The Beth Carver Saga
Gunfighter's Legacy is a series of four novels centering on the life of Elizabeth Carver, a young woman who lives in 1886 Colorado.
Mom tried to raise me to be a wife and mother. I did get a healthy dose of girl stuff along the way, but I’m afraid it was a losing battle. Our ranch is the Circle-C and since it will belong to me someday, I’ve always been more interested in ranch work than listening to the endless gossip of the women-folk when they come to visit.
People call me a tomboy, especially since I don’t have one those curvy shapes like a lot of women. I’m twenty-two years old, nearly six feet tall, too straight up and down, and my mouth is too wide for me to be called pretty. In fact, the only thing I really like about my appearance is my hair. Daddy says it’s the color of autumn leaves, and when it’s cleaned and brushed, it really shines. I do wear a dress to church, and I guess I look reasonably nice in it, but afterward I can’t wait to get back into pants and boots.
The prim and proper ladies in town have never approved of me, and since Mom died, they’re on me all the time, saying Daddy has spoiled me no end. They say I should act like a lady and not some dusty cowboy. I do have a great deal of freedom, but I spend most days working with rest of the crew. It’s hard work, too, but I really like it, and I can ride, rope, and shoot as well as they can. Shucks, if the ladies knew just how well I can shoot, they'd have a fit.
I just love days when Jumper and I can go for a long ride together. Sometimes we’re gone all day and away from the gossip and prying eyes, I can be myself. It gives me a wonderful sense of freedom, and for a time, I don’t have a care in the world.
Looking back over the last couple of months, I remember that carefree young tomboy and how simple her life was. But things have, well, happened, and I’m not her anymore, I’m someone else, someone harder. Sometimes I wish I could be her again, but last week I killed a man and there’s no going back.
My name is Elizabeth and next month I'll be 23-years-old.
Volume 1: The Hard Road
In Volume 1 of the series, we meet Elizabeth Carver, a young tomboy living with her father on their 1886 Colorado ranch. One morning there's a bank robbery in town and seeing her father under fire, she intervenes, shooting two of the outlaws.
The men she wounded in the bank robbery vow to return and kill her. That possibility scares her, for although she shoots really well, it's only been against cans and bottles. She knows nothing about defending herself, so when a famous gunfighter comes to town she asks him to teach her. He agrees, but once he's gone, she on her own.
Beth has a courageous heart, but she is young, impetuous and a bit too trusting of others, all of which tend to get her in trouble from time to time. She has a long road ahead of her and she will need courage, ingenuity, and her six-guns to survive.
You can read a preview of Volume 1 by clicking here.
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Volume 2: Orphans' Inheritance
In Volume 2, two men attack Beth campsite's while she's asleep. They steal her possessions and leave her for dead. She is lying unconscious by the road when she is found by Jeff Dawson and his two children. They are traveling from Boston to their new home in Colorado, a ranch called the Double-JF, which Jeff recently purchased.
By the next morning, she feels well enough to continue her journey and since the Dawson's are going in the same direction, she rides with them. They part company the next day, but Beth is only a short distance down the road when she hears gunfire. Racing back to them, she sees their wagon under attack. She drives off the attackers, but Jeff has been badly wounded and dies before the family reaches their new home.
Elizabeth escorts his two children the rest of the way, but they immediately runs into problems. They can't find the bill of sale for the ranch and a neighbor has already laid claim to it. Worse, the property will be sold at auction next week unless the kids can come up with thousands of dollars in back taxes. Beth will need all of her ingenuity to sort through the tangled situation and the sinister man behind it. If she can't, the kids will lose the dream their father died for.
You can read a preview of Volume 2 by clicking here.
Volume 3: Outlaws and Trains
In Volume 3, Beth is hired by the railroad for a customer service job, but it turns out to be much more than that. On her first train trip, outlaws stop the train and when three of them try to kidnap her new boss, she has to take them on single-handed.
In working for the railroad, she comes face to face with discrimination, for it is strictly a man's world and she is constantly forced to prove she can do the job. Along the way, she learns to drive a locomotive, helps a trainload of passengers escape a huge prairie fire, and battles a corporate executive who wants to drive the railroad into bankruptcy.
On another trip trip, she meets Ted Rawlings, a retired army officer and now a design engineer for the the railroad. One thing leads to another and now Beth is wearing his ring.
Then one day she is waiting for Ted's train when a man sticks a gun in her back and kidnaps her. An old enemy has resurfaced and now it's payback time.
You can read a preview of Volume 3 by clicking here.
Volume 4: The Rising Star
In Volume 4, Beth is a newly appointed Operations Manager for the railroad and she is asked to investigate a train station whose manager is accused of assault and embezzling payroll money. Beth has to deal with that issue and with freight customers who are complaining loudly about poor service and late deliveries.
Beth marries Ted, a former army officer and now a civil engineer who works for the railroad. But she's only been married one day when tragedy punches a very large hole in her life.
In the aftermath, she is fired from her manager position and banished to Hickory Station, a shack in the middle of nowhere. There's not another person within 20 miles. She's completely alone and the men who hate her see this as a good opportunity to finally get rid of her.
You can read a preview of Volume 4 by clicking here.
Watch Volume One video promo