2012 Hardcover, 284 pages, ISBN 978-0-9852228-7-1
Set in 1861 in the Nevada Great Basin, XP follows the orphan James Donovan as he rides for the legendary Pony Express. Galloping for twenty-four hours straight, he carries whisper-thin mail, crossing a desolate land - dangerous, yet terrifyingly beautiful. Two clashing worlds battle for his identity - the Paiute Indians who helped raise him, and the Mormons who tried to capture his soul.
In a story as vast as the great American West, James encounters men and women of such strong character they survive on desire alone - unforgettable characters, some enchanting, some evil, all courageous. He discovers a love so deep it transcends the imagination. A sorrow so true even nature pauses to mourn. On his journey he meets a twenty-something Mark Twain, experiences the threat of a civil war, all while witnessing a diminishing way of living harmoniously with the land.
With a vivid, sensuous style, as sparse as the land itself, Alison Bailey brings to life a time of saddle sores, Indian lore, heartache and glory. Here is the myth, a time in adolescent America when any outrageous dream was possible. An epic tale of an honorable story that is long overdue.
Based on an original story by Pamela Butler Fraser and Alison M. Bailey