Tag: Jodi Thomas

Guest Review: A Christmas Affair by Jodi Thomas

Posted October 2, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: A Christmas Affair by Jodi ThomasReviewer: Tracy
A Christmas Affair (Ransom Canyon #6.5) by Jodi Thomas
Series: Ransom Canyon #6.5
Also in this series: Sunrise Crossing
Published by HQN Books
Publication Date: October 1st 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 90
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Maria Anne Davis was on her way to an exciting career as a chef in Dallas, until a terrible car accident left her blind. Ever resilient, Maria has reinvented her life on her own terms, starting a business out of her home kitchen, selling her jams and jellies to the local grocery.

Maria loves romance novels, and despite her bold spirit, she fears she’ll never have a big love affair like ones her heroines experience. That is, until she realizes how much she cares about the quiet Wes Whitman, the owner of the grocery.

Wes can’t keep Maria’s wildly popular jam on his shelves – just like he can’t keep the fierce, beautiful Maria out of his thoughts. But how could a firecracker like Maria come to love a shy, nervous man like him? Maybe all they need is a grand affair. Wes needs to convince Maria that some affairs last forever, though – just in time for Christmas.

Wes and Maria don’t talk or really interact when she brings her stock in.  He pays her the money owed her and then she leaves.  Wes would like nothing more than to talk to her – and more – but he’s just too shy.  Maria ends up making the first move on Wes, which shocks and thrills him.  Maria proposes an affair – something she wants as her Christmas present.  Wes is happy to oblige but it seems like every time they turn around there are unintentional road blocks being thrown up.  The more Wes thinks about the affair with Maria the more he realizes that he doesn’t want just an affair – he wants it all.

In this novella not only do we get the sweet but whirlwind romance of Wes and Maria but we also get a bit of a story about a 15-year-old boy, Travis Fuller.  His parents are neglectful and social services has now put him into the care of his three great uncles in Crossroads, Texas.  Travis doesn’t plan on being with his uncles any longer than he planned on being with his parents. As soon as he hits age 16 he plans on running away and plots constantly as to how he can do that.

By staying with his uncles Travis gets to see that people may be screwed up in different ways but they can still love each other.   When Wes Whitman hires Travis as a stock boy in his grocery, Travis starts to see that life can be different from what he planned.  Not only is Travis then making money instead having to steal things, but he starts to have a sense of worth.  He starts to see life in a different way and I loved that.  Thomas has such a way of wrapping my heart around her characters that I couldn’t help but start pulling for Travis from the first sentence of the book.  I was so happy that by the end that he found a small sense of peace.  He was a good kid and I liked his character a lot.

Maria and Wes were definitely not your typical couple but they were good together.  I do wish they had talked more throughout the story but as it was a novella it still worked.  Sometimes two people just know they’re meant to be together and that’s all there is to it. 🙂

Overall a lovely novella and one I recommend, even if you haven’t read all of the Ransom Canyon books.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Excerpt: Sunrise Crossing by Jodi Thomas

Posted September 26, 2016 by Rowena in Promotions | 0 Comments

Sunrise Crossing by Jodi Thomas
Sunrise Crossing by Jodi Thomas
Series: Ransom Canyon #4
Released on August 30, 2016 by HQN Books

Return to peaceful Crossroads, Texas, where community comes first and love thrives in the unlikeliest places…

Yancy Grey is slowly putting his life back together after serving time for petty theft. As he rebuilds an old house, he finally has a sense of stability, but he can’t stop thinking of himself as just an ex-con. Until one night, he finds a mysterious dark-haired beauty hiding in his loft. But who is she, and what secret is she protecting?

The art gallery Parker Lacey manages is her life—she has no time for friends, and certainly not lovers. But when her star artist begs Parker for help, she finds herself in a pickup truck, headed for the sleepy town of Crossroads. A truck driven by a strong, silent cowboy…

Gabe Snow has been a drifter since he left Crossroads at seventeen after a violent incident. When he accepts a job in his hometown, he’ll have to decide whether he can put the worst night of his life behind him and build a future in the community that raised him.

Order the Book:

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Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

Flight

January 2012
LAX

VICTORIA VILANIE CURLED into a ball, trying to make herself small, trying to disappear. Her black hair spread around her like a cape but couldn’t protect her.

All the sounds in the airport were like drums playing in a jungle full of predators. Carts with clicking wheels rolling on pitted tiles. People shuffling and shouting and complaining. Electronic voices rattling off numbers and destinations. Babies crying. Phones ringing. Winter’s late storm pounding on walls of glass.

Victoria, Tori to her few friends, might not be making a sound, but she was screaming inside.

Tears dripped off her face, and she didn’t bother to wipe them away. The noise closed in around her, making her feel so lonely in the crowd of strangers.

She was twenty-four, and everyone said she was a gifted artist. Money poured in so fast it had become almost meaningless, only a number that brought no joy. But tonight all she wanted was silence, peace, a world where she could hide out.

She scrubbed her eyes on her sleeve and felt a hand touch her shoulder like it were a bird, feather-light, landing there.

Tori turned and recognized a woman she’d seen once before. The tall blonde in her midthirties owned one of the best galleries in Dallas. Who could forget Parker Lacey’s green eyes? She was a woman who had it all and knew how to handle her life. A born general who must manage her life as easily as she managed her business.

“Are you all right, Tori?” Parker asked.

Tori could say nothing but the truth. “I’m living the wrong life.”

Then, the strangest thing happened. The lady with green eyes hugged her and Tori knew, for the first time in years, that someone had heard her, really heard her.

About the Author

Jodi Thomas

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

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.

“My door is usually open to students all morning,” explains Thomas, who talks to the classes at the University and on other campuses during her many speaking engagements when not writing in her spacious office in WTAMU’s Cornette Library. “They come by to visit and ask questions about being a writer. When I was a child, being a writer wasn’t an option. All the people I knew had regular jobs. I’m hoping that students will see that being a writer is a possibility. This is particularly important in these days when programs in the arts are being cut in the public schools.”

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.”

While the author toured the country speaking to Desk and Derrick clubs about her 2003 novel, THE WIDOWS OF WICHITA COUNTY, the members of various chapters formed a Jodi Thomas Fan Club. The group enthusiastically promotes her novels and public appearances and even volunteers to provide drivers for her out-of-town engagements.

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.


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Guest Review: Sunrise Crossing by Jodi Thomas

Posted September 26, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Sunrise Crossing by Jodi ThomasReviewer: Tracy
Sunrise Crossing by Jodi Thomas
Series: Ransom Canyon #4
Also in this series: A Christmas Affair (Ransom Canyon #6.5)
Published by HQN Books
Publication Date: August 30th 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Yancy Grey is slowly putting his life back together after serving time for petty theft. As he rebuilds an old house, he finally has a sense of stability, but he can't stop thinking of himself as just an ex-con. Until one night, he finds a mysterious dark-haired beauty hiding in his loft. But who is she, and what secret is she protecting?

The art gallery Parker Lacey manages is her life—she has no time for friends, and certainly not lovers. But when her star artist begs Parker for help, she finds herself in a pickup truck, headed for the sleepy town of Crossroads. A truck driven by a strong, silent cowboy…

Gabe Snow has been a drifter since he left Crossroads at seventeen after a violent incident. When he accepts a job in his hometown, he'll have to decide whether he can put the worst night of his life behind him and build a future in the community that raised him.

Parker Lacey is an art gallery owner who loves what she does and doesn’t have any plans on stopping until she’s dead.  She’s 37 and since everyone in her family dies young – she’s not planning on being around that long.  When she’s in the LA airport on a trip she runs into one of her artists who is not having a good life.  After hearing Tori’s story Parker decides to help her out and helps her get away to a place called Crossroads, Texas where Parker owns a house.  She always thought she’d use it as a getaway but she’s never gotten away.  She helps Tori escape for a while and is happy to do it.

Parker is having pain in her knee and back and knows that it’s cancer as that’s what both of her parents died from.  She goes in for tests and after seeing the look on the doctor’s face she doesn’t let him tell her what’s wrong before she’s out of there.  She decides that she needs an adventure before she dies so she gets things in order at the gallery and heads to Crossroads herself.  She gets there with the help of her neighbor, Clint Montgomery, and their tenuous friendship ends up turning into the greatest adventure of her life.

Tori is the artist who is trying to escape her life. She’s been a renowned painter since she was 15 years old but she’s 24 now and feels like she’s in prison.  After her father died and her mother remarried her stepfather drove her to do more and more and more.  She’s tired and hates that he has guardianship over her and her money.  She doesn’t care about the money so much as her freedom to live how she wants.  While she’s hiding out in Crossroads she loves walking and ends up in Yancy’s workshed.  Once the two meet they become closer than either thought possible.  What started out as the two just working on wood for his house remodeling project became much, much more.  Unfortunately Tori’s stepfather wants his cash cow back and has the authorities, FBI and even bounty hunters out looking for her and he’ll take her, dead or alive.

Gabe left Crossroads when he was just a kid and was beaten and forced out by his own family.  He was trying to run away with his love but neither family wanted them together.  He never went back to Crossroads and now that he’s a bounty hunter and back to get Tori he’s seeing it with different eyes.  He finds that the family he thought was all dead isn’t and he’s got a relative he never knew about. That one person changes his whole outlook on live and makes him determined to live a better life.

I have to say that when I agreed to read Sunrise Crossing I wasn’t sure if it would work as a standalone.  I haven’t read the other books in the Ransom Canyon series but I’m happy to say that you can read SC and not have a clue about the previous books and still really enjoy the book.

I love the way that Jodi Thomas takes an unlikely collection of characters, puts them all together and makes an awesome story out of their lives and loves.  Tori, Yancy, Parker, Clint, Gabe – all of them were such different people but Thomas brought them in and made them into a cohesive group.  I also love the way that Thomas brings townspeople into the story.  Even though the books aren’t about them they play a large part and it gives the story a more homey feel, imho.

Tori and Yancy were awesome together.  They were quiet artistic people and got on well together from the start.  Yancy had had a tough life and though he’d had first dates – never got a second with anyone.  He loved so much about Tori and just let her be herself which was exactly what she needed to heal from her home life.

Parker and Clint – I could not think of a more unlikely pairing.  He’s a gruff, quiet, rough and tumble cowboy and she’s a city girl with a gallery, designer clothes and not a lot of friends.  Parker really needed Clint’s quiet patience in her life- someone steady to lean on who would be there for her no matter what.  I loved how Thomas slowly got these two together and made it work.  He was so sweet and was just perfect for her.

There was also a very small third romance in the book with one of the deputy sheriff’s that was quite cute as well and that added another lovely element to the story.

Besides the wonderful romances there was the suspense portion of the book having to do with Tori.  This is where Gabe came in and we got to know his story about his life in Crossroads. It was moving and horrifying and I loved that what he discovered in Crossroads changed him.  He had hardened himself from feeling and life and coming back broke the ice around his heart and made him want to be a better person.  It was such a good part of the story and I was so happy that Thomas added this part in.

Overall I really enjoyed this book.  Thomas is one of my favorite authors and I plan on going back and reading all of the Ransom Canyon books.  I’m sure I’ll end up loving the Ransom Canyon books as much as I love her other books.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Excerpt Tour: Ransom Canyon by Jodi Thomas

Posted August 31, 2015 by Rowena in Promotions | 1 Comment

ransom canyon
Synopsis:

From New York Times bestselling author Jodi Thomas comes the first book in a compelling, emotionally resonant series set in a remote west Texas town—where family can be made by blood or by choice…

Rancher Staten Kirkland, the last descendent of Ransom Canyon’s founding father, is rugged and practical to the last. No one knows that when his troubling memories threaten to overwhelm him, he runs to lovely, reclusive Quinn O’Grady… or that she has her own secret that no one living knows.

Young Lucas Reyes has his eye on the prize—college, and the chance to become something more than a ranch hand’s son. But one night, one wrong decision, will set his life on a course even he hadn’t imagined.

Yancy Grey is running hard from his troubled past. He doesn’t plan to stick around Ransom Canyon, just long enough to learn the town’s weaknesses and how to use them for personal gain. Only Yancy, a common criminal since he was old enough to reach a car’s pedals, isn’t prepared for what he encounters.

In this dramatic new series, the lives, loves and ambitions of four families will converge, set against a landscape that can be as unforgiving as it is beautiful, where passion, property and pride are worth fighting—and even dying—for.

EXCERPT FROM RANSOM CANYON by Jodi Thomas:

He wasn’t even sure they were friends some days. Maybe they were more. Maybe less. He looked down at his palm, remembering how she’d rubbed cream on it earlier and worried that all they had in common was loss and the need, now and then, to touch another human being.

The screen door creaked. He turned as Quinn, wrapped in an old quilt, moved out into the night.

“I didn’t mean to wake you,” he said as she tiptoed across the snow-dusted porch. “I need to get back. Got a hundred new head of cattle coming in at dawn.” He never apologized for leaving and he wasn’t now. He was simply stating facts. With the cattle rustling going on he might have to hire more men. As always, he felt like he needed to be on his land and on alert.

She nodded and moved to stand in front of him.

Staten waited. They never touched after they made love. He usually left without a word, but tonight she obviously had something she wanted to say.

Another thing he probably did wrong, he thought. He never complimented her, never kissed her on the mouth, never said any words after he touched her. If she didn’t make little sounds of pleasure now and then he wouldn’t have even been sure he’d satisfied her.

Now, standing so close to her, he felt more a stranger than a lover. He knew
the smell of her skin, but he had no idea what she was thinking most of the time. She knew quilting and how to make soap from her lavender. She played the piano like an angel and didn’t even own a TV. He knew ranching and watched every game the Dallas Cowboys played from his recliner.

If they ever spent over an hour talking they’d probably figure out they had nothing in common. He’d played every sport in high school and she’d played in the orchestra. He’d collected most of his college hours online and she’d gone all the way to New York to school. But, they’d loved the same person. Amalah had been Quinn’s best friend and his one love. Only, they rarely talked about how they felt. Not anymore. Not ever really. It was too painful, he guessed, for both.

Tonight the air was so still moisture hung like invisible lace. She looked to be closer to her twenties than her forties. Quinn had her own quiet kind of beauty. She always had, and he guessed she still would even when she was old.

To his surprise, she leaned in and kissed his mouth.

He watched her. “You want more?” he finally asked, figuring it was probably the dumbest thing to say to a naked woman standing two inches away from him. He had no idea what more would be. They always had sex once, if they had it at all when he knocked on her door. Sometimes neither made the first move and they just cuddled on the couch and held each other. Quinn wasn’t a passionate woman. What they did was just satisfying a need that they both had now and then.

She kissed him again without saying a word. When her cheek brushed against his rough jaw, it was wet and tasted newborn like the rain.

Slowly, Staten moved his hands under her blanket and circled her warm body, then he pulled her closer and kissed her fully like he hadn’t kissed a woman since his wife died.

Her lips were soft and inviting. When he opened her mouth and invaded, it felt far more intimate than anything they’d ever done, but he didn’t stop. She wanted this from him and he had no intention of denying her. No one would ever know that she was the thread that kept him together some days.

When he finally broke the kiss, Quinn was out of breath. She pressed her forehead against his jaw and he waited.

“From now on,” she whispered so low he felt her words more than heard them, “when you come to see me, I need you to kiss me goodbye before you go. If I’m asleep, wake me. You don’t have to say a word, but you have to kiss me.”

She’d never asked him for anything. He had no intention of saying no. His hand spread across the small of her back. “I won’t forget if that’s what you want.” He could feel her heart pounding and knew her asking had not come easy.

She nodded. “It’s what I want.”

He brushed his lips over hers, loving the way she sighed as if wanting more before she pulled away.

“Goodnight,” she said as if rationing pleasure. Stepping inside, she closed the screen door between them.

Raking his hair back, he put on his hat as he watched her fade into the shadows. The need to return was already building in him. “I’ll be back Friday night if it’s all right.”


jodi thomas

Note from Jodi Thomas

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Welcome to a taste of RANSOM CANYON. When I began my series, I knew my first character would be Staten Kirkland. He walked into my writing bunkhouse, sat down and began to tall me his story. He’s a strong man who always tries to do the right thing, but life has dealt him his share of blows.

One rainy night, after losing his wife to cancer, his son, just 16, dies in a wreck. Shattered in grief, he turns to a woman he’s know all his life for comfort.

Quinn O’Grady was his best friend. She’s shy. Staten knows she guards terrible scars inside. As their story of finding love and hope grows both must face their darkest hour.

Amid their story, Staten must stand against modern day rustlers. He is surprised to discover an entire town stands with him.

RANSOM CANYON is the story of a small town at the crossroads between ranches where lives intertwine.


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Guest Review: One True Heart by Jodi Thomas

Posted April 20, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: One True Heart by Jodi ThomasReviewer: Tracy
One True Heart by Jodi Thomas
Series: Harmony series #8
Also in this series: A Place Called Harmony
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: April 7th 2015
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

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.

Tracy’s review of One True Heart (Harmony #8) by Jodi Thomas

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.

In this book we get three different but all interconnected stories. There’s Millanie and Drew, Beau and Trouble aka Lark as well as Johnny and Kare.

In Millanie’s story she believes herself discharged from the Army and with no family and no place to go she returns to Harmony, the town of her youth. There she meets Drew who is a professor but running from his own demons. Millanie is actually NOT discharged and is then put on a case of finding a criminal the military believes is hiding out in Harmony.

Then we have Beau Yates who is a born and raised Harmony boy who hit it big in country music and is now a star. He returns when he hears that his father, the minister that was never actually nice to him, had a heart attack. He always felt more at home in Harmony and while he believes that he will only stay for a day or so that turns in to a much longer time when he runs into the girl he used to take midnight rides with in his youth.

Then there’s Johnny Wheeler whose wife left him and he’s then accused of murdering her. Kare is Drew’s sister and she’s the only one who believes him to be innocent. It turns out that the odd pair are perfect for each other.

This was a well written book – as I believe that all of Thomas’s books are. The stories of the three couples was very sweet and well done.

My issues with the book were that none of the stories, with the exception of Beau and Lark’s seemed very romantic, and even that seemed a little unusual. They were kind of 6 misfits who managed to find people who fit them which is always wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but to me Millanie and Drew didn’t really fit together. I think this was because we didn’t get to delve too, too deeply into either of their backgrounds. Same goes for Johnny and Kare – but they were in their own little orbit. Lol I guess I just didn’t feel as invested in these couples as I have with the previous couples/characters from Harmony. That being said I still found the book entertaining and of course it was nice being back in Harmony again.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Reading Order:

This title is available from Berkley. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

three-half-stars


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