This Tumbleweed Landed

Ride a tumbleweed back in time to life in a small, southwestern community as seen through the eyes of a young girl during the fifties and sixties.

This Tumbleweed Landed cover


  • 2016  New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards “Finalist” in one category: Biography (Other) 

About This Book

Growing up as a member of a ranching family in Branson, a small town in southeastern Colorado, provided author Larada Horner-Miller a treasure-trove of stories, characters, and emotional moments that make up her touching memoir, This Tumbleweed Landed. This collection of poems and prose transports readers back to rural America during the fifties and sixties, to one idyllic, tight-knit community in particular. 

Each of the book’s eight sections weaves a nostalgic yarn that tells of playtimes with friends and neighbors, favorite hiding places, living without a telephone for the first eleven years of life, and the touching memories of growing up on a ranch community. Whether it is Saturday night dances or hot days working with 4-H at the county fair, the poems and pages roll along like a tumbleweed in search of a place to land. Readers will find themselves longing to go back to this very specific time and place, whether they actually experienced it in their own lives or not.

Read about this daddy’s little girl and her adventures that mold and shape her formative years. Where will this tumbleweed land, and what kind of woman will she be when she finally arrives?


“I loved your book.”

“Read your book last night, what a champ; loved reading it and now I can say I know an author.”

“Just finished reading your book! Thank you so much for putting those memories onto paper for others to enjoy.

I wish I knew my great-grandparents as well as you did! What fun stories!!!”

“I really enjoyed your book and want to share it with others. I left my copy on the plane and hope someone else will enjoy it.”

“Spoiler Alert! I read Larada’s book, that I just bought last night at square dancing, cover to cover this morning. This slim volume is a must read. From an author who was “born dancing”, it is pure “poetry in motion”. No matter if you grew up in the big city or on the western plains, her childhood memories are your childhood memories. “Daddy’s Little Girl” was specially touching. I still have tears from that tribute. Thank you Larada! P.S. Keep writing. I know there are many more intriguing tales to be told.”

“Thoroughly enjoyed the “Tumbleweed” read. The layout made it easy for me to keep on reading. On page 74 you mentioned the “Old Timer’s Reunion” get together. Across the border in Kansas and 25 years earlier I remember “The Old Settler’s Reunion” get together. Thanks for your work.”

There is much to admire in these short pieces, and I found myself especially drawn to the ones—the majority of the book—that were formatted like poems. There are fun, joyous moments, often related to dancing and to family activities such as working on the ranch and picknicking. There are also very dark moments, such as when the horses are struck by lightning and the stories of her father’s and grandfather’s injuries. The passage of time—the deaths of the two older generations—is often evoked, and yet Branson continues: I was heartened to read, for example, that the school is still in operation. It’s difficult to find critical words for this book. The illustrations within the book are charming, and I like the cover photograph. I would like to have had the image of the tumbleweed not covered up by text: I had to go to the Internet to get a clear idea of what a tumbleweed looks like. I also think that some of the author’s bio, since it is impressive, should appear on the back cover of the book. 

​— Judge, 25th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards

My Comments

A dear friend, Jackie (JR) Gilstrap, illustrated this book with four heartwarming drawings. Look at his drawings!

Buy this book!