Monday, November 11, 2013

Renewal of Faith by James J. Griffin in A WOLF CREEK CHRISTMAS #wester

Renew of Faith
a short story in
Wolf Creek, Book 9:

Romancing The West is pleased to present a double feature: Wolf Creek, Book 9, A Wolf Creek Christmas, and Wolf Creek Book 10, O Deadly Night.  Each volume contains six Christmas stories, all centering around Wolf Creek in 1871, written by award-winning western authors.  Today, RTW features western author and Texas Ranger artifact collector, James J. Griffin

James J. Griffin
About James

I’ve been a student of the West, and particularly the Texas Rangers, since I was a kid. I’ve also been a horseman most of my life, and enjoy nothing quite so much as getting into the saddle and riding out into the woods and hills for the day, just me and my horse. In Ben Tolliver, I’ve combined my love of horses and the Texas Rangers.

My other novels are all Texas Ranger tales. My stories are very traditional Westerns, with strong heroes who have good moral codes.

While I’m a native New Englander, and love this part of the country more than anywhere else in the world, I also love the West, and travel out there whenever I get the chance. I’ve got a good friend in retired Texas Ranger and Baylor professor Jim Huggins, who helps with my research. Other good friends in Texas are Karl Rehn and Penny Riggs, who lend me their expertise on weapons of the old West.  My extensive collection of Texas Ranger artifacts is now in the permanent collections of the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco.

For more information about myself and my books, visit my website.

James' story: Renewal of Faith

Texas-Ranger-turned-livery-owner Ben Tolliver and his son Danny get a very unexpected Christmas gift. Then they meet and befriend the new Catholic priest who has come to establish a mission at Wolf Creek, in time to perform Christmas Mass -- but Ben finds much of the town opposed to the father's presence. Ben is determined that the Mass will be held, if he has to fight a mob to see it done...

About Ben Tolliver

My character, Ben Tolliver, is semi-autobiographical, at least when it comes to his love of horses. Just like Ben, I believe that horses are God’s greatest creation, next to humankind, and sometimes I think that horses are greater. And as a lifelong Catholic, I was happy for the opportunity to bring the Catholic faith to the town of Wolf Creek.

Quite a few things happen to Ben during Christmas season of 1871. When Renewal of Faith begins, he is upset with his son, Danny, and his questions about church. Ben’s resentment against his late wife’s parents for hiding Danny from him finally boils over. Ben would just as soon spend Christmas alone with Danny and their horses, in fact he’d prefer it that way. I’m kind of like Ben in that way. Christmas used to be huge family event, but with my parents now gone, my sisters and their families in Florida or Virginia, except for two of my nieces, my brother usually gone to his partner Joanne’s family, I now usually end up spending Christmas alone, and I’ve learned I kind of enjoy it that way at this point in my life. I go to early Mass Christmas morning, then spend most of the day with my dog and horse, except for dinner at my niece’s and her husband’s. However, as Ben will discover, there’s nothing quite like having folks around at Christmas. It will take quite a few battles before he finally finds some of the inner peace that has been eluding him.

There’s also some interesting side stories in Renewal of Faith. We meet two new arrivals to Wolf Creek, Father Sean Flannery, who has been sent to establish a mission, and Katy McBride, a feisty Irish gal who sees right through Billy Below’s and Jimmy Spotted Owl’s stunts. Katy’s plans to establish a saloon right smack dab in the middle of the respectable part of town is bound to upset the proverbial applecart. It remains to be seen, but there could well be a romance in the future between Katy and…

You’ll need to read the story to find out whom.

What's new from James

Acclaimed author James J. Griffin, noted for his fine stories of the Texas Rangers, joins the West of the Big River stable with THE RANGER, a short novel featuring real-life Ranger Sergeant J.S. Turnbo. Tangling with rustlers, bank robbers, and road agents is all in a day's work for Turnbo as he fights to bring law and order to the area around Abilene and San Angelo, Texas, but solving a deadly mystery will put Turnbo's life in more danger than ever before. It'll take all of the Ranger's wits and gun-handling skills to keep him alive as he untangles the strands of a lethal conspiracy!

THE RANGER is a novel based on historical characters and situations in the bestselling West of the Big River series from Western Fictioneers. Don't miss any of these action-packed tales!

Wolf Creek Book 9: 

The Last Free Trapper 
by Jory Sherman
A Savior is Born 
by Meg Mims
That Time of Year 
by Jerry Guin
‘Twas the Fight before Christmas 
by Jacquie Rogers
A Kiowa Christmas Gift 
by Troy D. Smith
Renewal of Faith 
by James J. Griffin

Wolf Creek, Book 10: 

Sarah’s Christmas Miracle 
by Big Jim Williams
Irish Christmas at Wolf Creek 
by Charlie Steel
A Home for Christmas 
by Cheryl Pierson
The Angel Tree 
by Chuck Tyrell
The Spirit of Hogmanay 
by Clay More
O Deadly Night 
by Troy D. Smith


  1. Jim. Father Sean puts an important appearance in The Angel Tree, too. Didn't check with you. Hope he meets his "maker's" intent.

    1. I've read your story, and am not ashamed to admit it brought tears to my eyes. You did a perfect job, not only with Father Sean, but the entire cast and story. THE ANGEL TREE should become a Christmas classic, not only on the page, but on television or in a film.

      Jim Griffin

  2. I like the way you incorporated almost the whole cast in your story in one way or another, made it feel even more like a real town.

  3. This is a great fun story, Jim. No spoilers from me.

    But Troy, it is a real town....isn't it? It certainly feels like one.

  4. It really does! And more so with each new volume.

  5. Jim I really loved Father Sean Flannery, and I'm looking forward to getting to know more about him in the future. He's a very interesting character! This was a wonderful story, and as Troy says, you were able to bring almost everyone into the story at the end and give it story the feeling of wrapping things up. Really did enjoy it.

  6. Jim,

    Jacquie had you write up and send some great personal details about your life and writing.

    Great responses from your fellow writers as well.

    Your endearing comments about your horse, other pets, and home life, make everyone want to read your work.

    Charlie Steel

  7. Good story Jim. Also enjoying your Ranger named Rowdy series.

  8. Thanks to everyone for the kind words. And to Charlie (Chuck) who truly captured both Father Flannery's character and the spirit of Christmas in his story, THE ANGEL TREE, in O DEADLY NIGHT.

    Jim Griffin

  9. Nearly forgot... a HUGE thanks to Jacquie for featuring the Wolf Creek books.

    Jim Griffin


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