Saturday Snippet – Stuckey’s Gold

Here’s a snippet from my coming release:

STUCKEY’S GOLD: THE CURSE OF LAKE JUZAN

stuckey Gold Cover smallBlurb

In 1840, Pierre Juzan was an innkeeper on the shores of Lake Juzan. His business was successful, but he wanted more. One day he got wind of a coach transporting a trunk of gold near his home, and his actions on that fateful day would spark an Indian curse that would haunt his family for four generations. Seventy years later, can Penelope Juzan break the curse, or will she suffer the same tragic fate as her forefathers?

“The Legend of Stuckey’s Bridge” and “Stuckey’s Legacy: The Legend Continues” told tales of the gold leaving a trail of destruction from Meridian, Mississippi to Jekyll Island, Georgia. In “Stuckey’s Gold: The Curse of Lake Juzan,” we may find the victims in the original tales were merely bit players in a story that is far darker and more sinister than one could imagine.

“Stuckey’s Gold: The Curse of Lake Juzan” is the final installment in the “Stuckey’s Bridge Trilogy” and is the tale of four generations struggling to escape a curse caused by greed.

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The sun had already reached its highest point and was slowly beginning its descent behind them. By the look of the shadows, Leon guessed it was around three o’clock. He knew the traveling distance from the county line, so he figured the coach would be arriving at any moment. As he recalculated its arrival time, he heard horse hooves on the road. The two sat silent and still on their horses and watched the man from last night trot past them. Their plan was to let him travel by unharmed as to not warn the drivers of impending danger. They would take care of him later.

Not more than a few minutes had passed before they heard the grinding of wagon wheels. Two men sat in the driver’s seat of the wooden coach. One was whistling a tune. Leon was feeling anxious and wanted to get on with it, so he decided to make the annoying whistler his first target. He pulled out his bow, armed it with an arrow, took aim through the trees, and let his arrow fly. It hit its intended target and the whistling abruptly stopped. The whistler slumped in his seat, an arrow through the left side of his neck. The horses didn’t flinch, but the man’s partner looked over at him and his jaw dropped. Leon quickly pulled out another arrow, aimed, and put it through the chest of the second man as he still stared at his partner in disbelief. The second man slumped in the seat.

From higher up on the hill, Pierre rode his horse out of the woods and fell in line behind the wagon. He gave Leon a nod. Leon nodded back. Leon tucked his bow away and emerged from the woods, trotting alongside the wagon. The wagon’s team kept pulling the wagon forward, oblivious to the fact they no longer had a driver. They began to pick up speed as the road began to slant downhill. Leon grabbed the side of the wagon and pulled himself onto it, abandoning his own horse on the road. He crawled across the canvas back and climbed over the rail, into the driver’s seat. He grabbed the whistler by the shirt and pushed him over the side. The man plopped onto the road like a sack of potatoes, and Leon felt the coach jostle and heard bones snap as the back wheel of the wagon ran over some part of the whistler’s body. He grimaced at the sound.

Behind him, Pierre grabbed Leon’s abandoned horse’s reins and continued down the hill, pulling Leon’s horse along with him. Leon glanced back and saw both horses neigh and rear up when they approached the whistler’s body unexpectedly sprawled in the middle of the road.

He turned his attention back to the coach’s horses. They were now nearing a gallop down the hill. He reached down on the floor of the wagon and fumbled around until he found the reins. He grabbed them and was about to pull back on them when the butt of a gun came down on top of his head. He saw stars as he fell to the floor of the coach. He turned his head and saw the whistler’s partner pointing a revolver at his face. As the driver clicked the hammer back, Leon kicked the gun out of the man’s hand. He heard it bounce off the edge of the wagon then discharge as it hit the ground. The sound echoed through the trees, startling the wagon’s horses who took off at full gallop.

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STUCKEY’S GOLD is available at Amazon!

The Creation of a Creepy Trilogy…by accident.

Stuckey's cover_webLast year, I wroteThe Legend of Stuckey’s Bridge. If you haven’t read it, it’s based on an old Mississippi legend and is the story of an inn keeper who murdered his guests, confiscated their wealth, and buried their bodies on the banks of the river. When a nearby bridge was rebuilt years later, the workers began uncovering bodies, and Old Man Stuckey was eventually found out. I had a blast getting inside the head of a serial killer and writing the story. While creating the tale, I decided Old Man Stuckey couldn’t be alone with his thoughts throughout the entire story, so I had him run across a young boy named Levi. I guess being in psycho mode at the time of writing, young Levi became quite a creepy character himself.

Following the book’s release, I received a bunch of emails and messages asking me what the deal was with Levi. Apparently, he captured everyone’s attention.

 

unnamedSo, I gave it some thought and penned the second book in the trilogy, Stuckey’s Legacy: The Legend Continues.” It was released May 2014. In that book, which takes place a decade after Old Man Stuckey paid for his crimes, young Levi is 22 years old and living off the wealth of the Old Man. He’s hobnobbing with the rich and famous on Jekyll Island off Georgia’s coast. When he meets the beautiful and mysterious Penelope Juzan, he is mesmerized, and an intense game of cat and mouse begins.

In the great state of Mississippi, not far from the real Stuckey’s Bridge, lies the black, swampy waters of Lake Juzan. It is surrounded by its own legend of an inn keeper who murdered his guests, confiscated their wealth, and buried their bodies in the depths of the lake. Well, who wouldn’t grab that and run with it? 🙂

 

stuckey Gold Cover smallThe legend of Lake Juzan became the basis for the third in the trilogy, “Stuckey’s Gold: The Curse of Lake Juzan.”  Penelope Juzan’s great grandfather was Lake Juzan’s inn keeper and the original holder of the trunk of gold that made its first appearance in “Stuckey’s Bridge.”  When all is said and done, Old Man Stuckey and Levi are only bit players in a story that is far darker and more sinister than even they could have imagined.

“Stuckey’s Gold” is the tale of four generations trying to escape the curse that is Lake Juzan.

Lori Crane Books at Amazon