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Follow A Wild Heart

Read Chapter One NOW!

The Wild Cow Ranch Series features three titles:


Book #3 launches March 10, and you can read Chapter 1 NOW, see below.

Priced at only 99 cents for eBooks, this series is a real bargain, plus just plain fun. Also in print format, if you need a unique gift.

Order FOLLOW A WILD HEART click here.

Published by CKN Christian Publishing (part of Wolfpack Publishing) with Lauren Bridges as editor, learn more about the co-authors and their collaboration. Click HERE for an interview.

In this contemporary western romance, the ultimate question is: wouldn’t the world be a better place if everyone had the courage to follow their wild heart?

Finally settling into life on a Texas cattle ranch she inherited, Carli Jameson feels as if there is still something missing from her everyday routine. She realizes she misses her horse training clients and the successful business she left behind in Georgia – that’s when the idea strikes her, she’s going to open a riding school at Wild Cow Ranch.

After an uphill battle, opening day of LoveJoy Riding School is an utter disaster and Carli wants to give up. That self doubt rises up and almost paralyzes her. Turning to God for answers she decides to keep pushing forward, she now has troubled teenagers for students and needs to put their needs ahead of her own.

Managing her new-found obligations would be easier if she didn’t have to confront the Texas cowboys that keep crossing her path – there’s no time for romance when there’s a ranch to run…or is there?

The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.
– 1 Samuel 16:7

What readers are saying about the Wild Cow Ranch Series!

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

These authors did an excellent job of describing the feelings of a young woman who always felt alone and how God helped her find herself.

Nana, Amazon Reviewer

A quick and hold your attention book that begins a lovely story. I’m looking forward to the next books in this series. I highly recommend this book.

Mary Ann, Amazon Reviewer

The story is inspirational and uplifting and I can’t wait to read more of the adventures at the Wild Cow Ranch.

J. E., Amazon Reviewer

Read Chapter One FOLLOW A WILD HEART now:

by Natalie Bright and Denise McAllister


Rafter O Ranch, Texas Panhandle

Shifting in his saddle, Nathan Olsen looked out over the early spring range—his father’s ranch and two grandpas before him—from the top of a hill. Red Angus were spread out nibbling at any bits of dry forage they could find. Winter had not disappeared yet; the penetrating chill seeping under his collar was proof. Pulling up the Carhartt® collar, and tugging down on his ballcap, he loosened his grip on the reins. Nathan flexed his achy, cold fingers inside deerskin gloves, and breathed in the scene, wanting to commit it all to memory. If he were a painter, he could preserve the scene forever.

Some people might be bothered by the silence, but to Nathan’s ears the prairie was loud and restless. Meadowlarks answered each other’s call and the wind kept the dead weeds swaying in constant motion.

Most of the early morning fog had burned off with the rising sun, but patches still clung to the ground filling the lows with a gray shroud. His chest expanded with emotion from looking over the scene; it always surprised him as pride and a connection to this patch of dirt and the animals that inhabited it. A hawk soared across the sky, his wings outstretched to catch the updraft. At the top of the ridge Nathan watched a group of mule deer as they cautiously eased into a chinaberry grove, seeking their hideout for the day after grazing all night.

Darn cold this early, but his dad had insisted they be in the saddle just after first light. In Nathan’s mind, they had plenty of time, all day, to cruise through the heifers. But it seemed his father must create a list of chores before going to bed to keep his oldest son occupied the next day. In fact, it was March; birthing season would start any day now. He or his sister Angie had already been making a pass through this group of first-time mothers several times during the day and night. Nathan was old enough to know what needed to be done without his father laying out a chores list. It was never a discussion over what needed to be done or one in which he had any input. The idea that he might have made plans for the day never came into question. 

About the time he thought about digging out his phone to snap a picture, his younger sister rode up alongside and halted her horse next to his. “What’re you doin’, Nate? Knittin’ or somethin’? Dad’ll be on your tail soon. Better not let him catch you being idle.”

Despite the early hour, Angie appeared alert and fresh-faced with cheeks pink from the cold, her long blonde hair lay in a neat braid on one side reaching to her waist. She had color-coordinated a bright purple shirt with a red wild rag, red gloves, and a red vest. Over that was her black canvas jacket. Riding her attractive blue roan mare, they looked like the perfect models for a Western photo shoot.

Nathan always thought Angie was a better ranch hand than him. In his mind, he didn’t even add, “for a girl.” He could hold his own because he’d been doing ranch work his whole life, but she was just better at everything—riding, roping, gathering, branding, as well as the business of ranching. Angie was born to this land—right where her place should be. Of course, he’d never tell her that. She had a natural instinct about cows and loved every minute of it. His younger brother had a knack with horses. His two sisters were gifted either in a ranch kitchen or a branding pen. Their dad had taught all of them well about how to manage and sustain the family business.

Nathan, on the other hand, sometimes felt like an observer. They were his family and he loved them, but at times he felt like an outsider, hovering on the edge of every conversation—always there, but not really an integral part of the entire operation. Nathan wondered if any of the bunch had actually admired the view from their horse or watched a sunset. Not just glance out a window, but really study the colors and patterns in the clouds.

“Nate? Are you listening? Let’s go.”

Her voice grated on his nerves. It annoyed him that his sister felt a need to interrupt the silence.

“I’m just being still for a minute, that’s all. Appreciating nature. God’s the best painter, ya know.”

“Oh, that’s a good one,” Angie laughed. “Not the part about God, but I don’t think Dad’ll like you bein’ still. C’mon, let’s go. We only have a few heifers that seem to be in trouble. One is ready but I can see a nose instead of feet. If we can get her into the chute, maybe I can turn the little bugger around before he’s born.”

Nathan turned his horse to follow Angie towards a group of cattle where his father sat patiently. With a smirk and giggle she called out over her shoulder. “Do you have a date with Carli?”

“She might come by later today. I’m taking her to lunch.”

“Well, better get your work done then.”

Nate sighed and reined his horse to follow. Life was much easier if he did what Angie said, as well as his father, his mother, even the rest of his younger siblings. Even though he was the oldest it seemed everyone else was in charge but him. “Let’s get Nathan to do it,” was the solution to everything. He clenched his jaw.

Prodding her horse gently with a spur, his sister took off ahead of him. Always full of energy and ready and able to lead, Angie could surely take over the ranch one day. Nate felt certain of that. He thought about this a lot. As the oldest of five kids, everyone assumed he’d be the next generation of cowmen to oversee the Rafter O into the next century.

Trotting his horse to catch up, he filled the gap between his father and sister. They successfully drove four heifers into the pens at Olsen Ranch headquarters. They kept the first-time mommas close this time of year.

Nathan made quick work of running the heifer into the snake and then chute. Angie gloved up and worked her arm into the cow in an effort to push the calf’s nose back and find his front feet before he smothered. After a few minutes the mother gave a grunt and a push, and a newborn calf spilled out.

“It’s a she and she’s beautiful.” Angie wiped the mucus from a shiny, wet nose and pulled the newborn out from behind her momma. They opened the chute and placed the calf in front of the mother’s nose. She got a good whiff and began licking the slick, wet hair of her new baby. Silently they all backed away and climbed out of the pen.

By the time Nathan had assisted in assessing the other heifers, filled the water tub in the pen, unsaddled, and put tack back in its place, it was midmorning. Nate longed for that second cup of coffee which had been interrupted earlier. The perfect solution to take the chill from his aching fingers.

Nate went into the barn where his father and sister, Angie, stood, heads together, laughing about something. They shared a special bond. The laughter stopped when they noticed Nate, which happened often and always made him feel like a third wheel.

Mr. Olsen’s expression changed to a more serious one when he turned to look at his son. “You have a date in the middle of a workday?”

Nate and Angie exchanged glances but she did not speak. She shrugged her shoulders and half-grinned.

“It’s winter, Dad, and the slowest time of year. Besides it’s just lunch. We’ll run into Dixon real quick. I won’t be gone long.”

“You know that running a ranch is a 24/7 job.”

Nathan braced himself for the lecture that was sure to come, but instead his father added, “Say hello to Carli for me.”

“Yes, sir.” Even though Nathan was approaching thirty years old, his father still had the power to make him feel like an eighth grader.

Nathan loved his parents and his family. He really did. They were kind, hardworking people. Salt of the earth. And his dad was never harsh or unkind with any of his five children. But the patriarch of the Olsen family wanted things done his way, and could get downright ornery about it. His father had taught each of them well—how to respect the earth, the livestock, and people, but now it was like an act of Congress for him to be able to take time off from work to eat lunch. Sometimes Nathan wondered why he even existed in this universe. He felt like a stranger.

As he emerged from the tack barn, Carli’s truck bumped across the cattle guard into Rafter O headquarters and pulled to a stop. She jumped out and gave a wave in his direction. She always looked pretty to him, no matter what. Whether she was spic ‘n span shiny and joining his family for dinner, or dirty and sweaty when she pitched in on working cattle. The honey-colored hair that spilled over her shoulders, and those hazel eyes that haunted his dreams. He lifted his arm in greeting and gave her a wide smile.

She’d had a tough year, her first one in Texas as the new owner of the Wild Cow Ranch. The whole town was taken aback when she appeared out of nowhere, from Georgia, and the Last Will was read that named her the rightful heir of the Wild Cow Ranch after her grandpa, Ward Kimball, had died.

She’d been through a lot since moving to Texas. Even a disastrous fire which destroyed the hay barn, ruled arson later. Then, just recently, caught out in the pasture during a life-threatening Texas norther, a freak snowstorm that would be talked about for years to come. But Carli Jameson seemed to get through it all, stronger than ever, with grace and calm, ready to take on the next thing. Nate admired her.

And they’d become friends, but he wanted to be more. He could imagine a life with this neighbor girl. Combining their ranches, raising Angus cattle, a solid ranch horse stock, and hopefully a few kids. It would make his father very happy. Only thing standing in his way was Lank Torres, her hired hand. He could tell Carli was drawn to him. Nathan also sensed that she was guarded and held back from them both. His relationship with her was not yet solidified. But the smile she flashed in his direction gave him hope. For today at least, Nate felt he stood a good chance of winning her over.