Earthy not edgy, turning words into adventures, smiles and warm hearts.

See Some of Nancy Oswald’s Published Works

Stories that connect readers to the past. 

New Release

Ruby’s Christmas Gifts


On Christmas Eve, in Cripple Creek, Colorado, 1896, eleven-year-old Ruby and her donkey, Maude, search for Maude’s lost foal Willy, AKA Willful.  Ruby’s cat, Trouble, also disappears.  Ruby and Maude are continually sidetracked as they make their way through town. The run-away animals show up in an unexpected place, and Ruby finds out about the joy of giving and receiving. 

“(This book) will bring children closer to the past – yet revealing that people don’t change, and the Christmas spirit is universal.  This is truly a Christmas treasure.”

- Pacific Book Reviews


“Rescue in Poverty Gulch”

Eleven-year-old Ruby is in a pickle. After years of traveling the mountains and hills of Colorado with her Pa and their donkey, Maude, Pa decides to settle down in the booming gold-mining town of Cripple Creek. 


Worse than that, Pa decides it’s time for Ruby to learn something about being a lady. Vinegar and baking soda don’t mix. Ruby faces the prospects of having to wear a corset, learning the art of elocution, and the possibility of having the school headmistress for a mother.
Events lead Ruby into the midst of the 1896 Cripple Creek fire and culminate with the kidnapping and rescue of Maude from the clutches of a local scoundrel.

Colorado Book Award Finalist

Western Writers of America Spur Award Finalist



“Trouble on the Tracks”

In this second “Ruby and Maude Adventure” set after the April fires in Cripple Creek in 1896, readers meet a cat named Trouble, and  Ruby and Maude come face-to-face with the notorious Jake Hawker. A mistaken arrest is made, and Trouble, the cat with an attitude, endears itself to Ruby and Maude. Ruby learns more than she ever wants to know about Pinkertons, outlaws, train robberies, and disguises, and her life is held in a balance as Pa reconsiders his courtship of Miss Sternum in order to give Ruby a proper upbringing. 

2015 Colorado Author's League Awards Finalist

Will Rogers Medallion Finalist


“Trouble Returns”

In the third “Ruby and Maude Adventure,” eleven-year-old Ruby faces one difficulty after the next.  She falls from a tree in the school yard, and ends up in the hospital run by the Sisters of Mercy.  She has to tutor a classmate in math and travel to Colorado Springs to testify in the trial of Jake Hawker.  To make things worse, it looks like Pa's marriage to Miss Sternum is a for sure thing until Ruby and her classmates concoct a plan to try to stop it.  

Ruby narrowly escapes death. and her donkey, Maude, has a surprise for everyone at the end of the book.

2017 Western Writers of America Spur Award Winner

2017 Finalist – Colorado Author's League Awards

Will Roger's Medallion finalist


Edward Wynkoop: Soldier and Indian Agent

This biography of a prominent figure in Colorado’s history won the prestigious Spur Award from the Western Writers of America in 2015.


Edward Wynkoop helped found Denver and became a town leader and Denver’s first sheriff. He fought at Glorieta Pass in the American Civil War and continued his military career on the American frontier, where he befriended Chief Black Kettle of the Cheyenne and became an advocate for the Plains Indians before and after the Sand Creek Massacre—a bloody chapter in Colorado’s history.

Western Writer's of America Spur Award Winner


“Hard Face Moon”

“Hard Face Moon” is set during the events leading up to and beyond the Sand Creek massacre and told through the viewpoint of a mute coming-of-age Cheyenne youth.
Thirteen-year-old Hides Inside and the other Cheyenne boys want to realize their dreams of becoming warriors. All is shattered one cold November morning when Colonel John M. Chivington and his "Bloodless Third" ride into the camps of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians near Sand Creek.
“A very powerful narrative of a chilling event."
­Irene Bell, Denver Public Schools Reviewer

2009 CIPA EVVY Winner, Finalist


“Nothing Here But Stones”

“Nothing Here But Stones” is based on the Cotopaxi Jewish Colony in Colorado, 1882-1884. Eleven-year-old Emma has left Russia with her family to start a new life in America. On her train trip west, the farther she travels, the more she begins to wonder about her new life.

 In her words:
“It’s hard to imagine what things will be like in five more years. I can’t even imagine ten minutes from now. At first I thought everything in America would look like New York City, with shops and crowded streets, but I have discovered the farther west we travel, that there are long stretches of nothing. Absolutely nothing. Places as flat as matzo.”

Willa Literary Award Winner

Western Writers of America Spur Award Finalist

Notable Book for a Global Society


“Insects in the Infield”

“Insects in the Infield” is not historical fiction but a fun sibling rivalry book. This book is full of ants, bees, dragonflies, and limping millipedes. The older brother, Buster, would rather ignore his brainy sister Maggie’s insect zoo, but he needs her help with the carnival fundraiser for his baseball team, the Cougars.
Unfortunately, Buster needs more than fundraising help from his sister. His failing math grade is at a full count—one more strike and he won’t be able to play against the three Pirate bullies: Chewy, Ace, and Rip. The town of Ashville may never be the same after these rival teams clash. Bugs and baseball don’t mix.

2014 Cipa Evvy Award Winner


“Teacher's Guide”

The teacher’s guide for the Ruby and Maude Adventures includes historical background, a Table of Contents and individual sections for each of the three Ruby and Maude historical fiction books.  A map of Cripple Creek in 1896 is included as well as additional writing activities and cross-curricular activities. A digital guide is free upon request with the purchase of one of the Ruby and Maude Adventures.