Occult .45: Four Tales of Gunrunning in the Weird West
by Nick Caracano
(Excerpt from Goodreads) Preston Cobb is always looking to make a quick buck selling any kind of gun he can get his hands on, but when the denizens of the weird west get in the way, Preston’s his own best customer. Join Preston as he faces an ancient evil in the snowy Sierra Nevadas in ABOMINABLE, finds romance and bloody mystery in Nevada mining country in SILVER MOON, and squares off with the undead south of the border in DEAD TO RITES. Finally, Cobb finds retirement more exciting than he’d like in an exclusive bonus short story: GUNRUNNER TO THE STARS.
“Reminds me of my first wedding!” I said.
The lock on the chapel doors gave a long, ear-curdling screech and shattered. The doors burst open, knocking the stacked pews aside. In a haze of dust, the undead appeared, swarming through the opening, groans rising in triumph.
I turned the hand-crank and fire spewed out of the barrel of the Gatling gun. I swept it back and forth across the opening of the church doors. Skulls exploded, bodies jerked and limbs separated as hundreds of bullets shredded through the mass. The first rank of the ghouls disappeared in a pink haze and I kept firing at the vague silhouettes behind them. Bullet casings rained down on the adobe floor and I cursed and shook my leg as a smoking cartridge landed in my shoe.
Over the thunder of the gun firing round after round, Sister Cardona asked, “Emilio Vega and Ana Lucia Ana Lucia, have you come here freely and without reservation to give yourselves to each other in marriage? Will you love and honor-”
“Get to the I-Do’s!” I yelled, turning the crank faster while the undead shambled over their fallen brethren. The Gatling cut through the undead like a sawmill through a log, but there was a whole forest of corpses shambling through the double doors. Sister Ruiz and Sister Ybarra loaded as fast as possible, but the gun began to sputter when the feeds ran dry. The undead spread out from the edge of the door and I turned the gun in wider arcs.
“Do you Emilio Vega, take Ana Lucia Ana Lucia to be your wife? Do you promise to be true-”
“Faster!” I yelled. The nuns fired their shotguns at the ghouls I was missing. Sister Purificación sat with her back against one wall of the church, firing her rifle again and again. She shot a corpse through the eye and it fell onto her shattered legs. She screamed.
Nick Carcano spent his childhood pulling cactus out of his feet and listening to coyotes howl in the California high desert. He speaks rusty Mandarin and Spanish. When he’s not writing his day job involves literally saving the world, which sometimes involves shooting zombies, but usually involves a lot of e-mail. If you like dim sum, RPGs, sci-fi, or corgis, you should be his friend. He’s currently working on The Big Weird One a series of sci-fi/horror short stories set during WWII and will release his first novel, Boom: A Wild West Heist, in fall 2015.
This is a compilation of four stories: Silver Moon, Abominable, Dead to Rites, and Gunrunner to the Stars. Preston Cobb makes his living running guns with a paranormal twist.
In Silver Moon he finds himself in Virginia City, NV. There is a little werewolf problem and he is the man to help stop it. Among the murders and silver mines he finds himself a wife too.
Abominable has Preston trying to get a shipment of guns to Elko, NV but he finds himself caught in the mountains in the middle of a blizzard. But things get interesting when Preston and an Indian youth are the only ones to stop the si-te-cah, Indian trolls.
The Devil temps Preston in Dead to Rites. Preston is in Mexico bringing guns to both the government and the rebels when he gets into a zombie rising. The Devil has his sights set on a cross in the local church and it’s up to Preston and the nuns to keep it safe.
Finally in Gunrunner to the Stars Preston is an elderly man. One night while sitting on his porch a UFO crashed into his barn followed close behind by another one. The aliens are having a battle to the death but their guns are not working, in steps Preston to give them a little helping hand.
I like westerns and love the paranormal so this was a great book for me. Also, the first two stories are from towns in Nevada, I live by Virginia City and really enjoy reading stories based around the state.
Preston Cobb is not the most likable guy; he is the snake oil salesman of guns. But when things get tough you can count on him to do whatever it takes to get out alive. But in the way he does have to step up and help. Out of all of the stories I think I’m partial to Dead to Rites. I’m a zombie fan and love the concept behind the story.
This is a great little compilation of weird western stories that many will like. This is one that you will want to check out.
For more information on Occult .45 be sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Goodreads.
I received this book from Reading Addictions, a Virtual Book Tours Host.
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