WILLA-award-winning author Amy Hale Auker has been an essayist, until Winter of Beauty (Pen-L Publishing, $14.97). The story is mainly about Shiney, a ranch woman down to her bones, living her life in the shadow of Bride Mountain in central Arizona.
Tough and independent, she is the woman we all wish we had in our lives. A rancher herself, the author clearly knows the trials, blisters and animals of which she writes. Her details and descriptions are lyric, but, while characters evolve, many of them are hard to truly know. Perhaps there are too many. This is Auker’s first novel, but I believe not her best. I would definitely read a second and third, expecting each one to be more compelling.
—Lisa Schnebly Heidinger, author of Arizona : 100 Years Grand 1912-2012