Welcome, Mildred Colvin: Cowboy Charisma

mildred.jpgThank you for this opportunity to guest blog on Petticoats and Pistols! Although I don’t get to comment as often as I’d like (I’m usually on late night), I love this site and am learning so much here.

By way of introduction, I’m Mildred Colvin and sometimes write under the pen name M. J. Conner. All eight of my books are Christian romances published by Heartsong Presents at Barbour Publishing. I enjoy writing for Barbour because the stories are fun, yet the conflict the hero and heroine must work through are often the same that many readers face in their spiritual lives. My aim and my prayer is to write in such a way that those who read my books will find laughter and tears within the pages but mostly the gentle touch of God’s love.

9781597898904.jpgIn my newest release, Joanna’s Adventure, Clay Shepherd rides back into Cedar Bend, Kansas, hires on at the Circle C Ranch and literally sweeps Joanna off her feet. He doesn’t realize that he didn’t have to carry her across a mud puddle to get her attention. No siree. Joanna has been dreaming about Clay ever since he left town six years ago when they were in their teens. Joanna fell for Clay the first day he slid into the back seat of the old schoolhouse, so his return stirs more than memories. Of course that first kiss under the mistletoe back then didn’t hurt one bit. In fact she still has the pressed sprig of mistletoe in a keepsake box so she will never forget her one and only kiss or the handsome, exciting boy who gave it to her. She sees the grown up Clay as more than exciting. He is romantic and unpredictable with a touch of mystery that tells her just how enticingly dangerous he can be. Joanna doesn’t know what it is, but Clay has something that draws her, and that something is cowboy charisma.

1rider.jpgLike Joanna, I’m not immune to the appeal of a cowboy, so when I think of Clay, the term cowboy charisma pops into my mind. What is cowboy charisma? The dictionary defines charisma as “a special magnetic charm or appeal.” So what’s appealing about a guy who tends horses and cows and scoops manure? Could it be those snug-fitting blue jeans with more swagger than stride crossing the barnyard or street? How about the wide-brimmed cowboy hat pulled low, lending an air of mystery when it hides the expression in those dark shadowed eyes? Or maybe the tug of a grin when he notices a pretty gal standing alone at a barn raising and says, “Howdy, ma’am. Care to dance?” What about the thrill at a rodeo of horse and rider who seem in tune as they dance the age-old competition of dominance and submission? After a mere eight seconds that lasts forever the cowboy leaps to the ground with both arms raised in victory with a cocky grin on his face. Who hasn’t experienced a little heart flutter then?

The list could go on and on with physical attributes we find appealing in a cowboy, but like everyone else, the cowboy is more than a shell. He is an inner man with feelings, emotions, and a certain way of thinking. Each man is an individual, but when I thought about the cowboy heroes I’ve brought to life in my stories, I realized they have a lot in common. Maybe that’s because they all adhere to a set of unwritten rules commonly known as The Code of the West. This code is similar to The Golden Rule – do unto others, as you would have others do unto you.

horseback.jpgSeems the old time cowboy valued his freedom and believed in minding his own business. He asked no questions of strangers because he wanted to give no answers about his private life. When a cowboy welcomed the stranger at his campfire or table, he expected to be welcomed in turn. His job wasn’t easy to say the least so he learned to cowboyup or in other words, get back on the horse that bucked him off, whether it was an actual horse or life itself. Although the code often became twisted to justify the individual’s need or desire for vengeance and justice, the true cowboys believed in honesty, loyalty, generosity, and fairness. They admired courage, diligence, plain speaking, and commonsense. They respected and protected their womenfolk. In fact one of their rules was that they would never shoot a woman no matter what. Now I like that rule!

deborah-mildred-colvin.jpgRomanticized or not, I am drawn by cowboy charisma. I do enjoy writing a story that has a hero who respects the heroine as well as all women and, imperfect as he is, follows a code that doesn’t always put him first. What do you like to see in a hero? When you read a book or when you create a hero for your own work, what is more important to you? The immediate attraction of the physical or the moral code that drives the man? Maybe both are required. Maybe not. What do you think? Can a hero be unattractive on the outside, but so appealing in his moral code and the way he treats the heroine that we still see a heart-stopping, mighty-good-to-look-at man?

Two names will be drawn from those who comment to each receive an autographed copy of my newest book, JOANNA’S ADVENTURE.

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36 thoughts on “Welcome, Mildred Colvin: Cowboy Charisma”

  1. First of all what a great post. Gosh, of course we are attracted to the package out side but oh what a greater package we get when we look deeper inside. I love the wounded hero who grews from the love of a good woman.

    My grandmother always said pretty is as pretty does. I have found that to be true. Look at the great looking characters in books that has such a evil way about them — it totally makes them ugly. So give me a good person with good values anyday.

  2. Hi,

    It is the first time I hear about your books… I also like charisma in a cowbow and prefer that he has a moral code nad is also charming 🙂

  3. Hi Mildred!
    The heroes personality, his behavior, his beliefs are much more important than his physical looks. For me, a person I admire and respect becomes much more attractive because of their traits and a person who I should think of as beautiful doesn’t appear to be when they are not a likable person.

  4. Hello this is the first time I have heard of your books but I think I am hooked I can’t wait to get your new one. I am with Maureen I don’t really look at a person some much on the outside I really want to see what the person is on the inside. I know a few guys that are wonderful to look at but there is nothing on the inside and they don’t know how to act in the real world. It would be nice if they had both but I think that is not to often you get both.

  5. I look at the character in the man, his values, principles, and integrity. These are the most important ingredients in learning about an individual. Looks are great but many times hold no substance. Now that I am mature and see the world differently it is evident that the character shines through in the face and his outlook.

  6. HI, Mildred!
    Mildred and I are MySpace friends and I write for Barbour, too, same as her. Thanks for being on Petticoats and Pistols today. I lvoed yoru post. Ah, we do like to talk about cowboys around here. And I read ‘Deborah’ and loved it.

    What came to mind during your post is this expression I’m fond of.

    A cowboy saddles his own broncs.

    It just means, he takes care of things for himself, without asking someone else to do the hard jobs.
    Independence, pride, toughness, competence. All great cowboy traits.

  7. Great post! Your book sounds wonderful! The story sounds like one I would enjoy reading. I love a hero with a strong code of honor. No matter what life has tossed his way he has not allowed it to destroy his inner core. As for looks, when you are young you focus alot on looks but as you grow older you begin to realize that those that are good looking on the outside may turn out to be ugly on the inside and vice versa. Thanks for being here!

  8. I am going with moral code. That is the most important thing with a man. It is all in how they treat a woman. Looks are not all that important, they may help a little. By the I really enjoy your post and I am going to start looking for your books.

  9. First off I have to appologize for being late to my own party. 🙂 I got snowed under by grandkids! Sherry, your grandmother must’ve had the same values as mine. I often remember her words of wisdom, even more as I get older. Natalie and Brenda, I’m so glad you’ve heard of my books now and hope you’ll find one to read and enjoy. Yeah, the inside of anyone, including cowboys, is what’s important, isn’t it?

  10. Maureen, I couldn’t agree more that a person becomes more attractive because of their good traits. I knew a guy once who wasn’t much to look at, but because of his character and vest for life, he was definitely good to look at. Does that make sense? I hope so.

  11. Hi Mildred. Your book sounds great. I like a hero who has a strong moral code. What a man is on the inside is more important than the physical attributes. There has to be something more than a pretty face/body. Beauty fades over time.

  12. Hi, Mary! I think we’re Shout Life friends, too. I saw your review of Deborah on CBD. That is great! Thanks! Hope you get a chance to read Joanna’s Adventure, too. I’m looking forward to reading your upcoming books. Also thanks for letting me come visit here. I love your expression. That says a mouthful, just as all those Code of the West sayings do. Following those ideals built character.

  13. Hi, Crystal, Oh yeah, beauty does fade! Of course, wrinkles look better on men than they do on women. Sigh! Virginia, I agree that the way a man treats a woman is so important. How he treats kids and animals tell a lot about him too. Diane and Cherie say maturity helps us realize that looks aren’t everything and that’s so true.

  14. I agree with everyone else. Values, politeness, honesty, etc. are what make the man. In my reading I have to like the characters and then everything else follows. There isn’t a plot that would save the book for me if I don’t care first. You are a new to me author too and your books sound wonderful. That’s what so great about sites like Petticoats & Pistols – you get to know so many new authors.

  15. Cheryl,
    Thanks so much for inviting me to join you on Petticoata and Pistols. I’m loving the comments. You guys are great!

  16. Welcome!

    Strength of character is more important to me than physical appearance when it comes to reading about heroes. Some of my favorite types of heroes are the ones with some kind of physical imperfection. I fall in love with them and see beyond that because of the way they treat the heroine or act toward other characters.

  17. Great to have you here today and I’m always looking for new authors to read. Your books sound fantastic!

  18. Jeanne, thanks for commenting. Petticoats and Pistols is a great place to learn of new authors and books. That’s one great appeal for me too.

    Jennifer, how interesting that you like heroes with a physical imperfection. I think that’s also true of the heroine, whether she is overweight, scarred or even blind. I wrote a short story about a blind heroine and gave it to my church to include in the monthly newsletter. I didn’t know how well it would be received, but got several wonderful comments about it. Maybe we identify with the less than perfect character better than the perfect ones.

  19. Hi Ms. Colvin,

    I really enjoyed your post today and I agree that a hero’s inner qualities (honesty towards himself and others, caring, respect of others, and sensitivity) make him so much more desirable on the outside. The physical attributes of a person may be just one moment in time and are not long lasting. The inner you is.

  20. Zaharoula, thanks for commenting. I agree with you and I think that’s what the Code of the West is all about. The deeper things of showing kindness and respect for others should always win out.

  21. You are a new to me author and I love cowboy stories!
    I think the outside package is great, but there must also be somrthing worthwhile on the inside.

  22. Cowboys stories have always reosunded with me. I admire their code of ethics, their integrity as well as their loyalty and values. Looks are immaterial since the person’s innermost being shines out and is apparent immediately.

  23. Hi, Estella. Seems we all agree that the inside character is the most important, but isn’t it the outside package that draws us to the guy in the first place? I love the newer covers on many of the cowboy stories with pictures of guys who illustrate Cowboy Charisma so well. Still when I open the cover and begin to read, I want a true hero who holds honor above his own wants. A guy who doesn’t lord it over the heroine, but shows her the respect she deserves.

  24. Thanks, Ruth. I think you are right. It’s wonderful to find other readers who enjoy a good cowboy story. Is it my imagination, or has there been fewer books published in the last several years that take us into the American West? I love reading of our American heritage and stories like Joanna’s Adventure are my favorite to write.

  25. Milred,
    Thanks for blogging today and welcome to P and P. I think a hero can be appealing by character traits even if he’s not attractive on the outside. But… who is that hunky cowboy in your blog? I did a double take. Mighty good looking, hope he has the personality to match!

  26. Charlene, thank to you and all the founding fillies for the welcome here and the opportunity to blog on Petticoats and Pistols. I’ve enjoyed today.

    As for the hunk on my blog, he makes a good substitute for my equally hunky son who never stood still long enough for me to get a picture of him with his horse. He’s such a busy guy. By the way, his horse is appropriately named Pistol. Thanks, Cheryl, for filling that space with a charismatic cowboy, which is just what we needed.

    I appreciate all the comments and the opportunity to meet a wonderful group of readers and writers of the American West. Thanks so much for stopping by and saying, Hi!

    I will be sending a copy of Joanna’s Adventure to a couple of lucky ladies. Enjoy and God bless!

  27. Ah, the grandkids are gone home now. Thanks for stopping by, bluecat. I’ll put your name in the hat.

  28. Mildred, I’m really late in welcoming you to P&P because I’m out of town on a book tour. I loved your blog though. It’s a fascinating subject that most of us are in agreement on. We love cowboy charisma, and brother do most of them have a lot of that! 🙂 But, like you said what makes it complete is what’s on the inside. That’s the true package.

    Your books look absolutely great. I’ll have to add them to my list of ones to buy. Take care and I hope you come back often to P&P.

  29. Hi, Mildred,
    Definitely late to the part, but thank you for your post–I do think that it’s what’s on the inside that’s more important (although we always look at the outside first). It’s such a good reminder that God looks at us the same way–He looks at our hearts. Thanks for sharing your thoughts today, and for introducing us to your books! Write on!

  30. Hi Mildred. I’m late as well, but I agree with the majority. In the long run, it’s the inside that counts, not that we don’t notice physical attributes when we fall in love, of course, but it’s the staying in love that matters, and if our cowboys are lovable on the inside, that’s what makes them keepers!

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