Monday, May 9, 2016

From Horses to Unpublished Manuscripts - by Maddie James

This past weekend in Kentucky we hosted a little event known as the fastest two-minutes in sports--The Kentucky Derby. Louisville was a perpetual party for a couple of weeks, until yesterday. My significant other works in a local hotel, and oh my, the stories he told about the partying people who visited our city!

Kentucky Derby time is a unique time of the year for us, for sure. The Bluegrass region of the country also is unique year-round. Whether it's horses, or bourbon, or tobacco, or sports--we have lots of things going on here.

You can get a flavor of the central Kentucky region in my latest release, Wind Ridge.  Let me share the Author Note from the book with you today.
Some stories fly from brain to fingers to computer screen. Others take their good ol’ time in coming. This book falls into the latter category.

The storyline for Wind Ridge came to me while living in central Kentucky horse country, back in the 1990s. Nearby, was a small country farm named Wind Ridge. There was another horse farm, complete with Federal style mansion, down the road in the opposite direction. Supposedly, the new owner was a foxhunter, and stories were, that he ran his horses and hounds over neighboring fields and land, much to the irritation of the locals.

The juxtaposition of those two things—the small country tobacco farm, and the more stately southern horse farm—wove their way into my head and a story took wings. Over 100,000 words later, the story was finished, but sad to say, it lay fallow in my computer for many years. Other stories had their day, blessed by the publishing world, but Wind Ridge stayed hidden from public consumption.

I always loved the story; however, it was written at a time when I was still learning how to write. I knew it needed a lot of tender, loving care. About six months ago, I realized I needed to tackle the story again, embrace it, rip it up, even let my editor have her way with it. So, I did. We did. Now, I am so very pleased that Bekah and Collin’s story is finally ready to share with you.

If you decide to pick this one up, please know that this could be considered a period story. It starts out in the 1980s, and picks up again in the 1990s. It was a different world then, in Kentucky, and elsewhere. Tobacco farming has changed quite a bit, and of course, access to cell phones was limited. You’ll probably notice other differences that date the story. Overall, I think you will find this a suspenseful, and satisfying, happily-ever-after!

Here's the back cover copy for Wind Ridge:

Rebekah McCauley is back home after ten long years of living and working in New York City. She left the Big Apple under circumstances she’d rather not share with her family—not yet, anyway—and all she really wants is time to heal and recover from the mess she’d made of her life. Luckily, her grandparents’ Kentucky bluegrass farm, Wind Ridge, provides the safe haven she craves, and the solitude she needs to heal.

Collin Kramer, the fox hunter next door, seems determined to infiltrate that peace and quiet, and invade her safe haven—not only with his noisy hounds running amok over her land, but with his Alpha male, take-charge attitude running roughshod over her wounded heart.

But as Bekah softens to Collin’s conquest, he realizes his own toughened heart needs mending. And just when he thinks he has that conquered, as well, all hell breaks loose. Poisoned horses, a gutted dog, and a barn fire are only the beginning. When Bekah’s farmhouse burns to the ground too, they know someone means business. But who? And whose past, Bekah’s or Collin’s, has come back to haunt them?

You can find Wind Ridge at all major ebook retailers. If you decide to visit central Kentucky through this book, be sure to tell me how you liked it!
Maddie James writes romance - but don't try to pin her down to one genre! From edgy suspense to flirty contemporary romance to darker erotic titles, she just wants to silence the people in her head. You can find out more about her books at

While you are there, sign-up for her newsletter list, where you can learn more about her giveaways--and get a free ebook!


  1. My father-in-law (bartender at the Brown Hotel and then Flaherty's Tavern in Louisville) used to dread/anticipate Derby Day, cursing mint juleps and the people who felt compelled to drink them, but I think he loved it, too.

    The book sounds great!

    1. Thanks, Liz. The Brown is a fabulous place! I've heard of Flaherty's but have never been there. Wow! I had no clue of the connection. I have to admit, I do like a mint julep -- once a year. I really like the bourbon more....

  2. Appreciated the book's backstory, Maddie. CaN't wait to dive in to it.

  3. Very interesting post! I like the heart you have for writing.

  4. Very interesting post! I like the heart you have for writing.

  5. What an interesting back story to the story! This one, revised to your new standards sounds like a "classic"!

  6. Thanks, ladies! Since I moved away from central KY nearly 10 years ago, it was a bit of a walk down memory lane!

  7. Now that's a nice walk down memory lane. Love your book cover. Did you ever wear one of those frou-frou hats during Derby Week?


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