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 descendant 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.
Praise for Ransom Canyon
“Ransom Canyon is a tale of redemption and hope filled with authentic dialogue and characters engaging enough to chat with over a cup of coffee.” – Fort Worth Star Telegram
“Western romance legend Thomas opens her latest series in a small Texas town…. Ransom Canyon will warm readers with its huge heart and gentle souls. For all romance collections.” – Library Journal
“Once again a delightful entry into a new series by a favorite of mine. Jodi Thomas has the ability to reel me in every time with her enterprising, intelligent and caring cast of characters and RANSOM CANYON has some of the best yet. ” – Fresh Fiction
Did you always want to be a writer?
No. I didn’t read until the 4th grade and English was my worst subject. But, I loved listening to stories and once I learned to read I felt like I lived in libraries for years. I think we never know what is best in life. Maybe my not reading all those years helped my imagination grow.
What were some of your favorite childhood stories/books?
I skipped most of the children’s books in the library. The books I loved reading to by boys started with the Berenstein Bears,(the Spooky old Tree) Charlotte’s Web, The Giving Tree, Where the Wild Things Are, Goodnight Moon.
Texas plays a big part of much of your work. Some people even say that Texas is so big that it is, itself, a character. What’s your response to this?
Never ask a Texan about their state. They’ll never stop talking.
Cowboys and romance go together so perfectly. What is it about cowboys?
For me it’s a way of life. I set of rules a cowboy lives by. A quirky sense of humor. A work ethic. Who doesn’t love a man in a Stetson.
As Writer in Residence at West Texas A&M, what is the most common question asked of you from students?
Most common question when I lecture: Where do your ideas come from? I tell them I really don’t know. I’ve had stories dancing in my head as long as I can remember. I maintain a loose grip on reality.
Writing students ask: Can you make a living as a writer? My answer: I’ve been doing it for over twenty years. If you work at it half as hard as you would an 8 to 5 job you can get rich writing.
Who would you say is your biggest influence in your writing?
I’ve always loved romance starting with Barbara Cartland when I borrowed my mother’s books. She always read the Harlequins that came every month in the mail and I never missed one. My father read Louis L’Amour and so did I. I guess I was meant to write western romance from the beginning.
What has been your favorite part about being an author?
I love it when I get so lost in the writing that I don’t know or care what time it is. I love writing late into the night because I have to see what will happen.
I also love working with beginning writers. This week I had lunch with a woman who had a degree in English, had written articles and started several books, each in a different genre.
I saw the lights come on when I told her the secret: Pick a line! If you want to publish pick the kind of book you love to read and write in that genre.
What advice would you give to your 12 year old self?
Believe in yourself. All those days you’re daydreaming in classes from grade school to grad school remember you’re working on your future career.
Also, find that kid named Thomas and marry him. It’ll be the best think you ever do and he’ll help you follow your dream of writing.
If you could time travel, where would you go first?
I already time travel all the time. Where would I go? Texas of course. ☺
What was the last book that was recommended to you?
Katherine Anderson’s NEW LEAF. I always love curling up with one of her books.
What is your writing process like? Do you have any interesting writing rituals?
Most of my days are spent fighting my way to my computer hidden in a little place out back of my house. We call it the bunkhouse. The walls are covered with whiteboards and pictures of Ransom Canyon, Palo Duro Canyon, wild horses running across open country, sunsets, snakes and blue bonnets. There are family trees and how I see the brands of each ranch in my story. There is a board full of notes on what will come next and calendars from each book’s time period. When I step into the Bunkhouse----I step into RANSOM CANYON.
I’ve never felt alone out there. My characters surround me.
Are you working on any other projects besides the Ransom Canyon series?
Not right now. Ransom Canyon keeps me busy. I’m promoting Book 1,(traveling to give talks and lectures) I’m copy-editing book 2, and writing book 3 every night I’m home.
On planes and long drives another series is simmering in the back of my brain but it will have to wait along with a dozen others. I’ll write as many as I can, then maybe I’ll just sit back and daydream the others.
Being a writer is not what I do----It’s who I am.
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.
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.
blog tour services provided by