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Branding the Wrangler's Heart
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LI Heartsong Presents Author Q&A > May 5-7 Q&A with Davalynn Spencer

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message 1: by Narelle (new)

Narelle (narelle_atkins) | 264 comments Our next Q&A with Davalynn Spencer starts on Monday. Hope to see you there!


message 2: by Narelle (new)

Narelle (narelle_atkins) | 264 comments Welcome to our author Q&A with Davalynn Spencer.

When the handsome, dark-eyed cowboy sauntered into my life, the gate to adventure swung wide. And what a ride! Yup, I married him. As the wife of a rodeo clown and bullfighter, I got a front-seat view on a fast-paced life and great opportunities to write for national rodeo markets, winning awards in the process. Today I'm living my dream as a novelist and living for real on Colorado's Front Range with my handsome cowboy and our Queensland heeler, Blue. I hope you'll join me in the inspirational Western romance world where I'm sure you'll find a heaping helping of faith and fresh hope.

Davalynn’s latest book, Branding the Wrangler’s Heart, is a May 2014 release.

Branding the Wrangler's Heart by Davalynn Spencer

WHITAKER HUTTON ALWAYS GETS HIS WAY

When cattle go missing from the Bar-HB Ranch, the tenacious foreman will stop at nothing to find them. But his boss's granddaughter, Olivia Hartman, is more than Whit bargained for. Once the victim of Whit's childhood pranks, Livvy has grown into a feisty beauty.

Livvy can't forget the way Whit used to tease her. Even worse, he doesn't think she's capable of helping in the roundup. She could stay mad at him forever; if he wouldn't act all sweet toward her. But when he literally rides to her rescue, Livvy starts to wonder whether her old enemy might turn out to be much more than a friend.

Welcome, Davalynn! I’m going to open the floor for our readers to ask questions and start our discussion.


message 3: by Davalynn (new) - added it

Davalynn Spencer | 150 comments Thank you, Narelle. I'm excited to visit with readers this week and have really enjoyed getting to know the other authors.

Branding the Wrangler's Heart may be my favorite of my three-book historical series about Canon City, Colorado, where I live. I know we're not supposed to have favorites, right? (Like our kids!) But this book has so many little things in it that I loved writing about. The story's fictional ranch is set in a valley just over the ridge from where I live. I've also included a couple of different flowers that I absolutely love.

So I'm going to start the week off with the question: what is your favorite flower, and is there a reason it's your favorite?

On Monday's I babysit my precious 10-month-old granddaughter, so I may be in and out today but I'll be sure to see everyone's post at some point!


June | 213 comments Hey, Davalynn, it's great to have you here to discuss your new book.

Ah, the flowers! My favorite kind of flowers are carnations! Probably because as a college student when I bought flowers, they were the cheapest so I could afford them and there are so many colors! And the smell is heavenly. I grew up around flowers, my mom ALWAYS growing tons of flowers. They were and still are always so colorful and smell so pretty.

Branding the Wrangler's Heart was a perfect Sunday afternoon read! I loved the humor.

I was trying to remember from my reading last month, was the Bar-HB the ranch Caleb Hutton went west to work on or was it a different ranch? I love that this story is about his son so we get to see how life progressed for Caleb and Annie and now we have Whit and Livvy!

I loved the story of them working together and overcoming their childhood pranks, although they were entertaining.

I'm with Livvy. Don't think I could bring myself to even think about trying 'calf fries' but it sure makes for interesting reading and they must have eaten them, as often as I've read about it! Think I'd stick with beans and biscuits :)


message 5: by Kimberly (last edited May 05, 2014 07:23AM) (new)

Kimberly | 103 comments Davalynn it's great having you this week.
It's hard to choose a single flower, but I love Gerber Daises. I can't think of a single flower I don't like though.


message 6: by Helen (new)

Helen Gray (helenbrowngray) | 79 comments I love bleeding hearts and peonies, because those are the flowers I associate with my mother. She always had those in her yard.


message 7: by Brandy (new)

Brandy Bruce (brandybruce) | 48 comments I'm super excited to read this book, knowing that it takes place in Canon City! Living in Denver, I've been to Canon City several times and it's such a neat area.


message 8: by Melody (last edited May 05, 2014 09:58AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Melody | 136 comments Sounds like a fabulous book!

I love lilies, but my favorite of all is the Stargazer Oriental lily! And I honestly don't know why they are my favorite, they just speak to me I guess! :) I am a lover of all things pink, maybe that is why! I always hope that the guy meant for me will bring me my stargazer lilies. lol We planted some pretty yellow lilies at my sister's house yesterday. I told her they remind me of the flower from Tangled. ;)
Like Kimberly, I am a fan of all flowers really, flowers just make me smile. :)


June | 213 comments Gladiolus are gorgeous too. I have one that magically appeared in my flowers last year. Just one plant. It's yellow in the middle and the outer edge is light pink. A bright spot in my decorative grass aka weeds. :) I can't find a name for it in my google searching though, or I would order another dozen!


message 10: by Davalynn (new) - added it

Davalynn Spencer | 150 comments June wrote: "Hey, Davalynn, it's great to have you here to discuss your new book.

Ah, the flowers! My favorite kind of flowers are carnations! Probably because as a college student when I bought flowers, they..."


June - every time I smell the cinnamon-y scent of carnations, I'm instantly back in high school. They seemed to be a part of every corsage that my dates could. Funny how scents can carry a person back.

The ranch in Branding is not the one in Cowboy - great question! It's actually a fictionalized version of a real ranch in the Wilson Creek not far from where we live. The niece of the owner is a close friend of mine.

Here in Colorado, lilacs grow in abundance! They are one of the first things I fell in love with after my arrival as a young bride. That's why I wanted to plant them all around the ranch house. The seem to thrive in our climate.

So glad you enjoyed the humor. One of the most fun things about writing is getting to know the characters - almost as well as I know real people! Humor just seems to pop up in my stories. And I love it when at least one character is a prankster around others who are not. My third book coming out in August is about Whit's sister, Martha (Marty).


message 11: by Davalynn (new) - added it

Davalynn Spencer | 150 comments Kimberly wrote: "Davalynn it's great having you this week.
It's hard to choose a single flower, but I love Gerber Daises. I can't think of a single flower I don't like though."


Kimberly - I also love Gerbera Daisies. My daughter had them at her wedding and they were gorgeous. I found a clear bathroom shower curtain last fall that is splattered with bright, bold, saucer-size Gerberas and I'm crazy about it!


message 12: by Davalynn (new) - added it

Davalynn Spencer | 150 comments Helen wrote: "I love bleeding hearts and peonies, because those are the flowers I associate with my mother. She always had those in her yard."

Our mothers impact us in so many ways. My mother loved margarites - little daisy bushes - and I included them in my Mother's Day column for this Friday in our local paper. When my daughter was little, she called marigolds "miracles" so my heart strings pull both ways - to mother and daughter - when I see those two flowers.


message 13: by Davalynn (new) - added it

Davalynn Spencer | 150 comments Brandy wrote: "I'm super excited to read this book, knowing that it takes place in Canon City! Living in Denver, I've been to Canon City several times and it's such a neat area."

Thanks, Brandy. Denver is the big city for us! You usually get quite a bit more snow than we do. We are up in that little triangle that cuts into the Front Range with the Arkansas River, so I think that protects us a bit. After the Royal Gorge Fire last June that wiped out the RG Park, we all are excited about the re-opening this August with all new buildings and exhibits. Of course the bridge itself withstood the flames - scarred but standing, we like to say. From it's span you can look down on the narrow gorge and river 1,000 feet below and see the railway that two companies fought over in 1879. That war is the backdrop for Branding.


message 14: by Davalynn (new) - added it

Davalynn Spencer | 150 comments Melody wrote: "Sounds like a fabulous book!

I love lilies, but my favorite of all is the Stargazer Oriental lily! And I honestly don't know why they are my favorite, they just speak to me I guess! :) I am a lov..."


Melody, I'll have to look up Stargazer Oriental lilies when I get home. They sound intriguing. And you sound a bit like Livvy in my book. She is captivated by flowers also, particularly the columbines which led to her getting into a real fix ... but I won't say any more about that for those of you who haven't read the book yet!


message 15: by Davalynn (new) - added it

Davalynn Spencer | 150 comments June wrote: "Gladiolus are gorgeous too. I have one that magically appeared in my flowers last year. Just one plant. It's yellow in the middle and the outer edge is light pink. A bright spot in my decorative gr..."

June - now I'm curious. Can glads cross-breed like tulips? Not the correct technical term, I know, but the best I can do at the moment while grandbaby Hadley naps. I had tulips that changed over the years. Nearly all the reds reverted to yellow. Maybe you have something new in that lovely gladiola.


message 16: by Davalynn (new) - added it

Davalynn Spencer | 150 comments June mentioned calf fries - what fun I had including them in my book. When I was about 12, my great-aunt Laura, who was living with us, ran out the back door one spring morning with a tin pie plate, hollering, "Wait! Wait! I want to fry those up!" She ran straight for the corrals behind our house where my dad and brothers were 'cutting' the bull calves. I was horrified and refused to eat what Aunt Laura "fried up." To this day, I've never tried Rocky Mountain oysters, aka calf fries. I've participated in the cutting with both calves and lambs, but just didn't have the heart to partake. Guess I haven't been that hungry!


message 17: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly | 103 comments Davalynn wrote: "Kimberly wrote: "Davalynn it's great having you this week.
It's hard to choose a single flower, but I love Gerber Daises. I can't think of a single flower I don't like though."

Kimberly - I also l..."


That sounds so pretty!


Melody | 136 comments I just bought The Cowboy Takes a Wife on my Kindle so I can start this series. :)


message 19: by Rose (new)

Rose Zediker | 126 comments Hi Davalynn!

It's great you get to spend Grandma time with your granddaughter weekly! I see mine about once a month. They are so precious.

My favorite flowers are lilacs. Not only are they pretty they smell GREAT. I always tell my husband that is what Heaven will smell like!

This is the second book in series, right? When does the third release and what are you working on now?


message 20: by Narelle (new)

Narelle (narelle_atkins) | 264 comments Davalynn, my favourite flowers are roses. I suffer from hay fever, and roses are one of the few flowers I can have indoors :)


message 21: by Ausjenny (new)

Ausjenny | 207 comments my favourite flower is tulips not sure why but have always loved them. I love to grow them although at the moment cant afford to buy the bulbs but have some come up from previous years. I also love gerbers (sp) as they are a friendly flower.


message 22: by Davalynn (new) - added it

Davalynn Spencer | 150 comments Melody wrote: "I just bought The Cowboy Takes a Wife on my Kindle so I can start this series. :)"

I hope you enjoy it, Melody. This was my first series, and I really became invested in the family.


message 23: by Davalynn (new) - added it

Davalynn Spencer | 150 comments Rose wrote: "Hi Davalynn!

It's great you get to spend Grandma time with your granddaughter weekly! I see mine about once a month. They are so precious.

My favorite flowers are lilacs. Not only are they pretty..."


Hi, Rose. Yes, Grammy days are great. She's such a snuggle-bug ... I must get a baby into one of my books. The third in this current series releases in August and it's about Whit's sister, Martha/Marty. Currently I'm working on a fourth book set during the movie-making era here in Canon City. We came very close to becoming the Hollywood of the era and the locals were huge fans of Tom Mix. Some wild stories, there!

I think you might be right about what heaven smells like. When we stepped off the plane in Honolulu several years ago, I could smell the vegetation. Amazing. I'm sure that same perfume-only better-will fill the are in heaven.


message 24: by Davalynn (new) - added it

Davalynn Spencer | 150 comments Narelle wrote: "Davalynn, my favourite flowers are roses. I suffer from hay fever, and roses are one of the few flowers I can have indoors :)"

Oh yes, Narelle, hay fever. You and me both. We had yellow roses at our wedding, so roses are pretty special to me, too.


message 25: by Davalynn (new) - added it

Davalynn Spencer | 150 comments Ausjenny wrote: "my favourite flower is tulips not sure why but have always loved them. I love to grow them although at the moment cant afford to buy the bulbs but have some come up from previous years. I also love..."

Jenny - don't you just wish that tulips lasted all year? I sure do. I had yellow tulips in a small pot as the center piece for Easter dinner this year. Don't know why I didn't think of that years ago.


message 26: by Davalynn (new) - added it

Davalynn Spencer | 150 comments So my question for today is, do you ride horses, and if so, when did you start? If not, would you like to?


message 27: by June (new) - rated it 5 stars

June | 213 comments I've ridden a few times, as in its been over 20 years since the last time. I could probably count on one hand the amount of times.


message 28: by Melody (last edited May 06, 2014 09:30AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Melody | 136 comments I have only ridden horses a couple times in my life. My aunt used to have them. Other than that I just admire horses from a distance. I think they are beautiful animals, and this coming from a non-animal lover girl. :)

I read til my Kindle died last night! I am almost half done, and loving the story! :)


message 29: by Shannon (new)

Shannon Vannatter (shannontaylorvannatter) | 171 comments Hey Davalynn,
Sorry, I'm late to the party. I've been doing my final self-editing before deadline, so I had to limit my distractions like Goodreads. I love carnations because they're so versatile and come in so many colors. I also love lilacs and petunias.

I used to ride horses until one dumped me. I got back on, but my dad held the reins after that. The single time I rode as an adult, the horse was extremely extremely gentle.

I love horses - they're so pretty. And I know most of the breeds just because I think they're so pretty and I always wanted to know what each kind was. I love watching them. There's nothing prettier than seeing several horses run in a pasture. But riding is a different story. It's a long way down.


message 30: by Ausjenny (new)

Ausjenny | 207 comments I have ridden a horse but am not a huge fan of horses. they scared me. Wasn't the best rider either.


message 31: by June (new) - rated it 5 stars

June | 213 comments So it sounds like most of us see the beauty of the horse, over there where we can admire it, not under us :) My oldest daughter has always been an animal lover and could tell you about anything you would ever want to know. She got to take care of a horse for some friends one summer. Her final conclusion was that horseback riding is much more fun if you have someone to share it with!


message 32: by Davalynn (new) - added it

Davalynn Spencer | 150 comments Oh ladies, I love your answers! I rode a lot in high school but never competed in anything. Had a bad spill once, and have ridden a little as an adult. When my husband rodeoed, I usually sang the National Anthem. At one rodeo (Washington state, I believe) I had to sing from the arena on horseback. I just knew they were going to give me a bucker, but they didn't Whew! I'd rather stand on solid ground to sing, thank you very much.

And horses running? There might be nothing more majestic. Can't you imagine the mounted armies of heaven?


message 33: by Davalynn (new) - added it

Davalynn Spencer | 150 comments What fun this has been to visit with you all. My final question has to do with the book's dedication: "For all who entrust their hearts to God's unfailing love." What, for you, has been the most difficult to trust the Lord with? We trust Him for our salvation, but sometimes it's harder to trust Him in the everyday things we encounter.


message 34: by Melody (last edited May 07, 2014 08:37AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Melody | 136 comments That's a good question Davalynn. And I have to mention loved the dedication in Cowboy Takes a Wife. Probably one of the things I love about inspirational reads the most is they always give me something to think about... I feel like I have been through the fire so much, and hopefully am becoming what I am meant to be...

I sometimes have issues with trusting His timing! I am not a very patient person, I want what I want when I want! :) And I have to always remind myself He knows what is best for me, and even more so the WHEN something is best for me. And everything always turns out just the way I feel it should, and for that I am grateful for His patience with ME!


message 35: by Davalynn (new) - added it

Davalynn Spencer | 150 comments Melody wrote: "That's a good question Davalynn. And I have to mention loved the dedication in Cowboy Takes a Wife. Probably one of the things I love about inspirational reads the most is they always give me some..."

Melody - I think there are a lot of people in the don't-want-to-wait club. Waiting is often so difficult, and trusting God's timing. When I taught middle school history, I always showed "Prince of Egypt" during the segment on the ancient Hebrews and Egypt. The Joseph character sings a song, "You Know Better Than I" that touched me every time I heard it - three times a year for nine years! Never got old. I guess it helped me remember that the Lord really does know better than I.


message 36: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly | 103 comments Davalynn wrote: "So my question for today is, do you ride horses, and if so, when did you start? If not, would you like to?"

When I was a girl I had a couple of friends with horses, so I was able to ride theirs. I loved riding!
I rode again for research purposes a few years ago and decided I didn't enjoy riding anymore. Maybe the horse was too big for me or it was the fact we were on a dusty trail and had to go where we were led, but it was not fun and my knees were screaming at me. I couldn't wait to get off.
All that being said, I still love horses. :)


message 37: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly | 103 comments Davalynn wrote: "What fun this has been to visit with you all. My final question has to do with the book's dedication: "For all who entrust their hearts to God's unfailing love." What, for you, has been the most di..."

I echo what Melody said. Learning to wait on His timing is a challenge for me.

Thanks for being here this week. I've enjoyed reading the posts. I missed yesterday, but answered the question today instead--I hope that's okay.


message 38: by June (new) - rated it 5 stars

June | 213 comments As a mom it's hard to trust Him with my kids. I'm here and can take care of them or rescue them, or save them from a situation. Or so I think! So it's hard to say "It's yours, Lord." How much easier it is for ALL OF US when I let Him handle it.


message 39: by Melody (last edited May 07, 2014 11:00AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Melody | 136 comments I like to be in control I guess that's also why it hard for me to turn it over to Him! I could be a spunky heroine any day! ;) But at the end of the day I bask in the gratitude of how much He cares, and guides my life... :)

Just bought Branding the Wrangler's Heart! I am off to read until my nephew gets up from his nap! :)


message 40: by Davalynn (new) - added it

Davalynn Spencer | 150 comments Kimberly wrote: "Davalynn wrote: "So my question for today is, do you ride horses, and if so, when did you start? If not, would you like to?"

When I was a girl I had a couple of friends with horses, so I was able ..."


I hear you, Kimberly. My last ride was a mountain trail ride and I was at the end! Ate a lot of dust. I think those cowboys we love are tougher than they let on.


message 41: by Davalynn (new) - added it

Davalynn Spencer | 150 comments Kimberly wrote: "Davalynn wrote: "What fun this has been to visit with you all. My final question has to do with the book's dedication: "For all who entrust their hearts to God's unfailing love." What, for you, has..."

Absolutely, Kimberly. No time-line here. It was fun visiting with you.


message 42: by Davalynn (new) - added it

Davalynn Spencer | 150 comments June wrote: "As a mom it's hard to trust Him with my kids. I'm here and can take care of them or rescue them, or save them from a situation. Or so I think! So it's hard to say "It's yours, Lord." How much easie..."

June - I wondered if anyone else would come up with my hardest area of trust. I hate to admit that it's easier to trust God with myself than with my children! Or maybe I should say it's just not as frightening. I know what I'm thinking, but I don't know what my kids are thinking. And just because one is 30, it doesn't make any difference. However, if I've learned anything, it's that God is faithful. He really is worthy of our trust.


message 43: by Davalynn (new) - added it

Davalynn Spencer | 150 comments Melody wrote: "I like to be in control I guess that's also why it hard for me to turn it over to Him! I could be a spunky heroine any day! ;) But at the end of the day I bask in the gratitude of how much He cares..."

Yes, Melody, you fit the spunky heroine mold! But your end-of-the-day realization is what sees us all through. Hope you enjoy the book!


message 44: by Davalynn (new) - added it

Davalynn Spencer | 150 comments Melody wrote: "I like to be in control I guess that's also why it hard for me to turn it over to Him! I could be a spunky heroine any day! ;) But at the end of the day I bask in the gratitude of how much He cares..."

And Kimberly - if you don't mind sticking your neck out, I'd love to know which book you liked better :) I'm always looking to improve my craft, and readers' opinions are important.


message 45: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly | 103 comments Davalynn wrote: "Melody wrote: "I like to be in control I guess that's also why it hard for me to turn it over to Him! I could be a spunky heroine any day! ;) But at the end of the day I bask in the gratitude of ho..."

I'd say your current book is my favorite simply because I like the plot line the best.


message 46: by Davalynn (new) - added it

Davalynn Spencer | 150 comments Kimberly wrote: "Davalynn wrote: "Melody wrote: "I like to be in control I guess that's also why it hard for me to turn it over to Him! I could be a spunky heroine any day! ;) But at the end of the day I bask in th..."

Kimberly wrote: "Davalynn wrote: "Melody wrote: "I like to be in control I guess that's also why it hard for me to turn it over to Him! I could be a spunky heroine any day! ;) But at the end of the day I bask in th..."

Kimberly wrote: "Davalynn wrote: "So my question for today is, do you ride horses, and if so, when did you start? If not, would you like to?"

When I was a girl I had a couple of friends with horses, so I was able ..."


I hear you, Kimberly. My last ride was a mountain trail ride and I was at the end! Ate a lot of dust. I think those cowboys we love are tougher than they let on.

Thank you, Kimberly. I appreciate your opinion! It's nice to know about the plot line.


message 47: by Davalynn (new) - added it

Davalynn Spencer | 150 comments I'm about to go fix dinner, ladies, so for my closing comment, I offer you a challenge. The first person who can tell me what *homey* item makes an appearance in the first two books of my Canon City series - other than a bed or chairs or something common like that - wins a free copy of my third book that comes out in August - Romancing the Widow. Thanks for joining me these last three days!


message 48: by Melody (last edited May 07, 2014 06:02PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Melody | 136 comments Is it Annie's quilt?

And btw love Livvy she is spunky, right up my alley! I am about half done and waiting bedtime when I can finish! :)

Thanks so much for hanging with us, this was a way fun discussion!


message 49: by Davalynn (new) - added it

Davalynn Spencer | 150 comments I just knew someone would guess the quilt. That wasn't my original item, but I already decided that I'd do two and one would be the quilt. How could it not be? So you get the next book Melody, and if someone else can guess the other item, they will get a book, too. Melody, you can send me your address via my website.


message 50: by June (new) - rated it 5 stars

June | 213 comments In Cowboy Takes a Wife all I can remember is that Annie really liked her little stove and was glad to have it because most people had to cook over campfires.
Branding the Wranglers Heart, Livvy had her grandmothers Staffordshire China that her grandfather insisted they use "the good dishes" for meals and how she worried about having any of it left or without chips by the end of the summer.


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