A Sky So Big
by Karl Beckstrand, Ransom WilcoxPublished: May 13th 2015
Wade Forester must stay in the shadows because, it seems, everyone has reason to shoot him. His father has disappeared, and his sister won’t speak a word to anyone. Beautiful Patricia Laughlin is searching for her family as well. Few people gain her trust or approval, though powerful landowner Bridger Calhoun just might be the man to do it.
After a clash throws them to opposite sides, Wade must decide if risking his life to help Patricia is worth the trouble. Bridger must win Patricia’s heart, and Patricia must learn which killer to trust with her life.
Set in Nevada’s silver rush, and reminiscent of Twain, the writing comes from intimate knowledge of the era and area. Having lived off the land, Wilcox depended on his wit, grit, and strength—and that of his animals—for survival, just as these diverse characters do. Wilcox masterfully weaves authentic detail and care for the soil and its creatures into a mystery that will make your heart pound and fill your lungs with the “rarefied air” of the old Sierra Nevadas.
Comes with additional short story. Diverse characters, safe for family (ages 14 & up), 54,000 words, simultaneously published as To Swallow the Earth, also a paperback and audiobook.
“A lot of action, hair breadth escapes ... Well done western novel.” - Randy Johnson, Vine Voice (Amazon)
“[Y]ou will want to grab this book. There is a lot of action ... a page turner [that will] keep you guessing. And the conflicts with Wade and Patricia might surprise you, as well. Never a dull moment in this read. ... so well written you can completely see what he is describing. You will enjoy this book. 5 stars!” - Sonja Nishimoto
“This story--unlike any I've ever read ... A great book. It's an easy read ... full of action and suspense, while being delightfully clean. The adventure was realistic and the story unique.” - Darrin Webster
“The action starts with the first page and doesn’t stop ... from start to finish. The dialogue was done well. ... The characterization was good. ... the authors did it very well. ... A good read.” - Paul Johnson for Readers’ Favorite
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About the author
Ransom Wilcox was born in Taber, Alberta, Canada, in 1907. Because he was sickly, it was suggested that the family move to California. They bought land in Vina, north of Chico, but financial hardship forced them to move in search of work. They farmed, tended livestock, and did a lot of hunting and fishing in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Once, to escape a charging boar, Wilcox stuck a pole he was carrying in the ground and climbed up!
One season the family lived in a tent while the men worked cutting hay. Another year, Wilcox joined his father and brothers in Arizona, building a school on an American Indian reservation. Many elements of Wilcox’s stories come from his early experiences.
In 1943 he enlisted in the army. After the war, the Great Depression, and a divorce, Wilcox finished his schooling and opened a chiropractic practice off Union Square in San Francisco. Wilcox’s friends called him Ray (for R.A.) or Doc. Besides writing, Wilcox loved to walk in the great outdoors. Near the end of his life, he joked about leaving his body to science; “I’m sure they can use my brain. It’s in perfect condition—never been used.” His short stories and poems are published under the title, Horse & Dog Adventures in Early California.
Karl Beckstrand is the freckle-faced author of 14 books and more than 40 online titles. Raised in San Jose, CA, he received a B.A. in journalism from BYU and an M.A. in international relations from APU. A bilingual presenter with traditional and digital publishing experience, Beckstrand speaks about both kinds of publishing. He teaches media at a state college and has presented to Taiwan’s Global Leadership for Youth, city and state governments, library and humanities organizations, festivals and schools. He has lived abroad and enjoys volleyball and kayaking (usually not at the same time). Beckstrand's nationally-lauded activity books, Spanish & bilingual books (with pronunciation guide), ebook mysteries, and nonfiction stories feature characters of color and usually end with a twist. His work has appeared in: Barnes & Noble, Border’s Books, Deseret Book, Costco, Kindle/Nook/iBooks, Amazon, The Children’s Miracle Network, LDS Film Festival, U.S. Congressional Record, and Papercrafts Magazine.