Today, talented and multi-published author joins me to talk about her Western novel. Sounds great!
“…Vengeance from Eden puts a spell on you right from the beginning… you’ll find it both poignant and heartbreaking. You might think you’ve figured out what’s going to happen before you reach the end but you’ll probably miss the mark like I did, which leaves the ending completely unpredictable, just as it should be.”—Margaret Marr, nights and weekends.com
Vengeance from Eden was my second venture into the Western genre. My steady date at the time liked Westerns and asked me why I didn’t write one instead of those “science fiction things.” So, to make him happy, I said I would. Well, the boyfriend’s long gone, riding off into the sunset (as boyfriends are prone to do) but the story’s still here—in various media forms.
When I started writing Vengeance from Eden, it played itself in my mind like an episode of Gunsmoke… a man walks into a saloon and in front of thirteen witnesses, guns down the owner, then waits to be arrested. At his trial, he refuses to give a defense, practically begs to be found guilty, in fact. Awaiting execution, he finally agrees to tell the young deputy guarding him why he committed cold-blooded murder, and what the boy learns makes him question whether justice is really about to be carried out.
The rest of the story is told in flashback…how Lucas Brennan’s father left his Georgia home because he and his own father had conflicting opinions about the upcoming War of Secession, how Michael Brennan and his wife died during a blizzard at their Nebraska ranch leaving their son an orphan, the birth of Luke’s own son to a Pawnee girl, Luke’s marriage to Marietta Sylvestre, a Southern belle half his age…and of the terrible event that turned Luke’s happy life into tragedy within the space of a few hours and made a peaceful, family man into a stone-cold killer.
Lucas Brennan is a typical mid-Westerner, descended from people born elsewhere, growing to manhood in a country where the weak never survive and the strong prevail through sheer power of will…fighting for and deserving every moment of happiness he receives. Vengeance from Eden does have a happy ending, to be sure—thought it’s what I call a Toni Sweeney Happy Ending, hauntingly tinged with bittersweet. Still, it’s one with which readers will not find fault, I think. And if you shed a few tears along the trail of Lucas’ journey, that’s okay, too.
(Vengeance from Eden is available as an audio book, an e-book, and in print.)