Today on Savvy Saturday we have DJ Davis here again to tell us a little about her new book. Welcome back DJ!
DJ: Thank you. I’m thrilled to be back with my second novel from Champagne Books. As a new author, who knew very little about the publishing business, I feel as if I’ve found a family. From query to release, the talented, warm people at Champagne made it easy and fun.
DJ: Yes, I did. Meet Troy Hart. Troy is a man of the mountains who enjoys quiet places, restoring old cabins, cooking over a campfire, and spending time with his obnoxious⎯but lovable⎯friend Eric.
Welcome Troy! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Troy: Well, I like the history of the old west and Colorado in particular. Eric would tell you it’s my gig. It is, but it’s more than that. Sometimes, when I touch certain antiques, I have visions of the its past. Sounds pretty cool, huh? Most of the time it is. But sometimes history doesn’t stay in the past. When the dead start walkin’ and talkin’ in my head, things tend to go bad in a big way.
Where is this book set, DJ?
DJ: The setting in the remote mountains of central Colorado near my fictional town of Rockglen. Those who read my first novel, Courageous Cain, will recognize it. Gordon Wolfe, who is now the sheriff, makes a cameo appearance.
Is there any significance to the location?
DJ: There certainly is. Colorado has its own bits of interesting Civil War history. Troy’s adventure begins where history left off, when the ghost of an outlaw forces him to fulfill his dying wish.
In April, 1864, Captain James Reynolds of the Texas Cavalry rode north toward the Colorado Territory. It is widely believed he had plans to recruit enough men along the way to raid and burn Denver as Quantrill had Lawrence, Kansas.
The gang (which had dwindled to nine men) came to the town of FairPlay, Colorado, as it had once been home to Jim Reynolds and his brother, John. They robbed their way up and down South Park, stealing from ranches, stage coach stations, miners and travelers.
The ranchers and miners formed a posse. The gang fled up Deer Creek above the present day town of Conifer, where the Reynolds brothers cached their treasure, to the tune of $65,000, in a prospect hole. That night, July 30, 1864, they were attacked. One man was killed and two escaped. One was shot not long after while stealing horses. The other was Jim’s brother, John.
The remaining gang members were captured, tried, and sentenced to Fort Leavenworth, but never got there. Their escort, the Third Regiment of Colorado Volunteers, executed them on the way. The prisoners were manacled together and blindfolded. Jim Reynolds refused to tell what they had done with money and the gang was shot down.
John Reynolds went to Santa Fe where he befriended Albert Brown and started robbing again. In October, 1871, they headed for Denver. Near Taos, in an attempt to steal fresh horses, Reynolds was mortally wounded. Before he died, Reynolds told Brown about the cache and drew a map of the area. He told Brown to look for a butcher knife with a broken handle stuck in a tree, pointing to the prospect hole.
Brown searched the Deer Creek area, but never did find the treasure. A forest fire had burned the timber and the knife marker was lost.
Some believe the treasure was discovered in 1906 by two prospectors who found $18,000 in gold dust in an abandoned shaft, but the location wan’t right. Many others believe Jim Reynolds’s cache is still there, buried in the mountain. Who knows? Maybe it is. I sure hope, because Troy’s life depends on it.
I hear there is a romantic interest. Care to tell us a little about her, Troy?
Troy: What can I say about Summer Star? She stole my heart. But I stole hers, too, and it wasn’t easy. She considered herself damaged goods. You wouldn’t believe what I had to go through to convince her I didn’t agree. But I had to do it, because of something my grandfather used to say. He would gaze at the night sky and point out Venus. Some call it the evening star or the morning star. He called it the summer star. He often told me that a man who’d found his summer star had found his heart. He was right.
Thank you for being here today DJ and Troy! We loved hearing from you.
Loner and history buff Troy Hart gets more than he bargained for when his psychic connection to the past leads him to the mountains of Colorado. The legend of buried treasure is nothing new, but falling in love is—and that’s the last thing Troy wants.
Troy’s visions of the old west are all fun and games, until the ghost of an outlaw forces Troy to fulfill his dying wish. To save his own life, and the life of the woman he loves, Troy must follow the trail of greed, betrayal and revenge on a treasure hunt for lost Civil War gold.
Now the fun is over and the game is survival as Troy battles the elements, a dead man, and his own heart deep in the remote high country.
DJ Davis is a Colorado native and the rugged high country sets the scene for her stories. When she's not writing, she can be found hiking with her dogs, photographing the wildlife, or camping with her husband. A Great Dane runs her life.
A portion of each sale of her novel "Courageous Cain" will be donated to Big Bones Canine Rescue in Windsor, Colorado. Help us help big dogs in need.