In 1850, the Gold Rush town of Rough & Ready, California, briefly seceded from the United States in order to avoid paying a mining tax. This rollicking, western comedy reimagines the three months when it was a sovereign republic. Sprinkled with the hard-luck tales of pioneers and forgotten tidbits of early American history, this novel shines a light on the quirky characters who fueled the westward expansion.
The town drunkard falls asleep in a cave and wakes up during an earthquake to find a giant gold boulder. To get the motherlode to market, he enlists a ragtag group of failed miners and oddball mountain men, including a priest who tends bar and a sheriff who's afraid of guns. The most dangerous bandits in California are poised to tear Rough & Ready apart. What will be the legacy of a forgotten independent nation inside of the United States?
"A funny, fast-moving romp through the Old West in classic Casey Style! Highly recommended!"
—Terrence McCauley, Award-Winning Writer of the Aaron Mackey/Billy Sunday series
"A modern milestone of Western fiction. What a joy from start to finish, what a beautifully crafted story about a group of people you’d love to have a drink with."
“Delightfully distinctive, authentically funny…”
“The balance between scares and humor is perfect.”
“A sensational blend of comedy, tragedy, and grisly death scenes.”
“Fueled by and out-of-this-word imagination.”
“I can’t wait to read the sequel.”
—Cedar Hollow Horror Reviews
"A fun, quick, Western-style tale that is worth an entertaining afternoon read."
—The Press Democrat