Ransom Canyon bring the cowgirl to the ranch. It made want to be at Ransom Canyon. This is a new series for Jodi Thomas. I think it’s a great start to the new series.
Ransom Canyon follows the story of
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.”
Note from Jodi Thomas
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.
Author of RANSOM CANYON
- Who inspires you?
No teacher ever thought I’d be a writer. I can’t spell. My first writing teacher’s only comment after I read was, ‘Oh my lord, you’re in the horse’s point of view. I wasn’t too upset at the time because I didn’t know what point of view was.
I still can’t spell and I think commas were probably left by aliens years ago just to bug us. I am however a storyteller. When I was a kid I’d sit on the porch listening to my father and his brothers tell stories. I can remember lying under the quilt frame and listening to by grandmother and her friends talk about everyone in town. In my mind for as long as I can remember the world circled around stories.
- Do you ever imagine making one of your novels into a film?
- YES! It’s been a dream of mine since the beginning. As I’m writing it’s like a movie playing over and over in my head.
- What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?
I love learning. I love visiting places I’ve never been. I’ve decided I must believe in re-incarnation because it’s going to take me several lifetimes to finish my bucket list.
I also love teaching. Whether I’m lecturing to a class at the university or playing a game with first graders about making up a story—I love teaching.
- How do you conduct research for your novels? What is the oddest/craziest/most interesting thing you have ever done in the name of research?
I like to walk the land when I do research. I usually don’t take a camera. It’s in my head. Sometimes I’ll just drive across open land and let the stories come to me.
The craziest thing—In FINDING MARY BLAINE I was doing research on a historical in Austin and began to notice the homeless people on the streets. Then a story formed from What if? What if a woman was stranded in downtown Austin and had to go into hiding?”
No one sees the homeless. People walk right past them.
Six months later I returned to Austin and stayed in an old hotel in downtown called the Driskill. I’d done my research. I began visiting all the places that helpe the homeless in Austin. Food, shelter, medicine, even letting them use phones to call home. As part of the research I worked the breadlines and helped.
Then after several days I put on old clothes, a baseball cap, no makeup and stepped out of the Driskill and onto the streets. No money. No purse. I stepped into a world I’d never known and discovered a community. Good people, bad people. By the third night, when I returned about ten to the hotel, I was feeling guilty because my friends were still on the streets, some not safe.
FINDING MARY BLAINE came alive for me. The story. The people.
By the way, hotel security tried to stop me every night; they were very good at their job even if I was running at full speed to the hotel restroom. I’d rattle off the manager’s number as I disappeared into the ladies room. They’d call him. He’d say, “Oh, sure, let our little writer in.”
- How do you interact with your fans? Do you enjoy communicating with your fans? How would you describe your fans? How do you feel about social media?
I consider my fans as friends. We’ve shared a story and for many it lived in their mind just as it does in mine. It’s almost like, we may not know each other, but we’re from the same town.
In fact, I have a group of fans from my hometown that have been in the Jodi Thomas Fan Club since 2003. I always have a special book release party just for them. Now with social media, I have an online fan club so I can send out newsletters. I always love hearing from my fans whether it’s on Facebook or an email.
- What makes the perfect Texas man?
I think in some ways it’s what makes any perfect man. He does what’s right. He loves his family and his country and his God. No matter what he’s doing, he works until the job is done. He helps others whenever he can and doesn’t always put himself first. He may not always do or say the right thing, but he tries and he loves deep.I was very lucky to marry such a man. When I first started writing I was teaching school, raising sons, going to grad school one night a week, doing all the things every other young family does. I was frustrated that I never seemed to have enough hours in the day to write.My husband knew how much it meant to me. He’d watched me try to function on five hours sleep every night. So one day he said, “How about you start writing an hour earlier. I’ll do the dishes, put the boys to bed.”That one hour made all the difference. Twenty years later I’m still writing at night and he’s still doing the dishes. Funny side effect: Both my sons think it’s the man’s job to do the dishes at their houses.