When young Mariano Medina witnesses a vicious attack on a girl he adores, he flees in inexplicable terror. Fifteen years later, as a grown man training horses along the Oregon Trail, he has a chance to redeem himself if he can overcome his cowardly urge to flee. His choice will lead Medina back to the land of his childhood, where he must confront his darkest fears and uncover the hidden source of his panic in the ghostly stare that haunts his dreams.
This is the story of a man’s quest for courage, respect and love in an unforgiving land. Based on real characters who lived on the frontier during the lead up to America’s 1846 war with Mexico, David M. Jessup has woven a spellbinding prequel to his award-winning first novel, Mariano’s Crossing.
Praise For Mariano’s Choice
Mariano’s Choice is one of those rare, wonderful books that sticks in the mind and heart long after you’ve read the last page. Masterfully paced…it offers an intriguing snapshot of the West through the eyes of characters largely ignored by mainstream fiction. —Anne Hillerman, New York Times best-selling author of Spider Woman’s Daughter and Rock With Wings.
Jessup adds flesh and blood to the bones of one of the West’s legendary mountain men in this tightly wound novel of the Old West.—Sandra Dallas, New York Times best-selling author.
Jessup is a master historian and writer. In vivid and gorgeous prose, we encounter the world of the late 1800s and the men and women who literally shaped the West. I loved it.—Laura Pritchett, winner of the PEN USA Award for Fiction, author, Red Lightning.
Mariano’s Choice isn’t your typical Western, and Mariano Medina isn’t your typical Western hero. the result is a richer, more realistic interpretation than the overwrought, myth-driven view we see in so many Western novels.—Rod Miller, three-time winner of the Western Writers of America Spur Award.
Author David Jessup’s fluid, compelling prose takes the reader back to another time, to share Mariano Medina’s adventures and adversities.—Lucia St. Clair Robson, New York Times best-selling author, Owen Wister Award winner, Western Writers of America.
Jessup’s cinematic eye for detail and his gift for gut-wrenching, heart-pounding storytelling pulls us seamlessly into a world of danger, beauty, and unbounded possibility.—Gary Schanbacher, winner of the Langum Award for American Historical Fiction.
The plot is riveting. The historical basis just adds to it. If Mariano’s Crossing was an award-winning first effort, Mariano’s Choice, the prequel, should join it on the judges’ stand.—Denny Dressman, author of eight books and President of the Colorado Authors’ League.
Signed copies are available now directly from the author at davidmjessup.com