Embodying the Spirit of the Old West

NEVengeance from Eden

WRITTEN BY TONI SWEENEY

“…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, nightsand weekends.com

Life in the Old West was difficult by anyone’s standards but there was also a sense of justice, honor, and loyalty that has never been equaled. Those were the qualities I hoped to embody in my novel, NEBRASKA: Vengeance from Eden, the first of my new NEBRASKA! Trilogy. I wanted my cover to reflect the same characteristics, so I asked for a lone man, armed with a rifle, isolated on the prairie…bathed in the golden light of a settling sun…while in the distance, the famous landmark those on the Oregon Trail were apt to see as they cross the great Plains…Chimney Rock beckons. I wanted to evoke questions from the viewer: What is he thinking as he views that majestic piece of stone…is he thinking of not going through with his plan, or is he wondering what will happen afterward…or does he already know?

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  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.

In fact, it’s expected.

NEBRASKA: Vengeance from Eden is available from Class Act Books.http://www.classactbooks.com/index.php/component/virtuemart/romance/nebraska-vengeance-from-eden-525-detail?Itemid=0

NEShadowTrailNEBRASKA: Walk the Shadow Trail is also available.http://www.classactbooks.com/index.php/component/virtuemart/romance/nebraska-walk-the-shadow-trail-555-detail?Itemid=0

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9 Responses to Embodying the Spirit of the Old West

  1. nitethyme says:

    Looks like another great series! Linda

    Like

  2. tvsweeney says:

    Thanks, Linda. I hope so. The third one, NEBRASKA: Sunshine and Gunpowder is moving slowly.

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  3. Tony, Driving to Atlanta this morning to meet with Mary Marvella I was singing “Long Black Veil” and now I open the fuzzies and find something that could almost fit that song. Can’t wait to read it.

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  4. marymarvella says:

    Toni, I know it’s as wonderful as it looks!

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  5. tvsweeney says:

    I dont’ know about wonderful, Mary, but I think it’s a pretty good story!

    Like

  6. I love how Vengeance from Eden played out like an episode of Gunsmoke in your mind. it was an awesome show. The Old West is such a rich part of history. I can’t wait to start reading your Nebraska trilogy.

    Like

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