A Relentless Quest for Justice (Preview)


Grab my new series, "Legends of the Lawless Frontier", and get 2 FREE novels as a gift! Have a look here!


“Lizzie! Look! Look!”

The seven-year-old girl spun around, making her blond ponytail swing through the air behind her. It was her brother calling. Luke was just a year older than Liz. Their father was splashing through the water toward him to help him wrestle in the large fish on the end of his line. It had to be a big fish if Luke was having trouble, Lizzie thought with delight. She abandoned her own line, dragging it behind her as she hurried over as quickly as she could through the water.

“Look, look!” Luke was shouting. “It’s got to be a real big fish, Pa!”

“You bet it is, son!” Henry Randall exclaimed with great pride, stopping just a foot from his son and leaning down to prop himself up with his hands on his knees. “You can do this, son. You just let me know if you need me.”

“I can get it in, Pa!” Luke cried, smiling. “I’ve got the muscles! I’m a big boy!”

“Yes, you are! You’re gonna be a man before I know it.”

The eight-year-old pulled back hard on the pole, fighting the fish as it tried to swim away. He carefully reeled it in, taking slow steps back toward the shore.

Henry was holding both his arms outstretched behind the boy in case he fell over.

Liz walked with them, cheering her brother on, excitement bubbling up inside her small body when she saw the fish jump out of the water, struggling to get off the line. She wished she had a big fish to bring in and make her father proud. She looked up at his face. His smile radiated. She loved seeing him so happy.

The three of them splashed through the water, almost to the shore, when the fish jumped up and Luke reeled it in until it dangled, still struggling, on the end of the line.

“Oh, Luke!” Liz said breathlessly, dropping her pole into the water and covering her mouth with both hands. It was the biggest fish she’d ever seen. She widened her eyes and ogled the huge, flapping thing. “I wish I could catch a fish that big!”

Luke snorted, curling his lip at his sister. “You aren’t strong enough to bring in one this big. What is it, Pa? Fifty pounds?”

Henry laughed loudly, ruffling his son’s hair as they stepped onto the sand. Lizzie followed behind them, her small feet sprinting through the hot sand to the shade. She never liked to wear shoes, so the bottoms of her feet were tough. But the sand was particularly hot that sunny Texas afternoon and it was a little more than she could bear.

She ducked under the shade of a large oak tree and spun around to watch her brother and father, where they’d stopped on the shore to unhook the fish and put it on the stringer.

They worked quickly, and Liz felt a little jealous that her brother was getting so much attention. She loved him, there was no doubt of that. He was the best brother a girl could ever ask for. He only teased her a little and she knew he would do anything to protect her. She didn’t have to be more than seven years old to know she could trust him more than anyone else in the world.

But when he got a lot of attention from their father, it kind of hurt. She couldn’t help feeling envious of him. She’d never say anything or pitch a fit. It just made her more determined to get her father’s attention on her own.

Henry looked up at her and waved her over. “Come on, Liz!” he yelled out. “Where’s your pole? We’re gonna go down the river a little bit.”

She looked down at her empty hands, and her eyes slid to the edge of the water. She could see the pole floating just beyond the shore. Her gaze darted back to her father, who was looking at her. He moved his head to look into the water.

Her heartbeat sped up. He was going to see that she’d dropped her pole. He was going to be angry with her. She took off toward the edge, ignoring the searing pain of the burning hot sand that shot up her leg with every step. By the time she splashed into the water, both feet might as well have been on fire.

“I’ll get it, Pa, don’t worry!”

She couldn’t bring herself to look at him as she dashed past. She didn’t want to see the anger and disappointment on his face. All Liz wanted was to be just like Luke. She wished she was a boy so her pa would treat her the way he did her brother.

Liz splashed through the water, grateful that there was very low tide and the water was barely moving. The pole floated slowly, not caught in any current.

She leaned down and grabbed it up, spinning around to run back to her father.

Henry shook his head at her, frowning, as she stepped out of the water and back onto the hot sand. She swallowed, lowering her head, unable to keep her face from reflecting the pain in her feet.

“You need to be more mindful, Lizzie,” her father admonished her. “Do you realize that would be the third pole this month?”

“But I found the last one, Pa!” Liz tried to defend herself weakly. She didn’t often stand up to her father, but she was jealous that he was showering Luke with attention. If the only attention she could get was negative, at least her father was looking at her and talking to her.

“That’s not the point, Lizzie, and you know it. You have to be more careful. You don’t see Luke losing his poles and equipment, do you?”

Liz rolled her eyes to her brother, who had a sympathetic look on his face.

“Never mind, Pa,” Luke said, leaning forward abruptly and taking his sister’s small hand. “Let’s go! I’ll help you find a good spot to fish, Lizzie. Come on!”

He pulled on her excitedly. As she went after Luke, she glanced up at her father. He was smiling.

She was happy.

Chapter One

Elizabeth Grace Randall had been just five years old when she’d lost her mother in a stagecoach accident. She knew her father had only wanted sons. Her mother had done her best to make “Little Liz” into the best woman she could be. Unfortunately, that wasn’t her father’s agenda. Henry Randall was a big man who knew nothing about being ladylike. Without the training of her mother, Liz grew up to be a tough young woman, with few feminine wiles.

The two most important men in her life were her brother Luke and her father Henry. But over the years, she and her father had grown apart.

“You see anybody?”

Liz looked over at her brother, who was crouched beneath a window, peeking over the sill every few seconds to look out at the street beyond.

She glanced out the window, dismayed that her thoughts had strayed from their current mission. She and Luke had been bounty hunters for nearly six years, since she was seventeen years old. They were both blessed with a keen sense of intuition that helped them discover clues that led them quickly to their marks.

She shook her head, scanning the landscape outside. Luke was in another room. The window he was at faced the front of the house. She was in a smaller room, from which she could see the east side of town. They were told that was the direction Espinoza would be coming from.

Their target was a Mexican-born Apache who’d been going through South Texas killing lawmen. He had a big price on his head—it wasn’t the biggest they’d gotten, but it was a significant sum of a hundred dollars. They’d recovered outlaws for up to five hundred before.

They were still waiting for their big break.

“I don’t get it. He should be here by now. You think the scout was wrong?”

“I don’t know.” Liz was a little irritated by Luke’s questions, but she was sure it was only because of her current mood. Luke rarely got on her nerves. They had a great comradery that was rarely seen between siblings. They worked together perfectly. She took a deep breath and calmed her nerves. “I’m sure he’ll be along soon. We gotta keep up our guard either way.”

“Well, if you see him, just shoot him. We get the reward whether he’s dead or alive.”

“I don’t want to shoot him dead, Luke,” Liz said, shaking her head. “I want him to suffer a little bit. He’ll do that before he hangs. There are a lot of people who have more right to shoot that man than me.”

Luke gave her a sarcastic look. He didn’t understand. He never did. She got a thrill out of taking the men in alive. It made her feel more powerful than when they showed up with a dead body. Anybody could shoot a man dead. But to capture a man?

To Liz, it was a thing of pride.

“I don’t think he’s coming,” Luke admitted in a gruff voice.

“He’s coming,” Liz replied. “You feel it, I feel it. He’s coming.”

He fell quiet. He knew she was right. Their intuition was rarely wrong, and Marshal Micah Seavers was an excellent source of information. When he said someone would be somewhere, he was rarely wrong.

A warm feeling washed over Liz as the image of Micah came to her mind. They’d been introduced to him when they’d first started out, and he was the only one who had trusted their instincts from the jump. He’d never once questioned them and had trained them to investigate, search, and capture bad men, giving them all his tips and tricks right from the beginning.

She had a lot of respect for the man. She trusted Luke more than anyone, but she felt like Micah might come second on that list. The spot used to be taken by her father, but no more.

She shoved all thoughts of her father out of her mind before he could invade it too much.

A strand of her long blond hair curled around in front of her eye, and she blew a quick puff of air at it from the corner of her mouth. It flew up and floated back down where it had been originally. She swiped it away and then tucked it up under her hat.

“What are you gonna do with your half of the bounty?” Luke called from the other room, resting his shotgun on its butt and squatting back casually.

Liz thought about it for a moment, looking around at the bare room she was in. It was an old, abandoned house. The only thing occupying the inside was piles of dirt, and the resident spiders with their creative cobwebs floating down from the corners of the walls and the ceiling. The floorboards were so dusty it was hard to tell what color they’d been painted. They weren’t their original color, that was certain. It looked like grey paint had been applied.

The scenery offered her no inspiration to think of anything imaginative she might buy with the money she would make from this capture.

“I’m savin’ up for that gun, you know,” Liz said, suddenly remembering the fund she’d started the year before. “Just a couple more dollars and I’ll have all I need. Puttin’ at least half to that.”

“It’s a fine gun, Liz. Not like you need another.”

Liz grinned. She was pleased he remembered what she was talking about. She was sure she hadn’t talked about the gun for some time.

She had a fine collection of pistols, rifles, and shotguns. She and Luke were on the road almost all the time, but they occupied a house of their own when they weren’t out hunting dangerous men. It was in the same town as the Triple R Ranch their father owned and still lived at.

Cottonwood was a decent-sized town, one of the biggest in South Texas. They were able to find a house to rent on the opposite side when Liz and her father became estranged. The house was locked up tight when they were gone. Neighbors checked in on it from time to time to make sure everything stayed safe. That was where Liz kept her gun collection, what she didn’t take with her on the trips.

She thought about the warm, comfortable bed she had there. She had six pillows, plenty of big quilts donated by the ladies of Cottonwood throughout the years (they were all aware her mother died when she was young), and pretty pink curtains, also donated by the ladies’ council—the only truly feminine thing Liz owned.

If there was anything Liz missed when she was on the hunt, it was her bedroom. The room was her sanctuary. It was her place of peace, the only space she felt she could be herself completely.

She moved her eyes to scan her brother in the other room. He looked so bored she wanted to burst out laughing. She didn’t, though. She felt sorry for him. But he would never know. That was something she would keep to herself.

He was a handsome young man of 24, built with broad shoulders, a muscular chest, soft, wavy brown hair and the deepest pools of chocolate for eyes Liz had ever seen. She was the opposite, with her blond hair and blue eyes, favoring her father more than her mother.

He was at the prime marrying age. He was an intelligent, handsome man with no woman on his arm. Well, the woman he did have there was not a candidate for such a position. He wasn’t looking for a bride, that was clear. But sometimes Liz felt like he was missing out on something important.

As for herself, she couldn’t see getting married anytime soon. She was content with her life. She certainly didn’t need a man to get by—not even her brother, though she preferred to be with him than without. She had a successful, money-making career, the perfect partner in her brother, and a reliable slightly older man in Marshal Micah Seavers to hire her and recommend her for jobs.

What more could she possibly need?

Chapter Two

Luke lifted up slightly and stared through the window. He was annoyed that Espinoza was taking so long to get there. He really did want to just shoot him between the eyes and drag the body home. He didn’t care if the man needed to “pay his dues,” though he knew why Liz was of a different opinion. He’d seen her face when they walked a captured outlaw between them to the jail. She looked as proud as a pigeon.

He didn’t care one way or the other. He was only interested in getting the money and in putting a criminal away. Getting them away from society was important to him. And this outlaw was one of the worst. He’d gunned down several of Micah’s friends who were also marshals, and had even taken out a Texas Ranger, which was close to impossible.

Felipe Espinoza. Just thinking his name gave Luke chills. He felt revulsion rise up in his stomach. He was evil, a man with no regard for human life. Luke had been six when their mother died, but he was smart from birth, mature for his age. He knew what had happened. He’d watched his father become a different man. By the time he was a teenager, he’d realized just how broken his father was by his mother’s death.

It was as if he wanted nothing more to do with women. Unfortunately, that included Liz. He’d watched his pa mold Liz into the perfect tomboy, all the while noticing his sister’s desperate need for their father’s approval. He’d had to sit back, do nothing, watch it all happen over the years. There was nothing he could do but be there for his sister. When Pa and Liz had a falling out, Luke was forced to take her side. Their father didn’t need him like she did.

And he would die before he let anything happen to Liz.

Frustration welled up inside of him. He straighted and looked down the street, wishing he saw dust clouds in the distance from an incoming rider. He wanted this over with. This was the house Felipe had bought for what he thought would be a safe place for him to hide out. But word had gotten around to the marshals about the purchase, and Micah had sent them to capture Espinoza. He was supposed to arrive for an inspection at five.

It was fifteen past.

“He’s not coming!” he exploded in frustration.

“He’s coming, Luke, calm yourself. He’ll be here any minute. Keep your eyes open. Watch. Why are you being so resistant today?”

Luke wasn’t in the best of moods. He wasn’t sure why. Maybe he needed a break from the hunt.

It took less than a second for him to dismiss that idea. He couldn’t take a break. He wouldn’t know what to do with himself, with all that time on his hands.

“I’m not being resistant,” he said in a grumpy tone that completely overruled his words. “I’ll be fine once we see Espinoza. How long are we gonna wait?”

“How long do you want to wait?”

He hated it when she answered his question with a question.

“I’m gettin’ mighty tired of it, I’ll tell ya.” Luke frowned and relaxed into a crouch, turning around and sitting under the window with his back to the wall.


He looked over at Liz. She was glaring at him with her big blue eyes. “Will you please pay attention? You might miss him! Yer gonna get us killed. Pay attention!”

Luke shook his head, grunting. “You know I’m gonna hear them before you do, anyway. Long before I’m gonna see them.”

“That’s not the point! I know you’ll be able to hear them, but I can’t. And I want all eyes out the window.”

He heard the urgency in her voice.

At that moment, he heard thumping in the distance, the unmistakable sound of horses coming toward them at full speed. He wanted to gloat, to tell her he heard them coming already, but he knew that was a mean thing to do.

Reluctantly, he turned around and knelt in front of the window. As soon as he looked out over the road, chills trickled up his spine. He could see dust rising in the distance. The chill surged over him again when he realized there was way too much dust for one horse. If it was Espinoza, he wasn’t alone. He’d brought along his own posse.

He wasn’t a man known to work with others. He did everything alone. There had been no reason to suspect he might bring other people with him.

“Liz! Come here!” he hissed, waving his hand frantically at her while pulling up his gun and propping it on the windowsill. It was open all the way. He didn’t want the returning bullets he expected to spray broken glass all over him.

His sister was at his side in moments, crouched down next to him, peering out the window.

“Is that more than one?”

“Yeah, I hear at least five horses.”

“That means he’s got men with him,” she said, sounding confused. “I didn’t think he had any men.”

“I didn’t know either, but we’re gonna have to change our plan. This isn’t gonna be as easy as we thought.”

Liz shook her head, giving him a wise look. “I never thought it was gonna be easy, brother. You think he knows we’re here? You think that’s why he brought men with him?”

He thought about it for a moment. There was always a chance word had gotten back to Espinoza the same way it had gotten to Micah.

“There’s always that possibility.” He pushed himself to his feet, sliding to the side to stay out of sight. Liz did the same on the other side of the window. They both stood with their backs to the wall, looking at each other.

“What do you want to do?”

Luke thought about it for a moment. He and Liz had confronted groups of men before and won. But it was usually because they had help from others. Sometimes, the women of the town were even tougher than the men.

“We’ll do what we originally planned to do,” he said. “We were just gonna grab him when he came in to inspect the place anyway. We’ll pick them off one by one.”

“Because the first shot definitely won’t alert the others. Good thinking.” Liz was teasing. He narrowed his eyes at her.

“Ha ha. We’re just going to have to find the best places to hide and move a lot. You’re with me?”

He looked directly in her eyes when he asked the question. It had always been their way of reassuring each other. She nodded, locking eyes with him.

“I’m with you.” She lifted one hand and gestured toward the stairs. “In spirit. I’m goin’ up there.”

She dashed away, calling back over her shoulder that he should think about moving to another building nearby. He contemplated it, moving quickly through the rooms. If he was going to hide, his only recourse would be to go in a closet or small hidden space. The cellar was out of the question.

He ran into what looked to have been a kitchen. A large, round pot-bellied stove sat in the very middle, and thick wooden counters were connected to the walls on three sides. There was only one window and it was above a ceramic sink with a water pump on one side.

He could hear the horses now. The men were coming closer. There was no doubt in his mind Espinoza would shoot on sight. He felt a jolt of adrenaline when he spotted the pantry. The folding doors in front were horizontal slats. He would be able to see through them. And what chance would there be that they would open the pantry doors? There wasn’t any food in there. If there was, it was long since spoiled.

He hurried across the room and slipped into the pantry, closing the doors in front of him and dropping to his knees. He put his fingers up to the slats and peered through, waiting with a pounding heart. Every time he and Liz got into a gunfight, he was as nervous as a little boy asked to pray in front of the church. But he wasn’t afraid. He anticipated death every time.

The intuition he and his sister shared didn’t extend to knowing how each fight would end up. He didn’t want to die, but it was the thought of watching Liz murdered that really made him anxious. It was the life they’d chosen, though. There was nothing he could do to change who she was and what she wanted to do. Not now. He wouldn’t want to change what he was doing, either. He loved his job.

Tracking down outlaws and putting his life in danger was worth it. He was intrigued by the danger.

The longer he sat in the pantry, the hotter it got. It was stuffy and dusty. He began to worry the dust in the air would make him cough.

He felt like it had been too long and was about to leave the pantry when he heard the front door open. The voices of men filled the empty space, and heavy-booted footsteps crossed the threshold. He breathed quietly.

One of the men was speaking in Spanish, a language Luke and Liz had been learning since they had become bounty hunters.

“Check upstairs, Juan. You, that way. You, there. I’ll check the back.”

“A Relentless Quest for Justice” is an Amazon Best-Selling novel, check it out here!

Liz Randall has been seeking risky adventures since she was a little kid. Making a living as bounty hunters, she and her brother Luke chase the most ruthless fugitives and criminals in Texas. When a close friend asks them to accompany him on a quest to capture one of the worst murdering bandits and his gang, they both say yes with no second thoughts. Due to their long experience, they are more than perfectly skilled to succeed in this hard mission. Will the courageous siblings manage to overcome the challenges that come in their way?

Marshall Micah Seavers is a sensible but fearless man. When one of his dearest friends is murdered by an evil criminal and his partners, he is desperate for revenge. Counting on his old friendship with the Randall siblings, he suggests they join him on a journey to find the merciless gang. Their instant agreement signals the beginning of a dangerous undertaking: robberies, gunfire, long rides and endless hiding will become some of the obstacles in their way. Will they manage to join forces successfully and arrest the vicious enemy?

A spectacular story full of adventure, vengeance and romance, where justice is the ultimate goal. Will this relentless quest have a rewarding outcome or will the cruel felons continue to bring chaos to the peaceful citizens of Texas?

An action-packed story, featuring complex and fascinating characters, and twists that will leave you breathless. A must-read for fans of Western action and romance.

“A Relentless Quest for Justice” is a historical adventure novel of approximately 80,000 words. No cliffhangers, only pure unadulterated action.

Get your copy from Amazon!


Grab my new series, "Legends of the Lawless Frontier", and get 2 FREE novels as a gift! Have a look here!

3 thoughts on “A Relentless Quest for Justice (Preview)”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *