Book Two: Belanger Creek Ranch Series
“Shauna Lee, I told you I’m a hunter. I have hunted cougars in the wild. That is where I like to keep them: in the wild; with me doing the stalking.” Her face went scarlet. “Are you calling me a cougar?” she asked, indignantly.
Twenty years ago, eighteen-year-old Shauna Lee Holt rose like a phoenix, out of the ashes of tragedy. Fierce determination focused her drive for independence. After graduation, she worked non-stop, scrimping and saving every penny. She purchased Swift Current Accounting and Bookkeeping Service. Now she is regarded as a successful accountant in the business community: but no one knows her personal, private hell.
Brad Johnson recently moved to Swift Current, where he set up Windspeer Energy; a company specializing in small wind energy turbines. Brad feels an undeniable attraction to Shauna Lee, but he refuses to play her “nothing serious, no strings attached” game.
As time passes, he falls head over heels in love with this tormented woman. Shocking fragments of her tragic past come to light, and he begins to realize that she may never be able to give him the emotional connection he desperately desires.
This is a stand-alone book in the series, but the lives of Colt and Frank Thompson are woven into Brad Johnson and Shauna Lee Holt’s story. The couple, who seem to have everything, discover that grief and pain are no respecters of person. When they face the unimaginable, will their relationship be shaken beyond repair?
This is a story of wrath, hatred, murder, betrayal, denial, and unconditional love.
Cold Coffee Review: Full Circle by Gloria Antypowich is book two of The Belanger Creek Ranch Series. I was delighted to discover that book two continues where book one (The Second Time Around) left off. Book two adds more well defined characters that not only tie both books together, but move ahead with real life situations that involve work, play, past, present, family, friendship, love, hate, romance and genuine passion for life and fulfilling relationships.
Once again Author Gloria Antypowich masterfully brings her own life experiences into her creative writing process to draw her readers into the story line tugging at their heart and mind revealing their own memories whether good or bad. I find that these first two books, especially Full Circle has a short dedication that played over and over in my mind while I lived vicariously through her characters.
In my reviews I always quote at least one passage to show the writer’s style and intent I am very careful not to spoil the story for you the reader. I quote from page 154 (in my copy) as Shauna Lee and Brad enjoy a leisurely horseback ride.
They took the horses out through the gate at the back of the horse pasture and followed the trail to the gently rolling fields. They rode in companionable silence, enjoying the crisp, fresh air and the serenity of being away from everything else.
Shauna Lee sat astride her horse and threw her arms wide open, embracing the world. “I love this: total solitude, no sounds of traffic, no telephones, and no computers!” She turned to smile at him, happiness overflowing.
“I know what you mean. I get that same feeling when I go hunting in the mountains. Dad and I ride way off the beaten track. You feel like no else has ever been there. The mountains are so majestic, the air so clean and the scenery so spectacular. It’s like being transported into a totally different world. For two weeks, we become different people. I always think we become the people we really are meant to be. Life is simple, with no outside pressures. It recharges my batteries. One day I’d like to take you with me.”
Shauna Lee shook her head. “I couldn’t go hunting.”
Brad looked out over the fields. “Shauna, man has been a hunter for centuries. Dad and I always use the meat we take. How can I explain it to you? For us, it’s almost a spiritual thing; being so close to nature, to the creator.”
Come experience life, love, sorrow, forgiveness and a genuine hero spirit. Experience romance where men are real men and even the most liberal women have to stop to appreciate this lost art of gentlemanly behavior. After coming Full Circle move into The Hand of Fate, book three of the Belanger Creek Ranch Series.
I, Theodocia McLean, endorse Full Circle (Belanger Creek Ranch Book 2) by Gloria Antypowich as a Contemporary Adult Romance inspired by her husband (they are both retired) who is the love of her life. I purchased this book from Kindle. This review was completed on August 22, 2015.
Book One: Belanger Creek Ranch Series
Sparks fly when Frank Lamonte and Colt Thompson meet. There is an explosion of anger, based on misinformation and suspicion: but there is also an undeniable attraction. Thirty-six fateful hours set the stage for a lifetime of consequences.
Veterinarian, Frank Lamonte, comes to Belanger Creek Ranch to work as a ranch hand after her boss recognizes her growing symptoms of depression and insists she take a leave of absence. She is reeling from a series of emotional blows, the final one being a broken engagement. He tells her to leave town for a while and give her ravaged emotions a chance to heal, without constantly facing reminders of the past. She’s determined to get better quickly, and nothing will stand in her way.…that is, until she meets the owner of Belanger Creek Ranch. Her attraction to him could end her plans, even though she thinks otherwise.
After divorcing the cheating wife who destroyed his dreams, Colt Thompson has become a bitter and cynical man. Being vulnerable once broke his heart; allowing it to happen twice will never happen. He will make certain that he never falls in love again. When he finds Frank Lamonte at the ranch, he makes up his mind that she is a liar and a cheat. He will not let himself be attracted to her, even though the tension sizzles.
Will Frank and Colt open their hearts to true love? Or, will Colt do everything he can to protect his heart?
Will he wed Shauna Lee Holt, his “friends with benefits” woman; a woman he doesn’t love?
Will Frank take a risk and make him think again?
Will she settle back into the state of depression that resulted in her coming to Belanger Creek Ranch?
When Dr. Jason Winters DVM arbitrarily put her on leave of absence, he told her to deal with her emotional trauma. He promised that her job as a veterinarian at his clinic would be waiting, when she was mentally healthy.
Will she jeopardize all her opportunities?
Heartache lies ahead for these two intractable characters, and neither one of them will make wise choices along the way.
Cold Coffee Review: It is refreshing to read a romance that not only satisfies the readers desire to read this genre, but also teaches an important life lesson.
‘The Second Time Around’ is the first book in the Belanger Creek Ranch series. Well-developed characters like veterinarian Frank Lamonte (Female), Dr. Jason Winters (DVM) and Colt Thompson (Owner of the Belanger Creek Ranch in Saskatchewan, Canada) to name a few, bring real life issues into normal life settings where the reader can relax and relate in one or more ways.
When courage comes before comfort to assist a friend, co-worker and employee to seek the help needed for a depressional episode, the main character can not only find help, relief, time and the environment to promote healing, she can overcome the root cause of her depression and help a man that comes into her life to live and love again.
Realistic, warm, touching and romantic with writing that draws the reader into the story. Author Gloria Antypwich brings her own experiences, environment and fascination with human nature to the table in her creative process.
In my reviews I always quote at least one passage to show the writer’s style and intent I am very careful not to spoil the story for you the reader. I quote from page 62.
“The Thunder Breeding Hills, she mused as she fanned herself with her hat, appreciating the movement of air as it wafted across her face. Native people had called the Cypress Hills that, because they thought they were the home and breeding ground of the storms. She lifted her face to the sky. The night was going to be spectacular. It was a good thing she wasn’t afraid of thunder and lightning or being by herself.
When she stepped out of the tub an hour later, a loud clap of thunder shattered the night. Within seconds, rain sluiced down in a torrent. Frank dried off, wrapped a fresh towel sarong-fashion around her body, and then stepped back into the bedroom. Shaking her hair loose around her shoulders, she went to stand at the window. She smiled as she watched the welcome drops bounce on the cement walk below. Their pounding rhythm on the roof was almost exciting, and she was stirred by the sound of it as she ran her fingers through her heavy, damp hair. She turned to pick up the electric hair dryer and a styling brush and worked her hair until it floated around her shoulders like a soft, fragrant cloak. Fiery lights glinted off it like sparks borrowed from the lightning that pierced the evening sky.”
I, Theodocia McLean, endorse ‘The Second Time Around’ (Belanger Creek Ranch Book 1) by Gloria Antypowich as a Contemporary Adult Romance inspired by her husband (they are both retired) who is the love of her life. I purchased this book from Kindle. This review was completed on July 22, 2015.
Book Three: Belanger Creek Ranch Series
Tim glared at Christina. “I guess I get the floor.”
“Quit being an ass and get a grip on yourself. There is no need for anyone to sleep on the floor. I’m sure we are mature enough to make the best of this rotten situation. I’m not going freak out if your leg touches mine. It’s not as if either of us is interested in anything other than sleep and keeping warm.”
He stared at her. “Are you suggesting we share the bed?”
Thirty-eight-year-old Christina Holmes is the office manager at Swift Current Accounting and Bookkeeping Services. On the surface, she is a happy person that everyone likes, but in her heart, she carries pain. She has MRHK syndrome.
Her marriage had deteriorated because of the rare congenital condition, and it ended in humiliation for her. The experience is a secret that Christina has not shared with anyone since she came to Swift Current. She has avoided intimate relationships, feeling less than a woman, and ashamed of the hand that nature dealt her. She has allowed her condition to define her, making her certain that no one will love her as she is.
Forty-eight-year-old Tim Bates came to Swift Current four years ago, when Colt Thompson hired him to manage Cantaur Farm. Forsaken by his stepfamily, Tim was reeling from a contested family will, and an ugly divorce filed by his wife who had never truly loved him. He was bitter and angry, trusted no one and despised women.
When he first arrived, Christina thought of Tim as a cold fish, and Tim saw Christina as an officious bitch. However, during the past four years the two of them have developed a comfortable relationship: but it isn’t the kind that comes with intimacy, or fringe benefits.
When Tim Bates finds a picture on the old ranch hand’s desk at Belanger Creek Ranch, he is stunned. He reacts with suspicion that turns into feelings of betrayal and anger. The picture becomes the focus of a mystery that involves people at the ranch: people who have been friends for years. The answers could forever change the lives of those involved.
Tim discovers that what he has always believed about his birth is not true. Shaken, he turns to Christina for friendship and support.
Sometimes The Hand of Fate intervenes. Will it bring unexpected miracles into the lives of these two friends?
This is a story of family ties, unconditional love, loyalty, powerful friendships, sacrifice, mystery and the realization of dreams that seem impossible.
This can be read as a stand-alone book in the Belanger Creek Ranch Series. The lives of Colt and Frank Thompson (The Second Time Around, Book One) and Shauna Lee and Brad Johnson (Full Circle, Book Two) intertwine with those of Tim Bates and Christina Holmes in this work of fiction.
Book Four: Belanger Creek Ranch Series
“No!” Taylor’s cry was a wail. “I don’t want to move again……..
“Taylor, I’m your mother. You’ll listen to me.”
Taylor’s look became set and stubborn. “I am not moving again and… I’m not leaving Grayson. You’re wrong about him. I know it!”
When Sarah Brite arrives at Belanger Creek Ranch, it’s like a sanctuary from her troubles, even though she can never totally relax. She is always looking over her shoulder—alert and waiting to run. The ranch is a vast rural area, a place where it doesn’t seem likely that her son’s violent father would find them.
The ranch ‘family’ is a close knit group consisting of co-workers and the owners, Colt and Frank Thompson. They all look out for each other. There’s only one thing that makes Sarah uneasy… that’s gentle, friendly Grayson McNaughton.
Her son, Taylor immediately bonds with Grayson. This disquiets Sarah. Grayson is a nice enough man, but Taylor makes it increasingly clear that he would love it if they became a family. Sarah decides to share her dark secret with Grayson so he will understand why he can never be Taylor’s father. He is filled with compassion and insists she share her fears with the Thompsons, who stand staunchly behind her.
Sarah relaxes, and begins to want to make Taylor’s wish a reality. However, Grayson McNaughton has a secret of his own; he had destroyed a man’s life, and he was charged but not convicted of aggravated assault, eight years before he came to the ranch.
Burdened with deep-seated guilt, he chooses to live in obscurity and hideaway in pain. He loves Sarah, and as they gradually grow closer, he knows he has to be honest with her, so even though it may jeopardize their relationship, he shares his painful past.
Sarah is devastated; furious that she has let him get close to her son. Even though she does not have all of the facts, she immediately labels Grayson as a violent person. She has had enough violence and fear in her life, and she doesn’t want to expose Taylor to it. She is ready to pack up and run again, but Taylor is older now and he isn’t having it. He loves Grayson and is through with running. He digs in his heels, ready to fight his mother.
Colt Thompson offers a solution to Sarah that will allow everyone to stay at the ranch. Taylor begrudgingly accepts the terms, but Sarah’s ultimatums come at a cost… she realizes she is losing her sons affection and respect. An unexpected tragedy intervenes. Is it too late for Sarah and Grayson to make Taylors world complete?
Will they have A Second Chance?
Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author Gloria Antypowich
Gloria Antypowich writes Contemporary Adult Fiction. In 2015 she published the Belanger Creek Ranch Series, a group of four books that can be read as standalone, but will enrich the readers experience if they are read in sequence. The series focuses on a group of people who have become as close as family because of the friendships they have created through their business relationships with the Belanger Creek Ranch.
Gloria grew up on a farm and most of her married life has been lived on a ranch. Human relationships fascinate her. Ideas for stories can be found everywhere; over-heard conversations in a public place, a couple fighting in a restaurant, a story in the news, even a chance remark in a conversation with a friend. She is enamored with the power of words and she loves to use them to paint images of characters that become so real, they feel like they could be your next door neighbor.
She does not believe that relationships are merrily “happy ever after.” Relationships require commitment, give and take, compromise and consideration for each other: in other words they take work! Each individual has their own ideas, beliefs and needs. Environment, upbringing and life experiences affect their personality and character. Nothing is simple or automatically agreeable.
Gloria is an avid reader of several different genres and listens to a wide selection of music. A good game of cards, sharing a laugh with a friend over a glass of wine and spending time with her family are a few of her favorite things to do. She loves to write and says her husband was her inspiration for the heroes in this series of books. He was a cowboy, a rancher–and a lover. Gloria lives with her husband, in the central interior of British Columbia, Canada. They are retired now, but they still have “chemistry”.
What makes you proud to be a writer from Horsefly, British Columbia, Canada? I’m proud to be a writer no matter where I live! However, Horsefly is a very small community and there are not many writers who live here…in fact as far as I know, my husband and I are the only ones. I published two books in 2011 and early in 2012—and the support from the people in Horsefly was incredible. Then my husband decided to publish his hunting experiences and his memoir, so I put my writing aside until late 2013 to help him. To date he has published six books, but I did not edit or do anything more than facilitate the publishing of the last four books. In 2014 I rewrote my first book (Hearts at Risk) and tidied up the second one (You can Run) and republished them as Books One and Two of a new Series—The Belanger Creek Ranch Series. I added two more books to complete the Series. The books are on Amazon, but my local supports are waiting for me to put them into the local stores.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? I’ve always been enamored by the power of words, and I’ve been an avid reader since my early teens. My mother read Harlequin Romances, and so did I.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? I didn’t start writing until I bought my first computer after we moved to Horsefly in the 1970’s. During that period in my life, I attended three RWA conventions and listened to Nora Roberts, Danielle Steel and Debbie Macomber speak—all authors who I admired and whose books I had been reading. Vanessa Grant and I shared a room at one of those conventions, and we became friends. She read the first drafts of “Hearts At Risk” and introduced me to an agent, who took the book to Harlequin. I got a very polite rejection—they had too many ranch stories at that time. My husband isn’t a romance reader and when the manuscript wasn’t snapped up immediately, he encouraged me to write something different.
Instead, I became a traveling sales person for five years, and then life carried me along different paths. My children grew up and got married. I became a besotted grandmother, and then my husband and I retired and our life took on another dimension. I didn’t give another thought to publishing until a friend who we had met in retirement, published a book through Xlibris in 2010. Suddenly a spark was ignited and I brought out the old manuscript, polished it a bit and sent it to Xlibris. Both of our books pretty much bombed, and I discovered that marketing is a very complex and difficult part of being an author. I’ve learned a lot about my writing skills, as well as marketing a book during the past four years!
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? I grew up in a loving home. I was the oldest child, and my mother and I were best friends. Learning to read from her example was a wonderful thing. I married a farmer, who became a rancher so it was easy for me to write this series of books, and draw upon my life experiences. A climatic point in “A Second Chance, Book Four of The Belanger Creek Ranch Series” is a dramatized version of what actually happened to me in real life. I will tell you that the incident put a deep seated fear of cows and their new babies that stayed with me for many years.
Do you come up with your title before or after you write the manuscript? This makes me chuckle! I invariably change the title many times before I settle on the one that works for me. “The Hand of Fate, Book Three of The Belanger Ranch Series” was originally going to be “The Bastard and The Barren.” My husband saw the file on my computer and was dismayed…although I did not change the title because of that. At one point it was going to be called “The Gift” and then when I did the final edit, I decided that “The Hand of Fate” best suited the book.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I write Contemporary fiction/Western Romance. I do not write text-book romance, but my books definitely have a strong romance theme. Before Jen Blood became so successful with Adian Enterprises, I had her do analyses of the Belanger Creek Ranch Series, and she suggested I go with Western Romance. I am fascinated by human relationships and I believe in the power of love, so it is natural for me to write about love, romance and relationships.
What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book that you are seeking promotion for? When I rewrote the book that is now “The Second Time Around, Book One of The Belanger Creek Ranch Series,” I decided to draw attention to the effects of mild depression and how it affects the life of the person who deals with it. I am not a stranger to the mild form of depression myself, and I have seen the illness in many people—some who have plumbed the very depths.
It is not the focal issue of the book, but it is the impetus for the story line. One reviewer wrote “The Second Time Around is one in a series of western romance novels by Gloria Antypowich who demonstrates a good knowledge of human nature in this take of a woman who has suffered three devastating losses in a short period, something most of us have also experienced. … My main interest was in how she handled Frank’s depression and although, she does not belabor the issue, Frank’s attitudes and behaviors reflect the condition well…
I was delighted with this review (even though it was not a 5 star) because it made me feel that I had accomplished what I set out to do. Depression is a mental illness, and many people are embarrassed that they suffer from it, but they would not hesitate to go to a doctor for heart trouble or cancer. Mental health issues are very prevalent in today’s society and we need to bring them to light.—Oh my—now I need to step down from my soap box!!
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? When I wrote Full Circle, Book Two of The Belanger Creek Series the writing process was amazing to me. It was almost a “spiritual” experience, in that it felt like the words just flowed from my subconscious. I wrote for hours on end, and when I got tired or reached a plateau, I’d either take a nap or go to bed for the night. When I went back to the computer, in no time the words began to flow again. One reader told me that as she read it, she felt like she was watching a movie.
Have you had a negative experience in your writing career? If so please explain how it could have been avoided? When I published my first two books, I should have been more cognizant of my own writing career, instead of putting everything aside to help my husband with his books. I lost all momentum when I did that, but I also learned a lot about writing and marketing in that period of time. My husband is a terrific one on one marketer, whereas going out into the public and promoting my book is a difficult thing for me to do.
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? There is nothing that compares with the thrill of having a stranger come up to you and tell you that they absolutely loved your books! This has happened to me several times, and locally I have followers who are constantly asking WHEN the next one will be out. That is thrilling.
Have you had a negative experience in your publishing journey? If so please explain how it could have been avoided? I am not going to knock any of the assisted publishing companies, but even though they tell you that you have full rights and control of your books, my experience is that they own the live files. Because I live in Canada, I would like to have had books printed here for local use, but when I pressed for the “live” files, I was told that I would have to pay a substantial amount for them and my contract with the company would be terminated. I worked with two different companies when I first published, and that was true for both of them. When I published The Belanger Creek Ranch Series, I used CreateSpace and Amazon Kindle—and I have my files to do what I want with. If I decide to print in Canada, I can change out the ASIN and ISBN numbers and replace them with the ones I get at no cost in my home country. I’m not saying it’s perfect—I wouldn’t know since I’m really a newbee at all this—but I am much more comfortable. Making changes to a cover is simple, changing the inside of the book is simple this way. And I believe changing the price is simpler too.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Anything is possible! If you love to write, do it for that very reason and go for it!!
Who is your favorite author and why? I read so many genres—I can’t say I have a favorite author. One book that stays in my mind is Windfall by L.J. Martin—I loved that book. I am a big Claude Bouchard fan and I read every one of his Vigilante Series. I absolutely loved Melissa Foster’s books Megan’s Way and Come Back To Me. And then there is Widow, Virgin, Whore by Deanna Lynn Sletten. Then of course there is Kathleen Ball, Linda Lael Miller, Juliette Douglas, Stacy Eaton, Bev Pettersen, Giacomo Giammatteo, R.E. Donald, Bobby Hutchinson, Linda Gillard, Francis Guenette, Vanessa Grant, JD Robb/Nora Roberts, David Baldacci, Jodi Picoult, Danielle Steel….I could go on and on!
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