Monday, February 13, 2017

A Longhorn By Any Other Name by Melanie D. Snitker

Writing books is an adventure. And while research is necessary, it’s not always my favorite part of the process. When it came to Finding Joy, however, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.

Parker, the hero of the story, works his family’s ranch in Kitner, Texas. In addition to the Angus they raise for beef, they have a small herd of Texas Longhorns. While I’d seen longhorns before, I knew very little about them and had a lot to learn.

Thankfully, I didn’t have to do all my research online or in books. We have a local place, the Whining Bull Ranch, and the wonderful owners were kind enough to invite me over to see their Longhorns and ask questions. Having the opportunity to learn first-hand was an experience I’ll never forget and I hope I was able to transfer some of that to Finding Joy. You can check out my blog if you’d like to learn more about my visit.

I took photographs while I was there, and the beautiful Longhorn shown above really stood out to me. Her registered name is DV Mancha, and she’s affectionately called Cookies. She’s a red roan with red specks and just gorgeous.

As soon as I saw this photograph, I knew I had to somehow incorporate it into the cover for Finding Joy. Victorine from Blue Valley Author Services was up to the challenge. You can see how she took the image of DV Mancha and put her into the background of the cover (see below).

Learning about Longhorns was a blast, and I hope those extra details in Finding Joy help you all to see what amazing creatures they are. 

Finding Joy, the fifth book in my Love's Compass series, is available for pre-order and will be released tomorrow.

Sometimes, what looks like a dead end, is really a new beginning.

A horrific accident changed everything for Parker Wilson. Unable to find solid footing in his disrupted life, he returns to his family's ranch, a place he thought he'd left behind for good. The scars on his face are a daily reminder of all he's lost, yet his mom still insists he needs to stop hiding and live his life again. The beautiful new employee she hires is the last thing he needs, despite his mom's best intentions, and he'll do whatever it takes to make the girl quit and regain the peace and quiet he prefers.

Nothing short of desperation would force Chelsea Blake to work on a local cattle ranch. But if she's going to avoid her parents' judgment when they arrive in three weeks, she must turn the temporary job into a permanent one. Between dodging mud, feeding Longhorn cattle, and dealing with a handsome boss who keeps giving her the cold shoulder, staying gainfully employed is proving to be a challenge. Chelsea may not be cut out for ranch life, but her determination to succeed is stronger than Parker's efforts at forcing her to leave. 

Unprepared to discover all they have in common, if they set aside their initial dislike, they just might find joy beyond measure.

Melanie D. Snitker has enjoyed writing for as long as she can remember. She started out writing episodes of cartoon shows that she wanted to see as a child and her love of writing grew from there. She and her husband live in Texas with their two children who keep their lives full of adventure, and two dogs who add a dash of mischief to the family dynamics. In her spare time, Melanie enjoys photography, reading, crochet, baking, archery, target shooting, and hanging out with family and friends.

Melanie enjoys connecting with readers


  1. Melanie, I live in Texas and our neighbor had Longhorns for many years so I was able to see them up close as well. They are amazing. I don't understand how they hold their heads up though. Those horns have to weigh a bunch.

    1. Hi Mary! That's so neat that you had neighbors who raised Longhorns. I'll bet it was a lot of fun to see them on a daily basis. I don't know how they hold those heads up all the time, either!

  2. That is the most beautiful pic of a longhorn, Melanie! Your book sounds so good. Best wishes on the new release!

    1. Thanks, Josie! I had so much fun photographing the Longhorns while I was there.

  3. Love, love the photo - and how cool that you got to tour the ranch. My brother raised longhorns years ago and I always had such fun snapping photos of them. Best wishes with Finding Joy!

    1. Thanks, Shanna! How neat that your brother raised longhorns years ago. They are so photogenic!