$12.97 in softcover
$3.97 in Kindle
The Willing Spirit
by Greg Camp
Henry Dowland is a survivor, but he doesn't know why. His childhood was torn from him by years
of torment at the hands of his domineering father. He escaped by joining the Confederacy to
fight for a way of life he'd only dreamed of, a life of gentility and peace, but the realities
of war ripped that dream away too, leaving even more questions. Now he drifts westward, seeking
redemption and answers. What he finds is a boy he's never seen and doesn't know – a lad
not yet fourteen – who wants him dead.
Dowland wants to know why.
And he won't let anything take away this answer.
Praise for The Willing Spirit
A new guy rode into the sagebrush pen business and danged if he ain't good at it. Pick up his latest,
you won't be disappointed one bit.
~ Dusty Richards, Western Heritage Award Winner and two-time Spur Award Winner
An exciting read for fans who like their stories served up with strong black coffee boiled
on a campfire and villains who aren't easily detected.
~ Velda Brotherton, author of Wilda's Outlaw – The Victorians
This is prime Greg Camp.
I can say that because I know the man. I've sat in group and listened to him read from various
works—including this one—and I've read and reviewed his sci-fi/espionage thriller
A Draft of Moonlight. I know the caliber of his work, and this is him at the top of his form.
I read Westerns more when I was a teenager, mostly Louis L'Amour. And while Greg's voice is nothing
like L'Amour's, that doesn't detract from it. L'Amour wrote in the oral storyteller vein and had a
voice that was suited to that. Camp writes with a more educated feel, but his stories are still
just as action-filled as any Sackett novel could hope to be.
Henry Dowland, the protagonist, is a Confederate veteran, estranged from his family by a domineering
father and from the finer points in life by his war experiences. He carries the ghost of every
person he ever killed with him. It's classic PTSD, even if that idea was unknown in those days.
These ghosts make him reluctant to kill unless it's necessary, but when it is necessary, he
doesn't hesitate. He does what needs doing.
In this, The Willing Spirit is a classic Western. But where most of Louis L'Amour's characters
represented the rougher side of life in the 1800s, Henry Dowland is college educated. He knows
the classics and can't help comparing his life to them occasionally. This classic education
does nothing to hamper him when quick action is called for.
The Willing Spirit is a well-crafted novel. Not too long, but it has all the story it needs. In
fact, there are times when it seems we're about to start the denouement only to have another
twist thrown at us. And even in the midst of one plot, another will pop up, coming from some
totally unexpected direction.
I won't belabor the point. I will simply state it plainly: if you like a good Western, especially
one in the classic sense, pick up The Willing Spirit.
What could be wrong with a book blurbed by Heritage and two-time Spur Award winner Dusty Richards?
Nothing. And that's the joy of it.
~ Gil Miller, author of Spree
Greg Camp was born in the hills of North Carolina about two hundred years too early or
too late. He has wandered around the southern United States ever since, picking up bits
of experience and polishing his curmudgeonly persona. He listens to the Muses whenever
they sing to him. Following a star brought him and his cats to northwest Arkansas, where
he is currently trying to repair his sextant.
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