“Success has a simple formula: Do your best and people may like it.”

— Sam Ewing

Well, Sam Ewing, that’s what I did. I hope a few people like it. And for anyone who is reading this now, I would enjoy connecting with you by email or Facebook. Even if you have nothing to say but Hi that’s just fine. Maybe let me know if you’re thinking about reading Cold Morning Shadow or if you have already started it, or anything else. Or just Hi.

Where did this novel come from? The first words rolled from my fingers in late January 2019. By early September I had dashed off the Epilogue. Unlike Fire, Wind & Yesterday, which trickled onto the pages over the course of 28 years, I had a first draft of Cold Morning Shadow down in something closer to 28 weeks.

Starting in September, as I was making the first of several passes through the manuscript to edit it, I began sending queries to literary agents on the remote chance that one might ask to see it. None did during the four months of editing, but that’s normal. I also found a couple of “beta” readers — God bless you, Heidi and Ruth! By January 2020, I was satisfied with the result.

In January, 2020, I began designing the book cover, formatting it as a printed book, and refining the promotional blurbs that you see on the publisher’s web site,, at, and on the back cover. It’s hard to say enough about the book in such a blurb that it promises what the book delivers but doesn’t give away too much.

Where did it come from?

So, what generated the idea for the book? I’ll let this portion from the Acknowledgments answer that:

My late first cousin, Janet Hume, a cheerful blonde with ears that could hear everything, moved from Lima, Ohio, to Spearfish, South Dakota, in the 1970s and married Mitch Quilt of the Brulé Lakota.  Cold Morning Shadow bears no resemblance to the story of their tempestuous affair, but their plight set me thinking: What if everything that seems doomed turns out for the better instead?  What if forbearance and the love of human kindness prevail?  What if disaster is not simply averted but vanquished?  I am grateful to Janet, who spurred me to ask those questions. I thank Steph Hoff, my second cousin and daughter of Janet and Mitch, as well, for giving me some perspective on her parents’ lives.  This novel is dedicated to the three of them.