Beyond the Rio Grande
by Steve Shaw
U.S. Treasury agent Jack Wood is trying to find the source of counterfeit money appearing in Texas border towns when he suddenly disappears in El Paso. The deputy U. S. Treasury Director informs a select group of President Ulysses S. Grant’s advisors of Wood’s disappearance and of Mexico’s possible involvement with the counterfeit money.
South of El Paso, Mexican mercenaries assemble with orders to destroy the town, seize Dallas, and hold Texas hostage until Grant exchanges the state for thousands of American lives. Grant hesitates. His administration, fraught with scandal, is not trustworthy. With the post–Civil War depression and military downsizing, America can ill-afford another war.
With instructions from Washington, a half-dozen Texas Rangers descend on El Paso, only to learn that Wood is being held captive in Mexico. With the Mexican government in revolt, crossing the Rio Grande would be considered an act of war.
Ellsworth T. Kincaid, Jack’s friend and a dime-novel celebrity, and Stetson, his beautiful female companion, learn of Wood’s whereabouts and resolve to rescue him. Crossing into Mexico, the couple penetrates the Mexican stronghold. But Stetson is apprehended, forcing Kincaid to make a stand against two hundred maniacal cutthroats.
About the Author
A member of Western Writers of America (WWA) Steve Shaw’s work includes fiction and nonfiction, book reviews, interviews and travel adventures. His magazine articles have appeared in the Tombstone Times, Tombstone Gazette, True West, Western Shooting Horses, The Cowboy Chronicle, END of TRAIL, SHOOT, Su Casa, Little Bighorn Associates Newsletter, and Western Writer’s of America’s quarterly The Roundup. His short stories have won several awards in New Mexico.
November, 2007 – New Mexico Book Awards
“The 2007 New Mexico Book Awards, sponsored by the New Mexico Book Co-op, Albuquerque The Magazine, Borders, New Mexico Book Association, and New Mexico State Library are honored to recognize Beyond the Rio Grande by Steve Shaw as a Finalist in the Novel – Adventure/Drama category.”
October, 2007 – Roundup, Western Writers of America’s quarterly magazine
“Reminiscent of the great buddy Westerns of the 1960s, Beyond the Rio Grande is a terrific tale of the Texas Rangers, embroiled in a battle to rescue U.S. Treasury Agent Jack Wood from a rogue Mexican Army commandant.
Steve Shaw writes with a cinematic flair, and as you read, you see John Wayne as Jim Bison, Jimmy Stewart as Tex, Henry Fonda as J.J., Robert Mitchum as Wild Bill O’Brien, and Stuart Whitman as Ellsworth T. Kincaid.
This is a Western of the good old, shoot-em up variety, the kind that John Ford or Raoul Walsh would have made into a classic Western movie.
Shaw writes well, and he has a true grasp of the West and the men who wore the badge and carried the gun. His characters have a great camaraderie, and their interchanges are crisply written. The dialog is right on target, and the characters react to each other as men under arms would likely react.
Beyond the Rio Grande is a wonderful book.”
September, 2007 – True West Magazine
In his editorial, Editor Bob Boze Bell says, “Steve has written a rip-roaring novel, Beyond the Rio Grande, which intertwines honor, true friendship and the camaraderie of a special breed of men―the Texas Rangers (buy your copy from Amazon.com).”
March/April, 2007 – Shoot Magazine
“A new Western novel by Steve Shaw is a fast paced, action adventure with excitement on almost every page. Post-Civil War, it is set on the Texas border during the Grant Administration. One of the many heroes in this book is Jack Wood, an undercover agent of the Treasury Department’s new investigation organization, The Secret Service. He is investigating counterfeit American $20 gold pieces crossing the border from Mexico.
Ellsworth T. Kincaid hears that his friend and Civil War buddy, Jack Wood, is being held in an El Paso jail. He and his lovely companion, Lady Stetson, decide to ride to El Paso to find out what’s going on. They arrive only to find out that he has been taken across the border in a jail break. Adding intrigue to this story are a group of Texas Rangers, also sent to rescue Jack Wood, but forbidden to cross the border into Mexico, plus Indians, spies, and counter spies. This is a read you’ll enjoy, and many will read it a second time and enjoy it just as much.”
April, 2006 – The Single Action Shooting Society’s The Cowboy Chronicle
“Based on historical fact, Beyond the Rio Grande reads like a modern day thriller. When Treasury agent Jack Wood is kidnapped and taken into Mexico, only his friend, Ellsworth T. Kincaid, accompanied by his beautiful paramour, Stetson, is willing to risk all to rescue him. Washington D.C., double-agents, Texas Rangers, Indians and gun play figure prominently in this intriguing story. An excellent read.”
“Just finished your book yesterday. I just wanted to pass on what an excellent time I had reading it. Well written, great story, fantastic characters, and how you told pieces of each of their lives and brought it all together was well done. You have a gift for writing and I am glad I have met you and Stetson. Throughout the book I pictured the two of you in your roles and the other characters I made up with my own imagination of what they looked like based on your descriptions of them. I hope this becomes a movie one day or a mini series of some sort. It would be a fun fabulous action packed but character driven movie!”
Richard Walsh, Ashland, OR
“Just finished reading your book. Well, the jury’s in and the verdict is I am most favorably impressed. Not only a good story with all the elements you indicated, but darn insightful writing with regard to the personalities and feelings of the characters that is artfully and poignantly presented. I’m not one for bandying about platitudes, but have to in this case – this is darn good. You, my friend, have gone up several notches in my estimation – not to imply you weren’t already pretty well up there to begin with. I guess the best compliment I can offer in a tangible manner is to tell you I have three friends I intend to buy your book for, because I ain’t give’n mine up!
Dick Kimberley, Santa Fe, NM
“I have finished ‘Beyond the Rio Grande’ and I must say it is one of the best westerns I have read. I truly enjoyed the adventure and hope for another adventure of Ellsworth T. Kincaid someday. I was impressed by your use of Paul Fix’s name in the story. A nice tribute to a great western character actor. He appeared in many Hopalong Cassidy movies early in his career.”
Tom Wheeler, Essex, MD
“Just finished “Beyond the Rio Grande.” I enjoyed it very much… good full characters… lots of action. AND… unlike most westerns you actually had the guns, gears, and horses right.”
Don Fordyce, Sun City West, AZ
“Couldn’t put it down! Well, I had to sometimes, but didn’t want to. WELL DONE! Great story. Terrific characters. No loose ends. No disconnects. Loved Stetson. Hated the Mexicans. Hated losing… well, I won’t give any spoilers. Poked a little fun at yourself in the epilogue. Enjoyable.
John Hopkins, Rapid City, SD
“I just finished re-reading Beyond the Rio Grande and I liked it even better than the first time I read it. It truly is an excellent work. I look forward to your next book as I found myself wanting more story. I think that Johnny Boggs is the only other author that comes close to your historical accuracy in dealing with a fictional story.”
Ron Koster, Gwinn, MI
“Just finished a red’n my way thru a o’l western tale by a cowpoke name of Shaw or sumthin like that. Found the yarn durn enjoyable and the way t’was spun kept me entertained. Seemed this writer fellow knew the Old West cause he splained it real nice.
Hill Clark, Bay Village, OH
“I’m half-way through the book and can’t put it down. I’m loving every word….”
Bill Curtis, Lakewood, CA
“It was terrific… and held my attention. There were times I didn’t want to put it down, worried I’d miss something. This would make an excellent movie.”
Kevin Hogge, Chesapeake, VA
“Steve Shaw put a lot of thought and research in the places he used throughout the book. One can almost imagine he is part of the book. I can see this being made into a Western movie – it would hold the audience in their seat, even if they had to go to the bathroom. The book took one from the Old West to Washington D.C. and back without losing the reader’s interest in the Old West. I could go on and on about the book. It is one of the best I have read in a very, very long time. Shaw’s imagination is unreal. Everyone that reads it will surely get their moneys worth.”
Ed Woods, Alder, PA
“I read Beyond the Rio Grande while traveling in Central America. All I can say is “way to go!” It was GREAT!! I loved each and every chapter. Can’t wait to see what Steve Shaw comes up with the next time!”
Johnny Johnson, Phoenix, AZ
“I just finished reading Beyond the Rio Grande. A most enjoyable read. I have over the years read a number of the old western classics by Grey, L’Amour and my favorite western author, Steve Frazee. None of those guys did near as good a job of fleshing out the characters in their books as Steve Shaw did. A great job! Also I loved how the author wove actual historic fact and characters into his story line… that really made a difference. As a matter of fact the story line made me do some research to discern the dividing lines between where facts and story line met. Can’t wait for the next one!”
Jack Behrman, Austin, CO
“Well, one of the jury is in… my friend Ed raved about Beyond the Rio Grande. His greatest comment (besides how interesting and exciting it was) was “I was wonderin’ how in the hell did he make everything come together so well… THAT GUY CAN WRITE!”
Tom Sorenson, Lakewood, CA
“Glad to hear you entered your book in the WWA’s Spur Awards. You would have my vote if I were a judge. Keep writing books!”
Matt Braun, author of over 45 Western novels
“I finished Beyond the Rio Grande late last night. It was so good it kept me up on more than one night. One way I judge a book is by that measure… how much sleep I am willing to give up to read it. The second measure is how clear the picture in my mind is of the various characters. I fashioned visions of all the Rangers and the Mexicans as well. If I remember my history this was something that almost happened… or the story did such a good job of convincing me that I thought something similar had at least been planned by our neighbors to the south! As I read about the sniper I never really guessed who it was… as I should have with the clues furnished. My most warm and heartfelt CONGRATULATIONS on your very successful first book. My brother has written two books about his childhood. When I spoke of his success he said the book sales would determine the success. “Not true,” I replied. “Just the completion and publishing of a book puts you and him in a fraction of one percent of the six billion people in the world. Really pretty rare air.”
Larry Palmer, Corona, CA
“Finished Beyond the Rio Grande the other day. I would recommend it and highly enjoyed the suspense and the reminiscing. I believe it was told as though you were listening to someone “in the know” telling a story around the campfire. Just like when you are telling a story and then a part reminds you of a unique situation with that person. Even though it was my go-to-bed book, in the end, I found myself grabbing it on a Sunday afternoon to see how it ended. Good Job. Can’t wait to read the next adventure.”
Cindy Groth, Azusa, CA
“I have given Beyond the Rio Grande to my best friends and they have enjoyed it. I believe that it should be made into a movie.”
Donn Crothers, Southwest, FL
“You have a real winner. Too bad Uncle Jack Ford isn’t here to make a great film out of it. I think Westerns are slowly but surely coming back into the culture. High time.”
Harry ‘Dobie’ Carey, Jr., actor & author
“I loved the book.”
Ed Beesley, New York
“Ted and I loved the book!!!”
Ann Rissel, Tucson, AZ
“Steve Shaw is a great writer! I’m looking forward to his next book.”
Sondra Roberts, Tucson, AZ
“Great story telling and authenticity. Anyone who has read the book knows it’s an excellent novel, full of camaraderie, action, and history.”
Barbara Ormand, Tijeras, NM
“I want a copy of whatever book Steve Shaw decides to write.”
Lee Saiter, Edison, OH
“I know I enjoyed the book and wonder if a sequel is in the works.”
Richard Fuse, Ridley Park, PA
“I put my autographed copy out front and center for all our friends to admire and tell them where they can get a copy. When can we expect a sequel?”
Sybil Kangas, Victoria, B.C.