Friday, December 30, 2016

Westobou Gold by Hawk MacKinney @goddessfish


What are the background forks in the road that brought you to writing?
Hindsight seems trite when one looks back at some of the forks. My “Southron” upbringing would whisper, “You hadn’t ort’a dun went an’ dun that.” Even mo’betta, “That was fun…gottta try that more.” The whispers still fuel the tales told. It never seemed like a journey. Still doesn’t. Growing up backcountry southwestern and puttin’ down Southron roots in deep-south Dixie became a love affair of the heart with characters and places roundabout that was just beggin’ to be writ about. Southrons are an elegant cultured earthy folk who spin tales for the sheer love of the tellin’. I’ve come to treasure the colloquium/everyday expressions of all the idioms and dialects of my native tongue.

Love of the spoken words/stories and the geographical regions of my homeland was the first fork. Endless curiosity and parents were forks two and three. Both mother and grandma saw more futures than the world I was comfortable in. They weren’t sitting still for none’a that. The University of Texas-Austin was a big step four right along with whole idea of Texas. Independent Texas country got planted deep in my heart. Number five—off to Uncle Sam’s big gray boats in the Pacific Ocean and endless deserts of California and Twenty-nine Palms (i.e. 29 Stumps). It was during this time that I worked with some of finest dedicated patriot Special-Operations shadow-fighters that put the fear of The Great Spirit in those who wish to harm us. They live hard and fight harder. They are way more stealthier than anyone knows. Their accomplishments & their doin’s ought to be kept confidential, with a hammer against glory-seekers chasing the buck & revealing names & exploits. The fearless men and women would become the templates for many of my characters in the Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series.

Postgraduate work, research, doctoral thesis in the grand spread of the west…Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Idaho—and the finest high-country champagne skiing in the world. For a brief time I took a timeout from studies and libraries and research to enjoy kibbutzim Eretz Yisrael and teach at Hadassah Medical School. My knowledge of languages would come in handy where I taught immigrants speaking a gaggle of languages that at the time were hilarious.

When I completed my degrees, I traced one set of immigrant forefathers to Virginia and others through Savanno Town, eventually settling in the King George II’s colony where life slows a tad, and one learns that the characters and the settings aren’t fiction at all. Lots’a forks what he’ped…guess I dun an’ went an’ come home.


Westobou Gold
by Hawk MacKinney

GENRE:  Mystery/Suspense


The Indian Queen would risk torture and worse to keep her secrets from these barbarians in suits of metal and their search for cities of gold. They never found the gold. Empires rose; empires fell, the centuries passed. Legend became fireside myths, but no treasure was ever found. Yet, among the grey-green drapes of wisteria and wild jasmine along the misty shrouded lowlands of bayous and marshes of the Westo River, the folktales persisted.

In the lazed creep of a near-tropical dawnlit the pungent Turkish coffee permeated Moccasin Hollow. Beyond the kitchen door Lucky, Craige Ingram’s German shepherd gnawed a favorite bone. Looted burial mounds seemed a world away until plundered mounds on Moccasin Hollow land brings amateur archeologist PI Craige Ingram into the crosshairs of kidnapping. Stealthy hideaways are concealed in old colonial brick-lined river grottos beneath the big house of Ardochy plantation. Sex-tape underage blackmail and thrill killings on federal land spur a medical examiner’s preliminary postmortem to more than a hired cleaner’s quickie cover-up passed off as drug deals gone sour. Greed tangles a witch’s pigswill of illicit affairs and murder-to-hide-murder. Shady investigators and shadier politics stir an unexpected concoction that threatens the lives of those at Moccasin Hollow in a spiteful plot against ex-SEAL Craige Ingram and the woman he loves.


His life would have been a lot longer if Johnny Crockett had ever learned that just about anybody could do things the easy way. Blessed with brains, no-boundaries imagination, and little-to-no street sense, it made the shortcuts too easy. He never worked for things he liked, ‘specially if it meant he had to sweat. Johnny was made for trouble. Johnny was greedy. The more money he had, the bigger a man it made him.

He slowed the old pickup to a stop at the edge of the canebrake clearing. Sea-blue shifty-mean eyes cut sharp and cunning as he checked for any uninvited snooping eyes. He brushed the sandy brown lock of hair back from a rugged face that had been called handsome. It was a damning gift, one he bent to his advantage anytime he wanted someone else to cover his backside.

The slippery red-clay ruts mired in a once-upon-a-time gravel road curved up toward the house. The extended eaves of the porches of the great age-worn house that was Redcliffe shadowed its tall windows. Gaunt un-curtained windows gaped like empty eye sockets in a sun-bleached skull. Johnny couldn’t keep his bone-deep trepidations at bay. The old lady had been dead for a number of years, but her cantankerous overseer was very much alive. Crockett half expected the wrinkled, toothless old man to burst out one of the doors, carrying the same long-barrel shotgun as last time. The man had threatened to gut-shoot him if Johnny trespassed again. Johnny hadn’t forgotten. He kept Redcliffe and the peeling stucco hunting lodge located behind it at a distance.
The hunting lodge was the first Redcliffe built nearly a hundred years ago. Eventually the mixed-up facts of the new Redcliffe and the old yard became known to the locals as Ardochy, named after a long forgotten Scottish grandmother whose maiden name was McArdy.

Folks there’bouts still talked about the McArdy family. “Whole McArdy clan was tetched in the head. Comes from bedding down with too many cousins. Kids’re funny looking, pinch-nosed and squat necked with wrinkly, whitish, chicken-skin bodies.”
Folks talked. “Was a god-sent blessin’ most’a them died ‘fore they hardly could walk.” Chugged a big swaller of a cold beer, “Never could’a growed into nuthin’ what could take care of itself.”

During afternoon teas church ladies abuzz amid dainty sips of Methodist cough medicine or homebrew brandy, their talk had nothing to do with facts. They just liked to ogle while they tittle-tattled.

Johnny didn't trust barely nobody, and except for a few, most didn’t trust Johnny Crockett. He should've stuck to what he knew best—bein’ lazy and sneaking beers from the cases on the delivery truck making its daily runs to local joints, including Mother’s Bar.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Internationally acclaimed author and public speaker, Hawk MacKinney began writing mysteries for his school newspapers. He served in the US Navy Reserve for over 20 years, and was a tenured faculty member at several state medical facilities, teaching postgraduate courses in both the United States and Jerusalem, Israel.

Since retiring Hawk has authored several novels that have received national and international recognition. Moccasin Trace, a historical novel, was nominated for the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award.

The Cairns of Sainctuarie, his science fiction series, includes The Bleikovat Event and The Missing Planets, with a third book in the works.
Hawk’s latest project focuses on The Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series. Book 1 in the series, Hidden Chamber of Death, was released early 2016.


Hawk MacKinney will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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