Welcome, Naomi Rawlings

The Teton Mountains—Before Tourism Took Over


Naomi Rawlings AuthorHi Everyone,

Thanks for having me today. This is my first time on Petticoats and Pistols, and I’m excited to be here. Usually I’m busy writing stories set during the French Revolution or in Michigan’s blustery Upper Peninsula, but this month I’ve got a western novel releasing called The Wyoming Heir. This book is special to me not only because it features a rather handsome cowboy, but because my cowboy is from one of the most beautiful parts of the country I’ve ever laid eyes on: The Jackson Hole and Teton Valleys.

This beautiful area harbors the splendid Teton Mountain Range, and it is a breathtaking site to behold. The Jackson Hole Valley was named after an early explorer and trapper, David Edward Jackson. However, John Coulter, a member of the Lewis and Clark expedition, is credited as being the first white man to ever lay eyes on this part of the country in 1807.

When Coulter arrived back east with his reports of the beautiful Teton Range, society was skeptical and slow to believe him. Easterners had never seen such bold, craggy peaks as those of the Tetons. And can you blame them for doubting Coulter? Would you believe the Teton Mountains existed without being able to see photographs?

Painters and photographers did eventually make their way west to record the beauty of the Tetons, but not for another half century. The landscape has since been captured by such famous artists as:

Albert Bierstadt

grand-tetons albert


Thomas Moran (This painting hangs in the Oval Office of the White House and faced the president.)

The_Three_Tetons Moran


And later, Ansel Adams

The_Tetons_and_the_Snake_River Adams


Though Coulter originally saw the Jackson Hole Valley in 1807, it wasn’t until the 1870’s that settlers came to the area. The valley floors contain poor soil for farming, but excellent land for grazing cattle. Thus ranchers such as my hero, Luke Hayes, moved into the valleys.

Today the Jackson Hole and Teton Valleys are full of tourism and dude ranches, but back in 1893, nothing but miles and miles of prairie existed. In fact, my novel takes place one year before the town of Jackson was officially incorporated. Ranching this area of the country would have been a lonely, desolate life, but one full of natural beauty and splendor.

In The Wyoming Heir, Luke Hayes must leave his beloved Teton Valley to travel east, but his love for the West haunts him the entire time he’s gone.

What about you? Do you have a favorite place in the American West? What makes this area so special to you?


Naomi will be giving away one copy of The Wyoming Heir (winner’s choice of ebook or paperback). Please leave a comment in order to enter.

Wyoming Heir lowres
The Wyoming Heir:

Given a choice, Luke Hayes wouldn’t ever leave his Wyoming ranch. Yet when his estranged grandfather dies, leaving him everything, he’ll travel to Valley Falls, New York—but only to collect his sister and his inheritance. He won’t be roped into saving a floundering girls’ school, no matter what mathematics teacher Elizabeth Wells says.

Elizabeth has defied social convention and her own family for the sake of her beloved Hayes Academy. Luke is pure rancher, from the tip of his Stetson to the scuff on his boots, yet he’s also becoming her unlikely ally. Only he can help save her job and school…but how much will she lose when the time comes for him to leave?

For more information about Naomi and her novels, visit her website at www.NaomiRawlings.com.

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32 thoughts on “Welcome, Naomi Rawlings”

  1. Hi Naomi, your book sounds wonderful so I sure hope I am a winner. My husband and I and another couple took in that Grand Teton mountain range this past summer. I am always very thankful for the beauty God has bestowed upon us when I see sights like that. I really love the San Jusn mountain range in southern Colorado. Nothing like the mountains!

  2. I adore the Tetons! It’s my favorite place to go camping and backpacking. Once it rained on us while we were hiking to our first campsite but it was just so beautiful we strapped our ponchos on over our packs and just kept hiking. Two years ago we took our daughter there for the first time and she had a blast as we rented a boat and spent an hour on the lake- we even spotted a moose and baby on the shore! I can’t wait until our two girls are old enough to go backpacking with us- for now we camp in the campgrounds and go exploring on short hikes. Thanks for the chance to win your book! I always love reading stories where I can easily visualize the setting.

    colorvibrant at gmail dot com

  3. I love the Teton’s. I got to live in Jackson Hole for 6 years. I loved living there. Cant beat those beautiful Tetons reflecting down into beautiful Jackson Lake. Even more beautiful than when you see it on the pages of a Calendar. If you ever get the chance to go there, don’t miss it. I would love to have a cabin there to spend part of the year like a lot of folks do. Please enter me in the contest.
    Thanks! Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

  4. I think the one place that I really enjoyed was when my family and I went to the Little Big Horn and went through the museum and had a guide dressed in a replica Army uniform and he was in character the whole time. I could really imagine what it was like back then. Custer and his men were sitting ducks…it was an open plain with no mountains or rock formations to hide behind. I really love the area of the Black Hills too!

    Would love to win a hard copy of your book. Thank you for the chance.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

  5. Your book sounds great. I’d love to see the Tetons. I haven’t traveled West, don’t know what I’d want to see; all of it! I’d love to see the Colorado Mtns in snow. I love snow! Can’t wait to check out your new book!
    tscmshupe [at] pemtel [dot] net

  6. Wow, this blog is a busy place already this morning! It’s so neat to hear how many of you have visited the Tetons. I went once while I was in high school, so when it came time to write a novel with a cowboy, I conveniently had him hail from the one place out West I’d visited.

    I’ll never forget the first time I laid eyes on the Teton Mountains. It just kind of hits you out of nowhere, these big, bold mountains rising out of flat prairie.

  7. Hi Naomi! A big welcome to P&P! We’re thrilled to have you visit. I would dearly love to see those Tetons. Wow! They are magnificent in the photos but I’m sure they’re even more so in person.

    Congrats on the new release! Love that cover. The colors are so warm and welcoming. And the storyline sounds great also.

    Wishing you much success!

  8. Maxie, how awesome that you actually got to live in Jackson Hole!

    I’m a big snow lover myself, which is a good thing since I live along Lake Superior where we get lots of lake effect snow. I’d imagine the snowfall near the Tetons is rather similar. Lots and lots and lots of it all winter long. I can’t imagine driving up those mountain passes this time of year though. Thankfully our roads in northern Michigan are just hilly. 🙂

  9. I have not seen a lot of sites in the West, but was really surprised at how beautiful the mountains are in Arizona especially at dusk the first time I saw them… the colors pop and are stunning.

  10. Coleen, I’ve never been to AZ, but what you describe sounds beautiful!

    And Linda and Sherri, thanks so much for having me today! This is such a fun site, and so full of helpful information as well.

  11. I have never been there (or much of the west at all) but your description just makes me want to visit that direction even more. Hoping this new business brings prosperity for the new year then we can visit AZ. Would love to visit Yellowstone as well when heading west. 🙂 thanks or sharing. *crossing fingers**

  12. My favorite place in the West for stark beauty is the Lake Tahoe area. A pristine beautiful lake with mountains and beautiful trees and forest glades. Love it
    Also, Glacier National Park in Montana. awesome

  13. I love Arizona! My husband and I lived in Tucson for 6 years and had our first two children there. I loved having the mountain ranges all around the city and we could see three ranges just from our backyard. The Saguaro Cacti are some of my favorites and driving through Saguaro National Park was one of our favorite things to do.

  14. I have never been out west but have always wanted to go. So I can say right now I don’t have a favorite place out west. I have only read about them in books.

  15. We visited the Tetons back in the 60’s and camped in the national campgrounds as a family.. Did do a trail ride that included a steak dinner cooked outdoors… circular trail and we ate not far from where we started.. It was an amazing experience for kids aged 11-16.. from the flat area of Northern Indiana…

  16. I love the Rocky Mountains. My favorite place has changed over the last several years. My husband and I used to spend two weeks tent camping in the mountains southwest of Laramie in Colorado., Loved the area. While I have seen the Tetons have not been able to spend much time there.

    A few years ago our daughter and her husband moved to Colorado and live in the mountains west of Castle Rock. Such a beautiful area and as they love to explore and learn of the history we also have learned much about the area. Would love to be able to live there.

    Thank you for your history lesson and I shall be adding your book to my TBR list!

  17. I have not yet made it to Wyoming, but it holds a fascination for me – especially during the time period of the late 1800’s. Traveling to Grand Teton and Jackson are my dream vacations and my husband and I hope to make it there within 2 years!

    Your book is intriguing and I would love to win it. But, even if I don’t, I will still purchase it for my Kindle.

  18. Lindy, I went to Yellowstone when I visited the Tetons. They’re only a couple miles apart, I think, at least the one corner of Yellowstone with Old Faithful. I do hope you can go visit sometime soon and wish you well with your business ventures. 🙂

    And Joye, I’ve never been to Lake Tahoe, but I’ve seen pictures and it sounds beautiful. I should put visiting there on my bucket list. 🙂

  19. Wow, so many excellent suggestions for places to visit, everywhere from Arizona to Colorado and more. I’m glad so many of you enjoy the scenery of the West and hope each of you has many more chances to visit.

    CateS–my husband is from the flat area of Northern Indiana as well. We lived there for almost two years before getting married. A lot of Amish where we were, but certainly no mountains!

  20. Hi Naomi! Thank you for sharing this fascinating history. The Teton Mountain Range is breathtaking, indeed! I hope to visit again one day. Yellowstone National Park is another favorite place of beauty in the West, as are the Colorado Rockies.

    Congratulations on the release of THE WYOMING HEIR! I look forward to reading this wonderful story.

  21. Michigan’s Upper Peninsula? That’s where I grew up. So I do know blustery.

    I’ve driven through a portion of the Tetons…gorgeous!

  22. Hi Naomi,

    Luckily I’ve been out West a few times. Two summers ago I visited Zion National Park in Utah. WOW! Loved the immensity of the mountains, the beauty, the tunnel. We hiked to the top of the mountains. We hiked the Narrows and The Subway! Loved every aspect of the park.

    I have been to: the Tetons, Yellowstone, Olympic, Glacier, The Cascades, Sequoia, The Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Capital Reefs. Amazingly beautiful! I also loved the beauty of Banff and Jasper in Canada. Lake Louise!

    I’m totally in awe of the Grand Canyon. We stayed on the North Rim. Gorgeous!

    Olympic I’ve been to twice. We honeymooned there so it will always hold a special place in my heart. Loved the little city of Port Angeles with its yummy Dungenes crab and view of The Strait of Juan de Fuca! Hurricane Ridge and it’s huge glacier.

    They are all quite unique!

  23. Thanks for posting today, Naomi. It’s fun to hear from so many great authors on this site.
    I’ve visited the Tetons and Yellowstone, and up and down the Rockies range, and it’s all just breathtaking. I’m from the Kansas Plains and lived in Colorado for a few years. It was always fun to watch for the first glimpse of the Rockies when traveling back west after a visit home- and think what the women on the wagon trains must have thought when they saw that for the first time too.
    Both me and my retired farmer/rancher 91-year-old dad love the Love inspired historical books. (He’ll read anything with a cowboy on the cover.)
    Thanks for writing this book and sharing the beauty of the Tetons with us. We all appreciate it!

  24. I have always wanted to see The Teton’s and travel through Wyoming, also Colorado and Montana, but have not had the privilege to do so.
    Tour book sounds delightful!
    Thank you

  25. I would love to travel to the west one day but for now I just have to read about it. There is nothing better than grabbing a good book about a cowboy and finding a cozy spot to read. Especially on these chilly winter nights and this books sounds like a great read.

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