Wild Cow Ranch Books a Collaborative Effort

Welcome to the Wild Cow Ranch! Georgia author Denise F. McAllister and Texas author Natalie Bright have teamed up to bring you a new western series. Book #1 MAVERICK HEART is available now and hit the #1 spot on Amazon Hot New Releases. Book #2 A WILD COW WINTER is available February 10, and Book #3 FOLLOW A WILD HEART will be released in March. The books are available on Amazon in print or eBook formats.

Q: What inspired the new Wild Cow Ranch series and what is it about?

Natalie: I enjoy stories about quirky, complex characters who leave their old life behind and start anew, and I’ve always wanted to write a story set in the Texas Panhandle. The Wild Cow Ranch series centers around our main character, Carli Jameson, who inherits a cattle ranch from a grandfather she never knew. Her journey is the main focus, which makes it women’s fiction, but included is the small-town vibe and a bit of cowboy romance. We’ve also added a faith element to these books, as Carli tries to discover who she is and what her purpose should be. Most of the characters hold with Christian values, but some do not. The stories are clean and sweet, the types of books you can pass along to a daughter or your mother.

Denise: Inspiration for this series was Natalie. She told me her idea, and we decided to write it together. Coincidentally, I had a similar story in my head before we even met so I guess it was meant to be. I love how we were able to bring experiences from my life in Georgia and Natalie’s in Texas together to create some of Carli’s adventures.

Q: What are some comparison titles of books or movies similar to this book?

Denise: I think of Hallmark stories but also anything with a strong female lead. This is about a woman who has had to learn how to make it on her own, a woman who has been forced, for whatever reason, to be independent. Sometimes that independence makes her a little distant from the very people who are trying to help her. In Book One, MAVERICK HEART, that person might be a potential love interest.

Natalie: One of my all-time favorite movies is THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER, in which the setting is as much of a character as the people. The Texas Panhandle plays a big part in our stories. I love westerns that include the connections with the land and livestock. Denise brings the knowledge of horses as horse shows were a big part of her youth, and as a cattle ranch owner, I’m including that element. If you like feel-good, hopeful stories with happy endings, you might give our new series a try. 

Q: Which scene or chapter in any of the books is your favorite? Why?

Natalie: My favorite scene is the snowstorm in Book #2, A WILD COW WINTER. Even though it releases on February 10, the story is centered around Christmas—a holiday that our main character, Carli Jameson, really dreads. The norther that blows in is typical of Texas Panhandle weather, which can be unpredictable. She and her horse Beau are trapped in a barn as temperatures drop, and she finds herself in a life or death situation.

Denise: I love it when Carli relaxes some and has peace, when she opens her heart to a love interest, and especially when she opens her heart to God. It’s a hard thing sometimes to give up control. But it can be such a better life to not have to carry life’s burdens all on your own. I also love in Book #3 FOLLOW A WILD HEART how we introduced art and museums to the story. Not many westerns have that element.  

Q: Was it easy to co-author these books?

Natalie: It has definitely been a challenge but has been very fulfilling creatively. The best part is having someone to bounce ideas off of, and to have brainstorming sessions about the characters and plot lines. Our process improves with every book that we write together.

Denise: It was a learning process. We had to be willing to compromise, listen to the other person’s ideas, and accept that our co-author might have a better way for the good of the story. Sometimes we hit a little bump in the road, but I think mostly that has to do with our schedules. We might write on different days or weeks. Then we come together and dissect everything, review, edit, revise. But at the core, we both have the same story in our heads. 

For buy links and more about the authors and their inspiration, read an interview on the publishers website https://christiankindlenews.com/get-know-wild-cow-ranch-co-authors/

Find the authors online at www.nataliebright.com or www.mcallisterediting.com

For more about the Wild Cow Ranch Series, check out the inspirational boards on Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/natbright/maverick-heart/

Published in: on February 9, 2021 at 7:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Meet Carmen Peone and Lillian’s Legacy

I’m thrilled to have award-winning author and fellow Women Writing the West friend share about her books and writing process.

Carmen, Tell us what your recent book, Lillian’s Legacy, is about:

Lillian’s Legacy is about a young teen, Lillian Gardner, who in 1875 feels displaced by her family and like a shadow under her infamous horseracing older sister. Things get worse when her sister, Hannah, insists her wedding be on Lillian’s sixteenth birthday.

That day, a Welsh healer, who happens to be traveling north, stops at the Gardner ranch for a drink and rest. She discovers Lillian’s interest in healing and offers for her to tag along. Lillian accepts and heads out that night, in an attempt to prove she has value. Without confirming her plans with her folks.

The story goes on as Doctor Maddox mentors young Lillian, who is trying to discover if she has what it takes to experience tragedy, life, and death and find a way to help and heal. Along the way, Doctor Maddox shares what the legacy they should be leaving to their patients as female healers. 

The question is, will Lillian discover her true calling? Will she be respected as a female healer in training?

You’ll have to read to book to find out!

How did Lillian’s Legacy come about?

I had been pondering for a few years what the final book in the trilogy, and my young adult writing career, may look like and nothing came to mind. It felt like I had a blank canvas and no tools to work with.

Then one night at women’s Bible study, which I hosted last fall at my house, I was sharing my emptiness with the ladies, one of which was a local doctor, and a friend looked at Doctor Maria and said, “Why not make it about medicine?”

Doctor Maria Trevino went on to mentor me and read the book. She caught a few little things that made a big difference. One of which dealt with a few suture scenes. I needed to add something about stitching the wounds, especially deep ones, from the inside out.

Also, Lillian had to decide which injuries needed medical attention first. So, I had to re-arrange one scene to make that happen. I am so thankful and honored Doctor Maria agreed to work with me. She is a wonderful physician and woman.  

What is different about this book?

Most of my books are about girls and horses. I wanted this one to be different. This trilogy began with Delbert, Lillian’s brother who along with two friends go on a fishing expedition that turns bad, and Hannah was the horse racer I mentioned earlier.

It only made sense to have Lillian seek medicine as her mother is a healer who deals with local, natural plants and herbs. The tie fits so well as I married the knowledge Lillian had from her mother and Doctor Maddox’s western medicine of the times, which also included natural medicines. 

This trilogy, the Gardner Siblings, is a spin-off of my True to Heart Trilogy, which is the first series I wrote. The siblings were young in the True to Heart series and when they “turned sixteen,” I gave them their own story.

In reality, I wasn’t ready to let the characters go. But out of it all, I created a curriculum to go along with all of my young adult books.

What drives you to write your books?

I never intended to be a writer. I actually have an Abnormal Psychology degree, but when my Native husband and I moved onto the reservation in eastern Washington, I began to learn the culture.

My husband’s people, the traditions that surround me, and the land I live on are what inspires me the most. Not to mention riding in the woods on one of my horses.

Spupaleena, the main character in my True to Heart Trilogy would not leave me alone. So, I joined a writer’s course from Writer’s Digest, and off I went.

Do you have a message you’d like your readers to find?

The message I want my readers to know is we all have a dream inside of us. God has given me so many wonderful talents and gifts, they spill over into my characters. He’s given all of my readers talents and gifts as well, and I want each reader to discover theirs and live a life of purpose.

I especially want my young readers to know how incredibly valuable they are. And to know for every problem, there is a solution. We have a lot of suicides and drug and alcohol-related deaths on the reservation. I want youth to know there is always hope.

When did you first realize you were a writer?

I first realized I was a writer when my first book was published. That’s when I took myself seriously because I had a lot of doubt. Grammar and I were not yet friends. But along the way, I’ve learned how to write, including grammar and spelling, which were never my strong suit.

I’ve learned the more I write, the better I get. Daily writing time is a must. It has to be a priority.

How many books have you published?

This is tricky for me. The total books available for sale are eleven. I do count my first trilogy, making it 14, because I totally revamped them when my publisher went out of business. It was like starting over and writing the books from the get-go. Which was cool because I got to witness my progress as a writer.

Included in the eleven titles are four literary guides: two for my trilogies; one for my novel, Girl Warrior; and one workbook that teaches young writers how to write fiction.

I also have a novel in for consideration by a publisher. I’m excited about this one as it’s my romantic suspense debut. The official shift from YA to adult.

What was the hardest part of writing Lillian’s Legacy

The hardest part was figuring out the topic. Once I decided on medicine, it all came together. Then I threw in a twist which added an element of suspense.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? 

I learned how incredibly hard the lives of doctors, especially for females, were in the 1800s. They had to treat patients in all sorts of weather, all hours of the day and night, and traveled miles at times on foot or by horse. 

Do you have any advice for other writers? (Any suggestions to help them be better writers?)

I suggest writers learn the craft in their genre as they write (if they don’t have a degree), attend conferences, and find a quality writer’s group and critique partners. Make writing a priority. Write every day, or at least six days a week, even if it’s a small amount of time.

Writers, know your skill and creativity are gifts. Take yourself seriously and others will too—believe your book or article or whatever your writing dream is will happen!

About Carmen Peone

Award-winning author Carmen Peone lives with her tribal husband, Joe, on the Colville Confederated Indian Reservation in Northeast Washington. She gathered cultural knowledge from family and elders and studied the language and various cultural traditions and legends under the late Marguerite Ensminger. She is a horse and photography enthusiast. With a degree in abnormal psychology, the thought of writing never entered her mind, until she married her husband and they moved to the reservation after college. She came to love the people and their heritage and desires to create a legacy for her family.

Lillian’s Legacy and the Gardner Siblings include a Literary Guide.

This is great for summer fun, homeschool learning, and historical knowledge in the classroom.

Find Out More Here

Purchase Lillian’s Legacy today on

Amazon

Add to Goodreads

Carmen loves to hear from readers. Follow her online at:

Website and Blog | Facebook | TwitterInstagram | Pinterest

Published in: on July 21, 2020 at 2:30 pm  Comments (4)  

A Historical Mystery Romance: One Last Dance

by Linda Weaver Clarke

OneLastDance 150dpiOne Last Dance: Felicity Brooks is a talented artist but her career is cut short when her father passes away. Realizing the importance of family, she travels home to care for her mother. When Felicity meets their new neighbor, a fine-looking bachelor, she soon discovers that he is hiding his true identity. Nicholas Adams is on a quest. But that is not all. When she finds out that someone is after a valuable heirloom…a precious treasure that her father discovered in his attic, her life takes a new turn. This Historical Romance is set in 1835.

Awesome Reviews:

“One thing that always keeps me reading this author’s books is her characters; they are engaging, funny and passionate. I especially liked Mr. Adams’ character as he was both witty and charming with an air of mystery about him. I was impressed by Felicity’s character. She was a strong woman who had seen some of the world, only to end up back home where everything feels different. I liked the quirky bond between Mr. Adams and Felicity. He has her pegged from the start and from the moment they meet you can tell at some point sparks will fly, and they will challenge each other’s perspectives on the problem at hand, which made this book rather gripping. One Last Dance kept me guessing until the end and left me wanting to read this book all over again. If you like Historical Romance with a mysterious touch and well-developed characters, this book is a must-read.” –Author Katrina Hart

One Last Dance is a historical romance with a mystery to add to the tale. Felicity has always been a strong and independent woman. Amongst mystery, loss, paintings, and a career, she is going to have to decide if love has a place in her heart.” –Author Anna Del C Dye

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dance-Willow-Valley-Historical-Romance-ebook/dp/B07GVNWSP9

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/one-last-dance-linda-weaver-clarke/1129427291

Linda Weaver Clarke’s links:

Linda’s Website: www.lindaweaverclarke.com

Linda’s Books: https://lindaweaverclarke.wordpress.com

Linda’s Audiobooks: https://family-friendly-audiobooks.blogspot.com

Linda’s Blog: http://lindaweaverclarke.blogspot.comLindaweb

About the Author: Linda Weaver Clarke was raised among the Rocky Mountains of southern Idaho and now lives among the red hills of southern Utah. Linda is the author of 24 books. She has written in several different genres, which include: historical romances, romantic cozy mysteries, a mystery suspense series, children’s book, and non-fiction. All her books are family friendly. To learn more, visit www.lindaweaverclarke.com.

 

Published in: on November 13, 2018 at 1:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Labor Day Reflections

Growing up on a ranch/farm in eastern Montana, I often heard from my folks, “Every day is Labor Day.”

cowCows don’t know when it’s a holiday or when Daylight Savings Time kicks in. Milk cows want to be milked at the same time every day. Beef cows need to be fed, even during a blizzard. Hay needs to be cut, baled and stacked when it’s ready–not next week after we take a vacation.

Hayfield-agricultureIf we were lucky enough to have a few days between haying season and grain harvesting season, we occasionally could take a short vacation–maybe to Glacier  or Yellowstone Park. Those were rare but memorable family trips.

So those of us who have Monday through Friday, 9-5 type jobs and get a day off on “Labor Day,” let’s consider ourselves lucky and give thanks for all those who do labor on this day.

Have a safe and happy weekend!

Published in: on September 3, 2018 at 6:18 pm  Comments (1)  

Meet the Author: Bear Lake Family Saga

To win an ebook or an Audible audiobook, answer this question: “Why do you like historical romances?” and your preference of ebook or audio.

Who is Author Linda Weaver Clarke?

I was raised among the Rocky Mountains of southern Idaho and live in Color Country in southern Utah. I am the author of 23 books. I have several genres that I write in—a Historical Romance series: Bear Lake Family Saga, a Mystery Suspense series: The Adventures of John and Julia Evans, a Cozy Mystery series: Amelia Moore Detective Series, and a Period/Adventure Romance: The Rebel Series. I am also a missionary at the Family Search Center. I help people find their ancestors and learn about their heritage.

2-historical romances

What draws readers to this historical romance series: Bear Lake Family Saga?

This series has strong female characters who have a destiny to fulfill. Each woman wants to make a difference in someone’s life. No matter the trial that comes her way, she is ready to fight for what she believes. I love the male characters. Even though they are strong and masculine, they have their tender moments that can melt your heart. Bear Lake Family Saga has plenty of adventure along with a tender love story.

What was the inspiration for this series?

My ancestors were my inspiration. I was writing their histories so my children would learn to appreciate their heritage. Their stories were intriguing and full of adventure. When I was done, I decided to write a historical romance series and give these true experiences to my fictional characters.

Give us a brief description of each story in this series.

Melinda and the Wild West (Book 1): Melinda is a schoolteacher. She has many challenges but it’s a rugged rancher who challenges Melinda with the one thing for which she was least prepared—love.

Edith and the Mysterious Stranger (Book 2): Edith is a nurse. When a mysterious stranger starts writing to Edith, she gets to know a man’s inner soul before making any harsh judgments. Whoever he is, this man is a mystery but is he as wonderful in person as he is in his letters?

Jenny’s Dream (Book 3): Jenny is an aspiring author. She has a dream to fulfill, but the only thing standing in her way is an unpleasant memory, which has haunted her since childhood. She must learn to forgive before she can follow her dream.

Sarah’s Special Gift (Book 4): Sarah is a beautiful and successful dance teacher but she is not an average young woman. Sarah is deaf, but this does not stop her from living life to its fullest. And it does not stop her from falling in love with a man who needs her help.

Elena, Woman of Courage (Book 5): The Roaring Twenties was a time of great change, when women raised their hemlines and bobbed their hair. As Elena fights to prove herself as the town’s first female doctor, the town’s most eligible bachelor finds it a challenge to see if he can win her heart.

Are your books in audiobook form?

Yes. I have a narrator who is narrating them for Audible. I have one narrator for Melinda and the Wild West, and then changed to a different narrator for the next four. Carolyn Kashner actually sings in Edith and the Mysterious Stranger, and she has such a lovely voice.

Who is the most intriguing character in this series?

I love all my female characters, but I feel that Elena from Elena Woman of Courage is the most interesting. She has to endure a lot of prejudice from the town bully who feels that women doctors have no right to practice medicine. But that isn’t all. This story takes place during the roaring twenties, and Elena has decided to be a part of this new generation by bobbing her hair and raising her hemlines. That takes a lot of courage. Of course, the town’s most eligible bachelor finds her most intriguing. He actually admires her tenacity. I admire Elena, as well.

(For history buffs: Bobbed hair caused a lot of commotion. A teacher in Jersey City was ordered to grow her hair back by the school board or she would be fired. Women with bobbed hair were fired from prestigious department stores without any warning. A preacher pounded the pulpit, saying that a “bobbed woman was a disgraced woman.” The raising of hemlines had its problems, as well.)

They developed a new vocabulary during the roaring twenties. What were some of the words you discovered while writing this story?

This was the fun part of writing Elena Woman of Courage. During this time period, theyLindaweb spoke a language foreign to their parents.  Here are some examples.

If you were excited about something, you say: Cat’s pajamas!

If you didn’t agree with someone, you say: Ah, horsefeathers!

If you were a feisty woman, you were referred to as: a bearcat.

If you were an attractive woman, you were referred to as: a doll.

Women were also referred to as: a tomato.

When John wanted to “spoon” with Elena, she said: The bank’s closed.

A woman’s body was referred to as a chassis and her legs were gams.

Where can readers find you?

My website has sample chapters to read: www.lindaweaverclarke.com

My Audible Page: https://www.audible.com/author/Linda-Weaver-Clarke/B004P47EWO
My Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/ZA-z2ckme8w

My Mother Seeks the American Dream

When my husband and I moved from Missoula, Montana to western Washington in 1996, I thought it would be an easy transition. We were both ready for a change, a great job became available for him, and I was a freelance writer. I could do that from anywhere.

But I was surprised at how difficult it was for me to adjust, become acclimated, and feel at home there. Everything I’d known changed—new grocery stores, new doctors, and new friends. I kept thinking, what must it have been like for my mom, who emigrated from Germany in 1948 after WWII?

I moved only a few hundred miles, the language and culture was the same, and we did actually have some acquaintances there before the move.

Mom photo hi resMy mother came from an urban setting, where—at least before the war—they enjoyed electricity and indoor plumbing, and cultural experiences such as concerts and plays. She moved to extremely rural eastern Montana with no running water and an outdoor privy—the “middle of nowhere” where the nearest town was close to a hundred miles away—to live with the in-laws for nearly three years. She knew very little English, the culture was different, and people still considered Germans “the enemy.” Plus, she knew no one, except her fiancé, a man she hadn’t seen for two years!

A move like hers took a great deal of courage. I remember my nervousness when I went from my ranch home to college in the “big city” of Missoula, Montana. And I got to go home for quarter breaks and holidays. It was ten years before Mom was able to go back to Germany to visit her family.

All of these thoughts and questions ran through my mind until I was compelled to sit at my computer and write her story. I fictionalized it, so I could “fill in the blanks,” and with fiction, the author can create an ending that is the way it should have beenSeekingAmericanDream_1.5x2.

It has been twenty years since I started writing my mother’s story, and Seeking the American Dream is finally published! It was not the right timing until now. I needed to study and learn my craft, to continue to make it better, and chronologically, it follows the “Cowgirl Dreams” series I wrote, based on my rodeo cowgirl grandmother.

Mom died thirty years ago, but I hope she would be proud of the results. You were a strong, brave woman, and I’ve always admired you.

Seeking the American Dream is available as an e-book and in print from Amazon and autographed copies through my website.

Advance Reviews:

“With beautifully researched detail, haunting descriptions, and the authentic language of the heart, Heidi Thomas’s Seeking the American Dream is a classic immigrant’s tale, a domestic drama that shows the rebuilding of the world as planned at the kitchen table, enacted in the fields, and put into action in the financial, emotional, and psychological details of daily life. A story of longing—and finally of belonging—we see one woman’s dream become the fulfillment of the American dream one step at a time.”

– Mara Purl, best-selling author of the Milford-Haven Novels

“Seeking the American Dream is such a beautiful, heartwarming book! It was a pleasure to read about Anna’s quest for her dream. I didn’t just enjoy it, I loved it! Heidi Thomas has a way of building suspense that just kills me. Readers will love it as much as I do.” –Carol Buchanan, award-winning author of “The Vigilante Quartet” series

“Once again, I open the pages of a Heidi Thomas novel and I’m transported to another time and place. From post WWII Germany to the sometimes-brutal Montana ranch life, Seeking the American Dream explores one woman’s journey as she faces impossible odds to live her dream. Ms. Thomas is excellent at period literature. You won’t be disappointed.”—Brenda Whiteside, Author of The Love and Murder Series
Synopsis: As a nurse, Anna Schmidt deals with the aftermath of a war-torn Germany on a daily basis. The destruction and suffering of WWII frame her existence until she meets American GI, Neil Moser. His stories of ranch life in Montana, his quiet kindness and compassion, and the attraction that blossoms give her hope for a different life. Before their relationship develops, Neil is suddenly shipped out of Germany, and Anna is left with nothing but a yearning for what might have been.

Anna’s dreams are renewed when Neil writes to declare his love and propose that she join him in America as his wife. After two years of endless paperwork, she is finally on American soil. But will Anna be able to overcome the language barrier and harsh Montana ranch life, to gain acceptance from his parents, and form a family in a country that still considers a German the enemy?

Book 1 in the American Dream series and the next generation of the Moser family.

Sink, Sank, Sunk–Which do You Use?

I’ve been noticing more and more use of words like “sunk” as the simple past tense, by authors and even in newspaper writing. For example: I sunk into the easy chair.

Here are some other examples: I’ve heard people say I seen it, when they should say I saw it. Or they will use the past tense instead of the correct past participle: We could have went to the movie.

My editor’s hackles go up!

The simple past tense of “sink” is “sank.” The word “sunk” is used as the past participle (or past perfect) and always requires the “helper” word “has” or “had.”

Sinking shipSink: I sink the ship today.

I sank the ship yesterday.

I have sunk the ship many times.

 

See: I see it today.

I saw it yesterday.

I have seen it many times before.

 

Go: I go to the movie (or I’m going to the movie today).

I went to the movie yesterday.

I have gone to the movies many times.

Studying_4

I remember memorizing many of these verb forms when I was in grade school. Maybe they don’t teach that anymore?

Don’t even get me started on “snuck.” (A blog for another time!)

Published in: on June 2, 2017 at 6:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Dare to Dream Honored

Somehow, having one’s book honored in an awards contest is a bigger deal than you would think. I was surprised to find myself walking with a lighter step, smiling a little more, and wanting to share the news with everyone: Dare to Dream is a Finalist in the International Book Awards in the Fiction: Young Adult category!International Book Awardsw

The whole writing and publishing experience is akin to a birthing experience. Writing is not an easy process. Some days we sit and struggle with a few words, then after critique partners go through it, maybe we toss those hard-won words aside and start again.

Do we have a good enough opening to “hook” the reader? Does the story continue to flow throughout or does it lose momentum and sag in the middle? Are our characters “real” and people the reader can cheer on to achieve their goals? Is the ending satisfying?

Once you spend weeks, months, even years getting every word “just right,” then, with held breath and jittery anticipation, you send your baby out into the agent/publisher world, only to receive those “Thank you, but this is not right for us at this time” form rejections.

Rejection = dejection.

But, after you collect enough of those letters to wallpaper your office, maybe, just maybe one will be “Yes! We love your story and would like to publish your book.”

Cloud 99, here we come!Dare Cover .5x1

But the next step of the journey has just begun. Once you hold that “baby” in your hands–the first paper copy–then you have to get out there and “sell” it! Marketing is a whole ‘nother game, wearing a different hat. “Please buy my book. It’s great!” We creative types are not always good at putting ourselves out there and tooting our own horns. What to do? Social media, mail campaigns, Facebook events, speaking engagements, arts and crafts fairs, book signings.

All phases of this writing/publishing/marketing journey are hard work.

And so, if you receive some small recognition, like being a finalist in a contest, it is validation. And it gives that small push to keep on doing it!

Published in: on May 24, 2016 at 6:38 pm  Comments (2)  

Happy New Year!

 

happy-new-year-large 

I wish you all peace, happiness and good health in this New Year!

Published in: on December 31, 2015 at 10:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

Happy Holidays!

Christmas nativity

May the Reason for the Season bring you light and joy!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Published in: on December 24, 2015 at 6:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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