Suzanne Thomas />ďA riveting suspense thrillerĒ says the <em>New York Times Book Review</em> of Suzanne Thomasí timely novel <a href=Stumbling Stone. Itís heady praise for first-time author Thomas, a former mental health counselor and a horsewoman, who never imagined she would one day write fiction.

“The book is a dream come true because I am trying to knock a homerun with it,” said Thomas, who walked away from her counseling practice in her hometown of Savannah, Tennessee to spend four years writing the book. “It parallels three women’s lives and talks about the problem of methamphetamine and the truth about the mafia in mid-America’s small towns.

“My son got on drugs and it caused me to go look for the cause and a solution,” she added. “It’s been a hard journey, but my son Todd is proof that the prodigal son does come home. He’s in his early thirties and he’s been drug-free for three years now.”

Thomas, who has a doctorate in education, is the founder of WIFE, Women Involved for Enrichment, an organization for under-privileged and incarcerated women. But her current focus is on reaching the families of drug victims.

“I don’t care about speaking in the cities, my call is to the mothers in the small towns,” she noted. “I just want the open door to talk to parents who are going through a nightmare and say, yes, there is help. Meth is not like any other drug that we’ve seen. It is not only that it’s so addictive, but we’re seeing that it causes horrendous mental disorders.”

When she is not working or promoting her book, Thomas is usually horseback, practicing for or competing in cutting horse events. As an amateur and non-professional, Thomas has earned more than $115,000. Yet even at cutting events, she finds the opportunity to reach out to those whose lives have been affected by meth.

“In this arena (Will Rogers Coliseum in Fort Worth), you can look around and most likely, one out of three people are affected by this plague,” she pointed out. “One day while I was watching the cattle, I talked with two mothers, who shared their stories. If I can just put my arms around one person and offer some hope, that’s what I want to do.”

Thomas is currently at work on a sequel to Stumbling Stone.