“Promise Me Texas” from Jodi Thomas

Jodi in the Garden Headshot GoodI’ve always wanted to write a story about a person who made a decision to change her life in the blink of an eye, because sometimes I think that is what writers do.

In PROMISE ME TEXAS, I found a plot that I loved about taking a chance in life.

Beth McMurray thought she was rushing to meet the perfect man to marry, but after listening to him talk about her while she sat in the back of a train, she knows he’s not right for her.  When the train wrecks, Beth claims who she thinks is an outlaw planning to rob the train as her fiancé.  Deciding a stranger is better than who she had planned to marry.

One decision made on that stormy night changes the course of her life and takes her on a wild adventure through Texas and through love with a man well worth the loving.

Once, when I first started writing, I had to make a decision that would change my life.  I came to a fork in the road of my career and I had to choose.  I could take nine months off and finish my PhD in counseling at TWU. If I kept teaching, I could write at night and be lucky to finish one book a year.  Or I could take a chance on being able to make a living writing.

We decided to take a chance and I never once looked back.  I quit teaching, dropped out of grad school, drew 17 years of retirement out and set up an office in a room the size of a small walk-in closet.

We almost starved that first year.  Little money came in, but I worked and studied writing.  It didn’t come easy or fast but by the second year I was on my way.

My husband always said, ‘If this writing doesn’t work out you can always go back to teaching.’  The writing worked out. 39 books, 12 novellas, 4 RITAS, and all the bestseller lists.

Sometimes, when I take a chance, I have to ask myself what will happen if I don’t try—the answer is usually nothing. Then, I always add, ‘what could happen if I do try.’

The teacher in me didn’t die.  I agreed to be Writer in Residence twelve years ago and work with new writers.  In June, 2014, I’ll be teaching a new class at the WTAMU Writing Academy for one week.  WORLD BUILDING.  With two series, both on the NY Times I think I’m ready to help others build a world that will hold several books.

On Nov 5, 2014, my newest historical PROMISE ME TEXAS will hit the stands.  I think everyone will love my Beth with her adventurous spirit and my Andrew with his open heart.  You’ll also find yourself laughing as my hero, a struggling writer, fights to be the man she wants him to be.

I’d love to hear from you about a time you’ve had a change of heart at the last minute and where that journey led you.

Blessings to you all,

Jodi Thomas

To celebrate the release of “Promise Me Texas” I will give away a copy to two people who comment on my blog!  Good luck! 

Promise Me Texas



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26 thoughts on ““Promise Me Texas” from Jodi Thomas”

  1. Oh Jodi, how I would love to be the winner of your new book. I love that so ma=any books are in Texas. And so many authors live in Texas also. I love Texas where I have spent most of my life and 3 of my 4 children were born in Texas. I was born inOK. but got here at the age of one. I love the cover and sounds like a great story. I am anxious to read this one. Thanks for a chance to win it. Hope this is my lucky day. God bless. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

  2. I was 16 and going to be a young mother. I had to quit school . I was sad that I had to quit and vowed that I would finish school. It took me 6 years to go back and get my GED but I did it while I was pregnant with my 2nd child. I have never regretted getting pregnant at a young age, my kids were my life. It was a life changeing experience that I wouldn’t change for the world! My boys are now 23 & 29 and I was able to be a stay at home mom for them. I will celebrate 30 years of marriage in December to my high school sweetheart!
    I love your books Jodi Thomas and would love to win!

  3. Thank you for sharing your story of your road to publication. I always love to see how authors became to be authors. 🙂

    I would have to say my one decision that really was a spur of the moment in a sense was when my husband called me out of the blue after not having seen me in over 32 years (we went to high school together, (I had a crush on him and he had a crush on basketball). After talking to him for over 3 hours long distance (I was in California & he was in Indiana). When I hung up the phone there was no doubt in my mind that we were going to marry. He came out two months later proposed and the next month I left California and moved to Indiana to become his wife. We celebrated 12 years in April of this year.

    BTW I also love the cover of your book and would love to win a copy.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

  4. Jodi, you know my story, but I’ll share this with the others. Mine came when I had just buried my younger sister at age 52, both of my girls were in college, my husband had just retired, and my business partner passed. I was working full time, plus had two businesses to run by myself, but I wasn’t happy. I was missing something. That day the catalogue for our local college came and I saw where you were teaching a writing class. I thought, “Wow, I can write the cook book I’ve always wanted to write.” So, I hurried up and signed up for the class. Well, I haven’t written that cook book, but have written 8 anthologies and two single title contemporary romances with others in the works. Someday, I’ll write that cookbook, but the bottom line on my story … I took a chance and it led me down a path that I never anticipated. A wonderful, exciting and sometimes very tiring road but one where I’ve met so many awesome people … like a lot of you who visit P&P! But what a road. Speaking of roads, Jodi, Fellow Filly Linda, and I are headed to the Friends of the Library Fall Open Book Festival for the best part of the day, so if you don’t get a reply to your comment right away, that’s the reason and you are definitely in the drawing for Jodi’s newest book, which is terrific! Hugs to all, Phyliss

  5. I love hearing how my favorite authors made their decisions to become writers. It makes me appreciate them and their work even more. That said, I have read every McMurry book and anxiously await this one.

  6. In 1994 my husband quit his job and we invested in two real estate properties. We became landlords. All was going well until 5 years ago. Since the economy has gone down, we’ve had 3 evictions. It’s very frustrating when people stay in your property and don’t pay. One declared bankruptcy. It took us 10 months to have him removed. he had been our tenant for almost 10 years. It takes a while to have them evicted. We are now in debt due to these awful tenants.
    Hopefully things will turn around soon or we will have to sell.

  7. I love your interview and getting to know you better. We do have to make quick decisions at times that change the course of everything. I am sure glad you made the decision you did. Thank you for a chance at your giveaway.

  8. Great post! I love your books and I can’t wait to read this one. I love the historical westerns I just wish there were more of them.

  9. Welcome to the Junction, Jodi! I absolutely love your books. And this one sounds like one of your best yet! We met at RWA this summer, really enjoyed talking with you then. Can’t wait to add Promise Me Texas to my TBR pile.

  10. Hi Jodi! I love your books and am so glad you took that chance and never looked back!! I can’t wait to read PROMISE ME TEXAS; Beth and Andrew’s story sounds like a special one! Thank you for the giveaway.

  11. Jodi
    I love your works so much! your stories are so compelling as soon as I pick one up I cant put down again till I finish it. My husband and I are having to make huge life decisions within our careers. We are taking a big leap of faith and rolling with whatever adventure life will throw at us. We are ready for this challenge because its what we have worked for and on top of that we just found out were going to have our 4th child! Thank you for post it is defiantly an inspiration!!!

  12. I love how your taking a chance worked out so beautifully! Thanks for sharing. 🙂
    lattebooks at hotmail dot com

  13. I’m not usually a spur of the moment type person so nothing drastic but I have agreed to go somewhere or do something and never regret it once I’m there lol. I must admit I enjoy reading about people and things that are different than me lol.

  14. Congrats on your upcoming release… it sounds wonderful!
    One decision that turned out well for me, was the first time I moved… I showed myself that I can do things for myself when needed, but I still like knowing my family is there if needed.

  15. Thank you for sharing your story. I can’t wait to read Promise Me Texas. Life is full of spur of the moment decisions. I’m glad the decision you made led to success!

  16. Great inspiration for us all, Jodi! What a story! And yours, too, Phyliss. I’m not much of a risk taker. I worked until we could afford for me to quit and we could squeak by, so I could stay home with our kids. That’s when I really started writing, in earnest. It was hard to “put myself out there” and every time I got a rejection letter I’d go into the bathroom and cry. LOL But now, my hide is tough as old shoe leather and I’ve got lots of books, short stories, and novellas under my belt. I’m looking toward the future with my own publishing company now, Prairie Rose Publications, and three subsequent imprints from that, and we just put out our debut Christmas anthology, Wishing For a Cowboy, which includes fellow fillies Phyliss, Tanya, and Tracy. Congratulations on taking the chance you took and for the big change it brought to your life!

  17. Hi Jodi! Welcome back to the Junction. We always love it when you come. You always have something interesting to talk about. There have been many times in my life when I’ve had to rely on leaps of faith. Each one of those took me in totally new directions that turned out to be the best thing for me. The most recent was selling my house down by Lubbock and moving here to Amarillo. It was really scary and I didn’t know if I was doing the right thing or not. But now I see so many benefits both in my career and in my personal life that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.

    I’m 3/4 of the way finished with PROMISE ME TEXAS and this story is definitely one of your best. So much humor, tender moments, and snappy dialogue all mixed together in early Texas.

    Wishing you much success!

  18. Jodi! My bookmark is about halfway in “Can’t Stop Believing” so I’m delighted another of your books releases soon. As a long-time reader (let’s not discuss how long), I’m glad you made the decisions you did about writing. I don’t know that I’ve ever made any blink-of-the-eye decisions except when looking at menus, but I’ve certainly made some life-changing decisions. I’m adopting your ‘what could happen if I do try’ … a great way to look at choices.

    Nancy C

  19. Jodi, I have enjoyed all of your books that I have read. I am glad you made the career decision you did.

    I tend to be someone who plans things out carefully, but at the same time, I can change those plans with not much trouble. My life plan has gone pretty much as I thought it would after the major shift when I married someone in the military.

    My spur of the moment plans usually invoke travel. I plan our trips rather thoroughly, but can change directions easily. Several years ago, we were headed from TN to Omaha, NE for a reunion and had planned on spending a few days in South Dakota on the way. Somewhere in the flat Midwest, I told my husband to take the next exit and turn right. We ended up in St. Paul, MN, had torrential rains and flooding that night with a tornado hitting just south of town. We headed north and ended up in Canada. We drove west a bit then dropped back south straight to Omaha. None of it was part of the plan, but we had a great time and saw lots of neat stuff. We look at wrong turns and last minute changes as “Bonus Tours” that often end up being better than the original plan.

    Not as life changing as your choice. We discovered a long time ago that being flexible and making adjustments as you go is the best way to operate. It has served us well in my time in the Peace Corps, our life in the military, and now as Red Cross Disaster Volunteers.

    I hope the release of PROMISE ME TEXAS is a great success. It sounds like a story I will enjoy. I look forward to reading it.

  20. It is good to hear how authors make their decision to write. I like that there are books set in Texas both contemporary and historical. Since I am a native Texas I love my state. I would love to win your book. I have a story or two in my head and would like to be able to get them out. I was a teacher and would up as a police officer. Big change but then there are some similarities. You are guiding minds to be able to make better decisions.

  21. I quit my job after 21 years, to stay home with my kids. I had 7 years between my children, so had waited a long time for the 2nd one & didn’t want to miss the time with both of them. It was a great decision at the time & I loved being around for playgroups & school activities.

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