Dianne’s Destiny

Cover of Diane's Destiny by Winona Bennett Cross shows woman and horse

Dianne’s Destiny was my first published book. I joined several fellow members of the OKLAHOMA ROMANCE WRITERS ASSOCIATION to write a series titled “Tales of the Scrimshaw Doll”. The series was published by The Wild Rose Press. Each author chose a rose color for their story. I chose the Yellow Rose meaning the story had to be contemporary, and the hero had to be a cowboy.

Award for Dianne's Destiny by Winona Bennett Cross, 1st Place - Contemporary Short,
OKRWA IDA - 2016

The choice to get my rights back and re-write Dianne’s Destiny was personal. The real Dianne was a dear friend of mine in high school. Her personality in the book closely portrays Dianne.

Cover of Diane's Destiny by Winona Bennett Cross shows woman and horse

The real Geneva Dianne Ringener Morrow could crack jokes in a split second. She could offer a shoulder to cry on and arms to give comforting hugs. She was the oldest of five children. Like most of the kids in Lovington, New Mexico, her dad worked in the oil field.

We were a group of girls who did almost everything together. Dragging main, hanging out at the drive-in, slumber parties, and skating or just parking somewhere to talk.  

Dianne, a young teenaged high school girl
Dianne 1967, 1968, and 1969

She began dating Sam Walker Morrow in the 10th grade. I felt like I didn’t matter and that Sam was stealing my best friend. He was. Those feelings of jealousy quickly dissipated when I realized my relationship with Dianne wasn’t changed.

I remember that Dianne made her own clothes. She sewed well enough to have others ask her to make things for them. The scent of the Original Jergen’s Lotion and Wrigley’s mint gum takes me back in time at the speed of sound.


The reason I chose these familiar names is because I couldn’t think of any others. I knew what characteristics and desires I wanted. Dianne’s Destiny features characters gleaned from my youth, but they have been given different goals, lifestyles, and new people.

Fictional Dianne was married to Simon Jacobson, a cruel man. His meanness centered on berating, comparing, and changing her personality. One night, she was walking through the park in New York City. She was attacked and suffered a vicious mugging. After the hospitalization, she knew she had to get away. She had left home fifteen years ago. It was time to go back.

Sheriff Sam Walker, in Waurika, Oklahoma, is an old and very special friend of fictional Dianne. This character is based on the real Sam Morrow from Lovington. The man who became Dianne’s high school sweetheart and husband.

Fictional Teresa was sweet, comforting, and welcoming to all. She had hair past her hips. Fictional Teresa is much like the real Teresa. Kind, humble, and accepting of others. Her trademark hair and her one-of-a-kind car—a 1957 Chevrolet in bad shape. Her father let us girls choose the paint colors. Hot Pink and Maroon. We couldn’t hide from anyone.

Jocelyn Hartford was Dianne’s roommate at an Ivy League University. Following graduation, they went separate ways but kept in touch. Dianne went to New York. Jocelyn went to San Francisco.

Following the mugging, Dianne decided to go back to Oklahoma. She had mixed emotions when she arrived at an equestrian center her psychologist ordered her to visit. Being around horses was like medicine. She was a star on the rodeo circuit. She had been assigned to a big copper horse named Emperor.

Her former boyfriend, Kip, runs the equestrian center Dianne visits for therapy.


The real Dianne and Sam were married not long after high school graduation. They had two children and were involved in the rodeo circuit.

Covid took Dianne from us on December 11, 2020. I was in the hospital with Covid when I got the news. It devastated me.

So, Dianne, this book is written in your honor. I admit to having several bouts of tears. It is for you, Sam, Stacy, Cody, Lisa, Donna, and Craig, plus all of the Lovington Class of 1969.

Rest in Peace
Geneva Dianne Ringener Morrow
November 6, 1950-December 11, 2020

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