Felling of the Sons
By Monette Bebow-Reinhard
Now available in 3rd edition
Cover by Adam Reinhard
Ben Cartwright finds himself torn in three when a threat comes against all of his sons at the same time, as he struggles to stay within the law and yet protect everything he loves. Using the famous burning map as cover and historical footnotes, the novel’s backdrop with intense historical research includes page-turning action with cattle drivin’, mining, timbering, land slidin’, a house fire and even Hop Sing gets into the act at the shooting end of a rifle. With a little romance and some psychological drama, this novel shows how love of family can overcome all obstacles.
1ST PLACE, FANFIC CATEGORY, DIY AWARDS, LOS ANGELES, 2007.
CLARA AWARDS, 2ND PLACE WESTERN, 2006.
“I VERY HIGHLY (HIGHLY, HIGHLY) RECOMMEND Felling of the Sons to every Western genre enthusiast, especially those that hold Bonanza in high-esteem.—Patricia Spork, Reviewer, ebook Reviews Weekly.Felling Of The Sons was the first book in years to keep me spellbound. I had to force myself to put it down. I have been an avid fan of the Cartwright family for years, having spent a great deal of time in the Lake Tahoe area and the "gold country" - despite being a native of Southern California. So to envision each character and the settings was pure joy. Lest someone think these are just the ramblings of some hick -- I have an MBS, a Bachelors in English, am a former Air Force officer, and a former county firefighter. --Ed Wilmes
I´ve read your book "Felling of the sons" and I´m now reading "Mystic Fire". I was never a big fan of Bonanza - just a big fan of Pernell Roberts. In my opinion most of the episodes were not elaborate. I´ve always missed something. While reading "Felling of the sons" I thought "wow! That´s the way Bonanza should be! Thrilling from cover to cover –Heike Simon, Germany
I enjoyed your book very much - you write very true to character, and incorporate adventure and suspense in this action-packed story. It was fun to read all the familiar Bonanza elements - Virginia City, mining, Indian neighbors, bad guys bent on revenge. All of the Cartwrights get their chance center-stage--I appreciated that, too. --Carol Harper
Check out this video - when the Ponderosa Ranch at Incline Village was still open, this was my first visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8t2C_U8Q_Hk
There's a second video called Take 2.
“I can kill a Cartwright, Pa. Let me do it.” Bret Van Remus glanced at his father before staring back out the stagecoach window where the rocky hills and valleys, green with summer in the Sierra Mountains, blurred through his mind. The Overland coach bound from Sacramento to Virginia City, Nevada, hit ruts and lingering mud puddles as though included in the fare. Dust had settled on his lips, but Bret only tasted the blood of revenge that marked their dusty trail.
He and his pa had fought over their plans for eighteen years, putting it off, finding flaws, making adjustments, and now, at age thirty, he still felt twelve, with no future and no past, just anger. “We don’t need to involve any outsiders.”
Clete Van Remus brushed absently at the dirt on his Chesterfield coat without looking up from his papers. “No. I’ve said this before. I want your hands clean in this.” He’d seen to their privacy in the coach by paying the full fare for just the two of them.
Pa thought himself wise using those eighteen years to invest, barter and even steal wherever possible. And now, by throwing money around in Virginia City, they would remain above suspicion when things started to go wrong for one particular family of so-called noble citizens. But Bret couldn’t get past his own need—no matter how remorseless a killer Clete eventually found to do the proper harm to the right target.
“Nobody’d know it was me.” Bret pulled his long blonde hair from his face, an unconscious game he played with the wind. He didn’t share with his pa, whose nearsightedness affected not only his physical ability to see the present, but often the future, too, that he felt capable of exploding into a million bits of
uncontrolled rage just seeing one of those murdering Cartwrights.
The bumpy ride didn’t keep Clete from studying the property claim papers he had legally drawn and notarized. For the hundredth time, Bret thought, he checked them to make sure they’d fool any judge in the land.
Clete finally put the papers down to study his son. “Bret, you sound just like you did when you were twelve. Now keep quiet and let me think.”
“You find a problem?”
“You talk like the adult you profess to be, and we’ll have a conversation.” He hid behind the papers again to rub his eyes but Bret didn’t miss the gesture. Pa got those headaches often but refused to get treated for them, saying they came from the same hate Bret carried around. But Bret’s hate made him feel stimulated, not incapacitated.
“You had those papers verified by the best judge in the district.”
“I’m not worried about the papers. Just planning the best strategy for presenting them.” He sneezed again and adjusted his Derby, a habit of marked resignation to his balding head.
“But why’d it have to take so long?” Bret clenched his hands tight on his lap to control the rage. Ma would have been ready for revenge the day after the murder if she hadn’t been the one killed. Not Pa. Pa hated the idea of making a mistake, of being wrong or looking stupid. Bret once caught him trying on a pair of spectacles and thought his pa might buy them, too, until he caught sight of himself in a looking glass.
“Ben Cartwright will never expect us, not in a thousand years. You’ll see.”
AUTHORS NOTE: This started as another short story. I was writing them since 1992, and this got published, finally, in 2001 (1st edition). But the idea that Adam could have blocked a traumatic event that took a woman's life and led to her son's vengeance 18 years later quickly became a novel as the subplot developed. Before I knew it, I was researching mining, timbering and cattle drives, all as Cartwright enterprises affected by the vengeance. My favorite is the psychology of trauma, and how deeply ingrained their love for each other is, how far they would go to protect each other. I felt I had something special, so I had to contact the series creator David Dortort for permission to publish. But it wasn't this novel that convinced David I could write Bonanza. It was the movie script I wrote for his "sons of the sons" that convinced him to give me publication permission.