Ruby’s Prayer: The Trials And Tribulations Of An American Family In The Wild, Wild West
Houston, TX, December 21, 2015 – For most, thoughts of the Old West foster images of hard-drinking, gun-slinging characters like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Doc Holiday, Jesse James and Billy the Kid. However, the era was much more than that. Rudy’s Prayer by Ronald H Keyser (Defiance Press) reveals what everyday life was like in 1880’s Texas, and brings forth the struggles of an American family longing for hope, love, and to maintain their way of life as wholesale changes descend upon the cattle industry during the emergence of the Industrial Age and the final days of the Wild West.
Meet the central Texas-based Wallace family. Jim Wallace, the widowed patriarch and civil war veteran, along with his sons Tom and Buddy. In the spring of 1880, their life was riddled with the challenges of the day. The loss of Ruby their wife and mother, Tom’s recent inhumane incarceration in the Texas penal system and what seems like an out of reach dream for a life with Jennie Lue Sloan, the daughter of the richest man in the county. Tom also promises his mother he will do everything he can to resolve the bitter differences between himself and Buddy in spite of his brother, who is the sheriff and the man responsible for sending Tom to prison. During the latter half of the 19th century, nothing was more important to budding cities across the state than to have the railroads lay their tracks through town and Belton, Texas was no different. Ruby’s Prayer is the story of the Wallace family, who are firmly entrenched in the war of fortunes being won and lost over the coming of barbed wire, rail lines, the end of free grazing and the Chisholm Trail itself.
“Ruby’s Prayer has been a labor of love” says Keyser. “At its core, it represents the journey my wife and I had to take to finally be together. I hope my readers find similarities in their own lives within the pages of this book, even though they are traveling back in time to the last days of the Texas frontier.”
Ronald H. Keyser spent an extraordinary amount of time investigating the history in Ruby’s Prayer. Researching the towns of Huntsville and Belton, The Capt. Joe Byrd Prison Cemetery, The Texas Prison Museum, Temple Railroad Museum, Bell County Museum and The Morning Glory Inn, gave him a clear picture of what life was like in 1880 and allowed him to paint a fascinating portrait across the pages of Ruby’s Prayer. Keyser and his wife Lori have been married 12 years, are community activists and have currently helped raise over $35,000 for the Avon Walk to end breast cancer. He is currently working on his second book.
For more information, visit www.defiancepress.com.
By Ronald H. Keyser