To Have & To Hold: a Continuing Montana Love Story

To Have & To Hold: a Continuing Montana Love Story

by C. J. "Country" James


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To Have & To Hold: a Continuing Montana Love Story by C. J. "Country" James

I wanted you laughing, I wanted you weeping, I wanted to fill you with sorrow and joy. So that's what I wrote.

The story? Love, friendship, and bitterness-Franklin's and Jake's, Catherine's and Dree's.

Thank God for Lane.

This is a semi-sweet love story. There's cursing, but nary a sex scene. It'll still have you feeling butterflies, though...and provoke wicked grins from the men.

MORE ABOUT To Have & To Hold

Only six weeks married, and the pressures of life on a big, working ranch take their toll on Jake and Dree. The newlywed glow has vanished, and so has Jake's granddad, ranch owner Franklin Jarvis. He's gone. That leaves Jake, struggling to manage it all. He's stressed and exhausted. And Dree hasn't the power or the knowledge to help him. Worse, when push comes to shove, Jake seems to take everyone else's side, except hers.

When Franklin does finally surface, it's all over local news. There's a name and a picture attached, and a little snooping uncovers that Franklin's been seeing a young, big city whore from back East - taking a sex vacation at the expense of the ranch and Dree and Jake's happiness. At least, that's how Dree sees it. ...Franklin? When she confronts him in private, he tells her it's none of her business. But she makes it her business, and all hell breaks loose. ...Because Franklin loves Catherine, and that's the rest of the story.

In this book, I wanted to show the similarities and differences between Jake and Franklin in their way of thinking and doing things. Old Man Jarvis, Franklin's dad, knows how similar they are. Franklin doesn't. Doesn't see it. Jake doesn't, either. He thinks he can't ever measure up, not even to handling the ranch and the businesses, never mind holding the whole family together.

Jake's young. Hasn't got it quite figured out. Franklin's an old hand...but, sometimes, he can't figure it out, either. Despite their similarities, their personal choices and life experiences see their pathways diverge, Franklin's hopeful and forward-looking, Jake's murky and embittered.

I also wanted to show Dree and Catherine-Dree's rebellion, finally, against years of abusive patriarchal domination as well as her suffering the confounding familial issues which her young, fragile psyche found too much to bear, this compared to and contrasted against Catherine's plight because she rebelled against a matriarchal society and, in consequence, lost everything-her family, her people, her self-respect, her hopes for fulfillment and happiness, and, almost, her life.

The story is one of parallels, of Franklin's and Jake's, of Catherine's and Dree's - parallels travelling opposite directions, one towards joy and fulfillment, one towards misery.

This is a love story, a continuing Montana love story, about a family who gives a damn and tries very hard to do the right thing. It's a story about sacrifice, about hurting and healing. It's a story of change, of caring, and about surviving challenges that can beset us-our responses to them. Mostly, it's a story about promises-those to be made, those to be kept, and those that are or have to be broken.

A Reader Reaction to To Have & To Hold

"These books are about real ranching people. There are animals. There are sometimes gory details. These books are REAL." --Marva Dasef

"An intriguing and heart-felt story about family, values and love. 5 Stars" --Clayton Bye, reviewer

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780692581056
Publisher: D. L. Keur
Publication date: 11/21/2015
Pages: 594
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.32(d)

About the Author

"Country" James is a pen name. My pen of them. Under it, I write "country"-good country novels starring somebody "country" or somebody "city" who's trying to "go country." Key words there are "good" and "country." In other words, I write about people of rural America, where rugged individualism is fostered and celebrated, where integrity counts, and truth and honor are paramount. Think ranch, farm, homestead, western, Midwestern, rural, small town, cowboy and trucker, think "country," and you get what I'm talking about. Better, think of your favorite Country Western song-its hero, its heroine, its story ...and the story behind that story. That's what I write as C. J.

I've started releasing some of my "Country" James novels this year. Audio recordings of them are/will be available on my website where you can download them.

And to the question, am I really "country" myself or just a pretender-a drugstore variety, city-slicker wannabe? Well, I was put on a horse at a year-and-a-half in New Mexico, and once they let me go it alone, I never got off.

I've hazed cattle, roped with the hands, and taken my knocks with the best and the worst of them. Taken under the wing of one of the best wranglers of the bunch, a man who was a legend even in his own time, I learned the tricks and the secrets of gentling a horse, and even of busting rank broncs. I even learned to braid my own black snake, then fill it with shot, as well as to shoe my own horse, building the shoes myself from blanks.

I'm good with a rope and a tractor, can string fence and castrate a calf, a hog, and just about anything "livestock", though I never did master the art of making good biscuits and gravy over a campfire. I've wrangled horses, mules, Herefords and Longhorns, wrestled hogs, and out-maneuvered mean dairy bulls. So, generally-speaking, and even specifically, yeah, I'm "country" and love it.

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