Welcome Guest Author ~ Tina Dee!

Heritage and Legacy – Lessons from Rankin Ranch to an Author

Tina Dee author photo
Tina Dee with Molly


My name is Tina Dee and I write Christian romantic-comedy, both contemporary and historical.
My stories feature heroines with grit, gumption, and grace—and the heroes who fall in love with them. My characters are flawed but loveable.

I love the old west. But what I really love is bits of the old west’s grit, gumption, and grace preserved in today’s world. Dude or guest ranches fascinate me, especially ones that had their beginnings, of some sort, over a hundred years ago.


~ Researching Rankin Ranch ~

I found one such place while researching ranches for my Wildflower Ranch series—a fascinating 31,000-acre place called Rankin Ranch, located in what they describe as a ‘mountain valley deep in the heart of California’s Tehachapi mountains, and at the southern end of the Sequoia National forest.’

Rankin Ranch has all the makings of a great western story—it is a great western story, but I’m not going to retell it, since the Quarter Circle U Rankin Ranch has its own incredible story already shared on their website. I’ll just highlight a few things and invite you over via their link later in this post.

For now, I wanted to share what really pulled me into their story and why their place—their story—is an inspiration for a story I’m writing now (which will be out at the end of the month, called The Bonnets of Rescue Ranch, book 15 in the Whispers in Wyoming series), and why it’s my continued inspiration for my own series called, Short Stories from Wildflower Ranch (Wildflower Ranch, book 1 and Wrangled Into Love, book 2—with more stories to come this year and next).

Overland Team at Rankin Ranch barn

-The Quarter Circle U Rankin Ranch once served as a stage stop for the Overland mail route. The old barn where the teamsters’ horses were tended to is still used today for hay storage.

-The ranch is still run by 4th, 5th, and 6th generation Rankins.

The Rankin Family

For me, the most incredible part of the story comes during the 1950s when the matriarch of the family, Helen—who was newly widowed—had to make a decision about the ranch—to sell it, or to keep it. I invite you to read about the cattle ranch’s rich history here, and then read about its guest ranch history here. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Helen Rankin

In my stories, I always try to write about women with grit, gumption, and grace who are facing challenges that they feel are beyond them but they find their way to their future and their everyday-romantic-hero by those same virtues. Helen Rankin was an archetype of those very qualities; she was faced with overwhelming challenges that she met head-on, and generations later, the family and the ranch are still thriving.

Here’s a little blurb from my book …


Sometimes love blooms in the places you least expect…

Charlene “Charlie” Evans is ready for a new beginning after a terrible riding accident leaves her unable to compete in the Rodeo World Championship. When she receives a job offer, as foreman for a ranch, she gladly accepts. So what if she sort of passed herself off as a man in order to get the job?

Dan Richards is offered the ranch of his dreams from his terminally ill uncle for a price he can’t refuse. He jumps at the chance to own a ranch he has loved since childhood. However, when he arrives at the place it’s not what he had hoped for, or as he remembered. The ranch is in shambles. With no experience, where does he go from here?

Will Dan and Charlie let God help them find new dreams on Wildflower Ranch?

A Christian romantic-comedy novella.

Thank you for letting me share a bit about my Wildflower Ranch series and where the real-life inspiration for the ranch came from. 

For updates about my stories, I send out a newsletter twice a month with giveaways and other fun stuff. Please feel invited to sign up for my newsletter at Tina Dee Books Newsletter. You can also follow me on Amazon here.

I will be giving away a copy of Wildflower Ranch to three commenters. If you’re not chosen, you can still get the book on Amazon here.

+ posts

42 thoughts on “Welcome Guest Author ~ Tina Dee!”

  1. I love learning about old western places that have a rich history of struggle and overcoming to be great. I’ll have to check it out more, as you suggested! Ranches that stay in the family have amazing stories, too. Thanks for sharing and I can’t wait to read your story!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Susan! I am so very inspired by the Rankin family and I very much hope to be a guest at their ranch someday soon. I love that you enjoy ranch stories! I have more in the Wildflower Ranch series and some from the old west that I’m working on also.

    • Thanks Glenda! I love romantic-comedy, and the old west. I hope you get to enjoy the book/series (I’m still writing it, so if you do start it, just know there’s several more books in the works, as well as two historical western series, also romantic-comedies. 🙂 (I can’t help it, love the old west)

  2. This sounds like an amazing ranch I’d love to visit. Thank you for visiting P & P today. May you & your family have a wonderful holiday season.

    • Thank you for hour hospitality and kindness, To ya Lucas! Very sweet of you. I’ve read that the food is amazing at the ranch also. I’d love to go on their hayride cookout. (It’s only early morning while I’m replying and I already feel ready for bbq & beans and slaw, LOL). Have a great weekend! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I love history and reading about the Rankins and their guest ranch facilities has me thinking my family would love this. Thank you for your post.

    • They are so very kind. I know you’d have a great time if you go. And if you do, I’d LOVE to hear about your trip and see pics! Thank you so much for stopping by, Carol! Have a wonderful weekend (and if you make it out to Rankin Ranch, have a wonderful time making sweet memories!)

    • Thanks for stopping by, Janine! I hope you get a chance to read Wildflower Ranch or my other book that I’m currently working on, The Bonnets of Rescue Ranch in the Whispers in Wyoming multi-author series. Fun reading if you like the west and romance. 🙂 Have a great weekend!

  4. I’d love the opportunity to read this book! I loved this blog and will be study up on this ranch! I am the daughter of a cattle broker/feedlot/ranch owner so you’ve got my attention! I had no idea dude ranches went back that far! I loved your blog. I’ve never read one of your books and would love the opportunity. If P & P recommends you I’m sure I would love your books. A giveaway is an awesome way to find a new author to add to my go to authors list.

    • Hi Stephanie! I love your excitement! I love the authors of this blog too. As a follower of P & P, I bet you already know Mary Connealy’s every-day-hero is a rancher himself! I don’t know when she has time to write! Don’t you just love the authors of P & P? I do! I hope you get to read one of my books also, I’d LOVE to make it onto your author list! Have a very fun-filled weekend!

    • Hi Estella,

      Isn’t it a wonderful place? I’m very much hoping to one day visit Rankin Ranch. I wish I could have for research purposes, asked them questions and used the info for building my story, because it could only make it a better story for the reader, but no matter what I put into the book, I honestly don’t think fiction can compare to the real life adventure and fortitude of this family or Helen Rankin. I love their story. Thank you for reading about it on their blog! Have a great weekend, Estalla!

    • Thank you, Patty! Thank you for reading my stories! I so appreciate you and your support and friendship! HUGE HUGS! Have a very blessed weeekend and thanks for stopping by Petticoats & Pistols today! Isn’t it a great blog? Love it!

  5. wow this is so great to have this Ranch and use it as a backdrop for your story – that to me, always makes a story so real!

    • Hi Teresa! Thank you so much for stopping by! I got my inspiration to turn Wildflower Ranch into a guest ranch from Helen Rankin, when she had come to a very difficult time in her life and had to make a tough decision. She made one that not only saved her ranch, but has generations after her thriving and being a blessing in the lives of others. What a wonderul, wonderful blessing that choice made for her family, and for other families too. Talk about touching lives! Have a very wonderful weekend, Teresa! Thanks again for stopping by!

  6. Tina, great job on the blog. I loved hearing about the inspiration for your wildflower ranch series. How fascinating!

    • Thanks so much for stopping by and enjoying this great blog with me! I love sharing about the Rankin family and their guest ranch. I hope to be a guest at their ranch someday soon. What a perfect family vacation or writers retreat that would make! Thanks for stopping by Petticoats & Pistols!

  7. Hi Tina and welcome to “Wildflower Junction!” It is great to have you here for a visit as our guest author! I enjoy dude ranches too — and their history! Enjoyed reading your post!

    • Hi Kathryn! Thank you for reading along! I love dude ranches also. Fascinated with them. Thank you for the warm welcome. It’s my honor and pleasure to be here as a guest author!

    • Thanks, Denise! I’m enjoying the writing of my ranch/western stories more, even the historicals, because I’m seeing the imporantance of heritage and legacy, both of which play in important part in my next book, The Bonnets of Rescue Ranch. Thank you so much for stopping by! Have a great weekend!

    • Hi Debra! Isn’t this blog a wonderful place to mosey around and learn or relax? Thank you so much for visiting and for reading about my books and Rankin Ranch. That’s another place that I bet would be pretty wonderful to mosey around, LOL! One day, I will!

  8. Welcome aboard! Thanks for the interesting blog. Wildflower Ranch sounds great. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

    • Thanks so much for the warm welcome, Eliza! I hope you get a chance to read the Wildflower Ranch series. It’s been fun writing them and I have many more stories for that series. They’re going to go from being novella size to being more novel sized in the rest of the series. Thank you for stopping by. Have a super fun weekend!

  9. Thanks for sharing. I love families that care about preserving their land and history. There are so many “children” where I live that when their parents have died, they just sell everything and go on with their lives. It’s sad!

    • Isn’t that sad? Thank you for sharing, Linda. I feel the same way. There’s so much to learn from the past, things that actually matter and a rich inheritance with those things, not so much in the objects themselves as in the life and lives that were lived around those objects or land. The grit, the gumption, and God’s grace on us through time we don’t know how we’ll ever make it through, and then we do. But a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and prayers carry us on grace through those times, I believe. Have a wonder-filled weekend!

  10. Thank you for introducing us to Rankin Ranch. They are a remarkable family and have a beautiful ranch. I can see why it became an inspiration for your story.

    • I agree, Alice! Thank you for stopping by, and for visiting Rankin Ranch’s site. They are an amazing family running an amazing place. I hope my books can give readers the wonderful and rich experience in reading that Rankin Ranch gives its guests who stay there. Have a wonderful weekend and I hope you get to enjoy my stories sometime soon.

  11. We raise beef cattle in northern Minnesota, this sounds like a fun book! We were lucky and blessed enough to be able to buy land on the same section as my husband’s parents, so it works really well to be so close for helping and equipment sharing! It is neat to learn the history of our place and other ones too!

    • That sounds wonderful, Katie! I bet that makes for some very special holiday meals and traditions–which is a recipe for great memories! I pray both your ranches (yours and your extended family’s) is very blessed! Thank you for stopping by! Would love for you to email me, maybe I could ask you some ranching questions! My email is tina@ Tina Dee Books .com (minus the spaces) Thanks for sharing! Have a great weekend!

    • Thanks, Connie. I hope you get a chance to read it! And I hope you enjoyed visiting Rankin Ranch with me, even if only via their website! Have a very wonderful weekend!

Comments are closed.