Horses & Women’s Pro Baseball Intertwine in Thickwood by Gayle M. Smith


Thickwood by Gayle M. Smith

Thickwood, Saskatchewan author Gayle M. Smith’s debut novel, intertwines the fascinating worlds of horses and women’s professional baseball with a touch of romance and a lot of heart. It’s now available in print, ebook, and audiobook editions from Saskatchewan publisher Shadowpaw Press Premiere.

“Many years ago a muse entered my writing life and she turned into a character that wouldn’t leave my side,” Smith says. “I hope readers enjoy Willomena and her adventures in Thickwood. Thank you to Shadowpaw Press for sharing the dream.”

Thickwood is a tale I fell in love with as I worked on it with Gayle during my stint as writer-in-residence at the Saskatoon Public Library,” says Edward Willett, editor and publisher of Shadowpaw Press. “I think it’s a story that will enthrall readers on a number of levels, from the detailed, well-researched behind-the-scenes look at the world of the All-American Professional Girls’ Baseball league, made famous as A League of Their Own, to the down-to-Earth and detailed look at the intricacies of horse ranching in the Thickwood Hills, where Gayle’s own love and knowledge of horses shines through. I can’t wait for readers to have the opportunity to enjoy this story as much as I have, either in ebook or print formats or through the wonderful audiobook version narrated by Elizabeth Klett.”

Thickwood can be ordered through any brick-and-mortar or online bookstore.  It can also be purchased directly from Shadowpaw Press at

For wholesale orders, contact Alpine Book Peddlers ( at 403-678-2280 or, or order through Ingram.

More about the book

Raised on a ranch in Saskatchewan’s rugged Thickwood Hills, where the prairie transitions to forest, Willomena Swift, home from playing for the Rockford Peaches of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, finds a precious foal killed by a rogue stallion.

The stallion’s owner, once Willo’s baseball coach, now chairs the committee heading up the new cooperative pasture—a pasture that is set to swallow her family lease, where she grew up, learned to love and understand horses, and dreamed of returning to raise them.

Facing numerous challenges with both the stallion and his owner, Willo remembers her past years playing professional baseball as she struggles to realize her dreams in the present.

Amid romance and tragedy, Willo must find a way to stand on her own and assert her rightful place in her beloved Thickwood.

About the Author

Gayle M. Smith, author of Thickwood, grew up on a mixed subsistence farm in central Alberta where, as a young child, she developed a love for animals, especially horses, and a love for reading and writing illustrated stories. In 1989, Gayle married a Saskatchewan farmer and settled into rural life to raise three children, numerous crops, purebred and commercial cattle, and horses. In 2011, Gayle was accepted into the 2011 Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild Mentorship program, where she wrote the first draft of Thickwood, which then became her master’s thesis in 2015, when she graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a Master of Fine Arts in Writing. Yearly wilderness pack trips in Northern Saskatchewan with her horses inspire her writing. She also rides in the mountains, competes in numerous equestrian events, and owns and operates a horse boarding facility. Gayle’s love of the environment, history, and adventure shines in her writing. She daily interacts with her beloved partner, her family, her horses, and her rural home, while contemplating and exploring through her writing the struggle and dilemma of being human.

Previous articleThere’s a Book for That: International Day of the Girl
Next articleWhat Scares Authors? Featuring Diane Bator
Her fiction writing has received the Author / Ambassador at Library Journal Self-e Authors, Winner Queen of the West Reader Favorite Award, Amazon Bestseller - Historical, Double finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the Mystery and Humorous Categories. Writing humorous cozy mysteries and romantic comedy, Jocie can find humor in most everything, even when she shouldn't. She lives in the Midwest on Dust Bunny Farm with her family.