So, Leigh, where did you get the idea for The Reluctant Rancher?
Probably I pulled it out of thin air! Seriously, that sometimes happens, but in this case I’d wanted to write another cowboy book for quite a while. Years ago I wrote Danny Boy and fell in love with that hero, a Montana bull rider. Well, voila, one day I started thinking about Logan Hunter who long ago left his family’s Circle H ranch in Kansas to escape his bad memories of the place where he grew up. Now he’s back again to help his injured grandfather and try to repair his relationship with his young son. Since his divorce, Logan hasn’t thought about love. And Blossom Kennedy, the caregiver he hires to help out with his grandfather has trouble written all over her. On the run from her abusive ex fiancé, all she wants is a brief hiding place—and to protect her unborn baby.
Well. I just had to get these two together! And more. The Reluctant Rancher is the first book of my new miniseries, Kansas Cowboys.
How long did it take you to write?
I have a writer friend who says in answer to that question, “As long as I have.” That always makes me smile. I like to allow four months for a book and hope I come in a bit early. So, some wiggle room. That takes into account any real-life surprise event or crisis that may crop up. Which they often do!
What’s your favorite scene?
Among others, this one in which Logan and Blossom are getting to know each other:
“The farther west I travel,” she said, “the more…open I feel. Less closed in.”
Logan couldn’t help but smile. “That’s how I feel when I’m flying.”
“You’re a pilot?”
“Private jets. Experimental sometimes—but mostly redesigns.” Until he got his promotion. Then his assignments would become way more interesting.
“A test pilot,” Blossom said. “No wonder you don’t seem that happy here at the Circle H.”
He looked outside the barn at that big blue sky. “Got me.”
“I think I know how you feel. Flying high must seem like being a bird. I suppose if I reach California, I’ll feel absolutely free.” She didn’t sound that convinced. “Or maybe,” she added with that look again, “I’ll just run out of road.”
He didn’t want to care, but he had to ask. “Blossom, what are you running from?”
If you could pick actors to play your hero and heroine, who would they be?
I created a Pinterest board for The Reluctant Rancher (http://www.pinterest.com/lbrwriter). I chose Harry Connick, Jr. as Logan
What’s next for you?
I recently turned in the second book, Last Chance Cowboy, in which Logan’s friend and neighbor, Grey Wilson, tries to clear himself of suspicion in the long-ago murder of the heroine’s brother—and at last gain Shadow Moran’s forgiveness. As you can tell, this one has a bit of suspense along with the romance. The book will come out next June.
And I’ve just started writing Cowboy on Call (working title), the third book in the series starring Logan's twin brother Sawyer, the black sheep of the family, who has issues with Logan’s ex-wife Olivia, his first love. Since writing rough draft is my favorite part of the process, I’m quite happy!
If you’d like to learn more about my books, you can follow me on Twitter @lbrwriter, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/leighrikerauthor; and on my website with newsletter sign-up at http://www.leighriker.com
And remember, A Heartwarming Holiday is out now. Fifteen great novellas from Thanksgiving to New Year's by fifteen Heartwarming authors, all set in Christmas Town, Maine. My story is Thankfully Yours.
As always, happy reading!