MANSFIELD - Dennis R. Miller's newest book, "One Woman's Vengeance," though only 145 pages, is one that you won't want to put down once you pick it up.
The story of a 19th century woman set in post-Civil War New Mexico is a page-turner from the start.
Filled with both non-stop action and an underlying love story that grows and develops with each chapter.
The story of Nora Hawks' determination to take revenge on a ruthless gang of outlaws who "took everything from her" in their bloodlust and greed seems to have been written by a man who knows a lot about women, and particularly women who have been deeply wounded by men.
Hawks does what most women of her era only dreamed of doing in an age when women were viewed as not much more than property.
She used her mind to develop the skills she needed, trained her body for the rigors of hand-to-hand combat, and developed control over her emotions so she could go after the gang of 12 that murdered her husband and then beat, raped and abused her, leaving her for dead.
Though set in a violent time in America's history when women were routinely beaten and abused, the love story between Hawks and her newly found, although somewhat reluctant mentor Peter Clawson, a retired bounty hunter, whom she hires to train her in the art of gunplay and fighting, conveys a sweetness and innocence that Nora thinks she has lost forever.
In the end, she finds the physical strength and endurance she needs to pursue her attackers, and the trust to find the love she feared she might never know again.
Miller, a 1971 Mansfield University graduate, has been the university's public relations director since 1980.
The book is available at the campus bookstore and its online store, as well as From My Shelf books in Wellsboro.
Both print and ebook versions are available on Lulu.com and the ebook version on Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com and on iBooks on the iTunes store.
All profits from the book are put into a scholarship fund for future MU students.
The first chapter of "One Woman's Vengeance" is available for free on Miller's blog at onewomansvengeance. com.
Miller also has a Facebook page at Dennis R. Miller.