Thompson, Ronda 1955–2007
Thompson, Ronda 1955–2007
Born October 14, 1955, in Ponca City, OK; daughter of Sam and Yvonne Widener; died of ovarian and pancreatic cancer, July 12 (one source says July 11), 2007; married Mike Thompson, 1984; children: Marley, Matthew; Chrystal (stepchild).
Author. Worked as a mortgage loan processor, bank teller, dog groomer, construction worker, and grocery store clerk.
Romance Writers of America.
Hughie Award, Romance Book Lovers, for Love at First Bite; winner of other writing awards.
Welcome to Paradise, Zebra (New York, NY), 1998.
Isn't It Romantic?, Lionhearted Publishing, 1998.
Prickly Pear, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 1999.
Cougar's Woman, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 1999.
In Trouble's Arms, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 2000.
Scandalous, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 2000.
(With Amanda Ashley and Christine Feehan) After Twilight, Love Spell (New York, NY), 2001.
Desert Bloom, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 2001.
Call of the Moon, Love Spell (New York, NY), 2002.
Violets Are Blue, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 2002.
Walk into the Flame, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 2003.
(With Maggie Shayne, Amanda Ashley, and Sherrilyn Kenyon) Midnight Pleasures, St. Martin's Paperbacks (New York, NY), 2003.
Love at First Bite, St. Martin's Paperbacks (New York, NY), 2006.
Confessions of a Werewolf Supermodel, St. Martin's Paperbacks (New York, NY), 2007.
"WILD WULFS OF LONDON" SERIES; PARANORMAL ROMANCE NOVELS
The Dark One, St. Martin's Paperbacks (New York, NY), 2005.
The Untamed One, St. Martin's Paperbacks (New York, NY), 2006.
The Cursed One, St. Martin's Paperbacks (New York, NY), 2006.
After enjoying a successful career as a romance writer, beginning with the publication in 1998 of her first novel, Welcome to Paradise, Ronda Thompson died unexpectedly of pancreatic and ovarian cancer in 2007. She left behind over a dozen romances, including contemporaries, historicals, and paranormal tales. Before her writing career began, the author raised three children and held a variety of jobs ranging from mortgage processor to construction worker. She had loved romance novels since her teenage years, however, and was a great fan of the prolific Barbara Cartland. With her children grown, Thompson had some time to write. "I took some creative classes, got involved with writers groups and in 1996 I sold my first novel," she recalled on her Web site.
Her first novels were contemporary romances, including Isn't It Romantic?, in which two people on a blind date discover that one is an author and the other the critic who trashed her book. Romantic Times online reviewer Chandra Y. Sparks promised that readers would "laugh out loud" at the story. Humor laces many of Thompson's other books as well, though she also has a serious side to her romances.
Moving on to historical fiction, Thompson, who grew up in Texas, loved to ride horses, and even participated in rodeos, naturally favored a Wild West setting. This is the case in such books as Prickly Pear, Cougar's Woman, Desert Bloom, and Walk into the Flame. The author pleased critics in many cases with the tension—sexual and otherwise—between her heroes and heroines. In Prickly Pear, for instance, the characters are a former gunslinger who is trying to make good, and a recalcitrant woman trying to impress her father. "High-tension desire and quick tempers between Wade and Cam make for an exciting, delicious read," according to Anne Black in the Romantic Times. Desert Bloom is about a young woman seeking revenge on the father who sold her into prostitution. She runs away from the family that saved her from prostitution, and the love interest is found in Gregory, the man sent to find her again. Harriet Klausner, lauding the novel in Best Reviews, commented that the author proves she "can make silk out of a cow's ear as she recreates a whore and a rat into lead protagonists with redeeming qualities."
Conflicts between white settlers and Native American tribes set the stage for a number of Thompson's Wild West books. In Cougar's Woman, for example, a high society woman is kidnapped by Apaches and promised to Clay Black, a white man who has been raised by the tribe. Walk into the Flame also features Apache characters, as well as the white woman they adopted as part of the tribe when she was abandoned as a child. Romantic Times critic Gerry Benninger appreciated the way Thompson strove to make the often violent conflict between whites and American Indians realistic, but feared that the "well-written" tale becomes a "bit too harsh," concluding that this "makes the requisite happy ending unbelievable." Harriet Klausner, writing in Blether: The Book Review Site, similarly suggested that the novel "reads more like a deep historical fiction than a love story."
Many of the last books Thompson wrote are paranormal tales featuring werewolves. These works include Call of the Moon, Confessions of a Werewolf Supermodel, and the "Wild Wulfs of London" series. A kind of segue between her westerns and paranormals, Call of the Moon, features Tala Soaringbird, a Native American who is a "chosen one" and supposed to protect her people from werewolves. However, she notices that one werewolf seems kinder than the others she has fought and she begins to fall in love with him. Romantic Times contributor Jill M. Smith appreciated that the author "put a clever and intriguing new spin on werewolf mythology. Rich with ancient myths and modern-day passion, Call of the Moon is very satisfying reading." Confessions of a Werewolf Supermodel, on the other hand, is a contemporary werewolf story with flashes of humor. The premise of a woman who is a supermodel with an uncomfortable secret makes for an "amusing chick lit werewolf tale," according to Klausner in Genre Go Round Reviews.
The "Wild Wulfs of London" series, which includes The Dark One, The Untamed One, and The Cursed One, has different members of the Wulf clan starring in each tale. The Wulfs have the unfortunate fate of suffering from a family curse that makes them all werewolves. Wulfs in each installment run into women with whom they naturally fall in love. The relationships are, of course, complicated, affording Thompson plenty of opportunity to blend romance, the supernatural, and humor into her tales. Terri Clark, reviewing the first book in Romantic Times, commented that the author "created a deliciously dark world and blended it with speckles of humor, great passion and exceptional characters." Booklist contributor Nina C. Davis, however, felt that the second book is "predictable," although an "interesting development" toward the end made her anticipate the next installment. Of the last book, Kathe Robin asserted in her Romantic Times review that "Thompson cleverly blends paranormal elements into a fine-tuned historical romance with well-crafted characters and a tender, blossoming romance."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, November 15, 2002, John Charles, review of Call of the Moon, p. 583; October 15, 2005, Nina C. Davis, review of The Dark One, p. 36; December 1, 2006, Nina C. Davis, review of The Cursed One, p. 32.
Best Reviews,http://thebestreviews.com/ (July 1, 2002), Harriet Klausner, review of Desert Bloom.
Blether: The Book Review Site,http://reviews.blether.com/ (September 25, 2007), Harriet Klausner, reviews of Walk into the Flame and Midnight Pleasures.
Fantastic Fiction,http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/ (September 25, 2007), brief biography of Ronda Thompson.
Genre Go Round Reviews,http://genregoroundreviews.blogspot.com/ (September 5, 2007), Harriet Klausner, review of Confessions of a Werewolf Supermodel.
Romance Reader at Heart,http://romancereaderatheart.com/ (September 25, 2007), Shannon Johnson, reviews of The Untamed One and The Cursed One.
Romantic Times,http://www.romantictimes.com/ (September 25, 2007), Kathe Robin, reviews of Desert Bloom, The Untamed One, and The Cursed One; Jill M. Smith, reviews of Call of the Moon, Midnight Pleasures, After Twilight, and Love at First Bite; Terri Clark, review of The Dark One; Gerry Benninger, reviews of Walk into the Flame, In Trouble's Arms, and Violets Are Blue; Joan Hammond, review of Scandalous; Anne Black, reviews of Prickly Pear and Cougar's Woman; and Chandra Y. Sparks, review of Isn't It Romantic?
Ronda Thompson Official Website, http://www.rondathompson.com (September 25, 2007).
Dear Author,http://dearauthor.com/ (July 11, 2007).
NovelSpot,http://novelspot.net/ (July 13, 2007), "Cancer Awareness."
Romance at Heart Magazine Online,http://romanceatheart.com/ (September 25, 2007).