Please welcome Hawk MacKinney, author of Moccasin Trace.
Hawk will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
… it was about the land…a tale of love and loss and hope…
“The most engaging and brilliantly crafted historical work since Margaret Mitchell’s great classic.”
Author, The Gospel According to Prissy
Hamilton Ingram looked out across the fertile Georgia bottomlands that were Moccasin Hollows, seeing holdings it had taken generations of Ingrams to build. No drop of slave sweat ever shed in its creation. It was about the land…his trust, his duty to preserve it for the generation of Ingrams to come…
It is July of 1859, a month of sweltering dog days and feverish emotional bombast. Life is good for widower Rundell Ingram and his Hazel-eyed, roan-haired son, Hamilton. Between the two of them, they take care of Moccasin Hollows, their rustic dogtrot ancestral home, a sprawling non-slave plantation in the rolling farming country outside Queensborough Towne in east Georgia. Adjoining Ingram lands is Wisteria Bend, the vast slave-holding plantation of Andrew and Corinthia Greer, their daughter Sarah, and son Benjamin.
Both families share generations of long-accepted traditions, and childhood playmates are no longer children. The rangy, even-tempered Norman-Scottish young Hamilton is smitten with Sarah, who has become an enticing capricious beauty—the young lovers more in love with each passing day, and only pleasant times ahead of them.
But a blood tide of war is sweeping across the South, a tide that might be impossible to stand before.
More shocks rumbled across the land the first two weeks into the new year.
"This Augusta Constitutionalist newspaper rag is supportin' those talking Yankee politics," Rundell snapped to another page of the paper. "One day those Northern democrats will wake up and see they've been sold a sack of barnyard manure." He flipped to the next page. "Hmmm...seems Lincoln don't like Crittenden's compromise. Aside from bein' a politician, Lincoln's like every other lawyer I ever known...cain't believe nothing they say."
Hamilton reached for another slice of the pork roast. "He never struck me as being different from other radicals raising a ruckus...not the compromising type."
Rundell kept reading, "Mississippi and Florida followed South Carolina, and it don't appear William Yancey and the Alabamians are far behind."
"If Tennessee votes to go out, Georgia'll be surrounded by stand-alone states."
"I doubt there's enough levelheadedness to stay the momentum with the tug gettin' harder to resist. For what it's worth I think Georgia'll go with the Gulf states, and be worse in the doing. Seems Ben Franklin was right thinkin' we couldn't keep our Grand Republic. He'd be sad to behold knowing his prediction has come to this sort of fruition."
"Some claim it was never worth much."
"Pity everything's swung to excess," Rundell said, disgusted more than angry. "Windbag braggadocio done took the saddle. Voice a conviction other than cuttin' loose, it's looked upon as disloyalty. Called such in public. Hotheads makin' honor an excuse, and the same's stirring up North. No longer just the conniving abolitionists, ever'one's tearing at the old. I don't envy Andrew bein' in Milledgeville next week."
"Sarah said her papa's away from home more often than not."
"He's gonna be away a lot more," Rundell let the paper slide to the floor. "Think I'll turn in...been a long day."
As Hamilton cleared the table, he thought how all the doings, including harvesting an' hauling, were whyttelin' more and more into his and Sarah's time. He hadn't been over to the Bends in more'n a week.
Last time he buggied into town to fetch barrels of flour and bags of salt, he mentioned that prices were up some from last time as he paid.
"Costs are going steady up," the feed store clerk said. "...price of a bale dropped again.
Least he'd mended several sections of grazing fences, got the new one put up around the feedlot, and got shingles split for patchin' the cotton shed roof. Helped birth the new calves earlier in the week, rubbed 'em good till the cows started lickin' 'em dry. In what little daylight was left before supper today he'd finally got the firewood cut and stacked. He headed to bed. He was bushed.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
With postgraduate degrees and faculty appointments in several medical universities, Hawk MacKinney has taught graduate courses in both the United States and Jerusalem. In addition to professional articles and texts on chordate neuroembryology, Hawk has authored several works of fiction.
Hawk began writing mysteries for his school newspaper. His works of fiction, historical love stories, science fiction and mystery-thrillers are not genre-centered, but plot-character driven, and reflect his southwest upbringing in Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma. Moccasin Trace, a historical novel nominated for the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award, details the family bloodlines of his serial protagonist in the Craige Ingram Mystery Series… murder and mayhem with a touch of romance. Vault of Secrets, the first book in the Ingram series, was followed by Nymrod Resurrection, Blood and Gold, and The Lady of Corpsewood Manor. All have received national attention. Hawk’s latest release in the Ingram series is due out this fall with another mystery-thriller work out in 2014. The Bleikovat Event, the first volume in The Cairns of Sainctuarie science fiction series, was released in 2012.
"Without question, Hawk is one of the most gifted and imaginative writers I have had the pleasure to represent. His reading fans have something special to look forward to in the Craige Ingram Mystery Series. Intrigue, murder, deception and conspiracy--these are the things that take Hawk's main character, Navy ex-SEAL/part-time private investigator Craige Ingram, from his South Carolina ancestral home of Moccasin Hollow to the dirty backrooms of the nation's capital and across Europe and the Middle East."
Barbara Casey, President
Barbara Casey Literary Agency