Book Jacket


rank 5909
word count 88114
date submitted 28.02.2010
date updated 17.03.2010
genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Histor...
classification: moderate

First Part of The Curse of Satan's Collar

John W.Miller

This mountain tale began as an experiment with Appalachian dialect to prove if it had readership and be understood. It did!


In 1771, under an old giant chestnut tree in Orange County North Carolina, Captain Messer stands on the top of an empty whiskey barrel. The end of a hangman’s noose is tight around his neck. He had clammed up about a missing British payroll gold shipment.
Governor William Postlethwaite is at the end of his patience with Captain Messer. He wanted his missing gold shipment.
He shouts at Captain Messer, “The last time Captain Messer, tell me where you hid my gold. Are's you meet, “Satan’s Collar"! Not a sound heard, then from the silent crowd came a lonely loud cry. “Die with it in ye Son! Don’t tell’um nothing! Die with it in ye!” He did.
Governor Postlethwaite only shook his head and shouted, “Colonel Brainerd kick that barrel out and sent this bastard to hell!” Brainerd did. And so was born the legend of Satan's Collar.

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bear wrestle, hanging., lovechild, moonshine, mules, revenge

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SusieGulick wrote 1396 days ago

Dear John, I love that you have written this historical fiction so we could see what it was like then & there. :) Thank you. :) Your pitch is excellent, so set the hook for me to read your book. :) When you use short paragraphs & lots of dialogue, it makes me want to keep reading to find out what's going to happen next. I'm backing your book. :)
Could you please take a moment to back my TWO memoir books? Thanks, Susie :)

This is information from authonomy (so beware of any other untrue information you may receive that is spam & not quotes of authonomy):
"When you back a book, it only improves the ranking of that book, not yours. However, the author whose book you are backing may decide to back your book also, in which case yes, your ranking would be improved"...authonomy quote.
"Every time you place a book on your bookshelf, your recommendation pushes the book up the rankings. And while that book sits on your bookshelf, your reputation as a talent spotter increases depending on how well that book performs.

MarkRTrost wrote 1490 days ago

Do you know - I was reading this and thinking about the tower of babel. Yeah. Stay with me. Soon this language will be gone. You know … there’s a lot of people who might say that the internet is a contemporary response to the tower of Babel. People babble back and forth and say a lot of useless things that have little meaning.

But the truth is that the internet is a spectacular achievement. It’s the destruction of the tower of Babel. It’s bringing people together who have synchronized hearts or simultaneous fears or share small moments of silliness. I think when used properly, we can connect with people who feel the same way about the same thing at nearly the same time. And then each heart knows it’s not beating alone. And then we’re all one.

But as we are uniting in languages - the languages of our pasts are leaving. I enjoy that you're marking the moments of this language. And in that vein - this novel is historically important. And you should be congratulated on a job well crafted. Is this commercial? Hell. I don't know. I hope it is for you. You've earned it.

Mark R. Trost
"Post Marked."

greeneyes1660 wrote 1491 days ago

John, extremely interesting story, it did take me a couple of re reads to get through chapter 1 to adjust to the pacing and language in which you chose to speak,,,it is similar in feel to the myths of Salem and its witches. Intriguing, well written and backed...I will come back and read more when I haven 't read 5 prior books and my eyes aren't crossing..wish you much success backed Patricia aka Columbia Layers of the heart

jaci wrote 1491 days ago

Extra points for originality!
Great job. Backed.
All the best,
Jacquelyn Jaye
Ballroom Madness

Melcom wrote 1493 days ago

Very original writing, not difficult to read despite the caution.

Good luck with it.

Impeding Justice

seedee wrote 1493 days ago

A good read, John. All best with this and backed. Cynthia Drew, Tabernacle

Barry Wenlock wrote 1495 days ago

Hi John, Top class writing. I had no trouble at all with the dialect. It was perfect for the story and easy to read. Original and well worth backing. I'm sorry I can't be more constructive. I think the previous comments say it all.
Good luck and best wishes, Barry
(Little Krisna and the Bihar Boys)

Cully wrote 1496 days ago

Interesting. Reminds me of the Watson Legend in Shadow Country by Peter Matthiessen, though that takes place in and abouts the Florida Everglades. The dialogue is good, but at times a little much. Also, I know the feel you're going for, and I understand that names are appropriate, but here it seems a little much as well, such as Uncle Festus' name. But good stuff anyway.

bonalibro wrote 1497 days ago

I had no problem with the dialect at all. Fine effort.

The confrontation with the devil at the chestnut tree is a great story.

Would be happy to give this my backing if you'll have a look at mine.

Tim Chambers
Moonbeam Highway: With Apologies to Miguel de Cervantes

anbasekar wrote 1498 days ago

great story and well written



Cataloochee wrote 1500 days ago

Cataloochee: I have re written Chapter One for another review. GOOD NEWS Sunday and Sat. on Cspan 3 ,Two publishers discuss the new feeling about POD as the method of choise for publishing Colin Robinson co-founder of OR BOOKs and Richard Nash of Cuser Books . They felt that book outlets and store will except POD abd provide some types of promotion

Jared wrote 1502 days ago

John, I've stayed online far longer than I'd intended to read more of your book. It's quite remarkable. You write with fluency and skill and yet the nature of the book is such that the content presents many difficulties for the writer. Your talent ensures that the reader has no such problems. Historical fiction demands accuracy and your research is evidently well founded, but the decision to use Appalachian dialect for the dialogue is a bold and hugely impressive decision that works very well. Great cover too. I'm so impressed by this and wish you further success. Backed.
Jared (Mummy's Boy)

KevRogers wrote 1502 days ago

Great writing



SareyFairy wrote 1503 days ago

Hi John

This is an original book and an original story.

Your characters, dialect, names and scenery are all fantastic and full of amazing depth.
I think this is one to watch.
A pleasure to back.
Sarah. T-cup and the Dream Team Fairies

soutexmex wrote 1503 days ago

This appealed to me. I lived in NC for 11 years and have been to the Great Smokies, saw the shotgun shacks, heard the dialect. You have this down completely. SHELVED!

I can use your comments on my book when you get a chance. Cheers!

The Obergemau Key

Cataloochee wrote 1504 days ago

The book entitled, "The Curse of Satan's Collar" was chosen by the North Carolina Society of Historians to receive the prestitious CLARK COX HISTORICAL FICTION AWARD at the annual confrerence awards in Hickory. N.C. in October,11,2008, written by John Walter Miller. It is written with the dialogue in soft Appalachian Smoky Mountain dialect, with the narrative written in "everyday talk," and in a composition shortstory-novel form. The front cover was taken from an early 1800 wood carving illustrating the hanging of the author's g,g,g,g grandfather by an evil British Colonel "Hangingbilly" Tryon(Postlethwaite).

TheLoriC wrote 1504 days ago

Historical fiction blended with general history can make a fine novel when done with the right plot settings, characters, and topped off with masterful story telling, as this book is. Both on my shelf and Today's Pick I Like for 3/4/10:

L. Anne Carrington, "The Cruiserweight"

Francesco wrote 1504 days ago

Thanks to some very perceptive criticisms on this site (thank you Authonomites!) I am, at present, in the process of a major rewrite and don't have time for individualized comments.
If you are reading this it means I have read the first couple of chapters of your book and think it is worthy of my support. My training is in the visual arts so I can't really help with the 'nuts & bolts' but if you would like to know what I really liked about your work, just send me a message and as soon as I can I will get back to you.
A look at Sicilian Shadows would be greatly appreciated.
If you back my work, you may also want to approach BJD (a big supporter of my work) for a further read of your book.

Betty K wrote 1505 days ago

Different and extremely * interesting. Not sure about the dialect but that's just me. It makes for a very different and fascinating book. Shelved.

Betty K "Destiny's Weave"

*They tell me not to use so many adverbs and adjectives but I think them all the time.

thequillmaker wrote 1505 days ago

A master storyteller! I take my hat off to you!

jaci wrote 1505 days ago

Here's to something truly original!
Jacquelyn Jaye
Ballroom Madness

mikegilli wrote 1505 days ago

Great story. Shelved to read on the mountain!
You've dug up a whole gang of super attractive fascinating characters,
One typo in the pitch where you din't mean it.. should be 'Or you meet',
I think...have fun with it,.............mikegilli The Free

glenn1862 wrote 1505 days ago

Living near Morgantown, WVA in the early 60's, some of the speech is familiar to me. Nice read see-uns on the editors desk.

lynn clayton wrote 1505 days ago

Took me a bit of time, though not long, to get used to accepting 'John A.' and 'John W.' but once I did I was delighted by your prose, enriched by the vernacular. You tell such a wonderful story, I don't think it's necessary to hold it up with the intro. The fabulous pitch will have readers champing at the bit. Brilliant. Backed. Lynn

Cataloochee wrote 1508 days ago