Please welcome Linda Ford!
Hi! Thanks to Val for inviting me to visit. My name is Linda Ford. I live in Alberta, Canada. I write for Love Inspired Historicals and am currently working on a series called THE COWBOYS OF EDEN VALLEY.
The highway runs between the prairie and the Rocky Mountains. Here early ranchers ran cattle herds in the thousands over huge sections of land grants. Today you can still see cattle grazing the lush grass, cowboys on horseback but rather than chuckwagons, you are more likely to see a motorhome. But what you can see unchanged since those early ranching days is the rolling hills and the majestic mountains. And tucked into the valleys and between the hills, are ranch buildings, some dating back to the 19th century.
The scenery moves me, fills me with wonder and amazement. The historic ranches fire up my imagination.
I am grateful that some of the land owners have seen fit to preserve the history of their ranches. The Bar U Ranch is now a national historic site and well worth a visit or two or three or a dozen.
I never mind another visit in the name of research. This ranch has become the fictional setting for my series THE COWBOYS OF EDEN VALLEY. There is a wealth of information for the historical author. The buildings are restored to original use and well maintained.
From the first time I drove this highway and visited the Bar U, I have wanted to set a series of stories here. I wanted to portray the men and women who faced the challenges of living in a raw new land before settlements sprang up, even before the railroad came. At the time of the earliest ranches, goods and supplies came from Fort Benton by bull train.
There was law in the land with the formation of the Northwest Mounted Police a few years previous to the beginning of most ranchers. Although the outposts were few and far between, the Mounties had the reputations of upholding law and justice. Some of the early ranches became home to the NWMP outpost.
But what really touches my heart is the stories. A wanted outlaw who turned rancher and died in relative obscurity. A dandy from England who persevered through his greenhorn period and went on to become a successful rancher. The big black cowboy who was never thrown yet died when his horse stepped into a badger hole and fell on him. The lady ranchers who faced hardships and prejudice to succeed. And natives who worked side by side with the white man to make their mark in history. I love the stories. I ponder on how to make them my own.
My COWBOYS OF EDEN VALLEY series began in Oct. with a Christmas novella, "Merry Christmas, Cowboy" in the book A Gift of Family. It continues with The Cowboy's Surprise Bride in Jan. 2013.
In March 2013, The Cowboy's Unexpected Family is released. In May 2013 The Cowboy's Convenient Proposal is out. There are 3 more upcoming books in the series—titles and release dates to be announced.
I thought I’d share the first teaser for the January book in the hopes it will entice you to buy the book and read it. J
From The Cowboy's Surprise Bride.
“While you are here, I expect you to conduct yourself wisely and in a ladylike fashion.”
Her nostrils flared. “You mean play the lady of the manor.”
Behind her, Cassie snorted.
She’d no doubt been raised as such. Why didn’t she offer to be so here? Not that it made any difference. He wasn’t about to toss Margaret aside over a misunderstanding. Softly, he asked, “What do you see your role here?”
She ducked her head so he was unable to see her expression. “I suppose I thought you meant to marry me.” She lifted her head and faced him with her eyes flashing courage and challenge. “I will make a good pioneer wife.”
“I never got your letter or I could have warned you I’m not desperate for a wife. Besides you can’t simply substitute one woman for another as if they are nothing more than horses.”
“Why not? Are you madly in love with Margaret?”
Love? There was no such thing as love in an arrangement like theirs. “We suited each other.”
“She doesn’t seem to share your view of suitability.”
You can find out more about me and the upcoming releases on my website www.lindaford.org. It’s been fun visiting.
Thanks so much, Linda! And that's not all, folks!
Interested in reading The Cowboy's Surprise Bride? Linda is offering one reader a copy, your choice of digital or paperback, anywhere on Planet Earth. If you'd like to put your name in the hat, please add your email address with your comment before Thursday, December 27, replacing @ with (at) and .com with (dot) com.
"Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws."
local food movement as well as their church. She only hopes her creations enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.
Her first published work, a novella, was released in the collection Rainbow's End from Barbour Books in May 2012. Visit her website and blog to glimpse inside her world.