[Deanna Dickinson McCall’s] wisdom is hard-earned; her stories are not about the “romance of Western life.” Characters know heat and hurt, cold and loss, danger, heartbreak and toil. But, like the writer, they don’t know “can’t.” Perseverance is required for survival. When there is humor, it is wry, ironic, a way of coping with ever-present challenges of ranching life.
~~Margo Metegrano, Center for Western & Cowboy Poetry
Deanna Dickinson McCall could have been pictured in Go West. A fifth-generation rancher, she spent more than two decades raising her family on a remote Nevada ranch without phones or electricity... Writing from the viewpoint of a daughter, a hand, a wife, and a mother, Deanna speaks my language. I'm not a big fan of western fiction, largely because I hold authors to a tough standard for authenticity. With Deanna, I visualized the scenes as I read and they rang true: a horse dropping out from under a rider in a blizzard; the bright-eyed little queen candidate and her shabby horse; a young ranch wife going about her chores with a baby asleep in the pickup.
~~Jeri Dobrowskii in Cowboy Jam Session
I literally couldn't put this book down. I read it in two sittings, stopping only for supper. Alternating short stories and poems, Deanna tells you what reads like an autobiography. Her tales and characters are real, not just inventions, and she knows what she's writing... about. It's her life. Anyone who enjoys the literature of the American West will enjoy it, and those who are living the life will nod without thinking and wish they had written this book. It's no surprise that "Mustang Spring" was a finalist in the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. You will enjoy this book immensely.
~OKIE757, from amazon
Another good collection from the real deal. Deanna Dickinson McCall has furnished me with many enjoyable reading hours before, and this effort is no exception.
~~Waddie Mitchell, cowboy poet
I eat one square of dark chocolate a night. Just one so I can savor it. Deanna, that's how I read "Mustang Spring". One story with one poem per night, admittedly cheating frequently, but no calories! Wow. You are one heck of a writer. Sometimes I'd finish a story & say out loud, "Deanna, where did you get that?", just in awe of how excellent this book is. Thank you.
~Deb Bukala, songwriter
I spent a good long week reading Mustang Spring: Stories & Poems by Deanna Dickinson McCall. It was much longer than I would normally take to read a book of 154 pages but you see there were stories to think about, poems to sit with and feelings to feel and in one particular story that touched home for me, tears to be cried.
This is not a sweet book. This is a book of raw emotion depicting ranch life as it truly is including the good and the bad, the coming together of community and the real terror of how nature can take its toll. Deanna’s writing is to the point, she doesn’t skip the pain, she doesn’t hide the facts and she doesn’t use flowery descriptions because to do so would not do justice to the life ranchers live to provide the food that comes of cattle and to care take the land.
For anyone who does not know the ranching life, there is a bit of education in these pages and for those that do; there is an understanding and a sense of the familiar. I enjoyed this read and have earmarked a few poems and stories that I truly enjoyed and I will go back and re-read them from time to time.
~Maria Norcia Santillanes, blogger