27 March 2018

*Excerpt & Giveaway!* THE FLEECING OF FORT GRIFFIN by Preston Lewis


Genre: Western Humor
Publisher: Wild Horse Press
Date of Publication: May 19, 2016
Number of Pages: 234

2017 Elmer Kelton Award from the West Texas Historical Association:
Best Creative Work on West Texas

Scroll down for the giveaway!

 When the young Englishman Baron Jerome Manchester Paget arrives in 1878 Fort Griffin with a satchel full of money to start a buffalo ranch and find a bride, a horde of colorful swindlers from throughout Texas arrive to help themselves to a rich serving of his naivetĂ© to frontier ways.  
  With a passel of oddball characters and more twists and turns than a stagecoach trail, The Fleecing of Fort Griffin pits the baron against crooked gamblers, a one-eyed gunfighter, a savvy marshal, conniving females, a duplicitous cavalry officer and a worldly stump preacher. 
   To stay rich, the baron must stay alive!  And to stay alive, the baron must rely on a fourteen-year-old orphan and a rooster that serves as his guard animal.  Even so, the odds and the cards are stacked against the Englishman and his bold vision of becoming the baron of bison in West Texas. 
   Written by Spur Award-winning author Preston Lewis, a master of western plot twists and humor, The Fleecing of Fort Griffin takes readers on an unconventional and uproarious journey through the Old West and some of its unsavory characters.  


“… a work of colorful and humorous fiction,”
                             Albany Review

The Fleecing of Fort Griffin by Preston Lewis of San Angelo is one of the funniest westerns I’ve ever read.”
                             Glenn Dromgoole, Texas Reads

“If you're looking for a delightful tale, check out The Fleecing of Fort Griffin.” 
                             Bryan Eagle


“A Stage Robbery”
Excerpt from
The Fleecing of Fort Griffin

Ten miles out of Fort Griffin, Shorty DeLong pulled back on the reins and eased the team up. Just ahead, the trail crossed a stream he called “Cuss Word Creek” because he cursed it every time he reached it. The creek was tree-lined and rock strewn, making it impossible for the coach to take at Shorty’s regular pace. Bordered by cottonwoods and big boulders, the crossing dipped to a swale where the footing was rocky and rough, but solid. While the creek offered more level sites for crossing, those places had quicksand bottoms that could not support a stage.

Shorty DeLong approached the crest and put his foot on the brake as he started down. It was steep and the stage wheels slid into pitted ruts, then bounced over stones buried like corpses in the corrugated ground. As he descended the slope, he came under the cool shade of the huge cottonwood trees. He bounced about on the seat, holding back on the reins and braking with his foot. As the stage reached the bottom of the slope and leveled out into the knee high stream, Shorty shook the reins and released the brake, catching a glimpse of three horses tied fifty yards downstream around a flaming campfire. As the stage started up the facing slope, the tired horses struggling, a man appeared on the trail, a bandanna covering his face and a rifle pointing at Shorty DeLong.

“Stop the stage. This is a holdup,” commanded the robber.

Were it level land, Shorty would have run the man down, but this was incline and he couldn’t do much but obey. He jerked back on the reins. “I ain’t got a strong box.”

“I’ll take your passengers.”

“Just two of them,” Shorty replied, studying the robber. Even the bandanna could not hide the patch over the bandit’s left eye.

“Have ’em get out,” the robber commanded, “and no tricks. I’ve men in the rocks with rifles.”
Warily, Shorty looked to his side and saw a rifle pointed between two rocks at him. The boulders screened all but the gunman’s rifle and large sombrero.

The robber noted DeLong’s gaze at the sombrero. “I’ve another friend with a shotgun in the trees. You best unload the passengers.”

“Passengers,” Shorty shouted, “get out. I’ve a schedule to keep.”

The door swung open slowly.

“Hands up or you’re dead,” cried the robber.

“Do as he says boys,” Shorty warned.

The baron slid out first, satchel in hand, then Joe Loper.

“Well I’ll be damned if it ain’t Joe Loper and that damned Englishman,” laughed the robber. “Driver, your passengers are staying with me. Do they have a trunk in the boot?”

“Yep,” nodded DeLong.

“Then unload it, and you can be on your way.”

Shorty pointed at Loper and the baron. “What about them?”

The robber laughed again. “Unless you’re taking this stage to hell, they’ll be following a different road away from here.” The robber shook the gun at Shorty’s face.

Shorty gulped. “Sorry boys.” Quickly he tied the reins over the brake lever, scrambled from the driver’s seat and scurried to the rear of the stage, unfastening the tarp over the boot.

“Help the driver, Loper,” the robber commanded, waving the gun at the gambler. “I won’t shoot you in the back. For now!” He laughed.

Shorty jerked the trunk from the boot and dropped it on the trail. Loper and the baron grabbed a handle at the end of the trunk and moved it away from the stage.

“And Baron, don’t let go of the carpetbag because I need the money.”

Shorty inched back toward the front of the stage.

The robber waved his pistol at Shorty. “Get up there and get going unless you want to join them on their trip to hell.”

Shorty scrambled atop the stage, unwrapped the reins from the brake lever and nodded at the masked man. Shorty looked downstream at the three tethered horses, a yellow dun catching his eye because of the live rooster bound and hanging from its saddle horn.

“Boys,” said the robber, waving his pistol at his victims, “carry your trunk to my fire. There’s a shovel there you can use to start digging your graves. This is where we bury the baron.” The robber laughed.

            Preston Lewis is the Spur Award-winning author of 30 western, juvenile and historical novels, including The Fleecing of Fort Griffin, a western caper published by Wild Horse Press.  Fleecing won the 2017 Elmer Kelton Award from the West Texas Historical Association (WTHA) for best creative work on West Texas. 
     Lewis is best known for his comic novels in The Memoirs of H.H. Lomax series. 
Bluster’s Last Stand, a novel about Custer and the Battle of Little Bighorn, is the latest volume in the well-received series that began with The Demise of Billy the Kid.  Subsequent books in the series—The Redemption of Jesse James and Mix-Up at the O.K. Corral—were both Spur Finalists from Western Writers of America (WWA). 
           Blood of Texas, Lewis’s historical novel on the Texas Revolution, received WWA’s Spur Award for Best Western Novel.  His True West article on the Battle of Yellowhouse Canyon won a Spur Award for Best Nonfiction Article.  In addition to his two Spurs from WWA, Lewis has earned three Elmer Kelton Awards from WTHA.
       Lewis’s novels have appeared under the imprint of national publishing houses such as Bantam, Zebra and HarperCollins and of regional publishing companies like Eakin Press and Wild Horse Press.  His short works have appeared in publications as varied as Louis L’Amour Western Magazine, Persimmon Hill, Dallas Morning News, True West, The Roundup, Journal of the Wild West History Association and San Angelo Standard-Times
       A native West Texan and current San Angelo resident, Lewis holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from Baylor and Ohio State universities.  He earned a second master’s degree in history from Angelo State University.  He is a past president of WWA and WTHA.  Lewis is a longstanding member of the Authors Guild and an associate member of the Dramatists Guild of America.  

1ST PRIZE: Signed Copy of The Fleecing of Fort Griffin Choice of Any One Book from the H.H. Lomax Series 2ND PRIZE: Signed Copy of The Fleecing of Fort Griffin
MARCH 20-29, 2018

(US ONLY; email addresses collected will be used by author for distribution list)

Excerpt 1
Author Interview
Excerpt 2
Author Interview
Excerpt 3
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