by Ramona Flightner/ @ramonaflightner

I'm so excited to share with you the cover of Montana Untamed (Bear Grass Springs, Book One). It will be released on February 13, 2017.

 

An independent baker. A skittish horse trainer. Can they tame their fears and allow love to flourish?

Annabelle Evans arrives in Bear Grass Springs, Montana Territory, in 1884 hoping to reunite with her long-estranged sister. Expecting to attend her sister’s wedding to Cailean MacKinnon, she is shocked at Cailean’s pronouncement. With his “I’m not marrying a whore” echoing in the General Store, Annabelle discovers that her hoped-for reconciliation will not be as she had imagined. Not one to retreat from a challenge, Annabelle opens her own business, intent on remaining near her sister to repair their damaged relationship and succeeding without the support of a husband.

Cailean Mackinnon swore off marriage twelve years ago when he fled the Isle of Skye in Scotland. A successful livery owner, he is determined to focus on his work and his siblings, adamant that he has no room in his life for love. However, he cannot suppress his fascination for the resourceful and determined Annabelle who, in turn, cannot avoid a reluctant admiration for the strong, virile, loyal Scot. A fateful kiss witnessed by the gossiping town busybody forces their mutual attraction into the open.

Annabelle’s independent spirit precludes a man in her life, and Cailean’s closed-off heart refuses to allow any woman in. Yet love can be tenacious and timeless, overcoming fears, if only Annabelle and Cailean both choose to take a risk.

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One of the banners held by the Silent Sentinels.

by @ramonaflightner

On November 14, 1917, the suffragists picketing outside the White House, forming part of the Silent Sentinel brigade, were arrested and sent to the Occoquan Work House in Virginia. That evening became known as the “Night Of Terror” among the suffragists working with Alice Paul and the National Women's Party (NWP). According to many accounts, after their arrival at Occoquan, the women were grabbed, dragged, choked, and beaten as they were brought to their cells. Lucy Burns had her arms manacled in handcuffs over her head the entire night, one woman was knocked unconscious, and another suffered a heart attack. If you've read Resilient Love, you've read about the treatment the women experienced when they were arrested for peacefully picketing in front of the White House. 

During their weeks-long imprisonment, many of the suffragists joined a hunger strike. These women were separated from their fellow suffragists and placed in solitary confinement. Guards attempted to entice them to eat by cooking foods such as bacon around the clock, hoping the scent of cooking food would cause them to break their strike. Many of the women on hunger strike suffered forced feedings. 

A few weeks after they were imprisoned, the women were released from jail, as many were concerned that previously healthy women were on the verge of death. After their release, President Wilson made a formal announcement in January of 1918 in favor of universal enfranchisement, and many credited his change of position to the work of the Silent Sentinels. 

While researching the suffrage movement, I traveled to Washington, D.C. Outside the Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument, the historic home of the NWP, there are the only remaining concrete steps from the Occoquan Work House. Below are a few photos I took outside the Women's Equality National Monument.

Occoquan Work House Steps

When I had finished my research, and it was time to write, I found these to be the hardest scenes I have ever written. Delving into the treatment my characters suffered was a challenge, and describing what they experienced was extremely difficult. I had to rewrite those scenes numerous times, adding layers of details as I slowly built in the descriptions of what occurred.

For those of you who find the treatment of the women unimaginable, this really did happen in the U.S. 100 years ago and it was for something as fundamental as asking for the right to vote. A book I have loved reading for research is: A Woman's Crusade: Alice Paul and the Battle for the Ballot by Mary Walton. Chapter sixteen is about the Night Of Terror. 

As I did my research, I marveled at the strength of conviction of the women who were Silent Sentinels, and their determination to their cause. And I give thanks, every day, for what they did to ensure I have the right to vote.

 

by Ramona Flightner

@ramonaflightner

I'm excited to share Resilient Love (Banished Saga, Book 7) with you!

This was a challenging book for me to write due to the historical events that occurred during the time of the book and how they affected the characters. I hope you enjoy it, and I can't wait to hear what you think!

It is available on all major platforms and here are the links:

Amazon

Kobo

i-Books

Nook

Google Play

Happy Reading!

by Ramona Flightner

@ramonaflightner

I've been home in Montana for over a year and very busy with writing. I'm excited to announce that Resilient Love (Banished Saga, Book 7) will release on September 26, 2017.

Obstinate

In her sense of right and wrong, Zylphia Goff is a suffragist leader in 1917 Washington, DC. Her unwavering promotion of her cause provokes disharmony, dissension, and doubt, even among her most ardent supporters. Will her husband, Teddy, respect her strident beliefs that jeopardize their future?

Courageous

In the face of one of mining’s greatest tragedies in Butte, Montana, Patrick Sullivan struggles to aid the miners while attempting to shatter his wife’s icy reserve. When a ghost from his past returns to threaten his family and his future, Patrick must confront his fears. Will he defend his family from this threat and rekindle his wife’s love?

Steadfast

In his love for his wife, Morgan Wheeler learns the importance of patience. After Parthena is jailed after she flees to join Zylphia in DC, Morgan fights to ensure her freedom. Will Parthena come to treasure his love or will she cling to her illusions about Lucas Russell?

Discover, as they confront daily conflicts and national tragedies, that a resilient love is essential for a lasting love.

You can preorder at:

Amazon

Nook

Kobo

i-Books

While I remain busy at work on Book 8 in the series, I have also begun writing another series. Books one and two are in the editing process. I am excited to share them with you in Spring 2018!

Happy Reading!

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Goodbye, Boston

by Ramona Flightner

@ramonaflightner

As I stole a few moments to rest before the movers arrived, I catalogued the sounds of my neighborhood. The realization that this would be the last time I’d be in my home in Boston slowly permeated my drowsy consciousness. I smiled as the mockingbird sang, as though gifting me with a goodbye serenade. I listened to the soft “whir” of the jet engines in nearby Logan airport and imagined the travelers excited for their upcoming travels. I heard my neighbor’s footsteps on the stairs as she descended to retrieve her newspaper. I grimaced as a car passed with the bass blaring “boom-boom-boom”, my china no longer rattling as it was packed away in boxes. I knew that in a not too distant day in the future, these would be memories I’d retrieve and recall, some with more fondness than they merited.

Soon, I was too busy talking with the movers, laughing, battling nerves, and bustling around to ensure that the correct items were packed, to notice anything but the chaos occurring in my condo. The sounds of my neighborhood faded into the background.

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Within a few hours, my house was packed up, cleaned, and I was ready to leave and never return. The word surreal doesn’t even suffice for how I was feeling. As I drove out of Boston, I kept staring at the familiar buildings, and I failed to have the understanding that I wouldn’t be back in a few days or weeks. I continue with the sense I’m on vacation rather than starting a new chapter in my life.

Our first stop was Tanglewood, and we heard a wonderful concert with Joshua Bell performing. I had thought I was too tired to attend, but thankfully I found the energy to attend.

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After a drive to Buffalo, we had a “day of rest” where we traveled around the Lake Chautauqua area, and then down to Limestone, NY where my great-grandmother was from and where she is buried. It was a gorgeous day, and I didn’t have to drive, so it was restful.

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The beautiful hotel at the Chautauqua Institute.

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A view from the porch (they had great rocking chairs), toward Lake Chautauqua.

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A poster advertising their book club. Should I join?

Thus, as you can see, my move to Montana is going well, and we are enjoying the journey so far. (I’m traveling with my aunt). If you’d like to follow along with my journey west, I’m posting pictures daily on Instagram. It’s the first time I’ve really used it and I find I really love it! http://www.instagram.com/rflightner/

I’ll try to blog again soon about the journey.

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