From the Outback to the Old West


10-07-photoHi! Alissa Callen here.

I blame Louis L’Amour for my cowboy addiction and fascination with the Old West. Decades after I picked up Westward the Tide I still have every title he wrote. The print size might make me squint, and the pages are dog-eared and yellowed, but his books are still my favourite companions.

I grew up chasing sheep on a family farm in Australia and haven’t strayed far from my country roots. I now live on a small farm with my husband, four children and far-too-many fence jumping cows. I’ve also lived in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado and whenever its fall over there I still think of the golden beauty of the aspens.

When I first put pen to paper all my stories played themselves out against a frontier backdrop. And, thanks to Louis L’amour, they still do. Whether my historical or contemporary characters are riding the range in Montana or working cattle in the red dust of the Outback, my books all feature a hero, or heroine, who embodies the cowboy code.

Life on the land can be challenging and it takes a certain set of timeless values to 10-07-image-04survive. A cowboy needs to be resilient, courageous and honourable. He needs to finish what he starts and to do what needs to be done. His word needs to be his bond and his loyalty unquestionable. A cowboy also needs respect for himself as well as those around him.

A cowboy’s body is honed by hard work out in the sun, rain or snow. His work ethic and commitment ensures that when he rides for a brand he won’t deviate. His toughness is always tempered by tenderness. And last but not least, a cowboy looks good in dust, denim and boots.

My contemporary Wildflower Ranch series set in Montana is filled with rugged cowboys and self-reliant cowgirls. My next series (which can’t wait to start) will be a Wildflower Ranch historical series which will explain how each high-country ranch got its wildflower name.
The final book of my contemporary series, His Christmas Cowgirl, will be out October 25.

10-07-coverHeadstrong cowgirl Peta Dixon has put her life on hold this Christmas to prove she can run her ranch as well as any man. There isn’t anything she can’t ride, fix, or stare down, and the only things to scare her are long hemlines and sky-high heels.
Self-made rancher Garrett Ross normally doesn’t take orders – he gives them. But when asked to step in to act as a temporary foreman on a Montana ranch over the holidays, he can’t refuse.
Yet when Garrett meets the beautiful and stubborn ranch owner, he realizes he’s signed on for a whole lot of trouble. Cynical and jaded, he has no time for feelings. And when Peta meets the man she’s to share her life with until Christmas, she discovers she no longer wants to be the person others expect her to be…
Will the rancher finally listen to his heart and admit he can’t live without a certain straight-talking cowgirl?

Thanks so much for having me over!  I’d love to hear if anyone has a favourite Louis L’amour book, or even just an all-time favourite book by any author. You may even have more than one.

I will be giving away a kindle eBook copy of any of my Wildflower Ranch titles to two people who comment. Winners will be chosen at random.


And for anyone who would like a FREE copy of my first Wildflower Ranch book, Cherish Me, Cowboy, please click here:  FREE COPY

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25 thoughts on “From the Outback to the Old West”

  1. Thanks so much again for having me over:) Can’t wait to see what everyone’s favourite book(s) may be. It’s night time here Downunder so will check in again later as well as in the morning.

    Alissa x

    • Hi Alissa! Thanks for coming. We’re so happy to have you back. This is fun and your books look amazing. I’m going to have to get that Christmas one. I love Christmas stories and the cover is just lovely.

      I’ve always wanted to go to Australia and I have a friend in Tasmania. She says it’s just really pretty there. I’d love to see it.

      Wishing you much success!

      • Hi Linda,

        Thanks so much:) Tasmania is a beautiful part of Australia and your friend is very lucky to live there. I hope you one day do get to visit her.

        All the very best with your books too.


    • Hi DebraG,

      I love Kilkenny too and the Sackett series. It is raining here today and think will have to go and find Kilkenny on my bookshelf and sneak a little reading time:)

      Enjoy your weekend.

  2. Even though I grew up on a farm and am all country I never read a Louis L’Amour book! I adore cowboy and westerns though. Crazy, huh? 😀

    • Hi Susan P,

      🙂 Not crazy at all – there are so many wonderful western and cowboy books out there we could spend a lifetime reading and still not come close to reading them all. Have a great weekend and good luck in the giveaway.

    • Hi Quilt Lady (wonderful name:)

      That’s lovely your father was a Louis LÁmour fan. It’s so interetsing how an author can write a book and that book can then appeal to a wide range of people.

      Have a great weekend.

  3. I so love Louis L’Amour’s stories. And own most of his books. You’re a new author to me, but I see that changing.

  4. Welcome to Wildflower Junction, Alissa! I Listened to one Louis L’Amour but have never actually read any. I absolutely love the ones they have made into movies, however! One of my favorites is Crossfire Trail with Tom Selleck. Perhaps I should check that one out in print.

    His Christmas Cowgirl is such a sweet cover! Best wishes on a wonderful release for it!

  5. Hi, Alissa.Australian and American cowboys have a lot in common for all the characteristics you mentioned as well as some of the similarities in how the countries were settled.
    I was lucky enough to find a complete set of hardcover Louis L’Amore books. They had never even been taken out of the parchment paper they had been shipped in. Digging through junk stores does have its pleasant surprises. Another favorite Western author of mine is Tony Hillerman. For Western romance authors, many of my favorites are here at the Junction or have been “residents” in the past. The great thing is, there are so many good guest posters here, I am always finding new authors to try. I now have “Cherish Me, Cowboy” to check out. Thank you for the link. I look forward to reading your books.

    • Hi Patricia B,

      Love digging through junk stores too and that’s so wonderful you found a complete set of hardcover LL books!! I haven’t read any Tony Hillerman books so will have to look him up. Love finding new authors to read:) Happy reading and hope you enjoy Cherish Me Cowboy.

      • Hillerman wrote contemporary native american police stories. Has a nice blend of modern and traditional beliefs and actions. None are really romances, more suspense with a touch of paranormal. Nice for a change of pace. PBS did a series of Masterpiece Theater movies based on his books featuring Lt. Joe Leaphorn and officer Jim Chee.

  6. Hi Alissa,

    I have never read any of Louis L’Amour’s books, however my sister has read most, if not all, of them. She bought me on many years ago, but I never had a chance to read it and somewhere along the way I lost it. 🙁

    Many Blessings,
    Cindy W.

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