From Blue Ridge Books:
J.C. Walkup will read from her novel, Partners, at Blue Ridge Books on Saturday, March 29 at 3:00 pm.
In the novel, Partners murder, obsession and revenge drive young Ian McPhelan to flee Scotland for 1868 Texas. His one remaining family member, uncle Gerald McPhelan, murders his father and sends assassins to eliminate Ian.
Eighteen-year-old Ian escapes the attempts on his life but realizes that he cannot be safe in Scotland. Pump and cannon castings, Ian’s father’s investments, are bound for Texas on board the Theophelia, a cargo ship. Ian signs on as an ordinary seaman. During the voyage, Ian hatches a plan to revenge his family, retake Wintake and recreate his childhood home.
When a storm of epic proportions challenges the sturdy Theophelia. Ian rescues Chub, the ship’s cook who is swept overboard. Two days after arrival in Galveston, Ian leaves the ship, collects profits from his father’s investment and starts his journey west. Chub catches up with him and announces his determination to be Ian’s partner.
In 1868 reconstruction Texas, carpetbaggers running land scams abound. Ian and Chub buy sections of land in far west Texas from one of them. These same sections, 640 acres each, have been already sold to Moses Tabor, a man with a dark past and a dark heart.
Ian’s twin obsessions continue to drive him. First, he plans to ruin his Uncle, return to Scotland and reclaim Wintake. Next, he wants to recreate the happy, safe family of his childhood. A lovely, fair Scottish lassie, much like his memory of his mother, is his ideal wife.
In San Antonio, Ian rescues a French/Indian orphan girl from slavery. She joins Chub and Ian when they hire on to a cattle drive headed west. She saves Chub’s life when he is kidnapped and left for dead. She saves Ian’s life during a raid on the drive.
He is blind to the family that forms around him as he journeys across the Atlantic and the vast land ocean of Texas.
J. C. Walkup, a Texas native who now resides in Haywood County, is one of the founders of the literary magazine, Fresh, and is a member of the Mountain Writers of North Carolina.