A Christmas Affair by Jodi Thomas

  • Title:  A Christmas Affair
  • Series:  Ransom Canyon #6.5
  • Author:  Jodi Thomas
  • Pages:  90
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance; Christmas
  • Published:  October 2017 – HQN Books
  • Source:  Publisher; NetGalley

My take:  This novella picks up a short time after book 6, Indigo Lake, ends. In that book we met Maria  Davis who had come out of a tragic car crash being completely blind. Before the crash she had a promising career as a chef in her future. Now she lives at home with her sister and grandmother in Crossroads, Texas. She makes jams and jellies and sells them at the local market which is owned by Wes. He fell for her the first time they met but was too shy or scared to act on his feelings. Only when Maria decides she wants more than a working relationship with him does anything happen. Wes can’t believe his life has changed in such a wonderful way. He keeps waiting to wake up from his dream. It was hard not to chuckle as these two figured things out.  Another storyline is about Travis, a 15 year-old boy who comes to live with his three bachelor great-uncles when his home situation is deemed unsuitable. Once again, Crossroads is a place that welcomes all and saves most. I hope Travis’s story will continue in a future book. Jodi Thomas inserted her usual charm and humor in all of her characters and settings. Grab a cozy blanket and settle into your favorite comfy chair to spend an hour or two with the folks of Crossroads. Recommended to fans of Jodi Thomas, the Ransom Canyon series, and novellas with a Christmas theme.


 

Advertisements

Jodi Thomas Guest Post – Spotlight on: A Christmas Affair

A warm welcome back to Jodi Thomas, author of the Ransom Canyon series. Today Jodi will give a brief glimpse into the next installment – a novella: A CHRISTMAS AFFAIR. Thanks for visiting today, Jodi. I can’t wait to read Maria’s story!

Often when I write a book there is a story that I didn’t have time to tell.  A person who didn’t get their happy ever after ending.

Maria, Dakota’s sister in INDIGO LAKE, was that person.  I wanted to see her with her own story.

The fact that she is blind is only a part of the story.  For one time, one moment, she wants to feel alive.   She sets out to make her dream come true.  In her mind she can’t see forever, but she’s daydreamed of having an affair with the kind storekeeper she talks to every week.  Since her accident she’s never felt fully alive, so she decides to give herself a gift for Christmas.  An affair with Wes Whitman.

Even if it only lasts one night, she’ll have a memory to keep.

Only, he wants far more.  Wes wants forever.

I look forward to my readers stepping into the familiar setting of Crossroads, Texas, and celebrating Christmas with Maria and Wes.

Happy Reading,

Jodi Thomas 



 

Review: Indigo Lake – plus author guest post by Jodi Thomas

  • Title:  Indigo Lake
  • Series:  Ransom Canyon #6
  • Author:  Jodi Thomas
  • Pages:  432
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance
  • Published:  July 2017 – HQN Books
  • Source:  Publisher; NetGalley

Description:  Two families long divided by an ancient feud. Can a powerful love finally unite them? 

Blade Hamilton is the last of his line. He’s never even heard of Crossroads, Texas, until he inherits land there. Riding in on his vintage Harley-Davidson, Blade finds a weathered ranch house, an empty prairie and a dark river that cuts a decisive path between the Hamilton’s land and that of their estranged neighbors. 

When Dakota helps a stranger on the roadside, she isn’t prepared for the charisma of the man on the motorbike—or for the last name he bears: Hamilton, of her family’s sworn enemies, representing all she’s been raised to loathe. The problem is, it looks like Blade is in town to stay, and there’s something about his wolf-gray eyes she just can’t ignore. 

Lauren Brigman feels adrift. Unhappy in work and unlucky in love, she knows she ought to be striving for more, but she’s never truly at peace unless she’s at home in Crossroads. If the wider world can’t satisfy her, is home truly where her heart is?  (publisher)

My take:  I love going back to Crossroads, Texas and seeing what’s new with the people we’ve met in previous Ransom Canyon series books and meeting new ones. Indigo Lake introduces readers to Blade and Dakota – two people who don’t think love will ever find them. Blade is a man whose job takes him in every direction so he’s never put down roots. He plans to sell the ancestral home (he didn’t know about until recently) he’s inherited and move on. Dakota’s life revolves around her job, studying, and taking care of her older sister and grandmother. She doesn’t have time for a relationship. And besides, their families are in a feud! It was fun watching these two become important to each other. It was also fun seeing Lauren Brigman’s life progress in a way she didn’t dare hope. I thought it was very sweet (in a good way) how Jodi Thomas made that happen. Of course, there are the usual quirky characters and inept criminals who added the element of suspense as well as humor to the novel. I enjoyed it all and wonder if there will be more to come in the Ransom Canyon series. I hope so!

Note:  Included at the end of this book is the Ransom Canyon series introductory novella Winter’s Camp.


Author post:

When I started INDIGO LAKE, I wanted to write a love story happening in the middle of an old feud.

Blade Hamilton is a man who has no family ties. Since he turned 18, he’s been on his own. When he find out he’s inherited a little farm from a father he never knew, he rides down to Texas from Denver on his Harley to take a look. (Fun note and photo: I had to learn a little about Harleys.)

Sell the place and ride away is his plan, until he meets Dakota Davis and falls into the middle of a hundred-year-old feud. Legends and curses seem to keep them apart, but an attraction neither can deny keeps pulling them together.

Blade  finds himself surrounded by legends and a deep family history as he falls in love with a woman who is afraid to step on his land and has a grandmother who regularly threatens to kill him.

As Blade is drawn into an investigation in town, he truly finds home for the first time in his life. I know you will love Blade and Dakota’s story.

Good news for Ransom Canyon fans, WINTER’S CAMP  is included in the back of INDIGO LAKE!

Hope you enjoy both,

Jodi Thomas 

INDIGO LAKE is available wherever books are sold and at http://www.HQNBooks.com

INDIGO LAKE JODI THOMAS $7.99 U.S. ISBN-13: 978-0-373-79936-7


Praise for the Ransom Canyon series:

“Thomas sketches a slow, sweet surrender.” –Publishers Weekly on the RANSOM CANYON series

“A pure joy to read.” –RT Book Reviews on the RANSOM CANYON series

“Western romance legend Thomas’s Ransom Canyon will warm readers with its huge heart and gentle souls.” –Library Journal


A fifth-generation Texan, New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Jodi Thomas chooses to set the majority of her novels in her home state, where her grandmother was born in a covered wagon. A former teacher, Thomas traces the beginning of her storytelling career to the days when her twin sisters were young and impressionable.

With a degree in family studies, Thomas is a marriage and family counselor by education, a background that enables her to write about family dynamics. Honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Thomas enjoys interacting with students on the West Texas A&M University campus, where she currently serves as Writer in Residence.

Commenting on her contribution to the arts, Thomas said, “When I was teaching classes full- time, I thought I was making the world a better place. Now I think of a teacher or nurse or mother settling back and relaxing with one of my books. I want to take her away on an adventure that will entertain her. Maybe, in a small way, I’m still making the world a better place.”

When not working on a novel or inspiring students to pursue a writing career, Thomas enjoys traveling with her husband, renovating a historic home they bought in Amarillo and “checking up” on their two grown sons.

For more information, please visit Jodi’s website at http://www.jodithomas.com


 

Serenity Harbor by RaeAnne Thayne

  • Title:  Serenity Harbor
  • Author:  RaeAnne Thayne
  • Series:  Haven Point #6
  • Pages:  384
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance
  • Pub. Date:  June 27, 2017 – HQN Books

Description:  Computer-tech millionaire Bowie Callahan is about the last person that schoolteacher Katrina Bailey wants to work for. As far as she can see, he’s arrogant, entitled and not up to the task of caring for his young half-brother, Milo. But Kat is, especially if it brings her closer to her goal of adopting an orphaned little girl. And as her kindness and patience work wonders with Milo, she realizes there’s more to sexy, wary Bo than she’d ever realized. 

Bo never imagined he’d be tasked with caring for a sibling he didn’t know existed. Then again, he never pictured himself impulsively kissing vibrant, compassionate Katrina in the moonlight. Now he’s ready to make her dream of family come true…and hoping there’s room in it for him, too… (publisher)

My take:  Serenity Harbor is the newest book in RaeAnne Thayne’s Haven Point series. It’s the story of Bowie and Katrina, two people who aren’t looking for love. Bowie’s life took an unexpected turn when he found he had a little brother he didn’t previously know existed. Now he’s responsible for the little boy who is on the autism spectrum. He has no idea how he can juggle seeing to Milo’s needs as well as work a full-time job. Katrina is the answer to his prayers. Turns out, he can help her. She’s in the middle of complicated adoption proceedings of a little girl in Columbia. When Bowie offers Kat a sizable amount of money to care for Milo until permanent help arrives she can’t refuse him. That money will help her with adoption costs so she accepts the offer. What she didn’t see coming was the attraction to Bowie. She’d been concentrating only on bringing Gabi home to Haven Point – not her love life. She’d made so many mistakes in that area before that she’s going to set her sights on making Gabi’s life better and forget about romance.

I so enjoyed this story of people finding out that perspective can change your idea of how life should go. Yes, a few things worked out much easier than they probably would in real life but this is a novel and I just went with it. I love the series, the characters and the setting and recommend it fans of the author and contemporary, small town romance.


About the author:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne finds inspiration in the beautiful northern Utah mountains where she lives with her family. Her books have won numerous honors, including six RITA Award nominations from Romance Writers of America and a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews magazine. RaeAnne loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at http://www.raeannethayne.com.


 

Forever a Hero by Linda Lael Miller

  • forever-a-heroTitle:  Forever a Hero
  • Series:  The Carsons of Mustang Creek #3
  • Author:  Linda Lael Miller
  • Pages:  384
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance
  • Published:  March 2017 – HQN Books
  • Source:  Publisher; NetGalley; Little Bird Publicity

Description:  For the youngest Carson brother, finding—and fixing—trouble seems to be all in a day’s work.

Mace Carson doesn’t consider himself a hero. Back in college, he came upon a woman in trouble and intervened—but he was just one irate Wyoming cowboy with his boots planted firmly on the side of right. Now a successful vintner, Mace is shocked to be reunited with the woman he saved. But it turns out she’s in Wyoming on business…a corporate executive representing the company that wants to buy his winery. Only, he’s not selling. 

Kelly Wright has never forgotten that horrible night ten years ago when Mace came to her rescue, has never forgotten him. The surprising success of a winery in the middle of ranch country has brought her to Mustang Creek, and she’s secretly thrilled to discover Mace at the helm. Reluctant to mix business with pleasure, Kelly vows to keep things professional, until her attacker is released from prison and comes for vengeance…against both of them. (publisher)

My take:  It was fun to return to Wyoming and to see what was new with the Carson family in Forever a Hero. Linda Lael Miller’s stories about three brothers connected to the family ranch had me from the start. And it drew to a fitting close with this book.

It had to be fate ten years ago when Mace Carson rescued Kelly Wright from an attacker on their college campus. But because of circumstances there was no chance to have more of a relationship at that time. He’d be remembered by Kelly as her hero. They both moved on with their lives. One failed marriage and ten years later Kelly is working for a company that wants to buy Mace’s wine – all of his wine. He may not want to sell but he’d like to get to know Kelly more and maybe convince her to work for him. All bets are off when the man who attacked her is released from prison. Could he possibly be the person who sent her a menacing text? Once again, Mace is ready to step up and keep her safe.

This book is typical Miller in that the romance is so nice, it’s filled with funny people and pets, and the setting is spectacular. Those reasons are why I keep picking up her books and look forward to the next one. Recommended to fans of Linda Lael Miller and contemporary romance.


lindalaelmiller_authorphotoAbout the author:

“First Lady of the West” Linda Lael Miller has written more than 100 contemporary and historical novels. She was awarded the prestigious Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award from the Romance Writers of America in 2007 and the RT Book Reviews Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.


PRAISE FOR THE CARSONS OF MUSTANG CREEK TRILOGY

“[A] marvelous contemporary Western trilogy launch…fraught with amazing chemistry.” — Publishers Weekly Starred Review on Once a Rancher

“Another deftly crafted western romance by a true master of the genre, [Once a Rancher] continues to showcase this author’s truly impressive storytelling talents. A riveting read from beginning to end.” — Midwest Book Review on Once a Rancher

“Miller’s deep knowledge and love of the West shine through in a refreshing, tender romance that sees another Carson brother blissfully bite the dust and seamlessly bring fans up-to-date with characters they’ve come to love.” Library Journal on Always a Cowboy

“Longing has a way of overcoming doubts, and readers will root for this appealing couple. The glimpses of ranch life and the extended Carson family make this a Western to remember.” — BookPage on Always a Cowboy

“Miller writes some of the best cowboy books around.” — BookTrib on Always a Cowboy


On Second Thought by Kristan Higgins

  • on-second-thought-2117Title:  On Second Thought
  • Author:  Kristan Higgins
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
  • Pages:  480
  • Published:  January 2017 – HQN Books
  • Source:  Publisher; NetGalley

My take:  Two sisters, Kate and Ainsley, have recently suffered the loss of their partners. Kate’s husband of a few months has died and Ainsley’s boyfriend of eleven years broke up with her in a humiliating way. Kate is grieving her loss like one would expect and so is Ainsley.

Eventually the two sisters wind up living together in Kate’s home. This proves to be a second chance of sorts for the sisters to get to know each other. They are seven years apart and really only share a father. Ainsley never felt her step-mother, Kate’s mom, accepted her and that affected her relationship with Kate. Living together now as women in their 30s gives new perspective to both.

Yes, this is a novel about grief and going through the phases but it was also about sisters and the many facets of that relationship. I could relate. I loved Ainsley and Kate – very different women outwardly but quite similar at the core.

Kristan Higgins writes with her usual humor and ease about the human condition. I enjoyed On Second Thought very much and recommend to fans of Higgins and women’s fiction.

About the author:

Kristan Higgins is the author of more than a dozen novels, including the beloved Blue Heron series. She has won two RITA® Awards from the Romance Writers of America and is a five-time nominee for the Kirkus Prize for best work of fiction.

 

Guest Post by author Jodi Thomas plus my review of Wild Horse Springs by Jodi Thomas

wild-horse-springs

Today author Jodi Thomas is here with a guest post about her new book WILD HORSE SPRINGS:

Now and then when a writer is working on a series, one of the characters steps from the shadows and comes alive. This happens to me often, maybe too often.  My sons say they are afraid I’ll name one of my characters in the will. 🙂

But, Sheriff Dan Brigman started as a character in someone else’s story.  book 1, Ransom Canyon.  He was a good guy.  An honest man like most of the men I’ve met in law enforcement.  As the series continues he proved to be a good friend, a concerned father and a man the town of Crossroads could depend on.

Only, Dan never had anyone to love.  His wife had loved her career far more than him and their daughter.  Then, he was the sheriff in a small town.  How does the sheriff date?  The only women he met were usually speeding or bailing their husband out of jail.  He wouldn’t even let friends set him up with their unmarried relatives for fear of hurting their feelings when he didn’t ask for a second date.

Soooo, finally in WILD HORSE SPRINGS the sheriff’s chance comes.  One night, in the middle of a deserted highway, he finds a fancy ladies boot in the center of the road.  It has him wondering what kind of woman would own such a boot and his quest begins. When he finally finds her, she’s as beautiful and wild as he guessed she might be.

As the weeks passed, this story almost wrote itself.  Some nights I couldn’t wait to get back to it and see what happened to Brandi and her sheriff. Now, finally, WILD HORSE SPRINGS is about to hit the stands.  I’m excited to share it with readers.

Come along with me and see what happens when the sheriff finds the lady who fits the fancy boot. 

Jodi Thomas 


  • wild-horse-springsTitle:  Wild Horse Springs
  • Series:  Ransom Canyon #5
  • Pages:  384
  • Author: Jodi Thomas
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance
  • Published:  January 2017 – HQN Books
  • Source:  Publisher; NetGalley

My take:  The Ransom Canyon series continues with Wild Horse Springs (book 5). In the small town of Crossroads, Texas (on the edge of Ransom Canyon) it’s finally time for steady Sheriff Dan Brigman to find some happiness (with the help of a lovely Country singer just passing through the area) – but the people in his life keep pressing the pause button. His daughter Lauren finds an excuse to come home from Dallas where her post-college life isn’t working out how she’d planned. When she gets back to Crossroads she’s met by the two men from her past who could help or hinder life going forward.

For a charming, small town like Crossroads there’s a dark undercurrent lately that most of the residents would be shocked to know about. The Sheriff has his hands full with a crime of arson to solve and a case of a child in peril that threatens to tear his heart out (as well as the reader’s).

Then there’s a Texas Ranger who goes for a nighttime ride that’s interrupted when his horse tosses him into the Canyon. Lucky for him a certain park Ranger finds him and calls for help. She takes control of his life from that moment (since he’s in the hospital and helpless) including making his ranch house a safe place for one of Crossroads’ favorite sons. There’s a lot going on in this novel.

Yes, there are a good deal of dramatic events in this story but also a lot of heartfelt and upbeat moments. Told in Thomas’s usual warm, folksy style, Wild Horse Springs is a strong addition to the series and I look forward to reading the next book.


About the author:

A fifth generation Texan, Jodi Thomas chooses to set the majority of her novels in her home state. With a degree in Family Studies, Thomas is a marriage and family counselor by education, a background that enables her to write about family dynamics. Honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Thomas enjoys interacting with students on the West Texas A & M University campus, where she currently serves as Writer In Residence.

Commenting on her contribution to the arts, Thomas said, “When I was teaching classes full time, I thought I was making the world a better place. Now I think of a teacher, or nurse, or mother settling back and relaxing with one of my books. I want to take her away on an adventure that will entertain her. Maybe, in a small way, I’m still making the world a better place.”

When not working on a novel or inspiring students to pursue a writing career, Thomas enjoys traveling with her husband, Tom, renovating a historic home they bought in Amarillo, and “checking up” on their two grown sons.

For more information, check out Jodi Thomas’s website.