The Final Ride by Linda Yezak

Posted by on Jul 15, 2016 | 8 comments

The Final Ride by Linda Yezak

Fueled by a crazy sense of humor and a lot of coffee, Linda Yezak, author of  The Final Ride, is destined to become a favorite for readers of Christian fiction. Linda is also a sweet and generous lady who once forgave me for telling her how much I was enjoying another author’s book. You’re in for a treat as you get to know her through our interview. Take time to leave a comment and sign in on the Rafflecopter at the end for even more opportunities to win a signed print copy of The Final Ride.



Fabulous Fridays

Welcome back, Linda! I loved Give the Lady a Ride, so I am really looking forward to reading The Final Ride. Would you give the readers a brief overview of the two books?

In Give the Lady a Ride, Patricia Talbert inherits a Texas ranch that she intends to sell as quickly as possible—until she meets its foreman-slash-bull rider, Talon Carlson.

Talon Carlson’s life is wrapped up on the ranch that he’d always thought would become his someday, until he met the owner’s niece. Funny how Jake had never mentioned her. Now things are going to change: either she’ll sell the Circle Bar, or she’ll run it. And what does a manicured Yankee know about running a ranch?

Patricia isn’t ready to go home, but the only thing she think of to buy time with Talon is a single challenge: Teach me to ride bulls.

And they’re in for the ride of their lives.

Which carries on in The Final Ride. Patricia has decided she loves the ranch, loves its foreman, and has no intention of going home. But Aunt Adele swoops in from Manhattan intent on persuading her to do just that.

After Talon’s last ride ended in injury, he promised Pat he’d never ride again, but as he heals, he wishes for a better ending to his career. His desire for one last ride is fueled by the obnoxious antics of a competitor and the wagging tongues of gossips.

Patricia believes he’ll keep his promise—which is the one thing he can’t do.

Patricia or Talon: Who will take The Final Ride?

Tell us something about yourself and how you started writing.

I’ve always been a story teller, always enjoyed the timing of a good tale. Knowing how to build it up and when to deliver the punch line. In college, I entertained audiences with my stories, and now, I do the same with my novels.

I started writing again in 1997, but began taking it seriously when my first novel was rejected. I began to study the craft and submit to experienced critique partners. Finally, in 2011, Give the Lady a Ride burst onto the scene and won the Grace Award for Romance and was a finalist for the 2011 Carol Award.

My readers from 2011 have written me over the years, asking when I was going to finish the story. I thought it was finished! Since the story takes place over only a few weeks, it wasn’t appropriate to end it with a proposal and a wedding, but I definitely hinted at the happily-ever-after. Still, the readers wanted to see a wedding.The Final Ride FB

I also heard from readers who wanted me to solve the mystery in the novel. Talon’s first love, Janet Parsons, was murdered eight years before he met Patricia. They never found who did it—which I thought settled it. It’s an unsolved cold case.  That didn’t work for those readers, so the next in the series, Ride to the Altar, will solve the case and finally see Pat and Talon get married. There. See? I gave away the entire ending!

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done, Linda?

Quirkiest—not craziest? Because I have a lot of stories of the crazy things I’ve done. I don’t notice my own quirks so much. Although I am particular about my egg count. The count has to be even. If I only need one egg, it drives me nuts when it leaves me with an odd number of eggs. I have no idea where that quirk came from, because I not OCD about anything else.  I think.

How much of yourself do you write into your characters?

My female characters are a lot like me, complete with snark and hair-trigger tongues. So you can imagine how it felt the first time a critique partner from a peer review site said she hated my heroine in The Cat Lady’s Secret. Talk about sting! But I’ve discovered that my characters, like me, are often taken wrong in the things they say. Fortunately for my characters, I can tone them down. As for me, the best I can do is pray God will keep His hand over my mouth.

Are you a full-time writer or do you hold a day job? What is the biggest challenge/obstacle you face in protecting your writing time?

This one is hard to answer. I haven’t reached the level of income to quit a job if I had one. The reason I took up writing professionally is because both my mother and my husband need me at home (also known as: they got spoiled to having me available when they need me), so I don’t work outside the home. I do, however, supplement my income as a freelance editor. Between the two jobs, I’m content.

Protecting my writing time has become easier now that Mom and Billy realize this is a job in itself. It’s my work. Getting them to that point of understanding took years. But now, the only obstacle to my writing time is telemarketers who get through when my caller ID isn’t working.

What kind of recommendations do you have for writer’s just starting out?

Study the craft as much as possible and then write the best manuscript you can. Submit it to critique partners and other authors. Save money for a professional edit. Then, while you’re getting edited, use your time to learn how to market and promote. Learn the business end of this business.

And if all this sounds like what all the other authors are saying, there’s a reason for it: Study, write, rewrite, polish, study some more–that’s the best route toward success.

What is your favorite way of interacting with your readers and what do you enjoy the most about communicating with them?

My playground is Facebook. I have so much fun there. My Twitter feed reads like one long book ad, so I don’t really enjoy it, but on Facebook, I can let my hair down and be nutty. They haven’t kicked me off yet!

What I enjoy most about communicating with them is just that—communicating with them. I put up something, they respond, and we bond over memes about coffee or critters or faith. I hope they’re never afraid to leave a response, because that’s how we get to know each other.

How do you go about researching and creating a setting?

My settings so far have all been in Texas—easy to do, since the state is so huge. The ranch for Give the Lady a Ride and The Final Ride once belonged to my mother. Her family owned it since the late 1800s, and it was painful to have to sell it. I still remember it, though it has been years since we got to see it.

What, in your mind, distinguishes your book from other books out there in the same genre?

My sense of humor. Of course, there are parts to all my stories that turn serious, but mostly, I just want to have fun when I write.

What do you see as the most important aspect of Christian fiction?

Christian Fiction can reach a wide range of people, because as a genre, it relies on subgenres as it vessel. It can be woven into virtually any subgenre. Want to write historical? You can. Romance? Sure. Science Fiction? Definitely. Whatever genres people read and authors enjoy writing can be a subgenre of Christian Fiction.

Those of us who write Christian Fiction have a mission, whether it’s to reach the lost, the backslidden, or the seekers, or if it’s simply to entertain and encourage other believers. We reach out to people who don’t often read nonfiction, so we can present to them Christian principles in practice, and we can reach them through what they like to read.

This is a topic I’m passionate about, so I could go on forever. If anyone wants to read more, they can read the book I cowrote with my (now retired) agent, Terry Burns, Writing in Obedience.

Please share a favorite passage from The Final Ride with us.

Happy to! Here you go:

Patricia retrieved a head of lettuce from the fridge. “I’m sorry about my aunt. I hope she didn’t upset you too much.”

Consuela’s lips puckered. She looked at Patricia from the corner of her eye. “Do you know what she wanted?”

Patricia shook her head.

She crossed her arms over her chubby belly. “She wanted dinner served at seven.”

“That’s just what she’s used to back in–”

“And she wanted breakfast served at nine.”

“Well, yes, like I was saying–”

“In bed.”

“Oh.” Patricia lowered her eyes. “Well, you know, she’s from New York . . .”

“She is in Texas now.” Consuela gave the onions a stir, then tapped the spoon on the side of the skillet loud enough to make the metal ring. “I am not her cook.”


“I do things the way I do things, and she will eat or not.”

“Of course.”

“You told her?”

“I tried. I’m not sure she understands how different things are here.”

“She will learn. Next time she tells me what to do”–she nudged her husband–”Chef and me, we will go on vacation. Someone else can cook till she leaves.”

Patricia winced. Other than the Garcias, Marie was the only one who knew how to cook, and she was on her honeymoon.

Book Blurb:

With her duties for her best friend’s wedding finally behind her, Patricia Talbert looks forward to discovering what “normal” will look like at her new home in Texas. She owns a ranch, is in love with its foreman, and is ready to assume her duties. Discovering what those duties entail isn’t an easy feat for a displaced socialite from Manhattan. But when her aunt Adele arrives on a mission to bring her back to New York, Patricia’s primary duty is to deflect the bumbling and bullish attempts–until one of Adele’s tricks takes her by surprise.

All of Talon Carlson’s dreams for the Circle Bar Ranch are coming true, along with another dream he never expected to be fulfilled–a chance to love again. Patricia is everything he ever wanted and more, but he made a promise to her not to ride bulls again, a promise he may have to break. His desire for a better end to his riding career is intensified by vicious rumors about why he quit. If he rides again, he will provide the ammunition Adele needs to make Patricia leave. If he doesn’t, he’ll prove the gossips right.

Patricia or Talon. Which one will take The Final Ride?

Linda YezakAbout the author:

Twenty-five years ago, after a decade of life as a “single-again,” author Linda W. Yezak rediscovered God’s love and forgiveness when He allowed her a second chance at marital happiness. She is now living her greatest romance with her husband in a forest in East Texas. After such an amazing blessing, she chooses to trumpet God’s gift of second chances in the books she writes. Linda’s novels are heart-warming hallmarks of love, forgiveness, and new beginnings.

Connect with Linda:


Facebook Author Page:



Twitter: @LindaYezak

Book Links:The Final Ride

The Final Ride:


Give the Lady a RideGive the Lady a Ride:



The Cat Lady's SecretThe Cat Lady’s Secret:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks for the giveaway this sounds like an awesome book! The cover is a like a glimpse into the book.

    • I love this cover! The friend who did it for me knew exactly what I was looking for!

  2. Very interesting! The first thing is the cover makes me want to read this book. Anything that looks like a good western book I also like.

    • I think you’ll get a kick out of it, Brenda. It’s a fun story.

      Thanks for the comment!

  3. Hi Linda! This sounds like such a fun read. Recommendation to read the Give the Lady a Ride first? Or can this one be read on its own? I look forward to reading them! 🙂

    • This one can stand alone, but it’s better if your read the first. It’s 99c on Kindle or free on KU, if you want to get a jump on it.

      Good luck in the drawing!

  4. I think it would be interesting to see how Patricia falls in love with the ranch. Book sounds like a good read. Looking forward to reading.

    • She definitely learns to love it. She even has a favorite spot on the ranch! Thanks for the comment!

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