Friday, I attended a family reunion. As always when our family gets together the stories fly, some get a bit more interesting as time goes by. I also have the funniest cousins and one kept us in stitches and tears of laughter rolling down our face all evening. This time together reminded me of why I wanted to start a series about a Wyoming family, living, struggling, thriving, and surviving hardships all while holding tight to each other.
Last week was the release of RIDIN’ FOR A FALL. Lena and Kyle have been with me for many years and I finally decided to share them and their loud, big, wonderful family with the world.
RIDIN’ is fiction, but Lena Gowan was inspired by my great-grandmother Lena Boden. You will read (hopefully) Lena Gowan’s story, so let’s look at the life of the real Lena.
My great-grandmother and her brother Morton were trick riders and even rode in the Oklahoma Land Rush. Lena married and after having six children who survived and one who died before the first year, her husband abandoned her. She raised her children and worked as a teacher in one room school houses in Wyoming.
I never met, Lena, but I have heard stories about her from my grandmother, dad and aunts. She was short with dark hair and blue eyes with an Irish temper and stubborn streak. A word that always emerges in the telling is “tough.” She had to be. In many of the schools, she had to get there early to light a fire in the stove, or her children were sent ahead to see this done. Also, it was her responsibility to see the school children received a hot meal for lunch. She had to see to it she and her children survived.
In RIDIN’, I gave Lena Gowan a better man, a secure life on a Wyoming ranch and all the things my great-grandmother didn’t have, but I made her tough enough to take the blows landed on her just like Lena Boden.
Another character in RIDIN’ is Alt Boden. Alt was fashioned after my great-grandmother’s brother. In fact, I used the name he used in “show business.” Morton Boden went on to become a Rough Rider in Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show. According to my grandmother he was quite a character and always admitted his sister could outride him. He did have one vice and that was stealing silverware from some of the better establishments throughout the U.S. and Europe. It was said he even had some from Buckingham Palace. I included this trait in the story.
Things didn’t end well for Morton and his silver, however. At one time when he was in Florida, his car was stolen. He couldn’t report the theft because his ill-gotten silverware was in the trunk…so there went his fortune in silver.
Kyle and the other characters are based on cowboys and individuals I’ve known growing up and living in Wyoming.
I hope you’ll give RIDIN’ a try. Kyle and Lena are the rock that will anchor their family through decades, but first they’ll have to find their HEA. In every story in both A&G series a part of my heart is imbedded. I had a hard time sharing the Allaways and Bodens, but I look forward to hearing from you all regarding their stories.
Leave a comment for a chance to win an e-book copy of RIDIN’ FOR A FALL! I will be drawing a name from the hat on Tuesday morning!
He’s the All American Cowboy…
Kyle Allaway is riding tall as one-half of the greatest act in Frank Perry’s Wild West Show. He’s his own man far from Big Horn, Wyoming and the family who betrayed him driving him from his fondest dream…well at least one of his dreams…
She’s the Sweetheart of the West…
Lena Gowan is barely holding onto the reins. Tired of constant travel, the applause of the crowd means nothing to her. She longs to return to the ranch co-owned by the Gowan and Allaway families. To leave Kyle would mean walking away from her dearest friend and heart’s desire.
Together they’ve been a team since childhood…
When a surprise lands in Kyle’s arms, he’s forced to become two things he swore he’d never be… a father to a child born outside of marriage and Lena’s husband. His world continues to tumble when he takes his new family to the one place he both loves and hates … the A&G Ranch. As the world erupts in the Great War, the Allaways and Gowans face a battle years in the making. Kyle and Lena must hold tight to each other and fight internal questions and doubts and external forces seeking their destruction, or risk a fall that will knock them out of the saddle for good.
Sometimes the safest place to fall…is in love…
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