Guns of Perdition – Chapter Teaser

Guns of Perdition, The Armageddon Showdown, is now available for preorder.

Want to know if it’s for you? Sample some of the first chapter here:

CHAPTER ONE

Jessie was on his hands and knees picking up shards of glass when the batwing doors swung open, and a stranger strode into the Bad Hoss Saloon. As the honky-tonk piano faltered on a flat note and silence descended, Jessie shaded his eyes to get a better look at the new arrival. A black silhouette revealed nothing of the stranger other than a chilly aura that permeated the saloon. Jessie suppressed a shudder and flicked his gaze around the saloon. He wasn’t alone in his unease; around the room, drinks were held mid-sip, a pair of aces fluttered to the card table, and the saloon girls leaned over the second-floor banister to eye the stranger.

The setting sun peeked into the saloon for just a moment before the doors swung shut. The stranger, clad in a dusty drifter’s coat and weathered John B. Stetson, trod the dirty boards confidently, cloaked in shadows beneath the Stetson’s broad brim. The nonchalance of the newcomer’s stride prompted activity to return to normal. The piano player plunked his keys, and a ruckus broke out over the pair of snake eyes on the card table. The saloon girls smoothed their silks and tied their laces in preparation for the night’s entertainment.

A loud belch close to Jessie’s ear reminded him he was on his hands and knees to clean up a spilled mug of beer, not goggle at drifters. As if in tune with his thoughts, the wrinkled prospector responsible for the shattered mug jabbed him hard in the shoulder and said, “You saying your prayers down there or what? Get your prat moving, sonny, and get me a beer.”

Jessie glowered and flinched away from the old man’s bony finger. One of the unwashed cowpokes sitting beside the prospector cackled. “Aw, leave off him, Cottonmouth. He’s got enough bellyaching to deal with from old Orville.”

With the cowpokes’ laughter filling his ears, Jessie clambered to his feet and skittered away, handling the shards of broken glass carefully. Orville would likely take the broken mug out of his hide, even though it wasn’t his fault it broke. The bartender was mean that way. Jessie crept behind the bar to discard the shattered glass and retrieve his broom. For once he didn’t have to contend with Orville’s feral glare or fierce tongue; Orville was fixated on the drifter, who approached the long wooden counter, hooked a stool, and slid onto the wooden seat. The drifter tapped gloved fingers on the bar and waited as Orville retrieved a bottle of forty-rod from under the bar. He slammed it down on the counter along with a shot glass.

Jessie frowned as the drifter raised the bottle, spat the cork onto the bar, tipped the bottle back, and guzzled. By the time the drifter thumped the bottle back on the bar, a good measure of the amber liquid was gone. Gloved hands reached up and tilted the Stetson’s brim. Jessie’s mouth dropped open as he caught a glimpse of the drifter’s shadowed face. She wore grime from the road, and the strands of hair that escaped her hat were blond and greasy. She might have been pretty when cleaned up except for the dead emptiness in her eyes…

…like to know what happens next? Preorder your copy here.

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