Nancy Robards Thompson
Nancy Robards Thompson

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52 comments

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book covers, Christmas, giveaway, HQN, Jaunty Guests, Jaunty Post, RaeAnne Thayne

snowflake canyon big

The heroine of my latest Hope’s Crossing book, CHRISTMAS IN SNOWFLAKE CANYON, out next week, is a real witch, with a capital B.

I know! What a horrible thing for a writer to call her own creation – especially a character with a starring role in a 300-something page book.

Here’s the thing, though. Throughout the entire Hope’s Crossing series, Genevieve Beaumont was one of those fun-to-write characters who was, well, not very nice. She was snobbish and self-absorbed and wanted everything in her world to gleam with polished perfection. She’s the kind of person who would probably take an iron to her holiday ribbons to make sure they lie flat (or, most likely, pay someone else to do it for her!).

She ran roughshod over every merchant in Hope’s Crossing while planning her grand society wedding to a man who made her parents swoon with joy.

I never intended to write her book. When I first introduced Genevieve in my first Hope’s Crossing book, BLACKBERRY SUMMER, I shamelessly used her as a sort of foil to illustrate how kind and compassionate my heroine of that book was in contrast.

I thought that would be the end of it but Gen began to take on a life of her own through the other books of the series (as characters are stubbornly prone to do!). Some pretty tough things happened to her in the previous books, including the implosion of her wedding in a humiliating way.

I started to feel a little sorry for what I had put her through, but I still didn’t like her much.

To my great shock, after I introduced Dylan Caine – the emotionally and physically damaged war hero whose sister is the heroine of my book WILLOWLEAF LANE – I couldn’t shake the impression that Gen just might be the perfect woman for him.

How could I write an entire book about a woman I didn’t like and, most worrisome, neither did any of my readers?

I’ll be honest, I started the manuscript with a gut full of anxiety. As it turned out, I shouldn’t have worried. Gen had her own story to tell. She was a writer’s dream, complex and layered and fun. She was intensely vulnerable about some things, obnoxiously arrogant about others.

At heart, she was a woman struggling to figure herself out after years of trying to be what everyone else expected. 

From the first page, she and Dylan just clicked.

Yes, she has her b*tchy moments in this book. But she also has moments of great kindness and earnestness.

Part of Genevieve’s emotional journey in CHRISTMAS IN SNOWFLAKE CANYON is learning to look past her own idea of her perfect man and her perfect future to what she finally realizes will truly make her happy (of course, then she has to convince Dylan, which is an entirely different battle!).

Writing her book has been a great reminder to me that in real life too, sometimes we need to look beyond surface impressions to the heart.

Unfortunately, I’ve had more than one experience where I’ve jumped to an immediate judgment about a person, only to be proved embarrassingly wrong.

Once my husband and I were traveling home from a medical visit with our son two hours from our home when our vehicle engine suddenly stopped dead on the Interstate. My husband managed to coast to an upcoming offramp and pull to the shoulder. We were trying to call for help when a man pulled up behind us in a beat-up car.

He was absolutely the last person I would have expected to lend a helping hand. Rough-edged, dirty, tattoos on every available skin surface. But he jumped right in and helped my husband push our vehicle to an even safer spot on the road and waited to be sure we had help coming before he headed on his way.

Have you ever had a similar experience? Or have you ever thought at first a person wasn’t very nice and they proved you wrong? Or maybe you thought you would hate a place, a movie or a recipe and ended up loving it instead. I would love to hear! I’ll give a copy of CHRISTMAS IN SNOWFLAKE CANYON as well as a hand-beaded bookmark to one person who responds.

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Best-selling author RaeAnne ThayneRaeAnne Thayne is a USA Today bestselling author and four-time RITA finalist who has written more than 40 books for HQN, Silhouette Special Edition, Silhouette Intimate Moments/Romantic Suspense and Bantam Loveswept. She finds inspiration from the beautiful mountains of northern Utah, where she lives with her family.


52 thoughts on “Please Welcome RaeAnne Thayne!

  1. Katherine_Garbera Katherine_Garbera says:

    RaeAnne; Welcome to the JQs. I can’t wait to read Christmas in Snowflake Canyon! I have had things like that happen to me. I try not to judge by looks alone but I know that I do it sometimes. :)

    1. RaeAnne Thayne says:

      I think it’s human nature but I definitely have to check myself

  2. marypreston says:

    I have had a similar experience. It was a while ago now. I was walking home from the shops when one of the bags split open. Coming the other way were three young men, late teens I’d say, on skateboards. They looked ‘rough’, but they were so sweet. They very politely helped me gather up my goods. They were all beautifully spoken, so I guess their appearance was their way of rebelling, as it were. It made me think about how quickly I had pre-judged them.

    1. RaeAnne Thayne says:

      What a great story! I have a son in a wheelchair and it’s often teenage boys who stop me in the grocery store and ask if I need help.

  3. Sheryl N says:

    You can’t always judge a book by it’s cover and you will find that is usually true. The ones that you think the worst about will always be the one to come through for you. I am sometimes guilty of this, but I am trying to not judge before forming an opinion of anyone.

    1. RaeAnne Thayne says:

      True enough, Sheryl! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Laurie W G says:

    In October, 1995 we were on our way to Florida, about 50 miles from home at 7 am we ran into a large buck dear. Luckily no one was injured but our van’s front end was severely damaged. We did not have a cell phone and it was cold. My husband and I waited over 30 minutes before a young man, long hair and scruffy ,stopped in his beat up car, on his way to work. He pulled the deer off the road and drove my husband about 20 miles to a truck stop so that he could arrange a tow truck and someone to pick us up. It was freezing. I remember trying to keep my 4 children entertained and moving around to stay warm while we waited for someone to pick us up. No one else stopped!

    1. RaeAnne Thayne says:

      How scary! Nothing freaks me out more than car trouble. LOL. I go into panic mode.

  5. Nicole Laverdure says:

    I try not to judge people when I meet them for the first time. When I met my best friend, I could not stand him, now he’s been my friend for 15 years. Sometimes, people are shy and they prefer to offer a mask.

    I like the cover of your book!

    1. Nicole Laverdure says:

      Shared on my Facebook page!

    2. RaeAnne Thayne says:

      Love it, Nicole! You’re absolutely right. So happy you enjoy the book cover. I have been truly blessed in the cover department.

  6. Teresa Colby says:

    welcome cant wait ot read this book…love the holiday stories and yes you cant always judge a book by its cover…the toughest looking men are sometimes the sweetest!

    1. RaeAnne Thayne says:

      I love that about men, don’t you? I find something so sweet about a man who is rough around the edges but soft in the center :)

  7. Jerriann Marsh says:

    I had a similar situation. I was on the expressway with my 4 month old daughter in the car and got a flat tire. I sat there for over two hours and not one car stopped to help,including police officers. I couldn’t change it myself because I didn’t have the right tire wrench in the car. Finally a trucker stopped and fixed it for me. He had long hair and looked like a biker but was the nicest man ever. I never judge by looks alone.

    1. RaeAnne Thayne says:

      Oh, Jerriann. How scary! I’m so sorry you had to sit there for so long. I’ve recently signed up for AAA, just because I don’t want to be in that situation, especially with kids.

  8. Rebecca Kramer says:

    Looks like a great book-look forward to reading Christmas in Snowflake Canyon.

    1. RaeAnne Thayne says:

      Thanks Rebecca :)

  9. Hillary Ratigan says:

    I stuck my foot in my mouth about seven years ago when my daughter broke up with her boyfriend. I just couldnt let it go, which was not me. They were married five years ago, and hes a great guy. My favorite quote is “Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.”

    1. RaeAnne Thayne says:

      Hillary, I love this! It’s such a great reminder that we never know what people are dealing with. Whenever someone cuts me off in traffic or makes some other boneheaded driving move, I try to calm myself by saying they might be in a hurry because they’re on the way to the hospital to see their ill child. LOL. It doesn’t always work but it’s a better way of looking at the world than being angry all the time.

  10. Tammy Morse says:

    I cant wait for the christmas in snowflake canyon.. I dont judge a book by its cover , I judge it by the way it keeps me intrege and I have had the bag split open many times and have had young boys help me they where very polite and very kind. so that is why i dont judge people or books.

    1. RaeAnne Thayne says:

      Thank you Tammy! You’re very right. It’s always best to give people a chance.

  11. girlygirlhoosier52 says:

    After working with college kids, it’s easy to just take people as they come and not pre-judge.

    1. RaeAnne Thayne says:

      True!

  12. Roberta Peden says:

    I have this book pre-ordered, can’t wait to read it, I love your books.

    1. RaeAnne Thayne says:

      Thank you so much Roberta! I’m so happy you enjoy my books!

  13. Karen Johnston says:

    Oh I love this series!!!!! Ive been waiting for what seems like forever for it to come out! :)
    We had an experience last summer when we vacationed at the beach. Little did we know when we made the reservations that there was a “convention” in town that week. We were worried that the people staying in the hotel would be rowdy and not very family friendly. But ya know, those were the best people we met the entire vacation!!! I still feel bad for thinking the worst….

    1. RaeAnne Thayne says:

      Thanks so much, Karen! I’m so happy you are enjoying the series. Thanks for your comments. I had the same experience recently when I traveled to Morocco. I found the people amazingly warm and friendly.

  14. Tammy Morse says:

    I agree totally and i hope i can win the this book if is a contest.

  15. Hi, RaeAnne! What a fabulous intro to your book! I love heroines (and heroes, too) who need a serious attitude adjustment. It’s such fun to watch them earn their happy endings! My very first serious teenage romance came after I saw two boys together, one to-die-for and one so-so. I dated the hunk first, and only later realized that the so-so boy was the one who fascinated me. So I guess you could say I learned my judging-by-the-cover lesson early! ;-)

    1. RaeAnne Thayne says:

      Hi Kathleen! Great story! Love it :) You have to watch out for those so-so guys. They usually have a lot going on under the surface

  16. Neena Christianson Martin says:

    I am looking forward to reading your book. Thank you for making yourself so available to your fans.

    1. RaeAnne Thayne says:

      Thank you Neena! I hope you enjoy Gen and Dylan’s story :)

  17. Maria Facchini Proctor says:

    When my husband, Rich, & I met 7 1/2 years ago, we clicked almost immediately. I knew he was a “keeper” when he called me twice before our actual date, once saying that he was running late & again to tell me that he was lost. Our conversation just flowed so naturally, & when he called me to tell me that he had arrived home safely, we talked some more, even though we both had to go to work the next day. When he asked who he had to “get in good with” & we took my nephew/ Godson out for the day & the 2 of them bonded, I was sure that my instincts were right. Rich is the best person that I know, & all of our nieces & nephews (15!) adore him! We just celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary, but we also celebrate the anniversary of our first date each year (we got married a year & a half to the day after our first date). I am so lucky to have met & married such an amazing man!

    1. RaeAnne Thayne says:

      Love it, Maria! Thanks for sharing :)

  18. Kristan Higgins Kristan Higgins says:

    RaeAnne! One of my favorite people (and authors)! So happy to have you here! So excited to read this book…I love reading about a kind of, er, witchy character and finding out that she has a gooey center. Can’t wait! Loved your anecdote, too. Just goes to show you, good hearts come in all sorts of packages. That sounds kind of Hannibal-Lecterish, but you know what I mean. xox

    1. RaeAnne Thayne says:

      LOL! With some fava beans and a nice chianti … (I hated that movie. My husband still quotes that line when he wants to give me the creeps!).

  19. Vanessa Kelly Vanessa Kelly says:

    Welcome to the JQs, RaeAnne! And I can’t WAIT to read your book – I love bad-girl heroines. I had a similar experience with one of my heroines; she was actually the villain in one book and went on to become the protagonist of the next book. She was bitchy, arrogant, funny, generous, and a huge amount of fun to write. To this day she remains my favorite heroine.

    1. RaeAnne Thayne says:

      Thank you Vanessa! That’s the way I feel about Genevieve. She’s one of the most genuine characters I’ve ever written. Once I started writing the book, I started to really adore her. Thanks for your comments!

  20. catslady says:

    Have to say how lovely your cover is! I think it’s human nature to be wary of things that are different or unknown to them. I remember meeting my daughters boyfriend for the first time and thinking “oh no” but it’s been 7 years and he has the kindest heart of anyone I know. On the other hand, I’ve met some that I thought were wonderful and turned out not to be. And I don’t have to particularly like a character in a book but I have to care about them one way or the other if that makes sense.

    1. RaeAnne Thayne says:

      Thank you! I love my covers too. I’ve been greatly blessed in the cover department :) I want to spend a week holed up in that cabin with no phone or Internet and just write (any longer than that and I’d probably start channeling Jack Nicholson and Stephen King and chanting Redrum over and over). Thanks for your comments. Love them!

  21. Gail Demaree says:

    Love the cover of the book and the series…Looking forward to reading the latest Hope Crossing book. Once when I was younger we were taking a trip to Mammoth Caves and the car died halfway there. We ended up staying a motel that wasn’t the greatest but the only thing around while we had the car fixed. My brother ended up sleepwalking(which he only did that one time). After the car was fixed we headed back home. Not a very good vacation…

    1. RaeAnne Thayne says:

      Oh dear, Gail! But what memories you created!

  22. Virginia says:

    I love the cover of your book and I can’t wait to read it. Yes I have had things like this happen to me. There was a guy I worked with that I didn’t think much of at first. Guess what I ended up married to him. You just never know when you first meet someone.

  23. Carole Fiore says:

    I can’t wait to read this book, loved the other books in this series…I’m trying not to make quick judgement or impressions on people for its not right. I wasn’t going to get involve with this girl for the way she looked but she looked upset and her little girl was crying so I stopped and started talking with her, found out she didn’t have enough for a quart of milk for her daughter so I gave her the gallon of milk and I offered to drive her home, come to find out she lived 3 roads down from me and we became good friends!

  24. Michelle Fidler says:

    The book sounds good. Seeing all the comments about car trouble (and people not stopping) makes me happy that I take the bus!

  25. Carol Storey says:

    Would love to win a copy, sounds really good.!

  26. MaureenE says:

    I feel like I jumped to conclusions too easily when I was in high school and as I went through college I learned to appreciate individuals more. I found I had to remember those lessons again when my daughter was in high school.

  27. Elaine says:

    I want to be in Snowflake Canyon, that is such a pretty cover! I would love to win it!
    I think it is pretty normal to judge what we are not familiar with. I know that’s true for me, anyway. I try to remember that. I love reading the other comments here! It just goes to show how we have to give people a chance!

  28. Nancy Robards Thompson Nancy Robards Thompson says:

    Thanks so much for joining us today, Rae! I can’t wait to read Christmas in Snowflake Canyon!

  29. Charlene Fraley says:

    I have had enough of these experiences, that I have learned to keep my mouth shut and see what happens, instead of passing judgment.

  30. Teresa Leipert says:

    love RaeAnne Thane books have a few in my librarynever won hopefully I can sometime

  31. Marcy Shuler says:

    I’ve been judged a lot because I’m overweight, so I try not to judge someone at first sight.
    I love reading books with emotionally/physically wounded characters, so I’m looking forward to reading Dylan and Gen’s book. I guess it’s the nurse in me. I worked on a psych unit.

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