Saturday, December 14, 2019

Montana Memories by Merrillee Whren

     From the time I was four until I turned ten, my family lived in Billings, Montana. I remember walking over a mile to school when it was really cold, bundled up in coats, gloves, hats, snow pants, and boots. Blizzards, tall snowdrifts, sledding, building snowmen, and ice skating were a normal part of winter.
     When I started writing books, I decided I would set at least one book in every place I've ever lived. When I set out to write the adult stories of three teenagers who were secondary characters in some of my early Love Inspired books, I decided to set one of those books in Montana. Brittany's story became Montana Match. I relied on my memories of living in Montana. Although I didn't live on a ranch, we had a mini-ranch just down the street from us. Our neighbor raised cows, horses, and goats. We got fresh milk from the lady who lived at the end of our lane. 
     I put my hero on an isolated ranch, but he referred to himself as a gentleman rancher. He lives there, but he has hired hands who do the actual ranching. My hero has adopted twin daughters. One of my best friends in fourth grade was named Rose. She had Crow Indian ancestry, and I used her as a model for my twins. I even named one of them Rose.
     The other books in the series were never purchased by Love Inspired, so I decided to publish them myself, and the Front Porch Promises series was born. The series expanded beyond those three teenagers and their adults stories, and for the longest time, A Place to Call Home was Book #1 in the Front Porch Promises series. However, Montana Match was always intended to be the first book. Recently the rights to Montana Match reverted back to me, so I gave it a new title to go along with the other books in the series. It is now titled A Match to Call Ours, and it has a new cover. 

You can preorder it now for 99 cents. Get the buy links by clicking or tapping here.

What are some of your childhood memories?

Merrillee Whren is the winner of the 2003 Golden Heart Award presented by Romance Writers of American. She is married to her own personal hero, her husband of forty-plus years, and has two grown daughters. Connect with her on her Facebook page and sign up for her newsletter.


  1. I remember I rode my bike all over Lexington, Ky. I had so much fun going to my friends, to the park or to the store for a soda.

    1. Margaret, I remember riding my bike all over town when we lived in a small town in South Dakota. When I lived in Montana the area was too rural for good bike riding.

  2. Merrillee, I have never been to Montana. It's a good idea to set your books in all the places you've lived. And, I love your covers.Beautiful!

    1. Thanks, Josie. Montana is a beautiful state, but it's cold in the winter.