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 story, 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.