Books

New Idaho releases: a Western romance, a wartime journey

“Roundup the Brides” by Barbara Dan (Caldwell); CreateSpace Independent Publishing ($14.95)

English playboy Stuart Braden is on a mission to discover untold riches in the wilds of 1889 Wyoming, when he uncovers a treasure more valuable than gold. But from the instant he sets eyes on the beautiful Suzanne Gallagher, the path to winning this lively young lady’s heart is fraught with peril.

First the stagecoach he’s sharing with the enchanting Miss Suzanne gets held up, putting a crimp in his wooing. Disposing of the outlaws — he with his Colt .45 and she with her trusty Smith & Wesson — Stuart eagerly tracks her down in Happy Valley, where her family and neighbors are preparing for the annual roundup and cattle drive.

But, alas, courting this feisty rancher’s daughter soon presents an even greater test of his manly skills, when hired gunmen launch a surprise attack, aimed at taking over the ranchers’ lands, cattle and water rights by deadly force. Caught in the middle of a range war, the ranchers are seriously outnumbered. Somehow these ruthless killers must be put out of business, permanently. Trust the wily Stuart to come up with a solution only Cupid would approve!

“Through a Long Absence: Words from My Father’s Wars” by Joy Passanante (Idaho); Mad Creek Books ($23.95)

Against the backdrop of World War II, Joy Passanante’s touching new book, “Through a Long Absence: Words from My Father’s Wars,” is the saga of a wartime medical unit, a passionate long-distance love, the making of a surgeon, and two first-generation American families. Told through her father’s eyes — drawing on hundreds of his letters to his beloved wife, his four-volume wartime diary and his paintings — Passanante masterfully recreates his wartime journey and physically retraces his steps more than 60 years later in an attempt to understand a time in her parents’ lives that they’d spoken about very little.

More than just a World War II story, “Through a Long Absence” delves into one man’s past to explore his personal wars: a stint as a child bootlegger, a marriage between newlyweds separated by continents and strained by years apart, and his struggle late in life with his own mind. The narrative propels readers to surprising places — from a freight train through North Africa to an underground St. Louis distillery during Prohibition, from a young couple’s forbidden courtship to the chaos of surgical tents under fire in Normandy, from an underground trove of priceless artwork hidden by the Nazis to Jewish New Year services in Paris a week after its liberation. “Through a Long Absence” is a love story, an honest look into one man’s life and a daughter’s moving quest to rediscover her father years later through his own words.

From the publishers

Are you an Idaho author who has a new book that’s been released within the last six months? We feature works by Idaho authors on this page when space permits. To be considered, email your book information (synopsis, publisher, list price and a snap of the book cover) to rpaul@idahostatesman.com.

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