Welcome, Darlene Franklin! Readers, please leave a comment to be eligible for a hard copy of Darlene's newest release, "A Ranger's Trail." And now, here she is, to tell us all about herself and her writing--expecially her Texas novels.
Recently a reviewer called the Texas Trails series an “epic.” The description startled me, but the more I thought about it, the more it resonated. The six books of the series sweep through fifty years of Texas history (1846-1896), touching on major milestones of the period: immigration, settlement, Indian wars, range wars, cowboys, the Rangers, stagecoaches, the War Between the States, the discovery of oil.
But when Susan Page Davis (Captive Trail and Cowgirl Trail), Vickie McDonough (Long Trail Home and The End of the Trail) put together the proposal, we weren’t thinking “epic.” We were looking for a way to tie six books about
Our agent, Chip McGregor, suggested the idea and teamed the three of us together. Susan, Vickie and I have worked together before. I felt privileged to work with such great writers. Not only that, but we work well together. Not all teams do!
Vickie is from
I not only grew up in
Texas Trails begins on the
In A Ranger’s Trail, Jud’s son Buck is a Texas Ranger assigned to quiet a range war that’s taking place in
In preparation for writing the series, I took a trip down that line from
In A Ranger’s Trail, I included quotes from contemporary accounts of the
TEXAS TRAILS: Doubt meets hope and fear gives way to faith in the Morgan family.
A RANGER’S TRAIL: When Leta Denning’s husband is murdered at the beginning of the Mason County War, she wants one thing: revenge. Buck Morgan, a Texas Ranger called in to investigate, has ties to a German family involved in Denning’s death.
Buck’s ability to remain impartial and bring the murderer to justice has Leta anxious. As she struggles to keep her ranch afloat, Buck offers to help—all the while searching for the truth. A tentative trail emerges, one forged by respect and bound by vengeance and forgiveness.
“Found not guilty of any wrongdoing. Praise the Lord.” Derrick Denning lifted his cup of coffee in a mock salute to his wife, Leta. “As the Good Book says, ‘Thou hast maintained my right and my cause.’ Though I feel bad about the fines the other fellows have to pay.
The Denning family sat around the table enjoying a celebratory dinner in their cabin on the D-Bar-D Ranch. Young Ricky clapped his hands on the table, although he didn’t know what they were celebrating. Leta looked into her husband’s eyes over their son’s head and smiled. The baby inside her stirred, as if contently joining in on the joy.
“I’ll read up on that new law about transporting cattle over county lines before I go on any more cattle drives. Right and legal aren’t always the same thing, and we want to be sure we stick on the side of the law.”
“It’s not right, the other men getting fined.” Leta’s brother Andy stopped shoveling beans into his mouth long enough to grumble. “They didn’t do nothing wrong. The cattle belonged to Mr. Roberts and Mr. Thomas.”
When her husband was arrested for helping M.B. Thomas and Allen Roberts take their cattle to
The German cattlemen had grumbled at the verdict. Tensions between Anglos and Germans already ran high, since German settlers had opposed seceding from the
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