Day of Reckoning
(A Lucas Wade Western Book 3)
(A Lucas Wade Western Book 3)
by Raylan McCrae
Day of Reckoning is the third book in the Lucas Wade Western series by Raylan McCrae. The author stops by today to share an excerpt. Also available: Just Compensation (read my blog post) and Gunfighter's Justice.
Day of Reckoning is the third Book in the highly acclaimed Lucas Wade Western series.
As the legendary Wyoming Range Wars are building steam, Marshal Lucas Wade finds himself caught between the Big Cattle corporate barons of the Stock Growers Association and the old time ranchers, big and small, that have settled in the open ranges of Wyoming. When the corporate cattlemen hang Judy Ruth Walder with an "I Rustled Cows" sign around her neck, Marshal Wade realizes there are no limits to what they will do. More than one gunfight will be required as Spencer, Wyoming fills up with gunmen hired by the Association, but eventually the conflict explodes into a war with hundreds on each side.
The previous two books in the series, Just Compensation and Gunfighter's Justice, spent months on the Amazon Top 10 List of Classic Westerns. Raylan McCrae has been favorably compared by readers and critics to Zane Grey and Louis L’Amour. If you’ve not yet read the Lucas Wade Western series, Day of Reckoning is the perfect place to begin. Raylan McCrae continues to write about a wide open West, where freedom is personified by men willing to take a life and death stance for what they want or what they believe in. As always, in Day of Reckoning McCrae blends an action packed drama with humor and spice that will keep you turning pages.
The Union Pacific from Cheyenne was scheduled to arrive in Spencer at 8 PM every night of the week. It was as predictable as snow in December; the train showed up each evening at exactly 9:30 PM. I asked Virgil, the station master, why they didn’t change its arrive time to 9:30, and he said, “I ain’t waitin’ at the railway station till 11:00 PM for no damn train to show up.”
“No, that would be too late,” I said, grinning at the old man who was as serious as a Baptist preacher.
I looked down the track and could see the one-eyed cyclops coming. It was still too far away to hear the roar of the engine or smell the coal that was burning in the boiler and rolling out the chimney. But, it was on its way and would show up in 10 minutes or so. I pulled out my pocket watch to check the time; it was 9:20.
“Virg,” I said, “you best stay inside until I get done out here.”
“Yes, sir, Marshal,” he said. “Somebody gonna get kilt?”
“It’s likely,” I said.
I now heard the steam coming out of the whistle making the train’s first auditory announcement of its arrival. With the moonlight, I could now see clouds rolling out of the smokestack. I pulled out my Colt Peacemaker, opened the loading gate, and rolled the cylinder a full circle to ensure that it was fully loaded. I put the .45 back in its worn leather holster.
Four years ago, in Austin, Texas, Harvey Wabash had pulled a gun on me in a public street. It was a foolish idea and, instead of being known as the man who killed Lucas Wade, he was just another kid in a pauper’s grave, lucky he was put in a wooden box beforehand. Harvey wasn’t tired of living, but he was tired of living in the shadow of his outlaw big brother Ham Wabash. Ham was a man beyond redemption, who’d spent his life stealing, rustling, raping, and killing. He’d brought Harvey along for the ride, but ridiculed and browbeat him most of the journey. When Harvey was put in the ground, Ham Wabash was doing a dime at Yuma for beating an old man unconscious because the old man had spilled a beer on him. I knew Ham, but I’d had nothing to do with his arrest; if I had, there’d likely have been a second beating that day.
I received word a few days ago that Ham had broken out of Yuma; that didn’t happen often. Right before dark, I got a telegram from the Marshal in Cheyenne, Tom Bonnet, that Ham Wabash was seen getting on a train heading my way; he was traveling with two men that Bonnet said must be gunmen or criminals or both. Funny thing was, Tom Bonnet didn’t know I was the reason Ham was coming to Spencer.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]
Praise for the Book
"Things are building to a crescendo that will keep you on the edge of your seat frantically turning the last pages to see how it ends." ~ Mary Jane Kail
"A very awesome book cover, great font & writing style. A very well written historical fiction western book. It was very easy for me to read/follow from start/finish & never a dull moment. There were no grammar/typo errors, nor any repetitive or out of line sequence sentences. Lots of exciting scenarios, with several twists/turns & a great set of unique characters to keep track of. This could also make another great western movie, or better yet a mini TV series. To be continued. There is no doubt in my mind this is a very easy rating of 5 stars." ~ Tony Parsons
"So great to see successful authors writing westerns. There are a lot of new titles out there in this Genre, but many of the authors are painfully inexperienced and it shows in their novels. Raylan McCrae is a great author who decided to write some western novels. Characters and plot are well developed, the story is most interesting, easy to read and you'll love the protagonist and those he holds dear. This is the third in the series and the other two should be read before this one." ~ Amazon Customer
"Raylan McCrae has done it again with another adventure of Lucas Wade and the beautiful Nellie! Again, the narrative flows with the author's hard-boiled style of the Old West with a touch of the East creeping in. Lucas Wade is Jack Reacher with Spurs! Can't wait for #4, he might even get 'lucky'. I hope so ..." ~ Peter P LePorin
"Hellacious read. This is good a western book as any I have ever read. Zane Grey, Louis LaMour, nor any other western writer, could do any better. Now I'm going to have to buy more of this author's writings. If his other books are as good as this one, it will be money well spent." ~ Kindle Customer
About the Author
Raylan McCrae practiced law in the upper echelons of the U.S. government and in the private sector; he now spends most his time writing but devotes some of his time to non-paying things he likes to do, including smoking good cigars, drinking old scotch, and reading books. Raylan loves to read books almost as much as he loves to write them. One of his favorite quotes, from George Martin’s Game of Thrones, says: "A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies; the man who never reads lives only one."
Raylan grew up riding horses and herding cattle before heading to the city. He knows his way around trails and halls alike. Raylan currently lives in Southern California with his wife and children.
The Lucas Wade Western series includes three published books: Just Compensation, Gunfighter's Justice, and Day of Reckoning. A fourth book is underway. Raylan is also working on a crime series that will soon be released.