One of the Best Christian Fiction Westerns of 2020?

The Mountain Valley Wrangler, a clean and wholesome epic

A review by Spencer A. Allen

Yes, in my opinion, it is exactly that. The cowboy has his own legend. Some of it has dimmed lately with styles turning to all-cotton stretch fabrics and running shoes, worn by bright young people with more odd hairstyles. They have no couture and no spirit to share with the humble cowboy.

The lead character Will Bartlett in Starr’s novel, The Mountain Valley Wrangler is a quintessential cowboy. Cowboys were not all gunslingers. But, using a rifle or a pistol was often a skill they developed.  Will had worked with cattle for other people in his youth before he became a ranching man in his own right. He is good with kids, polite to women, thoughtful to their neighbors. He is a fine man to have with you in a scrape too.

Those who think and live that way, or wish they could,  will like this book. My writing partner, Robert M. Starr, writes about the many Western cattlemen who worked in Colorado, Montana, and other snow-covered states.  The running shoe crowd will not know much about a cowboy. But Starr does. He has lived it, done the job, walked the land, and knows the lifestyle first hand.

A fine wholesome Western Romance

A good western cowboy has a big heart. He likes people, horses, dogs, and animals in general. But the cowboy way is equally adaptable by both cowboys and cowgirls. A Western romance is honorable and the boy and girl show respect for each other and their families. A good cowboy can be brash and loud. But he is a little more humble around women but no less recognizable, loyal, or dependable.

There are all sorts of people who work on a ranch. Some are good people, but they are not cowboys.  But a real no-account person is something a cowboy can spot a country mile away, and a good yard dog won’t let them in the gate. There are some of those people in the world of Will Bartlett too. You never know what will happen when the two get together.

Robert Starr’s Mountain Valley Wrangler is set in Colorado. Author Robert Starr knows the area well. He lived there, hiked the wilderness, and walked the same trails. Will Bartlett is “the wrangler,” and is a pure cowboy in his heart. The cowboy way contains a creed and it has boundaries and he knows them. Knowing your limits and when to proceed or not proceed in something allows you to be relaxed and think calmly in any situation. Will learned those rules well, and sometimes the hard way. But you can count on him.

Being a Texan in my youth was also to be a cowboy. One of my favorite books is Texas, a World in Itself by George Sessions Perry.  I’ve read it countless times. In it, Perry wrote,

“[Cowboys]. . . are in a sense an elite corps among ranch hands, unquestionably the proudest men I ever saw. You feel at once that they would not trade places with anyone on earth and that they look upon ordinary mortals. . .  as clearly inferior to themselves. [It is not due to high pay] The astounding fact is that all this enthusiasm concerns a dollar-a-day job . . . handy with a lariat; the carbine and the six-shooter are not strangers to them. Cattle rustlers are likely to find nocturnal egress from the Ranch . . . is sudden death.”

I own horses, cows, done my share of rodeoing, doctoring, delivering, and feeding them all. They seem to be universal on ranches regardless of size. But when I sit down to read, I still read about cowboys of long ago. It was a fuller, richer time, closer to the woods, the mountains, and trees. And of course, the grass, because that is what makes steak taste best. Will Bartlett is The Mountain Valley Wrangler, and I’m sure he would agree with me.


Thanks for hanging out with us:

W.D. Edmiston, Robert Starr, Arlington J North, Allen Spence, D. LaRue Mahlke of OGSB Authors.

Robert has a new book coming soon! 

Please fill out the short form so we may let you know when there is something new, free, or an Advanced Review Copy.

OGSB Mystery, Western and Fantasy books with heart

Living Waters – By D. LaRue Mahlke

The Website, has been undergoing an upgrade for the last several weeks. We will begin a relaunch today, offering book-related blogs and information on this site.  When appropriate either of the authors may post here to offer their thoughts about books and the topics about which we write. We even critique each other.

Books with value and values

OGSB is however about books and writing. While on our hiatus, Robert M. Starr moved his The Mountain Valley Wrangler into #63 in Historical Western fiction.

His other books have also been selling more than usual. To make things even rosier, he has some new chapters almost ready for a new Western.  It does not yet have a release date. That is a good reason to sign up on his page now. Take a look at Robert’s page listed on the menu. He’s just the kind of guy you think a Western Novelist would be.

Writers with a Christian perspective

Spencer A. Allen’s book is available on Amazon at this writing and we will begin promotional work on it along with the relaunch maybe some freebie items. Give us your email and we will let you know in a few days.

D. Larue  Mahlke has just added several new works and has some new photos of available art. Her use of color and light always just stuns the people who first see it. The Utah Sky hanging over my dining table is a favorite of mine. That is another of hers at the top of the blog.

With the relaunch is a guest author, Michael Wigington. Michael is a gamer, a Comicon guy, and a well-recognized recycling and upcycling expert. His books exist in a world of his own invention and frankly sometimes scare the pants off of me. If what you are looking for is an adventure, we-have-a-guy. Some of you are going to want to chat with him, so if sword-swinging fantasy is your thing, go sign up to follow him on the Guest Author page. We will make sure he gets it immediately.

We promise not to be spammy. The OGSB site does not do sales or advertising of other products on the site. We are not an Amazon affiliate but next to every book cover photo, there is a link to the site where you can purchase it. That is the hardest sales pitch we have. Usually, the site where you will be sent is Amazon. Things change, especially with Guest Authors.

Thank you for your patience and attention.

The OGSB Gang