“No man in the wrong can stand up against a fellow that’s in the right and keeps on a-coming.”
– Captain Bill McDonald, Texas Ranger
Almost since their inception, the name Texas Rangers has called up a romantic image of the men who valiantly stood against any and all enemies. Brave, noble, and true, they fought to protect the land they loved, and they became legends for it. There are lawmen, and then, there are Texas Rangers. In his book The Men Who Wear the Star: The Story of the Texas Rangers, Charles Robinson quotes former adjutant general William W. Sterling, a former Ranger himself, who said, “There is no question but that a definite potency exists in the name ‘Texas Ranger.’ Take two men of equal size and arm them with identical weapons. Call one of them a deputy sheriff and the other a Ranger. Send each of these officers out to stop a mob or quell a riot. The crowd will resist the deputy, but will submit to the authority of the Ranger.”
Texas history is full of examples of these legendary champions of the state. Consider men like John Coffee Hays who single-handedly held off a band of Comanche Indians at Enchanted Rock in 1841, Samuel H. Walker who helped develop the Colt Walker single-action revolver, and Frank Hamer who helped hunt down Bonnie and Clyde. Captain Bill McDonald was once sent to stop a prize fight, and when asked when other officers would arrive, he said, “Hell! Ain’t I enough?” “One Riot, One Ranger.” They’re just that great!
The Rangers have a Major League Baseball team named for them. They have their own museum in Waco, Texas. The one and only Chuck Norris chose to play a Ranger on TV! Let’s face it – Texas Rangers are Just. Plain. Cool.
When I started The Lawmen of Texas series, I had no idea it would even be a series, but while I was working on the first book, my cousin Erick Reed passed away after twenty years of battling a kidney disease. He was only 42. Since we were kids, he dreamed of serving his country as a fighter pilot. He would have been a doting husband and a fun dad, but the disease kept him from those things and ultimately took him from us. After he was gone, my heart needed to rewrite his story for him, to give him the adventure and happy ending he should have had. Once I got the idea, book two practically wrote itself. I don’t write about pilots, but, I think, making him a Texas Ranger is just about as cool! The Ranger’s Purpose is my gift to Erick.
Texas Ranger Erick Carlton is tough, intimidating, unyielding, but two gunshots to the shoulder can render a man useless. He’s got outlaws to track down and can’t afford time to heal, but these injuries have knocked him flat. It doesn’t hurt that the nurse tending him is a beautiful young woman, and taking time to recover might not be so bad, if only the damage from the gunshots wasn’t so life-altering.
Mahala Peters doesn’t want to be anywhere near this stranger, or any man for that matter. Since a terrifying attack three years ago, she’s been in hiding and would like nothing more than for Erick Carlton to pack up and head out. But as his wounds heal, so does her heart. She knows she shouldn’t get attached. The man is on a mission, after all, bound to leave as soon as he’s healed. Only now, does she really want him to go?
With lingering complications from his wound and the draw of a woman he can’t provide for, can this Ranger find his true purpose?
Heidi is offering a digital copy of The Ranger’s Purpose to three commenters on today’s blog.
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