The year is 1854, Monterey, California. Young Tiburcio Vasquez spends his days performing daring stunts on his horse at fiestas, operating a popular dance hall, and courting the daughter of a wealthy Spanish rancher. His carefree, idyllic daily life, however, is threatened by a vast migration of energetic Americans pouring into the state after the discovery of gold. When these two worlds collide, Tiburcio's plans for a pleasant, prosperous future are smashed. One night he is wrongly accused of murdering a white constable at his own fandango and is forced to flee his family home with the real killer - his cold-blooded, hot-tempered cousin Anastacio Garcia. Garcia wants to make the "invaders" pay for taking his countrymen's land and forever changing California's quiet, pastoral way of life. He exacts revenge by the most violent means. Irrevocably tied to Garcia, the well-educated and charismatic Tiburcio is now hunted wherever he goes. Unable to set the past right again, Tiburcio has no choice but to become the leader, protector and defender of countless wronged people, as well as the mastermind behind a grand, secret rebellion to overthrow the state's new government. Always on the run, and tossed in and out of prison, Tiburcio hardens. He finds solace in poems, dancing, guitar playing, and the company of women. Still, nothing can fill his soul the way Anita, the rancher's daughter, did. He audaciously holds up stage coaches, steals cattle and loots entire towns to fund his revolution and stir fear in the gringo population - from the governor down to the new settlers. Though landless, Tiburcio and his band of outlaws roam the California countryside and raise hell while tenacious Sheriff Harry N. Morse and other lawman try to bring an end to their reign of terror.
David Caraccio lives in Fair Oaks, Ca., where he lives with his wife and son. He is an online editor for The Sacramento Bee with 25 years of experience in journalism. He is currently working on his second novel.