5 Things a Gunslinger Cannot Go Without
Malcolm Kincaid, the hero in my newest release, The Gunslinger’s Vow, is a bounty hunter in the American Old West. Though the terms gunfighter and gunman were more commonly used to describe men like Malcolm during his own time, the word gunslinger has solidified itself in our minds through popular literature and movies. Gunslinger could be used to describe a variety of men who lived during the days of the wild west; an outlaw, a cowboy, a mercenary gun-for-hire, a lawman, or a bounty hunter.
Whatever his chosen vocation, there are several things a gunslinger cannot go without…aside from a gun, which is pretty obvious, I’d think.
A gunslinger needs a hat. Not just any hat. Something with a wide brim to block the blinding rays of the sun. Not every opponent can be faced at high noon on main street with the sun positioned directly overhead. In the dangerous and unpredictable days of the wild west, an enemy could come upon you at anytime, anywhere. A gunslinger needs every advantage at his disposal and must do all he can to minimize the disadvantages. As anyone who’s ever tried to play catch with the sun in their eyes can attest, even a moment of sun-blindness can mean the difference between a catch and miss…or hitting your target and getting hit yourself.
He needs a horse. Not only for a quick getaway if he’s an outlaw, but also for general transportation. If he’s a bounty hunter, he’s going to need to be able to follow his prey wherever the trail leads. Wagons, stagecoaches, and trains simply won’t cut it. There is a lot of land to cover across the western territories, some of it treacherous and rough. A strong, reliable horse that is well-trained and built for endurance can prove to be an invaluable asset.
He needs the right skills. Any gunslinger who wants to live past his first gunfight needs to have the right skills. In so many popular western movies, gunslingers are depicted as having a lightning fast draw, fancy pistol-spinning moves, and eagle-eye aim with the ability to shoot a gun right out of an opponent’s hand without drawing a nick of blood. While these tricks certainly make for a good show, in the end, they can only do so much to keep a man alive. In the ruthless, lawless world of the old west, a more practical approach often proves to be more valuable, with one simple rule rising above all others; shoot to kill.
He needs nerve. Gunfighting almost always results in someone’s death, often times multiple deaths. If a man carries a gun on his hip with the intent to use it—on the side of the law or against it—he has to be prepared for the eventuality of his own death. For that reason, a gunslinger has to possess nerves of steel. The American west during the latter part of the 19th Century certainly isn’t a place for the fearful or weak-willed, but a gunslinger by his very nature courts danger…either by creating it or searching it out. Gunfights can start at any moment and come from any direction. A gunslinger has to be able to react decisively and accurately. The man who panics…well, you know.
Lastly, I think a gunslinger needs proper motivation. He needs a reason to be out there putting himself in the path of bullets that could end his life. Whether it be greed, vengeance, desperation, or the a more altruistic intention of protecting innocents from the lawlessness that thrived in the rugged territories, a gunslinger wouldn’t make it far without something driving him onward.
In The Gunslinger’s Vow, Malcolm Kincaid possesses all of these attributes. Motivated by the desire for justice and revenge against his brother’s murderers, he spends years crisscrossing the western territories, colleting bounties along the way, until there is only one man left alive who was responsible for his brother’s death. Malcolm will stop at nothing until that man is brought to justice. He certainly cannot be waylaid by a fancy eastern lady in need of an escort into Montana.
But Alexandra Brighton is not the tenderfoot she appears to be. Though she has been polished and molded into a proper lady during the last five years she spent in Boston, Alexandra grew up wild and free in the western frontier. Despite her elegant, high-stepping appearance in a many-layered, bustled gown, her soft gloves, and the ridiculous hat perched atop her head, she possesses a few hidden skills that become quite necessary as the two make their way across the rugged landscape. Alexandra might prove to be the one thing a gunslinger most often declares he absolutely doesn’t need…a partner.
Please join Malcolm and Alexandra in The Gunslinger’s Vow as they fight to avenge their painful pasts in order to claim a new future together. One that is bright with love, optimism, and limitless adventure.
The Gunslinger's Vow - Runaway Brides, #1 by Amy Sandas
Three runaway brides
Determined to escape their fates
Flee West to find freedom that can only be had in a cowboy's arms...
Alexandra Brighton spent the last five years in Boston, erasing all evidence of the wild frontier girl she used to be. Before she settles, she's determined to visit her childhood home one final time. But when she finds herself stranded far from civilization, she has no choice but to trust her safety to the tall, dark and decidedly dangerous bounty hunter, Malcolm Kincaid.
Now that Malcolm finally has the location of his brother's killer, he has no intention of wasting time protecting a pampered Eastern lady. But something about Alexandra speaks to the heart he long thought frozen?and her slow transformation from proper miss to wild-eyed beauty leaves him shaken. By the time they reach Montana, Malcolm must decide if seeking justice for past wrongs is worth losing a future with the woman he never expected to need...
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