Newly single, native New Yorker, Maddie Taylor is a
romance writer stuck in the throes of a writers' block when she receives news
that Jonah Spartman, an older man she met by chance ten years before, has bequeathed her half of his
cattle ranch in Arkansas. The land can be hers, but only under the condition
that she stay on the ranch for a period of three months.
Eager for a change of scene, Maddie heads west, where she
meets Gideon Spartman, Jonah's grumpy grandson, a man with rugged good looks, who
owns the other half of the ranch. Gideon is a troubled Afghanistan military vet who
struggles with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He has also become the
guardian of his two, lonely orphaned nephews, Abe and Mark, whom he orders
around like "hired help." Even though Gideon is initially leery and standoffish
with Maddie, the two are instantly attracted to each other.
Do the secrets and scars that Gideon carries prohibit him from loving
another person? And does the same hold true for Maddie and her life of
isolation, lived on the pages of her romance novels?
As prideful Maddie tries to settle in to the Spartman Cattle
ranch, she starts writing again, while growing closer to Abe and Mark and
making friends with the townsfolk.
With yearnings suddenly awakened in Maddie for Gideon (and
vice-versa), the two become fearful, suspecting that the depth of their
feelings may be life-changing. But do either one of them really want their
lives to change?
Zeller has written an intriguing Western-themed, contemporary love story,
blending well-defined, wounded characters--from two different worlds--mired in
the pull and tug of romance. Zeller also weaves in a suspenseful subplot
regarding the harrowing struggles of a beef cattle farm in financial crisis.
For many of us, trains are fascinating: cargo and passenger
trains, subways, high-speed rail. The call of a train whistle--the rumbling,
chugging sound--awakens the spirit and encourages the imagination to crisscross
time and place. That's what inspired me to write In Transit, a woman-in-jeopardy novel
published two years ago. It's the story of a misguided, rookie NYPD transit cop
assigned to the labyrinthine New York City subway system and how, when she
falls in love with the wrong man, her life derails.
In Trains and Lovers by
Alexander McCall Smith, four travelers, diverse in backgrounds and ages, are
brought together on a train bound from Edinburgh to London. They pass the time
by telling tales of how the railroad played a significant part in each of their
Orphan Train by
Christina Baker Kline is a coming-of-age novel that connects the disparate lives of two women. The story is based on the program that, from the 19th century until the Great Depression, carted orphans via train to adoptive families in the Midwest.
Pandemonium infuses Mrs. Queen Takes the Train.
In William Kuhn's clever, inventive novel, Queen Elizabeth gets fed up with the
demands of life at Buckingham Palace, slips on a borrowed hoodie and goes
rogue, taking public rail transportation to Scotland.
The Train of Small Mercies,
a collection of short stories by David Rowell, links the poignant, personal experiences
of six ordinary people who witness and grieve as the train carrying the body of
Robert F. Kennedy from New York City to his final resting place in Washington,
The idea of riding the rails conjures romance, intrigue and
drama as trains take us on collective and individual journeys--both on the page