Works of Fiction 

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Riding the Hearse: A Novel of the Earp-Cowboy Conflict, Tombstone, Arizona Territory, 1879-1882 
What the popular media has treated as a simplistic clash between good and evil in the Old West, Riding the Hearse:  A Novel of the Earp-Cowboy Conflict, Tombstone, Arizona Territory, 1879-1882, elevates to a tragedy of Shakespearean dimensions.  Family dynamics, economic forces, political beliefs, philosophical concepts, historical forces and personal traits fuel the final confrontations that end in bloodshed.  Few writers, filmmakers, TV producers, or artists of any sort have dared to take this topic to such an ambitious level.  Yet Price has provided the authentic background that gave birth to the myth and has imbued the characters with the complexity they deserve.    

Order the Book: Go to Amazon.com to order Riding the Hearse.   (You can download to your computer for free Kindle for PCs or Kindle for MACs and read the book on your desktop.) 


Call Down Heaven's Fire 
Set in 12th century Europe when women had few rights and private warfare was commonplace, this novel uncovers the love affairs, harsh conflicts and changing religious beliefs of a young bachelor knight, William Pom, whose fate becomes tangled with such historical giants as King Henry II of England and Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury.  Pom's story opens when he is unwittingly drawn into a plot inspired by friends of King Henry to assassinate Becket who stands in the way of royal control of the English Church.  Becket is killed and it is Pom who deals the fatal blow.  Branded a pariah and sentenced in absentia by the pope to exile in Palestine, Pom flees to the South of France where he falls in love with Esclarmonde de Lusignan, daughter of a powerful Poitevin noble, who is engaged to marry William-Jordan Taillefer, youngest son of the count of Angoulême. 
    Discovering the lovers, William-Jordan exposes Pom to the justice of the church; Pom is transported to Palestine where he is to spend his life doing penance for his part in the murder of Becket.  But after ten ears of exile he returns to France to reclaim Esclarmonde, but also finds himself unexpectedly beguiled by winsome prostitute Mary of Vernon, who believes carnal passion can be redemptive.  This double romance explores the lines between love and passion amid a series of turbulent events including encounters with Richard the Lion-Hearted and William Marshal, the greatest knight in Christendom; a savage hand-to-hand combat with William-Jordan; and a calamitous rebellion against King Henry II.  Along the way Pom questions much about the world he lives in – the feudal system, the institution of chivalry, and the hypocrisy of the medieval church, even the nature of God.

Order the Book: Call Down Heaven's Fire is available on amazon.com and on barnesandnoble.com. (If you don't already know, you can download to your computer for free Kindle for PCs or Kindle for MACs or Nook for PCs or Nook for MACs and read the book on your desktop.) 

Four Sixes to Beat: John Wesley Hardin in El Paso
Based on the life of the West's most feared gunman, John Wesley Hardin, this novel trails the evil spawned by the son of a Methodist minister, named for the founder of Methodism, who was credited with no less than forty-two killings.  Eventually captured by Texas Rangers and convicted of murder, the book opens with Hardin having just completed sixteen years in Huntsville Penitentiary.  During his imprisonment his beloved wife Jane has died in poverty; his children have grown to adulthood in the homes of friends and relatives and are strangers.  He has pondered his guilt, embraced religion and studied the law.  Pardoned by the governor, he has settled in El Paso to take up a legal practice. Middle-aged and repentant, he longs to live out his remaining years as a model citizen.  He decides to write a confessional autobiography.  The act summons up not contrition but the thrills of his bloody past and his old longing for notoriety and justification of evil.  He allows himself to be drawn into a plot with corrupt lawmen Jeff Milton and George Scarborough to collect a reward for a client, fugitive Martin Mroz, whose wife Beulah is Hardin's degraded mistress.  The plot ends in murder and incurs the wrath of the feral El Paso constable Uncle John Selman, whose long-held reputation for ferocity Hardin's has eclipsed.  The stage is set for a fatal showdown.  

Order the Book: Four Sixes to Beat: John Wesley Hardin in El Paso will soon be available on amazon.com and at barnesandnoble.com. (If you don't already know, you can download to your computer for free Kindle for PCs or Kindle for MACs or Nook for PCs or Nook for MACs and read the book on your desktop.)

Above the Caprock
A man and a boy, each damaged by loss in different ways, come together by chance on the Texas ranch belonging to beautiful widow Helen Logan.  A Kiowa raiding party has wiped out the family of ex-army scout Clint Slater, leaving him hardened and disengaged from others; the boy, known only as Cant, born to a prostitute mother lost in morphine addiction, has fled his degraded life as a whorehouse errand-boy.  Helen Logan and her well-watered range are coveted by neighboring cattleman Print Boatwright who commands a crew of rustlers and hired gunmen.  When Boatwright recruits a mysterious killer named Santiago to seal his conquest, Slater is forced to act.  Cant, longing for the father he has never known, must choose between Slater's principled resolution and the strangely compelling evil of Santiago.

Order the Book: Above the Caprock on amazon.com or Above the Caprock at barnesandnoble.com. (If you don't already know, you can download to your computer for free Kindle for PCs or Kindle for MACs or Nook for PCs or Nook for MACs and read the book on your desktop.)



Vengeance on the Sweetgrass: A Literary Western 
Four years after innocent homesteaders Emma Waldroup and Jack Antrim are lynched for rustling by six cattle barons, cowboy Frank Brennan, an eye-witness to the hanging, returns to Graphite County vowing to bring justice with his testimony. But the courts won't help him and Brennan sets out to impose his own revenge, touching off a storm of violence.  When the lynchers strike back, cowhand-turned-homesteader and newly-elected county sheriff, Glenn Hardaman steps in to square accounts.  Justice comes in gunfire and blood.  Strangely, Hardaman's best ally is lovely Angelina Boutwell, strong-willed daughter of the most powerful of the lynchers, appalled to learn of her father's complicity.  Unexpected help also comes from a deadly ex-plainsman - one the the six who hanged Emma and Jack that day on the banks of the Sweetgrass River.  

Order the Book: Vengeance on the Sweetgrass on amazon.com or at Vengeance on the Sweetgrass at barnesandnoble.com. (If you don't already know, you can download to your computer for free Kindle for PCs or Kindle for MACs or Nook for PCs or Nook for MACs and read the book on your desktop.)

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Nor The Battle to the Strong: A Novel of the American Revolution in the South
Frederic C. Beil Publisher, 2008

A sweeping narrative covering a little-known but crucial period of the Revolutionary War, Nor the Battle to the Strong tells the separate but ultimately intertwined stores of two compelling characters, vastly different in background and outlook but destined to strive together in the last great pitched battle for American independence.

Order the Book Online: MalapropsAmazonBarnes & Noble

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Where the Water-Dogs Laughed: The Story of the Great Bear     (High Country, 2003) 
A giant bear embodying an ancient Cherokee myth that may be keeping the world in balance defends the Southern Appalachian forests against rapacious loggers. Its fate is entwined with that of Hamby McFee. The Prices, Curtises and their neighbors endure a deadly typhoid epidemic while the Will Price and Rebecca Curtis’s daughter Lillie plot to marry against the opposition of Will’s cruel foster father. Hamby McFee brings his relationship with the departed Rebecca full circle in a final bonding with Lillie. 

Winner, Clark Cox Award; First Finalist, Independent Book Award; Nominee, Sir Walter Raleigh Award, Appalachian Book of the Year, Weatherford Award of the Appalachian Studies Association.

Order the Book from the Author:
    Publication rights for Where the Water-Dogs Laughed have reverted to the author.  A limited number of pristine first editions are available to be signed, dated and personalized upon request for $15 including shipping (checks only).  If you wish to order a copy, download the pdf, complete the information, and send the form with a check to the address indicated.  Where the Water-Dogs Laughed Order Form

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The Cock's Spur   
(
John F. Blair, Publisher, 2002)
The Curtises, Prices and Daniel McFee’s stepson Hamby wrestle with questions of duty in a world made grim and pitiless by the hardships that follow the overturning of the social and economic system of the South during Reconstruction. Rebecca Curtis, Sarah’s daughter, is especially torn between caring for her mentally disturbed brother and her wish to marry and live a life of her own. She and Hamby McFee are strangely bound by a compelling lifelong affinity based not in blood or flesh but on loyalty, respect and unspoken love. 

One of the Ten Outstanding Books of the Year and Story Teller of the Year by Independent Publisher Magazine; winner of the Clark Cox Historical Fiction Award of the NC Society of Historians.

Order the Book: MalapropsJohn F BlairBarnes & NobleAmazon

Order the E-Book from Google Books at The Cock's Spur by Charles F. Price 

If you have a Nook, follow this link to instructions for transferring google books to your Nook -- From Google Books to My Nook 

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Freedom's Altar   
(John F. Blair, Publisher, 1999)
The Curtises and Prices struggle to survive the dislocations of the war and Reconstruction as well as the determination of former slave Daniel McFee to win acceptance from his former masters as a free man worthy of respect. Sarah Curtis, embittered by the war’s cost, is again a leading character, as is Salina, wife of Sarah’s only surviving son, who must strive to rekindle in her husband a desire for life and love almost extinguished by the horrors of battle.

Winner of the Sir Walter Raleigh Award of the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association as the best fiction of the year written by a North Carolina author. 

Order the Book: AmazonBarnes & NobleJohn F Blair

Order the E-Book from Google Books at Freedom's Altar by Charles F. Price 

If you have a Nook, follow this link to instructions for transferring google books to your Nook -- From Google Books to My Nook 

For information about Other Google Book Supported Reading Devices, go to Supported Devices  

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Hiwassee:  A Novel of the Civil War  
(Academy Chicago, 1996)
 
In this first novel, join the three Curtis brothers and friend Oliver Price in the Confederate Army of Tennessee and their families on the guerrilla-infested home front in the highlands of Western North Carolina. Prominent in the story is strong-willed Sarah Warren Curtis, who in a fever of patriotic spirit has urged her sons to take up arms, only to regret her enthusiasm when the war turns so vicious it not only spills the blood of her boys but exposes her to torture at the hands of marauders.
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Naked Came the Leap Peeper by Brian Lee Knopp, Linda Marie Barrett 
Charles F. Price contributed a minor Afterword, but it is the collaboration of the chapter-writers which is the wonder and the mainstay of the novel Naked Came the Leaf Peeper.  Western North Carolina, offering as it does its array of stereotypes ranging from the engaging to the bizarre, using parody as well as a sincere form of fond celebration of its topic, co-editors Brian Lee Knopp and his wife Linda Barrett Knopp have persuaded some of the region's most talented--and possibly deranged--authors to contribute the twelve 6,000-word chapters that make up the book.  Brian Lee Knopp, already acclaimed for his bestselling memoir Mayhem in Mayberry, sets the stage with an initial chapter strewn like a minefield with plot devices each of which succeeding authors pick up and carry on, not only maintaining a compelling and consistent story line but also freely throwing in more and more clever twists and turns so that the book becomes a hilarious unfolding of incident and deepening of character that draws the reader eagerly to the fabulous climax, written by Vanderbilt's Tony Earley, which will leave readers screaming with helpless laughter.

In between are chapters written by John P. McAfee, Susan Reinhardt, Gene Cheek, Wayne Caldwell, Fred Chappell, Vicki Lane, Tommy Hays, Alan Gratz, Linda Marie Barrett and Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle, writers known throughout the region for various styles of work but who, with this project, have thrown themselves gleefully into a murder-mystery spoof while somehow managing to deploy their individual styles yet maintain a consistent authorial voice throughout.

Order the Book: Malaprops