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Monday, November 4, 2013
Author Jodi Thomas Talks About Promise Me Texas
It’s always a pleasure to welcome award-winning author Jodi Thomas back to Thoughts in Progress. Jodi’s latest installment in her Whispering Mountain series is PROMISE ME TEXAS, which is set to be released tomorrow, Nov. 5.
This charming book is already getting rave reviews. Publishers Weekly has given it a starred review:
“Bestseller Thomas strikes gold again with her seventh Whispering Mountain historical (after Wild Texas Rose), set in 1879 Texas. When 24-year-old Beth McMurray sneaks onto a train to surprise her fiancé, former Senator Lamont LaCroix, she's shocked to overhear him bragging about his plans for her and her money. Then robbers board the train and it goes off the rails. Just before the crash, one of the robbers grabs Beth and jumps off the train, taking the fall to protect her. He's hurt, but she stays with him, claiming that he's her husband. The sheriff and the doctor believe that Beth is now Mrs. Andrew McLaughlin, but LaCroix does not. Meanwhile, widower Andrew reveals his hidden depths: when he's not robbing trains, he longs to be an author. By the time Beth drives a wagon out of town, she has collected a pretend husband, two little boys, an ill teen cowboy, and a pregnant young woman, and the adventure has just begun. Complex plotting, superb character development, and touching romantic scenes make this a winner.”
When I began PROMISE ME TEXAS, I wanted to start with the notion that sometimes your whole life turns on one moment in time. The day you say yes to something or someone. The night you were in the wrong place at the right time. The single heartbeat when you let love rule over reason.
I wanted to show that now and then, that one choice you made with little time to think it over, may have led you down a road you never dreamed you’d travel.
In my story Beth McMurray is the spoiled youngest daughter of Teagan McMurray who owns the powerful Whispering Mountain Ranch in Texas. Since she was a baby everyone always comments on how beautiful she is. How Perfect. So, of course, she wants to marry the perfect man and waits for him.
Only one man, a senator from Washington D.C., seems good enough for her wish list. They met when she was sixteen and wrote for years. Now, well into her twenties, she decides to board a train and surprise him as he travels to meet her. Though dressed in trousers, she's packed away her wedding dress to slip into when they finally are together. Only before she has a chance to pull off her disguise, she learns he's not the man she's dreamed of for years. He is self-centered, a braggart, and dishonest. As the train rushes toward Dallas, she cries as she hides in the last boxcar that carries her horse. Beth knows she has to disappear before he sees her, but how? At a midnight water stop, she watches bandits board the train like ghosts in the rain. Before she can warn anyone, the train wrecks. A strong arm of a man grabs her as the cars tumble. The stranger jumps free of the cars, but is hurt as he protects her. In the darkness, amid all the chaos, Beth must decide to claim the senator, or the robber as her fiancé. The choice will change her destiny as well as his.
I had a great deal of fun writing about a writer trying to live in reality and a beautiful, spoiled woman trying to make up her life as she went along.
Everyone, even the outlaw leader, tries to give them advice, but somehow they find a crazy kind of love. In my experience it’s sometimes that crazy kind of love that is just right.
Enjoy the journey through Texas as you come along with me meeting people that are very real to me, if only in my mind.
Jodi, thanks for joining us and sharing this look at PROMISE ME TEXAS. You are so right, sometimes a moment can change a person’s life forever.
Jodi is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of 38 novels and 11 short story collections. A five-time RITA winner, Jodi currently serves as the Writer in Residence at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas. Her newest book, PROMISE ME TEXAS, the seventh book in her Whispering Mountain series, releases tomorrow, November 5.
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