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Shooter's Cross (Rancho Diablo Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Colby Jackson , Bill Crider , James Reasoner , Mel Odom
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)

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Book Description


Army Scout Sam Blaylock rode into the small Texas town of Shooter's Cross looking for deserters, not trouble.

While up in the mountains, he discovered a wilderness plagued by nature and haunted by superstition, but one that he thought he could tame with his experience and strong back.

He didn't know he was going to have to kill to keep the home he planned for his family, but he didn't let that stop him. Sam had been looking for a home for his family for years. That search had been interrupted by the Civil War.

Now Sam is putting down roots, and not even the Devil himself can stand in the way.

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Product Details

  • File Size: 6005 KB
  • Print Length: 190 pages
  • Publisher: Flying D Enterprises (October 10, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00472O7NS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #159,938 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very nice western adventure October 25, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition
Sam Blaylock may be scouting for the army, but he's also keeping his eyes open for the spread of land he's always dreamed of, one where he can bring his wife and children, where he can run a ranch and live the life he's dreamed of. He's been saving, hoping, and finally he thinks he's found it.

Not that Rancho Diablo doesn't have some problems. For one thing, the water is polluted with sulfur, which gives it its name. Worse, though, are the neighbors. The first time he comes into town, a group of young thugs follows him, planning on stealing the money he's been saving to buy the ranch. Then there's the question of money--while the owner is anxious to sell, the least he'll take is twice what Sam has available. Still, Sam takes out a loan, buys the property, then invites a couple of his friends to help out...both with engineering and with the gunwork needed to keep the ranch his, and his life intact.

Author Colby Jackson keeps that pace fast, with Sam's problems escalating and new problems and opportunities with each turn of the page. Secondary characters, especially the young man who joined the initial ambush but who comes around to Sam and the talkative ranch hand, Gabby, add color and make the dry Sam more human.

Shooter's Cross is a solid, enjoyable read with interesting characters, dangerous antagonists, and a fascinating setting.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a real western fan -- or so I thought. May 28, 2011
I read Rancho Diablo right after it came out. I read it over two evenings -- I'm a slow reader, and it was 1 a.m. when I started. The book was almost too good to put down the first night. I had just intended to read the first few pages and scan it to see if I would like it but I just kept reading. I was excited to get up the next day to finish it. I haven't read a western probably since High school. I'm more of a Fantasy or Sci-Fi man. But the book was fun. The character development and plot were solid. Mel integrates a lot of western information, making the story believable. The pacing was excellent and come the middle of the book he "drives it forward like a speeding freight train," to quote one of those TV authors. I recommend it highly.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding book May 14, 2011
Shooters Cross, the first Rancho Diablo novel, by Mel Odom, James Reasoner, and Bill Crider is outstanding. For those of you familiar with series fiction, the last time I read anything so engrossing, powerful, and compelling was Wilderness, by David Thompson. Shooters Cross, is just out of the gates with lots of creative fuel in the tanks.

Army scout Sam Baylock has ventured out in faith to find a new home for his wife Jenny and children. Crossing the shadow of York's Peak, Rancho Diablo, the devils armpit called him. "Home" it whispered. The land was wild, unbroken and dangerous, like the men who prowled firing death and dealing deception. Along with two army friends, Tucker and Beatty, Gabby, and a passel of local workers, Rancho Diablo becomes a mystery to the power brokers of Shooters Cross.

Determined to make Rancho Diablo his home forever, Baylock plays his hand close to his chest, and in the process changes the rules to his advantage!

This novel comes highly recommended. Four pistols out of four!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ...does not gel August 12, 2013
By Bevan
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a short and rather mild `western' that just ambles along.
BUT much of the tale just does not gel.
OK - so the hero is virtually indestructible, and one can (sort of) accept that.
BUT the hero commits and spends `all' of his money but is somehow still able to purchase endless equipment, supplies and machinery....with what, one wonders: frequent flyer points?
Then he suddenly wins a large sum of money at a poker game<?>.
The inconsistencies just spoiled the story.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Non-stop entertainment September 7, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
This was the first western I've picked up in a long time. Now I know what I've been missing. The story of Sam Blaylock and his pursuit of his dream of a home for his family is a fast-paced story with strong characters and vivid detail. You can almost smell the sulphur that emanates from the land that Sam has decided to make his own. His determination and grit are tried against a cast of bushwackers, gamblers, a less-than-scrupulous lawyer, and a self-interested newspaperman. But Sam has the ability to draw men to him who are loyal and are men he can trust, men who can help him turn Rancho Diablo into a home.

The novel is action-packed, and takes the reader along for a great ride. I am looking forward to reading the next installment from Rancho Diablo!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic start to a series crafted with love July 4, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Sam Blaylock comes to the town of Shooter's Cross, TX, and buys a plot of land with the intent of setting up a ranch for him and his family. He gathers a crew together and starts to build something special. In the process, he makes both friends and enemies in the town of Shooter's Cross.

This short novel, the first installment of the Rancho Diablo series, showcases just the sort of thing I'm enjoying in the new ebook revolution. Because the authors are able to publish frequent, shorter installments, each book can focus on the job at hand. In this case, that job is to introduce the main players of the series, and their location. It's a classic western, with a tough cowboy trying to retire from a violent former life and start a new, peaceful one for himself and his family. Along the way, he has to contend with difficulties from the land, and from greedy bad guys trying to take that peaceful life away from him.

It's a great setup for a series, and a decent story in its own right. Readers will find a sense of closure at the end of the story, but also hunger to know what happens next. The prose is very visual and detailed, while still clear and unpretentious. The characters are well-drawn, each with their distinct voices.

If I have one complaint, it's that Sam is a bit too perfect. He's a great gunfighter, engineer, card sharp, scout, etc. However, this is only the first book in the series. Hopefully, his character will become a little more fleshed-out as the series progresses.

And I'll definitely be along to see that progress. This first installment has me hooked, and I'm ecstatic that I don't have to wait any time at all for the next one.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars One chapter at a time!
Book is a waste each story is like one chapter of a book! By the time you read all chapters it will cost you twice the regular price of a book!
Published 16 days ago by Cactusfarmer
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read !
Another good Western.
Published 16 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good read
Published 1 month ago by Braddock
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read!
Published 1 month ago by R. Schloesser
2.0 out of 5 stars Could not get into, this book. Not many ...
Could not get into,this book. Not many I put down but this one I did. Could not hold my interest
Published 1 month ago by Tricia F
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Western
If you like westerns then this is a great book. It had a good story line to it and it made me feel as if I was there at times. It is worth the money and I highly recommend it.
Published 2 months ago by Wild Bill
3.0 out of 5 stars Shooter's Cross review
The story , as written was fair, and some embellishing needed. I was glad when it was over. Just average.
Published 4 months ago by paul
4.0 out of 5 stars The days of yesterday years
As a lover of the west I could picture each place in my mind and even imagine being there. The picture that was painted through the words took me away each time I opened the book,... Read more
Published 4 months ago by JL
3.0 out of 5 stars A decent western
A decent western, but abrupt ending. There were so many sub plots developing, that were just left out there. I guess that was for another book.
Published 4 months ago by RRA
5.0 out of 5 stars Rolling Thunder
Fast paced, action packed, two fisted western. Jackson quickly engages the reader and keeps them on the edge of their seats constantly urging the hero to use his guns but is often... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Dave Rimel
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