For today’s Sunday Dinner, I invited Jodi Basye. Jodi is the author of Redeeming the Outlaw, Book 2 in her Cross Family Saga series.
Sunday Dinner is a traditional (noon) meal served after church on Sundays. Whole families, including extended family, would gather over a large meal to celebrate a day of rest. Multiple cultures enjoy this Sunday Dinner tradition. In my experience, I know it from both my Midwestern farm family as well as my Italian-American family. Now, I’d like to bring Sunday Dinner virtually to you. So, pull up a chair as we invite various guests to join us each week!
Without further ado please tell us interesting readers would enjoy learning about you.
My name is Jodi Basye, and I was raised a country girl in southwest Colorado. So, when I write westerns, they come straight from my heart and from a place of authenticity. Now, I live in a log home in the interior of Alaska. We hunt, fish, forage, and garden for our food, and my only oven or stove is a wood cookstove. This rugged Alaskan life fuels my inspiration tank and keeps me writing through the long winters.
Can you tell us about your latest novel?
An outlaw looking for a fresh start. A rancher’s daughter with something to hide. When opposites attract, will sparks fly, or will their differences drive them apart?
But after finding freedom from the outlaw gang he’d been entangled with, all he wants is an honest job where he can keep his head down. When trouble seems to follow him at every turn, he fears he may never untangle himself from the bondage of his past holding him back.
Elaine Bradford can never tell a soul her secret.
Advancing her social standing will offer her the pristine order she needs and a way to keep that secret hidden. When scandal threatens her reputation, she’s banished to live in the Colorado wilderness with her wayward sister, endangering exposure of all she conceals.
When Mathias and Elaine become unlikely allies in a bitter war over grazing territory, they must learn to trust one another. Can they put aside their misgivings and bring their enemy to justice, or will the darkness of doubt nipping at their heels drag them down once and for all?
This gripping saga, full of heart-pounding adventure, will take you on an emotional journey of love and redemption in the majestic Rocky Mountains.
Matthias Noble can never make up for all the crimes he committed.
What made you choose to write about the cattle and sheep ranching wars in Colorado?
While I always strive to craft stories that satisfy reader expectations with inspirational topics and toe-curling kisses, I am also passionate about telling stories that are authentic and unexpected. An author friend of mine suggested the possibility of creating a story set around the cattle and sheep wars because she knew I was looking for something a little different. It is a historical topic that may be new and intriguing for many readers.
Can you tell us more about the cattle and sheep ranching wars? When did they occur?
The cattle and sheep wars were a series of ongoing skirmishes over grazing rights between cattle ranchers and sheepherders in the Western United States from 1870-1920. Many cattle ranchers abhorred the sheepherders, claiming the sheep destroyed the grazing land. It was a bloody battle that ended the lives of dozens of men and thousands of sheep.
What research was required to set your story during the ranching wars?
As for the setting, not much research was required. I was raised in southwest Colorado where the novel takes place. So the landscape was something that comes from my own experience. As for the historical research, I read many articles, plus a book titled The Wooly West to gain a good grasp of what the cattle and sheep wars really looked like.
I always try to keep things as historically accurate as possible, so I also researched railroad and stagecoach routes, local commerce, and even the names of judges in the area during that time using old newspapers.
Were resources easy or difficult to find? Do you have a favorite resource?
I was able to find the resources I needed to tell the story relatively easily, considering it is not a common historical topic. I only found one book. But it was just what I needed, and believe it or not, some of the other articles were already right in my own home in the True West magazines my dad has sent me over the years.
What is one piece of your research that you couldn’t include in the book, but wish readers could know?
I’m not sure there was anything from my research that I didn’t include!
Do you have another book in the works? What can you tell us about that book?
I rotate my writing between two series. Both are centered around the Cross family. One series is historical Christian romance (Cross Family Saga) and the other is contemporary cowboy romances (Cross Creek Ranch.) Now that Redeeming the Outlaw has been released, I am working on Book 2 of the Cross Creek Ranch series, Maddie Jo. It is a brother’s best friend romance that takes an adventurous turn of events leading the characters on a cross-country endurance horse race.
The afternoon is slipping away, so we have to draw the stories to an end. Jodi, thank you for joining us today!
If readers would like to purchase a copy of Redeeming the Outlaw where might they be able to do so?
The ebook is available on all the standard online retailers, or readers can buy at one of these retailers. Paperback copies are available on Amazon.com.
If readers would like to learn about you or your other books, how might they find you online?
Readers can connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok or they can subscribe to my newsletter and get a free copy of Redeeming the Swindler (prequel novella to the Cross Family Saga.)
Over Sunday Dinner next week Mary Dodge Allen will be joining us to talk about her latest book.