Monday, January 4, 2010


I’d like to introduce you to author, Heidi Thomas. Raised on a ranch in isolated eastern Montana, she has had a penchant for reading and writing since she was a child. Armed with a degree in journalism from the University of Montana, she worked for the Daily Missoulian newspaper, and has had numerous magazine articles published.

Heidi, can you give us a synopsis of your book, “Cowgirl Dreams?”

Yes, sure. Defying family and social pressure, Nettie Brady bucks 1920s convention with her dream of becoming a rodeo star. That means competing with men, and cowgirls who ride the rodeo circuit are considered “loose women.” Addicted to the thrill of pitting her strength and wits against a half-ton steer in a rodeo, Nettie exchanges skirts for pants, rides with her brothers on their Montana ranch, and competes in neighborhood rodeos.

Broken bones, killer influenza, flash floods, and family hardship team up to keep Nettie from her dreams. Then she meets a young neighbor cowboy who rides broncs and raises rodeo stock. Will this be Nettie’s ticket to freedom and happiness? Will her rodeo dreams come true?

Based on the life of the author’s grandmother, a real Montana cowgirl.
Cowgirl Dreams is available from the publisher, Treble Heart Books, or the author website. It is suitable for both adult and young adult readers.

Heidi, how do you feel now that “Cowgirl Dreams” is finally published?

“You know, it sounds a bit cliché, I suppose, but having this book published (after 10 years in the process) is a dream come true for me. And I’m struck by the realization that we all do need to have a dream. My advice for other writers is to persevere—never give up!”

Here are some fabulous reviews of Heidi's book!

Reviewer: Svetlana Kovalkova-McKenna rated it: 5 of 5 stars

It is a wonderful YA (Young Adult) book! For the duration of the story you are completely immersed into the world of growing up in Montana in 1920s. Hard work on a family ranch, dreams that defy conventional wisdom, hard choices and, finally, success. Try becoming a rodeo star, when rodeo circuit is a man’s world and you are a teenage girl!

I appreciated author’s meticulous research. All the details of everyday life on a ranch, food, clothes, and people’s mindsets were so interesting, true and well placed throughout the story; I could not help but admire it!

If you are a fan of “Little Women”, “Secret Garden”, “Little House on the Prairie” and “Ann of Green Gables”, take a note of this author, she is the one for you.
I would say the book is a great coming of age story with a lesson in history, lots of adventures, a touch of romance and a great lesson in perseverance. I am buying this one for my daughter.

From a male reader: Peter Olson

Heidi Thomas’s "Cowgirl Dreams" provided me with a delightfully engrossing pleasure: a “good read.” An added bonus was a bit of history detailing the hardships and delights of rural life in early twentieth century Montana and the expectations for women of the time. I approached the tale with a mixture of mild trepidation and hesitant curiosity, the twin themes not being typical fodder for my pleasure reading, and finished with the great satisfaction found in experiencing a well-told story. Nettie Brady’s adventure richly details a pair of transitions: a child growing into young adulthood and a women tackling roles previously claimed by the men of her times. This is a book for all ages, and I look forward to the possibility of reading further installments of Nettie’s life and times.

Reviewer: Jane Kirkpatrick, Award Winning author of A Sweetness to the Soul (Wrangler Award, 1995) and A Tendering in the Storm, winner of a WILLA Literary Award, 2008.

Some girls claim they were born as horses and only later grew up to be western women. Heidi Thomas gives us one of those passionate, persistent young women in Nettie Brady, and she s based this sparkling and enduring character on her own grandmother s story. Cowgirl Dreams is a heart-warming read for all ages and lets us all know why Ms. Thomas is not only a fine editor of other author’s books but shines as a skilled and compassionate writer herself.

Reviewer: Stephanie Hooper

Heidi has truly captured the heart of the early days of Montana. She brings to life Nettie and her dreams for the rodeo despite the opposition of a woman in an exclusive man’s arena. As I read this authors first novel it was a sweet reminder of the Jan Karon Mitford series. I look forward to reading the sequel in what appears to be a Montana series in the making!

Thanks for visiting with my readers today. Please tell us how we can get your book.

Cowgirl Dreams is available through my website (for an autographed copy), and from my publisher Treble Heart Books

Kathy stemke's websites:
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kathy stemke said...

Yahoo mail is down this morning. I'm leaving early this morning and will be out all day. Thank you for visiting. Heidi will be here to answer your questions. Happy New Year!

Nancy Famolari said...

Cowgirl Dreams looks like a great read and the reviews bear that out.

Great post Kathy!

Gayle said...

I agree with Nancy that Cowgirl Dreams looks like a great read!

Eunice Boeve said...

I've read Cowgirl Dreams. It's a great story of a young girl's perseverence in pursuing her dream. Perhaps Nettie's tenacity will influence other young women reaching for their own particular stars. How cool would that be?

Dallas said...

Great work, Heidi! It was a pleasure to read about your writing! All best wishes for 2010!

Heidiwriter said...

Thank you, Kathy, for hosting me today! And thanks to all of you who stop by and comment.
Eunice, I'm so glad you liked the story. I hope the rest of you will like it as well, if you read it. I'm thrilled with the reviews I've received.

My sequel is with my publisher now and I'm hoping for a summer release. Stay tuned!

Karen and Robyn - Writing for Children said...

Cowgirl Dreams looks like a great read. Great reviews!

I like books that encourage women to be strong and follow their dreams!

Wonderful post, Kathy.

Sorry, I'm late was out all day from 7am.


Helena Harper said...

Very interesting interview, Kathy and Heidi.

Heidi, well done for not giving up on your dream! Is the picture on the front cover of Cowgirl Dreams a picture of your grandmother, by any chance, as a young girl?


Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

What a great way to pay tribute to your grandmother and her accomplishments. Will this be a series?

Connie Arnold said...

Thanks for sharing the enjoyable interview, Kathy and Heidi! Those are great reviews too!

Donna M. McDine said...

What a wonderful interview and reviews. Best wishes for your continued success!