New novels on the way!
Billy has just signed contracts with Royal Firehouse Press for two YA historical novels, Runaway Scrape and Old Wild Man Terry. Runaway Scrape is being “fast tracked” in order to have copies available by the Christmas season. Publication date has yet to be set for Old Wild Man Terry.
The Runaway Scrape is about a free black family during the terrible period in the Texas Revolt vs Mexico immediately following the fall of the Alamo. Santa Anna’s Mexican Army is rampaging unchecked through Texas while General Sam Houston works feverishly to try to mold a Texan army able to resist the Mexican dictator. Fourteen years old Simon, his family and several other Texans battle outriders from Santa Anna’s army, bandits taking advantage of the state of anarchy to prey on refugees, hostile Indians, and the terrible Texas weather. The story is a fast-paced adventure told in a historically realistic manner.
Old Wild Man Terry is the story of thirteen years old fraternal twins Erin and Fred Burgess, their parents and Yacqui/Mexican ranch hands and thirteen years old son Jaime in the Big Bend of Texas in 1915. The Burgess family has moved back to an ancestral ranch for the health of Mrs. Burgess who suffers from tuberculosis are attempting to raise Missouri Foxtrotter horses as well as Foxtrotter/mustang hybrid for the ranch horse business to supplement. Dr. Burgess’ dental practice in the sparsely populated trans-Pecos. Things are going well until one night a herd of wild mustangs rush the ranch and make off with all of the Foxtrotters except for their stallion, Big Red. Early efforts to recover their mares, colts and foals fail. Mrs. Burgess’ health declines. Attempts to recover their horses fail until a legendary hermit of the Big Bend, Old Wild Man Terry, a Black Seminole former cavalryman, who most consider to be only a myth, emerges to rescue Erin from a desperate strait. With the assistance of the youths, Old Wild Man Terry and his mustang, Mouse utilize a unique strategy in their attempt to gain control of the herd of runaway Foxtrotters and mustangs.
Historical Note: The method for capturing the mustangs in this story was actually used in the Big Bend by former slave and legendary mustanger Bob Lemmons (Lammons).