Thursday, January 3, 2013

Returning To Harmony with Author Jodi Thomas

It’s always a pleasure to welcome author Jodi Thomas back to Thoughts in Progress as it means she has a new installment in her Harmony series. CHANCE OF A LIFETIME is her latest release.

The fifth book in her popular Harmony series, CHANCE OF A LIFETIME presents a story where big dreams are brewing - and anything and everything is possible. Here’s a brief synopsis:
     Emily, the local librarian, has started a writing group, but as the group stumbles through both the fiction and reality of their lives, they’re learning much more than how to write. But Emily suddenly has other things on her mind when a friend from her past shows up in Harmony’s library. Now she must deal with a secret she’s kept for fifteen years—a secret that changed her life and threatens to shatter her future.
     Meanwhile, new lawyer Rick Matheson thinks he’s in charge of his world until accidents start happening all around him. Just when he realizes someone is trying to kill him, he meets a beautiful U.S. Marshal named Trace Adam. Now that the marshal has given him an even stronger reason to go on living, he must learn to take a chance on life to dream bigger—and love better—than he ever has before.

Publishers Weekly has given CHANCE OF A LIFETIME a starred review and had this to say about it: “Another winner...Fans will be delighted.” 

Jodi joins us today to talk about her intriguing town and the people that call it home. 

As the holidays wind down and we cuddle into the cool nights, I’d love to take you along on a journey with me to a small town in Texas called Harmony. 

When I began CHANCE OF A LIFETIME, I started with Emily, a librarian. She’s kind and caring with a secret that keeps her fears compartmentalized in her mind. When a friend from her past asks a favor, she agrees not knowing how far into an adventure they’ll stumble while discovering each other and a secret of the town. 

If you are looking for a book that will let you step out of daily lifechance_of_a_lifetime into a world of mystery, laughs and falling in love, you’ll enjoy CHANCE OF A LIFETIME.

So, come along with me to Harmony.

Jodi, thanks for visiting with us again and giving us another look at Harmony and its residents. The idea of a librarian with a secret makes for a fun adventure.

Jodi is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of 36 novels and 11 short story collections. In June 2011, WELCOME TO HARMONY, the first book in the Harmony series, won a RITA, the highest award for women’s fiction. Jodi currently serves as the Writer in Residence at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas. 

For more on Jodi, her writing and her Harmony series you can check out her website, visit her on Facebook and find her on Twitter.

As a special treat I’d like to share a review of CHANCE OF A LIFETIME from Fresh Fiction written by Sandra Wurman.  

     First let me let you in on a secret -- I've never met a Jodi Thomas book that wasn't absolutely dog eared from being read so many times. They are all like warm cozy friends that just beg to be taken back down from the book shelves and revisited. When given the opportunity to read or review a Thomas book I grab it with gusto. CHANCE OF A LIFETIME is destined to become one of my favorites and I'll wager that it will be yours as well. Thomas managed to interweave a host of stories and characters in this wonderful contemporary tale infused with humor and mystery. The pages come alive as you are invited into the world of people who live in small town Harmony.
     Who would have thought a library could hold not only a wealth of knowledge but secrets as well. As a centerpiece of a community the library is a place people go to for many reasons and it would appear that the Harmony library has its share of stories to tell -- no pun intended.
     The librarian Emily Tomlinson's life appears to be an open book with the inhabitants fully aware of the tragic and violent attack fifteen years ago when she was just a teenager. A teenager who happened to be in the wrong place at the absolute wrong time. In her memories of the event all she recollects is that her best friend Tannon Parker wasn't there for her, such a breach of faith it would form a chasm between the two that was impossible to bridge. Tannon it appears harbors his own nightmares of that evening. He remembers getting there too late to stop the attack but his memories go even further. As time goes on he realizes that Emily didn't fully realize the events of that night and no one should reopen those barely healed wounds.
     Tannon has unfulfilled dreams of his own -- those dreams and wishes included Emily and a desire to get back a normal, fulfilled life hopefully with someone who cares for and about him. Emily still has an aversion to being out past dark. And her life has definitely stalled into a comfortable nonthreatening routine that borders on loveless and downright boring. Well that's all about to change and change is supposed to be good for the soul.
     There's someone in this quiet little town that has a grudge against the towns lawyer Rick Matheson. Rick thinks of his practice as barely existent and yet he is continually being put in harm's way with no clues as to motive or person of interest. These accidents are not minor in any way. Luck has been on Rick's side as he has survived life threatening injuries. He barely recuperates from one "accident" when there is another attack. Law officials are taking note of these attacks and have decided Rick needs protection. Moving into the local bed and breakfast seems a logical and hopefully safe place where Rick won't be alone and at the same time hopefully not put others in jeopardy. The Matheson's are lifelong residents of this little town and they are working behind the scenes to guard Rick even if he is reluctant to admit to the danger.
     There's something about small town living that is very compelling. Knowing all your neighbors should make you feel safe and yet in CHANCE OF A LIFETIME, Thomas effectively casts doubt on that belief. There's a huge cast of characters in her latest book too numerous to mention much less give any insight into but heed my words this is a masterfully written story about a group of people who will grab hold from beginning to end. You almost dread finding out if any of them is the culprit.

Thanks everyone for stopping by today. Do you enjoy books that featuring small towns? What is it about small towns that appeals to us and draws us in?


BTW, those who guessed yesterday concerning the 'can you name it' photo were all correct. It was a clothes pin.

Thanks for playing along.


  1. Jodi, thanks again for visiting with us. It's always a delight when a new Harmony book comes out and gives us a chance to visit with these intriguing characters. Wishing you much success.

  2. Mason - Thanks for sharing Jodi with us.

    Jodi - What an interesting premise for a novel - a book group! And I like the idea of creating a charaacter who has to cope with her past. I wish you much success!


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