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The Owen Family Saga Novels:

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Gone for a Soldier

Prequel to Book 1: The Owen Family Saga, a series of novels set in American Civil War times. This series tells about the lives of the Owen family of Virginia and their neighbors. If you prefer to read in sequence, buy this book first.

Rulon Owen loves two things more than life---his country and Mary Hilbrands.

When Virginia secedes from the Union, Rulon enlists, and finds himself fighting foes both in battle and in his own camp. He struggles to stay alive against all odds, with a knife-wielding tent-mate and a Union army that seems impossible to defeat. It will take every ounce of vigilance he has to survive and, with a little luck, he might make it home to his wife and the son he's never seen.

Forced to live with her parents for the duration, Mary faces a battle for independence. With a mother whispering that her husband won't come home to her and a son who needs her to be both father and mother, Mary has to dig deep for strength to overcome her overwhelming loneliness and the unknown future ahead.

Separated by war and circumstance, Rulon and Mary discover that not all enemies wear the Union blue.


C.K. Crigger, author of the China Bohannan adventures says: Marsha Ward has succeeded once again in drawing the reader deep into lives of the Owen family. The Civil War years and its effect on the family are accurately depicted; the romance is real and true. Strong family ties bind this series together and is sure to hold you enthralled.

Bill Markley, Civil War reenactor and author of Deadwood Dead Men, says: Gone for a Soldier tells the fate of members of three families living in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley during the onslaught of the Civil War. Marsha Ward brings to life characters whose hopes and dreams, and everyday cares are overshadowed by war-torn events spinning their lives out of control and changing them forever. Gone for a Soldier will make you laugh, and bring a lump to your throat.

Gone for a Soldier: Prequel (Book 0) - in print and ebook formats
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The Man from Shenandoah

Book 1: The Owen Family Saga

Carl Owen doesn't intend to lose anything—not his land, not his cattle, and certainly not his girl—ever again!

The young cavalryman returns from the Civil War to find the family farm destroyed, his favorite brother dead, food scarce, and his father determined to leave the Shenandoah Valley to build a cattle empire in Colorado Territory. Crossing the continent, Carl falls in love with his brother's fiancée while set to wed another girl, but he might lose everything if the murderous thug Berto Acosta has his way. Carl battles a band of outlaws, a prairie fire, blizzards, a trackless waterless desert, and his own brother—all for the hand of feisty Ellen Bates.

Review from Western Writer's Newsletter: This is a book to prize, and not only for its gritty realism, exciting action, and compelling characters. The story further engages us by examining the ties that hold family and community together. Not many Westerns do that. Heartily recommended! - C.K. Crigger

Review from Midwest Book Review Reviewer's Bookwatch: Whatever happened to good, old fashioned westerns? If you've ever gazed over the shelves wondering this, then Ms. Ward has a book for you. The setting is very well done, capturing the flavor of pioneering. The many setbacks the group have, including one where the very cattle meant to sustain them are killed by an unexpectedly bad winter, make the triumphs they share all the more uplifting. This book is a pleasant journey indeed. - Cindy Lynn

The Man from Shenandoah: Book 1 - in print and ebook formats
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Ride to Raton

Book 2: The Owen Family Saga

Will a journey to Santa Fe for a young man and his unintended bride end in marital bliss or disaster?

Estranged from his family, James Owen leaves home to make a new life for himself. The turbulent world of post-Civil War Colorado Territory is fraught with danger and prejudice that increase his bitter loneliness as personal setbacks threaten to break him. Then James's journey brings him into contact with another wayfarer, beautiful young Amparo Garcés, who has come from Santa Fe to Colorado to marry a stranger. Through a twist of fate, their futures are changed forever when their lives are merged in a marriage of convenience. James and Amparo undertake a hazardous horseback trek over Raton Pass to Santa Fe, battling their personal demons, a challenging language barrier, and winter's raging storms.

Review from Roundtable Reviews: Ride to Raton is a pure western, complete with bad guys and broken hearts and even a dog. The sequel to The Man from Shenandoah features James Owen, the younger brother. Marsha Ward writes a fantastic romance against a vivid southwestern backdrop. James begins this book as a hurt, young man, but by the end of the book, I really could see him grow up and become a man. Made tougher by circumstances he has no control over, James realizes that the love he thought he had lost was nothing compared to what Amparo shows him. Amparo is a young Mexican lady, forced to leave her home in Santa Fe to marry a stranger in Colorado. She bravely faces her uncertain future, relying on her faith to get her through. She is sweet, loving and she provides a great contrast to James’ rough exterior. With an ending that surprised even me, Ride to Raton is not your usual romance. However, I do recommend it for western lovers—even the cover is wonderful! Marsha Ward once again shows us her gift for old fashioned storytelling! - Jen Hill

Review from Romance Junkies: I was enthralled, and sitting on the edge of my chair, as I read Ride to Raton. This is an exciting, quick paced, heartwarming, and heartrending story! James and Amparo are wonderfully "real" characters, with the emotions and interactions between them touching my heart. The secondary characters were fantastic: from mean and drunk, to kind and generous, they added extra life—and spice—to the story. The first one of Marsha Ward’s books I’ve read, I am highly impressed. A western in the true sense of the word, yet with plenty of romance, this one is definitely worth your time if you are a lover of westerns or romances, or both. - Teresa Henson

Ride to Raton: Book 2 - in print and ebook formats
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Trail of Storms

Book 3: The Owen Family Saga

Jessie Bingham put heartbreak away to tend to her sister's needs, but when she settled for second best in love, she didn't foresee that James Owen would come back into her life.

The aftermath of the Civil War creates cruel circumstances for the Bingham family. A brutal attack on Jessie's sister, Hannah Fletcher, drives the extended family to flee to the West. They are soon joined by Heppie Bingham's beau George and his brother, Ned, who bring news that the Binghams are being pursued by cronies of Hannah's attacker. Even after they fight off that onslaught, poverty, bad weather, and Hannah's frightful secret plague their journey. Nursing her battered heart when she hears James Owen took a wife, Jessie accepts Ned's offer of marriage. But a stop on the trail holds surprises that launch Jessie into a bewildering tangle of values, emotions, and high adventure.

Shirley Bahlmann, author of the "Odds" pioneer series, says: Marsha Ward has the uncanny ability to transport readers back in time. You feel the characters' sorrows, hate the villains, cheer the heroes, and sit on the edge of your seat as one adventure after another unfolds. What a satisfying story this is, with real, believable trials and heart-warming conclusions. I recommend it to everyone, from history buffs to adventure lovers to romance readers.

Review from Meridian Magazine: Trail of Storms is not a romance, but a nitty gritty Western. It is the historical details of Colorado and New Mexico and the writer's understanding of both the American and Hispanic cultures of this place and time period that are superbly done. The author portrays vividly the lingering hatred that existed between Confederates and Yankees for years following the war, the bigotry between races, and the minimal rights of women. Historical and Western fans of either gender will enjoy this series, from the compelling covers to the last word of this third volume. - Jennie Hansen

Trail of Storms: Book 3 - in print and ebook formats
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Spinster's Folly 

Book 4: The Owen Family Saga

Marie Owen yearns for a loving husband, but Colorado Territory is long on rough characters and short on fitting suitors, so a future of spinsterhood seems more likely for her than wedded bliss.

Her best friend says cowboy Bill Henry is a likely candidate. Marie knows her class-conscious father would not allow such a pairing. When she challenges her father to find her a suitable husband before she becomes a spinster, he arranges a match with a neighbor's son. Then Marie discovers Tom Morgan would be an unloving, abusive mate and his mother holds a grudge against the Owen family. Marie's mounting despair at the prospect of being trapped in such a dismal marriage drives her into the arms of a sweet-talking predator, landing her in unimaginable dangers. This fourth book in the Owen Family Saga is infused with potent heart and intense grit.

Johnny D. Boggs, six-time Spur Award-winning author of Camp Ford and Legacy of a Lawman says: With a great sense of time and place, crackerjack dialogue and rich characters, Marsha Ward delivers Spinster's Folly, a romance, Western, and historical novel rolled into one—and one fun read.

Irene Bennett Brown, award-winning author of Before the Lark; the "Women of Paragon Springs" series and "Celia Landrey" mysteries says: The harrowing experiences in early-day Colorado of 18-year-old spinster, Marie Owen, the result of her simple wish for a husband, held me spellbound from start to finish. I couldn't put the book down. An incredible story, Spinster's Folly is one of the best women's novels of the west I've had the pleasure to read. Ever!

Spinster's Folly: Book 4 - in print and ebook formats
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Electronic Books:


A Timeless Romance Anthology: Old West Collection

Six Award-Winning Authors have contributed new stories to A Timeless Romance Anthology: Old West Collection. Readers will love this collection of six historical western novellas, all with one thing in common: Romance. 

In Break a Leg, a charming story by two-time Rita Award winner Carla Kelly, hospital steward Colm Callahan is ready to move away from army life at Fort Laramie. His only regret is leaving behind exotic Ozzie Washington, easily the prettiest woman on the post. As a maid to the lieutenant colonel's wife, Ozzie is no wilting flower when it comes to hard work. When the post surgeon leaves for an extended period, Colm must handle several medical emergencies on his own. He pleads for Ozzie's help at the hospital. While they spend long days and nights working together, Colm, a shy man, realizes he can't hide the truth of his feelings for Ozzie. He needs a little help, though. Enter from stage left, Lysander Locke, Shakespeare tragedian on his way to Deadwood. 

The Soldier’s Heart, an enchanting novella by Sarah M. Eden, follows Gregory Reeves, who has fallen in love with a woman he’s never met. Her brother’s dying wish is that Gregory checks on his family, and after the war, Gregory is only too happy to meet the woman he’s been dreaming about. Helene mistakes him for a hired hand and sets him to work immediately. As time passes, Gregory finds it more and more difficult to reveal his true connection to her family, fearing that a woman who loathes liars will turn her disapproval on him. 

Hidden Spring is an enthralling novella by Liz Adair, in which Susannah Brown is just getting her life back together after becoming a widow. She still misses Wesley with a fierce longing, but when she meets his half-brother, Douglas, she learns her heart is not completely dormant. Over the next several weeks, Douglas helps Susannah with repairs on her small ranch in exchange for supper. The exchange becomes more and more meaningful as Susannah realizes that Douglas might be the one to finally heal her heart. 

The Silver Mine Bachelor, by Heather B. Moore, is a sweet romance between an unlikely pair. Lydia Stone has a checklist for men who qualify as the eligible bachelors in the mining town of Leadville, Colorado. Her new boss, Mr. Erik Dawson, is about to be struck off the list when she sees him coming out of the town brothel. Lydia doesn’t know that Erik Dawson’s sister has been living the brothel lifestyle for years, and he’s set on redeeming her soul. When Lydia discovers Erik’s secrets, she learns that life is not as black and white as she thinks. 

In Annette Lyon’s delightful story, The Sweetest Taste, Della Stafford hates being a farm girl in the tiny town of Shelley, Idaho. She’ll do anything to live in a big city and experience real city life. Her only regret is that she’d have to leave Joseph behind, the young man who makes her heart flutter. But she's convinced that moving away is for the best; her dreams and Joseph's dreams are too dissimilar. Then Della takes a job as a maid in Los Angeles and must face the truth that what she thought would make her happy and what really will are totally different things. 

In the captivating novella, Faith and the Foreman by Marsha Ward, Faith Bannister is forced to travel west to earn a living as a school mistress in Arizona Territory. Faith soon learns that living the frontier lifestyle of a single woman has many harsh challenges. But when she meets Slim McHenry, she discovers that life doesn’t have to be so lonely. Unfortunately the dangerous Rance Hunter stands between her and Slim, and she must act with courage before everything is lost.

A Timeless Romance Anthology: Old West Collection
Kindle | Kindle UK | nook | Kobo | iTunes Bookstore

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The Owen Family Saga Sampler

This sampler is the fastest way to satisfy your curiosity about the fabled members of the Owen Family from Shenandoah County, Virginia. Marsha Ward introduces the family in three chapters from each of the first three novels in The Owen Family Saga. There's also a chapter from the fourth, Spinster's Folly, Book 4 in the Saga. This Sampler is a "don't miss" way to get acquainted.

The Owen Family Saga Sampler (ebook - Several chapters of the novels to whet your appetite)
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No More Strangers

Prose and Poetry of the West from acclaimed Western novelist Marsha Ward. Six short stories, three poems, and an excerpt from a forthcoming novel make up this collection of Western treasures, including the never-before-published "Thumps in the Night."

No More Strangers (Collection of Prose and Poetry of the West) Smashwords all formats | Kindle | nook | Kobo | iTunes Bookstore 
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War Party

Marsha's Western short story that earned an A grade from her Writers Digest School instructor, novelist Stephen Overholser.

"Black smoke drew Rolla's eye, smoke where there should not be smoke. Then he heard the noise: high, piercing yips, and a woman's scream, and the flat report of gunshots." With revenge in his heart, young Rolla takes part in the Battle of Salt River Canyon at Skeleton Cave in Arizona Territory.

The battle that took place on December 28, 1872, was an engagement of the decade-long Apache Wars in the late nineteenth century. This story supposes how young Rolla forged an alliance with another settler and became involved in that fight.


War Party (Short Story) Smashwords all formats | Kindle | nook | Kobo | iTunes Bookstore  
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Cottonwood Cowboys

Saturday afternoon working toward evening was a poor time to pull tree clearing duty, especially this Saturday, with the dance all laid out at the school house, and a new schoolmarm to gaze at. This Western short story brings you cowboys Slim and Curly on the two-man saw, as they try to shoehorn the unexpected chore of cutting up a fallen cottonwood tree into their big plans for Saturday night.

Cottonwood Cowboys (Short Story) Smashwords all formats | Kindle | nook | Kobo | iTunes Bookstore 
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The Usual Game

In this tautly written short story, Verl returns to his boarding house after a hard day working construction in the Verde Valley of the new State of Arizona. He's dreaming of going home to Phoenix soon with his wages, home to sweet Betty's arms. Then he finds his landlord, Fong, ensnared in the usual game run by the local card shark, Happy Sam. If Fong can't get away, he's going to lose the money he's been saving for years to send for his wife in China. High stakes action in early Arizona.

The Usual Game (Short Story) Smashwords all formats | Kindle | nook | Kobo | iTunes Bookstore
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Thumps and Losers - Two Short Stories

What should a ten-year-old boy buy when he finds a wallet full of cash? A bicycle? A horse? Or something more meaningful?

Will business traveler Mel Harris's phone call go unanswered because his wife Murial encountered a bear in their kitchen during the night?

Enjoy a couple of non-Western short stories from the imagination of storyteller Marsha Ward: "Thumps in the Night" and "Losers Weepers."


Thumps and Losers - Two Short Stories Smashwords all formats | Kindle | nook | Kobo | iTunes Bookstore
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