Thursday, September 23, 2021

Book Spotlight & Author Interview: Redeeming the Prodigal by Jodi Basye

About the Book:

A soiled dove at rock bottom. A mountain man broken and lonely. Can an unexpected encounter be their second chance at love?

Jo Bradford never thought she’d end up a fallen woman in a mining-town brothel. But after running away from a family who loves her and falling into the clutches of a sinister outlaw, Jo found herself left with a devastating choice. Starvation or prostitution. After a brutal attack in the brothel leaves her with an ugly scar, she’s cast out of the Parlor House, her only sanctuary from the outlaws she escaped from.

Gideon Cross blames himself for his pa’s disappearance.

When he decided to search for his father, he left Jo behind with hopes of returning for her. Instead, news arrived that she was missing, and Gideon was left broken-hearted. After years of grieving, he is finally ready to move on and start the family he’s always wanted, even if it isn’t with Jo.

When a twist of fate brings Jo and Gideon face to face again, can the grace of God mend their broken pieces and lead them to reclaim love, or will their past failures be too much to overcome?

This gripping saga, full of heart-pounding adventure, will take you on an emotional journey of love and redemption in the majestic Rocky Mountains.

Purchase Link: Amazon

Excerpt (Chapter 6):

Jo turned back from the corral fence at the livery and started back toward the Thorntons’ house. Her spirits and her steps were a little lighter than they had been earlier. She’d been apprehensive about visiting the preacher and was shocked to have received so much compassion from a man she’d expected to toss her out on her ear.

Could Abigail be right? She had found a clean and beautiful life. She had the love of a kind man, a home to tend, and she didn’t seem to be carrying this heavy load Jo was carrying. Could Jo shuck this burden and have a fresh start after all?

Wearing one of Abigail’s dresses and the concealing hat and veil, she had the benefit of blending into the crowd as she walked down the busy street. As much as she hated the fussy frills of hats and bonnets, the anonymity it provided her here had become a comfort since the attack.

Shouts of fire rang out, and a billow of black smoke rose from a building down the street. Panic traveled between the citizens of Cripple Creek like a lightning bolt through a herd of longhorn cattle. The town had been rebuilt over the last year after nearly all of it had burned to the ground. The threat of losing everything again caused chaos to break out in the street.

A man brushed past Jo as he ran down Bennet Avenue toward the firehouse. People poured out of the businesses onto the boardwalks. The loud clanging of a bell and the thunder of hooves had everyone on the crowded street scattering to clear a path for the fire wagon.

A child’s cry rose above the chaos and noise. A small boy, ripped away from his parents in the press of people, stumbled into the road.

The fire wagon barreled down the street, sliding around the corner with mud flying from an erratically shaking wheel. Jo ran into the street to grab the child. The rushing horses spooked and shied as Jo jumped in their path and yanked the boy back before their hooves could trample him. She slipped in the mud and rolled, clutching the boy to her. There was a loud crack as the axle snapped and the large back wheel splashed into the muddy street.

Pulling the boy to her, she looked wildly around for the person who should be responsible for him. Surely there would be a panicked mother calling out for the boy, but the street was in chaos. The high-strung horses were squealing and stamping as men ran to assist the firemen with the wagon. Someone was shouting for water. With the fire wagon disabled, the rescue of its water tank would be postponed.

The child wailed and clutched Jo’s skirts, tears streaking down his muddy face. Where was his mother?

Jo looked him over to make sure he wasn’t injured and noticed a scrape down his chubby leg below his short-pants. What should she do? The sheriff was directing people and attempting to organize the pandemonium. She scooped the boy up into her arms and made her way to him.

“Excuse me, Sheriff?” Jo placed a tentative hand on the tall man’s arm. She had never met him and was apprehensive about interrupting his concentration.

Glancing down at her distractedly, he gave a short, “Yes,” in response.

“I can’t find this boy’s mother—” Jo hesitated, knowing no respectable woman would approve of Jo holding her child, much less being left responsible with him. “He’s hurt. I’m going to take him to Doc Thornton’s and get him taken care of. If you find his parents or anyone looking for him, will you please tell them where I’ve taken him?”

The sheriff gave a brief nod and went on pointing and shouting to other men.

Jo looked around one more time. No one in sight looked like a distraught parent. The boy’s frantic crying had calmed now to an exhausted, hiccupping sob, and he laid his head on her chest as she walked to the Thorntons’ house down the side street.

Once inside, Jo explained the situation to Abigail, who guided her to the examination room. Jo gently attempted to pull the boy away from her to deposit him on the table, but he clung tighter to her, burying his face in her neck. The gauzy veil attached to her hat was soaked with his tears and pinned down under his weight. She gently tried to peel his chubby fingers from her shirtfront, but it was no use.

“Sit down here, Jo. We don’t need to frighten him any more than he already is.” Abigail motioned Jo to a chair in the corner and left the room, presumably to find her husband.

Jo sat down and shifted the boy so John would have access to the abrasion on the child’s knee. She leaned her head back against the cushion of the high-backed chair. The veil of her hat was caught beneath the boy’s head as he pressed it into her chest, and she gently shifted him, removing the hat and veil. He didn’t even look up but snuggled back against her and slipped a thumb into his mouth. She wrapped an arm around him and relished the heavy weight on her chest. Was Abigail right? Was this a possibility in her future? The endearing attachment of the boy lit a spark of hope deep within her.

Abigail’s voice carried into the patient room from the front parlor.

“Yes, Mrs. Johnson, little Robert is safe and sound. Come this way.”

Jo smiled for the boy’s sake, but she was also reluctant to let go of the presence that warmed her heart.

“Mama!” The boy tearfully reached out, and Jo handed him over, smiling at the happy reunion.

“We didn’t even know he’d slipped out.” The woman’s voice shook. “He was playing on the floor by the door of our shop when people started shouting about a fire.” The woman’s voice broke, and she squeezed her son tighter. “He must have slipped out behind us when we stepped onto the porch—I—I didn’t even know he was gone at first.” She buried her lips in the boy’s wispy blond hair and kissed the top of his head.

Robert’s sniffling eased, and he smiled and patted his mother’s own, tear-streaked face.

“I am so grateful to you, Miss ….”

Jo cleared her throat. She had only ever gone by “Copper Kate” in this town, but the Thorntons and Pastor Walton were right. This could be her chance to move forward.

“Jo, Josephina Bradford.” She stumbled over the introduction as she rose to her feet.

“My name’s Johnson, ma’am. Martha Johnson.” Martha bobbed her head.

Martha looked up to meet Jo’s eyes, and a momentary flash of shock crossed her face. Little Robert’s calm demeanor split into a frightened wail. Heat flooded Jo’s neck as realization struck her like a stab to her heart. Their reaction could only be due to the sight of her scar.

It was a dreadful sight, which was why she always wore the veil. How stupid had she been to take it off when someone besides the Thorntons could see her?

“Excuse me.” Jo turned and rushed down the hall to her room.

“Wait, Miss—” The woman called behind her, but Jo shut herself in, locking the door.

About the Author:

Jodi Basye pens authentic western romances full of heritage, heart-pounding adventure, and a little happily ever after.

She's a born and bred country girl with a western heritage and a love for stories that stay true to her cowgirl boots and ranching roots. She's been writing all hours of the night since I was sixteen years old. Old habits die hard.

Now, she's the blessed wife to a rugged mountain man, a homeschooling mama, and living my dream of writing books by my wood cook-stove in the wilds of Alaska.

Author Interview:

Q: What was the inspiration behind Redeeming the Prodigal?

Jodi: Jo’s story has been on my heart for many years. There was a time in my life where I felt like I’d gone too far and fallen from grace. I knew I couldn’t lose my salvation, but I wasn’t sure I could ever be used by God again. In Redeeming the Prodigal, I wanted to shine light into what might be a dark time for some readers and encourage them that His grace is sufficient for all of our sins—no matter how big or small.

Q: How long did it take you to write this novel?

Jodi: As this was my debut novel, I wanted to take my time and get it right. So, from start date to publish date, it was almost two years. Although, I also wrote two novellas during that time as well.

Q: Do you have a favorite quote from this novel?

Jodi: I would have such a hard time choosing. I think the quote that best captures Jo’s struggle to accept love is this: “She was damaged. Plain and Simple. It wasn’t fair to Gideon for her to clutter his life with her broken pieces.”

Q: What do you hope readers take away from Redeeming the Prodigal?

Jodi: Even when we feel we’ve fallen too far from God, He is always there. Even in the famine of our faith, He offers us the Bread of Life.

Q: Would you share something about yourself that most readers would not know?

Jodi: Although I live in Alaska now, I was raised a Colorado country girl. I spent more time riding horses than playing with dolls. So, the western themes in my books are very near to my heart.

Q: What are you reading now?

Jodi: Penelope’s Pursuit by Chautona Havig

Q: How many bookcases are in your home?

Jodi: Four (and that is not enough, there are boxes stacked in corners full of books as well.)

Q: What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Jodi: I love the adventure of living in Alaska. We live a very “outdoorsy” life with camping, hunting, fishing, foraging, and gardening.


  1. This sounds intense. I love the Rocky mountains and think I would enjoy this book.

  2. I love getting to know the authors! Thank you for this lovely interview.