his excursion outside.

“I’ll bet there’s mud that’s as deep as my knees out there.”

Summer laughed. “How about we don’t find out,” she said. “You’ll get a bath tomorrow, and I don’t want you playing in the mud today.”

Andrew didn’t appear interested in his mother’s lecture. He plucked a warm biscuit from the bowl but didn’t replace the towel over the rest.

When’s Papa coming home?” he asked with his mouth full.

Summer scowled at him, shaking her head in disappointment. She pulled the cloth over the warm biscuits.

“He’ll be home in a little while. When you’re done with your lessons today, you can show him how well you’re doing.”

It was Andrew’s turn to make a face. “Does Sheldon have to come here?”

“We’re supposed to be kind to our neighbors, Andrew. Sheldon needs to learn arithmetic the same as you.”

“Why doesn’t his mama teach him then? Why do you have to teach him?”

Summer sighed, thinking the storm brought rain they needed but also made Andrew punchy that morning. Sheldon’s mother needed a break from her husband and son more than Summer needed her privacy. Gail and Leo Walker spent as much time arguing as they did drinking. Leo had failed striking it rich like the others, Gail never let him live it down. He worked odd jobs around town when the lumberyard wasn’t manufacturing railroad ties, earning enough to make ends meet. Summer didn’t mind teaching other children if they behaved.

Something occurred to Andrew; his eyes lit up like he had a fire inside. “Sheldon taught me a dirty word. Do you want to hear it?” he asked hopefully.

Summer suppressed a grin, using another scowl to mask her humor. “I don’t think that’s appropriate little man.”

“Why not?” Andrew asked. “Sheldon says his daddy uses it all the time. It’s proprite in their house.”

“A.P.P.R.O.P.R.I.A.T.E, appropriate,” Summer said with a sigh, turning their conversation into another lesson.

Andrew repeated the spelling and the word.

“Some words aren’t for the public. Sometimes people use some words they shouldn’t say when they’re angry.”

“Is that like when Sheldon’s mama screams at his daddy out the window?”


“Blood οn the Cursed Railroad” is an Amazon Best-Selling novel, check it out here!

Joel Newton arrives in Auburn, California, determined to investigate the mysterious death of his brother. However, he soon realizes that his brother is not the only victim, as horrendous incidents seem to happen to anyone working on the Clipper Gap railroad. Despite the locals’ belief that a demon has risen to claim anyone who ventures into the area, Joel suspects the sinister forces responsible have nothing to do with a curse…

Can he remain sane amidst all the superstitions and uncover the much dirtier truth?

Deeply traumatized by her husband’s tragic loss, Summer Newton must figure out what it means to survive. When townspeople start whispering that her husband is responsible for Clipper Gap’s plight, Summer and her son’s lives hang in the balance. Desperate for help after exhausting all options, Joel may be her last glimmer of hope.

Will Joel help her solve the riddle of the cursed town and clear her husband’s name?

When Joel suddenly faces the dark dangers at Clipper Gap, he realizes that whatever killed his brother, supernatural or not, is out to get him too. It’s time to seek the help of his trusty gun, but will shooting skills alone be enough to get him out alive? Or will chaos continue to spread and ravage the town?

“Blood οn the Cursed Railroad” is a historical adventure novel of approximately 80,000 words. No cliffhangers, only pure unadulterated action.

Get your copy from Amazon!

7 thoughts on “Blood οn the Cursed Railroad (Preview)”

  1. I really liked what I read in your preview! Thanks for allowing me to get to read & make my choice as to weather I would like to get Your Book or not! I DO WANT TO GET YOUR NEW BOOK!
    I Think That You Are A Good Writer!

  2. Hello, Johnnie Burns. I have read the preview and enjoyed it. I have been reading good Westerns since the ’50s and it looks like this is going to comparable to some of the greats: Louis L’Amour, Zane Grey, etc. I am now waiting for the book to be released to finish reading it. Thank you.

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