Ruth Logan Herne’s Newest Release!

Huge thank yous to Karen Witemeyer for hosting me here at Petticoats and Pistols, and to Mary Connealy for suggesting me as a guest today. It’s always an absolute pleasure to talk Westerns! #mustlovecowboys

I kind of stumbled into writing Westerns when asked to join a Love Inspired continuity… I was book 2 “His Montana Sweetheart” and as I chatted with the other authors about the town set-up and the events, I was smitten…

But I got firmly hooked while writing the book.

I love Westerns. I love the feel of the West, the broad, broken land, the distant horizon, the hills, mountains, the far-reaching spreads of ranches. There is something alluring about the whole thing. Something different. And when it comes to heroes, something definably masculine. Manly…

But beyond the look, there’s the unwritten code of the West… put others first.

I don’t know if that seeded itself in faith-filled beginnings or just the prairie common sense that if your horse died, you’d be next… either way, it’s a great code to live by no matter where you hang your hat.

That book became my stepping stone into Westerns and the bestselling “Double S Ranch” series from Waterbrook Press.  Even the concept sounded fun— and a little tragic, but from the very worst can spring the very best, so that was the concept I worked with. An egocentric father, mad at the world over the loss of his beloved wife, and three sons, two from different mothers and the third a nephew he rescued and adopted. If you throw together Bonanza, Dynasty, The Big Valley and a splash of My Three Sons, you’re on target… but how do you write three cowboy brothers, all raised on the same huge Central Washington spread, and keep their stories interlocked but distinct?

That’s where life comes in.

And these days life offers a lot of drama! It surrounds us, and if it doesn’t, cable news will make you feel like it does.  Based on the Biblical story of the prodigal, Colt Stafford left the Double S to prove himself in Manhattan. Ivy League educated, he amassed his own fortune while working hedge funds but it all ground to a stop when one of his major investments turned out to be an epic Ponzi scheme. With his assets tied up by the courts, Colt has nothing to show for years of hard work.  When he realizes his father is gravely ill, Colt returns to the Western ranch, ready to help. Mind you, I didn’t say he was happy to help.  But as Colt glimpses his father’s somewhat lame attempts at reconciliation, and his brother’s unhappiness, he begins to re-acclimate himself to the land he could have loved if only things had been different.

It was so much fun to compare the rigors of Wall Street financials and the cut-throat policies that prevail there and the depth of “cowboy code” and Western lore. It’s about coming home… and then being home.  It’s about a woman with a past, searching for her future… and it’s about a man’s lament, a man who put his land, his ranch, his state-of-the-art beef enterprise ahead of his children… and isn’t sure how much time he has left to fix things.

It’s about life.

Creating the Stafford men was fun, but I had to be careful to keep them lovable even though they mostly needed Gibbs-smacks upside the head. Colt, the prodigal who stalked away angry and came back, somewhat humbled… but not too humble, because Colt isn’t exactly the humble sort. Nick, the brother who stayed home on the ranch, but not for altruistic reasons. Mostly because he wanted to show up his father on how a real man gets married and has a family and stays devoted while working the land… but when his happy-ever-after walked out with a rodeo cowboy, Nick’s carefully laid plans went up in smoke. Despite his efforts, here he was, working night and day and raising two kids— two troubled kids— as a single parent. Oops.

And then, this week, just released, is Trey’s story. The third brother, a country music superstar, rescued twenty-five years ago when his country singer parents overdosed on a bad batch of heroin. Trey’s the catalyst. He’s the wound-binder. He’s the son who sees beyond Sam’s nature because he wasn’t just born to the ranch: he was chosen. Saved by an uncle who made him his own, Trey’s strong but gentle nature will never forget that blessing even though Sam hasn’t exactly supported him for pursuing country music after seeing what happened to Trey’s parents.

Three stories of forgiveness and moving on. Three Western men. Four, actually, because without Sam Stafford setting the Western stage with his newfangled ideas, there wouldn’t be a story at all… And the four women set in their paths to complete the circle.

Old posters used to proclaim “Go West!” with pictures of a covered wagon and endless grassland.

I went “West” with some of my stories, and it’s been love of the highest order ever since.

Buy Ruth’s newest release, PEACE IN THE VALLEY, on Amazon!

Take a moment to chat with Ruth and be eligible to win a print copy of  her opening book, BACK IN THE SADDLE!

BIO: With well over a million books in print, multi-published, bestselling inspirational author Ruthy Logan Herne is living her dream of writing great stories with unforgettable characters, the kind of books that make you regret the last page because you simply don’t want the story to end. A mom and grandmother, Ruthy lives on a small farm in upstate New York.  She’s no stranger to power tools, livestock or an oven.  She loves her dishwasher and she’s not afraid to discharge errant critters that might find their way into her old farmhouse.  And we’re not talking “catch-and-release” here. She loves chatting with readers and writers on Facebook so send her a friend request, or follow her on Twitter @RuthLoganHerne. Keep up with her scheduled releases and maybe some farm life at her website http://www.ruthloganherne.com, or her blogs http://www.ruthysplace.com, http://www.seekerville.blogspot.com (with 12 other authors!) or the fun café she operates with friends http://www.yankeebellecafe.blogspot.com.

Guest Blogger
Updated: April 29, 2017 — 8:25 pm

32 Comments

  1. I have to tell you, Ruthy’s “Double S Ranch” series is a must read for anyone who loves cowboys or just love a good enriched love story. Ruthy knows how to create characters that become real to the reader and they pull you into their story and don’t let go. I am currently reading the third book in the series, Peace in the Valley and I am loving it!

    No need to put me in the drawing, I just wanted to tell everyone that if they haven’t read this series they are really missing out!

    Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    1. Cindy, thank you so much! I’m so glad you loved that series. Me, too!!!

      Ruthy

  2. Ruth- wow you have me intrigued by the excerpt, I’ve never read any of your books but your expert has me wanting too. Anything cowboy with a western flair has my attention. When you said Bonanza, Dynasty,Big Valley & my three sons wrapped in one, wow what a selling point. I loved all these shows. You have a great day.

    1. Tonya, I bet you’d love this series…. I could see these modern day men, all so big and rugged and fiercely independent, and all because of things that happened long ago… and how even the biggest, strongest man still has the heart of that wounded boy within… And it worked so beautifully with these characters, these stories. It was so much fun… and such an honor!… to tell their stories.

      The fact that they are SMOKIN’ HOT does not hurt the situation! 🙂

      Ruthy

  3. It sounds amazing. I would love to read one of your books.

    1. Debra, I hope you get the chance! Waterbrook and Random House re-issued the whole series as Mass Market Paperback books so they are on shelves nationwide RIGHT NOW for $5.88 each. That’s half the price of the original trade paperback edition, and they are flying off the shelves. Which of course thrills me and my publisher…. and the readers! I’m a simple gal with no big delusions of grandeur…. I love normal folks. 🙂 So having my work in Walmart and Kroger and Target, etc makes me so happy!!!!

  4. You are a new to me author. Your books sound like great reads.

    1. Estella, what a beautiful name. Elegant and timeless…. And I love it when I’m new to folks, because you can have the library order me in from another branch if it’s not at your branch… and try me, no risk, no worry! I love what I do, and I’ve got nearly 40 books out now, so I’m over the moon happy to have folks reading and loving my stories. You’re talking to one happy author!

  5. Oh yes, the west calls to me with its unwritten code. I love reading stories of the west and yours are fabulous! Thanks for sharing a few inside tidbits about how the heroes came to be.

    1. Susan, there’s a lure in Western culture that’s different from farm lit or small town stories or straight romance… it’s grittier, tougher, maybe coarser in a way because anyone who deals with animals, the sights, the smells, the clean-up… Well you’ve got to have some solid backbone to make it, right?

      So I love it. I love the historical aspects and the modern day successes and the fact that people still apply these codes to so many parts of their life and their loves. 🙂

      So glad you stopped by today!

  6. Ruthy! How wonderful to see you here! I am totally enjoying the Double S series. I feel like I know these characters … I especially appreciate the strong women. And boy oh boy did they find some easy-on-the-eyes fellas for those covers 🙂

    I have all the books, so don’t enter me in the drawing.

    Nancy C

    1. Nancy!!!! I’m so excited to be here, this is such a beautiful blog. And it’s WESTERN. I love westerns. I love the give and take. I love old Westerns and I’ve had so much fun setting my historical novellas in South Dakota… and then Washington and now a series in Oregon for 2018.

      The draw of the west is intrinsic for lots of us…. I love it!

  7. Hi Ruth,

    I absolutely loved the first two books in this series. The Stafford men are so realistic with emotional wounds and yet they’re tough, hunky, and protective of their land and loved ones. I need to read this new book. Blessings!

    1. Vickie, hey! Nice to see you here! I’m so glad you loved these stories, I’ll never forget the lovely e-mail you sent me when I asked for an endorsement…. and I realized how busy you were… and you are just as gracious and sweet a person as the good Lord has ever created. I’m so glad you enjoyed them, that means a lot to me. Bless you!

  8. I definitely have my interest caught… thanks for sharing!

    1. Colleen, nice to meet you! And it’s wonderful being here, if I get a chance to talk cowboy… oh be still my Stetson and Resistol loving heart!!!!

      AND THOSE COVERS BY KELLY HOWARD!!!!!

      She is amazing.

      I love her work.

  9. Enjoyed reading the article. I am always looking for new authors to read. Your book sounds like the kind I enjoy

    1. Joye, nice to meet you! First, I love the way you spell your name… Simply different and distinctive!

      And I hope you get the chance to try one! The beauty of Random House’s marketing is that the books are all available across the country at Walmart, Kmart, Target, Wegmans, Kroger, Winn Dixie, etc…. any place mass market paperbacks are sold, and at $5.88, that’s a wonderful price. I’m thrilled they did this for me!!!!

  10. I don’t need to be in the drawing since I’ve already read ” Back in the Saddle”. Thank you for setting this series in Washington’s cattle country. Most people don’t realize how much of the Evergreen State isn’t green and is cowboy country. The Ellensburg area is beautiful and only two hours from Seattle.

    1. Alice, I drove into Central Washington two years ago to make sure I was getting it right…. and it’s gorgeous country! The wide plains of the valley, the rivers and creeks, the interstate (the same interstate that lies twenty minutes from ME here in WNY!!!! ) the whole setting was perfect. I wanted cowboy country with hills and four seasons…. I’m doing an Idaho series for Love Inspired and that’s amazing there, too…. and I love the Western Plains states, the flatlands in the middle, the “flyover” states…. Give me the flyover folks any day of the week, I love the heartland and the northwest.

  11. I love the sound of this – lots of variety in a familiar setting. Sounds like something I would enjoy!

    1. Catslady, I love the small town feel of Gray’s Glen and the big ol’ ranch looming over everything and every body… and how one changed heart can make such a big difference to a home, a family, a town… A change of heart can be a wonderful thing! 🙂

  12. Hi Ruth, I have not read your books yet but I am intrigued by this one. I love westerns so I am sure I will love this one. This series sound fantastic and I can’t wait to read it.

    1. Hello, my quilting friend!

      I love westerns, too…. I love the feel, the sights, the sounds, the imagined imagery and the real deal! I hope you get a chance to read these stories… I love that Random House released them this year as mass market paperbacks so they’re everywhere, nationwide… and what a treat that is! To be in Walmart and Target and all the big drugstores and supermarkets that carry paperbacks. And by doing that, they were able to cut the price in half…. I love a great deal!!!! 🙂

  13. Hi Ruth,
    It’s so nice to read your post and find out about a new author. Your books sound like something I would enjoy reading. I am a huge historical western romance fan but I also enjoy some contemporary western romances. I hope you have a great summer and I looking forward to reading your books.

    1. Sharon, so nice to meet you! I first typed “so mice to meet you” but I thought that might be disconcerting….. I don’t want to see any mice, most days!!! 🙂 But on a farm they are a reality.

      I love westerns, too! And I’ve got a bunch of historical novellas out, set on the prairie, and I love writing them. It’s so much fun, Sharon!!!! Those people had courage beyond the ken, and it amazes me when I think of them. Those women had guts!!!!

  14. Just finished PEACE IN THE VALLEY today. Loved all three books in this series. Well done, Ruth!

    1. MK, I’m so glad you loved them!!!! I had so much fun writing them, and delving into the Stafford men…. and those wonderful heroines! I love, love, love writing spunky heroines, so coming up with a match for each son was the most fun ever!

      But what I really loved was how forgiveness and awareness paved the way for healing. And how grown-ups sometimes put too much weight in those childhood memories because the acres of good ones don’t make a huge impression on our brain, our memory…. but one horrific one can take precedence and leave us torn inside.

      I think it’s wonderful when the grown up faces off with the hurt kid and realizes… hey. We both survived and God’s got his hand on us, just like Mama said…. 🙂

  15. Sounds like a great series. Funny how life can change one’s perspective. When we are young we are so sure of what we want, what we will do, and how successful we will be. Age, time, and reality can certainly teach us differently.
    I have read and enjoyed your Love Inspired books. This new series will be enjoyable. The West is a special place. I look forward to meeting this family and finding out more about them.
    You live near my old stomping grounds in Northern New York. We miss it. I will admit when I see the news reports of the snow storms and cold, I really don’t miss that. We get an inch down here and everything stops.
    Best wishes for a great success with this series.

    1. Hey, Patricia!!!! I am one of the few who really loves living up here. The winter is so quiet that it kind of surrounds us with silence… and then spring bursts into life and there is nothing like that feeling! It’s so crazy cool and exciting and expected and by then we are SO TIRED OF WINTER!!!! 🙂

      Where are you now? We have family down South and they’re always amazed that a tiny bit of snow shuts the world down… Thanks for coming over here! And I’m thrilled that the cowboy books are right there on the shelves with my current Love Inspired “Their Surprise Daddy”…. and there are two more “Grace Haven” books to come! Yay!!! November and February…. I am blessed.

      1. We grew up in Plattsburgh, New York. I do miss the winters. Walking through the snow covered woods on a quiet, still day when you can hear the snow fall is a wonderful experience. We enjoyed making skating rinks for the kids, sledding, having snowball fights from snow forts. Nothing compares to coming in from a cold day and having a hearty, hot meal. We now live in NE TN in the Blue Ridge foothills. In the 20 years or so, we have been here, there have been only two big storms. That shut things down for days. They do not have the equipment to handle snow and ice like they do up north. In addition, the country roads are narrow and have no shoulders. No place to push the snow (and not fun to drive on even in good weather). Since many of the kids live in the mountains, if the roads are bad, school is closed until those roads clear, even if the main roads are clear.

  16. Hi Ruthy! Saw a link on social media about you being over here and wanted to check it out – glad I popped in. Love this overview of the Stafford brothers and their stories. I’ve read “Home on the Range” (and loved it!) but I haven’t read Colt’s story. Plan to remedy that problem soon. I have no doubt that it will be as wonderful as Nick’s. So impressed that you can do all these different genres so well! Thanks for such an interesting post.

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