Six short stories exploring the joys, heartaches and laughter of life against the backdrop of the Old West. In “Single-Handed,” a gunfighter’s courage comes in doubt when he refuses to explain to his friends the real reason he backed down from a fight. The capable proprietress of the busiest eating-house in town handles a day of disasters large and small in the light-hearted “The Rush at Mattie Arnold’s,” while in “Room Service,” a hotel night clerk finds himself in on odd position after he allows an exhausted traveler to stay in a reserved room. And in the title story, the novella-length “Wanderlust Creek,” a young rancher and his wife struggle to hold onto their land and their dreams in the face of adversity from weather, enemies—and even doubts of each other.
Well, here we are! Here's the cover for Wanderlust Creek and Other Stories, designed by J. Simmons. The ebook is now available for pre-order at Amazon, and will be released at other ebook retailers and in paperback on March 2nd.
There's a bit of a funny story behind this cover. As I mentioned in a previous post, the story "Wanderlust Creek" has been in the works for several years, and I always knew it would be the keynote story of another collection. So I kept my eye out for a picture that would evoke the story, and occasionally (while suffering from writer's block, no doubt) searched stock-photo sites for something similar to what I had in mind. It turned out to be much harder than I thought. I just couldn't find anything. Well, one day as I was searching, my sister came and looked over my shoulder and I explained what I was doing. Then I saw one that looked about right...sunset, water in the foreground..."There's one," I said hopefully, and then added, "Oh, wait, it has elephants in it."
Well, eventually, as you can see, I did find the perfect picture. But that's become a kind of running joke between us when discussing on a good photo: "At least it doesn't have elephants in it."