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Grievances And Blind Hatred

Author Interview
Henry Helbog Author Interview

Blood Feud finds Flint in the middle of a family feud and becomes the target of the Morgan family patriarch when he kills his eldest son. What were some sources that informed this novel’s development?

I drew inspiration from the Graham-Tewksbury and Hatfield-McCoy feuds as well as feuds involving Scottish clans. The opening scene in Blood Feud is loosely based on a shootout at the Tewksbury ranch in which John Tewksbury and William Jacobs were killed outside the ranch. There was a poignant moment during that shootout in which Tewksbury’s wife, Eva Tewksbury, came out with a shovel to bury her husband and Jacobs. The Grahams, who’d been firing on the ranch for hours, withheld their fire until she’d finished burying them and gone back inside. I was going to include a variation of this scene in my opening chapter, but I couldn’t quite find a way to fit it in.

What were some obstacles you felt were important to defining Flint’s character in this story?

Flint felt from the start that it was imperative he not take sides in the blood feud and be as neutral as possible. But at the same time, he had to focus his attention on protecting the members of one of the families — the Whitcombs– since it was they who had hired him. He even originally had notions of trying to help negotiate an end to the feud, which soon went nowhere. For Flint, it was probably an impossible situation from the start, but, as usual, he needed the money. He could have backed out of the arrangement when he realized just how intractable, vicious and hell-bent on killing each other both sides were, but he’d already given his word that he’d protect the Whitcombs. And at that point, pulling out would have meant letting down the most innocent members of the family, who would have been more vulnerable than ever.

What were some new ideas you wanted to introduce in this book that were different from your previous books?

Inheriting the grievances and blind hatred of previous generations can have disastrous consequences. Instead of continuing to take part in an ultimately futile conflict, it’s best that both sides find it within themselves to establish a truce and live for the future, not the past. However, that’s easier said than done.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

The next one in the Flint series is Vengeance, which needs to bake just a little longer in the oven before it’ll be ready. It’s something along the lines of a murder mystery, though of course is set in the Old West. One by one, a group of men who have a common link to a nefarious period in their past are murdered. Flint is brought in to investigate the murders and unmask the perpetrator before they are all killed.

Author Links: GoodReads | Amazon

United States Marshal Flint, retired, is hired by the Whitcomb family to protect the Whitcombs from attacks by a rival family, the Morgans. For thirty-five long years the Whitcombs and Morgans have been sworn enemies. Dozens of family members in that time have been cut down in the prime of life. But the worst may be yet to come as the killings begin to escalate.

When Flint kills the eldest Morgan son during a raid by the Morgans, he is inexorably drawn into a conflict he wanted no part of. Now he too is fair game. Thaddeus Morgan, the ruthless, fanatical patriarch of the Morgans, vows that Flint’s days are numbered.

Will Flint survive the bullet of a sharpshooter sent to assassinate him? And, even if he does, will he be able to stay alive during the final battle between the two bitter rival families in their longstanding blood feud?

United States Marshal Flint – Blood Feud

United States Marshal Flint - Blood Feud: A Classic Western by [Henry Helbog, Pale Horse Publications, Michael Thomas]

U.S. Marshal Flint is retired, but that doesn’t mean he’s given up the gun. One day, he’s called to Ravenhurst to end a thirty-five-year war between two families: the Whitcombs and the Morgans. It’s a difficult assignment, but it comes with an offer he can’t refuse. Before sealing the deal with a toast of brandy, he gives his one and only condition: that he will never get in between the blood feud. But during a raid, he kills the eldest son of the Morgans. Now he must survive the war he had no desire to take part in, and Thaddeus Morgan – the family’s patriarch – has him in his sights. This feud reminds me of the Hatfields and McCoy’s but with more intrigue, or The Braithwaite family feud in Red Dead Redemption 2 with its consistent action.

U.S. Marshal Flint: Blood Feud is an action packed western that builds suspense from the first chapter. Blood Feud is not the type of book that will go out of its way to ease you in. It begins with cold-blooded murder, and it hardly stops after that. 

Speaking of cold-blooded, the world of U.S. Marshal Flint is a world of violence where bullets fly and bodies stack high, and the writing does a fantastic job of highlighting the force and movement of the scenes. The sentences are brief and straightforward, and with just 144 pages you can read through it as fast as its characters pull the trigger. 

Frankly, there’s not many negative things to say about Blood Feud. This is an adventure novel for fans of hard hitting westerns. With an engrossing storyline and an intriguing protagonist, the story reminds of the moody but gripping storytelling of Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian

If you are looking for a bloody good time, then U.S. Marshal Flint is your man and Blood Feud should definitely be your next read. 

Pages: 126 | ASIN: B09CG6RZJV

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Strife and Deadly Peril on the Open Trail

Author Interview
Henry Helbog Author Interview

United States Marshal Flint: Trailed follows a retired US Marshall who sets out to fulfill a dying man’s wish to protect his wife and daughter against a deadly gunslinger. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

My intention was to depict, as much as possible, an authentic version of the Old West as opposed to an idealized, romanticised, aseptic version. The three main characters, who really don’t like each other or have much in common, have no choice but to try to make the best of it when they’re unexpectedly thrown together. Riding in a wagon together for hundreds of miles and being exposed to various dangers ultimately brings out both the worst and best in them.

Flint is an intriguing and well-developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character’s development?

I wanted to create a character who would frequently find himself in perilous and challenging situations. A lawman was the obvious choice, but then I thought a better idea would be to make him an ex-lawman who worked as a sort of Old West private investigator and hired gun. This way, I thought, there would be a wider range of future plot possibilities for my character than if he were just a marshal.

Although Flint is a mostly good man who abides by the law and is guided by his own personal code of ethics and fair play, there is more to him than that. Financial gain is also a strong motivating factor for him. Would he, for instance, have agreed to help the wife and daughter if there wasn’t the added incentive of receiving a share of the profit from the gems? Whether he would or wouldn’t can’t be said with any degree of certainty. However, when he does commit to helping them, he does so wholeheartedly and even at great personal risk to himself, thus showing that there is an element of self-sacrifice in his nature.

By the way, I didn’t actually think consciously about my main character’s attributes when writing this book, so being prompted to examine the finer points of his nature has been an interesting exercise for me.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Love, devotion, jealousy, rivalry, pettiness, selfishness and greed are among the themes explored.

The novel also explores the harmful consequences that can arise when a child is kept in the dark about its true origin.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

The second Flint book, Blood Feud, is out now. It’s about two bitter rival families locked in an endless private war. As a result of thirty years of raids and ambushes, their numbers are depleted and both sides seem headed for eventual extinction. Flint is hired to protect the remaining members of one of the families but is inexorably drawn into the conflict. I anticipate the third book in the series, Vengeance, to be out by early August. Assuming my publisher has no objections, I think I might write perhaps six books in all before moving on to a new series.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

United States Marshal A. A. Flint, retired, comes across a dying man in a lonely mountain cabin. Shot through the stomach, he has only minutes to live. 

In that interval of time, he entrusts Flint with the task of helping his wife and daughter to find a hidden pouch of gemstones thought to be of incalculable worth. Above all, he is charged with protecting them against the death-dealing man in black: a gunfighter who’s been trailing the fast-fading cabin dweller all the way from California to Wyoming and who will stop at nothing to lay his hands on the gemstones. 
But first comes perhaps the hardest part of all: Flint must break the news of the cabin dweller’s death to his wife and daughter — and reveal to them that he himself was his killer.

United States Marshal Flint: Trailed

U.S. Marshal Flint - Trailed: A Classic Western by [Henry Helbog, Pale Horse Publications, Michael Thomas]

United States Marshal Flint: Trailed by Henry Helbog is an action-packed story that begins with a nail-biting start. The first chapter starts with a heart-stopping scene that entangles the reader in an unexpected adventure of discovery combined with curiosity and commitment. From one chapter to the next, the layers of a harsh, dystopian climate are peeled away to uncover humanity that lingers beneath, even in the direst of situations.

Initially, the story introduces two strangers on an almost objective but engaging level. The author reels you in with unforgiving, relentless development that’s fast-paced and page-turning, then pulls you into a deeper, more profound story that lies beneath. The story is intriguing because it keeps the reader guessing about the actual motive of the character and their journey throughout the story.

Flint, the main character, embarks on a journey that he commits to as a promise to an unlikely individual. He encounters many people, towns, and situations and learns many new and life-changing details along his quest. He learns more about the stranger he vowed to help and the history of his legacy while forging his own in the process. The book is full of plot twists and keeps the reader eager to read more, from start to finish.

Just as Flint’s story unravels, it becomes more dangerous and challenging than he expected. Readers will find the tale only grows more uncertain and exciting as they continue and become more invested in the outcome.

As a reader who enjoys adventure and the thrill of unexpected twists in a plot, I found the book easy to read and follow. There are no unnecessary complications or details that distract or take away from the overall storyline. It’s a fantastic book to read when you require a good quality adventure.

United States Marshal Flint: Trailed is an exciting western adventure novel that follows a retired U.S. Marshall set on a dangerous quest to fulfill a dying mans wish. This sets him, and readers, headlong down dusty trails with gunslingers hot on his trail. This story is relentlessly entertaining and is sure to appeal to anyone who enjoys westerns that put compelling characters in precarious situations.

Pages: 121 | ASIN: B092X78H4N

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