(Survival/suspense, western) Winner: 2016 International Book Award, Literary Classics Seal of Approval, and 2016 Laramie Award Finalist. What if you came home after a journey and your family was no longer there? What if someone else was living in your house, running what you used to manage—and trying to kill you? Could a beautiful woman be behind it? Wade Forester must stay in the shadows because, it seems, everyone has reason to shoot him. His father has disappeared, and his sister won’t speak to anyone. Patricia Laughlin is searching for her family as well. Few people gain her trust or approval, though powerful landowner Bridger Calhoun might be the man to do it. After a clash throws them to opposite sides, Wade must decide if risking his life to help Patricia is worth the trouble. Bridger must win Patricia’s heart, and Patricia must choose which killer to trust with her life.
Set in the historic Nevada silver rush, the writing comes from intimate knowledge of the era and area. Having lived off the land, Wilcox depended on his wit, grit, and strength—and that of his animals—for survival, just as these characters do. Wilcox and Beckstrand weave authentic detail and care for the territory and its creatures into an adventure that will make your heart pound and fill your lungs with the rarefied air of the old Sierra Nevada Mountains. Stand alone. Comes with additional short story. Family friendly (ages 14 & up, diverse characters), 54,000 words, 200 pages, 5.25”x8” paperback, Latino protagonist, American Indian. Simultaneously published as A Sky So Big (New Adult mystery romance/YA western novel), also an ebook—soon a graphic novel and audiobook. Premio Publishing (signed books. Worldwide rights © 2015) PremioPublishing, Baker & Taylor, Brodart, Follett, Native, Ingram. Written by Ransom Wilcox (Horse & Dog Adventures in Early California) and Karl Beckstrand (The Bridge of the Golden Wood). LCCN: 2015937400, FIC002000, FIC030000, FIC033000, FIC056000, FIC059000, FIC027270, FIC022070, FIC027230, FIC027110, JUV001010, JUV002000, JUV028000, JUV029000, ISBN: 978-0692407974, ebook ISBN: 978-1311882387
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About the Author
Ransom “Doc” Wilcox was born in Taber, Alberta, Canada, in 1907 to David Adrian and Agnes Southworth Wilcox. He was the sixth of seven children. Because Rance was sickly, it was suggested that the family move to California. The family was part of a group of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) that bought land in Vina, north of Chico in 1907. Financial hardship forced the family to move often in search of work: Vacaville, Pope Valley, Gridley, Ukiah, Redwood Valley, Sebastopol, and Oakland. They farmed and tended livestock: sheep, cattle, horses, pigs, turkeys, and hens. They cured ham in a smoke house and did a lot of hunting and fishing in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Once, to escape a charging boar, Wilcox stuck a pole he was carrying in the ground and climbed up! One season the family lived in a tent while the men worked cutting hay. At harvest time everyone picked apples. Another year, Wilcox joined his father and brothers in Arizona, building a school on an American Indian reservation. Many elements of Wilcox’s stories come from his early experiences. In 1935 Wilcox married and began studying to be a chiropractor. But the Great Depression put his studies on hold. He tried several enterprises to support his family—most failed. So did the marriage. In 1943 he enlisted in the army. Because of his hunting background they had him train soldiers in gunnery and target practice. Just before his unit was to go overseas, Wilcox got the flu. He missed the boat—literally—so was honorably discharged. Between more failed marriages, Wilcox completed his studies and opened a chiropractic practice just off Union Square in San Francisco. He took his kids to see Coit Tower, Fisherman’s Wharf, Seal Rock, Smugglers’ Cove, the Presidio, Fleishhacker Zoo, and football games at Kezar Stadium. Later he moved to Hayward and opened a practice on B Street. Wilcox’s friends called him Ray (for R.A.) or Doc. Besides writing, Wilcox enjoyed singing and was an excellent dancer. He was good with his hands. He loved to walk in the great outdoors. Near the end of his life, he joked about leaving his body to science; “I’m sure they can use my brain. It’s in perfect condition—never been used.” In a letter to his daughter, he wrote “In my heart I have no hatred or dislike for anyone. In my career I have eased many a person’s pain and suffering.” Wilcox died of cancer in 1992 and is buried in Ukiah, CA. His short stories and poems are published under the title, Horse & Dog Adventures in Early California.
International Publisher/Presenter Karl Beckstrand is the award-winning and bestselling author of 18 multicultural titles and more than 50 e-books (reviews by Kirkus, The Horn Book blog, School Library Journal, ForeWord Reviews). Beckstrand earned a B.A. in journalism from BYU, an M.A. in international relations from APU, and a certificate from Film A. Academy. Once a technical recruiter in Silicon Valley, Beckstrand’s early work was produced by two publishers (the first died the day they were to print his book!). Since 2004 he has guided Premio Publishing & Gozo Books. An engaging speaker and workshop facilitator, Beckstrand has experience in high tech, public policy, film, and broadcasting. He teaches media at a state college—including TV/radio scripts and Web content—and contrasts traditional publishing with digital book publishing. His Y.A. fiction, short stories, kids’ e-book mysteries, nonfiction/biographies, Spanish & bilingual books (with ESL/ELL pronunciation guides), and wordless books feature characters of color and usually end with a twist. He has lived abroad, been a Spanish/English interpreter, and speaks on diversity. He enjoys volleyball and kayaking (usually not at the same time). Beckstrand has presented for SUECON (education conference), Taiwan’s Global Leadership for Youth, California's Capital Book Festival, Utah Educational Library Media Association, Called to Learn conference, Salt Lake City Book Festival, PCI Webinars, Utah Humanities Council, Profnet, Murray City Writer’s Workshop, Utah Housing Coalition, LUW, Midvale City Reading Program, Utah Office of Education, professional groups, and schools. His racially diverse work has appeared in: Amazon, Baker & Taylor, Barnes & Noble, Border’s Books, Brodart, Costco, Deseret Book, The Children’s Miracle Network, The Congressional Record of the U.S. House of Representatives, Papercrafts Magazine, LDS Film Festival, EBSCO, Follett, iBooks, Kobo, SCRIBD, various broadcasts, and PremioBooks.com. Find: “Karl Beckstrand” on FB, Twitter, KarlBeckstrand.com, and https://karlbeckstrandblog.wordpress.com/ AUTHOR AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEW, SPEAKING, & CONSULTATION: info @KarlBeckstrand.com Speaking topics: "Getting Your Book to the World - Traditional vs. Digital publishing" "Entrepreneurship: Bless Lives, Make Money with Your Gifts" "Artistic Education - How the Humanities Enrich Us" "Writing Scripts for Shows, Film, Ads & the Web" "Writing for Media: News Stories & Press Releases that Get Attention" "How Diversity Enriches Everyone" "Making Habit Work for You - Replace the Bad with Milestones"
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Wade returns to the Wild West from his youthful impulse to be a sailor to find his only surviving kin, his sister, mentally broken and surviving a living death in Carson City. The person responsible is said to be one Pat L. Wade vows to avenge his family and sets out to hunt down this man. Pat L. meanwhile has just completed finishing school and is moving out west to meet her father on his ranch. A classic story of range war, misunderstanding, and adventure plays out against the back drop of the Wild West. This is a fine example of a good old fashioned Pulp Western in the tradition of Manning, Gruber, and Short. There is adventure, action, gunfights, and romance. Good clean fun would be the best tagline. In “To Swallow the Earth” Karl Beckstrand and Ransom Wilcox revitalize an old American tradition. You get attached to the main characters and cannot put the book down until you know what happens to them. This is pulp fiction, the plot is clearly formulaic and there are few true surprises or plot twists. The ones that do catch the reader off guard are amusing and logical though. Also the voices of the characters do sometime sound a bit jarringly of the twenty-first century rather than the nineteenth they are set in. Overall it was a fun romp and a nice taste of a very American literary tradition.