When Steel Magnolias Go West!

Book 1 of “Shepherd’s Crossing” series available right now nationwide! Walmart, Kroger, Winn Dixie, anywhere mass market paperbacks are sold!

Three steel magnolias….

Lizzie, Melonie and Charlotte Fitzgerald were raised in the lap of luxury. Dysfunctional luxury! The girls wanted for nothing growing up on the Fitzgerald’s highly regarded Kentucky horse farm. The granddaughters of a crazy rich publishing magnate, the motherless girls were raised by their African American nanny Corrie Satterly… But when their father inherited the publishing empire as print publishing began falling into disfavor, self-absorbed Tim Fitzgerald bilked the company for every last penny he could…

And left the country. And his girls.

Corporate bankruptcy took everything from the sisters, leaving them nothing but college loans and a car. The girls’ uncle bequeaths them with a portion of his beautiful western Idaho ranch, with one condition: They have to stay on the ranch for a year to gain their share… and maybe — just maybe– a reason to stay?


Enter three smokin’ hot cowboys!

Heath Caufield, Tim Fitzgerald’s widowed ranch manager and a man who has a history with Lizzie Fitzgerald. A history he’s tried to put behind him, but when Lizzie shows up in western Idaho, Heath’s intentions are challenged not only by the past but by the present… and the hope of a future.

Jace Middleton, whose family helped settle the little town of Shepherd’s Crossing just north of Council, Idaho… but with the family land gone, and few jobs for this carpenter/cowboy, Jace has decided to move to Sun Valley. When an elderly woman reveals long-held secrets, Jace is stunned to realize he’s been living a lie. But there’s no time to languish because twin baby girls need him to be at the top of his game, and when the top of his game includes working side-by-side with interior designer Melonie Fitzgerald, Jace is pretty sure life couldn’t turn more upside down. And of course it does… but with God’s perfect timing, sometimes upside down is the only way to get things just right.

Isaiah Woods has enough on his plate. Breeder of prize Nez Perce Appaloosa horses, Isaiah is raising his niece and nephew as best he can after losing their parents to a tragic accident. But when old mistakes meet him head on, he must risk the love of his parents and members of his tribe to put things right… and he can only do that with Charlotte Fitzgerald’s help. And that just makes folks angrier.

Three Steel Magnolias…. three amazing cowboys…. and then BONUS! 🙂 “Falling for the Christmas Cowboy”!


Coming in November, a beautiful Shepherd’s Crossing Christmas novella!

A Christmas novella when Jessica Lambert takes over her aunt’s old house only to find out it was bought by Ty Carrington, part owner of Carrington Acres Ranch… but what kind of cowboy puts a single mother out on the streets during the holidays? And as Ty helps Jessica and “Dovie” Lambert get things straightened out, he realizes that there just might be a Merry Christmas after all.  Done as part of a two-story anthology with the amazing Linda Goodnight! Happy dancing because I love working with Linda!!!

I love starting a new series, but what I really love is when I get knee deep into it, where I can feel the characters and setting evolve into what I want it to be once complete.

Now, working on book 4, the momentum of the previous stories helps set the pace for the new ones…

And gives me a cast of characters for the readers to laugh with… and sometimes cry over. And isn’t that the very best thing of all? A story that runs the gamut of emotions, and still leaves you happy.

And now I want to get to Idaho and see this beautiful land! I want to feel what it’s like to have Hell’s Canyon on one side (The Snake River gorge) and the Payette National forest on the other. To be shrouded from sunrises… and claim the sunset.

It’s an amazingly beautiful and still rugged region, ripe with Native American traditions of the Nimiipuu (Nez Perce) and a mix of people. And as outsiders swoop in and buy up ranch land, the demographic might change, but the love of Idaho. The mountains, the creeks, the forests, the wolves and coyote and deer… that will never change.



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17 thoughts on “When Steel Magnolias Go West!”

  1. Yay for more! Connected story lines are always a fun bonus. I love learning more from the families and small towns.

    • Susan, I love them too… I like that the stories can stand on their own, but that I learn more about each little town or family as I read through them… And how an overarching story builds from book to book. I did that with Sam’s story in my Double S Ranch books (Back in the Saddle, Home on the Range, Peace in the Valley) and I love how it turned out…

      How one old wrong begins a trail of so many others.

      And life goes on.

  2. Ruthy, nice to see you in a different venue. I love the West — old, new, whatever. Looking forward to reading the first book, and even more so to the November release, I cannot resist a Christmas story! Keep doing what you’re doing!

  3. Kathy, thank you! I think you’ll love it…. And the Christmas story is so absolutely enchanting…. Mary White Dove Lambert is four years old and she will win the most Scroogy of Scroog-a-licious hearts.

    Her mama calls her “Dovie” and I can’t even say how much I love this kid!!!!

    • Kim, me too! That makes us buddies, doesn’t it? And it gives their story reasoning and depth. Money doesn’t make a happy family. Faith, hope and love do… and standing strong in the face of adversity. We can be on our knees praying… and then we stand strong and face what comes!

  4. This sounds like it will be a delightful series. Families can make your life wonderful or miserable. Whichever it is, it can come in a rather unexpected way. It sounds like this series will explore how the miserable can lead to something unexpected and good. I look forward to reading it.
    We have been in a few parts of Idaho, but there is so much more I would like to see. I think if I wrote, I would be a gypsy moving to the locale for my books to make sure I got the true essence of the place. As a reader, I like to bring books with me that are set in the area I am visiting. I have found that it adds to the enjoyment of the story. It is always a nice surprise to be reading a book and find a place I have visited. It is nice to know just where the character is standing, what they see, what the area is like.

    • I would love to be a gypsy! 🙂

      Do you know that Nora Roberts said she has never gone to the location of one of her books for research???

      And that woman can write a great book!

      So that’s interesting.

      I’ve gotten to some places, not all… but that’s all right. On my bucket list, Patricia!!!

  5. Ruthy, i hope you know how I love reading your posts and learning about your books and your smokin’ hot cowboys! Thanks for sharing about your Christmas cowboy also.

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