By Ronald H. Keyser


Defiance Press, 2016


The years following the American Civil War propelled the great state of Texas into a bold future through a rush of expansionism. Much of this industrious activity was made possible by the ever-increasing reach of the railroads and, in Texas, great stretches of track were laid down and paid for with the lives of prisoners having little hope of ever escaping the state penal system.

Ruby's Prayer is the story of the Texas-based Wallace family during the spring of 1880. The family is recovering from the wounds of the Civil War, including the loss of their mother, son Tom Wallace's inhuman incarceration, and sibling rivalries and double-dealings, all while enmeshed in the intrigues of political, monetary and personal ambitions. Full of colorful characters both likable and despicable, Ruby's Prayer reveals the hopes, loves and trials of an American family struggling to find their way during the tumultuous emergence of the Industrial Age and the final days of the Wild West.

Paperback | ISBN: 9780996259033 | Publication Date: 05/10/2016


"I read this novel in two nights over the weekend. Once I started it, I couldn't put it down. Ruby's Prayer is a history lesson and an exciting love story, adventure all rolled into one. The rivalry between the brothers is engrossing. The abuses of the prison system are true and sad. Great characters-fully developed. The story moves along quickly and for me the ending was surprising. I love reading Texas novels and the style reminds me of the writings of Stephen Harrigan and Bud Shrake. Ronald Keyser has done a great job writing his first book. I look forward to his future works. I'd love to see a sequel!"

-John Scott Reeves

"A compelling tale of 1800s Texas with beautiful women and horses and the Texas Towns where they lived. If you love the old west and the history of Texas, You will love this book. In the spirit of Louis L'amour, this book brings you real Texas History in the form of a compelling story about a family touched by adversity. Imagine going to prison for something that wasn't in your control. Imagine the ambition of a few people who wanted to make it really big at any cost. A world where lust for women and money trump all other family relationships. This book covers the history of central Texas in the late 1800s starting in Huntsville and ending in Belton Texas. Find out how the Railroads and the Prison affected the early Texas formation of what we know of modern Texas. Find out about the early days of Texas ranching, The free grazers and the ranchers, the railroads and prisons and the 3 W's and 4 C's."

-Doc Greene Sr.

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