The Hail and the Fury
By Gordon Payne

New Release!

Buy it now using Paypal!

Buy it now using other credit cards


In Tornado Alley, when the cold north Canadian wind collides with warm air from the Gulf of Mexico, all hell breaks loose on the plains.

In this fictional adventure set in the heart of the Alley, PT Thurman – farmer and former mayor, his wife Amy, and their sons Mathew and Jacob, find themselves in the path of these relentless storms.

PT organizes the annual Fourth of July celebration, and Governor Todd Archibald wants in on the party.

A steroid raged bodybuilder, Joe Bealle, his stunning wife Emma, and two beautiful daughters, Erika and Becca, move to Crescent, Oklahoma in 1991. A major problem arises, when PT takes one look at the beautiful ladies and doesn’t do a background check. He lets them move into his rent house next door, and the trouble begins.

The outgoing and kindhearted Becca doesn’t fit the mold of the rest of the misfit Bealle family, and Jacob falls for her. Emma informs Amy and PT that sixteen years earlier she had done a heinous thing. Joe Bealle was not Becca’s father. For Jacob’s sake, they must discover Emma’s secret.

On the final day of the celebration, a vast boiling storm approaches. PT tries to stop the celebration and move the 20,000 revelers to safety, but politics decide otherwise. Governor Todd Archibald has fallen behind in the polls, and every vote counts.

A massive tornado roars into town, and the crowd panics. Giant hailstones rain on the fleeing crowd and people fall unconscious in the street. At great personal risk, PT rescues people from the softball sized hail and urges others to help. Many die in the worst storm in Oklahoma history. PT, Amy, and their sons survive, but Joe Bealle is found murdered. His wife Emma’s body is found dead in the storm’s aftermath. Becca makes it through unharmed, but her sister Erika disappears.

PT finds Governor Archibald buried under an old gas station protecting the baby of his favorite aide, who has died in the storm. Consumed with guilt, he moves to Crescent where he and his wife start a new life.

PT and the former governor spend time together helping to rebuild the town. Archibald uses his influence to bring new industry to Crescent as he labors for redemption with help from his new friend PT Thurman.

Buy it Now!


Gordon has done a few interviews lately!

August 1, 2008
Click here for an interview with Cliff Roles on 1220 AM WSRQ


The Noble Generation Volume II

The Writers’ League of Texas Celebrates Success of former Tulsa Author

“ Gordon Payne”

Tulsa native Gordon Payne is one of 101 authors from all over the state of Texas who pooled their efforts to create The Noble Generation Volume II.  Gordon, of Waylon Jennings’ Waylors and The Crickets, is the former musical partner of Tulsa legend Don White. This book, a follow-up to the first Noble Generation book published in 2002, grew out of Barnes and Noble’s Noble Ambassadors program, a partnership with the Texas Department of Aging and Disabilities Services that reaches out to the state’s senior citizens.

The Noble Generation Volume II, an anthology, brings to life personal experiences from a wide variety of events from the 20th century, including the Great Depression, WWII, the 50s, and 60s. Prepare to laugh, cry, and reflect upon the lives of these amazing people. The book vividly depicts the triumphs and tragedies of those we call Grandmom and Grandpop.  Gordon’s selection, is entitled “The Peppermint Tree”. The book released in November 2004 has already sold out its first printing and is into its second.

The book was compiled and edited by Steve and Joan Neubauer of Inc. and all proceeds from the sale of The Noble Generation Volume  II  benefit the Writers’ League of Texas Senior Writer’s Award Program. Learn more about the Writers’ League of Texas at The book is available at Barnes & Noble stores,, and orderable via bookstores.  Use ISBN 1-932196-43-9 to order the book.

Contact : Steve Neubauer
Writers’ League of Texas Board Member

"The Peppermint Tree"

By Gordon Payne

Excerpt from “The Noble Generation II”

In August 1939, a moving truck backed up to the new brick house across the street from me in Wolfe City, Texas. Ronnie Palmer bounded from the cab with a bat and ball in his hands, and by sunset, we were best friends. He stood at the same mark as I on the measuring door, and we wore the same size ball cap. What’s more, he loved the Yankees and he hated girls. He was perfect.

Both of Ronnie’s grandmothers lived around Wolfe City and I was jealous. One lived in the country, but one lived only a couple of blocks north. My only grandmother lived five towns away in Sherman, and during the Great Depression with the worn-out Model T we had, we broke down every year we suffered the trip.

“My grandmother can be your grandmother too,” Ronnie said. “She’s my bestest grown up friend. She won’t mind.” Ronnie and I shared everything, even Grandmothers.

That Christmas, his in-town grandmother decorated her Christmas tree with red, white, and green candy canes. My eyes must have been as big as silver dollars the day I first saw that tree. I had never in my life seen so many peppermints in one place.

She lived in a two-story Colonial with the tree standing in the corner of the foyer and stretching all the way to the ceiling.

“It must be a hundred feet tall,” I whispered.

Ronnie and I were first graders that day as we snuck behind her tree and gorged on those candies. Ronnie reached for one, then I took a turn. Then we climbed on each other’s shoulders so we could reach the higher ones. By the time we’d eaten our stomachs full, our pockets were crammed with discarded wrappers and a few canes for later. To this day, the image is so seared to my memory, it only takes a thought of Christmas to evoke the scent of peppermint.

We found out years later she heard us that day and knew we were hiding there. She even told our mothers, but made them promise not to scold us.

“Don’t be too hard on them. They’re just being boys,” she told our mothers. Her name was Edith Blanton, but the kids in our neighborhood called her by a special name. We called her Candy Gramma.

Christmas Eve morning, Ronnie came running to my house. “Candy Gramma is bussing up to Uncle Pete’s for the holidays, so we get to take down the peppermint tree.”

“No fooling?” By then, she had been letting us take two or three canes from the tree, as long as we didn’t spoil our dinners. The  amazing thing was, no matter how many we took from the tree, there were more hung the next day. We swore the tree had magic.

“No, I’m not fooling,” Ronnie said. “She wants it down before she leaves, so we can have all the candy we want.”

“All of it?”

“Yep, and she said she didn’t even care if we spoiled our dinners. But, we have to bring Darrell and we have to talk to him.”

“Darrell Murtaugh?” Darrell had moved next door to me that September, but Ronnie and I hated to play with him. He couldn’t run, so he couldn’t play baseball. Darrell didn’t weigh thirty pounds and wore these awful looking steel braces on his legs that clanged when he walked. Plus, he wore horned rimmed glasses, he read all the time, and had an annoying habit of smiling at you.

“What’s he got to smile about?” Ronnie asked me one day. “Everybody makes fun of him. He’s a cripple.”

I didn’t want to take Darrell to Candy Gramma’s that day. The peppermint tree was our secret place. “Do we have to?” I asked.

“Yeah, but it won’t be so bad,” Ronnie said. “I’ll meet you at his house and we’ll all walk over together. That’s how best friends do it.”

Read more in “The Noble Generation II”

Barnes and Noble Press by

Long Road to Texas

By Gordon Payne

Excerpt from “Angels on Earth Magazine” January-February, 2005

I’ve escaped death so many times it’s eerie. After a long and successful music career, I’m convinced those escapes were aided by divine intervention. I sang, played guitar, and wrote songs for Waylon Jennings, Reba McEntire, The Crickets, and others when small town Oklahoma boys usually didn’t get that lucky. Besides, I just ain’t smart enough to have pulled these things off by myself. Then in the winter of 2002, several events began that removed any doubt I
had about guardian angels.

On February 15th my friend Waylon Jennings died. On the 20th, Wayne Payne – my dad -- passed away from pneumonia. The following week, on the 28th, we lost Jack Wolcott – my wife Pat’s father -- to cancer. In just two weeks, Pat and I had lost the greatest men we knew, and our two sons had lost both grandfathers and a buddy. The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do was tell my boys their grandfather died. Then a week later, I had to do it again.

Some months later, we decided to leave Nashville and move back to Texas. The plan was for me to go first, and for Pat to follow when the house sold. I didn’t want to leave the life we’d made there, and I sure didn’t want to leave my friends, but Pat’s mother’s health had taken a bad turn and she needed us.

I rented a five-foot by eight-foot trailer and loaded my antique oak desk, boxes and boxes of books, thirty years of writings, five guitars and three amplifiers all packed in heavy duty road cases. I didn’t notice the eight hundred pound weight limit sign.

The next morning, August 11, 2003, I kissed Pat goodbye and headed for Texas. I stopped twice to check the trailer. When I got to I-65, I felt safe enough to hit cruise control and popped in one of my favorite books on tape. Bird’s Eye View by J. F. Freedman is an intriguing story and by the end of the second paragraph, I was mesmerized.

Outside of Birmingham on I-20, a portly woman in a white Ford S.U.V. pulled alongside frantically waving and honking her horn. She forced me to the shoulder. I sprinted back to the trailer, but found nothing wrong. I turned to ask what she had seen, but the S.U.V. had vanished. I walked out on the road.

Strange, I thought. I looked as far down the road as I could, but could not see the white Ford. Really strange.

After I checked the van again, I eased back on the highway and hit the play button for Bird’s Eye View. The temperature was 104 degrees, and summer steamed off the asphalt. To be safe, I slowed to fifty.

Several chapters later, I saw a cloud of white smoke coming from the back of the trailer. I jumped both feet on
the brakes and pulled over.

When I opened the door and turned, there was no smoke. Not a whiff. No flames billowed from the back. Nothing. I scoured the van and trailer, but found no evidence of steam or fire, and nothing was burning inside the trailer. The cloud of smoke was the size of two eighteen-wheelers, then seconds later there wasn’t a trace of it. Way too strange.

I walked around to the passenger side, looked down at the trailer tire, and was staggered. All the tread was gone, and only a wad of matted steel wire covered the tire.