Add One Hot Cowboy and Stir

We’re delighted to have Dee Burks with us today. She’s filling in for Phyliss Miranda who’s out of town. Dee is immensely talented and infuses her stories with humor that will make you laugh out loud. This Christmas-themed book is sure to please. She’s also giving away three copies (winner’s choice of format!) So, help us welcome Dee!

It’s great to be here. Thank you so much for having me. I write contemporary westerns and I think I have the best job in the world.

I’ll be happy to spur you outta the chute, Cowboy!

How many times have you wanted to shout that at a smoking hot guy in Wrangler’s? Actually I think I did once, or maybe twice! Cowboys you run across these days are just as exciting and interesting as they were back in the old west and I love writing about them. There is truly nothing more enticing than a smart, sexy, wickedly funny cowboy romance set in the mountains. When I decided on the setting for this series, I chose the beautiful Moreno Valley in far Northern New Mexico. It is one of my favorite places – full of ranchers, cowboys and beautiful scenery.

Beyond an awesome setting, I knew I wanted more than your average ranch cowboy to be the hero of this first book. I wanted something different. Something that would interest readers and give the book an added dimension.  One day, as I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, a guy I knew in high school (ahem…like over 30 years ago) posted some photos of a set of custom spurs he was making. I thought, “What an awesome occupation for a former rodeo star!” And the idea for Custom Made Cowboy was born.

I sent Quint Finney, spur maker extraordinaire, a message and asked him for an interview which he graciously granted. He also sent me a pair of custom-made spurs that I could examine and take pictures of. I feel that sort of authenticity is something you can’t replace as a writer. To hear the excitement in the voice of someone who actually does this work, allows me to add nuances I couldn’t get any other way. I feel it is that real, down to earth voice that makes my hero, Trampas Woodburn, leap off the page and into the hearts of readers.

A former bull rider (yes I interviewed one of these too!) Trampas is trying to start a new life away from the spotlight but still stay connected to his rodeo roots. A leather and spur making business is what he dreams of, he just needs a quiet place to relax and get things off the ground. While he is starting a new life, my heroine, Angie Martin is desperately trying to keep her life together.

Angie is a painter and owns a little art studio in Eagle Nest, NM. I now live in Northern New Mexico, and can tell you firsthand that art is everywhere and so are great artists. I’ve had the opportunity to sit and listen to artists talk about what it feels like to create great works and the struggles that go along with making a living from that art. Giving my heroine a teetering art business to try and salvage while dealing with an unexpected, hot cowboy adds layers of humor and tension to this book in every area.

I chose two very strong willed, determined people who aren’t looking for romance at all to show how unexpected and powerful love can be. Their connection to one another is palpable, to the point readers may feel as if the pages will burst into flames on occasion!

Being a writer is a great excuse to talk to gorgeous, knowledgeable cowboys and I do a lot of it – which I, of course, will use in a book at some point (wink, wink).

I hope you all enjoy this book and to get you started I’m giving away 3 copies of Custom Made Cowboy (winner’s choice of format.) To enter the drawing, leave a profession in the comments that you think would suit a cowboy – beside chasing cows!

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About Dee:

She’s a bestselling author who brings to life today’s true west with feisty heroines and heart melting cowboys. A multi-generational Texan, she now lives in the gorgeous mountains of Northern New Mexico infusing all her settings with authenticity of the southwest while crafting love stories spicier than the hottest green chili!

Her favorite pastime is writing as the snow falls over the Sangre De Cristos, hot cup of coffee on the desk and sweet pup Charley at her feet.  When not writing, she travels the west collecting ideas and indulging her passion for fly fishing.

Guest Blogger

60 Comments

  1. Thank you for the post. A profession of leather smith might be interesting. Tooling leather saddles, etc.

    Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    1. I agree Cindy. I’ve seen some saddles that are tremendous works of art! Thanks for the comment

  2. Blacksmithing would go along with being a cowboy.

    1. That could be interesting. It is truly a lost art and there are very few of them around. I’ll have to do some research on it for sure!

  3. Dee- This books sounds awesome, plus Linda Broday has praised it and gavr it away in her recent contest and now I have this book downloaded to read thanks to Linda for offering it as the prize. I can’t wait to start it. Merry Christmas to you and your family.
    So I know several will be happy to win this book.
    But I still want to answer your question for fun: another profession forva Cowboy other than chasing cows is from my own life. A carpenter, as my dad rodeoed, and farms but he’s built homes as his real job.

    1. Thanks Tonya. I hope you enjoy the book. One of the guys I interviewed for this book spent some time as a carpenter building barns in Colorado so I agree that is a great profession for a cowboy.

  4. A saddle maker. I love a beautifully tooled saddle.lol

    1. Tonya Cherry…..I love a beautiful saddle too. And a cowboy sitting on it. HaHaHa!

    2. There are some great saddlemakers around so that would definitely work for a cowboy! Thanks Tonya.

  5. So a cowboy can stick around the atmosphere he’s accustomed to I would say becoming a farrier would be a great job for a cowboy and it probably pays better than he’s used to.

    I’ve never read one of your books and I would love the opportunity to get to know your writing. I’m very intrigued by your blog! I just started reading in October 2016 and I’m now on my 92nd book and im always looking for a new go to author! Have a great day!

    1. Stephanie…..A farrier would be a perfect fit for a cowboy. I’m so happy, happy that you’re reading. And glad I could play a small part in that.

      Hugs, Warrior Buddy!

    2. I agree with Linda, Stephanie. A farrier would be a great profession and much needed by everyone with horses so it would be a great way for a cowboy to meet the love of his life – a woman, not a horse! Thanks for the suggestion.

  6. I love cowboys! What a neat profession for one. My hubby wore spurs in our cowboy themed wedding. Anything to do with horses or cattle would be good, such as making chaps, gloves, hats, boots, saddles, halters, horse shoes and bridles. What a fun post!

    1. Thanks Susan, I hope you find the book just as fun! Making Cowboy gear is a great profession for a rodeo guy so thanks for the suggestion!

  7. In our area we have “feed Mills”. These are stores where we go to get our corn ground for feeding our cattle; vitamin supplements for our animals; supplies for maintenance on our farms; boots and cover-alls for ourselves. Perhaps he could work at this while maintaining his ties with his rodeo heritage.
    Sounds like a great book!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. I actually thought about this. There is a local guy here (who also writes westerns) that owns a feed store. He’s also a realtor and county commissioner because in a small town, everyone does everything!! So great idea.

  8. A friend of mine, after his rodeo days, which he never made it into the bug time, because he was to busy talking ti young people about the safety aspect of the sport, travels to small towns that have rodeos and helps train people on how to treat people that rodeo. Teaching them what the common injuries are for the different events within rodeo. He does this for free, to make some money, he builds tiny homes for rodeo folks. My friend has gotten training as an EMT in each state that he does his clinics in. And is now in the process of becoming a physician assistant, so he can work more effectively at these small rodeos.

    1. Hi Veda! This is a great suggestion. I am an EMT myself so I fully get the kinds of injuries you are referring to. When I interviewed the former rodeo guy for this book, the first thing he did was show me his old X rays. I would have never believed one body could take that much punishment! I still can’t figure out how he stands upright, let alone walks without a limp! Thanks for the comment and I hope you enjoy the book.

  9. Raising and training rodeo bulls would be my first choice for a cowboy. I live about a mile away from a bull rodeo bull breeding ranch. lso, hand tooling belts or saddles would be a good money maker too.

    1. Janine, this is a great idea. I haven’t had the chance to interview any of the guys that provide stock to the rodeo, but I agree it is an interesting job for a former rodeo guy. Thanks for the suggestion!

  10. Raising horses for rodeo use
    You are a new to me author. Looking forward to reading your book.

    1. Hi Estella. Nice to meet you! I hope you will fall in love with Northern New Mexico and my cowboys with this book! I am enjoying writing this series very much so I hope you enjoy reading it as well. Thanks for the comment.

  11. oh wow I believe they can be anything, but Saddle maker, comes to mind!

    1. I like this idea simply because it makes sense that someone who spends so much time in a saddle would make an exceptional one! Thanks for the suggestion Teresa – and for the friend on FB!

  12. To me the best job for Cowboy would be the announcer. They have to have the knowledge of the sport.

    1. HI Christi, this is a great idea. Actually, a well known western writer, Dusty Richards, used to be a rodeo announcer. He has this big booming voice and is quite the presence. You always know when he’s in the room! Thanks for the suggestion.

  13. I believe a cowboy could be anything he wants to be but I am going to say a Sheriff or an outlaw.You book sounds awesome.

    1. This idea has a lot of merit especially since most cowboys are familiar with guns and the law (not always in a positive way lol!). But they are very Longmire-ish and who wouldn’t love that showing up at your front door when you call 911? Thanks for the suggestion!

  14. I go with training horses – they have the temperament for it I would think.

    1. Hi Catslady! This is such a great idea I’ve already used it! I introduce a horse trainer in book two of this series (Tempt Me, Cowboy) who gets his own story in book 3 (Kiss Me, Cowboy). It is funny, sexy, smart and he certainly has a way with horses! Book 2 will be out this month and book 3 in January!

  15. Good morning, Dee! Thank you for coming to visit. You’ve done a great job….that cover is really beautiful! And the story inside is so fun, sexy and romantic! I commend you for doing a professional job. I recommend this book to anyone who loves cowboy heroes. Trampas Woodburn is to die for. What a hunk.

    Big hugs!

    1. Thanks so much Linda! I appreciate the positive words. You have been such a great friend and mentor to me I can’t even tell you how much I appreciate you. Thanks for asking me to guest blog it has been wonderful to meet so many new readers!

  16. Your book sounds wonderful. I believe a cowboy would be great as a Lawman Texas Ranger maybe

    1. Great idea Glenda! There is something about cowboys as lawmen that is so incredibly sexy. It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside! Actually there is a small ski town just up the road from my house that has exactly the kind of lawman you may have in mind. They are all former Texas DPS troopers and now are Red River NM Marshals. Great group of guys. https://redriver.org/town/town-services/marshals-office

  17. Great post Dee! There are many suitable professions for a cowboy. I see them in the role of sheriff.

    1. Hi Caryl, I agree a cowboy sheriff is one hot idea and suitable for a former rodeo guy. Thanks for the suggestion.

  18. Thank you all for the wonderful ideas and comments! Some great ideas here. I hope you all enjoy the book! Much thanks to Linda for inviting me to guest blog.

  19. Raising Bulls for the rodeo’s.

    1. Hi Kim, more than one comment has had this idea so definitely something I will look into more. I like the idea of a guy who raises these massive animals as a hero. Thanks for the suggestion.

  20. Hi Dee, thanks so much for filling in for me today. I’m home but exhausted. What a great subject and your writing is amazing, so I know this book will be a fun read. I love bull riding. I’m sure you recall our anthology set in the 1800’s around a fun rodeo. Later, I used one of the same characters and he was a blacksmith. That family is one of the founding families in my contemporary Kasota Springs romance series. Can’t wait to see you the next time you’re in town or in Red River in the Spring. Big hugs to a great gal, Phyliss

    1. Thanks Phyliss, I am more than happy to fill in, hope you get rested up soon and back to your wonderful stories. I think everyone has had some great suggestions which I will definitely consider for the future books in this series! See you soon!

  21. Hi Dee, after so many ideas, it is hard to find something new. I’m sorry I am not going to do that. I think a lawman or sheriff is a profession that suits the cowboy.

    1. No problem Annette! Now you know why I asked for suggestions. Its hard to come up with something unique or unusual. However, I was just at the post office in Raton and ran into an inspector for New Mexico Livestock Board. They investigate things like modern day cattle rustling and their officers have the same power as state police. I was told they like people with a ranching background so I’m thinking of having one of my leads in this series be a cattle cop. The most interesting thing is that the officer I spoke to was a woman – so a great way to put an unexpected spin on the sheriff idea!!

  22. Welcome, Dee. Sounds like a great book. I visited Santa Fe a number of years ago, and I loved how art was literally everywhere. I spent an entire afternoon just walking around the town visiting galleries and admiring the public art.

    1. Hi Trish! I love the Santa Fe and Taos art scene and there is just so much to see! I hope you get a chance to return for another visit as it can be addictive. Even if you don’t, you will get a small taste of the area in this series of books. Thanks for the comment.

  23. Speaking of all the art and artists in New Mexico, have you ever been to the DH Lawrence ranch northwest of Taos? I hope you don’t mind my asking; the Meron Valley looks not far away from Taos–on a map anyway. Thank you.

    1. Hi Eliza, yes I have been up there as well as to Georgia O’Keefe’s Ghost Ranch up near Abiquiu. They are wonderful examples of the history of the art community that made this area so unique. The Moreno Valley is just up the road from Taos so not far at all and so very beautiful! Artists and photographers love to come to the area for inspiration!

  24. Oops. Moreno Valley!

  25. I think a cowboy would make a great riding instructor at a rural facility geared towards at risk inner city kids, for ages 6 and up. I’m a great fan of romance stories featuring a strong man championing a child in peril.

    1. That is an awesome idea Edwina! I like the ‘give back’ factor for heroes too!

  26. Handmade ornaments out of horseshoes and or wagon wheel tables.
    Handicap riding lessons.
    Painter of the landscape around them.
    Craved of wooden figurines.
    So many different things to think of. Thank you for the opportunity to win this awesome giveaway.

    1. Hi Charlene, lots of good ideas here. Thanks so much for the suggestions and you never know, one of them may end up in a future book!

  27. My son and husband do both blacksmithing and wood turning. Neither is a cowboy. I think the blacksmithing would be a good profession. Working with iron takes patience for a good result, but also strength and at times brute force to make it happen. For good pieces, the eye of an artist is needed.

    Since they are used to working with and around animals, some might be interested in becoming involved with search and rescue dogs. They would do well in searches out West where searchers would be riding horseback while working with their dogs.

    Another obvious choice that some do go into would be raising stock for rodeos. It would be natural move from riding broncs and bulls to breeding them and supplying them on the rodeo circuit.

    1. Hi Patricia, thanks for the ideas. I just got a cow dog pup named Charly and she has to be one of the smartest dogs I’ve ever encountered. Most cowboys absolutely work with and love their dogs so search and rescue would be a natural I would think, especially in a mountainous area where searches are often done via horseback. Blacksmithing has been suggested before and it has me thinking serious about that profession as well. Thanks for the comment.

  28. Contractor–probably building and upkeeping barns and other outbuildings, plus the bunkhouse, and many other repairs around a ranch

    1. Hi Denise,

      I agree cowboys have to know how to swing a hammer most of the time not to mention be a jack of all trades. In the third book in this series which I’m working on now, the ranch has many streams of income but I’m thinking about adding a sawmill so they can make custom Vigas for homes. They are a big deal up here and I know at least one former rodeo guy who has gone that direction so that would be a great add for one of my heroes. Thanks for the suggestion!

  29. Making boots or even being an artist of Western Art. You’re a new to !me Author Dee but not anymore. Can’t wait to read your book.
    Carol Luciano

    1. Hi Carol! Nice to meet you. I used to know some working ranch cowboys that wore a very specific kind of cowboy boot. It was very tall and had finger holes rather than straps to pull them on. They were very unique but I think it would be a great profession for a former working ranch cowboy or rodeo cowboy as they are all about function! Thanks for the suggestion and I hope you like this first book of the series – there are more on the way!

  30. Great post! I think a cowboy would be great at breaking or taming wild horses.

  31. Hi Melanie, glad you liked the post! I believe there is a charity downstate that tames horses from BLM land and then sells them off. Your idea might go well with that type of charity. A hero who is very good at what he does but also has a giving heart. Thanks for the suggestion.

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