By Will and Deni McIntyre, with an introduction by ranch managers Lissa Howe, Justin Howe, and Mark Dunning
How, in this day and age in the United States, do you run a successful guest ranch, manage thousands of acres of land for livestock and wildlife, and raise top quality beef cattle?This is the story of three Western ranches, two in southern Wyoming and in northern Colorado. They have been owned since the 1960s by the extended family of Charles C. Gates Sr. One is a guest ranch; the other two are working cattle operations. All three confront a daily challenge to survive and thrive.
Will and Deni McIntyre have photographed at the A Bar A guest ranch almost every year since 2002. For this project they brought in their scope to include the Big Creek and State Line Ranches as well, recording a year in the life of all three spreads.
“For the text, we had access to wonderful archives both private and public,” Deni McIntyre says. “They held documents going back to when these ranches were homesteaded. I selected excerpts that helped tell the story, and they became the background of the book.”
Life on a ranch can be lonely, hard, breathtakingly beautiful, often ironic, and sometimes downright hilarious. Welcome to one family’s three ranches.
By David M. Jessup
Winner of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Contest, Mariano’s Crossing was also chosen as a finalist in the Pacific Northwest Writers Contest and the Santa Fe Writers Project.
Mariano Medina, a former scout with Kit Carson, has become the richest man on Colorado’s Big Thompson River. But his success provokes resentment among the new settlers. To bolster respect for his family, Medina decides to send his daughter, Lena, to an expensive boarding school. But his Indian wife, Takansy, has other ideas. She wants Lena to pursue her skills with horses, her “spirit path.” As their conflict grows, young John Alexander, son of a domineering, hardscrabble sawmill owner, tries to persuade Lena to run away with him to start a new life. Their tug of war soon spirals out of control as secrets past and present propel them toward their final, haunting encounter.
Based on real characters and the mysteries connected with historic events, author David Jessup has woven a mesmerizing tale of people struggling to find their places in the rapidly changing landscape of post-gold rush Colorado.
by Patrick Norris
After losing his son Sam in a tragic horse accident, the promising young Wyoming reining trainer Tyler Roberts, loses all interest in the sport he once loved and turns to Jack Daniels and a solitary life in his small Wyoming cabin. All that changes when he receives a letter from his aunt Jodie requesting his help on her ranch in Belgium.
In Belgium he meets a cast of colorful characters, including the beautiful young Slovakian, Lenka Duffek, and the equally beautiful Alanna van Rijn, the wife of a powerful and sinister business man from Antwerpen. He also meets Ben Smith, a man with his own agenda.
Then there were Jan de Backer, the ranch vet who had a love for powder substances, and the handyman Jimmy “Uppercut” Murphy, an ex-boxer and well-traveled Irish man from Galway. Last, but not least, he also comes across a chestnut quarter horse stallion called “Jake the Snake alias “The Duke,” and quickly realizes the stallion is “one in a million.”
But all was not what it seemed on the SR Ranch. Dead horses, break-ins, barn fires, stolen tack, and worse yet, murder, became the order of the day. Surrounded by these people and their mysteries, Tyler calls in his best friend and former roper from Montana, old Bill Winters.
This is the story of a man’s love for horses and his fight to regain his self-dignity and pride.
By Linda Jacobs
Author of the award-winning Yellowstone Series of novels, Linda Jacobs started creating fiction when she was very young, but for twenty years her writing took a back burner to her career as a professional geologist. Then she attended Rice University’s novel writing program and never looked back. She has published four books in The Yellowstone Series. Summer of Fire (Yellowstone aflame,) Rain of Fire (Supervolcano awakens,) and Lake of Fire (Yellowstone’s bold history,) take place largely in the park.
Jackson Hole Journey, the latest 2013 release in the series: Amid social turmoil and natural disasters, two brothers vie for the love of the same woman on a Jackson Hole dude ranch during the Roaring Twenties.
www.readlindajacobs.com for more information and sales links to buy the books.
Francesca di Paoli, a gifted yet penniless chef, arrives in Jackson Hole in 1925. Rescued by William Sutton, the “steady” son of a dude ranching family, she begins to feel safe, until the historic Gros Ventre landslide buries her and William alive. Though they survive, the uncertainty in the valley, as a new lake forms perilously behind the slide debris, parallels the uncertainty of Francesca’s fate.
William saves her again, finding her work in the Suttons’ ranch cookshack. There she meets William’s brother, Bryce, a charming wanderer. William and Bryce, already rivals for their parents’ approval, begin to vie for Francesca’s attention.
Over the next two years, valley ranchers clash over a Park Service proposal to extend Yellowstone Park south to Jackson Hole. Bryce comes and goes, taking a piece of his parents’ and Francesca’s heart with him each time. Yet, when the Sutton’s Nez Perce uncle comes to the ranch to die, it is Bryce who helps nurse the sick man. William has never accepted his Nez Perce heritage and his uncle’s arrival rakes up the ire of an unsavory contingent in the valley. Men like Dieter Gross, who disdain Native Americans and foreigners like Francesca, may well resort to violence if they discover the Sutton ranch’s black foreman is seeing a white woman.
Meanwhile the earth has not finished trembling, nor the river rising. When the flood waters retreat, who will be left standing?
2011 Spur Finalist, Original audio book