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The Paragraph Ranch

(The Paragraph Ranch #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  242 ratings  ·  58 reviews
EVERY WRITER KNOWS YOU CAN’T GO HOME AGAIN. But that's just what is required of West Texas expatriate Dee Bennett-Kaufmann when her mother is badly injured in a mysterious car accident. Single-again “Dr. Dee” has never been on the “A-team” in her trendy East Coast MFA program. When a prestigious summer fellowship gives her the chance to finally finish her book, salvage her ...more
Paperback, 266 pages
Published August 29th 2014 by Booktrope
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3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  242 ratings  ·  58 reviews

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Oct 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Dee Anna Bennett has plans to attend a writer's retreat fellowship to finish writing her book about female writer G.H. Templeton as well as to spend the rest of her Summer with her daughter Abby, but her plans fall through when her 80 year old mother gets injured and must be taken care of. So Dee Anna stays behind in her home town of Claxton, Texas to care for her mother. Can she finish writing her book while staying at the Paragraph ranch? Read this book for yourself and find out.

This was a pre
Liz Vinc
Dec 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I spent some time in West Texas a few years ago, and fell in love with the place. So naturally, I got excited when I saw this book and picked up a copy. The novel revolves around Dee, Ph.D., a middle-aged writer. Although she has a great opportunity with a writing fellowship in Massachusetts, Dee must turn it down to care for her ailing mother in West Texas. The authors, Kay Ellington and Barbara Brannon, expertly capture the West Texas region and incorporate it into the plot. Dee is a well-roun ...more
Nov 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
I loved this book. I found myself thinking about it while I wasn’t reading it and fascinated about Dee’s research. This is a fantastic example of a book with many focuses that was successfully pulled off without seeming scattered. The book covers Dee determining her next steps in life; her relationship with her occasionally spiteful mother, siblings and daughter; changing markets in Texas; and finding friendships in unexpected places. The book certainly has me motivated and interested to become ...more
Natalie Bright
Oct 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was provided a review copy of this book, and had intended take a peak at the first chapter before adding it to my TBR pile, but found myself reading into the night. On the surface it's a fun and simple story about ordinary people. Writer and professor Dr. Dee goes back to her home-town in Texas. Complications soon arise when she finds herself sandwiched between an injured mother, free-willed daughter, small-town mystery, well-meaning book club, and a promising career. The chaos that has become ...more
Michelle Lancaster
The Paragraph Ranch
Key Ellington & Barbara Brannon
$16.95, 312 pgs

When Mary Alice Bennett, fiercely independent and often cantankerous widow and mother of three, suffers severe injuries in a car accident her children must decide how best to help and (hopefully) how not to hurt. They have all moved far from their tiny West Texas hometown with its agricultural roots, decamping for economic and entertainment opportunity in the city.

The task falls to Dee, a professor of
K.L. Romo
Jan 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: texas
While reading The Paragraph Ranch, I almost felt transported to my grandmother’s house in the middle of cotton farmland in South Texas. Depictions of rural Texas are faithful to Texas farm life, from the descriptions of the town and the farm house with no air conditioning or Wi-Fi, to the strong Texas dialect engrained in its characters.

Dee Anna Bennett-Kaufmann is a misplaced Texan living in North Carolina. She’d escaped farm life and Texas as soon as she was old enough to move away, and never
Miranda Prather
Jan 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
You don't have to be from Texas, or even have been to Texas, to appreciate the wit, wisdom and reality that exudes from the pages of The Paragraph Ranch. Yes, the book is set in Texas and readers from the Lone Star state will find that Ellington and Brannon capture the spirit of their beloved state, but the book is so much more than a mere exploration of place and its effects on personality. I say that, as Native Texan myself because I want this book to get its due for the masterful way the auth ...more
Jan 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book because I could relate to it on so many levels. When Dee found herself going back home to her small town to take care of her mother, I couldn’t help but compare the situation to my own life. I, too, was working on the east coast when I was forced to take care of a parent because my siblings were too busy to take it on.

I enjoyed how this story unfolded and how well it was written. The authors are truly gifted in storytelling and the characters are very well developed. The dialog
Feb 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is an absolutely fantastic realistic fiction novel. I mean, the cover itself is gorgeous and looks like something I would pick out in a bookstore, but the story inside the book lives up to it too. Dee is a writer, who is planning to attend a writing fellowship, and her plans of doing so and spending time with her daughter Abby was thwarted when her mother was involved in a serious car accident. She found herself going back to her hometown to take care of her mother, and changing her life pl ...more
Mar 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Paragraph Ranch is a great story about one woman’s understanding and realization of just who and what she is as well as what family and career really mean. Mary Alice Bennett has had an accident and will require care and rehab for quite some time. Dee, her daughter and an aspiring writer moves back with her mother to help her through this difficult time. However, Dee has to give up her dreams of participating in a writing workshop. She also must come to grips with how to accept and manage he ...more
Sep 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Read this book with a cool glass of lemonade at your side. This book develops at a leisurely pace under the hot, dry West Texas sun. Dee returns home to care for her injured mother, and we travel with her on the journey across the sere landscapes of her farm and her heart, and watch as the rains come to revitalize both. The author never takes a cheap shot, never goes for the violent or sensational, but rather allows this very real, flawed woman to come to terms with her mother, her lover, and he ...more
Feb 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
"The Paragraph Ranch" by Kay Ellington and Barbara Brannon was a bit of a crazy ride for me. The entire reading experience started poorly upon notification that I was receiving an electronic copy. Since I don't and won't do e-readers, I was forced to print a copy. For me, most of the story was predictable and simplistic, and the only real attempt to develop a character was with the central figure, Dee. I typically wouldn't even attempt to finish something like this, but I couldn't put it down be ...more
Dec 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
Dr. Dee Anna Bennett-Kaufmann has come home to her family's ranch in west Texas to help care for her ailing mother who was recently run off the road by an unidentified truck. Dee is one of three siblings, but the only one who had time to spare for their mother, who suddenly seemed a burden for everyone. It came at a time that was strained for Dee, with a summer fellowship upcoming to finish her book for her tenure at the college where she taught Literature. Enter a daughter who was having her ow ...more
Shannon Cudney
Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've never read a fiction book written by two different authors, so I didn't know what to expect when I first agreed to read this book for my honest review. I admit, I was worried that I would be thrown off by two different writing styles. By the time I got to the end of the first chapter, my worries were no more. The story was captivating and an easy ready - in the best of ways. I forgot that two people wrote this - the story flowed (better than some single authored ones I've read recently I mi ...more
Taylor Smith
Dec 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was a book that I truly enjoyed. These were both new authors to me and after reading the description of the book, I was really interested to read more about it. The storyline was one that caught my attention. I think that this would be the perfect book to read as a mother and daughter. I am recommending the book for my mother to read. Dee puts her life on hold to take care of her mother after a car crash. I found the book to be motivational. You could see the type of bond that Dee had with ...more
Sage Adderley-Knox
Dec 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Dee Bennett-Kaufmann seems to have realigned some areas in her life to focus on her writing career. All is going well until a call from Texas announcing her elderly mother was in a serious accident. Dee goes back to her Southern roots to look in on her mother.

The Paragraph Ranch is a beautiful story. I am extra impressed that two authors wrote it because everything flowed so smoothly and you can see how they were both in sync with each other, their characters, and the plot.

I feel that the author
Mar 16, 2015 rated it liked it
I can usually tell within the first few pages if I'm going to be drawn to a book. I didn't get drawn in until about 2/3 of the way through. I felt that the story moved at a snail's pace and didn't have much of a real conflict until the ranch was trying to be weaseled away from Dee's mom. I enjoyed that it took place in Texas and I enjoyed the writers group meetings but until the conflict at the end with the research for Dee's book and the ranch issues, I had a hard time pushing through. I can de ...more
Emma Holtrust
Nov 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2014
Full Review on my website (

Whenever I see that a book is written by two authors, I am immediately a little bit worried. Usually, it is really easy to spot which author wrote which part and it annoys the hell out of me. I don't care if it's two different characters or whatever reason they have for writing together - I want a consistent writing style.

But luckily, there are exceptions and The Paragraph Ranch is one of them. If you are like me and tend to avo
Arleen Williams
Sep 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
THE PARAGRAPH RANCH is a gem of a novel about the enduring love and powerful ties of community and family. When Dr. Dee, PhD. returns to West Texas to care for her ailing mama, she comes to question all she's grown to value in her world of academia. Writers and non-writers alike with delight at the snippets of advice from G. H. Templeton's The Working Writer, the fictitious subject of Dr. Dee's research, used to introduce each chapter. With visual clarity, linguistic precision, and gracious humo ...more
Sep 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
How I love discovering a new series! The Paragraph Ranch introduces readers to Dee Bennett, family black sheep and woman of many layers, who returns to the family homeplace to care for her ailing mother. The book elicits many emotions in the reader, with heartfelt sympathy for the characters' struggles and joy at their triumphs. The authors' rich description of the landscape and culture will keep me coming back for each new installment. Overall, a smart start to a series with clever turns and wi ...more
(not your)
Oct 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Paragraph Ranch felt like coming home to me, complete with well-described west Texas setting, the family homestead set in the middle of a cotton field and the dying small town full of engaging, relatable characters. Each of the authors storylines –Dee and Mama, Dee and Abby, Dee and G. H. Templeton, the mystery of the green pickup and Teresa’s story- hooked me and woven together formed a charming, gentle story about family, community and the true meaning of home. The truth is you CAN go home ...more
Jill Winslow
Jan 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow, I finished this in a day and and can honestly say I was disappointed when it ended - I wanted to keep reading about the characters. This purchase was definitely out of my normal genre reads and definitely out of my element, but I thoroughly enjoyed the different feel and mood. It's been a while since I've read such interesting characters. These authors really outdid themselves and I look forward to reading more of their works in the future.
Dec 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful story with "real" characters that I have fallen in love with. Can't wait for the next one!
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book very much! The characters were well drawn and believable. Their conflicts, tensions, resolutions and growth were also believable, and I felt empathy with them. No cartoons here! The Texas landscape and weather, the ranch, the small town were all reel and drew me in. The ending speeded up a bit, and the same attention to detail that drove the tale along was diminished in favor of getting all the facts clear and the finale a logical outcome of all that came before. That could h ...more
Rabid Readers Reviews
Oct 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
The authors gave me a copy of this novel in exchange for my review.

I love the language in which this novel is written. The first line: “There wasn’t a soul in eleven hundred square miles of Caprock County, Texas willing or able to take care of Mary Alice Bennett, not for love or money.” Despite the expectation set, “Bless your heart” is never once uttered by a character in this 291 page work and I must admit a bit of disappointment on that count. Still, this is a tale chock full of southernisms
Just another reader
Dec 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
A digital copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.

The tale revolves round Dee, who is a victim of the classic instance of Murphy's law. On the verge of taking up a fellowship which could give her all that she had been missing in life, she is forced to toss her research aside and head home, when her mom is seriously ill. Not looking forward to going back to her place for various reasons, she is least prepared for what she encounters there.

This drama - romance hybri
Ashley Nemer
Dec 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: blog-reviewed
This was quite a different book. I think the title is kind of cute, after having read the book. Because the best parts of this book were when the characters were in the writing classes on the ranch. There were a couple of scenes with Dr. Dee and her mom that made me laugh. Like with the rattler snake. And I enjoyed when Dee's daughter showed up. I liked her.

But overall this book just seemed very average. The story line didn't have a very 'obvious' issue to overcome, other than her mom being ill
Review Originally Posted: Traveling With T

Traveling With T’s Thoughts:

When Kay Ellington approached me about potentially reviewing this book, I debated for a few days about it. I already had so many books (and hello 2015 books- ya’ll are coming in by the truckload!) But, upon further talk with Kay (and finding out that Ivory Owl Reviews was getting a copy- I trust her!) I decided to work it in.

The Good:

It’s a short book. (This is such a positive to me- sometimes I want to want more, y’know?)

Feb 15, 2015 rated it liked it
This book was provided to me in exchange for a review.

Dee is a college professor whose career has not been as successful as she'd planned. She is very anxious to get a book published and has been granted time off to complete the project. Her publisher wants the final draft soon, and Dee is confident that he can meet the deadline. However when her mom is in an accident and needs help during her rehab, neither of her siblings are able to help. Dee is not wild about returning home, but she plans to
Ann Welton
Feb 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Is the “comfort food” of good novels.

First, I received this ARC e-book from Library Thing for my enjoyment and an honest review. This was a delightful read by Ellington and Brannon, just like good comfort food to eat! The story of Dee Bennett and her decision to return to her home farm in Texas when her mother suddenly needed her, it carried the reader so nicely through all her adventures and challenges that come along with rediscovering her home town. It was the kind of old farm and small town
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The Paragraph Ranch 1 4 Dec 01, 2014 07:31AM  
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Hello, I'm a native Texan and a lifelong newspaperwoman. My novels, co-written with Barbara Brannon, are valentines to West Texas, farm life, small towns, overcoming the odds, and coming to peace with the past.

So, prop up your boots and enjoy the read!

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