Grace Milton's peaceful life with her family on a horse ranch outside Tombstone, Arizona is shattered in one devastating night. Her parents and siblings are all brutally killed by the notorious Guiltless Gang, leaving Grace the only survivor. Alone and desperate, she buries her family and sets out into the wilderness on her trusted stallion, Bullet, with burning thoughts of revenge. But when she falls ill on the trek, a young man called Joe saves her life by taking her to an Apache camp to heal her body and spirit. She begins to learn their ways, and despite all her heartache, she finds herself beginning to fall for Joe. But vengeance is never far from her mind, and the effort to find peace and forgiveness is a constant struggleespecially when she encounters one of the Guiltless Gang, Doc Slaughter, by chance. Will she fall into the darkness, or can Gracechannel hernewfound skillsinto ameans of survival as a bounty hunter?
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Grace watches as a gang on horseback ride in and slaughter her family. With her mother, father, sister, and two brothers dead, she vows revenge. The only life she has known has been on the homestead where her parents settled hoping to raise horses and provide for their family. When a group of so-called ranchers/outlaws decides they want the land her family will soon own, they set fire to the log cabin and kill everyone Grace loves. When she emerges from her hiding place in the root cellar, she faces total devastation and the horrible task of burying her slain family members. Grace heads to the nearest town to report the incident to the sheriff only to discover that the Guiltless Gang has been paying the lawman to look the other way. Alone and inexperienced, Grace barely escapes town with her life. She heads toward the hills where she believes the criminals have headed, hoping to use her father's gun to get her revenge. Instead her lack of survival skills have her traveling in circles and becoming the victim of a bear attack. With the help of a young man, she winds up in the camp of a tribe of Apaches who tend to her wounds and offer her a safe place to stay. Will their friendship and acceptance enable her to put aside her anger or will she still try to carry out her promise to kill the men responsible for her family's deaths? Author Erin Johnson takes readers back to the wild west in GRACE AND THE GUILTLESS. It may not be the usual time and place for a young adult adventure, but Johnson's smooth narrative and non-stop action will capture teen readers and no doubt leave them begging for more. This is a must have for classroom and library shelves.