Recognition for Devil on the Loose: Devil on the Loose made True West Magazine’s 2016 list of Best Western Books by a small publisher.
Devil on the Loose was written in the tradition of Louis L’Amour. All Louis’s stories were love stories. There was a strong, lonely man, a beautiful, inaccessible woman, and a lot of bad guys. The story is set in Arizona before the Civil War in the area around Tucson-Tubac-Sonoita Creek. If you know that history, you’ll recognize many of my characters: Captain Richard Ewell, who went on to be a Confederate General, three-fingered Mose Carson, Kit’s elder brother, Great Western, Sarah Bowman, flame-haired, 6’2″ and the best madam in Arizona.
The story was originally published as a serial novel in the Tombstone Times over the course of 3 years. It is the story of a former Dragoon searching for fortune, fun and respect. He’s piskie-led, confused by the fairies, into love as he avoids an outlaw clan whose leader he has slain. He finds all in 1860 Arizona, a land without law where the devil is on the loose. Outlaws, Apaches and Mexican bandits can’t keep him from his fortune or the woman he loves.
This is a story in the Old West Tradition, love and gunfire. The guns are muzzle loaders and cap & ball six-shooters. The land is wild and so are the men who inhabit it. The girl is a beautiful, slender, elfin maid with a nimbus of red hair. A mere teenager, she is too young and too easily misguided for the worldly-wise dragoon who ought to know better. Troubles he’d thought he’d left behind in Santa Fe have followed him to Arizona. He must conceal his identity or face death from a vindictive gang. Complicating matters his Cornish speech and slang may give him away.
Along the way he teams with historical figures – Captain Richard S. Ewell, Sarah Bowman known as the Great Western, Mose Carson brother of Kit, Jack Swilling, and James Tevis. He meets Charles Poston and Sylvester Mowry. Truly, the Tantarabobus, the devil was on the loose and there would be more than one capperouse before the smoke of flaming guns has cleared.
Are you wondering what Starry Gazy Pie is like? It’s really quite good especially if you’re Cornish. It should be made with the heads peeking through the crust so that the fish can gaze upon the stars. Here’s the recipe Owen Bray uses: Owen Bray’s Starry Gazy Pie.