THE LAST DAY IN PARADISE
By Robert K. Swisher Jr.
a rousing adventure story with gangsters and blood-letting, making it a new kind of Western that will surely attract readers. (The Des Moines Register)
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Banjo Ortega, an old Mexican bandit who hates white people, and Rodney Slugger, a down on his luck white cowboy from Montana, are both men who know they are living relics of the old West. But no matter what, they must hang onto what they are no matter the hardships.
Banjo Ortega is 85 years old and scratches out a living on 80 acres of land in New Mexico that has been in his family for generations. Mr. Cook, the new owner of the 167,000 acre Last Day in Paradise Ranch, wants Banjo's land for a subdivision and fences off a tiny trickle of water that Banjo and his ancestors used to water their few sheep. But Banjo will not sell. They must kill him.
Rodney Slugger becomes the foreman of the Last Day in Paradise Ranch and meets Banjo when he has to fix the fence that Banjo keeps cutting so his sheep can drink. What first starts out as hatred slowly turns into a deep friendship. Together they fight the efforts of Mr. Cook and his gangsters to buy Banjo's land.
Banjo has a son, Armondo, who is an up and coming artist in Santa Fe. Although Banjo loves his son he cannot tell him, because to Banjo, Armondo has forsaken his people and gone off in search of the white man's way.
Angelena, Banjo's wife, is caught between her husband and her son. She is devout, stoic, and in tune with the ways of men. Karen, a painter who rents a house on the ranch, falls in love with Rodney, but knows deep in her heart he will only ride away. Rodney loves Karen but feels he is not good enough for her and clings to the only thing he knows, loneliness.
A moving novel about the shrinking west, greed, love, devotion, murder, and a statement that all mankind should have the right to live the way they choose and can work through their differences.
ROBERT K. SWISHER JR. has been a ranch foreman and a mountain guide. An individual who knows the outdoors and western history, he has successfully combined these interests in stories, poems and novels. He is also the author of THE LAND, FATAL DESTINY, ONLY MAGIC, THE LAST NARROW GAUGE TRAIN ROBBERY and LOVE LIES BLEEDING, all from Sunstone Press. Of THE LAND, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY said: If there were a category of historical romances written for men, this moving novel would fit the bill.
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