Sunday Morning Comin’ Down At The Ranch Pen

IMG_6326Gramps on Sunday morning doing his part with the littlest grandson, Tater: staying out of the way

In the day we live in, the chaos of readying a household to attend church on Sunday morning isn’t as common as it used to be, so I’m truly blessed to share this picture of Sunday mornin’ coming down at our house.

When I was growing up in ancient Egypt there was a song called Sunday Morning Coming Down written by Kris Kristofferson (imagine how incredibly old that makes Mr Kristofferson…if he is even still alive). Anyway. The song is about an aging addict who still finds himself longing for the simplicity and goodness found in a quiet Sunday morning. Which leads me to talk about one of the characters in my Love Is Not Enough book series, Roy Howard.

First, however, let me just say that a few years back I read a book by a guy named Peter Hedges called, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. I knew when I read the dedication page I’d probably like the book, because the page read:

To my mother who is not fat
and my father who is not dead

Like Peter Hedges, I’ll take the opportunity to clear up any misunderstandings that my dad is an alcoholic or an addict. He is not…although he does occasionally overindulge on apple pie.

I don’t really know from whence Roy Howard sprang–an aging alcoholic with troubled relationships on every hand–except I have known a number of men like him in my lifetime. At first, his name was Ted and he was a cardboard character with the sole purpose of rubbing Gil Howard, his son, the wrong way. Twenty years passed while I was writing The Cedar Tree, however, and Ted began to protest his cardboard status. First off, he told me he hated his name and had it legally changed to Roy–which actually put a whole new spin on him in my writer’s brain. Then he began to show glimpses of a longing for something better beneath his hateful exterior. Now, he is a fully fleshed-out character with more to do than bedevil Gil’s life–although he’s still plenty good at that.

I’m always happy to answer questions about characters in the books, or about growing up in ancient Egypt next to an apple pie bakery, so just leave a comment or shoot me an email on the contact page.

Also, The Cedar Tree is free to download on Amazon.com today, and book two of the series, Wailing Woman Creek, is free today and tomorrow. *(Free promotion ended 7/12/2014)

Until next time, God bless all y’all and here is a vintage clip of Kris Kristofferson and Johnny Cash doing Sunday Morning Coming Down.

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Free Ebook Download And Other News From The Ranch Pen

Wailing Woman Creek Book

 

Wailing Woman Creek is available as a free download starting today and continuing through the weekend. It’s also available in paperback if anyone would rather have one of those. As I mentioned last week, Amazon set the price on the print version and I can’t do anything about that. Click on the book cover above or in the blog’s sidebar if you’d like a free download this weekend.

In other news from the Ranch Pen

Nellie, the dog with the broken leg, has tired of life as a calm dog. She looks forward to her daily exercise with frenzied excitement. Her walks are supposed to be leisurely strolls as befits a dog recovering from a broken leg, but…ha! The exercise lady (moi) better have a good wrap on the dog leash and her hat pulled down because Nellie (the dog on three legs) hits the end of her leash like a train hauling freight, dragging her hapless exerciser (moi, again) along at high speed like a cork bobbing on a rapid stream. The conclusion–Nellie’s healing appears to be coming on apace.

We had some much needed rain last week. The pastures are looking better. Gramps has been sorting cattle, weaning calves, culling cows. You can click on  One More Year if you want to hear a funny cowboy poem from an old tape by cowboy poet, Baxter Black, about culling cows.

We also had to re-name the bottle calf, Tulip. She was actually a he. We now call him Tuleep. So why all the gender confusion at the Ranch Pen? When Gramps brought Tulip/Tuleep to live as my baby, he gave her/him only a passing glance and called her/him a girl. I paid no attention to the plumbing at the back end, only concerned with feeding the front end. The error came to light while I was applying fly spray to the little lady/fella and discovered no heifer plumbing. Tuleep’s (real) mother is still a nincompoop, Gramps evidently needs glasses, and I don’t really like the name Tuleep, but it might be better than Gramps’ suggestion, ToEat. (I know…I try to cover the little fellow’s ears.)

As always, thank you for reading what I write. God bless all y’all and enjoy David Wesley with Real Life Offering.

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*This artist doesn’t necessarily endorse the blog I just love his music.

 

 

 

 

 

A New Book Coming To The Ranch Pen

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 Book cover for the new book and back cover blurb

In book two of the Love Is Not Enough Series, the unexpected death of Annie DeRossi’s grandmother—an old midwife in a sect of faith healers—leaves the grieving young Navajo woman and her small son in dire straits, forcing her choice between easy-going Colorado rancher’s son, Dave Campbell, and his straight-laced brother Karl.  She gravely underestimates the toll her marriage vows will take on the three of them and when desperate secrets are uncovered, ghosts from her past threaten to destroy the marriage almost before it has begun.

Meanwhile, Gil Howard—cowboy, financially strapped sheep rancher, and new Christian—pops the question to Katie Campbell, entering an unusual agreement with her dad in an attempt to rein in his passions even while the image of his alcoholic father taunts him with doubts he can overcome his former lifestyle. Is he running a huge bluff on Katie that will come back to bite them both if he marries her?

Gritty and realistic, Wailing Woman Creek returns the full cast of characters from The Cedar Tree, offering an authentic look at ranch life and settings as diverse as the mountains of western Colorado, the barren Navajo reservation of New Mexico, and the forests of North Carolina.

Wailing Woman Creek is in the pipeline. I’ve been making final persnickety edits to the manuscript, but hope to release it on Amazon within the next week or two. Anybody who wants to be notified may sign up using the button in the sidebar, or there is one on the new notification page on the blog’s top menu.

I’ll try to have some free download days of the Kindle version as soon as I make sure I’ve got the bugs ironed out. The print version should be available soon on Amazon, as well. The print version is expensive, but I can’t do anything about that since Amazon set the price.

As always, thank you so much for reading. God bless all y’all and enjoy this one by The Isaacs, The Lowest Valley. It’s an oldie, but one of my favorites.

*These artists don’t necessarily endorse my blog, I just love ’em.