Monday, August 31, 2015

Author Jodi Thomas’ Ransom Canyon

I’m delighted today to welcome author Jodi Thomas back to Thoughts in Progress so she can tell us about her latest release, RANSOM CANYON (don’t you just love that name) :-)

Here’s a brief synopsis of RANSOM CANYON, the first installment of a six-book series that promises to be fascinating:

        Long ago, four families of ranchers settled along the canyon walls of a bleak Western frontier to forge better lives for future generations. Now, well over a hundred years later, on that same treacherous gorge, their scattered descendants are set to converge once more, ready to face the deadliest test of their lives. Welcome to Crossroads, Texas. From New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Jodi Thomas comes RANSOM CANYON (HQN Books, September 2015, $7.99 U.S./$8.99 CAN.), the first offering in a six-book series featuring enthralling family dramas, rugged heroes and the beautiful Texan landscape.
        Following the deaths of his wife and only child, wealthy and prominent rancher Staten Kirkland swore he would never love again. All that keeps him going are his ranch and the grief he shares with his deceased wife’s best friend, Quinn O’Grady—his rainy-day woman. But after years of shared misery, something suddenly changes with the reclusive Quinn. Wallowing in the past is no longer enough. Now Staten—a man who thought his life was over—must decide if a future exists for him with a woman he’s long known but, until now, never really seen.
        To everyone at his high school, Lucas Reyes seems like a regular kid who likes to keep to himself. But after one harrowing night together, his classmate Lauren Brigman realizes there’s much more to the brave, unassuming ranch hand’s son than anyone suspects. For instance, the quiet and mature Lucas has big plans for his future. But when danger threatens the town from nearby Ransom Canyon, the bright future Lucas envisioned with the girl of his dreams is suddenly very much in doubt.
        After five long years in prison and with nothing left to lose, ex-convict Yancy Grey has come to Crossroads, Texas, looking to take whatever he can by any means necessary. While scoping the community, Yancy takes a job, hoping to blend in with the locals. But before he knows it, he suddenly finds himself caring about the same folks he was planning to rob. So, when Yancy’s crooked past suddenly catches up and presents him with the score of a lifetime, he knows he has a difficult choice to make—between the crook he’s been in order to survive and the man he strives to be in order to truly live…
        Against a landscape as deadly as it is beautiful, the lives of these people are about to intersect in a way that none of them ever imagined. And like their ancestors who settled the land long before them—nothing about Ransom Canyon has changed—they must survive together or die alone…the decision is theirs.

Now join me in giving Jodi a warm welcome as she talks about her writing. Welcome, Jodi.

More than anything else I’ve always thought the people make the stories in books. I love characters who walk off the page and the reader falls a little bit in love as they discover not only passion, but a bond as deep as time. I wrote the RANSOM CANYON series so that everyone could see what the people of West Texas are like. 

I knew I had to open RANSOM CANYON with Staten Kirkland. He is a well-respected rancher who believes he needs to work harder than any hand he hires. He’s strong and honest and broken inside by the death of his only love, his wife. When his son is killed during a storm a few years later, Staten runs to a quiet woman who has been his friend since grade school and his wife’s best friend. Shy Quinn asks nothing up him. She offers understanding amid the storm of his life. 

Their friendship develops into a gentle, loving affair that grows to rock both them with its depth. Staten will have to learn to love again and Quinn will have to open up to someone. The whole town watches the birth of passion and love as Staten stands beside her letting her be strong and quiet Quinn discovers one man’s love can wash away all the pain in her past. Through storms, cattle rustlers, and facing Quinn’s greatest fear, they fight for each other as the whole town stands behind them.

RANSOM CANYON is about the beauty of people and how they interact with one another as friends, families and lovers. And, of course, the winners in life’s game are the people who love the deepest.

Step with me into a small town nestled between huge ranches and small farms. A place where people fight and help one another. A place where love runs deep and forever.

Jodi, thanks for joining us today and sharing this insight into the characters of RANSOM CANYON. These characters do jump off the page at you. Now here’s a bit of background on Jodi.

Author Jodi Thomas
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, Jodi traces the beginning of her storytelling career to the days when her twin sisters were young and impressionable. 

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.”

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

For more information on Jodi, please visit her website and connect with her on Facebook.

Thanks so much for stopping by today during Jodi’s visit. I hope to have my review of this fascinating story in a few days. Do you enjoy stories where the characters seem so realistic you think of people you know that fit their traits perfectly?

*This post contains affiliate links.

**NOTE: I will be offline today and tomorrow (possible a few days more) due to computer issues. Hope to be back online as soon as possible.


  1. Sound like a sweet love story.
    Sorry about the computer issues, Mason.

  2. The setting for this one really sounds appealing! Thanks for sharing, both.

  3. What a great title (Yes) and the story idea is awesome. I love a character that works harder than anyone they employ. If only there were such people. :)

  4. Sounds like a great story - with appealing characters!
    Good luck with the computer stuff!

  5. I love stories in wide open spaces. This setting looks perfect.

  6. Oooh.
    Love that name. And people are always what keeps me engrossed in a book.
    Good luck with the 'puter issues.

  7. I just added Ransom Canyon to my Want to Read list on Goodreads. Sounds like a great beginning to a wonderful series.

  8. Oh, sounds fun! I love these epic family tales and I like the setup here.

  9. New author to add to my list for me.

  10. Hi Mason and Jodi - knowing very little about West Texas .. other than the obvious ... this looks like a fascinating read - giving me insight into Texan life, while weaving through various stories. Those characters do sing out .. cheers Hilary

  11. Sounds like a very charming book! I love stories like this. Congrats to Jodi!

  12. Masy, hope they're not using you as the ransom in the novel :)


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