True Horizon Ranch
Located in Liberty Ridge, Texas (fictional town located north of Austin)
1,200 acres in Texas prairie country
Owned by the Murray family, who raise Texas Longhorn cattle
The ranch was started by an Army soldier and his Cherokee wife, Erza and Kamama Burchfield, back in 1845. The ranch has stayed in the family for seven generations.
Favorite line: As they drove down the driveway, Grace lowered the car window and deeply breathed in the fresh air of her favorite place in the world. Acres of grassland enveloped the earth for as far as she could see. For eighteen years, this ranch had been her home. Land where she had run wild and free, a dirty but happy girl. Those hills and fields, spotted with her beloved Longhorn, had been her playground.
Preorder now! Amazon/True Horizon
Meet Bruce Murray, father to Grace
Profession: Cattle Rancher, works his family’s Texas Longhorn Ranch named True Horizon.
Relationship status: Married for thirty years to his beauty queen sweetheart, Joslyn.
Hobbies: Spending time with his family, eating the good food his wife cooks, and riding around in his old pick-up truck.
Things he does not find enjoyable: Seeing his daughter unhappy and coyote going after his calves.
Dreams for his future: To keep True Horizon Ranch in the family and grow old besides his wife, watching their children and grandchildren thrive.
Favorite Line: “I’m gonna give you a bit of advice. You’ll never accept love until you learn to love yourself. Take some time. Grace will wait. You can put money on it.”
Preorder now: Amazon / True Horizon
Meet Shadow, super pup
Profession: Cattle herder and man’s best friend
Relationship status: It’s complicated.
Hobbies: Running through the cattle pastures, chasing ducks, rolling around in the dirty straw from the horse barn, and always being there for my buddy, Heath.
Things he does not find enjoyable: Baths, baths, and baths.
Dreams for his future: What? I don’t think past my next meal.
Favorite line: “Ruff, ruff, lick, pant, ruff.”
Preorder True Horizon now: Amazon/True Horizon
Meet Heath Carter, hero of True Horizon
Profession: Former Special Operation soldier, currently working as a temporary ranch hand at True Horizon Ranch.
Relationship Status: Single (though his heart is hung up on Grace).
Hobbies: Working on his Harley Davidson motorcycle, taking care of the Longhorn cattle on the ranch, winning at cards and potato sack races against Grace.
Things he finds unenjoyable: Horseback riding, flashbacks of his time in the service, and seeing Grace with her fiance.
Dreams for his future: Heath has no dreams of the future until he arrives at True Horizon and meets Grace. Through the healing power of nature and falling in love, he starts thinking his future isn’t as dark as he once believed.
Favorite Line: “You’re better than I deserve. The smartest thing I’ve ever done was jump into the river after you.” His arms tightened around her. “You are the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen, and I never in a million years thought I had any right to love you.”
Why my characters aren’t ‘saved by love’
Welcome to the first post in my new blog series called “Morning Coffee Break”!
Today, I’d like to talk about a decision that I’ve made to avoid the ‘saved by love’ plot device. I write romance, so love always factors into the character’s emotional growth and healing. But I didn’t want to use the love of another person as a magic wand to wipe away all life’s problems.
In Home Field, Julie is deeply grieving the loss of her husband. When she first meets Reagan, falling in love again is not even a blip on her radar. In the end, she does open her heart to Reagan (what girl could resist?) but not after some time to let herself heal. I felt she needed time alone to come to terms with the loss and then find the strength to let herself fall in love again.
In True Horizon, Heath Carter suffers from severe PTSD. In an effort to be true to the struggle, I did not want to downplay the work that goes into recovering from the effects of war. Heath falls in love and love is his motivation for wanting a better life, but his healing only comes after professional therapy and hard work. In real life, most people with PTSD will still experience symptoms even after therapy. They learn techniques to cope. I wanted Heath’s journey to reflect that reality as well as offer hope.
Through out the rest of the books in the Warriors of the Heart series, I’ve tried to maintain the same model. My characters use love as a motivation to grow, but the real change comes by their own strength of will.