Cover image, silhouette of a girl with a knife on white background with orange text

The Ballad of Dinah Caldwell

Forthcoming November 2021

Seventeen-year-old Dinah runs her family’s farm in the Ozarks. When she finds her grief-stricken mother dead in the living room with wealthy rancher Gabriel Gates standing over her, Dinah’s life narrows to a single point: kill Gabriel Gates.

But Gates has built his wealth giving out bad loans and surrounds himself with bodyguards. Dinah’s mountains are now one giant foreclosure, including her own farm. It all belongs to him. Once he puts a ten-thousand-dollar reward on Dinah’s head, everyone in the starving county wants a piece of her.

Homeless and alone in the woods, all she has is Johnny, the moonshining bootlegger at home in the caves. He begs her to leave the mountains, to start over with a new life. But Dinah is hell-bent on sparking a county revolution. She’ll lose her life to see this killer dead.


"The evocative worldbuilding and action-packed opening will suck readers in.... A thriller that takes on enduring questions of loyalty, vengeance, justice, and equity."


“Kate Brauning delivers a stunning symphony through her evocative prose, diverse characters, and unrelenting action. The Ballad of Dinah Caldwell will strike unforgettable notes in the hearts and minds of readers from the first to final page!"

Darcy Woods, award-winning author of Summer of Supernovas

“A fiery shot of family, perseverance, and a bit of moonshine.”

Chelsea Mueller, author of Prom House