Welcome Guest – Louise Gouge!

JULYLouise M. Gouge PortraitHi, everyone. Louise M. Gouge here, your guest blogger today. Thank you for inviting me! I love western stories, so I always enjoy visiting the lovely ladies at Petticoats and Pistols.

As I’ve said before, here and in other places, my love for westerns began when I was growing up watching John Wayne westerns with my father. We also watched Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Rifleman, and many others. If there was a western showing at the theater or on television, we’d be there to see it. Add to that my twenty years of living in cowboy country in Colorado, you can see it’s natural for me to write westerns myself.

My latest release, A Family for the Rancher (LIH August 2106), is a special endeavor. It’s my first book set in Texas, even though two of my grandchildren were born there. They said, “Grammy, what took you so long?” I confess I was so busy writing my Four Stones Ranch Colorado series that it required a special invitation from the wonderful editors at LIH_LoneStar_Sampler_CoverLove Inspired Historicals for me to “go” to Texas. They asked me to be part of a continuity with Renee Ryan (Stand-in Rancher Daddy July 2016) and Regina Scott (A Rancher of Convenience September 2016). You probably know that a continuity is a series of books that tag-teams three or more books to tell a longer story about an issue troubling a community of good people. In this case, it’s the Lone Star Cowboy League set in the fictional town of Little Horn, Texas. Each book concentrates on a particular couple’s love story. This was my first continuity, and I had a blast working with Renee and Regina, two authors I love and admire. Oh, the details we had to coordinate! But such fun doing so. As a bonus to our three-book series, we have a FREE Lone Star Cowboy League: The Founding Years Sampler coming out in September. It includes some delicious old-time recipes we three ladies prepared to share with you. Be watching for it!

While I was developing my characters, I often thought of John Wayne and his favorite costar, Maureen O’Hara. And because I like to visualize my characters, I found two other more contemporary movie stars who would personify my perfect couple. For Edmund McKay, I chose the very hunky Aussie Chris Hemsworth. For my spunky heroine Lula May Barlow, beautiful Amy Adams is the perfect choice. Now if Hollywood would just make a movie of the story, I’d be thrilled. Hey, an author can dream, can’t she?

Chris Hemsworth (Louise Gouge) Amy Adams (Louise Gouge)

Through it all, my love for westerns was reinforced. The people of the Old West were intrepid pioneers who did so much to help create communities where God, family, and hard work laid a foundation for our entire country.

I’d love to give away a copy of A Family for the Rancher to one U. S. resident. To be entered in the drawing, answer this question: Why do you enjoy western stories? Be sure to leave your email address!

A Family for the Rancher CoverHere’s my story:

From Neighbor to Daddy:

Rancher Edmund McKay likes his life simple and quiet—everything feisty neighbor Lula May Barlow is not! But with a cattle rustler on the loose, he’s duty-bound to protect the widowed mother, even without her approval. Yet he never expected to enjoy her company. And he certainly never thought her crowded, bustling house would be the first place he’d ever feel at home…

After a harsh childhood, Lula May knows how to stand on her own two feet. She doesn’t need Edmund’s help—but she’s starting to want it, all the same. So are her children, who clearly have matchmaking in mind. And when a threat from the past resurfaces, she realizes all that’s at stake…including her chance for a lifetime of love.


Florida author Louise M. Gouge writes historical fiction for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Historical Romances. She received the prestigious Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award in 2005 and placed in 2011, 2015, and 2016; and placed in the Laurel Wreath in 2012. When she isn’t writing, she and David, her husband of fifty years, enjoy visiting historical sites and museums.

Please visit her Web site at http://blog.Louisemgouge.com


Twitter: @Louisemgouge

Guest Blogger


  1. I love these stories because they represent an era that is unique and still alive but evolving from what it was.

  2. Like DebraG said, you can still find parts of the historical West today if only in the self sufficient lifestyles many still live. I love reading about the settling of the American Western Frontier because it is a part of history that had a major effect on the American psyche. Oh and who doesn’t love a cowboy? 😉

    1. Oh, yes, Glenda, we do love our cowboys, don’t we?

  3. I started out reading my Dad’s westerns when I was about 10. Have loved westerns since—and my favorite movie star was John Wayne. Favorite movie was The Shootist.

    1. The Shootist broke my heart! Hated seeing Opie Taylor, ahem, Ronnie Howard, shoot down my hero!

  4. Because life was harder back then. Today we have it so easy.

    1. We do have it so easy. Most people had to grow their own food and many even spun their own cloth to make clothes! Me? I just run down to Walmart to get whatever I need.

  5. I love westerns probably because my dad was a huge western TV and movie buff, read every Lois Lamore and Zane Grey book out there and wore western clothes. I never saw him wear anything but western boots! I’m sure he had a big part in instilling the love of all things western in me 🙂
    Also, I was born in Mulberry, Arkansas, though my parents moved to Illinois when I was 5 weeks old. So maybe being Southern born had something to do with it too, lol!
    Westerns appeal to me because of the hard work and dedication ranch owners and workers put forth (at least in books). I just think the attitudes and attributes are more down home goodness & values. You know, the Southern hospitality thing 🙂 And who doesn’t love cowboys?? A man in a Stetson and boots gets the heart racing!

    Fun interview! You had me at John Wayne, lol!! Thanks for the chance to win a copy of “A Family for the Rancher”, Louise!

    1. Thanks for commenting, Trixi. Oh, yes, a Stetson and boots and southern manners, can’t beat that! Although I must say my Yankee ancestors were mannerly people just like my southern ancestors.

  6. Hi, Louise! I grew up with all of the TV westerns too, but my hands-down favorite was “Cheyenne” with Clint Walker. My favorite western is “The Searchers” with John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Ward Bond and Natalie Wood. I have DVDs of Cheyenne that I can watch now, and I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen The Searchers over time, which by the way is 12th on the American Film Institute’s list of best all-time movies, and is the number one best western of all time.

    I think westerns (and country music by extension) are iconic America. When one thinks western or country music, one thinks America, as I found out very quickly in various places when I traveled in Europe where both were popular too.

    Heading west meant a new start, freedom, pluck and courage. It also meant hard work and sacrifice too. Altogether it meant an openness of space and room for independence and freedom of choice, the unknown and the adventure of life firsthand that one makes for one’s self when one has the courage.

    1. By the way, Louise, I was just checking Amazon and found that “The Lone Star Cowboy League: The Founding Years Sampler” is available now for pre-order FREE.

      1. Thanks for letting us know. It’s a great little book, and our recipes are to die for!

    2. Eliza, my favorite television westerns was Colt .45. Wayde Preston was a gorgeous man, but never got as popular as the others in those westerns. I loved The Searchers. Didn’t know it was the number one western of all time.

  7. Can’t really explain why I love western stories, I guess because it seemed to be a simpler time.

    1. That’s my feeling, too, Sherry. Our lives are so busy and complicated these days, so it’s nice to “visit” simpler times for a change of pace.

  8. I love westerns because growing up, the TV shows I was allowed to watch were Bonanza, Big Valley, The Lawman, Laredo. I fell in love with the persona of the cowboy and how life was hard during that period of time.

    Thank you for your post Louise.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    1. Thanks, Cindy. I’ve been enjoying Bonanza and Big Valley on our cable channels, along with a few other old westerns. I also fell in love with the cowboy persona.

  9. I love the time period, and since I am from Texas I love reading about what it was like in this area during that time. I also love John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. She was one of the few women co-stars who wasn’t overshadowed by him.

  10. Hi, Susan. I love that you’re from Texas. I’ve been there many times and enjoyed every visit.

  11. I grew up watching Western stories on TV. I also read my Dad’s copies of Louis L Amour Western novels.
    I enjoy the cowboy in stories since he has a sense of honor and commitment.
    Your book sounds really good.
    I grew up in a tiny town in Colorado. My Mother went to high school there with Ken Curtis who played Festus in the Gunsmoke series. I always heard about the cowboy as I grew up and they seemed to be larger than life.

    1. Joye, that’s so interesting! I love the Festus character. If you don’t mind sharing, what’s the town where you grew up? In my twenty years on Colorado, I lived in Alamosa, Monte Vista, Denver, Mosca, and Hooper.

  12. everything was simpler

  13. Westerns stories always show such grit and strength and Cowboys know how to get the job done.

    1. Hi, Melanie. That can-do attitude is very appealing, isn’t it?

  14. I enjoy western stories, they seem to be a little bit slower paced and down to earth plus I love the wide open spaces they usually take place in.

    1. Hi, Connie. Thanks for stopping by. I also like the slower pace of the old westerns. When I tune in to watch one these days, I’m already more relaxed, even if the story is full of drama.

  15. Louise, Thank you for the post and giveaway. I always liked westerns even though I grew up in the Northeast. All those Western TV series in the 1950’s and 60’s gave us an idealized picture of what it was like. We lived in Colorado for 3 years and found the West even better than we imagined. For us, the West represents the chance for a new start. Leave your past behind and get a fresh start. It took self-reliant individuals to survive and thrive. The weather was against you, there were bad people roaming the area, and life was a matter of constant hard work. It all gave rise to an ethic of hard work, helping those who need it, respecting others, and self reliance. Not a bad way to live your life. Reading stories about people facing these challenges is enjoyable.

    1. Patricia, you brought out something that I love about the Old West, the idea of a new start. So many people who moved west left behind deep sorrows but found renewal as they found new homes. What a wonderful concept. Thanks for mentioning that.

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