I love creating characters, and those who populate the Circle Bar Ranch Series are my favorites. And, since Give the Lady a Ride was my first published novel, all the characters are also dear to my heart. They’re all back for The Final Ride, and I thoroughly enjoyed the reunion. Next few weeks, I’ll be introducing you to the characters in my novels, starting with those who live on the ranch itself.
Here’s a quick run-down of some of the Circle Bar Ranch residents:
Frank is our oldest, wisest, and dearest resident. His wife Margie died a number of years ago, and the Circle Bar’s original owners, Jake and Loretta McAllister (Patricia’s aunt and uncle) nursed him out of his depression and bout with alcoholism. Also convinced him to quit smoking, though for a long while afterward, he continued to reach to his pocket for a cigar that wasn’t there. Jake and Loretta, devout Christians themselves, also led Frank back to the Lord, and he hasn’t strayed since.
He walks with a hitch in his hip–from too many wrecks in his bronc riding days–and can’t easily mount a horse now, so he’s in charge of hay management and all things mechanical. Something breaks down, he can fix it.
Where he excels, though, is insight. Frank’s a thinker, and he’s mighty astute. Patricia and Talon both consider him somewhat of a father figure, a role he proudly steps in to.
Buster Milligan, on the other hand, is the workhorse. He’s never participated in a rodeo–not on the dirt anyway. He’s always at the chutes, helping wherever he can. He figures he’s too stocky to ride a bronc or a bull, and he gets enough calf roping and bull wrangling at the ranch to fool with it in the arena.
Buster’s never been married; until recently, he’s never really been in love. He’s a simple man with simple wants, including a good job, three meals a day, and a roof over his head–preferably one that houses a TV. He’s fond of keeping things even-keeled. Doesn’t like change. Wants his life peaceful and easy–“normal,” he would say, and in that, he and Patricia have a lot in common.
Buster is as loyal as they come, usually pretty quiet, but when he does speak, he tends to forget his filters. That occasionally has him in need of apologizing to someone. When he’s not being cranky, he’s a good man to have around.
Chef and Consuela Garcia run the house itself–or I should say, Consuela does. Chef works where needed and is the master chef at the barbecue pit. His primary function in life is to keep Consuela from losing her temper. No easy feat.
These two have a home away from the ranch and four adult children, all of whom now have children of their own. Now, Chef quietly filters in and out of the ranch life, doing what needs to be done, while Consuela plays mother to all who live on it. She cooks, cleans, and does the laundry, expects things to be done on time and her way, and has everyone wary of crossing her. As Chef says, “She’s good at being mad.”
But she also has a big heart, and once she’s decided to take you under her wing, you’re nestled in her love forever–though that doesn’t guarantee she’ll never again get angry with you.
These are some of the primary characters who occupy the ranch. Wednesday, I’ll introduce you to some of those who occupy the Flying K, where Ben Kilgore raises some pretty rank bulls.
Don’t forget, you can find Give the Lady a Ride on Amazon–and The Final Ride is available for pre-order!