Thursday, June 10, 2010


I recently met the most wonderful woman at the Oklahoma Writers Federation Inc. (OWFI) conference in Oklahoma City, OK. Her name is Paula Bruno. She's from Wichita Falls, Texas and has written a great entertaining read. The title of what I believe is Paula's debut novel is
"Come Hell or High Water." I bought this book at the conference bookstore before I met Paula because I loved the cover even more than the blurb. Ah, the cover, a cowboy riding a large horse in silhouette against the backdrop of and orange sunset. Breathtaking!

Paula is a member of OWFI and the Wichita Falls Creative Writing Group. She can be reached at or Check it out. Buy this book and enjoy. I read it in one day.

"Come Hell or High Water," or CHHW as Paula Bruno calls it, tells the tale of the Kirkland Rance near Burkburnett, Texas in the early 1950's. The ranch is currently owned by Revis Kirkland and has been in his family for two generations before him. Revis suddenly finds himself in custody of his young son, Toby, from a previous relationship. His better-than-any-one-else wife, Holly, tells him it's the kid or her. I won't tell how he comes to his decision.

Young Toby is hiding an evil secret of his own. Something that almost kills him. He is allowed to be a kid on the ranch and proves himself to be intelligent and lovable.

It's winter in Burkburnett and the area is in the grips of a longstanding drought. All of the farmers and ranchers worry. Including Revis. Paula Bruno paints vivid pictures of the ranch house, the land, the livestock, the larger than life cowboys working for the ranch, prarie fires, and the weather.

Revis Kirkland is involved in a longstanding feud with a mean, very nasty, neighbor named Ken Logan. Ken Logan will stir a visceral response in every reader. I wanted him D-E-A-D!

Revis struggles with his heart as well. His marriage is in trouble. He can't forget the girl who grew up with him. And, he's a confused man with a lot on his plate. I loved Revis Kirkland.

I encourage anyone with an interest in historical romance having a western slant and filled with sensory details to order a copy from Paula Bruno. By the way, Paula has a series in mind for Revis Kirkland and his ranch. I can not wait for the second book to be bound and available for purchase.




Tina Haapala said...

Hi Winona. I'm lucky enough to get the inside scoop on the Kirkland Ranch Saga since I'm part of Paula's writing group! I've come to know and love these characters (not Ken and you-know-who of course). For a relative newcomer to "Texoma", this novel gave the Wichita Falls/Burkburnett area a real history for me, and I look out at the landscape here in a different way.
Maybe we will see each other Saturday at Paula's signing! If you happen to be in town NEXT Saturday (19th), I am signing copies of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks, Dad at Books-a-Million at the mall.

Winona said...

Tina--How very nice to meet you. I won't be in Wichita Falls the day of your signing. I live in Durant, OK. I expect to be at Paula's signing between 1 and 2. She's dropping off some of her books at the Red River Romance Writers meeting at the library at 10 am, I want to try to see some for her. If you'll bring one of your books to the signing I will gladly purchase one. I just submitted to Chicken Soup for the first time and am waiting, waiting, waiting . . .

Anonymous said...

What a great blog! I just got here so I'll be snooping around for a while, but I just wanted to say "Hi".

Monica said...

This truly is an awesome book and I am lucky, too, as I belong to the same writing group as Paula and she has become a good friend as well.
In truth, and I have said this many times, the family that Paula writes of in Come Hell or High Water and the background town of Burkburnett has made me dub her the "female Larry McMurtry".