A Great New Novel; A Suspense Thriller

Force No One 01

I just finished a great debut novel.

Force No One by Daniel Charles Ross, is a suspense thriller that will keep you up nights, reading head-long to the conclusion.

Here is my review of this novel that I posted on Amazon:

Force No One, a debut novel by Daniel Charles Ross, grabbed me with the opening paragraphs and never let go until the end.  When it was over, I found myself wanting more from this author.

I believed the scenes he set in Detroit and Dearborn and could tell the author had been there.  The scenes in Afghanistan were realistic and thrilling. The characters he created were real to me and most of all, I cared what happened to them. The chapters are short and introduced with quotes from historical figures from Eisenhower, Churchill, Patton, and even gonzo journalist, Hunter Thompson, and many others.  

The nail-biting action kept me turning the pages right up to the surprise conclusion. This suspense thriller is the first of what promises to be a series of more great novels to come.

I cannot wait for his next one, Force Majeure, a tantalizing chapter of which is included at the end of this novel, just to whet your appetite.  

Daniel Charles Ross is a bright new author that will keep his audience coming back for much more for many years to come.


I strongly recommend this novel to readers who enjoy page-turning suspense thrillers with edge-of-your chair technology action reminiscent of Tom Clancy.


The ‘Father of Texas’ is born, 225 years ago today


Stephen F. Austin

The ‘Father of Texas,’ Stephen F. Austin

By Tara Ross

On this day in 1793, Stephen F. Austin is born. He would come to be known as the “Father of Texas.”

Perhaps there is a twist of irony in that title? When Austin first heard of an opportunity to set up a settlement in Texas, he wasn’t so crazy about the idea.

To the contrary, it was Stephen’s father who originally wanted to go to Texas. Moses Austin’s personal finances had suffered following the Panic of 1819, and he was looking for new opportunities. He decided to seek land grants in Texas. Unfortunately, Moses passed away in the middle of the process. Thus, it was left to Stephen to take over where his father had left off.

It wasn’t easy! Ownership of Texas had changed. Although Moses had worked out a deal with Spain, the Mexican government did not want to honor it at first. Stephen traveled to Mexico City and lobbied in person, and he was eventually given permission to move forward. He was an “empresario,” with civil and military authority over the first Anglo-American settlements in Texas. More empresarios would follow, but Austin was the most successful of them, bringing as many as 1,500 families to the area. He was well-respected, and other empresarios sought his advice. As such, he found himself constantly mediating between Texan settlers and the Mexican government. You can imagine this got tricky! For instance, when Mexico banned further Anglo-American immigration into Texas in 1830, settlers were unhappy. Many had long thought that Texas would be purchased by the United States, but such a move now seemed less likely. They wanted the ban lifted. In fact, they generally felt that they should have a bigger say in their own governance. They wanted Texas to be its own state.

By 1833, matters were getting serious. Settlers wrote a list of grievances and a proposed Constitution for a new state of Texas; they elected Austin to take these items to Mexico City. Austin was worried that the move was too aggressive, but he went anyway. He ended up getting arrested for suspicion of trying to incite an insurrection. (Oops!) He wasn’t freed until July 1835.

‘War is our only resource. There is no other remedy but to defend our rights our country and our selves by force of arms. To do this we must be united.’

Austin was slow to get on board with the cause of Texas independence (he preferred conciliation with Mexico), but once he was on board, he did not turn back. As chairman of a Committee of Safety, he wrote: “War is our only resource. There is no other remedy but to defend our rights our country & our selves by force of arms. To do this we must be united.”

Austin commanded Texan forces during the Siege of Bexar, but he spent much of the (relatively short) 6-month Texas Revolution in the United States, seeking support for the “Texian” cause. When Austin returned home, he discovered that his influence had been eclipsed by that of Sam Houston, the victor at the Battle of San Jacinto. Both men were candidates in the first presidential election. Houston won. Austin came in a distant third.

Austin died only 8 months after Texas had won her independence, possibly weakened by a disease that he’d contracted during his imprisonment in Mexico. Upon hearing of Austin’s death, President Sam Houston declared: “The father of Texas is no more. The first pioneer of the wilderness has departed.”

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Tara Ross is a mother, wife, writer, and retired lawyer. She is the author of The Indispensable Electoral College: How the Founders’ Plan Saves Our Country from Mob Rule,Enlightened Democracy: The Case for the Electoral College, co-author of Under God: George Washington and the Question of Church and State (with Joseph C. Smith, Jr.), & We Elect A President: The Story of our Electoral College. She is a constitutionalist, but with a definite libertarian streak!