Spotlight, Author Guest Post, Review & Giveaway: Clown William and the Wind of Vengeance by Robin Elno

Book Blurb & Info

A reluctant 1870s gunslinger with Tourette’s and a quick draw . . .

While the battle for Lincoln, New Mexico, rages on, William is consumed by his own war against Jesse Evans, the man he blames for the loss of his friends and the start of his life as a gunfighter.

But when William finds Jesse at his most vulnerable—jailed with a gunshot wound—he can’t justify pulling the trigger. A gunfight must be fair.

William braves hostile military territory to orchestrate his archenemy’s release—only to discover he has become the prime target for an army of bounty-motivated gunslingers.

The hunter is now the hunted—and William must weigh whether revenge will give him the peace of mind he has been seeking.

Can William defeat his internal tornado before he becomes one of its victims?

Clown William, the first book in the series, is the winner of the Arizona Authors’ Association Literary Award, a Silver Winner in the Independent Publisher Book (IPPY) Awards, and a Finalist in the 2019 National Indie Excellence Awards and the 2019 Next Generation Book Awards. Clown William and the Lincoln County War is Winner of the National Indie Excellence Awards and books one and two are Bronze IPPY Winners for Best Series. Clown William and the Wind of Vengeance is the third book in the series.

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Toot's Review by Betty Bee

A gunshot echoes through the New Mexico wilderness followed by nothing but silence. A man escapes, but he is wounded. Another man is on his trail. So begins the third book in Robin Elno's Clown William series, 'Clown William and the Wind of Vengeance.' A tale of revenge, despair, overcoming adversity and the type of old fashioned justice that could only be meted out in the old west.

William was a main character that I sympathized with heavily. He was a man who was out of options, out of friends and out of time. He had suffered a great deal but still had a strong moral center; an aspect that I thought was a really telling and enjoyable character trait. I love to see my heroes being actual heroes. William is also a character that suffers from Tourette's, a detail that I felt was really interesting and added a lot to the story. Of course, speech disorders have always been around. But rarely do you see them depicted in historical novels and even more rarely do you see them depicted with such a caring and obviously educated hand. William's Tourette's was treated respectfully and was never the butt of any jokes throughout the book, which is something that a lot of writers could learn from.

Elno's writing was so strong and evocative and so pretty while also carrying what I consider to be the hallmarks of a great Western. The terse dialog, the gorgeous descriptions of barren and dry scenery, the thrilling action scenes, all of it was present and accounted for. And, as a reader, I felt like I wanted for nothing. Elno definitely nailed the setting and genre. I ate this book right up, reading it in only a few hours and now I can't wait for the next in the series!

Author Guest Post

I admit that when I first thought of Tourette’s syndrome, I pictured someone who gyrated, smirked and cursed uncontrollably. I’d heard of teenagers excused from school punishment for swearing because they blamed Tourette’s for their outbursts.

So when I ran across an article by the neurologist Oliver Sachs on Tourette’s syndrome titled “A surgeon’s life”, I had to explore how a man with the gyrations and cursing of Tourette’s could be a surgeon. It turns out that Tourette’s has more subtle manifestations than the popular conceptions. That the tics fade when the mind is in deep concentration, for example when a surgeon makes his cuts with his exquisite care. And the vocal tics can take many forms- cursing is relatively rare in fact.

And then a footnote caught my eye. In a reference to a different patient unrelated to the surgeon, Dr. Sachs mentioned how an elderly woman exhibited an ability to target point five times faster than normal. He commented that it would have been a handy skill to have had in the old days, where she would have been the fastest granny in the west.

In a separate foot note, Dr. Sachs indicated that some preliminary studies on this phenomenon had been done on athletes, and it seemed that the target pointing increase was only apparent in a snap situation, that is, that those with Tourette’s did not have a greater than average ability to aim deliberately. For example, their scores were no better in such events as the Olympic biathlon.

The French physician first wrote up the clinical syndrome that now bears his name in 1885. So in the 1870’s this condition would have appeared confounding, mysterious and of suspicious origins. Thus it was that William, suffering from the condition since early childhood, was ostracized by the community in general. Those of a certain bent would even have seen it is not a medical condition at all, but a moral failing; the inability to change the behavior seen as deliberate defiance of man and God’s law.

Raised in this environment, William grew up at odds with himself. He knew he couldn’t help the vocal tics and physical gyrations, and a part of him agreed that he was somehow evil and deserving of the worst sort of treatment at the hands of his elders and peers. Of course, as a youngster, he had no choice but to bear it.

But when he came of age, he no longer had to take the beatings from his father and set out on his own. His shattered self esteem was a poor wrap for his deep hatred of God. Yet because his life had been hard, he was not a willing killer, but respected life. However, if someone challenged him, he protected himself with the only skill had. Thus, he was never a gun for hire. And because he had been bullied all his life, he refused to be one himself.

And from this moral code— do not kill except in self defense, and a repugnance of those who bully others— he drifts from town to town, never quite fitting in. His obvious physical malady makes it difficult to get work, especially those of a manual labor sort, so he never puts down any permanent roots. And sooner or later, he is forced into gunplay and moves on.

But no man is an island, and as a young adult, the yearning for a connection with others begins to civilize him. And this series of books documents his slow transition from vagabond to citizen.

Author Info

Robin Elno is a retired army colonel, semiretired psychiatrist, and full-time author. He lives in San Antonio, Texas, where he is an active member of the San Antonio Writers' Guild. Elno’s Clown William series was inspired by the work of neurologist Oliver Sacks, who wrote about the unusual speed and accuracy often displayed by people with Tourette’s syndrome. Intrigued by the idea that strengths can rise from differences, Elno created the unique and compelling character of Clown William. Elno’s novels are often set against true historical backdrops like the Wild West.

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This giveaway is for the winner’s choice of one print or ebook copy of the book. 
Print is open to Canada, the U.K, and the U.S. only and ebook is available worldwide. 
There will be 3 winners. 
This giveaway ends February 29, 2020,midnight pacific time.

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