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Way Out WEST

Happy National Day of the Cowboy! History has always fascinated me, more particularly stories about the American West. Maybe because my father ordered every Time Life book series they ever made. Or perhaps it’s my uncle’s impressive collection of books on Texas history. Those certainly propelled my interest, but I clearly remember the day history changed me.

It was at a family reunion in central Texas. I was around twelve years old that summer and went with a group to tour Fort Parker. I became obsessed with the Comanche people, the story of Cynthia Ann Parker, and the history of the west. I read every Santa Fe Trail migration book I could find, and I’m still discovering authors who find creative ways to keep the spirit of the American West alive. As an author, I am now a member of the prestigious Western Writers of America (WWA), a 700-member organization dedicated to all thing western. I’ve discovered even more inspiration and material to feed my obsession by a group of exceptional creatives who produce songs, poems, scripts for movies and TV, and books for today’s fans.

National Day of the Cowboy celebrates a legacy of workers who are essential to the cattle industry today, just as they were 150 years ago. Much thanks to them all.

In celebration of National Day of the Cowboy, here are a few of my all-time favorite books revisited and some new discoveries written by my WWA friends. Happy reading.


On occasion I re-read the story of Cynthia Ann Parker by Lucia St. Clair Robson. There are so many books out there, I rarely read anything twice but I’ve made an exception for this one. Kidnapped at nine, this girl grew up to become the blue-eyed wife of a chief and mother of the great Comanche Chief Quanah Parker. Well meaning rescuers returned her to society but she died soon after, her pleas to return to the Comanches going unheeded. RIDE THE WIND is the ultimate western tale of survival and a proud people, rich with historical detail. You can’t go wrong with anything written by this author. One of my all-time favorites. Amazon link above or Barnes and Noble here.


If you’re a fan of memoirs, I highly recommend THE PALE-FACED LIE by David Crow. Winner of WWA’s coveted Spur Award and now an Amazon Best Seller, the story follows the life of a boy who grew up on the Navajo Indian Reservation, raised by a violent ex-con. Nothing more I can say except wow, what a book. This one will keep you awake at night. Amazon link above or Barnes and Noble here.


The Yeggman’s Apprentice by C. K. Crigger is a fun action-packed romance set in 1905 Butte, Montana. A “yeggman” is a safe cracker, and the main character is the niece of a highly skilled burglar. You can buy the eBook format here for only 99 cents! Paperback at Barnes and Noble.


Using rare, never before published material western historian Chris Enss pieces together the fascinating life of Mary Kate Cummings, alias Big Nose Kate, paramour of Doc Holliday. Read it in hardcover or eBook format here or Barnes and Noble.

Jodi Thomas or Linda Broday

Two of my favorite Amarillo authors have new series, if you’re a fan of western romance.

On the rolling hills that border the Brazos River lies Honey Creek, Texas—a small town where family bonds and legends run deep, and friendship and love are always close to hand . . . Jodi Thomas brings us a new series with Book 1: BREAKFAST AT THE HONEY CREEK CAFE. Get it here or Barnes and Noble.

Western historical romance author, Linda Broday, continues her series about mail order brides. It’s a classic with hero’s and villains and everything we love about a great western tale. Book 1 THE OUTLAW’S MAIL ORDER BRIDE is available here or Barnes and Noble.

Stay tuned for more. Check back here at Prairie Purview where I’ll be blogging about award winning books written by Western Writers of America members. If you love the West and want to support our rich heritage, you don’t have to be a published author to be involved. You can support Western Writers of America as a PATRON member. Learn more here.

Natalie Bright is an author, blogger, speaker, and hobby Photog. Her new WILD COW RANCH series will be out January 2021, a Christian Western Romance from CKN Christian Publishing. Coming soon! Book #1 MAVERICK HEART. Book #2 WILD COW WINTER.

In May 2021, look for KEEP ‘EM FULL AND KEEP ‘EM ROLLIN‘ featuring authentic recipes from the cattle trail along with ranch photography and history of the great cattle driving era. Pre-order it now from TwoDot Books.