Barb was also an enormously talented writer. Of the thousands of manuscripts I'd browsed through there over the years, hers are still among my favorites because she had a rare gift for imagery. I would've eagerly bought her books, read them and shared my enthusiasm for them with others, they were that good.
Last year we exchanged a few e-mails. She never once mentioned she was unwell. She didn't live far from me and I said in passing that I ought to drop by, next time I was in her vicinity. Sadly, I never did.
Her stories are very worth reading. There are still excerpts up at Authonomy. I'd like to share the links so you can see just how beautiful her writing is:
Rodeo made him a star. A crippling accident and the life that followed made him a man.
His career destroyed by a crippling injury, former rodeo champ Joel Garrett unwillingly faces life outside the showring. Riding had once been as easy as breathing but now every step is painful, every breath an effort.
Desperate for a future, he finds himself at a rundown barn in the middle of nowhere. There, he meets an old man equally broken by life, a young man struggling under the shadow of abuse, and a horse that could restore them all.
Together they forge a dream of greatness, but nothing in Joel's previous life has prepared him for the destruction that follows his past finally meeting his present.
Whispers through the Aspens
A Colorado ghost town was only a tourist attraction until the death of a guest breathed life into a legend. Then a boy disappeared …
A young woman’s fatal fall from a cliff is only the latest in a series of unexplained deaths that have fed the legend of a Colorado ghost mining town for over a hundred years. But this time the victim’s family wants answers Will Adler, the head wrangler at Aspen Valley, can’t give them. And now her sister, Robyn, is there with an agenda of her own.
Only days later, Will’s young son disappears, sending his father on a frantic search up the mountain where he finds unlikely support in Robyn and then a clue that the mountain he’d always loved might hold a sinister secret—far beneath the surface . . .
Rest well, Barb. You're a good soul. I'm glad to have known you and humbled by your talent and selflessness.