“Outskirts was my third experience with self-publishing companies. Outskirts Press stands head and shoulders above the other two. Amateur authors, especially those not particularly computer smart, require rapid and kind responses to their cries for help. Jerry and Colleen were most helpful. The German Woman’s Hired Hand was my fifth self-publishing endeavor and by far the most rewarding. Thank you!”
Paul Gaines is a lifelong reader of Western novels and the author of The Cyclone Legacy. Marjorie Anderson is the author of Ninth Summer, This End Up, and A Patchwork Sampler. Both are residents of Edmond, Oklahoma.
“The German Woman’s Hired Hand” is a Twentieth Century Western romance. It involves the difficulties facing a young German war bride, Helga Heinke, whose abusive husband, John Marston, has abandoned her, leaving her to manage a ranch on Oklahoma’s Western plains. To add to Helga’s problems, her husband has used the post-war anti-German mind set to turn the community of Dibs against her. With few friends and needing help to continue operation of the ranch, she turns to a Lutheran minister for help in securing a new hired hand. Rev Steigner knows just the right man. Jake Sorrells is an unlikely choice. Due to injuries suffered in the Invasion of Normandy, Sorrells leaves the military hospital addicted to drugs and alcohol. In addition, he has become a lethal source for clients incapable of rendering the violent justice that is his specialty. Helga is a strong young woman determined not only to save the ranch but—by using her considerable design skills and talent for organization—to become an asset to the community that has shunned her. Not long after Sorrells hires on at the ranch, he befriends Charlie Conn, a 15-year-old local boy who joins Helga and Sorrells in trying to make the ranch solvent. Through their efforts, the ranch begins to pay for itself, and Helga’s bold new local enterprise begins to flourish, endearing her to the community. When Sorrells relapses into alcohol addiction, Charlie and Helga support him, and when danger threatens they defend themselves and each other. In the process, Helga and Sorrells fall in love, but between them there is always the question of not if but when Jake Sorrells will one day throw his gear into the pickup and be gone. He knows, as does Helga, that the time will come.