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COWGIRL Fall ReadsHORSE GONE SILENT
By Shane Ledyard (Ledyard Publishing)

Horse Gone Silent by American horseman Shane Ledyard is a unique drama told from the perspective of a horse named Calebo.  Calebo’s early years with his mother in the stables are idyllic and peaceful.  She reminds him daily of how much he is loved and encourages him to remember how much he can achieve if he reflects on her advice and instruction.  Calebo is ultimately taken from his mother and thrust into a life that demands he work hard and train long to become a champion show jumping horse.  At the top of his game, Calebo recalls the voice of his mother telling him he has purpose and those words comfort him when success ends and the possibility of his death looms large.  Horse Gone Silent is a novel that enables readers to gain insight into the lives of our equine friends and hold them even dearer than we already do.  The message at the heart of the tale—about finding purpose and strength no matter what one might face—is essential for humans and non-humans alike.  Horse Gone Silent is not a children’s book, but the lessons Calebo learns are worth sharing with youngsters.  The book is intellectual and emotional, and ten percent of the proceeds from the title go directly to organizations helping children in need.

QUEEN OF THE NIGHT
By Alexander Chee (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Voracious readers with an appetite for stylish mysteries will appreciate the lush tale of an opera star driven to find the culprit plotting to take her life.  Set in 18th century Paris and told in a five act structure that mirrors a grand musical, opera star Lilliet Berne is cast in an original production which resembles her own troubled, secret past.  The list of people who knew the true story of the Diva’s background could be counted on one hand; a host of fascinating characters are introduced in the search for the one person that threatens to expose the entertainer and end the career she struggled so hard to obtain.  Author Alexander Chee has an enormous gift for creating images and drawing audiences into the story.  Swept away by his writing style, booklovers can almost hear Lilliet’s exquisite soprano voice serenading an audience as she tracks the one who betrayed her.  Inspired by real life Swedish opera singer Jenny Lind’s life, Chee escorts Lilliet through the gripping and often times heart-breaking journey from the Luxembourg Palace to the Royal Opera House in London.  The Queen of the Night is Alexander Chee’s second novel.  It’s intriguing, emotional, and fascinating.

SHE WAS SHERIFF
By Melody Groves (Five Star Publishing)

This charming title is a well-written, thoroughly entertaining romp through the Gold Rush country with a reluctant officer of the law who discovers her aptitude for a job most thought only a man could do.  Set in the early 1870s, spinster Maud Overstreet is offered the position of replacement sheriff of the town of Dry Creek.  Before agreeing to accept the post, she is assured there would be no trouble between the time when she takes on the situation and when a professional lawman can come in and assume the role.  Things do not go as planned, however, and a band of outlaws ride in and threaten to rob the bank and tear the California mining community apart.  Maud is faced with a dangerous dilemma and must quickly learn how to ride, shoot, and assemble a team of officers that can assist her in subduing the bad guys and saving the town.  There is a generous amount of intrigue and tension in Groves’ book, along with a good deal of humor.  She was sheriff and she was funny.  Maude is witty and can hold her own in a verbal altercation.  Groves is no stranger to writing about the American West.  She has penned more than a dozen books on the subject and has received numerous awards for her work.  She Was Sheriff has something for everyone.  It’s adventurous and smart, and you’ll root for Maud to win and ride off into the sunset with her badge firmly pinned to her frilly blouse in search of another rowdy to square off against. 

WYOMING WEDDING
By Kirsten Osbourne (Unlimited Dream Publishing)

Four men elicit help from a professional matchmaker to quickly find wives or risk losing the ranch they were to inherit and have been working since they were kids.  Four sisters are selected to be the brides, but one is a bit more reluctant to marry than the others.  Wyoming Wedding is a modern twist on a mail-order bride story.

TULSA SECRETS
By Dr Wil McCauley (CreateSpace)

Doctor Liam McCall wanted nothing more than a fresh start after the demise of his marriage, but when his estranged wife is reported missing, he is thrust into a mystery he can’t resist.  Set in the untamed Oklahoma territory, Tulsa Secrets is a raw, unapologetic tale filled with colorful characters and exceptionally brutal bad guys.

All reviewed by Chris Enss, COWGIRL Book Editor, and a New York Times Bestselling author who writes about women of the Old West. 

Romance in the Wind

INTO DUST
By B.J. Daniels (Kensington)

As the daughter of a presidential candidate, Cassidy Hamilton left the Montana family ranch to escape notoriety and live her own life. But when someone tries to abduct her off a Houston sidewalk, Cassidy finds protection in the tall, dark and sexy form of cowboy Jack Durand.


DEATH RIDES ALONE
By William W. & J.A. Johnstone (Kensington)

Mountain Man Smoke Jensen’s long-lost brother Luke Jensen is a dead shot scarred by war–the perfect formula for a bounty hunter. And he’s cunning, and fierce enough to bring down the deadliest outlaws of his day.


LONE STAR NIGHTS
By Delores Fossen (Harlequin)

Every family needs its black sheep, and Austin “Lucky” McCord is happy to oblige. The bad-boy bull rider lives fast and loose, until his business partner leaves him an unexpected bequest. Suddenly Lucky is sharing custody of two children with Cassie Weatherall, one of the few homegrown women he hasn’t bedded.—and not from lack of trying.


SUNRISE CROSSING (Ransom Canyon)
By Jodi Thomas (Harlequin)

Yancy Grey, Parker Lacey, and Gabe Snow all have different reasons for returning to Crossroads, Texas.  This peaceful town they each  once called home is where community comes first and love thrives in the unlikeliest of places.