Archive for November 5th, 2013

PromiseMeTexasFrom Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Bestseller Thomas strikes gold again with her seventh Whispering Mountain historical (after Wild Texas Rose), set in 1879 Texas. When 24-year-old Beth McMurray sneaks onto a train to surprise her fiancé, former Senator Lamont LaCroix, she’s shocked to overhear him bragging about his plans for her and her money. Then robbers board the train and it goes off the rails. Just before the crash, one of the robbers grabs Beth and jumps off the train, taking the fall to protect her. He’s hurt, but she stays with him, claiming that he’s her husband. The sheriff and the doctor believe that Beth is now Mrs. Andrew McLaughlin, but LaCroix does not. Meanwhile, widower Andrew reveals his hidden depths: when he’s not robbing trains, he longs to be an author. By the time Beth drives a wagon out of town, she has collected a pretend husband, two little boys, an ill teen cowboy, and a pregnant young woman, and the adventure has just begun. Complex plotting, superb character development, and touching romantic scenes make this a winner.


When I began PROMISE ME TEXAS I thought about how some people are actors and some are reactors.  Some, like my Beth McMurray, are tired of waiting and decide make change happen, while other watch. On a sudden impulse, she travels north, catching up to the train her fieance is on. She plans to surprise him.  Within hours, she realizes her mistake.  He’s not the man she thought him to be.  When a train wreck happens she has only a moment to stand by the bum, or turn to a stranger and claim him as hers.  As always, Beth jumps.
Andrew McLaughlin, on the other hand, has always been a reactor.  He watches people, writes about places and daydreams.  When the beautiful lady claims him as hers, he goes along.  Interested in the details of this story this pretty lady seems to be living in. When he first wakes up from the wreck, injured and disoriented, he finds they’re engaged.  Second time, Beth claims they are married. Third time, he sees two kids in the pictures.  Confused, he doses off wondering what the grandkids will look like when he wakes again.
PROMISE ME TEXAS is the story of a strong loving family who founded Whispering Mountain Ranch and how their big hearts open up to let others in. Readers often ask me where my characters come from.  That is a hard question to answer.  For the most part I just open my mind and let them walk in.
That’s what happened when I began this story.  Beth had been a baby in another book.  Andrew was lost, trying to find his reason for life.  He was one of those men she wouldn’t have given a second glance to if fate hadn’t stepped in and tossed them together.  Once she saw him, really saw him, she wouldn’t let go.
I think the hardest thing in life is finding what direction to head.  Real people as well as those in my head sometimes have trouble finding the road to take.  Maybe the important thing is to simply keep walking.
I had a great deal of fun writing about a writer trying to live in reality and a beautiful, spoiled woman trying to make up her life as she went along.  Everyone, even the outlaw leader, tries to give them advice, but somehow they find a crazy kind of love.In my experience it’s sometimes that crazy kind of love that is just right.
Enjoy the journey through Texas as you come along with me meeting people that are very real to me, if only in my mind.
JodiJodi Thomas
Jodi Thomas is the NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of 38 novels and 11 short story col-lections. A five-tme RITA winner,. Jodi currently serves as the Writer in Residence at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas.


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