How Captain Brenda Kaye Got her Own Book.


  1.   Leann Harris

  2.                       Stories with Heart


Today, Leann is giving  away a copy of

A Ranch to Call Home.



I’m often asked how I come up with the characters for my stories. Sometimes the story dictates the characters. Other times a character occurs to me, then I flesh out the details of their personality. When I was writing Redemption Ranch (two books back) Captain Brenda Kaye popped into my head. Originally she was only to have a walk-on roll in the story. She was at the equine therapy ranch to strengthen the muscles of her legs and lower body, since she’d spent months in the hospital healing from the injuries she received when a suicide bomber walked into the restaurant in Baghdad where she was meeting with some of the local women and blew himself up.


That was the plan, but I didn’t count on Captain Kaye. Every day when I opened my file to continue writing Beth’s and Tyler’s RanchHomestory, there was the captain, waiting to insert herself into the story. Captain Kaye was (and is) a force unto herself, leaving the reader wanting more. Well, finally after a week of Brenda butting in, I promised her her own book. After I made that promise, Brenda left me alone. When I proposed A Ranch to Call Home to my editor, telling her it was Captain Kaye’s story, my editor knew exactly who I was talking about and liked the idea.


Of course when I started writing A Ranch to Call Home, the captain let me know she went by the name of “Kaye.” Teenage Brenda stayed on the ranch. The ironic thing about Kaye is she’s at a crossroad in her life where all the hurts and wounds she’s buried catch up with her. Fortunately, there’s a handsome cowboy staying at the ranch who walks through the nightmares with her. Caleb Jensen knows all about facing nightmares, having experienced his own. They are two wounded people who help each other face their fears—and find love.


Kaye is a fighter and survivor. She’s a woman I admire.



+ posts

28 thoughts on “How Captain Brenda Kaye Got her Own Book.”

  1. A Ranch to Call Home sounds wonderful. Please enter me in contest. Thank you for the opportunity to win.Have a wonderful weekend.

  2. Loved this post . Sounds like a very good story. I would love to win it. When I see people when I close my eyes at night, they get right in my face but if they talk I can’t hear them. It is so real tho, I want to reach out and touch them but know if I do they wont be there, so just open my eyes again. Weird. Please put my name in. Thanks. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

  3. Kaye sounds like a remarkable, resilient young woman. I’m glad that you gave her Caleb, a fellow wounded warrior, so that they can have a second chance at happiness and love. It helps to share your pain and concerns with someone else.

    It’s always interesting to hear the background behind a storyline and the characters you create to go with it. I’m glad that you recognized the strength within Kaye’s character so that she could have her own book.


    Thanks for sharing.

    johns lake at usa dot com

  4. A Ranch to Call Home sounds wonderful. I would love to learn more of Captain Kaye’s story and equine therapy ranches have always intrigued me. I would love to win a copy. Thank you for the opportunity.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

  5. I am all in! A Ranch Called Home sounds wonderful. Thank you for the opportunity to be a winner.

  6. Sounds like a wonderful and inspirational story. Plus the cover is beautiful! It’s great not to see snow since there has been so much of it where I live.

  7. Hi Leann! Welcome back to P&P. We’re thrilled to have you come visit. Love your blog. I love it when I get these little surprises when I’m writing. Your Captain Kaye sounds like a very determined character. I’m glad you listened to her because this book sounds like one with a lot of heart and soul. Looking forward to reading it.

    Wishing you much success, dear friend!

  8. Good morning, Leann, and welcome back to the Junction! So happy to see you again.

    I loved Redemption Ranch–and can’t wait to read Kaye’s story. Congratulations on A Ranch to Call Home!

  9. Leann, welcome to the Junction. I love the backstory behind “Kaye.” What a heroic character. Sounds like a fabulous book!!! Putting it on my TBR list.

  10. Just looking at the beautiful cover makes a reader know Captain Kaye will find her perfect life and love of her life, at this calm place, after some conflict of course.
    Congrats on the new book. It looks like a winner!

  11. Thank you for having me at P&P. I love blogging here. Kaye is a character, but the hero in that book, Caleb Jensen, surprised with with his quiet strength and his understanding Kaye’s pain. As I learned his backstory, I cried. This was an emotional story for me.

  12. It sounds like a good book! I love how she bugged you until you wrote her into her own story. 😉

  13. Your book sounds like one I would enjoy reading. I love to read stories that have strong women characters.

  14. Welcome, Leann. I hope you have been enjoying your visit. I can see how a character you have developed for a story would sort of take on a life of its own. If you do a good job of character development, they are more than an insert into the story. They have their own story and are just waiting, or as in this case demanding, for it to be told.

    Best of luck with the release of A RANCH TO CALL HOME and with the rest of your books.

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