Is it time to jump back in the saddle? Let's ask Ruth Logan Herne, the author of new series, Double S Ranch, Book 1, Back in the Saddle.
I've had a blast with Back in the Saddle when I first read and reviewed it back in February. (To read my review then, click here). When there was a chance to ask Ruthy some more questions about this book (and hopefully get some scoop on the next books in the series), I jumped at it. Now, are YOU ready?
RLH: Annie, so much more. This is more than a romance, it’s a story of family, home and healing, of working through the sadness of loss and parental disinterest and learning to see through the eyes of an adult… because an adult vantage point is different. Forgiveness is key to mending bridges, and in this beautiful story, learning to forgive your family… and yourself… are key to a new beginning for Colt and Angelina, and for the Stafford family as a whole. And we get to see this, step by wonderfully romantic step, in the three books!
JC: Back in the Saddle seems to draw from the Parable of the Lost Son. What themes or Biblical stories can we expect in the following Double S Ranch stories?
RLH: You’re right, Colt has strong similarities to the Prodigal. He left angry, he took what he could, he vowed to never come back and he stayed gone for years. And when everything took a wrong turn in Lower Manhattan, he came back… For Nick’s story, he’s been trying to best his father for years. To show him how the beef should be done right, how production should be done right, how marriage and fatherhood should be done right… EPIC FAIL… Because Nick made the very same mistakes his father made. So his story is very much a “sins of the fathers” theme, where Nick has to learn more about himself before he’s able to understand where he went wrong. And Elsa Andreas is the perfect heroine to do it. If she doesn’t kill him first. J
For Trey, well he’s different. Sam rescued Trey when his parents died during a wild, drug-crazed weekend of partying, and all Trey remembers is that his mother loved drugs more than she loved him… and she made that clear to him. So while Trey sings of peace and love and faith, he’s got a hollow hole so big inside him that he’s pretty sure he might get swallowed whole. He’s got to learn not only to forgive… but to realize it had nothing to do with him and move on. For outside appearances, that happened a long time ago, but when he fell in love and married a country star who’d overcome a drug problem, in Trey’s head he was showing his deceased parents that it could be done! That people can overcome their habits… And then his wife died from an overdose while he was on tour and he figures he was most likely fooling himself all along… So Trey is looking for peace. The peace that’s escaped him for so long.
JC: Will Angelina's past make an appearance in other stories?
RLH: Well, I can’t tell you yes or no because we haven’t done final edits yet, but I don’t think so… I think we’ve got our hands full right there in Gray’s Glen!
RLH: Thank you for asking that! The scheduled release dates are “Home on the Range” October 2016 and “Peace in the Valley” in March 2017.
JC: I also love love love the cover. Totally swoon-worthy. What can we expect on the cover of the other books? Have they been decided?
RLH: Oh. Oh. Oh.Come closer…. I have to whisper this!!!!As awesome as Colt’s cover is???? I THINK NICK’S IS EVEN BETTER BUT I CAN’T SHOW YOU YET!!!! But it is G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S!!!!! Shh… don’t tell on me, okay???
RLH: I like strong women. Even if life has beaten them down (and it can!) I like women that will rise up, shake their fists in the air, and march on without whining. And the only sighs I use are romantic ones because sighing heroines annoy the heck out of me. So do gasping heroines.
I don’t gasp.
I don’t sigh.
And neither do my heroines, LOL! So I think there’s a little of my tough Yankee nature in each one, but having said that, I make that one facet of their character and depending on what their personality is, it affects them in different ways. So Angelina is Kate Becket (Castle) strong… Elsa Andreas is more like Madam Secretary fierce, with that kind of quiet, in-charge manner… and Lucy Carlton is more Sally Field in her younger days, ready to shuck off the mistakes of yesterday and do whatever it takes to raise her kids up right.
I like strong heroines who match the hero step for step and end up saving him right back!
JC: O! Love Kate Beckett from Castle!
RLH: Oh, that’s easy.
Mary Connealy’s Silas Harden is one of my favorites, he’s just so down home, get it done, don’t mess around, I think he built like seven homes and two fences and three barns in a day, or something like that, but you could just tell that Silas GOT THE JOB DONE… and I love that!
Another one is Phillip Dickinson from one of our Seekerville novellas, my hero in “His Beloved Bride” “His Beloved Bride” is a marriage of convenience story set in South Dakota, not far from De Smet. You’d have to read the novella to truly see why I love Phillip so much, and I’ve had readers message me from their phones, their iPads, their devices, reading this story while they’re flying or working out, etc… and tell me it’s one of the best cowboy stories they ever read. I’m putting the link here so you can all see where it is, and I love it for the simplicity of the story and the depth of its… and Phillip’s… being. His Beloved Bride in With This Kiss Historical Collection.
Publisher: Waterbrook Press / Multnomah Books
It’s been a long time since Colt Stafford shrugged off his cowboy legacy for shiny Manhattan loafers and a promising career on Wall Street. But when stock market manipulations leave him financially strapped, the oldest son of legendary rancher Sam Stafford decides to return to the sprawling Double S ranch in Gray’s Glen, Washington. He’s broke, but not broken, and it’s time to check in with his ailing father, and get his legs back under him by climbing into the saddle again.
He doesn’t expect to come home to a stranger pointing a loaded gun at his chest— a tough yet beautiful woman that Sam hired as the house manager. Colt senses there’s more to Angelina Morales than meets the eye and he’s determined to find out what she’s hiding...and why.
Colt’s return brings new challenges. Younger brother Nick has been Sam’s right-hand man at the ranch for years and isn’t thrilled at having Colt insert himself into Double S affairs. And the ranch’s contentious relationship with the citizens of Gray’s Glen asks all the Stafford men to examine their hearts about what it truly means to be a neighbor. And as Wall Street recovers, will Colt succumb to the call of the financial district’s wealth and power—or finally the courage to stay in the saddle for good?
March 15--Toni Shiloh Prayerfully-Lifted Romance | deal sharing aunt