by Jeffrey Lors - May 15, 2013


Better than therapy! Ya ever think your life is so messed up and ya hate your parents and blame God and life is not fair and then ya wake up? Tammi has run the gamut of emotions in this tell-all book about her life. I am sorry, I did not cry - but I laughed my butt off. Tammi deals with an abusive father that has the audacity of trying and yet flawed character that recluses to a bottle but she loves him. What I love most is how brutally honest and frank Tammi is about the flaws (hers, her children, her sister, pretty much everyone she comes into contact with) and yet the incredible love she has for all around her. She is as direct and blunt as a freight train runnin full speed but her all encompassing love and understanding for family knocked this reader on his butt!  You can read it as a story, read it as an expiation or just one woman's quest to understand herself which is a helluva lot more entertaining than therapy! ​

by Amazon Customer - January 29,2016


This book is absolutely fabulous! If you grew up in the country you can identify with everything nuance of the book. If you grew up in the city you will learn and love Tamara Littrell

by :-) - February 2, 2012


When the Dust Settled is a must read! This is my favorite book ever. It is an amazing book that will make you feel many emotions. It's heartbreaking, shocking, and humorous. You will laugh and cry. I am waiting for the movie to come out!​

by Linda - October 24, 2014

A beautifully written, vividly descriptive account of the author's life growing up in the west with a kind hearted mother and tough minded father. I loved the author's writing style - the moment you realize your heart is in your throat, she sprinkles in some humor to take the edge off of the sting. Great book.

by Brandy Campbell - June 20, 2014


I borrowed this book from a friend and have since purchased several copies for gifts. Tamara Littrell is a talented story-teller and this book is about her growing up/surviving in an environment that most of us can only imagine and then unearthing the buried emotions that came from watching her mom leave this life too early. She's a tough Montana girl and her writing is an honest and "tell-it-like-it-is" style. You'll laugh....You'll cry....And sometimes both on the same page! I highly recommend this book!​

by VT802 - February 18, 2012


This is a fabulous book, a must read. I read it in two days, was sad when it was over and found that I appreciated things a bit more when I was finished reading. Tammi seems like the type of person you'd love to have as a friend or just to enjoy a glass of wine and a delicious meal with while she told you her life story. You root for her throughout, and know that she and her sister will be stronger, funnier and love more unconditionally after all they've been through. Definitely read When The Dust Settled!

by Lily - September 19,2012

One of the best books I've read in a long time. I happened across it in a small boutique in Sheridan, WY. and was so surprised to find that I couldn't put it down. I cried my heart out at some points and laughed so hard I woke my husband up at others. It is glaringly honest in a way that I don't think I ever could be. I just can't recommend it enough. In fact, I'm going to buy copies for my sister and best friend.

by BreaksGirl - May 29, 2015


I loved the way Tammi wound the present day in with her childhood memories. The vivid detail of her descriptions of the places in Montana and Wyoming stirred my own memories. The love, heartbreak, anger, loss, and healing emotions all wound together give an intense truth to what it really means to be family.

by Royce - January 8, 2013


The humor and sadness Tammi brings to life, with all the richness of the cowboy life is really a great read. I loved Tammi's mother and I loved her father. She writes about them with grit and guts. This is also a story of two sisters. Funny and profane and very much good friends. Tammi writes in a bold graphic manner that causes me to envy her honesty. I love the story of the little antelope Bucky and the story of her first car..Love the story of Grandma Irene
going crazy and nailing windows shut. Read this book and go on a ride with Tammi and Valli. And oh yes, their dad. It is wonderful.  I am not a reviewer or a writer so please just take my word that this is a great read. I also bought this book for my granddaughter.

by Ashley Price - May 24,2014

This was a great read. I read it in about two days because I couldn't put it down.​

by Undercoverbooksuvi.amanda  - March 27, 2013

Wow. Tammi has a way of sucking you into her life and sharing every up and down. When she is hurt you are hurt; when she laughs you laugh; and when it all ends you are left with a full heart and a broken heart.

by Jason - February 2, 2012


Tammi's narrative brings you into her life. As a follower of her blog I've always enjoyed her storytelling and her vivid descriptions of the world around her. She takes that talent and just keeps going here!

by sarah parker - August 28, 2014

CAPTIVATING!  Never a dull moment throughout this book. The life this family lived wore me out just reading this. The book is well written with a lot of laugh out loud moments.The family commitment throughout the good and hard times is solid all the way to the end. No sad sob moments, but a lot of lively adventure.

by Kati Hime - October 22, 2016


Wonderful book! An inspiring read with lots of insight. Makes you realize we all have similar emotional responses.

by Anonymous - May 10, 2015


 An emotional story with humor thrown it at just the right moment. I found myself laughing out loud and crying heart wrenching tears, sometimes on the same page. I felt like I was right there with Tamara and her family on her journey into the past. If you have ever been touched by cancer, alcoholism, aging parents, or just life's hard lessons you will love this book!

by Lorih961 - on January 8, 2013


When the Dust Settled is a must read! My favorite book ever, read it in 2 days, could not put it down. It's heartbreaking, shocking, and humorous. You will cry, burst out laughing and wonder how the heck. I am waiting for the movie to come out!

by Jack - February 18, 2014


This book was recommended at the Gallows Bay Bookstore in St,. Croix, as the author is a part time resident of St. Croix and BVI. I am so glad I purchased it. Funny interesting and well written. Highly recommended.

by Suellen Boltz - January 10, 2013


I loved this book, and could not put it down. Her story is deeply personal but has truths we all can relate to. It is so well written, and will appeal to a broad audience. You will laugh and maybe cry, but you'll be glad you read When the Dust Settled!

by Misty D. Connelly - April 21, 2016  I  loved this book! Being from Wyoming I can certainly relate!

by Carole Martinez -November 14, 2016


Hard and unpredictable family's story. Tears and laughter kept them together. I laughed and felt their tears as they lived.

by Mary Heller - May 29, 2015


I absolutely LOVE this book! Tammi's account of her childhood brought laughter and tears, sometimes in the same chapter! The heartbreaking loss of her mother, and dealing with the toughness of her father, encompasses everything there is about family: sometimes you hate to love them! Beautifully written, with vivid detail in her words and descriptions of the ranch life in Montana and Wyoming. A "I can't put it down" book!!!!

by Wyna - August 19, 2012

Everyone should read this book. I had a box of tissue handy! Could NOT put it down.

by C. Decker - September 17, 2014


It has been literally eighteen years since I have been completely absorbed in a novel. I certainly was not expecting to find a book that I felt that way about again. This book was like being in a movie or living a different life while reading those pages. It was compelling, therapeutic, fascinating, emotional, and beyond engaging. The true characters felt like my new family. I hope this author has another book in her. It was deep, at times disturbing, yet hilarious at the same time.  Brilliant.

by Amazon Customer - January 27, 2017


I  have picked up hundreds of books over the years.I have read only 2 cover to cover: Bill O'Reily's Killing Reagan and Tammi's book ; When the Dust Settled

by L-M-Schmidt - May 17, 2015

THE INSPIRATION I FELT from finishing this warm, witty, biting your nails adventure was overwhelming.  An adventure taken to task by a family full of life and color.  A joy to read.

​​by Lisa - February 2, 2012


This book is a humorous, haunting, thoughtful depiction of the life of the itinerant cowboy and the effects that lifestyle has on a family. Tammi's ability to love and accept her mother and, most especially, her father "as is" is just phenomenal. A rare ability and a fantastic read!

by Sue Clinton - January 17, 2017

Tammi's story was the most compelling, heart-warming, heart-breaking, hilarious, and emotional read I have ever spent time with, in my life. An emotional and exhilarating roller coaster. I'm exhausted! But in a good way...a very good way. I cried and laughed through the pages, as though I were right there, by her side. Yet here I am, willing to go through it all again, reading it a second time! I am positive that it won't be the last time, either. My childhood was in no way similar to hers, yet it resonates, nonetheless. This book is a must read, no matter where, or how you were raised. To make it even more special, we are "neighbors," here in this beautiful state of Wyoming, less than an hour away from each other. How cool is that! Thank-you Tammi, for sharing your story with all of us. "May you always walk in beauty, and may a rainbow touch your shoulder..." Big Hugs To You.....Sue

by Brenda Gustafson - August 16,2011

Tammi has a way to make you feel like you're sitting right next to her as she takes her memorial trip. Often hard to read knowing this isn't fiction but really happened to her and her sister. But, it also makes you understand the dynamics of a family who lived and loved in their own way.

By Ellen Cam -  August 18, 2013


I loved reading this book. The author Tammi tells the true story of growing up in a very dysfunctional family with her alcoholic father, her long suffering mother, and her younger sister. Her Dad has a hard time retaining employment and is continually moving the family to new locations and a variety of run down shacks in search of an elusive good life. I was amazed at her mother's sense of optimism as she would strive to make even the most humble trailer house into something that was at least trying to be a home to her children. Her mother's early death was truly heart wrenching, and the three remaining family members, the sisters now adults, then embark on a 1800 mile journey to revisit the various locations they lived in over the years, bringing back memories for all of them that were as different as they themselves were. The memories were sometimes sad, sometimes very funny, and many times difficult for all of them. I have a feeling they were cathartic as well. All the players in this story were flawed, the author included, but I came away with a sense of respect they held for each other despite these flaws. I thank the author who sent me this book as part of the Goodreads giveaways, and I highly recommend this book. Well done.

by C-Decker - April 2, 2015


It is what I would call therapeutic. I laughed and cried from beginning til end. I read this book in one week straight because I could not put it down.

by Karen Wood - July 23, 2015

THIS WAS A TERRIFIC BOOK...This was a TERRIFIC book about a family of four in the 60's & 70's on the Eastern MT Plains. The father struggles to support his wife and two daughters, thus moving frequently. The girls go to many schools while their mom tries to make each place clean and homey with few belongings. Dad is a hired ranch hand until the girls are teens, then, a truck driver. I grew up in MT during the same time period and enjoyed some personal connections with small MT towns. The author depicts her upbringing with such descriptive and authentic language I loved it and hope it becomes a movie.​

by Anne - August 19, 2014


A fun read that you don't want to put down. Mrs. Littrell whips up elaborate mental images with her words, much like it sounds like she does with cooking. You cannot help but come full circle along with the author. Great story. I hope she keeps writing.

by Anonymous - May 18, 2015


Her art of drawing you into the story was amazing.  I felt like I was living every moment and experiencing her pain and struggles right along with her.  She wrote with such honesty, sharing many things most of us would decide against making public.  Knowing much of the country where this story takes place made that much more enticing. I had a hard time putting the book down.

by Angela - September 7, 2012

It is a good story. And the author is very funny. But it was a little "too country " for this here city slicker


by Julie D. - on May 29, 2012


The author of this book truly translates her emotions to the reader. You feel the sadness, humor, love and pain right along with her. A great story of overcoming and accepting the obstacles in life and of finding humor in the least likely of places. A very enjoyable book that will leave you looking forward to her next one.

​​​​When the Dust Settled

by Kathy Owen on June 19, 2012


I took this book along for a six hour road trip and while my husband drove, I read this book from cover to cover! I couldn't put it down! I was laughing one moment, completely shocked the next and welling up with tears after that. Tamara has an amazing ability to pull you into her life and allow you to experience it with her. This is an amazing book and I would highly recommend it!

by Sierra - January 22, 2012


This book is AMAZING..couldn't put it down. I read it in 2 days and was so sad when I finished it, because I wanted the story to go on (2nd book?) I laughed, cried and was shocked sometimes all on the same page. Even though it has a strong cowboy/western way of life, Tammi manages to keep it interesting and modern with her witty sense of humor. Her writing style paints such a picture that I felt like I was right there. I can already think which actors/actresses would play the characters.

by anonymous  - October 3, 2015


Tammi takes you from laughter to tears and back. What an amazing story of learning to deal with dysfunction and abuse! Tammi writes with a sense of humor, honesty, and pulls you in from the beginning. I highly recommend this book and hope she writes another.

by David Dachauer - December 5, 2011

Tamara really brought me into her world while reading her story, "When The Dust Settles." It made me realize how fortunate I am to have the life I did. Hard to believe someone lived through all she did. Very heart felt story.

by Shellyd - September 6, 2013


The true story of a life, true to word. I enjoyed reading this book and could not put it down. Tammi did an amazing job of keeping the reader interested with the story line. The true life story of a girl growing up in a life of adventure and tragedy. Love and hate. Life. I look forward to her next one (hint).​

by Julia - February 20, 2012


I just finished reading this book and I have to say it was SO good... honest humor and lots of little tid bits that of wisdom as well. Not only because I lived on a ranch and related to the memories Tammi shared but I really admired her process of self-examination and healing. Her writing was soulful and real with lots of laughs that came with the innocents of remembering and a few tears being well earned and cathartic. I enjoyed her journey from start to finish.​​

by Donna Vineyard - May 22, 2016

Great book! Always best when you know the author and that it is, in fact, a true story.

Book Reviews

from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Goodreads

by Anonymous October 3, 2015


It runs the gamut from making you laugh to crying your eyes out. It really depicts the life and family of a Montana/Wyoming ranch life. I only hope Tamara Littrell writes another one. I'll be the first in line to buy it. Exceptional!

by weston j. weigand  - August 26, 2015


A very poignant story it is amazing in it's simplicity and very passionate in its delivery. The author has an ability to paint a picture that's not only believable but engrossing. I look forward to more work from this talented author.

​​by Laura E. Rogers - May 10, 2012


The author has taken the experience of growing up in dysfunction and chaos to a place of clarity by putting meaningful words in the place of pain and confusion. Most of all, she has found a way to express the anger and frustration with a minimum of blame and name calling. The profane terms used to describe the behavior of her father are accurate and still not cause for abandonment of him as he ages and finally dies. Losing a mother that you genuinely love and cherish throws the child into a form of adulthood and emotional isolation that is almost impossible to explain, BUT the author accomplished it with grace and healing tears. I love the humor. Tamara has a quick, refreshing and picturesque style of bringing laughter and relaxation to the reader. This book should be required reading for every high school student. An English teacher would have a field day with students who think that the agony of life and development is exclusive to just one individual. This book will prepare the reader for the future in many ways. Thank you for telling your story and telling my story at the same time, Tamara. An excellent and easily read book if you have the 10 hours needed to let your heart and mind absorb some good literature.

by Anonymous - May 10, 2015


It was so good I read it twice.  If Tamara Littrell ever writes another book I will be first in line to buy it.  After reading it you feel like you know the family and wonder how they are.  She did a great job telling her story.

by Maureen Cremer-Schaak - February 4, 2013


Trying to write a review on "When the Dust Settled" by Tamara Littrell has been like excising an old scarred over wound that has been infected and putrefying for over 50 years. After reading other reviews and on a friends recommendation, I knew that I needed to read the book. I added it to my wishlist on for a year (or more maybe) before I finally got up enough courage to order it. When it arrived I went to reading it with both anxiety and trepidation. My "gut" was right of course, and after the first chapter, found I couldn't move forward with it because it brought to the surface tears of grief and memories I thought I had successfully tucked away or blocked entirely. New recognition for the role my parents interactively played in the family dysfunction, domestic abuse as well as child abuse and neglect. Although, following a "gypsy Cowboy Dad" around is not likely the cause of these things, they inherent isolation, moral codes of the era, and family roles that are culturally developed in these families, undoubtedly create the soil and fertilizer required to grow-up in this environment. Amazingly, I too survived! I used to think of my parents as both the abuser at times and the neglect-er at other times. In reality, like me and my sisters, they were a product of their own childhoods and probably were more accurately defined as "wounded warriors" in the family battle of survival. I knew that this lady, whom I did not know had somehow been a "peeping tom" into my own soul and heartsick past. As I read further, her odyssey began to take her to towns and locations that I myself had lived in or near and my senses became heightened and I realized, "Maybe there is more of a connection here than I'd thought at the onset of the book". When she started zeroing in on Winnett, Jordan, Cohagen, MT, I was certain of the connection, just not the closeness of that connection. This is a soul-baring, heart-wrenching, expose of the life of a woman who has "come of age" as it were, after surviving and overcoming being the daughter of a Cowboy, a nomad or gypsy, that was both honorable and respected and mean-spirited and abusive, loyal and protective of his family were at the very top of the list titled, "Who I am!" while at the same time betrayal and injury followed in the wake of a large number of some of the important interactions he would ever have with his daughters. My own circumstances, for obvious reasons, were different; however, the events, consequences, history, and intense effect they had clearly do not leave either of us alone in the band of "Cowboy Kids" left in our Dad's legacies. Thank you Tamara, for writing what I've always wished I could write and never had the courage.