Beyond the Storm

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2012-05-09
  • Publisher: Textstream
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It is 1867, and twenty-three-year-old Shade McDonald is ready for a change. After spending the last few years serving in the Civil War, Shade has his sights set on marrying a good woman, settling on the family farm in Kentucky, and raising a family. Unfortunately, the only companions he has right now are a revolver, a rifle, and a strawberry roan named Rex. As he trudges along a hot, dusty road in southeastern Texas headed toward his future, Shade has no idea that trouble is not finished with him yet. Happily reunited with his family on a Texas ranch, Shade busies himself with learning the business of working and raising cattle. Yet within the dark recesses of his mind, something is casting a shadow on all that is good, and it is as ominous as a squall line. As a threat lurks in the distance, Shade must learn to rely on his past experiences to prepare for the uncertain road that lies ahead. Shade must leave all he loves to right a wrong. As he goes on a dangerous mission to find two culprits driven by evil intentions, he must summon the courage he learned on the battlefield to save not only his family, but also his own life.


After his Dad and Rainn left for home, Shade lingered in town for a bit, spending some time in Parks' store buying gun powder and ammunition. What he had back at the ranch was plenty for hunting but Shade now wondered if that was enough. Several people stopped him in the store and on the street and thanked him for what he had done. Shade was kindly to each but it made him uncomfortable and he soon rode out of town, stopping at a small stream that bisected the road that led to the Anderson Ranch. Upon dismounting, he relaxed Rex's saddle, checking the fit on the big roan's broad back before letting him free to graze. For an hour or so he set by the stream under a pecan tree, contemplating what had taken place in Pelham. Shade had reacted on instincts, and he sat in the quiet of the shade until he reached the conclusion that with even more time to think his reaction would have been the same. Satisfied, he retightened his horse's cinch and rode to the ranch in twilight. Shade took the new saddle off of Rex, brushed him down, fed him, and turned him out into the lot for the night. This had been some kind of day. Periods of high excitement, then calmness, would exhaust a man as Shade well knew and tonight he was exhausted. As he made his way from the barn to the house a lone coyote howled on his nightly hunt and a hoot owl called in the distance. Tree frogs joined in with their nocturnal music. Somewhere out on the northeast corner of the ranch, a cow bawled for its calf. On a normal night, after a hard day's work, Shade may have heard the coyote. Tonight, his senses were back in peak form. He heard it all.

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