Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Some heroes are tougher than others-- that's not always good

The hero, Vince Taggert, in Echoes from the Past is not haunted by past life memories but his own. At forty-one, he has left behind family and any hope of a peaceful future. 

He has come to accept that you can't run from your past by changing your name-- the past will find you. As John Damian, he showed up first in Arizona Sunset where he was trying to be a pastor, one who ended up using a gun and with it blowing away any chance of being a man of the cloth. 

That was eighteen years earlier. Now, his past is back-- along with a little something extra. This 1901 Arizona historical (coming out August 5, 2015) is a romance but also an historical with a tough, western hero ;).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

     “You came here on a job requiring a gun.”
    “I told you I was only to see it got done. And it was to be a fair fight. Pa said Ryker would be easy to push into one. This wasn’t to be a shot in the dark. No murder.”
    “Other than someone so fast he knew he couldn’t be beat.”
    “Other than that.”
    Vince smiled the cold one. He knew what he was going to do. He stubbed out his cigarette. “Well, Cole, you can side Brody and Jackson. If you do, you’ll be facing me, and you better be ready to use your gun because I will be.”
    “I’m your brother.” Again, it sounded more a question than the statement it was.
    “They’re not killing Ryker. And I am not waiting for him to come to town to stop them.”
    “Then you might be the one dead. Brody is the fastest man with a gun I know.”
    Vince felt at peace with his decision-- as he always had when he knew what he was going to do and there was no going back. “Sam is coming to town with his son. It won’t only be him killed if there is shooting. This is going down tonight, and it’s up to you with who you side.” Vince rose, pushing back his chair and loosening his revolver. He already knew it was ready to fire. “You have a choice, Cole. If you’re not with me, then you better step out of the way.”
    “You going to kill him in cold blood? You’d be arrested.”
    “I won’t have to. Look at Brody’s face. He’s salivating.”
    He walked across the room unsure where his brother would stand in what was to come. He stopped in front of the two men’s table. “I need to talk to you-- outside,” he said gesturing to the door.
    Brody smiled. “Just talk?” He had the snake eyes that Vince had seen in other killers. Jackson was of a different stripe. Eager to do wrong but not so eager to stand up to someone else’s bullets.
    “I ain’t got no quarrel with you,” Jackson said.
    “I know who ya are,” Brody said with a satisfied smirk. “No mistaking that. Maybe I can make some more money on the deal by taking you out.”
    “Maybe.” Vince smiled coldly. “Outside.”
    In a few moments, they were on the street, and others had moved away. Jackson was beside Brody, but it was clear that he wanted no part of this. Vince glanced at him but kept his eye on Brody. “Either of you can ride north tonight.” He flipped his coat behind his Colt.
    Jackson looked beyond Vince to Cole who had stayed on the boardwalk. He nodded and then stepped away from Brody. “I am out of this. I’ll be heading north.”
    “I ain’t goin’ nowhere, you bastard,” Brody said.
    Vince did not like his uncertainty as to where Cole would stand in the fight. His brother hadn’t committed to anything. He had to forget about that now and deal with Brody, who was eager to shoot. If Jackson didn’t draw his gun, he’d let him go.
    He saw the moment Brody decided to draw and had his own gun out at the same time. As he fired, he heard a shot whiz past his shoulder. Brody staggered but didn’t fall. Vince shot again.

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