Hello readers!

It’s been a busy month here in Tucson doing final edits on Hardland, judging for a national literary contest, and attending the phenomenal Tucson Festival of Books, back after a two-year hiatus due to COVID.

Here’s a pic of me with the True West Magazine editor Stuart Rosebrook in the Western Writers of America booth at the Tucson Festival of Books. I was talking up Hardland, which is set in rural Arizona Territory from 1899-1907 and due out 9/13/22.

Publishing News:

The final edits are in for Hardland and we’re awaiting advanced reader copies to send out for trade reviews (Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, etc.)

And more author endorsements for Hardland are coming in! This, from prolific Arizona history author, Jan Cleere:

“Ashley E. Sweeney minces few words as she unravels Ruby Fortune’s fate on the early Arizona frontier. Wild west performer, drug addict, ardent lover, mother, and murderer, Ruby’s story is gritty and unabashedly raw. She quickly learns she is sometimes no match for the trials that come her way, but she survives as only she knows how—with her strength, her wit, and her gun. Spellbinding from beginning to end.”

Jan Cleere, New Mexico-Arizona Book Award winner of Military Wives of Arizona

Thanks, Jan!

New Manuscript:

A new idea took a hold of me this past month that I can’t put aside for another minute, so I’m shelving the Nebraska novel idea. That’s all I’m going to say for now, but I’m excited to begin!

ARC (Advanced Reading Contest) Winners:

Thank you to all who requested an advanced reader copy of Hardland in exchange for an honest review. I couldn’t chose between these two top contenders, so I will send an ARC each to Chelsie Stanford and Tammy Underhill. Congratulations!


Win a deck of cards with the cover of Hardland on each playing card! I have two decks to give away, so enter (by filing out my website’s contact form here) and I’ll choose randomly at the end of the month.

Book Club Selections:

Thanks to Arizona friend Jeannee Yermakoff and her wonderful book club, Western Springs, Illinois-based Forest Avenue and Friends Book Group, for a delightful book club meeting discussing Answer Creek in February.

In their 25-year existence, the group has read hundreds of books. With approximately 1,000,000 books published each year in the U.S. alone, I love to see a curated list like these 2022 reads to add to my TBR stack:

His Only Wife, by Peace Adzo Medie

Girl, Woman, Other, by Bernadine Evaristo

The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race, by Walter Issacson

Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel

Writers & Lovers, by Lily King

Leave the World Behind, by Rumaan Alam


In Closing:

Speaking of the world, it’s been heart-breaking to watch events unfold in Ukraine over the past month. Here’s a list of contemporary Ukrainian authors to support: Liubko Deresh, Serhiy Zhadan, Oksana Zabuzhko, Yurii Andrukhovych, and Maria Matios.


Until next month, Happy Reading.