MAY I PLEASE BORROW YOUR COWGIRL LIFE? by MOLLY NOBLE BULL

People, especially western romance authors, have actually told me that they would like to borrow my life. Why? Because my maternal grandfather as well as my father were ranch foremen—real Texas cowboys, and I spent part of my growing up years on a sixty-thousand-acre cattle ranch in South Texas.

Some of the biggest ranches in the county, if not the world, are located in South Texas where I live—the King and the Kenedy ranches to name two. When I describe ranch scenes in my western romances, I am often describing something I have actually seen. And the history part? No problem.

I’m not telling my age here, but not getting any younger either. I’ve lived through a lot of changes and historic events, and the Lord has given me a good long-term memory, making it possible for me to recall these events and write about them.

My cowboy grandfather was a man named Seth. He’s the cowboy on the horse, and I’ve always liked his name. In fact, I named the hero in one of my westerns, Seth.

 

In South Texas, we call a row of cowboys on horses, the line up. Here is my grandfather again in the line up, waiting to go and work cattle horseback.

Probably the best western I’ve written so far is When the Cowboy Rides Away. It won the 2016 Texas Association of Authors contest in the Christian Western category and was a finalist in the Will Rogers Awards in the inspirational category that same year. God willing, I will continue to write novels and novellas until He takes me home.

Barbour Publishing published The Secret Admirer Romance Collection in May 2017, nine novellas by nine different authors. My novella was a historical western set in the Texas hill country titled “Too Many Secrets.”

Cinderella Texas takes place on a South Texas ranch in the same location as the setting for When the Cowboy Rides Away but in modern times. My agent published Cinderella Texas in June 2017.

Now, let’s talk about my cowgirl life. First of all, my family didn’t own the ranches I lived on. My father and grandfather worked there. But it didn’t really matter since I could ride out horseback whenever I liked, listen to the coyotes yapping a night after all the lights were out, go swimming in a water tank in the middle of a cow pasture, or pick wildflowers to my heart’s content.

But for me, dating was a problem before I met my future husband. A boy had to really like me to drive twenty or thirty miles on country roads just to go out with me when there were plenty of town girls to pick from. Once one of my dates finally arrived at the ranch where I lived, he had to—open, drive through, and then close four to seven gates just to reach our house. I remember sitting on the front porch at night waiting to see the first blink of car-lights in the distance. I knew that when I saw that first blink, my date would arrive in about twenty minutes. That’s what is meant by “living in the sticks.”

And if you would like the opportunity to borrow my cowgirl life, buy and read one of my Christian western romance novels. Better yet, read them all.

After having lived in isolated areas for much of my life, I love to talk to folks. So, stop by, chat and leave a comment.

Molly Noble Bull is a Christian author with a Texas cattle ranch background, and she has published with Zondervan, Love Inspired, Elk Lake Publishing, and Barbour Publishing. Several of her novels won contests for published authors. She has lived most of her life in South Texas or the Texas hill country, but most don’t know that she also lived in Germany for a year when her husband was in the United States military.

 

 

 

 

 

Molly is giving away a free paperback copy of either The Secret Admirer Romance Collection or When the Cowboy Rides Away to a contest winner with a address in the United States. She is also giving away a Kindle copy of Cinderella Texas.

To learn more about my books and ranch life through my eyes, please visit my website at http://www.mollynoblebull.com or my page at Amazon, http://bit.ly/mollynoblebull

Guest Blogger

48 Comments

  1. Molly- I loved your blog, you were very fortunate to have lived where you could ride anytime you desired. I didn’t grow up on a ranch, but I did grow up in Stephenville, TX and in a rodeo family, so like you I could ride anytime I wanted. All my friends from town were envious and always wanted to come out in the country and spend the weekend with me.
    Your family and history sounds amazing. I’d love to read any of your books. When The Cowboy Rides Away really caught my attention since my long lifetime love has always been George Strait and of course your book title sounds just like one of his all time greatest songs, not to mention what he titled his farwell tour as. Thank you for sharing your amazing ranching story. I’ll be checking into many of your books. Love & hugs!!

    1. Tonya, Thanks for writing. You are fortunate too because living in a rodeo family is fantastic. One of our sons is a cutter; the other two are ropers. All our grandchildren are/were involved in 4-H or FFA except the youngest who isn’t old enough yet. As for the song, it make me tear up, thinking of a time when all our grandchildren will all grow up and maybe move away.

      1. Molly- I too was involved in 4-H and FFA and those are two fabulous programs I enjoyed my stock show days showing and it also helped build my college fund so I could attend Tarleton State University in Stephenville, TX., as well as a semester at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, TX. I still refer to that Alpine and the surrounding area, as Gods country.

        1. Tonya, I attended Sul Ross my sophomore year in college, and loved it. But I only went there one semester because it was just too far from home. As you know, the state of Texas is huge. But I still remember the school song. “When the rolling hills of Texas end in mountains high.”

          1. Molly- we are two peas in a pod!!!
            I went there one semester myself and it was my sophomore year, because like you said it was so far away from home.

            1. Can you spell Homesick? I am a poor speller; so I wasn’t sure.

              1. Homesick is spelled: Home cooking-loving animals-wonderful family.

                1. Sul Ross is a cowboy college and located in Alpine, Texas. If we have any cowgirls here looking for a college, that is the place to be, and when I went there, the ratio was twenty boys to every girl. But I’m not sure what the ratio is now. Do you know, Tonya?

                  1. No I don’t know the ratio, but when I went the guys out numbered us ladies, which was just fine with me. And night life at the bars & going to look for the Marfa Lights were a lot of fun. I would not trade for my semester there it was the best.

                    1. I agree. If Sul Ross had been closer to home, I would have gone there all four years.

                    2. Yes, I truly loved Sul Ross, the laid back, no get in a hurry, atmosphere.

  2. Molly I loved your blog and I love to read Romance with a real to life setting so I am sure I would love yours. I do believe I will have to say I would love to read When The Cowboy Rides Away just because it’s a George Strait song and I have been a fan of his since he was first one radio. Will definitely be adding your books to my must be read

    1. I am so glad you posted, Glenda. But I had a name messed up here–put your name on another comment. But as you can guess, I like George Strait, and hope you will like all my westerns.

  3. Great story! And I agree, Seth is a great name. I’m actually reading a Historical Romance now where the hero is named Seth and I’m loving it. You certainly grew up in a beautiful place. I grew up in a country town but it was definitely not like your place. Mine was more like farming, however, it was still fun and was a country atmosphere. I also had the opportunity to live in the city as a teenager and that was an experience as well. To be honest, I much prefer the country!

    I look forward to enjoying your books!

    1. Thanks for writing, Glenda, and I like George Strait too. I think that you will like When the Cowboy Rides Away. But I hope you will also read The Rogue’s Daughter and Cinderella Texas because they are also set in South Texas where I live. However, Cinderella Texas is a modern-day western. And Seth? He is the cowboy hero in The Rogue’s Daughter.

    2. Dear Dale, You are the victim of a name switch. I put another name to your first reply, and thanks for replying. I am glad you like the name Seth. Seth is the hero of my South Texas historical western titled The Rogue’s Daughter.

  4. You really did live out in the sticks. I haven’t had the chance to read any of your books, but I can see how they would be really good with your experiences growing up on the ranch.

    1. Yes, Janine, I did live in the sticks. Thanks for writing. But as that TV commercial says, you don’t have to be lonely. I played “Let’s pretend” as a child. Later I wrote books which is “let’s pretend” for for adults.

  5. What a life you have had, Molly! Living on a ranch in the wide open spaces…I am sure your imagination roamed as much as you did! I have lived is Texas my whole life and cowboys are certainly a great part of our Texas….past, present and future. Thank you for sharing your interesting post and this wonderful opportunity.

  6. Thank you for making a comment, Melanie, and like you, I have lived in Texas all my life–except for the short time when my husband was in the military. I’ve always heard that you should write what you know. and that is why I write mostly westerns.

  7. Hi Molly…..A big welcome to P&P. Thanks for coming to visit. I loved hearing about your ranch life. Sixty thousand acres would require a lot of work. But what a life! You’ll never run out of story material. Your titles have my thoughts already churning. Great titles.

    Have a great day and stay cool. It’s really hot down there. It is here too in the Texas Panhandle.

  8. Thanks for writing, Linda, and it is great to be here among other cowgirls. Ranches are run so differently now than in my grandfather’s day. Those that read Cinderella Texas will learn a little about that change.

  9. I grew up watching westerns on TV but I live in the eastern suburbs so all of it is fascinating to me!

  10. I’ve read good books and seen great movies located in your area, Catslady. So you are blessed, too. What is great about reading is that we get to travel to new places and learn new things.

  11. Welcome, Molly! How fortunate to have all that first-hand experience to put in your books. I visited the King Ranch a few years ago on a trip with my bestie, who lives in San Antonio, and we also went to a PRCA rodeo in Corpus Christi and stayed on the beach. Really fun trip. I set my books in the Hill Country, so I’ve been up through that area several times too.

    1. Trish, So glad you visited South Texas, and thanks for leaving a comment. “Too Many Secrets,” my novella via The Secret Admirer Romance Collection, is set in the Texas hill country. Brides and Blessings, my sort of old Love Inspired novel, was also set there.

  12. I love that you included pictures of your grandfather in your blog post. What a fun childhood you had!

    1. Thanks for mentioning that, Carrie, and for replying. Yes. Granddaddy was the kind of man that John Wayne played in the movies–strong, manly, hard-as-nails, and the perfect picture of what a cowboy hero was really like. Seth, Granddaddy, is one of the reasons folks want to borrow my life.

  13. Molly, the photo of your grandfather is a treasure, especially since it shows him in his work clothes riding his horse. Portraits with the subjects in their best outfits are great keepsakes when you want to see what they looked like, but your picture shows what he did. That’s like the difference between showing and telling.

    I am blessed that my novella, Love in Store, was chosen to appear in The Secret Admirer Romance Collection alongside yours, and I hope we get a chance to work together again.

    1. It was a pleasure working with you too, Anita, in The Secret Admirer Romance Collection. You are an excellent author and a very nice lady, and thanks for the kind words regarding the picture of my grandfather. I would love to work with you again.

  14. What an interesting life, and such captivating photos. You are fortunate to have experienced this wonderful life. I lived in a large city my entire life and the appeal of cowboys was through the Westerns on t.v. during the 1950’s.

    1. I lived in a small city when I was in the first, second and third grade, and it was a good experience for me because it was so different from everything I had known. Cities can be nice places to live too–even inspiring.

  15. Impressive photos which capture your grandfather and his life. Treasures. I enjoyed learning about your writing and life.

    1. I am so glad you like my story, Ellie, and I am sure that I would find your life just as exciting and interesting. We are all the main characters in the stories of our lives.

  16. Sounds like a great childhood, Molly. I know that must add to the authenticity of your stories. Since you are new to me, I am anxious to read your works. I’m shaking my head at sixty thousand acres. That’s a lot of acres for story telling!

    1. Thanks, Rosie. But in south Texas, sixty-thousand-acres is not an especially large ranch compared to the world famous King Ranch. The Kind Ranch is said to be one million acres.

  17. Enjoyed reading the article.
    Your books sound like you have included your experiences in them. Would love to read one.

    1. Joye, Yes. I included some of my experiences. But mostly, I used settings I had seen with my own eyes. Please do read one of my books. In fact as of today, July 15, 2017, Cinderella Texas is available at Amazon for only 99 cents. But move fast. It might cost more tomorrow. http://bit.ly/mollynoblebull

  18. I too enjoyed reading about your background. Loved it. Like others, I grew up in the East, also watching ’50s westerns, but my great-grandfather and grandfather lived in Indian Territory, and I grew up with my mother’s and grandfather’s stories of Oklahoma’s early days. I would love to read one of your paperback books. Thank you for the chance.

    1. I never really spent time in the Eastern states, but we visited upstate New York once. Beautiful area. And I hope you like my books.

      1. One of the benefits of living where I do, close to Valley Forge and Washington’s Crossing, is I’m in the middle of Revolutionary history in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, which I grew up with. Then I went to college in Boston where I got to visit all those sites too. So the Revolution lives around me, and my extensive reading over time and sight seeing from when I was a we’un has made it a living history for me.

        1. You live in the heart of our country’s history, Eliza. What a blessing. I cannot think of a better place for writers of historical fiction to live than right where you are. We spent a day or two in Williamsburg, Virginia once on our way to visit friends in a tiny town in upstate New York, and I felt as if I had stepped back in time.

  19. Molly, So enjoyed reading about your early days. Was so surprised to come across your name on the Pioneer Hearts Facebook page. As I mentioned earlier to you in another post, my sister and I have such fond memories of visiting your mom and dad on the ranch when we were little girls. We never minded taking our grandmother to visit her baby brother (your dad), even though we were never too crazy about the drive from Corpus. Enjoyed your book, “Cinderella Texas” and look forward to seeing you next week.

    1. This was so great. Laurie and her sister are my long lost cousins, and we were united on Facebook via the Pioneer Hearts blog. There has got to be a plot in there somewhere, and I am so glad you liked Cinderella Texas.

  20. Molly, interesting blog. Most people don’t realize or appreciate just what is involved in living out in a sparsely populated area. I’ve know people that get upset if they need to go even a mile out of their way to see someone or pick something up. It is too bad the freedom we experienced as children is rarely available to kids today. It certainly isn’t the same kind of world. It is also true that too many have forgotten or never learned to take pleasure in the simpler things in life.
    Best wishes for a continued successful writing career.

    1. Thanks for making a comment, Patricia, and you nailed it. The freedom I knew as a child on the ranch, like playing by myself some distance from the house, is gone. When my youngest grandchild visits us, I never take my eyes off that child, allowing backyard games only and only when I am in the backyard, too.

  21. Love your blog. It’s refreshing to read books from a Christian author. God has truly blessed you with a great life that you can write about.

  22. Thanks, Lynda, for mentioning the fact that I am a Christian author. The Lord is my best friend, and the inspiration for all my books, and He is the one who put me on those ranches.

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