Allison B. Collins Dreams Up Her Stories

I’m so excited to be here on Petticoats & Pistols today! What a wonderful group of women who all love cowboys as much as I do.  Thank you for having me here, ladies!

A couple of years ago I had a dream about five brothers who ran a ranch with their dad. In this dream I saw the oldest brother was a wounded Army veteran returning home, there was a veterinarian, a charmer, a very cynical man burned by love, and a rebel cowboy.  I even saw their assorted girlfriends or wives.  The only anomaly was that the dream ended with a fashion show in which they all participated. (That was my day job insinuating itself into my cowboy dream!)

When I woke up from the dream, it was still so vivid in my mind I had to write it all down. And it stuck with me so much I knew I had to turn it into a book. Or rather, five books.

The first book in the series about a wounded rancher debuts this month, published by Harlequin. I’m so very excited that “A Family for the Rancher” is finally here.  This quote from Pinnochio has been running through my mind all week: “I’m a real boy!”  Well, for me now “It’s a real book!”

I’m a fifth generation Texan, so I’ve got the Old West running deep in my veins. I was born and raised in El Paso, which is THE farthest west you can go in Texas.  Among my ancestors are a Texas Ranger and a spy for Robert E. Lee. Future stories? You better believe it.

I live in Dallas now, practically at the base of Southfork Ranch. Remember J.R., Bobby, Sue Ellen, and Pam? It’s still a thrill every time I drive by that house, and the theme song runs on continuous loop in my head.

I guess my love of cowboys has been with me all my life.  I love sweet tea, bluebonnets, cowboy boots, and western hats.  Heck, the Resistol Hat factory is practically around the corner from my house!  Cowboys have a code of honor bone deep, one they live their entire lives by. They’re good to their mommas, their sweethearts, and their animals.

Perhaps John Wayne said it best: “A man’s got to have a code, a creed to live by, no matter his job.”  My Sullivan brothers follow that creed.

For the Cowboys to Grooms series I took the story to Montana. Where else could I write about vast open lands, soaring mountains, sunny summer days, and cold winter days where the hero and heroine are snowbound in a log cabin for days on end?

My husband and I spent some time in Montana a few years ago, and I just fell in love with the whole state. Crystal clear water, abundant wildlife, and cowboys!  In fact, the scene in which Kelsey sees a bear while kissing Nash was inspired by my first bear sighting on that trip.

As I write, I have to visualize the characters, so Pinterest is my best friend.  If you’d like to see who my inspiration is for each of the five Sullivan brothers, here’s a link to my board:  https://tinyurl.com/ycrflp2

Oh, and since I also love weddings, I couldn’t resist writing a little twist into the last scene of each book—it’s what determines which brother’s book comes next in the Cowboys to Grooms series!

* * * *

Nash Sullivan doesn’t need help from anyone. Not his father, not his brothers and sure as heck not from a physical therapist—even a darn feisty one like Kelsey Summers. He lost his leg during his overseas deployment and he just wants to be left alone. Besides, the last thing a woman like Kelsey needs is half a man.

Single mom Kelsey knows all too well that the scars on the inside run the deepest. She needs to move on from her own tragic past, but the Sullivan ranch is starting to feel a little too much like home. And she can’t stop thinking about her wounded—and gorgeous—patient. Could Nash be the cure for her own broken heart?

* * * *

If you’d like to be entered to win a copy of “A Family for the Rancher” (Kindle ebook or autographed print book – winner’s choice), let me know who your favorite cowboys are (old or new), and why.  I’d love to chat with you here on Petticoats & Pistols!

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  1. My all time favorite cowboy is Houston Legend, The Heart of a Texas Cowboy, from Linda Broday. Married to save the ranch and to save the reputation of a woman scarred physically and emotionally from a violent rape. Hunky handsome and with that cowboy creed. They grow to love each other.

    1. Hi, Jerri! I’ve not read that book but will have to look for it. Thanks for sharing that, and for stopping by to say howdy!

      1. Allison- oh my yes you need to read Linda’s – The Heart Of A Texas Cowboy. Houston will steal your heart!! ???

  2. Good morning and welcome to P&P, loved your dream and so glad you are turning it into a series of books to share with us avid readers.
    My all time favorite Cowboy is easy to pick. My Daddy, he’s been my hero all my life. He’s retired now but he Ropes calves and team roper all his life. I was a very lucky girl growing up with horses to ride, a great role model to follow, and a loving dad who has always given me great life lessons.
    Thank for sharing your your inspirations and dreams with us.

    1. How sweet Tonya! We are alike in so many things!

    2. I love that your favorite cowboy is your dad. I lost my dad in 2002, but I can still hear his voice with that Texas twang in it.
      Thank you for sharing a little about your dad. It’s a very special relationship, isn’t it?

  3. John Waynes is my favorite. I think he made amazing cowboys.

    1. Hi Debra! Yes, John Wayne was the ultimate cowboy. It would have been odd to see him playing any other type of character. He was a cowboy through and through, wasn’t he?
      Thanks for stopping by to read about my new book!

  4. When I was a little girl Roy Rogers was my hero. 🙂 Never missed his show. I love seeing Sam Elliot and Tom Selleck in cowboy roles. They just seem like the perfect cowboys to me aside from being gorgeous :).Looking forward to reading about the Sullivan brothers. I love reading a series with lots of siblings.
    Carol Luciano

    1. Good morning, Carol! Thank you for stopping by the blog today.
      Roy Rogers was awesome! And Sam and Tom….ah, gorgeous cowboys. Sam Elliot just has one of those voices that sticks with you, doesn’t he?
      And Tom Selleck! He’s one of those actors that makes you believe he IS whatever character he plays.
      I hope you enjoy the Sullivan brothers books. I tend to gravitate toward books with siblings, too!
      Have a great day!

  5. I’d love the opportunity to read one of your books, a fellow Texan that loves to write about cowboys, how could I not love your books. Not to mention I lived in El Paso for eight years. When we first moved there we rented a home in the Upper Valley until we bought a home up on the Franklin Mountain up above Sunland Park Mall, the Mesa Hills area, we were the highest home on the mountain back then. I could see New Mexico, Mexico and El Paso from my bedroom window! I now live southeast of Dallas. I’m from Stephenville, the cownoy capitol of the world. My Daddy is my favorite cowboy! I grew up around feedlots, sale barns and Cowboys! My Daddy owned or partnered in feedlots all my life in Texas, New Mexico, Kentucky, Tennessee and Nevada. His actual title was a cattle broker. It awesome that you can write your books off of dreams. I rarely remember my dreams anymore. Have a great day!

    1. Hi, Stephanie! Wow. I couldn’t believe it when I read you lived in El Paso, too! My mother and an aunt still live there, so I’m back every so often. My favorite view is the thunderbird on Franklin Mountain – my grandma’s house was in the perfect spot to see it every day.
      Back when I lived there, it was long before they built Sunland Park Mall. But I know the Mesa area very well. Every trip back there, we get burgers from The Charcoaler. It’s an institution in El Paso! (Man, I could go for one of those right now, along with the ultimate chocolate shake.)
      I love that your dad is your favorite cowboy. That makes it so special, doesn’t it?
      I’m so glad you stopped by Petticoats & Pistols today!

  6. John Wayne will always be my favorite cowboy.

    1. Hi, Estella!
      I agree, John Wayne was a favorite of mine, too. I was raised on his movies.
      Thank you so much for stopping by today!

  7. You can’t go wrong with James Drury my favorite Cowboy oh how I love his tv show the Virginian. I ABSOLUTELY love books set in Montana my dream bucket list place I want to go to one day so I will definitely be adding this book to to read list!!!

    1. Hello, Glenda! The Virginian was a great show, wasn’t it? I still see it run on some of the classic TV show channels (which I’m so grateful are on the air!).
      Montana is a gorgeous state. Rolling hills, vast mountains, prairies as far as you can see. And moose and bears! My husband and I love seeking out the wildlife, and I always come away with tons of pictures. (Thank goodness for digital nowadays.)
      I hope you like “A Family for the Rancher” and the rest of the series.
      And that you get to Montana soon!

  8. From one Texas gal to another, boots and hats are hard to beat! John Wayne is my all time favorite cowboy.

    1. Howdy, Melanie! Nice to see a fellow Texan here.
      There’s just something about a man wearing a cowboy hat and boots – the more beat up and dusty the better.
      I agree about the Duke. He’s the epitome of the cowboy code.
      Thank you for stopping by today!

  9. Allison, this sounds like a great series! I’d love to be entered for a copy of A Family for the Rancher. My favorite cowboys are Gene Autry, John Wayne, and any cowboy that Ruth Logan Herne or Mary Connealy write about.

    1. Hi, Sally! Your name is going in the cowboy hat for the drawing!
      A trend I’ve noticed today is that everyone loves the classic cowboys. They are the true heroes, aren’t they?
      Some books and authors are always on my TBR list – and those authors certainly are!
      Thanks for stopping by today.

  10. I love cowboys and really anything in the West. Cut my teeth on the old black-and-white Westerns. What fun!
    Kathy Bailey

    1. Hi, Kathy. Thanks for stopping by today and visiting. I always pause on the stations running the classic Westerns. Completely different from today’s movies and shows, but still have that quality that made them “classic.”
      Have a great weekend!

  11. My favourite is Lucky Luke (from the comics By René Goscinny and Morris).

    1. Hey, Minna. I haven’t heard of Lucky Luke. I’ll have to check him out. Leave no cowboy unread! Thanks for stopping by.

      1. Check out also René Goscinny’s and Albert Uderzo’s comics Asterix and Oumpah-pah!

  12. No particular fav, but I love Diana Palmer’s and Carolyn Brown’s cowboys!

    1. Hi, Colleen! I agree – love Diana Palmer and Carolyn Brown’s books!
      Thank you for stopping by to visit.

  13. Welcome to P&P. Sounds like a great read. Congrats!

    2 of my favorite book cowboys are Teagen McMurray from Jodi Thomas’s “Tall, Dark and Texan” and Luke Legend from Linda Broday’s “to Marry a Texas Outlaw.”

    1. Hi, Alisa!
      I loved writing Nash’s story, and hope readers enjoy the series. Thank you!
      I love Jodi Thomas’ books as well. I’ll have to get Linda Broday’s book. Thanks for the recommendation, and for stopping by today!

  14. There are so many good fictitious cowyboys in movies and old TV shows as well as books. How does one choose just one? I’m surprised no one has mentioned “Rowdy Yates” or any other Clint Eastwood cowboy character. Most of my other favorites have already been mentioned.

    In real life I’m married to my favorite cowboy.

    1. HI, Alice! You’re right – how do you choose just one?
      And you’re married to a cowboy? Lucky you!
      Thank you so much for stopping by to visit.

  15. Not a fan of westerns on tv, but do enjoy the rodeo.

    1. HI, Kim!
      We always have fun going to the rodeo, too. The last time we went, there was a line of cowboys leaning against the fence watching the bull riders. One of them had bright curly red hair – I swore I’d put him in a book one day!
      Thanks for stopping by to say hi.

  16. Ladies of Petticoats & Pistols, I just wanted to thank you again for hosting me on your blog. I had a great time! What a wonderful group of authors and readers. Y’all definitely made my day very special.
    See you soon!

  17. Sam Elliot would be my favorite cowboy he just has the voice for it.

    1. Hi, Quilt Lady! I agree. He totally has the right voice for it! Can’t you just hear him whispering sweet nothings into your ear with that lazy drawl? Thanks for stopping by!

  18. Hi Allison! It definitely sounds like you have fodder for more stories in your ancestors 🙂 How fun that a dream led to a series — good for you for pursuing it! Looking forward to all the Sullivan books.

    Nancy C

    1. Hello, Nancy.
      Yes, lots of stories and tales I can use for future books!
      Thank you for stopping by. I hope you love the Sullivans as much as I do!

  19. Hi Allison, it is nice learning more about you. My memories of cowboys all revolve around watching them with my Daddy. I enjoyed The Virginian, Maverick and of course Little Joe Cartwright from Bonanza.
    Blessings!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. Hey, Connie! I’m so glad you stopped by to visit.
      Ah, Little Joe – definitely one of my favorites, too!

  20. I grew up with Westerns on TV and really miss them. Rifleman, Zorro (my first crush on a western character), Bat Masterson, Wagon Train, Rawhide(Rowdy Yates), Roy Rogers, Sky King, Annie Oakley, The Virginian, Paladin, Maverick, Gunsmoke (Quint, the blacksmith played by Burt Reynolds), Bonanza (I had such a crush on Little Joe), Dr. Quinn, Young Riders, and probably a bunch more I don’t remember.

    1. HI, Patricia. You’ve listed all the classics! Every so often I’ll catch one of those shows on the Classics channels (which I absolutely love!). I’m quite partial to James Garner in Maverick. I have always thought he was so attractive – the older he got the more attractive he got.
      Thank you for stopping by to visit!

  21. Allison Hello, I have not had to pleasure of reading one of your books… However they sound wonderful, I really need check into the Cowboy that couldn’t stop laughing at the lady that had fallen…
    Anyway on to the point… My favorite Cowboy would be My Uncle he was a True Texas Cowboy from Central Texas…
    My fictional favorites at this time are written by Carolyn Brown… I followed your FB page.

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