As for who Raymond Cook is, well, I’m a 62 year old disabled veteran. In 1972, at the age of 18, I enlisted in the marine Corp. My plan was to retire. But fate has a way of changing our destiny. In 1974 on my way back to my base, a drunk driver hit me head-on going 80 MPH and my life was forever changed. Those were my darkest days. Eventually in 1983 I enrolled in college and took a creative writing class as an elective. At that point I had no interest at all in becoming a writer or author. In truth, how many people have taken a writing course in high school or college and believed one day they would write a book?
Little did I realize what a ‘profound Impact’ that class and my instructor, Mr. Art Wicks would have on my future. Between 1983 and 2010 I wrote my poetry and short stories, but refused to believe that one day I could set down and pen thousands of words, put a title to what would one day be considered a book. In 2003, I wrote a 5 page western romance story I simply called, “A Western Romance Story!” It was only meant to be a short story. Each year though I would add a few pages to the story because I liked the story plot and characters. In 2011 while wanting to add 10 more pages to what was now a 50 page story, ‘something happened’ and it became my first novel called, “Was It Fate Or Destiny?”
This is my 5th year writing western frontier novels.
I recently learned that Arthur William David Wicks, my college professor who taught Creative Writing to me in 1983 recently died on Nov. 10, 2013. It is a great loss to the world because he truly touched the lives of his students, me in particular. Without his guidance, encouragement and inspiration, none of my eBooks or poetry would have been written.
An author’s goal is to not just ‘Entertain a reader’ but to try to touch the reader’s emotions too. After all, that’s the entire purpose of reading a book, to enjoy what you’ve read.
Migrating to the Colorado Territory was not without perils. From cholera, smallpox, broken wagon wheels, Indian attacks, lost children, injuries, rattlesnake bites, taking the wrong road, blizzards, starvation and even robbery could crush the dreams of a pioneer family.
Sometimes Life Can Be Very Cruel! is a 179 page story about Arnold and Bonnie Brown who with their two children, Missy, age fourteen and Autumn, five years old traveled by covered wagon from Independence, Missouri on their way to Marble, Colorado in 1897. A rancher by the name of Eddie Fields loved to prey on pioneer families by switching a sign on the main road to lead folks in covered wagons to his ranch.
After taking that wrong turn Arnold and his wife find themselves at his ranch at dusk. Arnold asks the man if they can spend the night but that was a tragic mistake. Eddie kills Arnold and his wife; before beating Missy savagely. As the killer carries Autumn towards his cabin, Missy shoots the man with her pa’s pistol but doesn’t kill him. Filled with terror; she picks up her little sister and runs for the forest before she’s shot in the arm.
After three days they’re hungry and scared to death after living on nuts and berries. Finally Missy and her sister reach a main road. A couple on their way to Marble spot the two children on a road. They’re taken to town so a home for the children can be found. The mayor and city council will hold a meeting where all interested families can plead their case as to why they would be the best family to provide the two children with a loving home.
Amazon 5 Star Comment. Another excellent book. July 25, 2015. Excellent book, I really like this author, as soon as I finish one I start another, and when they fit together it’s wonderful.
Book Review: Can you remember the emotions you had as a child when your parents made the decision to move out of town, out of-state or out of country? Now put yourself in fourteen year old Missy’s shoes and 4 year old Autumn’s as their parents load all their belongings into covered wagons leaving Independence, Missouri for Colorado Territory?
Parents always know what the children can’t comprehend. Arnold and Bonnie Brown were had apprehensions about out rooting their two daughters from the only home they had ever known. Stories about Indians, cholera, smallpox, broken down wagons, lost children and countless other dangers kept them up at night discussing the risks. After fifteen of struggling on this dry, unforgiving land with hot humid summers, Arnold and Bonnie longed for the promised land of 160 acres with fresh water, herds of deer and lush green meadows for their girls to play in.
Almost to the end of the perilous journey, it’s a thief and a murderer named Eddie who becomes the Brown’s worst nightmare. Fourteen year old Missy is forced to shoot Eddie after he kills both her parents, beats her and is intent in harming her little sister Autumn. After Missy is shot in the shoulder she grabs her sister and runs into the dense, unknown forest for protection and is forced scavenge for wild berries to keep them both from starving. Terrified of running into black bears, cougars, wolves, coyotes and maybe even grizzly, Missy holds on tight to Autumn’s hand.
Walking for days they finally come upon a road where a couple stopped their buckboard and took them into town. The mayor and town council must decide who will adopt both girls. It was decided that Carl Jackson and his wife Cheyenne would take the girls into their home, offered love, comfort and a hope of healing from what they witnessed. Missy will always be over protective of Autumn who has a better chance of accepting the loss of her parents.
Loss of a loved one at any age is difficult, but loss of both parents at a young age cause the child to lose their compass. Life marches on for Missy and Autumn, but it is also hard and challenging as you will discover when you read this book. Kids grew up faster and tougher in many ways in those days. I invite you to read ‘Sometimes Fate Can Be Very Cruel’ and see what happens to these two young girls. If you have a sibling that you are close to, you will understand the sister bond between Missy and Autumn. As you read you will see what life has in store for both girls. Can their sister bond they share ever be threatened or broken by time or even distance?
I have several of Raymond Cook’s twenty-five western family sagas. Each book stand alone and can be read out of order. . If you like western family drama that is much like ‘Little House On The Prairie’ then you will enjoy the western series of books from Author Raymond Cook.
I personally endorse Sometimes Fate Can Be Very Cruel! Book # 9 by Raymond Cook. His next book, a western romance titled ‘The Gunnison Serial Killer’ is promised to be released soon. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle. This review was completed on October 4, 2016