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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

PPB New Release: Lone Star Ranger Volume 2: A Ranger To Reckon With by James J. Griffin

We are giving away one free ecopy of James J. Griffin's A Ranger To Reckon With. You have to leave a comment for a chance to win.

Nate Stewart’s parents and older brother are brutally murdered by a gang of raiders on the Texas plains, and Nate is left for dead. But a company of Texas Rangers saves his life, and through a twist of fate, Nate proves himself as a provisional Ranger.  At fourteen years old, he’s too young to join the ranks of the Rangers just yet—but he’s not too young to seek out the men who killed his family!
From fighting with a knife to imbibing his first bottle of tequila, Nate learns some much-needed lessons in growing up. But when he and pal Hoot Harrison confront a gang of bank robbers, Nate is faced with self-doubt.

A bloody confrontation with the pale-eyed devil who leads the band of marauders comes unexpectedly—quickly, violently—and ends with the deaths of more innocent ranch hands in a raid eerily similar to the one that took Nate’s family. Only this time, Nate isn’t the green youngster he was before. He’s got a gun and he knows how to use it. He’s A RANGER TO RECKON WITH…

   Texas Ranger Captain Dave Quincy had recruited two new men, Larry Cannon and Lee Shelton.  After supper that evening, they were sitting by the slowly dying campfire, along with Jeb Rollins, having final cups of coffee and cigarettes before turning in for the night.
   “Jeb,” Lee said. “Those two boys who rode in earlier today. They seem awful young to be Rangers, especially that Nate kid.”
   “They’re both older’n they look,” Jeb answered. “Hoot’s been with us for quite a spell now. As for how Nate became part of the outfit, that’s quite a tale. And, he’s still a probationary Ranger.”
   Jeb took another swallow of his coffee, then a drag on his cigarette.
   “Well, don’t keep us waitin’,” Larry said. “Tell us about him.”
   “All right. We came upon Nate just after his family’s ranch was raided. His ma, pa, and older brother were all killed. Nate had been shot and left for dead. We found him in a root cellar. After we patched him up and buried his folks, we had to decide what to do with him. Bein’ as he had no family left in Texas, the only choice—or so we thought—was to send him back to live with relatives in Delaware, where his family’d come from. Somethin’ happened to change those plans, though.”
   “That’s pretty plain,” Lee said. “What was it?”
   “Nate decided he wanted to stay in Texas. We couldn’t figure out a way to do that. Then, as luck would have it, I ran across a bunch of rustlers the Rangers had been after for quite a spell. Mort Stevenson, and four others. Ended up havin’ a shootout with ’em. Carl Swan, the hombre who rode in with those boys today, took a hand. So did Nate. One of Stevenson’s men was about to plug me. Nate jumped on him and knocked him out. Saved me from a bullet in my guts. So, I figured he had enough sand in his craw that we could take him on as a camp helper. Cap’n Quincy put him on as a probationary Ranger instead. And that sure turned out to be the right decision.”
   “How so, Jeb?” Larry asked.
   “Nate wasn’t so certain he could cut it as a Ranger. Truthfully, neither was I. The boy was real green. Still is, in some ways. But he’s a real quick learner, and got plenty of guts to go with his smarts. Not long after he joined us, the same outfit who killed his folks ambushed us. They’re a right clever bunch. Sent a deputy who was in cahoots with ’em to start most of us on a wild goose chase. We rode straight into a bushwhackin’. And while we were lookin’ for ’em, some of the outfit attacked the men we left behind. One of those was Nate. The deputy had also remained in camp, supposedly because he was too worn out to ride with us. But he was with another part of the bunch. They intended to hit the camp and wipe out every man in it. However, Nate ruined their plans. He spotted what the deputy was up to, and warned the camp just before they were attacked. We did lose six men that night, four who were with the patrol and two in camp, but Nate kept ’em from killin’ everyone who stayed behind, while they were sleepin’. Got himself shot that night, but he healed up right quick. No sir, don’t you worry about Nate bein’ too young. That boy’s gonna be a Ranger to reckon with.” 

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  1. Great work, Jim! Reminds me of some of the pulp stories where a writer might have a young main character. High hopes of bringing in new, young readers to the western genre. Terrific!

  2. Jim I enjoyed reading this story and working on it with you on the editing so much. I'm really liking Nate and the tale of his growing up years with the Rangers!

    1. If I can't win a copy, you can't win a copy, LOL

  3. I enjoyed the first in this series so much, I've got to get the second. Thanks for sharing an excerpt!

  4. I'll bet you won't let me win a copy even though I'm commenting, LOL. Seriously, this is my first attempt at a Young Adult series of Westerns (although it's certainly suitable for adults also), and I'm really enjoying bringing Nate, Hoot, and all the other characters to life. I hope everyone has as much fun reading these books as I'm having writing them.

    1. Jim, I'm expecting great things from this series. It's a wonderful way to introduce younger readers to the genre. Good on ya! :-)

    2. Thanks. I really appreciate your appreciating the series.