#SpiritsoftheWest #Blogtour – Day 5: The Ghost in the Mound and a review

Day 5 of the Spirits of the West book tour hosted by WordCrafter Press sets out some background to my short story, The Ghost in the Mound. I’ve also included my review of the stories other than mine that feature in Spirits of the West anthology

You can find out more about the tours WordCrafter is offering here: https://writingtoberead.com/wc-book-blog-tours-2/.

The Ghost in the Mound

Background

My second short story in Spirits of the West is The Ghost in the Mound. This story features an enormous termite mound.

Termite mounds are constructed by a specific type of termites found in African, Australia and South America. The mounds can be large, sometimes with a diametre of 30 metres.

In African savanna areas, termite mounds form ‘islands’ with high tree densities. This is attributed to the fact that due to the digging of the termites and their decomposition of plant material; the mound soils are often more fertile than other soil.

Termite mounds can help people get their bearings and directions if lost as the tip of the mound generally leans to the North. The mounds are also at a constant temperature of 32 degrees Celsius during both summer and winter.

The known predators for termites are humans, aardvarks, Matabele ants and some species of birds. Aardvarks are exceptional diggers and are able to dig into the cement-like outside layer of termite mounds. Aardvarks dig to feed on termites, their favourite food, and also to create burrows in which to live and breed. Their tunnels can be up to 10 metres long and open up into a wider chamber where they sleep and raise their young.


Picture credit: http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20151009-a-wild-portrait-of-south-africa photograph by Neil Aldridge

Two short readings from The Ghost in the Mound

My review

Don’t Eat the Pickled Eggs
This is an entertaining and well written story by Kayle Lynne Booth about a wife’s jealousy, a younger woman’s integrity and naivety, and an older married man’s infatuation and subsequent generosity gone wrong. Booth sets her tale in the local saloon of a small Western town and puts an interesting and unique spin on this theme with a paranormal element that is a good fit and adds to the intrigue.

Gunsmoke
This is an interesting take on the concept of justice in the ‘Wild West’. A Texas Ranger rids the world of criminals in his own way. I enjoyed some of the descriptive writing in this short story. An example is as follows: “Wooden steps, weathered with age, led to a wooden sidewalk several feet above the ground. It was a simple reminder that the streets sometimes flooded during the rainy season.”

Wenekia
A fascinating story about the spiritual leaders of the Native Americans, called Wenekia. Makoce’s father is a leading the community as is seeking advice from the Wenekia on how to deal with the encroaching white men and the devastation and restrictions they have brought with them. Makoce and his younger brother follow their father with the aim of eavesdropping on the meeting and end up getting some surprises.

Clouds in the West
An unusual story with a Western tone but set on another planet making it science fiction. Wooly Bill and his ride, a graph called Spooky, are on their way to rescue Bill’s partner, Sami. They are being chased by unknown humans who are riding grephs which are suffering from substance abuse. Bill discovered that grephs, even stoned ones, are better than humans at managing life’s problems.

Queen of Spade Spades
Iris is a gambler, having been taught to gambol by her fun-loving husband, Jim. His gambling expends beyond card playing and Jim is panning for gold. On the very week that Jim has his best luck finding gold ever, he is murdered and left for dead. At least this is what his partner, Buck, claims. Is he telling the truth? Iris thinks not and sets out to use her own card playing skills to extract revenge on Buck’s lying partner in crime, and ultimately Buck.

High Desert Rose
A romance left too late and ending in death and disaster which needs to be avenged by the grieving lover. Revenge generally doesn’t turn out well but that depends on how your view life … or death. A clever story with an unusual flavour. The winning entry in the WordCrafter 2020 writing challenge.

Follow the tour

Writing to be Read

Roberta Writes

Patty’s World

Jessica Bakkers

50 thoughts on “#SpiritsoftheWest #Blogtour – Day 5: The Ghost in the Mound and a review

  1. Like others I enjoyed both the verbal and vocal parts of this post. Maybe someday I will get the courage & gumption to do a video.

    Also, I picked up on the title: “Don’t Eat the Pickled Eggs.” I have loved pickled eggs all my life and used to eat one every morning for breakfast. Now, it seems, they don’t agree with me and give me indigestion.

    Thanks for sharing here, Robbie!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. HI Marian, I am glad you enjoyed the video. I got the idea from another blogger who shares a lot of videos about writing and extracts of his own books and stories. I keep mine short though. I don’t like pickles of any sort but I found this story very intriguing.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Termites are one of those insects I find pretty fascinating. I do know quite a bit about them, having friends in the construction industry. I was unaware of their mounds tilting toward the north—another amazing fact of nature.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi, Jim. I’m with you. Aardvarks are creepy. I think the potential for the characters in Robbie’s story to possibly run into one was always in the back of my mind, adding an additional sense of peril.

      Thanks for visiting the tour here and commenting.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Love this post, Robbie. And your stories are welcomed contributions to the anthology. I also loved your very descriptive review of the stories from other contributors. Thanks so much for your hosting and support of the tour.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on Writing to be Read and commented:
    Day #5 of the “Spirits of the West” book blog tour brings a look into the setting for Roberta Eaton Cheadle’s story, “The Ghost in the Mound” and her review of the stories from the other contributors on Robbie’s Inspiration. I do hope you’ll join us there.

    Liked by 1 person

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