Category Archives: Hestand, Rita

Kudo’s to the Self-Published Author

I know that I previously said that I would normally just post on Monday’s, but as I was falling to sleep last night it struck me what a great contribution the self-published author is making to the reading world and I just wanted to give them kudos.

Fresh Perspectives:

That’s what they are bringing to the reading world.  This is what I’ve been seeing in the books that I have been reviewing.  It’s not the same old stories written in the same old tone.   I’ll tell you I actually stopped buying pop fiction a few years back because every book seemed to be the same.  I got so sick of it I boycotted them and decided to read all of the classics.  Yes, it’s true that the mainstream publishing houses will come out with something new and different every once in a while, but that doesn’t happen very often.  For the most part if they find something that sells, they bring in more authors to write more of those same stories.   But those days are changing.  The market is getting blown wide open to fresh perspectives.

  • The warmth and goodness that Rita Hestand brings to the romance novel in Chief Cook and Bottle Washer rather than that constant tension between protagonists that you find in most romance novels.
  • The great sense of humor portrayed by C. L. Bevill in Bubba and the Dead Woman.  I can count on one hand, and still have some fingers left over, the number of authors that made me laugh as much.
  • The history of and memorial to Torpedo Squadron 4.  What Gerald W. Thomas brought to this in Torpedo Squadron 4: A Cockpit View of World War II, because of his experience, was not only an extensive historical record, or a list of battles, but he added a level of humanity to it and, thereby, memorialized those who flew.
  • Robert Day in Demon Gates:  Book One of the Nexus Wars Saga (review upcoming) with his ability to portray all of his characters with their own stories.

Kudos to you all!

Chief Cook and Bottle Washer by Rita Hestand

3.5 out of 5 Stars

 Genre: Contemporary  Word Count:  86,000

Where to purchase:

Amazon: $2.99              Barnes and Noble:  Free (as of 06/20/2011)


Emma and her daughter Sammie Jo need a place to hide out.  Deke Travers needs a cook on his family’s ranch.  He also wants to find wives for his brothers in hopes that will settle them down.  Deke decides to kill two birds with one stone and hire Emma as the cook in hopes that she and his brother Clint will fall in love. 


He liked the sound of her voice, and when she chuckled it tickled his toes.  A cowboys’ toes shouldn’t tickle, he warned himself and straightened the foolish grin on his face.


This is a standard romance novel, along the lines of the Harlequin Romance stories.  Girl’s in trouble.  Boy ends up saving her, and they fall in love.  And like the Harlequin Romances it’s a short, easy read. 

In the beginning the author seems to have a little trouble introducing new characters.  In addition, and this is only at the beginning of the book, the author tends to assume that the reader knows what she is talking about.  Making the start of the book a little confusing.  But once you get past that the rest of the book just flows.

 The best part of this book was the warmth of the Travers family, and how they welcomed Emma and Sammie Jo into their home.  I especially liked how the author  was able to portray the vulnerability of these cowboys to a baby.  They just melt.  It’s really a sweet romance story.

Content Rating:

This book is very clean.  No swearing, sex, or graphic violence.


The book does not include a table of contents.   There are some other minor design issues, but nothing that should interrupt the reading experience.

About the Author:

Rita Hestand is from Texas, she’s a widow, a mother, and a grandmother. She was an only child, and she traveled the U.S as a child extensively.

What made her a writer was the fact that she was an only child growing up in a age when a kid had to use their imagination to entertain themselves.  She acted out her first books in the backyard all over the countryside.

Rita worked most of her adult life, but one job she’s especially proud of is as a day care provider in her home for twenty years. Helping to raise her own grandchildren to school age, it seemed only natural to enroll in the Institute of Children’s Literature, where she graduated in 1997. Rita writes children’s books, poetry and romance, along with plays and short stories. 

She’s a member of  Books We Love, WRW, and a firm believer that learning should never stop.  But above all, she believes that one should NEVER GIVE UP!

You can find out more about the author and her other titles at