Published April 22, 2014
In the vein of The Quick and the Dead and Hell to Pay, Flintridge is all you could want in a western novel. It takes you back to the days of the Old West, when gunslingers and outlaws terrorized the land. Honest folk had to fight to keep what was theirs whilst confronting the untamed wilderness. Action, romance, gun fights, and wild mustangs all play a part in the picturesque story of Flintridge.
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Byrne Jameson is a rancher with a secret.
Years ago he established a town on the very edge of the frontier, naming it Flintridge for the majestic bluffs surrounding the place. Byrne carved out a living as a mustang runner, chasing wild horses over the rough terrain. Those he managed to capture and tame were auctioned. At first, the rancher's only hope was to make enough money to support his wife, who waited for him back east.
Now, life in the West is plagued by the presence of rough men, outlaws, who attack the frontier towns. Robberies and murders are committed indiscriminately. Lawmen are spread too thin to put a stop to the raids. To curb the rising tide of crime, a new sheriff is sent out from New York. Alexander Judge is an eager young man, fresh out of law school. With the coming of the railroad the small town's population grows rapidly. Alexander has his hands full dealing with new influences and trades making their way into Flintridge.
As if the challenges posed by the untamed wilderness are not daunting enough, a new danger threatens Flintridge as its prosperity grows. A band of bloodthirsty killers, known as the Hayes-Lawson gang, moves into town, forcing Alexander out of his position as sheriff. Against his moral judgment Byrne makes a pact with them to ensure his survival, and that of Flintridge.
When the lawless rule of the Hayes-Lawson gang gets out of hand, Byrne determines that he must act, even if doing so might reveal details of his past which he would rather forget. Will his wife, his friends, and the townspeople trust him again once the truth is known? Will Byrne learn to forgive himself?
*Flintridge was written primarily in one month, as my NaNoWriMo 2013 project (National Novel Writing Month.)
*My favorite character in the novel is Derek Ward.
*A sequel is in the planning stages.