Title: From Windy Ridge to the Flint Hills
Author: Lee Anne Wonnacott
Genre: Young Adult; Western Adventure
Published: July 2017
Everything changes for Kelly Stolter the morning she finds her mother dead from pneumonia.
The rug is suddenly jerked out from under her and her two younger siblings, Lola and Colton. Their steady world started to shake. Bills were coming due. The ranch loan on Windy Ridge Ranch must be paid. The tears won’t stop.
Shifty cattle ranchers rubbed their hands together ready to prey on the seemingly naïve young children. Kelly had watched her blue-ribbon cutting horse riding mother and champion rodeo winning father negotiate horse sales all her life. Either she could follow in their footstep and keep the family going or not.
Shady relatives begin to come out of the woodwork to lay claim to the prosperous horse breeding ranch. In an old trunk, under her mother’s possessions lay the name of the distant attorney. 135 miles to the south was a longshot but it was the only hope in sight.
The Flint Hills family friend knew more than she would tell held secrets behind tight lips. The averted eyes and the cold silences told Kelly there was more history to the family.
A letter from a Hattiesburg attorney told of the death of the friendly stranger and the news shocked their world. A scandalous family truth out kept hidden for decades is thrust into the open light of day.
Her father, Nick Stolter, had ridden east at the side of a long-time friend in need. Was that man with the green eyes truly a friend or a past partner in crime as others alluded to in discreet whispers?
Before he disappeared into the deserts of Arizona, the one thing Kelly’s father left her was a gritty determination and sassy boldness.
As sole heir to a ranching dynasty, Kelly’s mother held title to hundreds of prime grasslands to the distant south. Kelly and younger sister, Lola make the nine-day ride and run into familiar faces and new-found friends. But evil comes in all shapes and sizes. When outlaws attempt a stagecoach holdup, Kelly and Lola’s Colt pistols save the passengers.
After visiting the verdant ranch, it is a united decision for the three to move to the Flint Hills Ranch. With a few hired hands, jangling spurs, and a lot of help from friends, they arrive in their new, yet old, home.
Connections were everything in the old west and the friendly teenaged son of the neighboring rancher brought out the rosy blush on Kelly’s cheeks. Twinkling blue eyes, a brilliant white smile, and a quick wit inspire warm admiration for the young man.
At last, word comes that Nick Stolter is alive and headed for home. But a month of hell has chased him across Arizona and into California and he is bringing it to their front gate. The three Stolter children turn loose a barrage of bullets to protect their bloodied father. The herd crosses onto the Flint Hills Ranch and Nick tumbles from his saddle. Together again. Family again. Home again.
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About the author
Lee Anne Wonnacott grew up enamored with the struggle and adventure of men and women living in the 1800 U.S. At thirteen, it felt as if she had suddenly awoken to hear that space was the final frontier. Eventually, she came to realize that is was the human imagination that encased the new frontier.
Lee Anne believes it was the stories of others who ignited her novelist imagination. Neighbors recited trials and tribulations on trains. Elderly relatives brought forth memories from diaries and letters. A lonely stranger in the Zurich train station revisited deep scars.
It was the prodding, nitpicking, and pushing from one determined high school English teacher who showed her where to jump into storytelling. Lee Anne’s secret to crafting the moving story is that if the story is not working, just kill off a character in a horribly painful death. Her passion is authoring and promoting her western adventure novels. Author of fiction titles Newton Cutter, Iron and Rawhide, Rage at Rancho del Oro, and Nick Stolter.
Lee Anne Wonnacott cooks, knits, hunts for sea glass, and howls with the neighborhood dogs in Oceanside, California.
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