Saturday, May 4, 2013

"The Gila Wars"

Larry D. Sweazy's Josiah Wolfe, Texas Ranger western novels include The Rattlesnake Season, The Scorpion TrailThe Badger's Revenge, The Cougar's Prey, and The Coyote Tracker.

Sweazy applied the Page 69 Test to The Gila Wars, the latest novel in the series, and reported the following:
From page 69 of The Gila Wars:
The room was empty. Darkness surrounded Josiah, and for a long moment he listened to see if he could hear anything other than his own breathing and heartbeat. There was nothing, not even the distant cluck of a chicken. A black cloak had fallen over the world, covering him along with it.

He stared at the ceiling, glad that he felt very little pain. His face still stung, but the salve that had been placed there seemed to have worked. The bandage was off, and thankfully, infection hadn’t set into that wound. Taking a branding iron to his face was beyond the grasp of his imagination. The pain would last long beyond the initial sizzle, and the scar would ride with him for the rest of his life. A reminder of his failure to see what was coming next with the two unnamed men in the cantina. A closer fight, one with worthier opponents, and the same outcome would have been easier to carry. But he didn’t have to worry about that. The deeper scar he would carry, if he lived on to see another day, would be hidden, like most of his other scars.
In this scene, Josiah Wolfe has been shot in the face with a shotgun during a confrontation in a cantina on the Texas border. His very survival is in question. Since this is the last planned book in the Josiah Wolfe, Texas Ranger series, this section of the novel captures the book perfectly.

If Josiah does survive, he will be scarred by this incident, externally and internally, for the rest of his life. It also brings to light the immediate dangers of living in the time (1875). Medicine had not evolved, and a simple infection could kill a man just easy as a gunslinger. The wound on his face was cauterized to alleviate any existence, or spread, of infection, and he has yet to see the consequences of this act on the rest of his life.

Ultimately, this scene is an example of Josiah’s spirit. He’s made mistakes, he’s fallible, all too human, definitely not a super hero. Although this is a “genre” novel, a paperback Western, it has always been my goal to write fully realized adventures, and not skimp on character development. Whether I have been successful or not, is up to the reader, but for me, this has been the adventure of a lifetime. It has been a great pleasure writing Josiah Wolfe’s stories.
Learn more about the book and author at Larry D. Sweazy's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: The Badger’s Revenge.

The Page 69 Test: The Devil's Bones.

My Book, The Movie: The Devil’s Bones.

The Page 69 Test: The Coyote Tracker.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Larry D. Sweazy & Brodi and Sunny.

--Marshal Zeringue