AMY HALE AUKER. Winter of Beauty

Winter_of_BeautyAMY HALE AUKER. Winter of Beauty. Pen-L Publishing. Softcover, 248 pages, $14.97, Pen-L.com.

Winter of Beauty plays out on a sprawling ranch and features a varied cast ranging from the owner and her unsure future, her manager and his fatigued marriage, a young cowboy troubled by his late a father’s mysterious past, the sick old cowboy who raised him, a wannabe cowboy singer whose growing family stands between him and his dreams, and other well-made characters who grind along day to day to save the ranch and a way of life. The story reaches its climax with the birth of Beauty, a baby who brings hope and renewed energy along with unexpected complications. Watching over it all is The Bride, a looming mountain where changing seasons and circumstances and the comings and goings of cattle and humans are of little lasting consequence.