by Jodi Thomas
I love setting my stories in the world where I live. Modern day small towns. I understand the people and how they think. They talk and dress the way they do because of how they work and the weather, and the styles handed down. So when people ask if I write cowboys, I say yes thinking that there is far more to my characters than the hat and boots.
I also love to walk the land and feel the real setting of my novels. That is easy to do in this Ransom Canyon Series, because ten miles from my office is the beautiful Palo Duro Canyon.
I also visit small farms and huge ranches. And again, I walk the land. I’ll listen to a windmill and try not to smell the cows. Suddenly a character walks beside me and my story begins.
Last month I went to the Dove Creek Ranch and Equine Rescue. The lady who owns and runs the place has a true love for horses and spends a great deal of time helping horses that have been abused and abandoned. From the moment I drove down into the section of land nestled in a canyon my imagination was dancing.
She told me the first thing she does when she gets an animal who has been left alone in a small corral or barn for sometimes months is she lets them roam the land with the herd. She says they’ve forgotten how to be a horse.
I was around horses growing up and I’ve spent my time riding and brushing them down, but I’ve never seen them until I saw horses through her eyes. She said, “After my husband died and I was raising kids and trying to run the ranch, I would sometimes go out at night and just walk among the herd.”
Then, she made my day. She asked me if I wanted to go with her. We slipped through the fence and walked onto ranch land that used the walls of the canyon as its boundaries. We moved slow, not directing the herd, not invading, just joining. We moved closer. Just letting the horses slowly surround us.
I think it was one of the most peaceful, alive feelings I’ve ever had. She probably thought I was an idiot because I couldn’t stop smiling.
As a writer of over 40 books I sometimes feel I don’t live, I just do research. Like a person who doesn’t see Paris because he’s too busy taking selfies, I’m too consumed with stories dancing in my head to sometimes stop and enjoy the grand, wonderful things in life.
Like walking with a herd of horses on a cloudy day when the wind still whispers winter and the grass crunches beneath your boots.
I may never make it back to Dove Creek Ranch, but you can bet I’ll go there many more times in my mind.
So, walk the land of RANSOM CANYON in my new book, LONE HEART PASS. You’ll fall in love with the Texas plains and the people who live and love there.
In a story that carves into the breathtaking romance of two lonely souls, New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Jodi Thomas introduces the next title in her six-book Ransom Canyon series, a contemporary Western romance series featuring sweeping family dramas, rugged heroes and the beautiful Texas landscape.
LONE HEART PASS
With a career and a relationship in ruins, Jubalee Hamilton is left reeling from a fast fall to the bottom. The run-down Texas farm she inherited is a far cry from the second chance she hoped for, but it and its abrasive foreman are all she’s got.
Every time Charley Collins has let a woman get close, he’s been burned. So Lone Heart ranch and the contrary woman who owns it are merely a means to an end, until Jubalee tempts him to take another risk—to stop resisting the attraction drawing them together despite all his hard-learned logic.
Desperation is all young Thatcher Jones knows. When he leads an injured Steeldust horse to a ramshackle ranch, he needs help. A horse-stealing ring is on his trail and the sheriff suspects him…and his only protection is the shelter of a man and woman who—just like him—need someone to trust.
“Jodi Thomas is a masterful storyteller. She grabs your attention on the first page, captures your heart, and then makes you sad when it is time to bid her wonderful characters farewell. You can count on Jodi Thomas to give you a satisfying and memorable read.” —Catherine Anderson, New York Times bestselling author
“Compelling and beautifully written, it is exactly the kind of heart-wrenching, emotional story one has come to expect from Jodi Thomas.” —Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author