Special to the E-T

Dr. Donna Walker-Nixon’s hometown of Stephenville, Texas, proves the perfect backdrop for a tale of seduction, deception and enduring friendship in “Canaan’s Oothoon.”

Canaan Watson, a mysterious stranger, stirs up more than dust in the small town of Lindsey, Texas. His machinations entangle a few local women in a web of trickery and manipulation. Canaan thinks he’s the reincarnation of English poet William Blake. He searches for his “oothoon,” a sexually liberated woman free of societal constraints. With his auburn hair and ice-blue eyes, Canaan lures three women into his charismatic trap.

Seduced by poetry and promises are Emma Mae, an old woman consumed by the death of her daughter more than 25 years ago; Lura, a young woman captivated romance and belonging; and Maria Elena, a vulnerable teenager longing for independence and identity.

Immune to Canaan’s spell is Bonnie, Maria Elena’s strong-willed grandmother and Emma Mae’s lifetime best friend. Bonnie’s determination may be the women’s only hope before Canaan’s trap leads to tragedy.

A Stephenville native, Walker-Nixon modeled Lindsey, Texas, after her hometown. The unique culture of the colorful town adds a Texas twist to the spiral of romance and manipulation.

“The town’s conservative backdrop highlights Canaan’s eccentricities. Life in Lindsey is calm and dusty until he moves in and uproots the women’s realities,” said Baylor University senior Danielle Wilson.

“Canaan’s Oothoon” is Walker-Nixon’s debut novel. Her short stories have appeared in a variety of publications and she started two literary magazines that have achieved national prominence. In her fourth year teaching creative writing and British literature at Baylor University, the author holds a bachelor’s in English from Tarleton State University and a doctorate’s in English from Texas A&M Commerce.

Walker-Nixon has been working on the book for eight years.

“The inspiration for the book came from my grandmother and her best friend, Bonnie, and the friendship that they had and love that they had for each other,” she said.

Walker-Nixon’s unconventional writing style propels the storyline, each character’s journey with Canaan enhanced by Walker-Nixon’s unique delivery.

“I’m from Texas. Donna’s work makes me wonder whether or not I knew some of these people growing up. Saints, reprobates and those teetering on the edge in either direction … these are believable people with believable idiosyncrasies. ” journalism lecture at Baylor University Dr. Cassy Burleson said.

Canaan’s Oothoon is a suspenseful exploration. The book is available for sale at Amazon.com for $16.95. For more information, contact the author at Donna_Walker-Nixon@baylor.edu or 254-718-3701.