Rosanne Bittner: Heart of the West Heart of the West Outlaw Hearts Series

Rosanne Bittner

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Summer is on the way, and so is SHADOW TRAIL!



Book cover showing a cowboy embracing a blonde woman     Scarred inside and out from a tortured childhood and an outlaw past, Jake Harkner never dreamed he could find true love or know the joy of family. Then, in 1865, a chance encounter with widowed Miranda Hayes struck his heart like lightening and struck hers like thunder. Thus began the OUTLAW HEARTS saga.

     SHADOW TRAIL brings readers to the year 1902, when the dark cloud of a woman from Jake’s past appears on the horizon, creating an emotional twister that Jake fears will destroy Miranda’s love for him. Jake is forced to reveal a deep dark secret to his wife and family, and to break a promise he made to Miranda of never strapping on his .44’s again. But this time, Miranda vows she will not be left behind to wait and worry while Jake rides into danger yet again. Come hell or high water, she intends to ride beside her husband into outlaw country.

      Told through realistic history and events that settled the American West, SHADOW TRAIL brings readers an enduring love story about a man and a woman who over the years have been tested beyond what most can handle. Jake Harkner is the classic bad man with a good heart. You can’t help rooting for this man and the woman who loves him as they journey from their sprawling ranch in Colorado to northern Wyoming's Outlaw Trail, searching for answers that might finally clear the storm clouds of Jake’s past.

      "We are all gettin' older, Jake," Cole teased. "How do you keep up with a wife who is ten years younger than you?"

     Jake paused, glancing at Miranda. "You just have to love her so much that it hurts," he answered. "The rest is easy."

      Randy smiled as she handed out her home-made bread. She was always surprised at how a man who could be so ruthless often spoke more like a poet than an outlaw.

Note: Please see my Outlaw Hearts Series page for information about previous books in the series!


Toddler with hat sitting in beach sandToddler in hat walking through sand on a beach       I took a break from working on SHADOW TRAIL a few days ago, so that my grandson Brennan and I could take great-grandson Bannon to Rocky Gap Beach on Lake Michigan, about 10 minutes from where I live. Bannon had never been to the beach before and, of course, he loved it, as all kids do when it comes to sand and water. Can’t wait to take him again when the big lake is a little warmer and he can dabble his little feet into it. Lake Michigan is beautiful, and I am so grateful to be alive to share these things with a great-grandchild. As you can see, Bannon loves his hat. It blew off 2-3 times, but he put it right back on. He is a happy, happy little boy and the light of my life.

       I now hope to have Amazon publish my next Outlaw Hearts book, SHADOW TRAIL, at the end of July. I had planned it for a little sooner, but I still am not finished with the book, and I do a lot of editing and re-writing before I put it on the market. I know you are anxious for the story, but naturally I want it to be the best it can be and not have any errors. You would be surprised how much editing it takes to get a book ready for market. Hang in there. SHADOW TRAIL is coming soon!

       Just when Jake thinks his past will finally leave him alone, a woman from his early outlaw years shows up on the J&L Ranch and brings that past back into the lives of the Harkners. Shocking revelations involving Jake present new challenges for Randy and Jake and the whole family. And after Jake’s near-death experience in BLAZE OF GLORY, Randy is not about to let her husband ride into danger again while she stays behind to worry. Randy makes a bold decision in SHADOW TRAIL. This time Jake will not leave her behind. She is determined to ride into hell with him!

        I can’t wait to see how all of you feel about the new cover for SHADOW TRAIL and the tall, handsome man we chose for Jake (above). This time I have real characters, not just shadows like what was on the cover for BLAZE OF GLORY. I could not use the characters on the first four books, as those covers and the models belong to the artist and to Sourcebooks, but I longed for the faces of the characters this time. I think the artist, author Amanda Mariel, came up with something very close to our beloved Jake and Randy. They are in a very romantic pose that shows two people who are in LOVE, not lust … two people who you can tell are totally “into” each other, who understand each other, who need each other. Miranda always says that in Jake’s arms is where she feels safe and loved, and the cover to SHADOW TRAIL depicts that feeling! I want those big, strong arms around ME!

       After SHADOW TRAIL, I may work on a sequel to DANCING BENEATH YOU. And I have a brand new western I want to write called A WIND IN THE PINES. It’s a very compelling love story. Of course, I still plan to write the story about Jake’s grandson (also named Jake) as a full-grown (and meltingly handsome) young man. I have talked about this before, and I do intend to write the book, which will bring in one of Zeke Monroe’s (from Savage Destiny) granddaughters. I will finally tie these two families together. Never in a million years did I know, when I wrote the Savage Destiny books back in the eighties, that forty years later I would bring the Monroes back into my mind and heart through writing a different series. What goes around, comes around. It just took me 40 years to complete the circle.

Rosanne holding a copy of Dancing Beneath You at her book signing in September 2022.       I have so many more ideas for stories yet to write. also still want to work on my WWII story, which I will probably title NOW AND FOREVER. I have a new pioneer (Native American/ white) love story to write called IF I LOVED YOU, and I still want to write a book about Jake’s namesake grandson (young Jake all grown up), as well as an eighth SAVAGE DESTINY book about one of Zeke Monroe’s modern-day descendants.

       The ideas never end! I pray every night for the health I’ll need to continue writing. My goal is 80 books before I am gone from this earth. These next two will make 77, so I have a good start! I appreciate all of you so much. You are what keeps me going, so keep reading, and as long as the Good Lord allows my brain and fingers to work, I will keep writing!

        If you are new to my writing -- or even if you want to replace old favorites -- please see my Books in Print page for a complete list of all my books, with most recent covers, publication histories, and ordering links. Eventually, I want to have all of my backlist available for both new readers and long-time fans who have reread the original print versions so many times that the pages are worn out! If you prefer the convenience of e-books, check out my E-books List, where you will find ordering links for electronic versions of my books in several different e-book formats.

       Brand new Bittner titles are distributed through But locally in Southwest Lower Michigan -- my books are available at Hardings Market and Linda's Antiques in Coloma and Back On the Rackin Watervliet! You'll find my new books there, as well as an assortment of my older titles. I am excited to have such great outlets for my work right here in and near my own hometown. (Plus, Email mefor a personalized autograph.) You can also check with your local library or book store and ask them to order any of my books you’d like to read.

Rosanne and faithful reader Chet Cripe       And if you want a print book personalized for yourself or before you “gift” it, just e-mail me privately at rosannebittner17@outlook.comfor mailing information, and I will pay the postage to send the signed books back to you! Or, if you prefer, I can autograph a label for you to stick into your book.

       I'm hearing from more and more men who enjoy my books, like Chester "Chet" Cripe, a Korean War veteran who was one of my avid fans and a dear friend. Chet died in 2020, and I miss him very much. Chet was a member of the 45th Division of the Army Infantry and was Sergeant of the 4th Platoon. He served on Heartbreak Ridge, Sandbag Castle and Christmas Hill. The Outlaw Hearts seriesin particular were among his favorites because they are packed with action, western history, and solid family values as well as heart- felt romance. Yes, "real" men really DO enjoy reading my books!

       Many thanks for your continuing e-mails and notes. YOU keep me going back to the computer to write more books. Many of you tell me that reading my books got you through something physically or emotionally traumatic -- well, WRITING those books does the same thing for me! Keep reading, and I will keep writing!


Rosanne with her replica Colt .45

A Colt .45, much like the gun my heroes use - and my own .30-.30 rifle. The Colt is surprisingly heavy and requires a strong hand and arm to draw, cock and fire in one swift movement. That would take a LOT of practice!

       "Your stories keep me up all night...I'm up in my seventies--and your books take me back in time--and I relive my life through your wonderful imagination! Thank you for being there for all of your readers." -- Zella Mae

Because of the large number of requests I receive for full lists of my books, the Books In Print section of this website is frequently updated to reflect my latest releases, as well as listing all of my past works. I have also added a My Books Now Available in E-Reader Formats page with ordering links for all e-reader formats. You can also use the "Search" link below to find new, used, and Kindle versions of my books on! Associate

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