The reality of life on a ranch in Montana is a lot of hard work...so why is this setting so appealing for lovers of romance and family sagas?
I’ve thought about this question a lot. Having grown up on a farm in Saskatchewan I know that country life is easy to idealize—for those who haven’t lived it. But the benefits are undeniable: the beauty of the land, the fortitude of the people, the resilience of the communities.
One of my favorite books about life on a Montana ranch is: “Sketches from the Ranch, A Montana Memoir” by Dan Aadland. Aadland is a combination rancher/poet/philosopher. He’s very down-to-earth as he describes his day to day responsibilities as a modern day “cowboy,” but always with a eye for beauty and truth, such as in this small sample:
“Spring on a Montana ranch is not only calving cows. It is also the crocus, the brave flower that picks its way, sometimes through snow, to decorate the still-brown grass of the dryland hills. It is a small boy with a bouquet of pussy willows in one hand, the other hand thrust into his mother’s palm as they come up from the woods late in the afternoon. It is the return of the meadowlark and the sandhill crane.”
Writers aren’t the only ones who love Montana. Paradise Valley (the setting for my fictional Carrigans of the Circle C) was inspiration, title and solace to John Mayer as he was crafting the music for his new album of the same name.
Many movie stars, famously Robert Redford, own property in Montana and some of the most beautiful movies I’ve seen (A River Runs Through It, The Horse Whisperer) have been filmed here.
If Montana were a song, it might be the Eagle’s, “A Peaceful Easy Feeling.”
It might also be a place to call home, a land where the people are real and true, a place where you can believe in love and forever, and even dare to put them in the same sentence.
If you also love Montana, especially stories with that setting, tell me why and I’ll send you an autographed book from Big Sky Country!
Sage Carrigan never meant to be the other woman. Unfortunately, bronco rider Dawson O’Dell neglected to mention he was married the night he invited her to his bed after they’d both placed first in their rodeo events. When his wife walked in on them – Sage was deeply hurt and humiliated. After an accident in the ring the next day, Sage decides she’s quitting the rodeo–and cowboys—to become a chocolatier in her hometown ranching community, Marietta, Montana. She’s doing just fine, but then Dawson shows up —five years later, with a little girl in tow. He’s here for the Copper Mountain Rodeo hoping to win big. But he’s also got plans of settling down with his daughter and buying a house—the very same one that Sage has been dreaming about. He says he’s here for her and he’s making lots of promises. But can he keep them?
***Congrats, Emily Baucom, you won! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org***