Wyrd West Chronicles #1 ~ A Novelette
Showdown Cover by Diane Morrison
The Desperado spat. “You ain’t goin’ to start something you can’t finish, are you, boy?” he sneered in a cold rasping baritone. His eyes were darker than coal-black. No apprentice then; this man had sold his soul to Hell and leased it back at compound interest. “You’re so wet behind the ears I don’t reckon you can sprout a beard yet.” Graeme turned his head just slightly so that the Desperado could get a glimpse of the pointed ear sticking out of his hair under his hat brim. The Desperado’s eyes narrowed. “Fuckin’ faeries,” he growled, almost under his breath. “Well, guess I got no real idea how old you are. But you smell like children to me. Why don’t you go back to your farm and leave the grown-ups to do their business?” Graeme thought about the Gunslinger this man had cut down. He could still hear the gurgle and wheeze of her struggle to breathe. He could smell the iron of her blood seeping into the dust. “I don’t think so.”
In Queenstown, an untried youth is the only one who can face down a notorious Desperado. But Graeme Walsh is not a Gunslinger: not yet. Will his training and his secret sorcerer's powers be enough to get the drop on the Outlaw, before the Outlaw gets the drop on him?
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Praise for Showdown:
"I had no idea what to expect when I started 'Showdown'.I was initially put off by the capitalizations of what I took for time worn stereotypes: the Desperado, the Gunslinger, etc. Then Graeme let us see his elven ears and I was THERE. From that point on a black hole couldn't have sucked me out of the story. Horses with opinions? A Gnome pitching a line to a Gunslinger's sister? A ghost offering advice to that same Gunslinger? Oh, yeah, I'm definitely into this world."
"A book friend told me about this world of gunfighting elves and I knew I was hooked! Then the writing was great, and that was a bonus!"
"The author describes SHOWDOWN as a "Weird Western fantasy-cattlepunk short-fiction serial." Seriously! That description made me laugh and doubt that I'd get past the first few paragraphs. But I was firmly entrenched after the second sentence. Everything about the story intrigued me. For a short, or story of any length, her characters are astonishingly well developed, each with a unique voice. While I’m not a huge fan of fantasy--it so often feels forced to me--those aspects of the story were deftly woven into the plot and through flashbacks. Morrison has a knack for description and world building and paints her scenes in the same way an artist paints a picture. Only the reader doesn't just see the story but hears and smells it, as well. If I'm gushing it's because SHOWDOWN deserves to be gushed over. I can't wait to read more installments."
"With vivid descriptions and a world you can almost reach out and touch, Showdown is a story that pleases. It's hopeful and gritty in all the right places with crystal-clear characters and a touch of tongue-in-cheek humor. Loved it!"
"When I first started reading, I wasn't certain that it was my type of book. The author has a distinctive style and her use of 'flowery' prose seemed at odds with what I was expecting to encounter. Silly me! Once I settled into the plot and allowed the characters to engage me, I was hooked. I'm glad to see that this is part of a series."
"Love this colorful cast of characters in this exciting genre mashup. Characters were very well developed. Well worth a read, and need more!"
"I heard about the author's series and immediately was drawn to the idea and its inherent drama. I immediately purchased book 1 of her Wyrd West series and read it. Fantastic! The author has seamlessly blended standard fantasy tropes (elves, gnomes, demons, holy power, sorcery, etc.) with elements from steampunk in a mixer of classic westerns. The result is bang on. This is top shelf writing with a beautiful vision. I'm totally gonna read the heck out of Diane Morrison's collected works."
"An intriguing, neopagan western with six shooters and sorcery! This fantasy, paranormal, cattlepunk novellette is a short read that leaves room for dessert. I'm thinking a big bowl of ice cream - right now. Big enough to contemplate a quick draw elf and a damnable desperado."
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Books in the Wyrd West Chronicles
#3 The Vigil
#5 The Reaping
Once Upon a Time in the Wyrd West (Wyrd West Chronicles #1-6)
Gunsmoke & Dragonfire (featuring The Teeth of Winter (Wyrd West Chronicles #7)
Author: Diane Morrison
Editor: James Field
Publisher: Aradia Publishing
First Published: March 20, 2017
Printed in: Canada & the United States of America
Featured in: Once Upon a Time in the Wyrd West
Print Length: 43 Pages
Acknowledgements:No writer truly writes alone. I would like to thank the Vernon Writer’s Critique Group for helping me to formulate my story into something greater than the sum of its parts. I would like to thank my beta readers for their extremely helpful feedback. I would like to thank the indie authors’ community, especially the ladies of the Vegas Fight Club, for being so supportive and welcoming. Most of all, I would like to thank my partner and editor Jamie for his hard work and his bravery in taking me on, and my husband Erin for his unrelenting love and support.
Dedication:For my mom, for many things, but mostly for giving me the gift of a lifetime of joy in reading.
Once Upon a Time in the Wyrd West
You can read Showdown, along with the first six of the Wyrd West Chronicles, in Once Upon a Time in the Wyrd West! Click on the book cover above!