Slanted Light Cover - green field with storm clouds over it with rays of sunlight piercing through. Text: Slanted Light, A Novel, Teddy Jones

Slanted Light

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Jackson’s Pond Texas Series, Book 2
Teddy Jones
Genre: Literary Fiction / Family Saga / Western Women / Rural Fiction
Publisher: Midtown Publishing
Publication Date: August 21, 2020
Number of Pages: 275
Scroll down for the giveaway!


Slanted Light Cover - green field with storm clouds over it with rays of sunlight piercing through. Text: Slanted Light, A Novel, Teddy Jones

Teddy Jones’s earlier novel, Jackson’s Pond, Texas, began the saga of the Jackson family. Now, Slanted Light continues their tale.

Claire Havlicek’s late night call brings her brother Chris Banks from his home in New Mexico back to the town that bears their family name, Jackson’s Pond. She’s collapsed under the weight of threats to her thirteen-year marriage that have undermined her confidence and her will. Her husband, J. D., responds to seduction by a woman in need; theft and the threat of a forced buyout jeopardize Claire’s two medical clinics; drought imperils their ranch and cattle business; a teenage daughter turns to bulimia.

When Claire admits her limits, her grandmother, Willa Jackson, and the other members of her family help her learn that being human, weaknesses and all, can be a source of strength and joy.

Banner Ad: Welcome to Jackson's Pond, Texas. the Jackson's Pond Series by Teddy Jones. Now Available! 3d image of Jackson's Pond, Texas on left and 3d image of Slanted Light on right.

Book Trailer


Clueless Gent’s Rating

5 star rating

Slanted Light is a compelling story of contemporary ranch life in small town Texas. Its story and characters were well developed, and thanks to the exemplary description, a reader can get fully immersed into a life lived by generations of rural Texans. Hard work was second nature, and family values were the conduit that kept everything together.

One thing I never really considered before about that lifestyle, and I’m glad the author pointed it out, is that ranch owners needed to have patience in their decision making. It makes perfect sense. Nothing on a ranch gets done overnight. For example, livestock do not magically grow overnight; they require sometimes years of care before they can yield any reward. Conversely, rash decisions could be the downfall of any impatient rancher.

This story drew me in slowly. It required some patience for the characters to really find a home in my imagination. But once they were there, I really cared what happened. I imagine the slow pace could have been unintentional, but I prefer to draw a parallel between that and the lifestyle the story portrays. Patience yields rewards, and this story is a great example of that.

This is the second book in a series. I did not read the first one, but this one covers the span of a couple tough years for Claire Havlicek and her family. Texas is in a terrible drought. Claire is worried about her teenage daughter’s health. Claire and her husband have hit a rough patch – and that’s saying it politely. One of the two medical clinics Claire owns and manages has been thrown into a small town scandal, and the drought is taking a very toll on the family ranch.

There are a number of things going on, and Claire is only human. She is only one person. It’s no wonder that she hits a wall and hits it hard. But that’s where family comes in. The familial relationships among the characters are deep and well established. It would take something pretty terrible to break that bond, but how far can it stretch before it breaks?

This is storytelling at its best. If you want to be a storyteller, this book should be a case study on how to do it right. The story goes very deep into the two main characters, Claire and J.D., her husband. The third-person narration allows us insights to their emotions and insecurities at a granular level.

I could provide many examples of the fine description, but this is a prime example of all the other examples. I have read perhaps thousands of descriptions of a cup of coffee, yet this author provided a description that I think tops all of them, even though it was simple. “She lifted the cup and inhaled the aroma, the best part of coffee aside from the caffeine. The strong, brown brew warmed her stomach and encouraged her to eat the cinnamon toast that waited next to the pot.”

I also thought the author did a wonderful job of naming characters. Aside from the main characters, who all had fitting names, we had Lloyd Franklin as a healthcare conglomerate CEO, and then Richard Jesko, a young, high-tech executive. I never realized just how much imagery a name could provide.

This story is not very long – less than 300 pages – but Teddy Jones fills those pages with a story that will at times give you those warm fuzzies that we all cherish. There are no sex scenes, no bad language, no murders – just great storytelling. I highly recommend this book!

I received a free copy of this book from Lone Star Book Blog Tours in exchange for my honest review.

Slanted Light Cover - green field with storm clouds over it with rays of sunlight piercing through. Text: Slanted Light, A Novel, Teddy Jones. The clouds are endlessly moving.

the Author

Teddy Jones Author Photo

Teddy Jones is the author of three other published novels, Halfwide, Jackson’s Pond, Texas, and Well Tended, as well as a collection of short stories, Nowhere Near. Her short fiction received the Gold Medal First Prize in the Faulkner-Wisdom competition in 2015. Jackson’s Pond, Texas was a finalist for the 2014 Willa Award in contemporary fiction from Women Writing the West. Her as-yet-unpublished novel, Making It Home, was a finalist in the Faulkner-Wisdom competition in 2017 and “A Good Family” was named a finalist in that contest in 2018.

Jones grew up in Iowas Park, a small Texas town. She has worked as a nurse, a nurse educator, a nursing-college administrator, and as a nurse practitioner in Texas, Colorado, and New Mexico. For the past twenty years, she and her husband have lived in the rural West Texas Panhandle, where he farms and she writes.

First Winner
Signed copies of both Jackson’s Pond, Texas Series books
+ $25 Amazon gift card
Second and Third Winners
Signed copy of Slanted Light
Slanted Light tour giveaway graphic. Prizes to be awarded precede this image in the post text.
Or, visit the blogs directly:
Sneak Peek
Book Trailer
Bonus Post
Author Interview
Guest Post
Top Five List
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