Josephine Lilliwhite, a middle-aged woman with a quiet demeanor and a curious past happened upon love and motherhood late in life. In her early 40's she found herself starting over with a new man, a new home, and a 2nd son on the way. It seemed she’d finally found some light. With that light came the dark. When her jealous ex hears about Josephine’s newfound joy, his anger can only be sated by her death. As he whispers, “Congratulations” into her forgiving ear, he spits a bullet from his unforgiving gun. He leaves her for dead but Josephine has other plans. She decides not to end. She promises her family to begin, to rise and to return as the Outlaw King. Josephine heals anonymously deep inside the pulpy-noir haunts she grew up in: biker bars, betty brothels and the borrowed beds of the broken-hearted. In her kingdom, the landscape of the Inland Empire is as much a character as the Saint, the Monster, Cortez the Killer, The Black Knight Beauties & the Pennybrides. All hail Josephine!
“Many writers of crime fiction are giving their characters an ever growing laundry list of quirks to distract the reader from the age old tropes their characters embody. Jeannette Kantzalis has gone a different route, she writes her characters large, mythic, archetypal.
Her protagonist, Josephine Lillywhite, is not a femme fatale, she is THE femme fatale, she is ALL femme fatales. The Saint, the Monster and other archetypes act out their parts in her novel as well. Kantzalis has visited a wellspring of crime fiction that predates Thompson, Chandler, Doyle or even Poe, and she has returned with these symbol laden characters and placed them in a contemporary milieu with a feminine slant. This is a must read for any fan of the genre.”
–Neil McCrea, Author & Poet, writer of the Pushcart Prize nominated poetry collection Wisdom & Dust
“JOSEPHINE THE OUTLAW KING is a blast of hardboiled goodness set in a present-day wild west filled with sudden violence and even deeper passions. Jeannette Kantzalis writes prose that wraps its unflinching hand around your guts and won’t let go. Like the endangered lovers in her relentless yet compassionate story, this lyrical book waits for you…”
– Jeff Vintar , Screenwriter, I, Robot
“In a voice as authentic as it is vivid, in language supple, elastic and gritty as the landscape it depicts, this is a love story, an adventure, a yarn unlike any other. Josephine’s kingdom awaits. Consider yourself fortunate”.
–Akshat Verma, writer/director, Delhi Belly
“Jeannette Kantzalis’ prose are lyrical genius with a clear balance of emotion and life experience. The cadence of her words resemble a Bukowski like voice that captivates readers”.
–Erica Szilagyi, Associate Professor of English Literature, La Sierra University