The Renewal by @miketorreano is a Western Fiction Event pick #western #westernmystery #giveaway
Title: The Renewal
Author: Mike Torreano
Genre: Traditional western mystery
Ike McAlister has finally put the ghosts of his past to rest. He’s found new joy with a spirited wife, a young daughter, and a mountain valley ranch where a man can make something of himself. But a coming railroad through the South Park valley threatens to take his land and tear his hard-won peace apart.
Discovering that the railroad could easily bypass his ranch, he organizes opposition and earns the animus of the formidable foreman. When Ike’s brother Rob, the sheriff, is targeted, Ike sets out on a high stakes quest to find the killer before the killer gets him.
As Ike passed by Lorraine’s small garden he smiled, thinking about the joy she got from serving her family homegrown vegetables. He rubbed Ally down, filled her oat bucket and released her into the small corral where she could cool off and drink from the water trough. Ike eyed his warhorse. She was getting to an age when most horses started slowing down. But Ally had never been most horses. She hadn’t shown any signs of age yet, but no telling how much the war had taken out of her.
He smacked a dusty hat against his jeans and brushed back longish brown hair. A quick swipe at his stubbly beard and he limped toward the ranch house. Lorraine was already out the front door walking toward him, with Jessie running right behind as fast as her three-year-old legs would carry her. Lorraine hugged him hard, grabbed his chin and stood on her toes to kiss him. She stepped back from her tall husband and hit him lightly on the shoulder.
Ike feigned a surprised look and eyed his pretty wife. Flashing gray eyes that missed nothing. Straw-colored hair pulled back in a bun. Simple smock. Wry smile. “What’s that for?” He sported the smallest of smiles, as if he didn’t know.
Lorraine hugged him again. “Nothin’ in particular. Just somethin’ to remember me by when you’re away so long. And don’t be comin’ back here at dusk any more. You keep scarin’ the chickens and they won’t lay.”
Ike knew his wife well enough to know that was her way of worrying about him. Her smile couldn’t mask her the fear in her eyes, though. She’d told him more than once she worried about losing both her husband and the ranch in the fight over land for the railroad. And he was concerned about her, in her condition. Her second miscarriage a little more than a year ago put this pregnancy in doubt. They hoped summer would bring a healthy new McAlister.
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The Renewal is the second in the South Park series, set in Colorado in 1872. One of the reviews had this to say-
A great sequel to The Reckoning, and a great Western in the spirit of Grey and L'Amour. Ike McAllister surprised me here as his character is not the typical western hero. He shows us that he has flaws, and needs his conscience plus those closest to him, to keep him from some bad and maybe fatal decisions. As I read through the chapters ( which happened rather quickly as I had trouble putting the book down), I can visualize the South Park locations, from Cottonwood to the Ute camp, in the 1880's. Mike Torreano describes the time and places succinctly as if he were there, so we were there. I'm hoping for a sequel to the sequel as we have some new characters with great potential, and further development of existing characters from The Reckoning that can go as far Mr. Torreano would be willing to take us. I'll follow that trail as far as it goes, and then a tad further.
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Mike Torreano has a military background and is a student of American history and the Old West.
His debut western mystery, The Reckoning, set in South Park, Colorado in 1868, was released in 2016 by The Wild Rose Press. The sequel, The Renewal, also in South Park, 1872, was released in 2018. His third western, A Score To Settle, was released October 2020, also from The Wild Rose Press. White Sands Gold is his latest western mystery, and will be released this summer by Wild Rose. He has a coming-of-age novel, Fireflies At Dusk, set during the Civil War, and his short story, The Trade, a tale of the Yukon Gold Rush, was his first published work in 2014.
Mike’s written for magazines and newspapers for many years. An experienced editor, he’s taught University-level English and Journalism. He’s a member of the Historical Novel Society, Pikes Peak Writers, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Western Writers of America and several other writing groups. He brings his readers back in time with him as he recreates life in mid-to-late nineteenth century America. He and his wife, Anne, live in Colorado Springs.
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