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There’s just something about horses and the cowboys who ride them… Sigh… I am really looking forward to reading Ruth Logan Herne’s new novel, Back in the Saddle! In the meantime, we have the privilege of visiting with Ruth herself! Before we begin, though, let’s take a quick look at Back in the Saddle.
It’s been a long time since Colt Stafford shrugged off his cowboy legacy for shiny Manhattan loafers and a promising career on Wall Street. But when stock market manipulations leave him financially strapped, the oldest son of legendary rancher Sam Stafford decides to return to the sprawling Double S ranch in Gray’s Glen, Washington. He’s broke, but not broken, and it’s time to check in with his ailing father, and get his legs back under him by climbing into the saddle again.
He doesn’t expect to come home to a stranger pointing a loaded gun at his chest— a tough yet beautiful woman that Sam hired as the house manager. Colt senses there’s more to Angelina Morales than meets the eye and he’s determined to find out what she’s hiding…and why.
Colt’s return brings new challenges. Younger brother Nick has been Sam’s right-hand man at the ranch for years and isn’t thrilled at having Colt insert himself into Double S affairs. And the ranch’s contentious relationship with the citizens of Gray’s Glen asks all the Stafford men to examine their hearts about what it truly means to be a neighbor. And as Wall Street recovers, will Colt succumb to the call of the financial district’s wealth and power—or finally the courage to stay in the saddle for good?
Welcome, Ruth! What inspired you to write Back in the Saddle?
I love cowboys and romance and faith… there’s an old-time cowboy code that transcends location and I wanted these cowboys to realize that being part of a ranch family, even a dysfunctional one, wasn’t as bad as they thought as children. Colt’s story was a perfect launching point because he’s the prodigal, come home, and while some welcome him, there’s a lot of resentment that’s built up over the years… and it’s hard to heal old hurts.
Isn’t that the truth… What do you hope your readers take away from the story?
I want readers to feel the sacrificial love Angelina has for her child and the little-boy hope yearning in Colt and his brothers. I want people to see and feel that not only can you go home again, you can make things better. Kindness and help and being nice and smiling and not being a jerk… or thinking too much of yourself… all are parts of the recipe for family. Hearts, home and healing, a great recipe for so many modern-day families… and a perfect lesson in how money doesn’t buy happiness. That comes from deep within, buoyed by faith, hope and love.
Wow — you packed a lot of goodness into one story! 🙂 What is your favorite part of the writing/editing/publishing process?
Oh, gosh… I love it all, but I love the creativity side of writing. Story development, having things pop into a story, out of the blue, and then realizing there’s a reason they’re there… and making sure the reader has that take-away, heart and soul. I don’t mind editing at all, I like to work fast, so I do better with people who maintain my Yankee Warp speed New York Minute mindset, but when I have to wait to proceed… (edits, revisions, etc.) I JUMP INTO ANOTHER PROJECT ASAP because I love being busy! I’ve been waiting all my life to do this, I raised six kids and worked two jobs for over two decades, so to me, this is the pinnacle! This is the piece de resistance! I’m doing what I always dreamed of doing, and having the time of my life. Lenora Worth often says “Even on the worst possible day, I have the best possible job”, and I concur. I am loving life and loving what I do!
Six kids and two jobs?! You aren’t kidding about busy! But how fun to be able to be busy with something you obviously love! One thing we love is to chat about sweets… 😉 What is your favorite dessert? Would you be interested in sharing the recipe?
Yes! I love sharing recipes and I was a professional baker for years (one of my many nametag and hairnet jobs!) so sharing recipes is fun for me… We’ve shared a couple of Double S recipes over on YankeeBelle Café, a food and fun blog I do with other inspirational authors, but let’s share something different here! This is my famous chocolate chip cookie recipe and it’s a huge batch, so if you need to cut in half to normal people size, go for it!
Double S Ranch Chocolate Chip Cookies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
4 sticks butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 cups brown sugar, packed solidly
1/3 cup molasses
2 tbsp. vanilla
6 cups flour (I use bread flour because I love gluten, gluten is my friend. But any flour will do!)
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. salt
5 cups Ghirardelli chocolate chips (2.5 bags unless you buy the big one at Sam’s Club!)
Mix in flour, baking soda and salt at low speed. (I have a dough hook and that works well) When everything is fully mixed, add 5 cups of Ghirardelli Chocolate chips.
Drop by rounded spoonsful (or one of those clever cookie dough scoops…) onto a cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake at 350 for about 10-11 minutes. I make slightly big cookies because the kids love them so much! Use your first tray as a test tray for timing. If cookies come out too flat, add about 1/3 cup flour to the dough and mix again. You want them not too puffy… and not too flat.
We want them just right!
Hmm… With four teens/tweens, I might need to double that… I’m kidding! But those sound like cookies that would disappear fast! Do you have a favorite or “life” verse that you could share with us?
Ecclesiastes 3…. I have learned not to sweat the small stuff, to let life unfold around me and to believe that God is in charge of the seasons of my life… “To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under the heaven…” I take solace in that and it gives me the backbone to deal with things that happen… but also it gives me the spirit to look forward with anticipation. I love that!
That’s awesome. Sometimes it’s easy to wish we were in a different season, when we need to appreciate the one we’re in, because it won’t last! Would you share something that the Lord has been teaching you recently?
I’m pretty stubborn, so God’s got his hands full, for certain, but I think my most recent lesson is to share more smiles and good cheer. The world is a tempestuous place right now, and we see so much negativity with our instant access electronics… but if each one of us pushed beyond our own negatives and smiled more widely and more often… if we each bit back that snarky remark… if we each swallowed our pride more often. We’d make a big difference. And I think it would be an important one.
That’s so true! It’s hard to be a “light” in the world when we are joining the rest of the negativity. We have an awesome God, and if we let His love shine through us instead… Just think of the possibilities! Thanks so much for taking the time to share with us today, Ruth!
Multi-published, bestselling author Ruth Logan Herne loves God, her family, her country, dogs, chocolate and coffee! A country gal with a heart for the big city, Ruthy likes nothing more than to write the kind of books she loves to read, and she’s even more happy that now she gets paid to do it! She’s been married for a Very Long Time and she and her husband Dave live on a small farm in upstate New York where lake effect snow buries them on a regular basis in winter. But that’s all right… it gives her more time to write!
You can connect with Ruth online:
‘Back in the Saddle’ Giveaway:
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This post is just one stop on the Back in the Saddle Blog Hop with Singing Librarian Books. You can find the rest of the stops by clicking any of the links below. Thanks for stopping by!
March 14–The Artist Librarian | cherylbbookblog
March 15–Toni Shiloh Prayerfully-Lifted Romance | deal sharing aunt
March 16–Smiling Book Reviews | The Power of Words
March 17–Mel’s Shelves
March 18–Fiction, Faith, and Fun (you are here!)| Singing Librarian Books
March 19–Just Commonly | Katie’s Clean Book Collection