Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Historical Canadian West (and Giveaway!)

Remember back in September when I posted about our visit to Canada's Bar U Ranch in The Last Best West? I was tickled pink to find that author Linda Ford's new series for Love Inspired Historical is spun off of that very ranch and the era it represents.

Linda lives on a ranch in Alberta, Canada. Growing up on the prairie and learning to notice the small details it hides gave her an appreciation for watching God at work in His creation. Her upbringing also included being taught to trust God in everything and through everything—a theme that resonates in her stories. She and her husband raised fourteen children—ten adopted. She currently shares her home with her husband, a grown son and a live-in paraplegic client.

Please welcome Linda Ford!

Hi! Thanks to Val for inviting me to visit. My name is Linda Ford. I live in Alberta, Canada. I write for Love Inspired Historicals and am currently working on a series called THE COWBOYS OF EDEN VALLEY.

Not far from where I live is a beautiful, scenic highway called The Cowboy Trail.

The highway runs between the prairie and the Rocky Mountains. Here early ranchers ran cattle herds in the thousands over huge sections of land grants. Today you can still see cattle grazing the lush grass, cowboys on horseback but rather than chuckwagons, you are more likely to see a motorhome. But what you can see unchanged since those early ranching days is the rolling hills and the majestic mountains. And tucked into the valleys and between the hills, are ranch buildings, some dating back to the 19th century.

The scenery moves me, fills me with wonder and amazement. The historic ranches fire up my imagination.

I am grateful that some of the land owners have seen fit to preserve the history of their ranches. The Bar U Ranch is now a national historic site and well worth a visit or two or three or a dozen.

I never mind another visit in the name of research. This ranch has become the fictional setting for my series THE COWBOYS OF EDEN VALLEY. There is a wealth of information for the historical author. The buildings are restored to original use and well maintained.

From the first time I drove this highway and visited the Bar U, I have wanted to set a series of stories here. I wanted to portray the men and women who faced the challenges of living in a raw new land before settlements sprang up, even before the railroad came. At the time of the earliest ranches, goods and supplies came from Fort Benton by bull train.

There was law in the land with the formation of the Northwest Mounted Police a few years previous to the beginning of most ranchers. Although the outposts were few and far between, the Mounties had the reputations of upholding law and justice. Some of the early ranches became home to the NWMP outpost.

But what really touches my heart is the stories. A wanted outlaw who turned rancher and died in relative obscurity. A dandy from England who persevered through his greenhorn period and went on to become a successful rancher. The big black cowboy who was never thrown yet died when his horse stepped into a badger hole and fell on him. The lady ranchers who faced hardships and prejudice to succeed. And natives who worked side by side with the white man to make their mark in history. I love the stories. I ponder on how to make them my own.

My COWBOYS OF EDEN VALLEY series began in Oct. with a Christmas novella, "Merry Christmas, Cowboy" in the book A Gift of Family. It continues with The Cowboy's Surprise Bride in Jan. 2013.

In March 2013, The Cowboy's Unexpected Family is released. In May 2013 The Cowboy's Convenient Proposal is out. There are 3 more upcoming books in the series—titles and release dates to be announced.

I thought I’d share the first teaser for the January book in the hopes it will entice you to buy the book and read it. J

From The Cowboy's Surprise Bride.

“While you are here, I expect you to conduct yourself wisely and in a ladylike fashion.”

Her nostrils flared. “You mean play the lady of the manor.”

Behind her, Cassie snorted.

She’d no doubt been raised as such. Why didn’t she offer to be so here? Not that it made any difference. He wasn’t about to toss Margaret aside over a misunderstanding. Softly, he asked, “What do you see your role here?”

She ducked her head so he was unable to see her expression. “I suppose I thought you meant to marry me.” She lifted her head and faced him with her eyes flashing courage and challenge. “I will make a good pioneer wife.”

“I never got your letter or I could have warned you I’m not desperate for a wife. Besides you can’t simply substitute one woman for another as if they are nothing more than horses.”

“Why not? Are you madly in love with Margaret?”

Love? There was no such thing as love in an arrangement like theirs. “We suited each other.”

“She doesn’t seem to share your view of suitability.”

You can find out more about me and the upcoming releases on my website It’s been fun visiting.

Thanks so much, Linda! And that's not all, folks!

Interested in reading The Cowboy's Surprise Bride? Linda is offering one reader a copy, your choice of digital or paperback, anywhere on Planet Earth. If you'd like to put your name in the hat, please add your email address with your comment before Thursday, December 27, replacing @ with (at) and .com with (dot) com.

"Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws."

Valerie Comer's life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary inspirational romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie and her family grow much of their own food and are active in the local food movement as well as their church. She only hopes her creations enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.

Her first published work, a novella, was released in the collection Rainbow's End from Barbour Books in May 2012. Visit her website and blog to glimpse inside her world.


  1. Hi Linda,
    This sounds like my kind of book. Please put my name in the draw for a paper book. avaldal at shaw dot ca

  2. Linda, I enjoy your books so much! I've read most of them and "delight" in them all! this looks like another great series and am anxious to get into it! I'd love to win it too!

  3. Hi Alice,
    Thanks for leaving a comment. Your name is in the draw.

  4. Valri, I'm glad you enjoy my books. Good luck on the draw.

  5. hi Linda, i loved last years series in the depression we chatted about how mum hated pumpkin cos it was eaten so much here in the depression.
    this series sounds so good,
    my addy is ausjenny at gmail dot com.
    typing one handed so hard to write to much,

  6. What an interesting sounding series! Put my name in the hat, please.

    jrlight620 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  7. Jenny, I remember the discussion about pumpkin. Good luck on the draw.

  8. Judith, Thanks for dropping by. Your name is in the draw.

  9. I would love to win a copy of this book, and I want Linda to contact me about me booking the rest of the series on my blog.

    I love the cover!!

  10. Oooh, I got chills just reading about this story. It sounds like one I'm already in love with. Thanks for sharing the photos. The scenery is beautiful! Please count me in: davalynnspencer(at)hotmail(dot)com

  11. Sounds like a good read! Love frontier romance. Hope I win it.
    Thank you,

  12. Sounds like a fun book to read! makeighleekyleigh at

  13. sounds wonderful, Please enter me. Thanks

  14. Wow, I'd love to visit that ranch! But it's just a teeny bit too far away. *sigh* Thanks for the chance to win a copy of the book though!
    twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

  15. I can't seem to find enough Christian historicals available as e-books. I start contemporary novels and forsake them when I discover a historical. Janette Oke wrote several books set in the Canadian West, and I loved them. Linda, I would love to win The Cowboy's Surprise Bride!

  16. Love stories about ranch life and cowboys, historical or contemporary. I've never read your work, Linda, so would love to win your book.

  17. And I guess it would really help if I left my email address! Sorry 'bout that!


  18. I would love to win a paperback of this book. I love this time period. I know from this interview it will be good. Thanks for this chance.
    Maxie ( )

  19. i love this area of my country...and i love reading about the history, as long as its in fiction form! Thanks for the chance to win.


  20. I would love to win a paperback copy of this book, it sounds great. Thank you for doing the interview and offering the book.


  21. That cover is so beautiful and this sounds like a beautiful book. I'm always enchanted by the "surprise" brides and weddings and such. :)

    Thanks for the opportunity to win!

    inspiringdaring (at) yahoo (dot) com

  22. Sounds like a good book and I'd love to win it!
    Love your helps make the stories come more alive when we see where you got your inspiration for them.

    Thanks for the giveaway.


  23. Great teaser, I'm hooked! Please add me to the drawing.
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

  24. This book sound wonderful. I really enjoyed the article and preview of the book.

  25. I would love to read this book. Please put my name in the hat, a Stetson hat if you please.
    Merry Christmas to You and Yours,
    Janet E.

  26. I'd really enjoy this book! Thanks for the chance to win it!

  27. This sounds great! I love historical romance. shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

  28. Sounds interesting! I would love to read it. Please enter me in the giveaway.