Congratulations George T. Arnold! Winner of the 2024 Spur Award

The Heart Beneath the Badge by George T. Arnold – Winner of the 2024 Spur Award 

When Sheriff Heath Royal seeks relief for his tormented conscience by attending church services for the first time since his youth, he is beckoned to an empty seat by the wealthy, recently widowed Rebekka Korhenen Brando, and both are immediately, although unwittingly, stirred by an unintentional rekindling of the feelings that almost led to a marriage between them twenty-five years earlier.

Gossipy church members and malicious tongue waggers from the small community of Shady Spring, Texas, watch in amusement and sometimes in horror as the former lovers struggle through a series of challenges and near-death experiences to determine whether the forces of evil or the roundabout intervention of God Himself will allow them a life together.

Standing in their way is a demented ranch foreman convinced that he and Rebekka are destined for each other. Heath’s dubious future as a lawman, and grudge-bearing outlaws who want to put the sheriff into his grave. The solutions may be divined under the sheltering limbs of a magnificent old oak tree where Heath and Rebekka seek solace and open their hearts to each other.

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