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 naiveté 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.
PRAISE FOR THE FLEECING OF FORT GRIFFIN:
“… a work of colorful and humorous fiction,”
“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.”
“They made a simple cold camp, eating more jerky. By dark, the baron saw Gatliff’s campfire more than two hundred yards away and beyond it the several fires of the cavalry,”
This is the second book by Preston Lewis that I’ve read. The first book, Bluster’s Last Stand was a delight to read because of the authenticity of how Lewis wove his words and how he crafted his true-to-life characters.
The Fleecing of Fort Griffin reads much the same way, except like a short story in the span of 243 pages. A variety of characters is brought to life in old West fashion in the West Texas town of Fort Griffin.
You are first introduced to young Sammy Collins who lost both his parents and is taken in by an “aunt and uncle” who are not kin. As soon as the main character, Englishman Baron Paget steps off the stage, with a satchel full of English money that he proudly shows off for all to see – the story takes off and never stops. Enters a gambler, a woman widower, a married couple who swindle other men, and a conniving reverend just to name a few.
That’s not to mention the telling of how a vulture was captured or the literal cutting off of cat’s tails, or including using a rooster as a guard dog. I think only Lewis could make this up.
Let me say right here that indeed Preston Lewis can craft a story so well that by the end of the book I laughed my ass off because of the twists and turns in the story. Right, when I thought I knew how Fort Griffin would end literally made me laugh and gasp when the one major surprise was revealed at the end I NEVER saw coming. NEVER! That’s Lewis’ writing gift.
The Fleecing of Fort Griffin was more than a delightful read. It’s a story of characters that are all out to get that Englishman’s money, interwoven so perfectly well that the ending becomes brilliant. Seriously if you love Western, historical fiction with a twist you never see coming, along with some laughs, and authenticity – then this book should be on your must-read list.
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.