At Home in the Elk River Valley: Reflections on Family, Place, and the West
NATIONAL INDIE EXCELLENCE AWARDS
2012 Finalist for Regional Non-Fiction
CIPA 2012 EVVY Bronze Award Winner for Non-Fiction
CIPA 2012 EVVY Merit Award Winner for Book Cover Design
Readers who love the West will find Mary Kurtz's first collection of essays an insightful journey into the history, natural world, and community of a special mountain valley near Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
Join her as she introduces you to modern-day pioneers whose stories inspire and entertain. Meet a long-time rancher who hunts mountain lion where "no man…ever walked"; a larger than life grandmother (usually seen wearing a bonnet and baseball hat) who never quite matched anyone's image of a rancher; and visionary land preservationists who protected the valley they love for generations to come.
What Readers Are Saying
"(Mary's writing) is not only deeply felt, but deeply rooted in its place. Its density and cadence capture the weight and flow of the valley...It moves along, one thought opening to another, just as our lives and our natural world do. It is entirely authentic."
- Ann Anderson Stranahan,
Author of Window on the River
"Her lyrical prose ponders not only the seasonal change on the natural landscape, but the seasonal change of family life and those occuring within rural and western communities. This memoir is about change, loss, rejuvenation, and hope that is best enjoyed by the fireplace or under a shady elm to transport you into the slower pace of rural living."
- Sharon DeBartolo Carmack
Author of You Can Write Your
"This collection of short essays is a riveting read."
- Five Stars *****
Midwest Book Review
"Mary's insight into the ranching lifestyle and how communities change has relevancy to the lives of each one of us, no matter where we live. An easy to read, poetic memoir."
- Sue Leonard
Cornerstone Fulfillment Service, LLC
"Mary eloquently shares her perspectives on the land, people, and traditions of our region. A feat that appears effortless to (her)."
North Routt Rumors Publisher
"I was sad when it ended. So, wonderful. It is a real comfort to a "newbie" to this grand and glorious (ranching) life. It says it's OK to feel lonely, overwhelmed by chores, and to drop in on a friend for a cup of tea."
- Susie Frasier,
$14.95 Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Ingram, Baker and Taylor
Ankle High and Knee Deep:
Women Reflect on Western Rural Living
Editor, Gail Jenner
Globe Prequot Press
Mary's essays, "Bugsy"
and "Daddy's Girl," are in-
cluded in this anthology
on western rural living.
Released June, 2014.
$16.95 Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble,
Indie Bound and Globe Pequot.
What Reviewers Are Saying
" 'Bugsy,' the horse rescue story is riveting. Spring floods suddenly swell Colorado's Elk River and a horse is stranded. I was tight there rooting for Bugsy's safe recovery. Palpitations and all!"
" 'Daddy's Girl' is a poignant essay about the cycle of life."
- Ann McCauley
for Story Circle Reviews
"In 'Bugsy,' Routt County writer and rancher, Mary Kurtz, captures the essence of (the connection of each person and animal connected to the others who are part of the land). Writing about the rescue of a neighbor's horse from the Elk River's flood waters, Kurtz touches the reader with the fearful force of icy waters. In recounting the arrival of dry clothes for drenched and shivering rescuers, her words reveal the unusal sense of warmth which exists among neighbors who share the seasons of their lives."
- Harriet Freiberger
Summer's Wild Reads
Available at Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Borders and fine bookstores everywhere
My Grandmother's Kitchen: Recipes and Remembrances of Mabel Ide Mortensen by Mary B. Kurtz
My Grandmother's Kitchen consists of recipes from my maternal grandmother, Mabel Ide Mortensen. When she passed away I inherited her small white recipe box in which I found more than just recipes. It was a window into my grandmother's life as a farm girl and family matriarch. Included in the cookbook are recipes, excerpts from letters written to family and friends, and historical photographs of my grandmother and grandfather from the early 1900s until the late 1900s. Readers will enjoy my grandmother's practical recipes and a pictorial history of her life as a farm girl, teacher, mother, and grandmother.
My grandmother valued education throughout her lifetime. Although she always desired a college education, she was unable to pursue a degree for financial reasons. It would have pleased her to know that this memorial fund will assist those USF students who desire an education to pursue and complete their degrees.
A portion of all proceeds go to the Mabel Ide Scholarship Fund at Sioux Falls University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.