|Jason Manning, Writer||
A LAWMAN PAST HIS PRIME
Texas Ranger Bill Sayles rode scout for Sam Houston when he was no more than fifteen. These days the lawman's on the wrong side of three score years, and the glory days of the Rangers is on the wane. But Sayles still hits what he aims at and is not a man to cross. Ten days before Christmas in the harsh winter of 1876, Sayles arrives at the state prison in Huntsville to escort prisoner Jake Eddings on a furlough to his hometown, where his ten-year-old son is being laid to rest.
A PRISONER PAST ALL HOPE
In a desperate scheme to save his farm, Eddings took part in a stagecoach holdup in which the driver was killed. After serving two years of a fifteen-year sentence, he is already a broken man. Despite the agony of regret, he longs to see his wife and bury his beloved boy. But when Sayles gets wind that the murderous Litchfield brothers are headed in the direction of Eddings; farm, the Ranger and his prisoner join forces to keep Eddings' wife from harm -- and maybe grab a last shot at redemption.
2016 by Jason Manning
St,. Martin's Press (New York)
In the autumn of 2015 my agent informed me that St. Martin's Press was accepting proposals for a one-shot Christmas western. I wrote up a proposal entitled Second Chances that I thought was probably too dark and violent for a holiday story, as it involved murder, rape, and attempted suicide. My proposal was accepted.
It took me four months to write the book, and it was quite a pleasure to have plenty of time for editing and rewriting to my heart's content, which had seldom been the case in my career before. I believe this book is the best work I've done to date, with fully-realized characters and a moving conclusion.