We’re so pleased to have R.C Ryan, author of the Montana Strong series, join us as a Foreverland tour guide today. We’ll be traveling to Haller Creek, Montana – home to the Monroe Brothers and from what we hear, some delicious home cooking everywhere you turn.
R.C. Ryan: I love small towns. I live in one: Walled Creek, Michigan. (And only three and a half square miles.) I love the fact that everyone knows everyone. There are friendly smiles and waves from the people you pass in the store, the bank, and on main street. When there’s a family in need – from a car accident to housefire, or even a medical diagnosis that will require many trips to a hospital or doctor’s office— there’s a network of helpful people stepping in with meals, drivers, baby-sitting, or whatever is needed. That’s the beauty of a small town. Of course, on the flip side, everyone knows everyone’s business. (So you’d better be good, whatever you do.) But I do believe the good far outweighs the bad.
My town was my model for Haller Creek, Montana, the setting for my latest series, Montana Strong. Three rag-tag brothers – Ben, Sam and Finn – are known as troublemakers, ready to stand up and fight back whenever one of them is threatened. When the boys are adopted by Mackenzie Monroe, they’re given the chance to join the loving, unorthodox family that lives and works on Mac’s ranch.
Like all small towns, Haller Creek has its share of beloved landmarks.
Dolly’s Diner is everyone’s home-away-from-home. Owner Dolly Pruitt serves up her famous meatloaf and garlic potatoes, a specialty of the house (along with all the town news fit to repeat) that has ranchers from miles away driving into town on a regular basis just to satisfy their craving for both food and gossip.
In Cowboy On My Mind, Dolly’s customers are quick to notice the growing affection between the town’s lawman, Ben Monroe, and Becca Henderson. Becca’s father, Hank, has made his feelings toward hell raiser Ben perfectly clear. Most folks are anticipating fireworks, and they aren’t disappointed. But, like love, Dolly’s meatloaf can calm many an inner storm.
Hitching Post is the town’s watering hole. Besides Horton Duke’s gut-burning chili, it serves up plenty of opportunities for wranglers to down a few longnecks and test their skill at the pool tables.
In The Cowboy Next Door, Sam Monroe is the man to beat at nine ball. His skill is legendary, as is his attraction to half the female population of Haller Creek. Prim and proper Penny Cash is not impressed by this brash cowboy. In fact, she considers his skill as a pool player just more proof that he isn’t worth her time. It will take more than Sam’s game-playing skills to prove her wrong.
Every small town has a church, a school, a bank and a law office, and Haller Creek’s only lawyer is rancher Finn Monroe (Born to Be a Cowboy). When Jessie Blair comes looking for legal help with a story that sounds straight out of a fiction novel, Finn is the only one willing to believe her. Of course, he could be mesmerized by those big trusting eyes and that breathless voice. The little town of Haller Creek will benefit from this meeting when she loses her heart to Finn and opens the first CPA office in town.
Haller Creek really is a place where dreams come true; I can’t wait for readers to experience it themselves!