It’s really great visiting the Junction after what seems a long absence. As one of the original Fillies I have truly have missed this community.
After a hiatus after my Mom’s death, I’m writing again with two western-based contemporaries under contract. But that’s not why I’m here today. Instead I wanted to tell you about “Lawless” and the fact that the e-book version will be offered free on Amazon Monday, October 8th.
“Lawless” was my first mainstream western and it will probably always be my favorite. It had rumbled around inside my head and heart for years before I could find a publisher who loved my illiterate, merciless gunfighter hero as I did.
To my delight, it was a Doubleday Book Club selection, a RITA finalist, winner of the Georgia Romance Writers’ Maggie Award, and Lobo was Romantic Times’s Hero of the Month.
Captured by Apaches as a young boy, Lobo was treated brutally by both his captors and the soldiers who rescued him. Tagged with the label of the “White Apache,” he couldn’t find a job and became a feared gunslinger. Hired to scare a lady rancher off her land, he thought to do so with his dangerous reputation and cold eyes – and worse, if necessary. She was, after all, described as a gold digging female who took advantage of a dying man.
Her name is Willow George Taylor. An easterner, the daughter of a professor, she used her middle name to obtain a job as school teacher in the small town of Newton. Once there, she horrifies the town by taking in the alcoholic former sheriff, the town’s soiled dove, and any number of human and animal rejects that cross her path. The common refrain in town is “What to do about Willow?”
When she is willed a piece of land by a resident she befriended, she finds herself in the middle of a range war between two old men who hate each other. Town gossips hear of a dangerous gunslinger hired to force her out. But no one is going to force Willow to abandon her flock, especially when she seems to be aided by a mysterious good Samaritan. Her Paladin.
He appears whenever there’s a disaster: when adopted toddler Sallie Sue falls into a well: when the barn burns and when another of her adopted children is injured.
He never stays long enough for her to learn about him. After one such episode she looks toward the sky for her favorite constellations – the scorpion, the lion, the hunter. All had special significance. Tonight the lion seemed to stand out the strongest.
Like Odysseus, she mused. He was thought by many scholars to be a solitary, restless wanderer, endlessly driven by a lust for new experience, by others as a man not rigid in his adherence to the heroic code of conduct . . .”
As for Lobo, he’s rather horrified by his own heroic conduct, but how could any person leave a baby to drown in a well? Or ignore the bellows of an animal in a burning burn? But things get worse when he experiences the soul-wrenching emotions when he hears a little girl say, “I like you.”
“His stomach clenched in agony. His head swam with uncertainty. Maybe. . .
“But then he remembered the room full of books. He sure as hell didn’t belong there. Books. A teacher. Things he’d never known.
“He swore every Apache curse and White oath he could remember. But none of it did any good.”
“The Odyssey” ends up playing a large role in the book, an unplanned development which so often happens during the writing process. And the ending, I hope, will surprise you.
To get your free download, just go to Amazon Kindle on October 8 and search PatriciaPotter/Lawless.