When they came for him, he knew what he had to do...run!
Quaker farm-boy James Deeter escapes west ahead of Union Army recruiters, "aiming to look manly aboard my Appaloosa horse, long hair flying free from under a wide-brimmed, rawhide sombrero, a couple of six-shooters on my hips and a plains rifle dangling from a brass-tacked saddle."
Instead, Deeter lands smack in the middle of the bloody guerilla war along the Kansas-Missouri border, an even greater affront to human decency than the Civil War itself, and a shock to Deeter's pacifist upbringing.
To save his life, Deeter rides with rebel leaders William Quantrill, "Bloody Bill" Anderson, and the teen-aged James and Younger brothers.
To save his soul, he tries not to hurt anybody...
Which works for about a minute.
Can Deeter reconcile his peace-loving faith with his participation in some of the most violent episodes in American history?
Can he even survive?
His horse doesn't think so.
Dave Eisenstark has been writing professionally and working in the film industry in various capacities for more years than he actually remembers. Nine of his feature film scripts have been produced, including the award-winning comedy Monkey Love (starring Jeremy Renner) and the horror classic Creepozoids.
Like film producer George Lucas, Dave graduated with a degree from USC Cinema; unlike Mr. Lucas, everything else.
Dave's first novel, The Video Killer, is probably vile, tasteless trash, but possibly amusing, and currently available from Spanking Pulp Press.
Dave was born in Kansas, grew up in Kansas, and received his BA in English Literature from the University of Kansas. His interest in the Missouri/Kansas border war stems from that early exposure.
Dave now lives in Los Angeles with his wife, a production sound mixer on major motion pictures. His daughter resides in Beijing.
Yes, he has pets, who asked not to be mentioned.
For all things "Dave," go here:
(as yet unused)
BLEEDING KANSAS AVAILABLE AT:
This is a little gross.
I don't think it's extremely graphic, but it's a little disgusting and EXTREMELY funny! Which is why I picked it.
"This is ridiculous!" Bloody Bill repeated and he drew his pistol to reinforce the point. He aimed at Zeke.
"No!" I screamed.
"We ain't takin' anybody don't have all their parts," Bloody Bill stated.
"Now wait a minute," George Shepherd, the one-eyed guerilla leader replied, taking offense, pulling his pistol.
"Aw, Shepherd, I didn't mean you," Bloody Bill said, the closest to an apology anybody ever heard Bloody Bill utter.
"Stop it, all of you!" Quantrill ordered. "Help the boy on his horse."
A couple of guerillas saddled Zeke's horse and pushed him on. He sat there, one foot in the stirrup, ready to ride.
"But if you fall off," Quantrill said to Zeke, "we ain't stopping to put you back on. You understand that?"
"Let's ride to Lawrence," Zeke replied and everyone went "shhh" again.
"Okay, let's ride!" Quantrill ordered.
So we rode out, Quantrill in the lead, me right behind with that guerilla flag like it was a parade. Behind were the other guerilla leaders and their men. Bolten and Frank James flanked Zeke and when he started to slide off his saddle, they pushed him back on without Quantrill seeing it.
The Hansen dogs caught up with us after awhile and to my chagrin, they carried Zeke's leg in their teeth.
"What's that your dogs have got?" Quantrill inquired.
"Looks like a bone," Jesse James said.
"Looks like a leg!" Bloody Bill shouted out. "Hey, Zeke! Ain't that your leg?"
Zeke looked puzzled at the leg. Frank James and Bolten looked puzzled at me.
"You give Zeke's leg to your dogs, Smith?" Frank asked, a little shocked.
"No! I buried it!" I shot back. "And said a little prayer and marked the grave."
"Must of dug it up," Bloody Bill said and started chuckling. In fact, everybody started laughing right then at my expense. I looked at Zeke, knowing he was hurt by his leg showing up like that because I hadn't buried it deep enough. But Zeke was laughing too! Despite the fact he was pale as a sheet and looked ready to die, he thought the whole thing mighty funny. In fact, he laughed so hard, he fell right off his horse.
One of the neat parts of this Historical Fiction is the fact that some of the characters I am a little familiar with! That part of the reason why I LOVE these kinds of books! So when Author Dave Eisenstark was asked to put together a team of actors he would select to play his main characters, he had his work cut out for him. This is what he gave me.
James Deeter, 18. The lead role.
Richard Thomas 30 years ago (John-Boy Walton),
Anna Contreras, 18. James's love-interest.
These next 3 would totally have been considered "brat-packers".
Dave Eisenstark said, "give them Colt pistols and fast horses, and stand back."
Jesse James, at the time of Bleed Kansas he was only 16!
played by Rob Lowe
Frank James would have been about 20 years old.
Played by Judd Nelson
(I found this picture myself. Kinda perfect, right?)
Zack, 18. Deeter's best friend and an entirely fictional character.
Like Gary Busey.
William Clarke Quantrill, 26, already a famous guerilla leader at that age.
played by Jack Nicholson
Bloody Bill Anderson, 24.
A killer, no two ways about it, and flamboyant about it.
Gene Hackman is who Dave Eisenstark was thinking about when he wrote it.
Since some of these characters were real people, take a look at the pictures:
Who do you think they look like?
Are there any modern day actors you think could look and play the part?
Leave a comment for the author below!
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