“Imperfect Promise” Winner of Western Historical Romance Spur Award 2022

I’ll bet some of my blog followers have had a similar experience as mine. I was sitting in the doctor’s office awaiting the doctor’s arrival; mask on. My cell rang. When I noticed the call was from Wyoming….I thought…that has to be answered. After all, I love Wyoming. It might be someone I don’t know. Still, something niggled. Well, when Steve Moulton surprised me with the announcement that my debut book, “Imperfect Promise”, had won Historical Western Romance of 2022…my eyes widened and I looked toward my husband. He looked at me and tilted his head. Since we were awaiting his routine heart check, I pretty much figured I best get my own heart checked at the news I was struggling to bring into focus. After I thanked Steve for the honor, I floated to the ceiling and pretty much stayed there for the next few days. Basking…is the better description. Grateful, honored, and privileged for this award…I’m also humbled.

For the Winners and Finalists.….I say Woohoo, Cheers, and Gosh Darn! Something like this really gets the blood pumping, doesn’t it? Thinking back, I keep going over and over how my tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth. And worse, I’m embarrassed to admit that I’d forgotten to take off my mask when I was speaking. Following the rules has been ingrained in the fabric of my character. Truly, I don’t normally speak as though cotton were jammed in my throat.

I’d love to hear your experiences, WWA members, Winners, Finalists, and Writers. Thank you Tiffany Schofield, Senior Editor at Five Star Cengage/Gale, for your kind support and for opening the door. Thank you Krista Soukup, Blue Cottage Agency, for guiding me along that bumpy road of social media. You are a wonderful, patient guide.

And to ALL of the cherished members of WWA and WWW who use their superb talents to bring stories to life. I’m amazed and humbled by the truest authors I’ve ever had the good fortune to get to know, both in person and through their craft. Wish I could live long enough to read every book.

Best Western Historical Novel

Winner:  Ridgeline Michael Punke Henry Holt & Company
Finalist: The Last Comanche Warrior James D. Crownover Five Star Publishing
Finalist: The Healing of Natalie Curtis Jane Kirkpatrick Revell/Baker Publishing

Best Western Contemporary Novel

Winner:  Dark Sky: A Joe Pickett Novel C.J. Box G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Finalist: A Particular Madness Sheldon Russell Cennan Books of Cynren Press
Finalist: Dissolution: The Wyoming Chronicles: Book One W. Michael Gear Wolfpack Publishing

Best Western Mass Market Paperback Novel

Winner:  This Side of Hell: A Widowmaker Jones Western Brett Cogburn Pinnacle/Kensington
Finalist: The Too-Late Trail Matthew P. Mayo Berkley
Finalist: Lost Mountain Pass Larry D. Sweazy Pinnacle/Kensington Publishing

Best Western Romance Novel

Winner:  Imperfect Promise Susanna Lane Five Star Publishing
Finalist: The Transformation of Chastity James Kathleen Morris Five Star Publishing
Finalist: Madame’s Daughter C.K. Crigger Wolfpack Publishing
Finalist Land of Heroes Dorothy Wiley Independently Published

Best Western Traditional Novel

Winner:  The Loving Wrath of Eldon Quint Chase Pletts Inkshares
Finalist: Deputized T.L. Davis Five Star Publishing
Finalist: The Comanche Kid James Robert Daniels Cutting Edge Books

Best Western Biography

Winner:  The Forgotten Botanist: Sara Plummer Lemmon’s Life of Science and Art

Wynne Brown

Bison Books
Finalist: Cockeyed Happy: Ernest Hemingway’s Wyoming Summers with Pauline

Darla Worden

Chicago Review Press


Jim Bridger: Trailblazer of the American West

Jerry Enzler University of Oklahoma Press

Best Western Historical Nonfiction

Winner:  Cheyenne Summer: The Battle of Beecher Island: A History Terry Mort Pegasus Books
Finalist: War on the Border: Villa, Pershing, The Texas Rangers, and an American Invasion Jeff Guinn Simon & Schuster
Finalist: Iron Women: The Ladies Who Helped Build the Railroad Chris Enss TwoDot

Best Western Contemporary Nonfiction

Winner:  Defending the Arctic Refuge: A Photographer, an Indigenous Nation, and a Fight for Environmental Justice Finis Dunaway The University of North Carolina Press
Finalist: Making Circles: The Memoir of a Cowboy Journalist Barney Nelson University of Oklahoma Press
Finalist: Brothers on Three: A True Story of Family, Resistance, and Hope on a Reservation in Montana Abe Streep Celadon Books

Best Western Short Nonfiction

Winner:  The Right Man to Do a Wrong Thing: Charlie Thex, the Bear Creek Sheep Raid, and the Primacy of Fear Shane Dunning Montana The Magazine of Western History
Finalist: C.E. Lively: The Man Who Started a War R.G. Yoho Goldenseal
Finalist: Ella Mad Plume Yellow Wolf: Photographs by a Native American Woman in the Early 1940s Rosalyn LaPier Montana The Magazine of Western History

Best Western Short Fiction

Winner:  Skin David Heska Wanbli Weiden Crooked Lane Books
Finalist: The Ferry and the Road Lawrence Coates Story Magazine, Spring 2021
Finalist: Coming Clean Leslie Budewitz Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine

Best Children’s Picture Book 

Winner:  Charlie Russell and the Gnomes of Bull Head Lodge Emily Crawford Wilson & illustrator Jeanne Bowman South Dakota Historical Society Press
Finalist: Come ’n Git It! Cookie and His Cowboy Chuck Wagon Jennifer Coleman & illustrator Julie Dupré Buckner Pelican Publishing
Finalist: Montana’s Memory Day: A Nature-Themed Foster/Adoption Story Sue Lawrence & illustrator Erika Wilson Mascot Books

Best Western Juvenile Fiction

Winner:  Cow Boyhood: The Adventures of Wilder Good, #7 S.J. Dahlstrom Paul Dry Books
Finalist: Maddie McDowell and the Rodeo Robbery LuAnn M. Rod Chicken Scratch Books
Finalist: Bats, Bandits & Buggies: A Ruby and Maude Adventure Nancy Oswald Burro Books

Best Western Juvenile Nonfiction

Winner:  Montana History for Kids in 50 Objects: With 50 Fun Activities! Steph Lehmann Farcountry Press
Finalist: No Awards Given

Best Western Poem

Winner:  Cimarron Herd Karla K. Morton Texas Review Press
Finalist: Awinita (Cherokee – b. 1878) Linda Neal Reising Kelsay Books
Finalist: She Thought About Montana Betty Lynne McCarthy Sunlit Silver Bit Publishing

Best Western Song

Winner: You Oughta See Wyoming Micki Fuhrman MyMyMy Music
Finalist: What a Moon Micki Fuhrman MyMyMy Music
Finalist: Yellow Horse Doug Figgs Slash DC Music

Best Drama Script

Winner:  Last Shoot Out Lee Martin Feifer Worldwide
Finalist: No Awards Given

Best First Novel

Winner: The Loving Wrath of Eldon Quint Chase Pletts Inkshares