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Buttermilk Skies - A Young Adult Novel

Karla, the feisty heroin of Diane Elliott's "Buttermilk Skies," is a character almost never seen between book covers, a teenage girl whose unabashed passion for hunting not only helps her to come of age, but in doing so, to give a spark of life to a ranching family trying to cope with loss and abandonment. Elliott's writing gives eloquent voice to young outdoorswomen anywhere horizons are broad and untarnished, and I for one hope we will ride toward the sun with Karla again soon.


-- Keith McCafferty, Field & Stream editor and Spur Award winning author of the Sean Stranahan series for Penguin Books.


As its title forecasts, Diane Elliott's Buttermilk Skies takes readers into a world where the ever-changing cirrus clouds scuttling across Montana's Big Sky presage the kinds of storms so common on the open range of junior high. For Karla Rosegaard, the intensity of those storms is heightened by the sudden death of her older brother—her father's favorite and everyone's hero; her mother's subsequent breakdown and confinement in a psychiatric facility; and the unexpected arrival of Sister Marian Paula, a nun whose seemingly nonsensical babblings suggest a need for serious meds. Throw in Karla's growing anticipation of her first antelope hunt and you have the makings of a complex and compelling coming-of-age novel.


--Linda Peavy and Ursula Smith, authors of Frontier Children 

Click on each title to to bring up a video, read more about the book and/or order it.

Blood Fiction __novel

Franniemarie leaves her husband for dead and runs away from home looking to find family she has never known. And in the process discovers who she is. Bi-polar personalities come in a kaleidoscope of colors as varied as the un-afflicted populace they inhabit. Blood Fiction is one woman's remarkable journey into family and self. The author admits the flavor of Franniemarie's affliction is based on that of her own.

Songs of Bernie Bjorn__novel in story poem form

Set in the social milieu of the late fifties and early sixties, Diane Elliott’s hard-driving, vaguely disturbing coming-of-age verse novel pushes its way into the reader’s psyche with a sense of urgency akin to that of the dervish at its center—”all boogie and beat”—pulsing “with the force of lake ice cracking.” Unfolding in fifty segments voiced from almost as many points of view, this kaleidoscopic rendering is as deliberately fragmented and fractured, as dazzling and disorienting as were the chaotic years of Bernie’s becoming. And therein lies its brilliance. Are we to believe everything these narrators tell us? Why not? Since, as the novel’s last speaker reminds us, “all anybody knows/ is rumor.”

“These songs of the ardent title character sing like wildfire; readers should be singed and ravished by her burning.”
--Kirkus Review - Best Indie Books of 2016

When Volcanoes Wake__poetry

Our lives begin like volcanoes, gathering heat under earth’s compression. Passion erupts from the magma chamber of our depth. Mid years find us cooling into mature configuration, until at last we reach the golden time of sweet reflection.

"Erotic and exotic, narrative and lyrical, Diane Elliott’s sensibilities cut deep to the essence of lives lived both beautifully and brutally in the same embrace. Add to this artistic vision her eclectic photographic images, and the cauldron fires intensify..." Paul Zarzyski—author of Steering With My Knees

Shattering Porcelain Images__poetry

Shattering Porcelain Images, an illustrated chapbook of poems, explores personal experiences that lead to a universal understanding . . . things we see or think we know against the reality of exposed truth.

“Elliott's heartfelt poetry collection evokes nostalgia, images of the past and long-lost memories. The poet touches everyday experiences such as family, daily activities, love, and images of nature. Her poetry creates strong visual imagery and gives readers a glimpse into the poet's life . . . a perfect book for lovers of accessible poetry . . . compact enough to be tucked in one's bag . . . ” US Review Of Books

Art & Inspiration

Art and Inspiration follows one woman’s journey through the creative process, reflected upon as she gradually loses her eyesight to Macular Degeneration. The artist, Souther, who goes by a single name, has juxtaposed a memoir of her life with a lavishly illustrated art book. The book flickers with snippets of stories that are as compelling as her jewelry. Proceeds from the book are dedicated to research for treatment of macular degeneration.

"It seems I’ve forever been asked where I get my ideas for jewelry and structures. Art & Inspiration, a coffee table memoir, was written in answer to that recurring question. April 2012, on a 3 week, 7,500 + mile marketing trip, my collaborative author, as well as mother (Diane Elliott, an award winning author) and I wrote two thirds of this book. Back home, photographer and illustrator "Griffiti" agreed to photograph the pieces for the book as well as design the layout." ... Souther

Strength of Stone, the Pioneer Journal of Electa Bryan Plumer, 1862-1864__historical fiction

A novel of exploration, adventure, love, and loss told from a woman’s perspective. Set in the early 1860’s gold rush and deeply entrenched in Idaho Territory (Montana) history and lore, Strength of Stone was short-listed for the 2003 Saroyan Prize in Literature and the 2003 Willa Finalists Award in historical fiction.

Hard Cover still available through the
Sun River Historical Society
P.O. Box 155,
Sun River, Montana 59483
$19.50 plus shipping

Sunshine, Soil and Short Seasons

An easy to understand guide to high-altitude gardening.