Dakota Born (Dakota Series #1)

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Overview

Buffalo Valley, North Dakota. Like so many small towns, it's dying. Stores are boarded up, sidewalks cracked, houses wanting a coat of paint. But despite it all, there's a spirit of hope here, of defiance. The few people still left in Buffalo Valley are fighting for their town.

Lindsay Snyder is a newcomer. She's an outsider, even though she spent childhood vacations here. Now she returns to see the family house again, to explore family secrets...

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Overview

Buffalo Valley, North Dakota. Like so many small towns, it's dying. Stores are boarded up, sidewalks cracked, houses wanting a coat of paint. But despite it all, there's a spirit of hope here, of defiance. The few people still left in Buffalo Valley are fighting for their town.

Lindsay Snyder is a newcomer. She's an outsider, even though she spent childhood vacations here. Now she returns to see the family house again, to explore family secrets and to reevaluate her life.

To her own amazement she decides to stay. Her decision marks a new beginning for Buffalo Valley—and for Lindsay Snyder, who discovers in this broken little town the love and purpose she's been seeking.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781551665764
  • Publisher: Mira
  • Publication date: 4/28/2000
  • Series: Dakota Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 4.25 (w) x 6.81 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Debbie Macomber

Debbie Macomber, with more than 100 million copies of her books sold worldwide, is one of today's most popular authors. The #1 New York Times bestselling author is best known for her ability to create compelling characters and bring their stories to life in her books. Debbie is a regular resident on numerous bestseller lists, including the New York Times (70 times and counting), USA TODAY (currently 67 times) and Publishers Weekly (47 times). Visit her at www.DebbieMacomber.com.

Biography

Publishing did not come easy to self-described "creative speller" Debbie Macomber. When Macomber decided to follow her dreams of becoming a bestselling novelist, she had a lot of obstacles in her path. For starters, Macomber is dyslexic. On top of this, she had only a high school degree, four young children at home, and absolutely no connections in the publishing world. If there's one thing you can say about Debbie Macomber, however, it is that she does not give up. She rented a typewriter and started writing, determined to break into the world of romance fiction.

The years went on and the rejection letters piled up. Her family was living on a shoestring budget, and Debbie was beginning to think that her dreams of being a novelist might never be fulfilled. She began writing for magazines to earn some extra money, and she eventually saved up enough to attend a romance writer's conference with three hundred other aspiring novelists. The organizers of the conference picked ten manuscripts to review in a group critique session. Debbie was thrilled to learn that her manuscript would be one of the novels discussed.

Her excitement quickly faded when an editor from Harlequin tore her manuscript to pieces in front of the crowded room, evoking peals of laughter from the assembled writers. Afterwards, Macomber approached the editor and asked her what she could do to improve her novel. "Throw it away," the editor suggested.

Many writers would have given up right then and there, but not Macomber. The deeply religious Macomber took a lesson from Job and gathered strength from adversity. She returned home and mailed one last manuscript to Silhouette, a publisher of romance novels. "It cost $10 to mail it off," Macomber told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in 2000. "My husband was out of work at this time, in Alaska, trying to find a job. The children and I were living on his $250-a-week unemployment, and I can't tell you what $10 was to us at that time."

It turned out to be the best $10 Macomber ever spent. In 1984, Silhouette published her novel, Heartsong. (Incidentally, although Heartsong was Macomber's first sale, she actually published another book, Starlight, before Heartsong went to print.) Heartsong went on to become the first romance novel to ever be reviewed in Publishers Weekly, and Macomber was finally on her way.

Today, Macomber is one of the most widely read authors in America. A regular on the New York Times bestseller charts, she is best known for her Cedar Cove novels, a heartwarming story sequence set in a small town in Washington state, and for her Knitting Books series, featuring a group of women who patronize a Seattle yarn store. In addition, her backlist of early romances, including several contemporary Westerns, has been reissued with great success.

Macomber has made a successful transition from conventional romance to the somewhat more flexible genre known as "women's fiction." "I was at a point in my life where I found it difficult to identify with a 25-year-old heroine," Macomber said in an interview with ContemporaryRomanceWriters.com. "I found that I wanted to write more about the friendships women share with each other." To judge from her avid, ever-increasing fan base, Debbie's readers heartily approve.

Good To Know

Some outtakes from our interview with Macomber:

"I'm dyslexic, although they didn't have a word for it when I was in grade school. The teachers said I had 'word blindness.' I've always been a creative speller and never achieved good grades in school. I graduated from high school but didn't have the opportunity to attend college, so I did what young women my age did at the time -- I married. I was a teenager, and Wayne and I (now married nearly 37 years) had four children in five years."

"I'm a yarnaholic. That means I have more yarn stashed away than any one person could possibly use in three or four lifetimes. There's something inspiring about yarn that makes me feel I could never have enough. Often I'll go into my yarn room (yes, room!) and just hold skeins of yarn and dream about projects. It's a comforting thing to do."

"My office walls are covered with autographs of famous writers -- it's what my children call my ‘dead author wall.' I have signatures from Mark Twain, Earnest Hemingway, Jack London, Harriett Beecher Stowe, Pearl Buck, Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, to name a few."

"I'm morning person, and rip into the day with a half-mile swim (FYI: a half mile is a whole lot farther in the water than it is on land) at the local pool before I head into the office, arriving before eight. It takes me until nine or ten to read through all of the guest book entries from my web site and the mail before I go upstairs to the turret where I do my writing. Yes, I write in a turret -- is that romantic, or what? I started blogging last September and really enjoy sharing bits and pieces of my life with my readers. Once I'm home for the day, I cook dinner, trying out new recipes. Along with cooking, I also enjoy eating, especially when the meal is accompanied by a glass of good wine. Wayne and I take particular pleasure in sampling eastern Washington State wines (since we were both born and raised in that part of the state).

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    1. Hometown:
      Port Orchard, Washington
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 22, 1948
    2. Place of Birth:
      Yakima, Washington
    1. Education:
      Graduated from high school in 1966; attended community college
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt



Chapter One


"We're doomed," Jacob Hansen said in sepulchral tones. He matched into the room, shaking his grizzled head.

    "You might as well board up town right now." Marta Hansen followed her husband into the dining room at Buffalo Bob's 3 OF A KIND. With the energy that so often accompanies righteousness, she plunked herself down at the table with the other members of the Buffalo Valley town council.

    Joshua McKenna figured this kind of pessimism pretty much ensured that they Wouldn't accomplish anything. Not that he blamed the couple. For nearly twenty years the Hansens, along with everyone else in Buffalo Valley, had watched the once-thriving farm community deteriorate, until now the town was barely holding on. The theater had closed first, and then the beauty shop and the florist and the hardware store ... It hurt most when the catalog store pulled up stakes—that had been six years ago—and then the Morningside Café, the one decent restaurant in town, had closed for good.

    Even now, Joshua missed Melissa's cooking. She'd baked biscuits that were so light and fluffy they practically floated into your mouth. Joshua got hungry just thinking about those biscuits.

    Businesses survived as long as they could on their continually diminishing returns—until they were driven to financial ruin and finally forced to close up shop. Families drifted away and farmland changed ownership, the bigger farms buying up the smaller ones. Large or small, everyone struggled these days with low agricultural prices. He had to hand it to the farmers,though. They were smart, and getting smarter all the time. Over the years, agricultural research and hardier strains had made it possible to urge a larger yield out of the land. Where an acre would once produce a hundred bushels, it was now possible to harvest almost twice that. Somehow, a lot of the farmers had managed to keep going—because they believed in their heritage and because they trusted in the future, hoping they'd eventually get a fair price for their crops. Since they stayed, a few of the businesses in town clung, too.

    Joshua's was one of them, although he'd certainly been struggling for the last while. He sold used goods and antiques, and did repairs; in that area, at least, business was steady. It was his gift, he supposed, to be able to fix things. With money tight, people did whatever they could to avoid buying something new. He just wished his talent extended to fixing lives and rearranging circumstances. If it had, he'd start with his own family. Heaven knew his son needed help. His daughter and granddaughter, too. He didn't like to think about the changes in their lives during the past few years, and he hated the helpless feeling that came over him whenever he did.

    His wife, Marjorie, had always dealt with the children, but she'd been gone ten years now. He often wondered if she'd recognize Buffalo Valley these days and wished he had her wisdom in dealing with its problems. She would've been shocked to learn he'd been elected president of the town council. A position he hadn't sought, but one he'd assumed by default when Bill Wilson had to close his gas station and move to Fargo.

    "We're doomed this time," Marta repeated, daring anyone to argue with her.

    "This town's survived all these years. We'll hold on now." Hassie Knight, who owned Knight's Pharmacy, said emphatically.

    Hassie was a born optimist and the one person in town who was sure to see even this situation in a positive light. If anyone could come up with a solution, it'd be Hassie, God bless her.

    Like him, Hassie had experienced her share of grief. She'd buried her son, who'd been killed in Vietnam nearly thirty years ago, and not long afterward, had lost her husband. Carl Knight had died from complications of diabetes, but Hassie had always maintained that the real cause of death was a broken heart. Her daughter lived in Hawaii, and Joshua knew Valerie would like nothing better than to have her mother retire nearby. Thankfully, Hassie had resisted Valerie's efforts. The old woman was long past the age of retirement, but she did much more than fill prescriptions. Hassie was the closest thing the community had to a doctor, and folks from miles around came to her for medical advice. Yes, Hassie Knight was a popular woman, all right. It didn't hurt any that she served the best sodas he'd ever tasted. The old-fashioned kind from the fountain in the corner of her store. Chocolate sodas and good advice—those were her specialties.

    "We've hung on for so many years, we're already dead and don't even have the sense to know it," Marta said caustically as she crossed her arms over her hefty bosom.

    "Will you stop!" Joshua pounded the gavel on the tabletop with so much force, the ice in the water glasses danced. He sat back down and motioned to Hassie. "Would you take roll call?"

    Hassie Knight's bones creaked audibly as she stood.

    "Roll call? Now that's gonna be useful," Marta Hansen muttered. "That's like what's-his-name, that emperor, fiddling while Rome burned."

    She was obviously mighty pleased with her classical allusion. Must've been on Jeopardy last night, Joshua thought.

    "Nero. The emperor was Nero," he couldn't resist adding. Still, he hated to admit it, but Marta was right. Roll call was a waste of time; all they had to do was look around the table to know who was present and who wasn't. Hassie, the Hansens, Dennis Urlacher and him. Absent: Gage Sinclair and Heath Quantrill. Joshua stopped Hassie before she had a chance to start.

    "Fine, we'll dispense with the usual formalities and get on with the meeting."

    "Thank God someone in this town is willing to listen to reason," Marta said, glaring across the table at Hassie.

    It was only natural that the town pessimist and the town optimist would be in constant opposition. "You and Jacob have as much to gain or lose as the rest of us," Hassie snapped. "A positive mental attitude would help."

    "I'm positive," Jacob said with a nod. "Positive that Buffalo Valley is as dead as Eloise Patten."

    "If she was going to up and the unexpected like that, the least she could've done was tell someone she wasn't well," Marta said in her usual righteous manner.

    "That's the most ridiculous thing you've ever said—which is really saying something." Hassie's face reddened, and Joshua could see she was having difficulty restraining her temper. The truth was, the Hansens exasperated him, too. How they'd managed to run the grocery during these hard times when they had such a negative outlook toward, life was beyond him. Still, he was grateful their store had survived. Joshua didn't know what would happen if they ever decided to leave Buffalo Valley.

    "All right, all right." Joshua wiped his brow with a stained white handkerchief. "We'll move on to new business."

    With obvious reluctance, Hassie reclaimed her seat.

    "We all know why we're here," Jacob said. "The school needs a teacher,"

    "Does anyone mind if I sit in?" Buffalo Bob asked, pulling out a chair before anyone could object.

    Marta and Jacob glanced at each other and seemed to understand that if they raised a fuss, Hassie would make a point of asking Marta to leave, since she wasn't officially a member of the town council. Joshua suspected the only re, on she attended the meetings was to advise Jacob on how to vote.

    "We'd welcome your help," Joshua assured Bob.

    Without a word Dennis Urlacher, who owned the Cenex Gas Station, shoved his chair aside to make room for him. Bob Cart was an ex-biker who'd settled in the town a couple of years earlier after winning the bar, grill and small hotel in a poker game. He'd immediately rechristened himself Buffalo Bob.

    Joshua looked down at his notes. "As you all know, Eloise Patten is gone."

    "She's more than gone," Marta Hansen interrupted. "She's dead!"

    "Marta!" Joshua had taken about all he could from her. "The point is we don't have a teacher."

    "Hire one." Buffalo Bob leaned back on two legs of his chair, as if he figured they were all overreacting to this crisis.

    "No one's going to want to teach in a town that's dying," Jacob grumbled, shaking his head. "Besides, I never did think much of dividing up the schools, Bussing our grade-schoolers over to Bellmont and then having them send their high-schoolers to us was a piss-poor idea, if you ask me."

    "We already did ask you," Joshua barked, no longer making any attempt to control his impatience. "It won't do any good to rehash what's already been decided and acted upon. Bussing the children has worked for the last four years, and would continue to do so if Eloise hadn't passed on the way she did."

    "Eloise should've retired years ago," Marta complained under her breath.

    "Well, thank God she didn't," Joshua said. "We owe her a lot." Eloise Patten had been a godsend to this community, and if no one else said it, he would. The schoolteacher had been the one to suggest splitting up the elementary and high school students between the two towns. The Hansens' attitude was typical of the thinking that was detrimental to such progressive ideas. The small farming communities, or what remained of them, needed to rely on each other. It was either that or lose everything. If Buffalo Valley was going to survive when so many towns on the prairie hadn't, they had to learn to work together.

    "We've got to find us a new teacher, is all." Dennis could be counted on to cut to the chase—to state the basic, unadorned facts. He owned and operated the only gas station left in town and wasn't much of a talker. When he did speak, it was generally worth listening.

    Joshua knew that his daughter, Sarah, and Dennis had some kind of romance going between them, despite the decided efforts of his daughter to keep it a secret. Joshua didn't understand why she felt it was so all-fired important nobody know about this relationship. After her disastrous marriage, Joshua would've welcomed Dennis into the family. He Suspected that Sarah's reluctance to marry Dennis had to do with her daughter, Calla, who was fourteen. A difficult age—as he remembered well,

    "We could throw in living quarters, couldn't we?" Buffalo Bob was saying. "For the teacher?"

    "Good idea." Joshua pointed the gavel at the hotel owner. "There's two or three empty houses close to the school."

    "Nobody's going to want to live in those old places," Marta insisted. "They're full of mice and God knows what else."

    "We can always clean one up."

    The others nodded.

    "In case no one's noticed, there's a teacher shortage in this state." This came from Jacob, and as if on cue, Marta nodded.

    "We could always advertise," Hassie began tentatively.

    "Advertise? We don't have that kind of money," Marta said in a sharp voice.

    "If we don't advertise, what exactly do you suggest?" Joshua asked.

    Jacob and Matte looked at each other. Jacob got heavily to his feet and leaned forward, bracing his hands on the edge of the table. "I think it's time we all admitted the truth. Buffalo Valley is doomed and there's not a damn thing we can do about it." Marta nodded again, a satisfied expression on her face.

(Continues...)

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

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( 75 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 76 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 26, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A Good Romance with a Few Rough Edges

    Some of Debbie Macomber's books are on my list of all-time favorites. Unfortunately, this book won't join that list. It was an okay romance which had moments that were really good. Unfortunately, the story jumped between too many characters for much continuity and some of the story lines were simply boring. It was quite obvious that this book was set up to be part of a series and several of the story lines were left hanging. I love Ms. Macomber's writing so I'll definitely return for more of her books, but I'll probably skip the rest of this series. As with most romances, there was a fair amount of sexual content (probably a mild PG-13).

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2001

    Great Story & Love Story all in one!

    Dakota Born was such a good book, I finished it in two days! The love story about Gage and Lindsay was so touching and the whole book just held my interest and I couldn't put it down. All the characters in the book were great. I'm reading Dakota Home right now and can't wait to finish it. I have purchased the third Book. Can't wait to read it. The story lines in these books are something you want to keep on going. You just want to read more about them!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2000

    DEBBIE DELIVERS AGAIN

    True to form Debbie Macomber delivers a truly great read. Her charaters are interesting and you'll fall in love with the Dakota's. So snuggle up with a cup of tea and enjoy the trip.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2014

    Boo

    Wolves dont belive in starclan this is stupid

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2014

    Frosttail

    Love it as all ways gobon

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2014

    Dakota's story chap. 2

    As dakota walked, he decided that looking for his brother, nontheless anyone, was utterly useless. He had lost his mother, his father, all of his siblings, and he was now stranded in the middle of the forest. He fully intended to die that miserable day. But as he came walking, he found a freshly abandoned clan and they had left some freshkill behind. As he ate the last squirrel, he wondered if this was a sign from starclan. So as he walked, he finally had some hope for once.

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  • Posted September 15, 2012

    Highly recommended

    Dakota Born was a great book as are all of Debbie Macomber's books. I can't put them down until I finish them and when I do it leaves me wanting more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2012

    check it out

    Dakota Born, for me at first was hard to follow,there was so many characters at the beginning but it turned out to be a good book.

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  • Posted September 7, 2012

    debbie's romances

    the dakota series deals with romances of women that have had a bad experience in teir lives and want to start over. they find men that have also had bad experiences and then between them they find love. romances as only debbie can write them.

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  • Posted May 9, 2012

    I always enjoy Debbie

    This first book in the Dakota series got me interested in the entire series, so have read #1 and moved right into #2 when I finished #1 the other evening. Debbie Macomber begins to develop her characters in this first book so we get to know some current townspeople and well as those who are moving into Buffalo Valley and will change the town forever. Have read all of her Cove series as well as Blossom Street series and this is not quite the "page-turner" as the other series are, but enjoying it none the less.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2012

    Another successful series

    Nice series

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2011

    NOT Lendable

    Do not buy if you plan on lending as this is not lendable

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Just okay

    Kind of boring - 50 Harbor Street much better. I am from N.D. and thought this would be interesting for me - still trying to get through it - But loved 50 Harbor Street. Great story and mystery.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A Must Read!

    This is a must read for anyone who likes romance!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2007

    Excellent insights into life in a small community

    Not only does this book provide an excellent description of life in a small rural community but it is very well written. I particularly enjoyed the description of the hard working people, the pessimists and the eternal optimists. It is a must read for those of us who were born and raised in small rural communities that struggle to survive.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2004

    Terrific Story!!

    Dakota Born was my first Debbie Macomber book and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I'm looking forward to continuing the trilogy and plan to try more of her books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2000

    My First Debbie Macomber Book and I'm Hooked

    This book was outstanding! I could not put it down! You can't help but feel that you are right there with the characters - you feel that you are living their lives. Wonderfully written, and I look forward to reading more! Have started Dakota Home and it is just as great!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2000

    escaping to a place where love endures

    With reeading Dakota Born and Just finishing Dakota Home I have to say that I immediately jumped on-line to see if i could buy the last book Always dakota I am not sure I can wait for the exciting conclusion of this wonderfully written series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2000

    What a great Book!!!!!!

    This book kept me glued!!! I couldnt put it down. I cant wait to read the others in this trilogy. In fact I ordered Dakota Home today. So I will be watching for the mailman, cant wait to get started on the next one. This is the first Debbie Macomber book I have read, and I will read her more often.!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2000

    WHEN ARE THE SEQUELS COMING OUT ??

    I loved this book and am dying to read the rest of this trillogy.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 76 Customer Reviews

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