The Tainted Dollar by Chris G. Derrick
The Tainted Dollar is the first book of the Jake Base Western Series by Chris G. Derrick
“In that time Jake covered the distance to the cowboy, drawing one of his knives from its sheath as he moved. The next thing the cowboy knew was the pommel of Jakes knife was smashing into the side of his head, knocking him onto his knees. The sharp point of the knife had also done its work, nicking the skin deep as he fell to the floor. The blood was running warm and free down his neck and soaking into the white collar of his shirt.”
Jake Base – orphaned at an early age, and now the last surviving member of his family.
Adopted and raised by the Plains Indians as one of their own for ten years and destined never to be totally accepted by either the white man or the Indian.
Now he’s a no-nonsense US marshal tracking two killers down into Texas he discovers more than he bargained for.
There are the confusing emotions of a new, and unexpected, love – which in turn put him in grave danger.
Jake has difficult choices which will need to be made. People will be hurt in the process.
This story has it all, bar room brawls, brutal murder, cattle rustling, dusty streets and the lovely Maria Sanchez.
Throughout everything one thing remains constant, the one silver coin.
The Tainted Dollar.
A Word from the Author
This was the first of the three novels I currently (as of April 2016) have published. It appeared in November 2014 and was the first book to feature the character, Jake Base.
My last five years in IT, prior to March 2013, involved staying away from home four or five nights a week. Consequently I had ample opportunity to read book after book on the Old West as it was in the late 19th century. I pretty much surrounded myself with fact-based stories on the main events and the prominent characters of that era.
While this was the first book to be released it wasn’t actually the first to have any words put into it.
The third published book (Wagon Mound to Santa Fe – The Search for Sarah) was where it all actually began.
I spent the last nine months of 2013 working on this particular story. It became apparent to me over the Christmas of that year this tale was going to grow and grow. All the time I felt I needed to get something of mine ‘out there’ and begin to build my name as a writer.
So in the January of 2014 I put ‘Wagon Mound to Santa Fe….‘ to one side and began to write the first few words of what would eventually develop into ‘The Tainted Dollar’. Everything was new. Nothing came across from the book I’d previously started but not as yet completed – the characters, the storyline and its location all fresh.
Jake Base, the main man, had his personal characteristics and past history developed gradually over several weeks. As ideas came to mind I’d incorporate them – if I thought they’d work in the scheme of things.
A lot of the important elements of the novel (such as the title itself and several of the plot twists) came to me at 3am while sleeping. Writing rough notes by torchlight became almost a regular occurrence during that time!
The main section of the novels front cover (a pair of brown cowboy boots and a silver dollar) was actually from a photo taken by Ewa at the bottom of our garden. Next to one of our wooden sheds she placed my boots and an 1884 silver dollar (purchased in Lincoln New Mexico in 2010) to which we’d added a dab of tomato ketchup and left to harden overnight.
One rather unusual aspect to this book was none of it was read (other than by me) until it was first purchased on Amazon. After spending so many months living and breathing something for twelve or more hours each day it was a rather nervous time. Would anyone else take to it? What would the first reviews be like?
I’m pleased to say its reception has been well in excess of what I’d ever dreamed possible. Even by people who’ve been personally raised around cattle, horses and western style ranches. So, I must’ve got something right!
Needless to say I now ensure the books are read by someone else before they make their first public appearance. Far, far, less stressful!
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