Our Story BEFORE The Story ~ Coy Gentry Whittaker & Aimee Kaplan ~ BECOMING BRAVE

Howdy, everyone. My name is Coy Gentry Whittaker.   

I’m a cowhand with the Bar CT outfit. At least, that’s what I am now—thanks to my boss, Chet Tanner. If it weren’t for him, I’m not real sure what I’d have become. I was well on my way to life as a thief and a pickpocket when he came across me when I was twelve.

You see, I didn’t come from the best home. My ma, she was an angry woman, and she took a lot of her anger out on me. She had her reasons, I suppose, but all that anger aimed at my young heart left me scared, lost, and broken. It became real obvious she didn’t want me around much, so I’d disappear all day. When I’d get hungry, I’d steal an apple from the mercantile or a pie from someone’s window. Or I’d pick some fella’s pocket to get the money I needed to buy me something more filling. That’s how Chet Tanner found me. He caught me lifting his wallet. Rather than turning me in to the authorities, he took me home, asked my ma if he could put me to work on his ranch, and…that’s how I came to the Bar CT. It’s been my home now for the last eight years, and Mr. Tanner and his son, Mitch—well, they’re family. I’m grateful for them. Not only have they taught me a lot about hard work and right living, they taught me what it is to be accepted. I’m still learning that lesson some as you’ll see when you read Becoming Brave.

Hello! My name is Aimee Kaplan.

I had a much different upbringing than Coy’s. I came from a close-knit and loving family. It was an idyllic upbringing, really, full of happiness and fun. But all that ended with the War Between the States. Papa felt it was his duty to serve, and he went off to fight. He never came home. Mama tried to carry on as Papa would expect of her, but she died of a broken heart a year or so later.

My brothers—Edouard, Louis, Marc, and Paul—looked after me in the years since their deaths, and we were doing fun until…until that night. The one where Louis and Paul went to town and found some kind of trouble. I didn’t know at the time what it was, but whatever they’d gotten into brought about a heated discussion between my brothers. They were talking about moving further west. I don’t think any decisions were made until a week or so later, when someone came pounding on the door of our house, demanding my brothers return what they’d stolen from him or…he’d take me instead.

That’s how we wound up in Indian Territory. What happened next is too hard to talk about. Please read Becoming Brave in The Cowboys Collection to find out more.

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Our Story Title:   Becoming Brave

A novella included in the Smitten Historical Romance collection The Cowboys, with Jennifer Uhlarik, Cindy Ervin Huff, and Sandra Merville Hart

Our Story Genre:  Historical Romance

My Story Releases:   August 15, 2019

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Jennifer Uhlarik discovered the western genre as a pre-teen when she swiped the only “horse” book she found on her older brother’s bookshelf. A new love was born. Across the next ten years, she devoured Louis L’Amour westerns and fell in love with the genre. In college at the University of Tampa, she began penning her own story of the Old West. Armed with a B.A. in writing, she has finaled and won in numerous writing competitions, and been on the ECPA best-seller list numerous times. In addition to writing, she has held jobs as a private business owner, a schoolteacher, a marketing director, and her favorite—a full-time homemaker. Jennifer is active in American Christian Fiction Writers, Women Writing the West, and is a lifetime member of the Florida Writers Association. She lives near Tampa, Florida, with her husband, college-aged son, and four fur children.

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 Get Connected:

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WHERE can the book be purchased?

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Jennifer would like to gift a winner a signed copy of
Becoming Brave ~ The Cowboys Collection

Be sure to let Joy Avery Melville (joyjournaling@gmail.com) know where to reach you in case you win!

6 thoughts on “Our Story BEFORE The Story ~ Coy Gentry Whittaker & Aimee Kaplan ~ BECOMING BRAVE”

  1. Good Thursday morning, Jen!IT IS SO GOOD OF YOU TO BRING Coy Gentry Whittaker and Aimee Kaplan to share their STORIES BEFORE THE STORY in this novella collection THE COWBOYS!Enjoy your week here! I appreciate so much, your willingness to share your characters' backstories with my readers.


  2. Love getting more details about the characters. So fun. Don't put me in the drawing because I have lots of copies of your wonderful story. And it was so fun to read.Cindy Ervin Huff


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