River Town is a collection of short stories set in 1890s West Virginia. The combined work of six different authors, the tales range from adventure to romance, from intrigue to fantasy. Each story stands alone, yet together they take readers to a time along the Kanawha River just after the Civil War when families were still struggling to recover and before the railroad came through the mountains. The river was the center of everything.
The book was featured in Sunday’s Charleston (WV) Sunday Gazette-Mail book section.
And a story in the Charleston Daily Mail Entertainment Section .
Here’s a quick teaser:
Hayden Lowe may or may not have killed a man out west. No one seems to know why he’s back in River Town, though his friend, Lillian Conley, is keeping a private journal full of clues. Will Captain JD Dawson lose his beloved sternwheeler, the Miss Jayne Marie, in a winner-takes-all bet? Julia Hubbard has a secret project, Andrew Wilson is plotting on the dusty streets of River Town, and what about that strange Dame Roxalana? There is more to Roxie than anyone is willing to say. The men in the coal mines around River Town seem to be developing a mysterious condition that no one can explain, yet everyone is whispering about it.
Before all is said and done, each of these characters will intersect in unexpected ways. The resolutions are as suspenseful as they are satisfying.
The book features the work of Shawna Christos, G. Cameron Fuller, Elizabeth Gaucher, Katharine Herndon and Jane Siers Wright.
Other blog posts about River Town
Early Reviews for River Town
“Rather than the eight stand-alone stories from different writers united around common characters in the same (historic) place and time that I expected, RIVER TOWN, in its whole is more like a progressive dinner where we travel to each writer’s home for each portion of a delightful collective meal. Every course is delicious on its own, but the true treat is finishing the last bite and appreciating the beauty of the sum of its parts.”
– Daniel Boyd, Filmmaker, Author
“Douglas and his group do a good job of weaving historical fiction and mysticism into a unique Appalachian story. The writers use Point of View storytelling to effectively engage the readers and slowly evolve and reveal the shared characters about which they write in interesting and unexpected ways.”
– Bill Woodrum
“Douglas and company have created an authentic vision of Post-Civil War Appalachia – full of bravado, mystery, and magic. Readers need only open the pages to find themselves instantly transported aboard a sternwheeler, headed up river for adventure.”
– Frank Larnerd editor of Hills of Fire: Bare-Knuckle Yarns of Appalachia
What follows is a witch hunt, a steamboat race, a love story, and a coal mine mystery. River Town is a great layered story and I hope that there’s a sequel written.