Wild Pony Publishing

Price: $16.99

Carolina gamble


       The boy can take no more. He is lost. He is desperate to flee his wrecked family—his abusive father, his religion-besotted mother, and the family hovel, his home of sixteen years. He must escape the unrelenting grind of poverty and the life-sucking mire that is the slums of Petersburg .

        The gaming parlors hidden away in the magnificent hotels of downtown have lured him like a moth to a dark night’s fire. Within two quick decades, he has amassed a fortune. Even so, he is haunted by a vague emptiness. He has long believed life must have meaning and feels a great destiny awaits him. With the flip of a card, Samuel Elwyn Biggs has won an undeveloped expanse of land in North Carolina from an aged and obviously “consumptive” man who no longer cares that he is dying and cares even less for the possessions he spent a lifetime accruing. With the winnings, Sam’s life is changed forever—his destiny has arrived.

       Sam is intent upon establishing a plantation with his new holdings. He finds his neighbor, Hesper Griffen, owner of the plantation to his north, is mentally ill and an alcoholic—and one sickness feeds the other. For years Griffen has ruled the countryside into which Sam has arrived with a  frenzied and deadly tyranny. He has long felt the abandoned land which Sam now owns is rightfully his. Determined to crush the interloper, he violently confronts Sam but quickly finds the newly arrived stranger has no fear of him and that his brand of  retaliation is not only aggressive, but extreme. Thus, a war erupts between the two  men.  Neither fears the other and neither will back down.

       Emmett Detwyler, Sam’s neighbor to the south, is also a wealthy and respected plantation owner. He, too, has little use for Hesper Griffen. With an agenda of his own, he befriends Sam and becomes his mentor. With Emmett lives Rose, a mysterious and beautiful young woman. She is not Emmett’s wife nor is she his daughter. The two are devoted to each other.

       Sam and Rose fall in love and wish to marry, but she continually forestalls the wedding—there are secrets that must be told. Secrets that hint of incest and sexual aberrations. Secrets that can ruin lives.

And there are many wrongs which must be righted.

 Title:  Carolina gamble

ISBN:  978-0-615-23732-9
Author:  Dwight V. Murray
Publisher:  Wild Pony Publishing
softcover/316 pages/approx.size 6" x 9"/trade

About the Author:
Dwight V. Murray was born in Castalia, N.C., in 1944.  As a sharecropper's son, his family lived in many parts of the area east and northeast of Raleigh.  Like the children of many such families, he attended a new school almost each passing year and graduated Red Oak High School in Red Oak, N. C. with a class of 31 in 1962.
Even though the life of a sharecropper was hard, his and his family's was not unlike that of the slaves of our nation's past, i.e., people slaving for the landlord.  And from that upbringing, he began to respect the ruggedness of the people who first settled the area in which Carolina gamble is set.  He grew to understand the strong-willed and fierce determination required to build such huge and magnificent plantations, and felt the drudgery and helplessness of the slave in the fields.  He began to develop a deep interest in the Antebellum Period (those few decades before the Civil War)  and of all things to do with the war itself.  A milestone in his young life was discovering his great grandfather, William "Gus" Murray, was wounded in the war and surrendered with General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox.  It was then, his interest in all things of the Old South grew dramatically.
In a roundabout way, he ended up in Houston, Texas.  His career became that of a Restorations General Contractor, restoring worn-out and damaged homes and buildings.  And it was with such required attention to detail he felt he could rebuild those nearly lost stories from his past.  After retiring, he decided to tell those stories.
Such a story is Carolina gamble.
Copyright Year:  2009