Thursday, July 21, 2016

A Texas Soldier's Family & Q&A with author Cathy Gillen Thacker

1) What’s your favorite part about writing books set in Texas? 

 It brings back memories of the 18 years my husband and I lived in Texas. (The Lone Star State is still my most favorite place in all the world.) I love the fact that in Texas, no dream is too big to hold—or achieve. Hard work, authenticity, not being afraid to stand up for what you believe—these are all things that make Texas great. And let’s not forget the legendary kindness and tremendous hearts of the people who reside there.

2) List two books you’ve read more than three times—
GONE WITH THE WIND. It was my first and favorite romance of all times. THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green. That book really resonated with me—and my daughter, who was diagnosed as a young adult and is now a ten year cancer survivor.

3) Is anything in your new release based on real life experiences or purely all imagination? 

I’ve spent a fair amount of time in airports over the years, waiting to board a plane, and trying to board a plane. I always wonder who is going where and why, and I always get annoyed when I’m hit in the head with someone else’s bag. Those two things are in the opening scene.

4) How much research goes into your books? 

Quite a bit, actually. For this story, I had to research what crisis managers and public relations teams do to mitigate the damage in any situation. In the next book of this series, TEXAS LEGACIES:THE LOCKHARTS—A TEXAS COWBOY’S CHRISTMAS, I researched German holiday baked goods and the care and training of bucking bulls. I’ve also researched Texas law, (helps to have a daughter who is a lawyer), caring for a premature N-ICU housed baby, topical allergies, the latest in tractors and berry-picking machines, how to help a failing newborn pup, who has been rejected by its mother, survive. I try to find something interesting and educational to write about in every book.

5) Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say? 

I do hear from readers, mostly on Facebook—although if you send a handwritten letter to my publisher, it will work its way to me. Most letters are complimentary. Which I really appreciate! Sometimes readers want to know when a certain book is coming out, or how/where/when to get it—and the best source for that is my website, It has series explanations, covers and titles, and excerpts from every book still available. (A few are out of print.) Links to free on-line-reads and places to purchase my books are also there.

6) What do you like to do when you’re not writing? 

Walk my golden retriever, Daisy. Spend time with family. Garden. I love to bake. I’m crazy about good tv and movies. I also spend time on an exercise bike—which is set up in front of a tv/dvd/dvr so I can bribe myself to get on it, and then have the time pass quickly while I work-out.

7) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing? 

It depends where I am in the course of writing a book. At the beginning I spend a lot of time making notes, and thinking, and creating storylines and conflict, and also doing the research, which plays into the plot. When I start writing the draft, a few weeks in, I spend about 8 hours a day, broken up into 2-3 hours at a time, at the computer, writing, 5-6 days a week. When I finally get the rough draft done, which can take 6-8 weeks, I spend the next two weeks at the computer, 7 days a week, 12 hours a day, polishing and perfecting the story.

8) Do you have a favorite book cover from your series? 

Favorite cover is THE RANCHER NEXT DOOR. Favorite all time book is TEXAS VOWS: A MCCABE FAMILY SAGA.

9) How do you decide on the setting of your book? 

I created a fictional west Texas town of Laramie. It’s the home of the famous McCabes and Lockharts, Carrigans, Monroes, Briscoes, Andersons, and Cartwrights. I like to think all roads lead back to the utopian Laramie, even if some of the family members now live in Dallas, Houston, and Austin. So, to answer the actual question, for the last decade, I usually start figuring out what the hero/heroine’s connection to Laramie, Texas is. (Including this new series, I’ve now authored 46 books set in or linked to Laramie, Texas.) (Out of 121 published novels.)

10) What is your favorite summer read? 

Anything that can make me laugh out loud and forget the sizzling summer heat and humidity! Last summer, my favorite book was THE ROSIE PROJECT.

Title:  A Texas Soldier's Family
Series:  Texas Legacies:  The Lockharts
Author:  Cathy Gillen Thacker
Publication Date:   July 5th 2016 by Harlequin
Length:  224pgs
Genre:  contemporary romance
Shelf:  review
My Rating: ★★★
Book Links: GoodreadsAmazon(US)Amazon(CA) - B&N - Kobo - Indigo - Google Play

Back Cover Blurb:


On the last leg of his tour of duty, Captain Garrett Lockhart is summoned home to Laramie, Texas, to handle an urgent family matter—a scandal that could destroy the enduring legacy of the Lockharts. Except it's already being "handled" by Hope Winslow, a professional crisis manager.

Hope is also the beautiful single mother of the most adorable baby boy the Army doctor has ever seen. Garrett is resisting Hope's efforts at damage control—and pushing her clearly defined boundaries. Too bad she can't resist him…and fantasies of a future with her Lone Star soldier!

My Review:

Family drama meets romance in this intimate tale that I enjoyed during a rainy afternoon. Thacker’s vivid descriptions and solid narrative bring everything to life in a big way. The plot was interesting and unique, without ever becoming convoluted. This was a nice, quick, crisp read.

Although I quite enjoyed the characters that Thacker develops, I did find them rather superficial at times. There seemed to be very little to them outside of the immediate events of the story. At the same time, they were interesting individuals. My heart went out to them more than once.

This novel was a good introduction to Thacker’s new series. I love how she develops the overarching plot while also fulfilling readers with this intimate plot.

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