Winters, Rebecca, Beneath a Texas Sky, (Richmond, Surrey: Harlequin (UK) Limited, 2002).
Title: Beneath a Texas Sky
Author: Rebecca Winters
Issues: Convict; Murder; Prison
Dana Turner is an astronomer; she’s also an ex-convict. Deliberately framed for a murder she didn’t commit, she spent seven months in prison. On her release, she came to Texas to work at an isolated little observatory in the Davis Mountains. She has no interest in people—only in stars.
That changes when she meets Jace Riley. For the first time in a long time, she’s attracted to someone. More than attracted. But, despite her feelings, she has some questions about Jace, a man who shows up in her life with astonishing frequency.
Jace has questions about her, too. He’s a Texas Ranger working undercover, searching for two cop-killers. He’s traced them this far, to the town of Cloud Rim, where they simply disappeared. He finds himself wondering whether the beautiful and mysterious Dana Turner has anything to do with his case. And hoping she doesn’t…
I’ve heard people say, “There aren’t any mountains in Texas!” Well…I’m here to tell you that statement couldn’t be further from the truth. The Rocky Mountains definitely run through the western part of Texas. In fact, the Davis Mountains of the Lone Star State have been nicknamed “The Texas Alps”.
On top of Mt. Locke at 6800 feet where the air is dry and clear sits the McDonald Observatory owned by the University of Texas at Austin. This area is renowned for having one of darkest skies in North America and is therefore perfect for viewing the heavens. I’ve modeled my own fictitious setting after this one.
My hero, Captain Jace Riley of the Texas Rangers, is truly a hero. Rangers have a heritage that can be traced to the earliest days of Anglo settlement in Texas. They’ve often been compared to four other world famous law-enforcement agencies: the FBI, Scotland Yard, Interpol and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Prior to the Civil War, there was a real Texas Ranger with the first name Jace and another whose last name was Riley. I liked both names so much, I put them together to create my hero. Former Captain Bob Crowder has described the Rangers this way: “A Ranger is an officer who is able to handle any given situation without definite instructions from his commanding officer or higher authority. This ability must be proven before a man becomes a Ranger.” I think you’ll agree that Jace Riley is a perfect example of that.
I hope you’ll enjoy Jace’s story-and his romance with Dana Turner, first introduced in My Private Detective.
P.S. If you have access to the internet, please check out my website at http://www.rebeccawinters-author.com