Monday, March 30, 2015

Author Jodi Thomas: One True Heart


One True Heart by Jodi ThomasIt’s always a pleasure to have author Jodi Thomas visit Thoughts in Progress because that means we readers get another visit to the charming town of Harmony and get to see what its residents are up to.

Today Jodi joins us to talk about her new release, ONE TRUE HEART, which will hit bookstands April 7. You can pre-order the book on Jodi’s website.

Here’s a brief description of ONE TRUE HEART:

      Millanie McAllen is always logical. But after returning to her childhood home, she learns that some things are beyond explanation—like her undeniable passion for Drew Cunningham…
      After finding success as a singer on the road, Beau Yates returns to Harmony to make peace with his dying father—only to find the woman he’s been dreaming of for years. But the secrets they discover might be too much for him to bear…
      When Johnny Wheeler is charged with his wife’s murder, he turns to the only person who believes he’s innocent. Fortune teller Kare Cunningham’s life has always danced around reality—but Johnny is able to ground her like no other…
      As their paths cross in new, captivating directions, the townspeople of Harmony need to learn to love and let go in order to live together in their little slice of heaven.

Please join me in giving a warm welcome to Jodi. Welcome, Jodi.

ONE TRUE HEART is a book I’ve been waiting to write for several years. Sometimes characters sat around the kitchen in my mind waiting for their story to be pulled off the back burner and come to life. For those of you who have followed me through Harmony you’re going to see one of my favorite couples Beau and Trouble. And of those who are new, you’ll meet new characters that I think you’ll fall in love with.

I think I’ve wanted to write this story since I wrote TWISTED CREEK. After all, someone had to move into Luke’s cabin after he moved out and what better than a broken hero.

Millanie McAllen is falling apart. She’s wounded and lost. Drew is an expert at blending in. They have nothing in common except an attraction neither believes they are ready to deal with. When Millie takes an undercover assignment, she needs Drew’s help but his hesitation to talk about himself leaves her wondering how much she can trust him.

Flowing through the stories like soft music is Beau and Trouble’s love story. He’s become a star, worth millions in the music industry, but he never forgets his roots in Harmony. When he returns for his father’s death, he has to find the one girl who believed in him from the beginning. She was his midnight love who picked him up at the back of the bar after he’d played all evening for a hundred dollars. They’d race the moon in her sports car, but he never knew her last name. When he finds her, Beau knows that to win her back he’ll have to go back to being that young kid who loved music so much he’d play for free.

I love it when new readers find me for the first time. It’s like I’m brand new, and they just discovered a Jodi Thomas book. Then after they read one, they check my website or Amazon and discover they have many more to read. I get a real shot of sunshine when they write or call. It is kind of like the feeling you get when an old friend from the past calls. For a moment, you’re sixteen again and giggling.

So, whether you’re a first time reader of a Jodi Thomas book or you’ve been with me through them all, I want you to know that you are the reason I write.

With love, Jodi Thomas

Jodi, thanks so much for visiting with us today and sharing this look at the new story. It’s always fun to find a series where you can revisit with old friends and find new ones.

For those who aren’t familiar with Jodi, here’s a bit of background on her.

A fifth generation Texan who taught family living, 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, Jodi traces the beginning of her storytelling career to the days when her twin sisters were young and impressionable.  

The stories Jodi has committed to paper have earned her an impressive list of distinguished awards:

· Her first book, Beneath the Texas Sky (1988), won the National Press Women’s Novel of the Year in its category.
· Book two, Northern Star (1990), was named best novel by the (Texas) Panhandle Professional Writers and the Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc., an organization of writers’ groups from several states.
· Book three, The Tender Texan (1991), was Thomas’s first national bestseller and won her the first Romance Writers of America’s RITA, the $1.5 billion romance publishing industry’s equivalent of an "Oscar."
· In 1995, To Tame A Texan’s Heart (1994) received the second RITA for Jodi.
· Book twelve, To Kiss a Texan (1999), was her first novel to score on the USA TODAY Best-selling Books list.
· For The Texan’s Wager (2002), sixteen was the magic number. As Thomas’s sixteenth novel, the book scored number sixteen on the NEW YORK TIMES extended bestseller list.
· Her second contemporary, Finding Mary Blaine (2004), won the National Readers’ Choice Award.
· In July 2006, Jodi was the 11th woman to be inducted into the RWA Hall of Fame for winning her third RITA in the category of short historical romance for The Texan’s Reward (2005).
· In 2009, Jodi received the National Readers’ Choice Award for two of her books: Twisted Creek (2008) and Tall, Dark and Texan (2008).
· In 2010, The Lone Texan won the Reader’s Choice 2009 Best Western Romance from Love Western Romances.com.
· In 2011, Jodi won a RITA for Welcome to Harmony (2010) and the Booksellers’ Best Award for Somewhere Along the Way (2010), Romantic Times’ Romance Pioneer Award, Reviewers’ Choice Award and Best Western Romance for Texas Blue (2011)
· In 2013, Jodi won a Holt Medallion for Wild Texas Rose (2012) and the West Texas Books Festival’s A.C. Green Award
· In 2014, Jodi Thomas won the National Readers’ Choice Award’s Contemporary Single Title for Can’t Stop Believing (2013)

With a degree in Family Studies, Jodi 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, Jodi 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, Jodi 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."

For more on Jodi and her writing, visit her website and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Now for my thoughts on this fun new installment….

ONE TRUE HEART is a charming romance that will have you believing love will find a way.

Author Jodi Thomas does a wonderful job bringing the small town setting to life. Through her vivid descriptions, Thomas pulls the reader into the comfortable atmosphere where friends and family pull together.

The story follows three couples as they find their way to one another. The twists and turns, along with the highs and lows of relationships, makes the storylines plausible and realistic. The characters are likable and well-developed.

Even though ONE TRUE HEART is the eighth installment in the Harmony series, new readers can jump right in without feeling they’re missing pieces of the story. However, they may find themselves wanting to read prior stories to learn more about some of the secondary characters.

This is a delightful, entertaining story that is a must read for the romantic in you.

One True Heart by Jodi Thomas, Harmony Book #8, Berkley, @2015, ISBN: 978-0425268414, Paperback, 336 Pages 

FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.

Thanks so much for stopping by today during Jodi’s visit. I hope we’ve enticed you to pre-order ONE TRUE HEART today. Are you a romantic at heart?

18 comments:

  1. Thank you both.
    My cynical self NEEDS to believe that love will find a way. I really need to track some of Jodi's work down.

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    1. I hope you find and enjoy my Harmony series. I have loved writing about Harmony and its characters.

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  2. Jodi, I like the way you ended that. You have a genuine spirit. Congratulations and good luck with this latest book.

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    1. Thanks, Alex, for your kind remarks. Readers like you keep me writing!

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  3. Mason - Thanks for hosting Jodi.

    Jodi - Thanks for sharing a little about your process of writing this story. Like you, I often have characters in my mind for quite some time before they're ready to really tell me their stories. I wish you success.

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    1. Thanks, Margot, for sharing. I feel like my characters are family, do you?

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  4. It sounds wonderful. It's always fun to explore secondary characters.

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    1. My characters often become like family too.

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  5. I must look for this series. It sounds like a great fit for me.

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    1. I do hope you enjoy my little town of Harmony. I just love all the characters that live there too.

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  6. That is one impressive list of writing credentials. Thanks for letting us know about this prolific and gifted author. I'm going to check out this series for sure.

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    1. Karen, I just know that you will fall in love with Harmony like I did.

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  7. Those are some awesome accolades Jodi! Congratulations and on the new release.

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    1. Thanks. I hope you enjoy ONE TRUE HEART.

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  8. You have a great list of credits to your name. Congrats on those and on your newest endeavor!

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  9. Thanks so much for the introduction to Jodi and her novels, Mason. I love to read almost all genres and am always searching for the next good read.

    And thanks for sharing, Jodi. One True Heart sounds like a perfect mix of romance, drama, and mystery.

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  10. Sounds like this one is right up my alley - off to add it to my wishlist! :)

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I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.