Friday, May 4, 2012

Never Smile Again

My latest book cover

       My third book was released last month and I'm just getting around to blogging about it. I've been so busy writing a script for a documentary on Colbert County during the Civil War, I haven't had time to promote my own book. To be honest, I've been quite stressed out about the documentary because I've been given just two weeks to get it written. On the opposite side, it has been fun working on something different. 
       Never Smile Again is based on the Shiloh Campaign and I do my best to keep things historically correct although it's written in novel form. I still believe Die Like Men is a much better book, but my wife doesn't agree. She actually cried when she read the part where General Albert Sidney Johnston died. I guess I liked Die Like Men better because it is my favorite campaign of the war. It demonstrated to what extent men are willing to go when called on to do their duty. 
       The one thing I wasn't real happy about was the cover. I didn't want my picture plastered across the front for fear of people thinking I have a huge ego. Unfortunately, I didn't have any say in that part. My publisher Angela Broyles and my wife Stacie were determined for this picture of me standing on the back porch of the Carter House in Franklin, Tennessee would be on the cover. I've learned in life, there is no use in arguing with women.

       The following is an excerpt from Never Smile Again.

       All the men were watching their commander’s temper rise with each passing moment. Suddenly, Forrest spun and shouted, “Boys, do you hear that musketry and artillery?”
                His men knew what was about to happen. Their commander had had enough. Everyone yelled in reply.
                Forrest shouted, “It means our friends are falling by the hundreds while we’re back here guarding a damned creek! I didn‘t ride all the way up here to guard no damned ford! We didn’t enter the service for such work! May as well be guarding a damned latrine! We are needed on the field! I say we go and help our men! What do you say?”
                Every man in the command replied with a shout. Forrest climbed on his horse and watched as his men began to mount. He yelled, “We’re goin’ up there, and we gonna bust hell wide open!”
                They rode north and soon turned on the Hamburg-Purdy Road. There were long-range artillery shells bursting overhead. Forrest rode on, impervious to the shrapnel raining down around him. Just up the road he found General Frank Cheatham.
                Forrest approached Cheatham, and not bothering to salute, he said, “I can’t have my men back here in this artillery fire. I need to charge.”
                Cheatham looked at Forrest with an expression of indifference. He wondered why Forrest was telling him this.
                Forrest asked, “Will you give me permission to charge?”
                Cheatham shook his head. “I don’t have the authority to give you permission to charge. You’re not under my command. Besides, several charges have been bloodily repulsed from going across that field already.”
                Cheatham noticed Forrest’s face growing redder by the minute. His blue eyes flashed. Cheatham quickly added, “I can’t order you to charge, but you can charge under your own orders. The responsibility will rest on you.”
                “Then I’ll charge under my own orders,” Forrest grumbled. He spun in the saddle and shouted to his men. “Form ranks in column of fours. We will advance in that formation.”

       Never Smile Again can be purchased from Amazon, Bluewater Publications, and should be available in Books-a-million any day now. 

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