Israel Hands grows up amidst the tumult of the Salem Witch Trials. At the age of twelve he slays a local innkeeper who has accused his father of being in league with the devil. To evade capture Israel absconds to the sea and becomes a preeminent sailor and a ruthless killer. Feared and betrayed by his friend Edward Teach, Israel is crippled for life and driven from the only world he’s ever known.
Three hundred years later, retired naval officer Tom Stone buys
an old tavern in the seaside town of Marblehead, Massachusetts, with the plan to open a B&B. He quickly realizes that he's not alone. An unwelcome guest, a murderous sailor of old, is searching for something hidden within the house, a ring called the Devil's Kiss. With the help of a Marblehead cop, a local witch, and an old navy buddy, Tom combats the forces that threaten both his livelihood and his life.
Cowboys and Indians - A Novel
Excerpt - Prologue
June 27, 1876
The first thing he saw was a dead horse. His eyes narrowed as he looked beyond the bloated sorrel for more signs of death. Besides the mountains in the distance to the north and east, he saw nothing but miles and miles of buffalo grass spotting the soft rolling hills. To the south was the river that, lined by cottonwood trees, carved an unsteady line in the earth and cut the wide valley in two.
He turned in his saddle and watched the infantry moving up the valley on the opposite side of the river about two miles away. The rest of his scouting party soon caught up to him and reined their mounts to a dusty halt. No one spoke. All eyes studied the ground. There were no other tracks around the horse, so it had traveled some distance before it fell. Whether that distance was near or far would soon be discovered. And the unimaginable realized.