Montana for Real

The blog also known as Montana for Real.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Tiny Home on the Range


Since it's Throwback Thurday, I would just like all of you to know that we are SO far ahead of the curve on this whole tiny home craze. When we moved back to Montana we took up residence in the bunkhouse. Two adults, a toddler, a full grown Border collie in approximately 450 square feet. We survived the first six months with our minds and our marriage mostly intact, mostly because we arrived in the spring and spent a lot of time outside. But there was no way we were going through the winter with the kid sleeping on a futon in the kitchen.
The answer to our fervent prayers was a wooden granary built by my grandfather and mostly unused. Come fall, we shoveled out a pile of fertilizer from one side, a pile of old barley from the other (funny, you never see THAT on the home improvement shows) jacked the granary up onto a pair of telephone poles for runners and dragged it half a mile across the hayfield to set it on the concrete pad we'd poured for a floor.
We learned many things in this process. First, it was easier than you'd think to saw the old floor off and bolt the building to the concrete. Second, these old granaries are lined on the inside with plywood to resist the outward pressure of tons of wheat or barley. And my grandfather was a real over-achiever when it came to nailing on siding and roofing. Which was probably why the building was in such great shape, but we weren't feeling as thankful as we might have while we pulled out those ten thousand nails. Especially when the dust, grain chaff and mouse turds began raining down on our heads.
Also, because like most things the process took a bit longer than expected, I learned that when the temperature is hovering around zero, you don't hold that extra new nail in your mouth. Think tongues and flagpoles. Ouch.
But we finally got it stripped, insulated (six-inch walls in cold, windy country are AWESOME), wrapped in moisture/wind barrier and sided in particle board, at which point we could hack a couple of holes through into the old part of the bunkhouse and triple our square footage. We also added an attic so I could unload the last of our worldly possessions from the tack room of the horse trailer.
After a couple of years of the kid sleeping on a mattress in the living room, we added a wing with another bedroom and a porch, a quick three-year project. And last summer we decided to put on real siding (mostly because my mother was tired of looking at the peeling, faded particle board and offered to pay Dale and Richard Bird to come out and do the work.)
One of these days, I might even get around to doing something with those plywood interior walls.

**Note that the tractor is larger than the original bunkhouse.

Want more stories of the sublime and the ridiculous out here on the range? Subscribe to my newsletter, Rock Soup for the Cowboy Soul, by clicking on the gold button in the top right corner of my home page:

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Not that I'm procrastinating or anything....

...but this damn book is not cooperating, AND I got a pretty cool shot of Hollywood with the Super Moon rising in the background, but the resolution wasn't great so I decided to run it through this awesome app called Prisma ( ) that applies all kinds of artsy effects. And you can adjust the intensity of the effect, all the way from just giving it a paint stroke look in the first example to totally abstract in the third. And since there are about twenty different effects to choose from....yeah, I could basically do this all day. 

But I will suck it up and get back to the writing of words. In the meantime, you can decide which version you like the best. 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

It's FREE...and it's kicking butt.


My awesome publisher, Sourcebooks, has put the ebook version of Reckless in Texas up for free download through Tuesday only. The result?

Yeah, baby. We're number one! If you want to grab your copy, click on any of the links below:

And all other ebook outlets that carry it! Run, run, run to get your copy. Even if you already own the print version, if you download this freebie it'll help me in the rankings. And if you love it, I'd love you back if you take the time to pop onto the internet and post a review. If I can hit the fifty review mark on places like Amazon, the book will start getting recommendations from their site and all sorts of good stuff like that. 


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Meet the Champ


Our rodeo season officially ended last weekend with the Canadian Senior Pro Rodeo Finals in Claresholm, Alberta. I had a pretty good weekend, winning two firsts and a second in the breakaway roping and third for the finals, plus second in one round of the team roping (we're not talking about the other runs). And if you're wondering whether we had a good could I not, with this bunch of ropers?

But the big news of the weekend? Meet the 2016 50+ Tie Down Roping Champion!

Yes, that is my bestest half, and I am so proud of him for powering through after having a nightmare second half of the season when the rodeo gods decided to do everything in their power to screw with his head. Calves falling down, chute gates not opening when he nodded his head--you name it. 

And huge kudos to his horse, Hollywood, who not only carried Greg to the title but tolerated me, too. 

And now it's training time. We'll spend the next three or four months working on Captain and Dot and seeing how Hank takes to being a tie down horse. Except when we find a good team roping and can't resist entering up.

Oh, yeah. And there's this book I'm supposed to be writing....


Thursday, October 06, 2016

Write It and They Shall Pass

Once again, my real life is mirroring something I made up. In the early chapters of Reckless in Texas, there's a scene where Violet's son, Beni, has a couple of the adults helping him test out some new cereal. This actually did happen with my son before I wrote the book. He's still miffed that Max the Cowdog didn't magically learn to play fetch when he ate his Reeses Puffs. Dang false advertising.
The rest of it I made up. It goes like this:
Beni reached into his box, fished out a few chocolate
puffs, and handed one to each of his companions. “Ready?”
They nodded gravely.
“Okay, go.”
All three popped the cereal into their mouths and
chewed. Beni scrunched his eyes shut as if waiting
for a firecracker to explode. After a few seconds, he
opened one eye to peek at Cole, who shook his head.
Beni opened the other eye to check with Joe, who did
the same.
Beni heaved a mournful sigh. “It’s not working.”
Violet looked at her mother, who shrugged.
Pushing open the screen door, Violet went out onto
the deck. “Why the sad face, little man?”
“There’s something wrong with this cereal.” Beni
scowled at the box. “On TV, they said amazing things
will happen if you eat it.”
Violet had to work to keep an appropriately solemn
expression. “What kind of amazing things?”
“I don’t know, but we’ve been eating and eating it—”
“And not one single monkey has flown out of my
ass,” Joe drawled.
Cole made a noise that sounded like a chocolate puff
going down the wrong pipe.
Beni giggled. “You said a bad word.”
“Oh sh—I mean, shoot. I didn’t mean—”
Violet strangled another laugh and gave Beni a stern
look. “Sometimes big people say those words. Doesn’t
mean you can.”
“But, Mommy—”
“No.” She turned to Cole before Beni could drag
her into a debate about exactly which words were offlimits,
requiring him to say all of them. “You still want
to gather those two-year-old bulls?”
Back to the present. Night before last I was working away at the computer when my son strolled up and said, "So, Mom, other than shit, damn and F#%&, what words can't I say?"
I scraped up my jaw and demanded, "Where did you hear those words?"
"You and Daddy."
And this, my friends, is why taking your kids along when you work cows is not always a good idea.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Reckless Scavenger Hunt

We've had our first snow and the boy is back in school, so summer has officially come to an end and it's time for me to get a handle on the things I've let slide while we were busy playing--this blog and my newsletter topping the list.

I'm kicking it off with something fun. Today, September 15th, I'm participating in a Facebook event hosted by A Taste of Romance. It begins at 3:00 p,m. MDT, or 1 p.m. EDT and the roster of authors participating is so amazing, if this was a cocktail party I'd be hiding behind the fake ferns, too scared to speak to any of them. Or babbling incoherently while they smiled and nodded and sidled toward the nearest exit.

Actually, they are as lovely and charming as they are talented, and I highly encourage you to stop by, chat, and possibly win cool prizes. A Taste of Romance - Women's Fiction

I'll be there at 4 p.m. MDT (6 p.m. EDT) answering questions and telling tales about Reckless in Texas and the next book in the series, Tangled in Texas. I am thrilled to say that Reckless hit Bookscan's top fifty mass market paperback list and was the highest debuting romance in the week it was released.

So yeah, that's what all the screaming was about. :)

In conjunction with the party I'm doing a Reckless Scavenger Hunt. During promo for the book we scattered excerpts around the internet. Below you will find links to three of them. Your mission, should you choose to accept, is to read the excerpts, answer the following questions and either message me your answer on Facebook or by email at Please DON'T post answers in the comments in either place to avoid others copying your work (not that ANY OF YOU would do such a thing). you go!

Excerpt #1   The Worst Kind of Trouble

Question: What did Joe warn Violet might happen if she assumed?

Excerpt #2   Kiss it Better  (you'll find it at the bottom, past the Dear Reader letter, and please note that the book giveaway on the blog is closed)

Question: What name did Joe give the runaway bull?

Correction: I just realized that the answer to this question is in the paragraph BEFORE the beginning of the excerpt. So if you tried to answer already, I'll accept whatever you came up with. If not, answer this alternate question: What piece of equipment hit Joe and caused his injury? 

Excerpt #3  Great Save

Question: What did Joe say to the crowd after the save?

Email or message your entry by midnight EST tomorrow, Sept. 16th. Saturday morning (don't expect it to be early, y'all, you are not dealing with a morning person) I'll draw a winner from all the correct and complete entries and post the winners here and on Facebook.

Oh, you want to know what you might win?

First prize:  A Wrangler Rock 47 winged heart necklace, by Montana Silversmiths

Second prize: A signed copy of my debut novel The Long Ride Home.

And for everyone who plays along, a Texas Rodeo can cooler if you include your snail mail address with your entry. 

Good luck. Have fun. Let's get Reckless!



Congrats to Marie H-C for winning the necklace.


Cathy Lieber for winning the signed copy of The Long Ride Home

And everyone else who played along, keep an eye out for your can cooler, I'll be
putting everything in the mail this week. 


Tuesday, August 02, 2016

It's HERE!

Release day has finally arrived! Reckless in Texas is loose in the world.

To celebrate, I'm going to reward those of you who rush out and get your copy ASAP. Join me on Facebook and Twitter from my prize chest:

The prize chest includes:

*a CM Russell adult coloring book
*Glacier National Park tote bags with a bag of huckleberry saltwater taffy (not pictured)
*signed copies of my first book, The Long Ride Home
*signed copies of Reckless in Texas to go along with your e-book version, or so you can pass your unsigned copy along to a friend. 
*official tipi notebooks
*ten free downloads of my short story collection In From the Cold
*5 free downloads Stoney Larue's Let Me Hold YouJoe's song from the Reckless in Texas. 

Find me on Facebook at: Kari Lynn Dell Western Author

Or on Twitter as: @kidell

Be one of the first to post a photo of your copy of Reckless in Texas on one of those two sites and you'll get to rummage in the prize chest, until I run out of loot. First come gets first choice.