Montana Series

Montana Series of books

Montana Dream – Book 1

Novel, Montana Dream

Montana Dream


Joe Goodman always had a dream of having a homestead in the west. Working indoors in the city was not his idea of the way to live for the rest of his life. He and his wife, Kate Torrenson, were frugal and saved as much as they could. What challenges would this present for them? They were young and had been married for two years. No babies had come yet so they could come and go as they wished. Joe’s Dad often talked about his dream of a visit to the western frontier but even after all these years it was still just talk. Perhaps the talk influenced Joe’s dream but he was actively working towards it. Joe shared his dream with Kate and it became their dream together.

On their first visit to Montana, Kate and Joe stayed with John and Martha Stevenson, former neighbors of Joe and his parents. The rapport was strong and they enjoyed their two-week vacation. They looked at two ranches while they were visiting and at one of them they met Charlie. Upon a second visit to Charlie’s farm, he shared about his family history. He loaned Kate a trunk of all the Davis family papers and she agreed to make an inventory of it, try to find some more family members, and perhaps write a book. This was Kate’s first attempt at a book but she methodically worked through the trunk and began learning about the family. The world around her was blocked out as she was totally immersed in the project.

Kate discovered from journals in the trunk that the Davis family home was in Detroit so Joe and Kate decided to try and find it. What a wonderful surprise to find the house and Kate quickly sketched it. Joe suggested they knock on the door to see if the current owners knew anything about the Davis family. Sandra and Paul MacDonald purchased the home from Elizabeth Davis and still had some items that Elizabeth was going to come back at a later time to retrieve but never came back. The missing journal was there along with many other items.

Kate wrote letters to Davis family members which blossomed into a family reunion with the MacDonalds suggesting that the location be at the family home. Kate was able to collect information as well as pictures. Kate had the information she needed to complete the book. Her Mom, Elizabeth Torrenson, offered to type the book, Jolene, the spokeswoman for the Davis family, Joe’s Mom, Paula Goodman, and Sandra MacDonald all helped with the editing. Jeannie came from the museum to assist with historical data and sections on the clothing to ensure accuracy. What a wonderful bonding time it was for these women. The lives of all of them except Jolene intertwine over the years as friendships grow.

Life on the Montana Frontier – Book 2

Novel, Life on the Montana Frontier

Life on the Montana Frontier

Joe and Kate Goodman with their young son Andrew moved from their home in Detroit in 1931 after Joe lost his job at the Ford Motor Company during the depression. They were partners with Charlie Davis on a ranch in the rolling hills of Montana. When they traveled west by train, Jeannie Henderson came along with them as she was to marry Charlie in a week’s time. What challenges lay ahead of them? Would they realize some or all of their dreams?

In the three years since they first met, Charlie had worked hard on the ranch making it into a very successful place. He was building a second house for himself and his new wife to live in.

Joe and Kate’s parents kept up a regular correspondence with their children and shared about the clouds of dust hovering over their city and their concern for those in Montana. Joe and Charlie were always thinking ahead and trying to learning from mistakes of others and had followed closely the causes of the dust bowl. They made some changes to their own farming methods to alleviate something similar happening to them.

Joe and Charlie often saw people in need when they went into town, people who had lost their farms and had traveled west. They often discussed what they might be able to do to help. When Jim Robertson arrived with his wife, Sarah, and four children and knocked at the door, Kate welcomed them in and sat them right down for a hearty vegetable stew. Joe and Charlie agreed to hire him.

Joe came to the house to see Jim who was already out working at weeding the vegetable garden. Jim saw something that needed to be done and he eagerly went for it in thanks for the meal they had enjoyed. Joe offered them the use of the large tent for them to sleep in, and they could have their meals with his family. They couldn’t afford to pay him a wage, but shelter and food and clothes would be provided. There were always extra jobs to be done around the farm. The Robertsons, Goodmans, and Davis’ all got along well. When cooler weather was coming, Charlie and Joe decided it was time to build another house as Jim planned to stay around as long as he could.

During the winter months when his duties were less, Joe looked after their two children so that Kate could continue with her writing. She was able to complete drafts of three books by the time her parents arrived for their first Montana visit. Another big excitement of the visit was Kate and Jeannie both about to give birth to babies. The grandparents were so happy to be a part of that wonderful time.

From Montana to Boston and Back – Book 3

Novel, Montana to Boston and Back

Montana to Boston and Back

Charlie Davis and his wife Jeannie are heading on a trip to Boston to see her relatives whom she has not seen for years. Jeannie interviewed many relatives, had questionnaires completed, and gathered pictures and other family documents to take back with her to Montana to share with Kate Goodman. What surprises will Kate and Jeannie discover?  What mysteries will they need to solve?

Kate has been working on her family book on the Torrensons but has run into a snag with it. Will she find the solutions to the mysteries that have cropped up? Will she have the stamina to complete the books with another baby on the way?

Charlie Davis married his childhood sweetheart, Jeannie Henderson in 1931. The year is now 1935 and Charlie had a good farming year on his Montana ranch. They have a son, Chuck, who was born in January two years before, and twins, Jennifer and James born in June this year.

Joe Goodman joined him in 1931 as his partner on the ranch. They have developed a very good working rapport and feel very much like brothers. His wife, Kate, is a lovely, generous woman with a big heart. They now have four children. Andrew is six and started school last month. Julie is the same age as Chuck, and their twins were born a couple of days before Charlie’s twins.

Jim and Sarah Robertson live in the original ranch house and fit in well with the Goodmans and Davis’s. They lost their ranch to the dust bowl of the prairies and happened to stop at Charlie’s place looking for work. Kate took them in and fed them, Joe and Charlie invited them to stay, and they are a great addition to the enterprise. They have four children ranging in ages from eleven to five, David, Timothy, Sandra, and Susie.

Sandra and John Paul MacDonald purchased the Davis family home in Detroit. Joe and Kate met them when Kate was researching for her first book on Charlie Davis’ family. The McDonalds have become like another set of parents to Kate and Joe. A friendship has developed between them, Peter and Paula Goodman, and Paul and Elizabeth Torrenson, Joe and Kate’s parents. The three couples make a yearly trip out to see those on the Montana ranch.

Paul, Elizabeth and Kate go into town and visit with Tommy Torrenson who installed the furnace in Joe and Kate’s new home the previous year. The aim was to see if there was a connection between the Torrensons in the east and those in the west. Elizabeth had studied the documents they had and felt that she had found the connection.  Thus begins a further adventure meeting more Torrenson relatives.

Come with me and see what surprises are in store for Kate.

Montana Sons Go to War – Book 4 

Novel, Montana Sons Go to War

Montana Sons Go to War

The situation in Europe continues to escalate and Joe and Kate Goodman follow the news as it becomes available.  Charlie Davis, Joe and Jim Robertson make plans for when the United States will enter the war. They decide to teach the women how to drive the tractors, plough, disk, and plant the crops, and how to care for the animals.

On December 7, 1941, hundreds of Japanese fighter planes attack the American naval base at Pearl Harbor near Honolulu, Hawaii. Twenty American naval vessels, including eight large battleships and more than three hundred airplanes are destroyed.  Our Montana Sons are now going to war. How will Kate, Jeannie and Sarah make out on the ranch? Will they be able to do all the chores on their own? Will they get any unexpected help?

But we have jumped ahead in our story.

It is now 1937 and Charlie Davis is enjoying a good farming year on his Montana ranch.  Charlie and his wife Jeannie have three children, Chuck is four, and twins, Jennifer and James will be two later this year.

Joe Goodman is his partner on the ranch. Joe and his wife, Kate, have four children, Andrew is nine, Julie is four, and their twins, Mark and Susannah, were born two days before Charlie’s twins. Kate is expecting her fifth child as the story opens.

Jim and Sarah Robertson live in the original ranch house and fit in well with the Goodmans and Davis’s. They lost their ranch to the dust bowl of the prairies and stopped at Charlie’s place looking for work. Joe and Charlie invited them to stay, and they have stayed on to help make the ranch very successful. They have four children ranging in ages from thirteen to seven, David, Timothy, Sandra, and Susie.

Jeannie and Kate work on two books on Jeannie’s family. There are mysteries to solve and challenges of boxes of information to sort through and organize chronologically. Journals provide lots of information on daily life at the time and are valuable for setting scenes and bringing the story alive. Joe and Charlie spend the winter months looking after their children.  Sarah gives a helping hand by typing the story after Kate completes writing each chapter.

Kate was ready to start writing her first novel.  She was excited to reach out in a different direction with her writing.

In the foothills at the edge of the grasslands, there stands an abandoned house, a place that was a home for a family who had so many wonderful hopes and dreams.  Where are they now?  What has become of them? First the baby died, the future of Jonathan and Kathleen, their son who would share and carry on their dreams. He was two years old, got sick and died in a very short time…

The first day, Kate wrote feverishly as the thoughts tumbled out of her mind through her pencil and onto the paper.  Joe loved to watch her when she was totally engrossed in her writing. Nothing disturbed her when she was so deep into a story.

Montana Sons Return From War – Book 5

Novel, Montana Sons Return From War

Montana Sons Return From War

The Second World War has been raging for more than five years. Joe Goodman, a handsome six foot tall man with dark brown wavy hair and a happy disposition, left his wife Kate behind in Montana with five children soon after Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese. Jim Robertson and his wife Sarah live on the ranch. Jim and his oldest son, David, left for war at the same time as Joe. When will the war end? When will Joe, Jim and David come home? Will they come home? What challenges await them? What traumas will they bring back with them? The Magic Carpet goes into action.

Now that the war is over and the men have returned, what decisions will the parents make? Are they going to stay on the farm or are they going to return to their homes in the east? What is the next step for them? What challenges still await them? They have too much energy to sit and twiddle their thumbs.

Sadly we know from history that the “war to end all wars” did not succeed and more wars followed. The new wars affected our Montana families in a bigger way as the children were old enough to participate. The lives of everyone are changed from that point forward. The Korean War came next. It was followed by the Vietnam War. There are challenges to overcome.

Will Kate ever get back to her writing? What will force her to pursue her life’s calling? What affect will her family’s books have on others? Will they bring healing and understanding to others? Is she now finished writing or are there more books for her to write?

Joe and Kate’s children are growing up. Where will they find their soul mates? What careers will they pursue? What role do twins play in the book? What did they learn from their experiences?

Follow this family with their hopes and dreams through the years in the 1940s and onward. Experience their challenges. Understand their fears. Root for them as they move forward with their lives having overcome the obstacles in their way.