Painted Pony Books would like to announce the release of the first book in an exciting new young adult series by James J. Griffin, Lone Star Ranger: A Ranger to Ride With.
Nathaniel Stewart’s life changes in the blink of an eye when his family is murdered by a band of marauding raiders. They’ve made one terrible mistake…they didn’t finish the job. Fourteen-year-old Nathaniel is very much alive and ready to exact the justice his mother, father, and older brother deserve.
Taken in by a company of Texas Rangers, he begins to learn what it means to survive in the rugged wilds of Texas. Each of the Rangers have something to teach Nate, as they come to call him, and he’s a fast learner. When some of the same raiders later return, Nate proves his mettle when he saves the Rangers from being ambushed and wiped out.
A RANGER TO RIDE WITH is the first story in the new western series, LONE STAR RANGER. Look for A RANGER TO RECKON WITH, coming soon!
Nathaniel Stewart had just left his house and was walking down Linden Street in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware. In a few moments, he’d arrive at his best friend Hugh Dickinson’s home. He and Hugh would meet up with a few other friends, then either head to the river for a swim, or more likely just laze around in one of the boys’ back yards.
The day was pleasant for late July, the air warm with a gentle breeze blowing, not hot and sticky as it usually was this time of year. Nathaniel whistled as he walked along the tree lined street, fronted with its rows of neat brick houses with their well-kept yards and flower boxes filled with colorful blooms on the windowsills. He was fourteen years old, with unruly brown hair and eyes of the same hue. He’d recently grown a couple of inches, so had the typical thin build of most teenaged boys. He’d also recently realized that girls were beginning to interest him, and that when he walked by some of them smiled at him, then giggled for some reason. Truth be told, he had no idea why he was out of the blue interested in girls. All he knew was that the scrawny, dumb, silly females who’d always made pests of themselves were suddenly pretty and attractive. And one of the prettiest was Becky Palmer, with her pert turned up nose, blonde hair, and blue eyes the color of forget-me-nots. For some reason he felt he’d like to sit next to her on the front porch swing. He’d never admit that to Hugh or any of the other guys, though.
Nathaniel meandered along, not being in any particular hurry. Unexpectedly, Becky appeared at the end of the block. When she spotted Nathaniel, she waved to him and called his name.
“Nathaniel! Nathaniel Stewart!”
Nathaniel raised a hand to wave in response.
“Nathaniel! Get back to hoeing, right this minute. Those weeds aren’t going to pull themselves out of the ground!”
Nathaniel was roused from his daydream by the shouting of his mother, who stood in the door of the three-room dogtrot cabin the Stewart family now occupied. The voice he’d heard calling was not Becky’s, but his ma’s.
“Do you hear me, Nathaniel?”
“Yes, Ma.” Nathaniel sighed and lifted the hoe he’d been leaning against. He again began chopping at the tough weeds between the rows of turnips. He and his family no longer lived in their former pleasant neighborhood in Wilmington, but now on a small ranch several miles west of San Saba, Texas.