Winter of Beauty (Paperback)
The winter Bride wears diamonds. To those down below, she appears to be sleeping, locked inside a chastity belt of cold. She naps lightly behind the veil of ice and snow, letting it shield her from the sun and throw it back into the sky. But her chill is only skin deep. Inside her hidden folds and caves and recesses, the heartbeat of her lives and breathes and curls around the seeds of what willbe. The winter Bride is pregnant, gestating the future, smiling quietly at the snores of the bears and the mountain lions, allowing all of the fertile places to swell and burgeon with the life that is to come. The winter Bride is holding a flood in deposit for the sun's withdrawal in spring. This is the canvas on which Amy Hale Auker paints the lives of her characters. Shiney, the ranch owner; Monte, the foreman; Rafe, the old hand; Jody, the new hand; Blake and Brenna, who can't seem to grow up even though they have a houseful of children. These, and many more, are waiting to show you how they live, love, work, and play in the shadow of the Bride. Auker's writing is extraordinary, as evidenced by these reviews of her award-winning Rightful Place: "Her focus is sharp and discerning, intimate and clear - so refreshing that her writing transcends the contemporary cattle-culture and her harsh Texas landscape to become a template for creating a richer life." John Dofflemyer, author of Poems from Dry Creek "Auker is fiercely connected - and will connect you as well - with the most elemental spirits of the earth and the heart." Margo Metegrano, Director of The Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry Winter of Beauty is a novel by Amy Hale Auker, winner of the 2012 WILLA Literary Award for Creative Nonfiction, which will bring joy to your heart and tears to your eyes. Her words come from the heart and will melt you, just like the sun melts the snow on Bride Mountain. A working cowgirl, Auker writes and thrives on a ranch in Arizona where she is having a love affair with rock, mountains, pinon and juniper forests, the weather, and her songwriter husband, who is foreman of the ranch. As Amy says, "For years I cooked for cowboys, cleaned up after cowboys, listened to cowboys tell stories, but for the past five years I have done my own time in the saddle. And I write. Always I write." She guides her readers to a place where the bats fly, lizards do pushups on the rocks, bears leave barefoot prints in the dirt. Where hummingbirds do rain dances in August, spiders weave for their food, and poetry is in the chrysalis and the cocoon. Winter of Beauty will please the adult reader who enjoys the apt description of people and things; the understanding of nature, human or otherwise; and becoming immersed in them through a turn of phrase that brings both clarity of thought and joy in the reading.