Blue Mountain sprawls like a crumpled blanket along the Tennessee / Kentucky border, starting at the western corner of Virginia and running due west to some indistinct point, where it blends with the other mountains of the Cumberland Plateau. The southern face is straight and steep, topped by a wall of limestone rock, forbidding entry to all but the handful of hunters who know its secrets. The north side is gentler, with arms reaching out in all directions, forming valleys, hollows, and dark folds, their slopes a tangle of poplar, oak, and pine.
Its moods change with the seasons, cool, dark and mysterious in summer, ablaze with color in autumn, stark and bare in winter. In spring, the vibrant colors of its wild flowers and dogwood trees announce its return to life.
Streams of sparkling water twist through her hollows and fall in sheets from her rocks, swelling and picking up speed as they unite, forming larger streams, then creeks, until finding the meandering Cumberland River as it cuts through Kentucky and Tennessee. Most of the time these streams are gentle and quiet, the Cumberland slow and lazy. A man can lay down next to one of these tributaries and think of love, or fish, or the best way to turn corn into whiskey, and the soft murmur of the water will have him dozing in the shade before he knows a spell has been cast upon him. But these same watercourses, at times little more than damp stone, can swell and rage, uprooting trees and dashing the hopes and dreams of those foolish enough to take them lightly.
The men and women who settled on Blue Mountain were as moody and unpredictable as the streams that nurtured and maimed them. They seemed docile, slow in motion and speech, but there was a wildness lurking beneath the calm surface. Rage could erupt without warning, and just like the streams that flow relentlessly until they lose themselves in the river, the people of Blue Mountain would focus their wrath until it destroyed their enemies, or themselves, or both.
They were the outcast sons of outcast fathers. When the prisons of England became too crowded, they shipped their excess to the New World as indentured servants for the great plantations. Some worked hard and earned their independence, while others fled into the Blue Ridge and Piedmont Mountains to the west. There they lived isolated, lonely lives, fighting Indians and the harsh environment, until civilization chased them through The Gap and onto the great Cumberland Plateau. There they stayed, like a rock in the middle of a stream, while America flowed west around them, an island of frontier in an ocean of civilization.
Down Ever Dark Valley
When The Civil War comes to Blue Mountain Everyone is drawn into the conflict.
Rachel and Grant, whose love is threatened by an act of unforgivable violence.
Lucky Lacern, haunted by a nightmare of his own making.
Barley, an escape slave who sacrifices everything to fight for freedom.
Buck Toland, still only a boy, but filled with a rabid hatred for all Yankees, and anyone named Lacern.
These are but a few of the characters who weave a tapestry of violence, lust and self-destruction as they pursue their destinies Down Every Dark Valley.