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If you live in the Canyon/Amarillo area, my books are available at Burrowing Owl Books. Or ask your favorite independent bookstore where you live to order The Wild Cow Ranch Series.

COWGIRLS Magazine says:Maverick Heart, the charming new novel by Natalie Bright and Denise F. McAllister, takes readers on an action-packed journey from the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, to the Texas Panhandle with a host of characters tied to the Wild Cow Ranch and a new owner seeking to find her place on the twenty-two thousand acres spread.  Family secrets are uncovered, loyalties are challenged, and deep hurts exposed.  How hearts mend and dreams are realized make Maverick Heart an absolute treasure. ” 

Reviewed by Chris Enss, COWGIRL Book Editor and New York Times best-selling author who writers about women of the Old West.

What readers are saying about The Wild Cow Ranch:

“Who can resist beautiful horses, handsome cowboys, and the prospect of love. Tucked in the pages is a reminder that even during the times that we do not intentionally walk with God, God always walks with us. Looking forward to the next book!”

Kathy, Amazon Reviewer, 5 of 5 Stars

“…the overarching themes are acceptance, learning to trust, and finding a sense of belonging. The Christian message is nicely delivered. Enjoyable read!”

Randi, Amazon Reviewer, 5 of 5 Stars

“…the tale is inspirational, even spiritual, but realistic. This in itself is refreshing and a win for Bright and McAllister. As for me, I’m am already looking forward to Book 2.”

Jane, Amazon Reviewer, 5 of 5 Stars

“A great story of a young woman’s dreams: how one dream can shatter but another can take its place. A loner who realizes the value of working in unison for the ultimate goal. An equestrian competitor finds working cattle on the back of a western horse addictive, not like riding the show ring trying to look the perfect part. I’m impressed with the successful collaboration of two authors in creating this enjoyable story.”

Heidi, Amazon Reviewer, 5 of 5 Stars

Exciting News!

Our Series Hit the Amazon Hot New Release Top 20 List
On February 12, Book Two at #13, Book Three hit #18, and Book One at #19. Thank you for ordering, reading, and posting reviews.


Carli Jameson is used to being on her own – abandoned by her mother as an infant – all she’s ever wanted is to feel like she belongs. She has had no choice except to be strong and independent, but now, can she learn to trust God to be her partner?

Georgia girl, Carli Jameson, inherits a Texas cattle ranch from grandparents she never knew. After much thought, she makes the courageous decision to pack up her life and move to Texas to run the ranch. She forges ahead into a new life filled with uncertainty and along the way discovers a ranching community that becomes the family she never had.

Independent, ambitious and smart, Carli has always been careful with her heart, except for the one time she thought she had found her soul mate and true love. He proved her wrong, and she vowed never to jump into a romantic relationship that easily again. When Carli drives away from her life in Georgia, no looking back, she intends to stick with her vow and not fall into any sweet romances, especially with a Texas cowboy.

Can a fresh start erase the troubles of her past?

Read an exclusive interview with the authors Click HERE.

Sweltering heat that day, but Denise and I couldn’t resist a ride around Tombstone, Arizona in a horse-drawn stagecoach. We’re always on the lookout for new story inspiration. Thanks for reading!
Proud to be a part of the CKN and Wolfpack Publishing Family


MAVERICK HEART Book #1 by Natalie Bright & Denise F. McAllister


A twinge of claustrophobia hit Carli Jameson as she waited to enter the arena. Squeezed together with thousands of pounds of horsepower in such close proximity, a memory from her younger years with other inexperienced riders popped into her head. A spooked horse, kicking and squealing. Nowhere to escape. Crowded “alleys”, as the horse crowd called them, always made her heart race, but now she was with seasoned show horses and they stood waiting patiently to go into the ring. Carli loved all aspects of horse showing—the physical and mental parts of the sport, the bonding with people and her horse, even the smells of horse sweat and manure.

She nudged her horse Beau slightly with her calves, and he walked forward as they stood on the back edge of the group, nearing the narrow space where competitors waited for the next event. Dust fogged the air over the crowded holding area at the Georgia International Horse Park. Carli blocked out the distraction of the other exhibitors and focused on her horse.

 “Remember to push him.” Her friend and business partner Mark Copeland used a hand towel to wipe the dust from her English boots. “Don’t let him get lazy or strung out.”

“He’s acting a little weird, like he’s sleepy or something. I hope he perks up in the ring.”

Leaning down she patted Beau’s neck. “You’ll be all right, sweet boy.”

“You know who’s in this event. Try to steer clear of her.” Mark edged closer and kept his voice low. “Remember the last time she cut you off? She’ll do anything to win.”

Carli frowned. “She’s a barracuda in the show ring. Have you seen Josh? He promised he’d be here.”

“Just focus. That boyfriend of yours is probably already in the stands.” Mark patted Beau’s neck and walked away.

Adjusting her helmet and settling into the saddle, she checked to make sure her boot toes were snug inside the metal stirrups, heels down. Concentrate on your breathing. Calm your nerves. Don’t transfer any anxiety to Beau. He always did well in the show ring but could be unpredictable if he lost his focus.

Suddenly a hand touched her knee and a voice asked, “Excuse me. Carlotta Jameson?”

Carli looked down from atop her horse at a pudgy woman wearing a pin-striped suit and a silk blouse that matched her orange hair, except for the pink highlights that framed her face.

“What?” Carli frowned and squinted at the woman.

“Are you Carlotta Jean Jameson? Can we talk?”

“What? No.” Carli glanced up and noticed riders edging closer to the arena. “I’ve got to go. I’m in this class.” Her head turned from the woman to the in-gate and back again. Placement in this event was important and she didn’t want to mess up her chances. She needed a good spot so that the judges could see her.

Ignoring the woman, Carli cleared her mind and clicked her tongue. Beau moved ahead. She had to get in front of another horse. Then she saw her rival, Savannah, “the barracuda”, was already in the ring at a trot and heading for a perfect place on the left. Only a few seconds more and Carli and Beau would be in the ring.

“Let’s do this, Beau,” she said under her breath, more to herself than to him. A horse show veteran, she knew Beau would be able to sense any nervousness from her. Patting him on the neck again with her black leather glove, she then buckled her chin strap.

“It’s urgent, Carlotta. I’ll wait for you so we can talk,” the woman called after her.

“You have the wrong person.” Carli looked over her shoulder to the woman as she nudged Beau to move.

Nobody had called her that name in close to twenty years. She had spent most of her life burying the ties that name represented.  Her body tensed and her face flushed with irritation. She sensed Beau go rigid. He shuffled and jerked his head, anxious to get into the ring and get to work. But also acted odd.

Aluminum shoes made a clip clop cadence on the last part of the cement aisle leading into the covered show ring. Carli trotted Beau through the in-gate and to the right to stop him on the rail. Most of the riders were already in position and Carli would have to continue past them to find her place.

Two judges stood in the center of the arena with clipboards in hand. They looked at Beau and Carli as she trotted by too quickly. This could either be good or bad. Maybe Beau would catch the judges’ eyes, or maybe they were annoyed she was late. Carli wasn’t sure. Her stomach fluttered. She had to settle down. The woman in the alley hadn’t done them any favors.

The audience quieted, and for a minute all was still in the show ring. Riders patiently waited and didn’t move from their spots on the rail. Finally, one judge nodded to the announcer his readiness. “Judge, that’s your class. Riders, trr-ott your horses.” The “trot” came out as two syllables, his voice rising at the end.

Up and down Carli posted to Beau’s trot. They were in perfect sync and she was finally able to breathe evenly. Rhythmic sounds of the horses filled her ears, hooves evenly padding over softly packed dirt. She wasn’t going to think about her encounter, or how that woman knew her legal name. Block it out. Focus. She was not going to think about that blue-eyed Josh either.

Right when she felt good and relaxed, Savannah appeared at Carli’s left, too close. It seemed she deliberately slowed her horse’s trot to be neck-in-neck, blocking Carli and Beau from being seen by the judges. Carli gripped the reins until her fingers ached, her teeth set in a tight clench.

The beautiful and evil Savannah, up to her old games. Carli might have to come up with a few tricks of her own.

Savannah edged her horse closer to Carli’s and blocked the judge’s view again as all the horses made their way around the arena like a live carousel.

“Move up,” Carli whispered, trying to be discreet since riders shouldn’t be talking in the show ring. Instead, she should be looking forward, head up, shoulders back, and heels down to appear like a perfectly framed portrait of horse and rider working in unison.

Still, Carli had to get out of the well Savannah had put her in. And Beau was starting to get annoyed with the other horse near him. His ears pinned back, and he almost stopped. Oh, geez, keep going, Beau!

“Move up. Quit blocking,” she whispered again.

Savannah tilted her head slightly towards Carli, nose in the air, the edges of her lips pressed into a smirk.

In the nick of time the announcer’s voice came over the loudspeaker. “Canter your horses, please. Can—ter.” Savannah took off into a fluid canter.

Carli waited as long as she possibly could to leave as much space between her and Savannah before she cued Beau into the next move. One judge watched riders on the right of the arena and the other judge studied riders on the left, their backs to each other.

Beau took off beautifully on the left lead exactly as he was supposed to do, and even though Carli detected something out of whack with his movements, her confidence soared. The first place win was within her reach. They passed Mark who leaned on the rail next to several other trainers, and she rolled her eyes. She didn’t know if he had seen Savannah’s maneuver.

“Just keep going and wake him up. More leg,” Mark said as she passed by. But Carli knew the incident with Savannah might affect the outcome of how she would place.

After the walk, trot, and canter in one direction, the P.A. clicked with the announcer’s voice again: “Exhibitors, reverse at the tr—ottt, please. Reverse at the trot.”

Carli took a big breath through her nose and patiently bided her time, even if only for another ten seconds. Just as the judge looked in her direction, she expertly bent Beau around to the left at the trot and, even though he felt suddenly sluggish to her, they got right back on the rail. What’s with this horse? Don’t quit on me now, Beau. She knew what was coming next, so got ready, but didn’t jump the gun.

“Exhibitors, canter your horses, please,” the announcer’s voice rang out over the arena. He enunciated every syllable. “Can-terrr, please. Go at the can-terrr.”

Carli cued Beau by touching his left flank slightly with her spur so that he would lead with his right front leg. At first, he did nothing. No response. C’mon, Beau! Don’t mess up now. She touched him stronger with her spur. Her face showed nothing, although her heart thudded. Still, she was hopeful of claiming first place. Oh, good Beau, that’s it! Let’s go. It was as though they floated around the ring barely touching the ground. She peeked at the judges as they wrote on their clipboards, their faces set in deep concentration. Hope they didn’t see Beau’s mistake. And before she knew it, it was over.

The announcer’s voice declared the end of the class. “Exhibitors, line up in the center, please. Bring your horses to the center.”

Carli glanced at Savannah. Not wanting to be anywhere near her adversary, she chose a spot at the opposite end of the line, straightened her spine, and sat tall in the saddle. This was it. Beau had been very good for the most part, although she wondered why he had slowed down at times. Mark gave her a thumbs up from across the arena, but he wasn’t smiling.

After all contestants were in the middle of the show ring, the announcer instructed, “Back your horses, please. Back your horses.” They all complied. Except for Beau. She tried twice, but he just wouldn’t do it. He was sluggish, sleepy. Carli was embarrassed as one judge stood in front of her waiting for Beau to back, but then marked his form and moved on. He tipped his hat, almost sympathetically.

First place. She knew it was lost. She and Beau had worked so hard to be here today. All the hours spent in the saddle practicing, and now this. They needed this win.

Carli willed her face to appear relaxed and calm, but the feeling of wanting to run away as far and as fast as she could made her hands shake and her stomach tremble. She took a few ragged breaths and smiled bigger. What was wrong with Beau?

After a few more minutes of marking their scorecards, the judges turned the paperwork in to the ring steward. More waiting and then the announcer sounded over the intercom calling placements starting from ninth through third. The audience clapped for those as they exited the arena.

“In first place, number two-twenty-three, Zippo’s Delight, ridden by Savannah Martin. Number seven-forty-seven, Colonel Beauregard, ridden by Carli Jameson, has been excused. Riders, the third-place winner will now move up to second, and so on down the line.”

Carli stifled the scream of shock and disappointment that lodged in her throat. A first place was exactly the boost she and Mark needed to help their training business.

Trying to coax Beau into a trot towards Mark, but settling for a slow walk, she glanced at Savannah who was smirking. Her attention turned to the alley and waiting at the end stood a tall cowboy wearing a bright purple shirt and a big smile on his face. Her heart fluttered. Josh. They had been dating for several months and she felt he might be the one. But as they came closer, she realized his attention was fixed on Savannah, not on her.

He patted Savannah’s leg. “You did great.” He didn’t even glance in Carli’s direction.

Savannah leaned down closer to him and gave him a wide smile. “Thanks, babe. I couldn’t have done any of this without your help.” She puckered her lips and sent him an air smooch.

Josh helping Savannah? Babe?

As Carli passed them, Savannah called over to her, “Looks like you were having some trouble with your horse. Maybe he had an extra nip of something in his water?” She giggled.

Josh smiled but ignored Carli.

Tears welled up in her eyes, but she blinked them away. What in the world was going on? Josh and Savannah, together? She felt like she had been sucker punched. Gritting her teeth, sparks of anger exploded in Carli’s brain. Apparently, she and Josh were over. What a jerk! Men! First, not placing in the class, and now this. The world was conspiring against her. But before she could reply to Savannah’s cutting remark, she felt a hand on her boot.

“I must talk with you Ms. Jameson. Please.”

Carli looked down to see the neon-haired lady again. “We have nothing to discuss. You’ve got the wrong person.”

In the instant she argued with the woman, Carli also glanced over to see Savannah dismount and walk into Josh’s big bear hug. They linked arms and disappeared around a corner.

The other riders from her class had long since ridden past, but she was frozen. She couldn’t make sense of what she needed to do or what she was seeing. Josh and Savannah?

Frank Gibby, an official with the horse show, walked up to Carli and stood next to the neon-haired woman. “Carli, if you have any questions about the disqualification you can come to my office.”

“No, sir. She’s not going anywhere. I am Adelphia Fenwick, attorney-at-law, and I must speak with her first. I’ve been searching for this young lady for several months and I’m not letting her out of my sight.”

The official pushed back his silver belly Resistol and glared at the lawyer over the top of his glasses. She stared back and firmly stood her ground.

Mark appeared at Carli’s side. “What’s going on here? Carli, you need to move Beau out of this alley. The other event is waiting to come in. Hey, Frank. What’s the problem?”

“Carli is disqualified. I think there might be something wrong with her horse. They excused her from the class.” 

“He wasn’t acting right, but there’s no need for the DQ.” Mark took Beau’s bridle and led him out of the ring into the sun. “Carli, you go with Frank. I’ll be there as soon as I put Beau in his stall. I think our vet, Amy, is on the grounds. I’ll call her to come take a look at him.”

Carli followed Frank to the show office, and the neon-haired attorney tagged along right behind her. This can’t be happening. Her throat squeezed shut and no words came out of her mouth as she looked towards the door when Mark finally stepped in.

He was visibly upset, his voice raising in protest. “I don’t know what just happened. Beau was acting out of sorts and she had a problem getting him to back. But why disqualify her?”

As Mark and Frank continued their embroiled conversation, even touching upon possible drugging, Carli mumbled, “I’ve got to go back to the stalls and check on Beau. Maybe the vet is there now.” She needed some air.

Carli left the office and leaned against the outside of the building willing herself not to burst into tears, yet at the same time her blood still boiled with anger at her ex‑boyfriend. Young girls in tight English breeches nearly collided with her as they were all abuzz about the latest heartthrob, their ponytails swinging. She remembered those silly, carefree days. Carli’s dizzy head couldn’t make sense of anything today. The neon-haired lawyer stuck to her side like glue.

“I must insist we talk, Ms. Jameson,” and then she laid a hand on Carli’s shoulder. “Are you feeling alright? You’re as white as a dove.”

The lady stood close, face-to-face, and stared her right in the eyes. Carli was trapped. She swallowed but couldn’t answer.

“You are Carlotta Jean Jameson, aren’t you? You may call me Del. I have been retained to find you by parties connected with your grandfather’s estate in Texas.”

“What does that mean? I’ve never even met either of my grandfathers.” Carli backed up a step.

“It means, young lady, that you are the next in line, on your mother’s side. Her only surviving heir. Everything goes to you.”

The idea of a mountain of debt and some rundown shack that she owed back taxes on ran through her mind. And then the reality of the situation stunned her. Only surviving heir meant one thing.

Her mother was dead.