In this first story of the series, we learn of western widows whose pioneer husbands have been gunned down. Their homes are great risk. The widows bring their determination and strength together in a fight for survival. Unidentified gunman have gunned their husbands down; now they must bring wild flowers to the graves, then get back to the work of leadership on their individual ranches. Not only are there widows, there is now a fatherless child in the small group.
Before they get back to work, their attention is drawn to hawks, a small dog and then a small woman who has been shot off her horse. Before they can get the woman and her animals all gathered, the little group is approached by several tall, black coated riders…..who are they?
Murray Pura takes readers to the Old West with an accurate word picture of the hardships pioneers endured, including weather, rough, wild country and wicked, greedy men. Get your boots on and get ready to ride!
Story two opens and brings other characters to the western scene. The widows learn the black coated riders claim to be PREACHERS? Packing iron? It is difficult for these strong women to accept the David brothers are good men and want to defend them, defeat the outlaws and set churches up in the Western community. That little woman the widows have rescued is an Irish immigrant, part of a wagon train. There is yet another woman in the destroyed train, a strong woman from Australia.
The widows aren’t the only ones who resist the WORD coming into the community for good and strength. The gunfighters make a serious move and learn the truth about the ability of the Preachers with guns.
Murray Pura closes this episode with a hint. Will there be acceptance of the Preachers on the part of the Widows? Will they be able to team up against the outlaws and bring peace?
The bandits have been unseen until now. They’ve been planning their efforts to drive the pioneer families out. The outlaw characters begin to show themselves and there are more brutal shootouts with the loss of hired hands. Killed hands and burned out buildings make things even more difficult for the community of the widows. A member of the David family surprises them when sister Teresina, better known as Tommy comes into the community.
More than heroes, now the attraction between the individuals is coming forward. Adam David and Noelle Saunders, the Australian woman are definitely feeling deep attraction for one another.
The community will be bonded by their growing loves and their determination to join the other ranch and town families to build a church building. That’s the Australian Way.
Murray Pura is a romantic with a delightful elegant ability to tell a story. A little mysterious as usual…he leaves you waiting for the next volume.
The rancher families draw together around Lazurus Top to build a church. Surely their spiritual intentions will be a blessing. Will the local outlaw baron allow them to accomplish this? For awhile it appears that he might, but then things look dark.
Is there a possibility that Ahab Hawthorne isn’t the evil man he has been made out to be? Before the community can determine exactly who the bad guys are, a twist of news comes that will be changing everything. Everyone in the church will have to stand together — outlaw, preacher and widow side by side.
Even while danger rages all around, the Painted Sky shines down on hearts that are filled with pain and faith; hearts that are drawn to one another and let romance bloom.
Murray Pura keeps the reader hanging in a perfect series drama — waiting and ready for the next volume.
The settlers, the preachers, the outlaws and the widows all keep the ammunition hot as they battle the warriors of Bloody Lance. Their lives are at stake and some lose. Many are wounded but keep on defending their church fortress.
When the warriors are driven off, they all begin to count injuries and losses. Strange — Ahab Hawthorne, their sworn enemy is dead; shot in the back twice. By someone with a Henry rifle. Not an arrow. Something mysterious is afoot.
The romantic pairings of the widows, preachers, sisters and reformed outlaws continue to grow stronger.
The community is going to have to search for answers…we’ll learn more in Volume 6, I’m sure.
It appears that the good guys are all barricaded at Lazarus Top Church. The Apaches have all gone back to their own territory, at peace with the settlers, preachers and widows because of an act of mercy.
The real enemy shows their evil hand — Sheriff Westcott has a partner/leader in The Bishop of Tucumcari who leads The Five Hundred and El Satan Blanco. The Five Hundred are the most dangerous, planning to kill the homesteaders and blame the Apaches. The homesteaders watch the night light up with the fires of their homes set ablaze by The Five Hundred. They know that these men will be coming with more guns — more than the homesteaders have for defense.
No one plans to surrender; the homesteaders all await a terrible fate. The preachers and the widows, each couple, declare their devotion and faith although things do not look good at all.
Where is The Almighty?
Murray Pura continues to spin a tale of the Old West and romance, leaving us waiting for the next volume to learn what will happen.
The David brothers, preachers and shootists one and all, continue their stand with the settlers and the attractive widows against the ‘bad guys’.
There are plenty of ‘bad guys’ to go around. “The Shadow” tells of an encounter weighted in the favor of the ‘good guys’ only because they draw on faith. Knowing from whence cometh their defense, they are overcomers against greater odds. The ‘good’ embrace the 91st Psalm as they go into their battles and they do triumph. This time. I admit, I’m hooked; I’ll be waiting for the next episode/volume to learn what happens in that encounter. Even though I know the good guys win in the end (especially win the girls), Murray Pura writes a very good story that keeps a reader’s interest.
Murray Pura moves us through one more episode in The Old West; through the emotional and meteorological heat of the desert. Description of the environment, the love combinations, the sadness of ‘war’ losses, and the bravery common to all pioneers is bright and clear for the reader who cannot be there in person.
Friends are found in unusual places; mercy bonded two men and led to the destruction of The Five Hundred. The ring leaders are stopped and justice is served.
Don’t miss the glorious ending to this colorful series — love has bloomed from the strong romance of years to the freshest new love. Families will be building the West.
Murray Pura has shown his depth of writing skill and talent throughout the series and brings it to a statement of faith and hope for each of the fun and attractive characters who come to the finale of Painted Sky. If you haven’t read the series, please give yourself a treat for an inspiring and uplifting reading experience. Good stories that are well-written are out there. Painted Sky is a shining example.
This series has held appeal for Pura readers for several months. A prolific writer and speaker, Murray Pura based his characters on fellow literary acquaintances which has been fun for them to watch the story unfold.
The series is written to permit flow should the stories be offered in a solid collection, perhaps in print. High Noon Press is an imprint of Helping Hands Press who has been assertive to get the books and stories on the Helping Hands list into the hands of readers in as many formats as possilbe. The Painted Sky series is quality reading that readers everywhere will surely appreciate in all formats.