Marsha Ward, author

              ...Westerns with Heart & Grit

Latest News:

Gone for a Soldier

August, 2014: WestWard Books has published Marsha Ward's prequel in the Owen Family Saga, Gone for a Soldier. Until Marsha recovers from a little bug and can put up further information, this is the best place to go for purchase links.

Best Book Awards Winner

November, 2013: On the 14th, USA Book News announced that Spinster's Folly won the "Fiction: Western" category of the 2013 USA Best Book Awards. Marsha is thrilled that her novel garnered this national literary award.

In addition, Mirror Press, LLC announced that Marsha was selected as one of six authors who will contribute to the forthcoming WESTERN COLLECTION of the "Timeless Romance Anthology" series. The popular anthology collections feature sweet romance novellas.

Now that the cataract surgeries are over and her eyes are recovering, Marsha will be able to finish Gone For a Soldier, the fifth book in the "Owen Family Saga," as well as write the novella and other works.

October, 2013: Marsha will give two classes at the Kanab Writers Conference this month. She will also put writing Gone For a Soldier on hold for a few weeks until she recovers from eye surgeries. She regrets the delay.

photo by Romaine Brophy

September, 2013: This month, Marsha spoke to a group of writers at the Skyline Retreat near Ephraim, Utah, and talked to an appreciative audience of readers at the Library Friends of Payson's September Author Spotlight.

August, 2013: Marsha is busily working on Gone For a Soldier, her next novel in the Owen Family Saga series. Next month, she will speak at a private Retreat in Utah, and on September 25, will be featured in the monthly free and open-to-the-public Author Spotlight sponsored by the Library Friends of Payson.

July, 2013: Spinster's Folly was submitted for judges' consideration for the Western Fiction Category of the 2013 USA Best Book Awards, sponsored by USA Book News.

photo from Roundup Magazine

June, 2013: Marsha spoke on a panel discussing "Writing about the Mormon West" at the Western Writers of America's 60th Anniversary Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada.

May, 2013: Marsha attended the LDStorymakers Writers Conference, where Heather Gardner took a terrific photo of her. Marsha has since obtained the rights to use it on her sites and in her books and publicity materials.

Marsha also sent out the first issue of her quarterly newsletter in May. To sign up for the mailing list, click here or on the link at the right labeled "Subscribe to my newsletter."

April, 2013: WestWard Books re-published Marsha's first "Owen Family Saga" novel, The Man from Shenandoah, and opened the website.

March 5, 2013: Marsha received word that she will present two classes at the Kanab Writers Conference on October 25-26 in Utah. More details later.

Whitney Award Finalist

February 7, 2013: Spinster's Folly survived initial evaluation by five category judges, and was named a Historical Novel Finalist, acclaimed as one of five outstanding historical novels written by LDS authors in 2012. Winners will be announced at the Whitney Awards Gala on May 11, 2013, at the Provo Marriott

Spinster's Folly

December 11, 2012: Spinster's Folly was submitted for judges' consideration to the 2013 Spur Awards presented by Western Writers of America; and to the 2013 Willa Awards presented by Women Writing the West. Spur Award Finalists will be announced in March, 2013 and Spur Awards will be given on June 29, 2013, at the WWA Convention in Las Vegas. Willa Finalists will be announced in late summer and Winners will receive their Willa Awards at the WWW Conference in Kansas City on October 13, 2013.

December 5, 2012: Spinster's Folly has received at least the minimum five reader nominations needed to be considered an official nominee for the 2012 Whitney Awards, a literary award honoring excellence in fiction by LDS authors. The Whitney Awards are a semi-independent non-profit organization affiliated with the LDStorymakers, a guild for LDS authors. The book will now advance to the judges round.

November 10, 2012: Spinster's Folly, the fourth book in the "Owen Family Saga" series of Western novels, was released by WestWard Books.

Other News:

FinalistTrail of Storms was the Award-Winning Finalist in the "Western Fiction" category of the "Best Books 2010" Awards, sponsored by USA Book News.

Books by Marsha Ward


The Owen Family Saga
a series of novels set during and after American Civil War times, recounting the adventures of the Owen family of Virginia and their neighbors

Gone for a Soldier

Gone for a Soldier

Rulon Owen loves two things more than life—his country and Mary Hilbrands.

When Virginia secedes from the Union, Rulon enlists, and finds himself fighting foes both in battle and in his own camp. He struggles to stay alive against all odds, with a knife-wielding tent-mate and a Union army that seems impossible to defeat. It will take every ounce of vigilance he has to survive and, with a little luck, he might make it home to his wife and the son he's never seen.

Forced to live with her parents for the duration, Mary faces a battle for independence. With a mother whispering that her husband won't come home to her and a son who needs her to be both father and mother, Mary has to dig deep for strength to overcome her overwhelming loneliness and the unknown future ahead.

Separated by war and circumstance, Rulon and Mary discover that not all enemies wear the Union blue.

C.K. Crigger, author of the China Bohannan adventures says:
Marsha Ward has succeeded once again in drawing the reader deep into lives of the Owen family. The Civil War years and its effect on the family are accurately depicted; the romance is real and true. Strong family ties bind this series together and is sure to hold you enthralled.

Bill Markley, Civil War reenactor and author of Deadwood Dead Men, says:
Gone for a Soldier tells the fate of members of three families living in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley during the onslaught of the Civil War. Marsha Ward brings to life characters whose hopes and dreams, and everyday cares are overshadowed by war-torn events spinning their lives out of control and changing them forever. Gone for a Soldier will make you laugh, and bring a lump to your throat.

Book 1: The Man from Shenandoah

The Man from Shenandoah

Carl Owen doesn't intend to lose anything—not his land, not his cattle, and certainly not his girl—ever again!

This is a book to prize, and not only for its gritty realism, exciting action, and compelling characters. The story further engages us by examining the ties that hold family and community together. Not many Westerns do that. Heartily recommended! - C.K. Crigger


Read an excerpt
See the NEW book video
Buy an autographed copy
Buy it at Amazon as a print book, or as a Kindle eBook
Buy it at Barnes and as a nook eBook
Buy an eBook at in 7 formats: Kindle (.mobi), Epub, PDF, RTF, LRF, Palm doc (PDB), Plain Text

Book 2: Ride to Raton

Ride to Raton Thinking he's been treated unjustly by his father, James Owen leaves the family homestead to make a new life for himself.

I was enthralled, and sitting on the edge of my chair, as I read RIDE TO RATON. This is an exciting, quick paced, heartwarming, and heartrending story! James and Amparo are wonderfully "real" characters, with the emotions and interactions between them touching my heart. The secondary characters were fantastic: from mean and drunk, to kind and generous, they added extra life—and spice—to the story. The first one of Marsha Ward's books I've read, I am highly impressed. A western in the true sense of the word, yet with plenty of romance, this one is definitely worth your time if you are a lover of westerns or romances, or both. - Teresa Henson


Read an excerpt
See the book video
Buy an autographed copy
Buy it at Amazon as a print book, or as a Kindle eBook
Buy it at Barnes and as a print book, or as a nook eBook
Buy an eBook at in 7 formats: Kindle (.mobi), Epub, PDF, RTF, LRF, Palm doc (PDB), Plain Text. Includes a Spanish Glossary.

Book 3: Trail of Storms

Trail of Storms

Jessie Bingham put heartbreak away to tend to her sister's needs, but when she settled for second best in love, she didn't foresee that James Owen would come back into her life.

I really really liked this book. I liked the first two books in the series too, but this book seemed to flow beautifully and connect with me.
I must admit I usually have difficulty getting "into" a book. I think it's just me, sometimes it's hard to keep track of all the people right off the bat. Not this book, I was right there, submerged in 1867 and could even smell the hay in the barn!!!
This book starts with a BANG...(I was shocked and extremely impressed!) not to mention throughly entertained ALL the way through. It was intense, touching and heartwarming.
So, great Job Marsha Ward! And to everyone who hasn't read this book- GO GET IT!


Read an excerpt
See the book video
Buy an autographed copy
Buy it at Amazon as a print book, or as a Kindle eBook
Buy it at Barnes and as a print book, or as a nook eBook
Buy an eBook at in 7 formats: Kindle (.mobi), Epub, PDF, RTF, LRF, Palm doc (PDB), Plain Text

Book 4: Spinster's Folly

Spinster's Folly

Marie Owen yearns for a loving husband, but Colorado Territory is long on rough characters and short on fitting suitors.

Endorsement by Johnny D. Boggs, six-time Spur Award-winning author of Camp Ford and Legacy of a Lawman
With a great sense of time and place, crackerjack dialogue and rich characters, Marsha Ward delivers SPINSTER'S FOLLY, a romance, Western, and historical novel rolled into one—and one fun read.


Read an excerpt
Buy an autographed copy
Buy it at CreateSpace as a print book (a better royalty is paid to me if you purchase here, but you decide)
Buy it at Amazon as a print book, or as a Kindle eBook
Buy it at Barnes and as a print book or as a Nook eBook
Buy an eBook at in many formats: Kindle (.mobi), Epub, PDF, RTF, LRF, Palm doc (PDB), Plain Text

Non Fiction


LDS Storymakers: Writing Secrets

LDS Storymakers: Writing Secrets

A comprehensive guide to writing fiction & nonfiction in the LDS market

Written in the same easy-going manner as its companion volume, LDS Storymakers: Publishing Secrets, LDS Storymakers: Writing Secrets offers just the right encouragement and advice needed when faced with two hundred empty pages. Learn from the extensive experiences—both good and bad—of fourteen successful LDS authors as they explain how, and how not, to write your story.


Click here to purchase a copy of this rare book.

LDS Storymakers: Publishing Secrets

LDS Storymakers: Publishing Secrets

A comprehensive guide to getting your book published in the LDS market

Within these pages you'll find encouragement from people who have "been there, done that." They're rooting for you, cheering you on, and challenging you to stay the course and follow your passion.

Written in a friendly, conversational manner, and packed with intriguing, insightful—and sometimes humorous—experiences, LDS Storymakers: Publishing Secrets is sure to become a well-thumbed addition to your writing reference library.


Click here to purchase a copy of this rare book.


"If you want accurate time and place, wonderful lexicon of the time, and a touching, compelling read, don't miss Spinster's Folly."
~ L. J. Martin, author of Nemesis and other western novels

"When Marsha Ward presents the reader with a new book about the Owen family, you can bet it will rivet your interest all the way to the end. You can't help but become totally immersed in the characters' lives. Spinster's Folly features oldest daughter Marie, afraid that at eighteen she's already on the shelf, and only too eager to be wed. Her trouble, and trouble it is, comes in selecting the right man. Charming and earthy, Spinster's Folly is a grand addition to the Owen's saga."
~ C.K. Crigger, author of the China Bohannon historical mystery series

"Marsha Ward must have a door to the past. She steps through it to the Old West, watches, listens, then comes back and writes about it vividly."
~ Robert J. Randisi

"Marsha Ward has the ability to grab readers by the lapels, yank them into her stories, and make them care deeply about her characters."
~ Phyllis Dugan

"Ward has written another of her gritty, fact-filled family sagas. Peopled with folks harboring complex emotions and striving always to do right within the confines of their values, her characters' lives tend to get real messy. How they solve their many problems is always an education in story-telling, and Ward excels in doing that."
~ C.K. Crigger

"Prepare to be transported to another time . . . another place. Ward's grasp of western dialect and culture is like a set of old leather reins in her skilled hands, driving her story's authenticity."
~ L.C. Lewis

"Marsha Ward knows how to write smoothly and well in a style that enhances, rather than detracts from the story she is trying to tell. The reader is completely caught up in the story and never jerked out of the world she's created by awkward or repetitive phrases. She spins an authentic yarn of a good ol' Western tale. I highly recommend ALL of Marsha Ward's books!"
~ Joyce DiPastena

"Marsha Ward has one foot in the 21st century and one in the 19th. Her characters hew closely to those wild days, portraying their lives and times. Readers love her for that. Other writers marvel at her use of the most modern of means to present her stories."
~ Gary Svee

"Marsha's use of imagery is a treat. For instance: 'she had slipped from his grasp like quick-silver chased across a tabletop.' Those of us who grew up before knowledge of mercury poisoning know how hard it is to pick up a dollop of quicksilver. It's a very elusive metal. Here's another: 'Only much later did sleep lay a quilt of blackness over his exhausted body.' And one last one: 'with the November sun pouting on the breast of a hazy sky.' Don't you love it?"
~ Liz Adair

"[The Man from Shenandoah] was a very enjoyable read, and felt quite authentic to the time period. The characters were well done with both vulnerable men and strong women, both of whom grow throughout the story. I don't normally read western novels, but I would recommend this book for all readers. I look forward to reading the sequel!"
~ Daron Fraley

"Marsha Ward's western novel of love, honor and survival is an exciting ride from beginning to end. From watching his brother marry his fiance to rescuing a Mexican bride when her intended is killed, the story kept me reading with good conflict and plenty of action. Just when I thought things were going a little too smoothly, Marsha throws in an unexpected twist. I recommend Ride to Raton."
~ Heidi Thomas

"The Man from Shenandoah is a book for the whole family to share. It offers action, romance and a realistic premise. . . .Ms. Ward is a true storyteller who has created characters that demand and hold the reader's interest. . . . [Her] clear and vivid writing sweeps us along with her characters on their adventures."
~ Anne Haw Holt

Copyright © 2014 Marsha Ward