|Texas Ranger, c. 1846 (Library of Congress collection)|
Unofficially formed in 1823 and made official in 1835 by an act of the newly formed Republic of Texas government, the Rangers are the oldest statewide law-enforcement body in the U.S. At first the tough, hard-bitten men were a paramilitary force tasked with protecting the frontier from Indians and desperados. They were poorly paid and expected to furnish their own horses, weapons, and ammunition, but their never-say-die attitude quickly became legendary. Admittedly, sometimes they abandoned the letter of the law in pursuit of their objectives, but they always got the job done.
Fearful of the organization’s reputation, the federal government disbanded the Rangers during the post-Civil War Reconstruction Era. Texas re-commissioned the outfit in 1874, after the state emerged from martial law under Union occupation forces. Shortly before the turn of the 20th Century, the Rangers acquired the motto that still follows them today: “One riot; one Ranger.”
Except for one brief-but-notorious period of corruption in the 1920s, the organization has performed its function with stellar character.
The hero in The Second-Best Ranger in Texas, a 99-cent standalone short story Prairie Rose publications released today, is a Texas Ranger booted from the force when his partner’s death turns him into a loose cannon bent on revenge...as soon as he does his brother-in-arms one last favor.
A washed-up Texas Ranger. A failed nun with a violent past. A love that will redeem them both.
His partner’s grisly death destroyed Texas Ranger Quinn Barclay. Cashiered for drunkenness and refusal to follow orders, he sets out to fulfill his partner’s dying request, armed only with a saloon girl’s name.
Sister María Tomás thought she wanted to become a nun, but childhood dreams aren’t always meant to be. At last ready to relinquish the temporary vows she never should have made, she begs the only man she trusts to collect her from a mission in the middle of nowhere.
When the ex-Ranger’s quest collides with the ex-nun’s plea in a burned-out border town, unexpected love blooms among shared memories of the dead man who was a brother to them both.
Too bad he was also the only man who could have warned them about the carnage to come.
Available as an e-book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.