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Elisabeth Grace Foley is a historical fiction author, avid reader and lifelong history buff. Her first published story, "Disturbing the Peace," was an honorable mention in the first annual Rope and Wire Western short story competition, and is now collected with six others in her debut short story collection, "The Ranch Next Door and Other Stories." Her other works include a series of short historical mysteries, the Mrs. Meade Mysteries; and short fiction set during the American Civil War and the Great Depression. A homeschool graduate, she chose not to attend college in order to pursue self-education and her writing career.
on Oct. 08, 2011 :
There are seven stories in this collection, all set on the prairies of the American west. The collection opens with 'The Ranch Next Door', a story reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet. The Spencers are cattlemen and the Ryans are sheepherders; never a good mix. So what happens when a Spencer falls in love with a Ryan?
'Disturbing The Peace' came next with a more reflective tone, followed by 'Cross My Heart' that had me holding my breath as the tension built.
'A Rangleand Renaissance' is my favourite. Old man Patton, an irascible old crone, has his granddaughter wrapped around his finger, he's even interfering with her courting! But are things as they seem? Elisabeth's prose shone in this story. Old man Patton leapt of the page fully formed, with absolutely spot on dialogue.
'The Outlaw's Wife' was riveting, with a wonderful twist at the end that I just didn't see coming and 'Delayed Deposit' was a fine end to a great anthology.
These stories are packed with cowboys and outlaws, yet beyond the high stakes and adventure there is a quiet, thought provoking quest for justice and integrity. These stories linger after the last word is read, which, to me, is the sign of a great writer.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)