In 1818, the bravest of the brave settled a narrow strip of land along the Red River in Texas.
In 1818, the bravest of the brave settled a narrow strip of land along the Red River in Texas. A place where death and life held equal strongholds—the new leading edge of the West was an exceedingly dangerous place. For Samuel Wyllie, his family’s land south of the Red River at Pecan Point was a nearly sacred place, as beautiful as heaven must be. He has big plans for the future and will do what it takes to carve a new life out of the wilderness.
Louisa Pate and her young brother Adam, new arrivals in the settlement, are subjected to the tyranny of a cruel father. He intends to marry her off for profit and power to a brash filibuster who plans to challenge the Spanish for control of Texas. She also faces a frontier teeming with Indians, raw wilderness, deadly quicksand, and men who would use her for their own gain. Denied any chance for happiness, she is determined to survive and protect her little brother. And she will do what she must for Adam’s sake, even enter into a loveless marriage.
But even on this lonely frontier, Louisa is not truly alone. Time and again, Samuel boldly stands between her and disaster. The vastness of Texas is not big enough to hold his courage or his love. Yet love is not easily won and life in the West challenges them both. Help comes in the form of a unique trapper named Old Bill, a solitary, spirit-like Caddo brave named Kuukuh, and Samuel’s father and three brothers.
In the author's words . . .
Set in 1818 on the wild and dangerous Texas frontier, this novel kicks off my new Wilderness Dawning—the Texas Wyllie Brothers Series. The book's setting is a time and place when life was tough. And love had to be even tougher. RED RIVER RIFLES is a gritty western, a love story, and a gripping tale of the first daring settlers of Texas, I meticulously researched the Texas frontier and the lives of its early settlers for this series. It has a bit of actual family history and a fictional story-line with a touching romance. It is a clean, yet romantic historical set against the stunning backdrop of the Province of Texas and the Red River. One of my readers described it as one of my most heart-warming and suspense-filled works yet. I hope you'll agree.
Enjoy a sneak peek from Red River Rifles
by Dorothy Wiley
North side of the Red River, Pecan Point, Texas, 1818
Louisa Pate’s sweaty palms gripped the stock of her father’s heavy rifle.
John R. Pate, her father, was a man of iron will and indomitable force. Once he’d resolved to claim land in the Province of Texas, or maybe it was the Arkansas Territory—no one was sure what this place was called—their destiny was fixed. They’d arrived at the Pecan Point settlement a week ago and her father had purchased, on the other side of the Red River, a log cabin and acreage from a settler who was in a hurry to leave.
And so it was that she found herself hiding in the settler’s cornfield with her little brother. Summer rains must have come at the right time for the sweet-smelling corn stalks stood thick and tall. In addition to the corn they would harvest next month, the stalks provided a place to hide. For that she gave thanks.
Beside her crouched her wide-eyed, eight-year-old brother, Adam. They’d heard barking and when she peered out into the darkness, she’d seen their dog’s alert stance and movement in the bushes. At once, she’d grabbed the loaded rifle her father had left with her and snuck out the back window with her brother. With Adam’s small hand in hers, she’d run with all her might toward the cornfield. Unable to keep up, she’d had to carry him on her side the last few yards.
“Pa should be here,” her brother said.
“Hush, Adam!” she whispered into his ear.
Their father had left that morning for Jonesboro, a larger settlement about thirty miles away. He said he planned to buy supplies for their new home and an evening’s ‘entertainment’ as he called it. So, since that morning, she had been left alone with her brother. Louisa’s mother and Adam’s mother had both died long before they came here.
Her father also wanted to find someone willing to rent a slave. He didn’t have the money to buy a slave, but he could rent one for a while from someone else. Apparently renting a slave for labor was a common practice amongst settlers who couldn’t afford to buy one to work their farm and fields. She found both owning and renting another human being disgraceful and wanted to tell him so.
But she didn’t. The one time she’d stood up to him, by simply calling him old-fashioned, she received a slap to her cheek so hard it knocked her off her feet. Glaring down at her with narrowed, dark eyes, he’d shouted, “I’ll teach you to respect me.” Then, her father jerked her up by her hair and shoved her across the room. Her punishments were occasionally even more severe. Every so often, he would throw things at her or rip up her clothes. She would sometimes cry out, sometimes silently curse. But most of the time she would just tremble deep inside herself.
She never fought back.
Whenever her father hurt her, it always made Adam cry. And every time her brother cried, her father would whip him with a belt. “Men don’t cry,” he would yell as he snapped the leather across her brother’s small back at least once and, if he were really angry, two or three times.
For her, witnessing Adam’s rough treatment was her father’s cruelest punishment. The sight wounded her more than anything else he could do to her. So, for the last several years, to protect her brother, she avoided doing or saying anything to set their father off. She would also feign respect for her father. That helped, but her tenuous harmony with him was as fragile as butterfly wings. Her life was an uneasy charade with only a pretense of happiness.
That morning, her father had made sure she was well armed before he left and told her she was responsible for protecting their home. But when the Indians showed up, her first thought was to protect Adam, so she chose to hide him rather than fight. She hadn’t had time to grab the pistols, shot sack, and powder horn. Only the rifle. And the single shot it held was all that stood between her and her brother’s certain captivity if they were discovered. And for her, capture meant…
End of Excerpt
Copyright © by Dorothy Wiley
Learn more by visiting the author's website. RED RIVER RIFLES released April 6, 2019.
"Exciting and entertaining ‒ five stars! Well-researched with authentic characters and vivid settings. The story is fast-paced with a great blend of adventure, romance, and history, combined with a certain gritty realism." — Jennifer Scoullar, bestselling Aussie author
"This is, without question, Wiley's best work yet. It is an epic adventure, a touching love story, and a legendary tale of the early Texas frontier. She breathes life into memorable heroes struggling to survive in a savage new land where life is cheap and bloodshed is common. Based, in part, on the lives of real Texans, the Wyllie family meets danger head on again and again without ever losing their integrity. Despite brutal elements, dangerous adversaries, and tribes out for revenge, love blossoms and endures. Beautifully researched, and meticulously crafted, Dorothy Wiley will astonish you with this memorable novel."
—Amanda Hughes, bestselling historical romance author
Meet the Author
Amazon bestselling novelist Dorothy Wiley is an award-winning, multi-published author of Historical Romance and Western Romance. Her most recent third series, Wilderness Dawning, begins with RED RIVER RIFLES, a gritty, smoldering western that reveals Wiley’s remarkable writing is stronger than ever. Her first two series, the highly-acclaimed American Wilderness series and Wilderness Hearts series, blend thrilling action with the romance of a moving love story to create exceedingly engaging page-turners enjoyed worldwide by her readers.
Like Wiley’s compelling heroes, who from the onset make it clear they will not fail despite the adversities they face, this author is likewise destined for success. Her novels have won numerous awards, notably a RONE Award Finalist, a Laramie Award Finalist, Chatelaine Finalist for Romantic Fiction, an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-finalist, a Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal, a USA Best Book Awards Finalist, and a Historical Novel Society Editor’s Choice. And Wiley’s books continue to earn five-star ratings from readers and high praise from reviewers, including several Crowned Heart reviews from “InD’Tale Magazine.”
Red River Rifles by Dorothy Wiley
Genre: Historical Romance/Western
Heat Level: 2
Language Level: 2
Violence Level: 3
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