August 26, 2015

Ransom Canyon by Jodi Thomas - a Word from the Author

Firstly I welcome Jodi Thomas to the Book Date and then read on for my review of the first in her new series.

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Jodi Thomas
With seven generations of my family in Texas, of course I write about the state I love.  In this new series I’m going more modern-day western than I ever have.  Step into the life of small towns and ranching with me.  I promise, you’ll fall in love with the people of Ransom Canyon.

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 of 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.

Readers will feel, not like they came to visit, Crossroads, Texas, on the edge of Ransom Canyon, but the town will start to feel like home.  My goal as a writer is to keep you up late reading because you have to know what happens next.
So, saddle up with me and step into RANSOM CANYON.

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

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 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.

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

The prequel to Ransom Canyon (Winter's Camp) is available free until 31st August at B&N and Amazon until the 31st of August.

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I loved both Winter's Camp and Ransom Canyon. I highly recommend.  I certainly love to settle back and enjoy the adventures she takes her readers on. My thoughts on Ransom Canyon follows.

Publisher: Harlequin (USA & Canada)
Date: 25th August 2015
Pages: 368
Genre: Women's Fiction. Western Romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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Ransom Canyon by Jodi Thomas is the first of a new series set in Crossroads Texas and surrounding ranches and farms.  After reading this one I know I am going to totally love this community. I enjoyed the prequel which gave us the tale of how Crossroads and Staten Kirkland's forebear laid the foundations of this community. It's a small town with a great community feel story, there's a wide variety of characters - goodies and baddies, old and young, cranky and cheerful, mean and kind. Now to meet some of them:
  • Staten Kirkland - rancher, lost his wife a number of years ago when she died of an illness and a son who died five years ago in a car crash.  He's a fifth generation Kirkland and he could be the last.  He is in his early forties.
  • Quinn O'Grady - lavender farmer, a friend always to Staten's wife and is in a sort of relationship with Staten but as the book opens there is nothing formal about it. She also has something from her past that has hurt her badly.
  • Lucas Reyes - wrangler.  Young, just setting out with his eyes on college. Has integrity.
  • Lauren Brigman - daughter of Dan Brigman the sheriff. Finds herself early on in a situation that is a turning point in her young life, along with Lucas, young Tim O'Grady and Reid Collins. (Son of a rich rancher).
  • Yancy Grey who just got of a truck at Crossroads and is just out of prison. Point of fact he has one blue and one grey eye.
  • The Old Timers - all ex teachers who are living in a rather down at heel ex motel complex.  Among them is Staten's grandma.  Do not discount them. They are a load of fun and add immensely to the story.
As soon as I was in a couple of pages I relaxed, recognising I was in the hands of an experienced and adept storyteller.

I loved it from beginning to end. It's a western with cattle and horses, a shootout, some mystery, some romance. The baddies get their come uppance and the goodies shine.

There is drama and humour. FABULOUS.

I am already looking forward to Rustler's Moon the next one in this series.

4.5 stars


  1. I have not tried any of her books, but I should

  2. OOh Kathryn I love modern westerns and this one sounds fab! Thanks!

  3. Great review Kathryn. I'm glad you enjoyed this story. I enjoyed reading about the author.

  4. I would probably have overlooked this one if not for your fab review. Sounds like just what I need right now ... off to grab the prequel :)

    1. The prequel may not be free in Aussie. I picked it up off NetGalley. Bummer, don't know why they do that.


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