What C. J. Carmichael Loves About Montana

cj1I’m so happy to be visiting Petticoats & Pistols today. For the past five years my romance novels have focused on cowboys and ranch settings, specifically in my favorite state of Montana. Full disclosure here, I’m actually a Canadian, living on the border of the Rocky Mountains in Calgary, Alberta. But four years ago my spouse-to-be and I fell in love with a cottage on Flathead Lake, south of Glacier National Park in Montana, and the love affair has only grown since then. (For the guy and the cottage!)

Maybe this photo will help explain the appeal:

To get to this cottage Mike and I drive through some of the best ranching land in the world (stopping frequently so I can take photos).

cj2In fact the highway south of Calgary is called “The Cowboy Trail” and it leads almost the entire way to Montana. And the further south we go, the more beautiful it becomes.

See what I mean? So, loving Montana the way I do, is it any wonder when my friend Jane Porter called to invite me to write for a new publishing company she was starting (Tule Publishing) and suggesting we begin with a series of romances featuring cowboys in a fictional town in Paradise Valley Montana, that I said: Hell yes!cj3

It isn’t just the scenery in Montana that I love. It’s the emphasis on family, intrinsic to the cowboy way of life, the code of honor the men and women of the west live by, and their love and appreciation for their land and their animals. All of these qualities are wrapped up into the 6 book series that I’ve subsequently written for Tule. All is not sunshine for the Carrigans of the Circle C however. There are secrets that divide, family conflicts, painful losses and other obstacles along the path to love and forgiveness.

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The latest book in this series came out this October. A Bramble House Christmas is about a grieving man and a lonely woman who travel to Marietta, Montana for the holidays…never expecting the magic they will find on they arrive. I love writing Christmas stories for many of the same reasons I’m drawn to cowboys and ranch settings. I appreciate the way we focus on home, family and hearth at that time of year. It’s the season to reflect on the things that are really important in life. At the end of each story, I strive to leave my readers with a smile on their face and a tear in their eye.

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Thanks so much for inviting me to your blog to chat about what I love about Montana, westerns and Christmas romances. Now it’s time to hear from you. What do you look for when you pick up a Christmas romance? And do you love western settings as much as I do? I’ll be giving away an e-book copy of Snowbound In Montana and A Cowgirl’s Christmas to two random commenters.

p.s. On my website right now is a contest for a Kobo Glo HD. Please take the time to enter and to sign up for my newsletter if you’d like to hear about my future releases and reader giveaways.

Happy Reading!

CJ

Guest Blogger
Updated: November 3, 2015 — 8:24 am

6 Comments

  1. I just love the country and the beautiful scenery that always comes with it. I think I enjoy reading about traditions and family times in my Christmas stories. It makes them cozy and fun to read.

  2. Years ago, I never would have thought twice about Montana. But after reading these books, I can honestly say I would love to visit there one day.

  3. I enjoy holiday reads! They always put me in that Christmas mood. I love picturing the snow… thanks for sharing CJ! 🙂

  4. I read Christmas romances for the extra dose of warmth, love, hope, and family traditions. Every year I read both historical and contemporary Christmas stories in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

  5. I just enjoy reading. It takes me away to places and I get caught up with the characters a lot of the time and start thinking about them. Not good :).
    I would enjoy reading one of your books.
    I have always wanted to visit Montana and spend some time there. Maybe some day.

  6. I have never been the “outdoorsy” type but I have always loved Westerns. And a Christmas Western story is perfect to get into the holiday spirit. Family, tradition . . . .

    Montana weather is probably a little harsh for my husband these days, but it is oh, so beautiful. I wish we could spend more time there.

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