Back in the old west, a man could be hanged for stealing another man’s livestock. Nowadays, that isn’t the case and surprise…cattle rustling is on the rise. Cattle rustling? Isn’t it kinda hard to hide a cow in your pocket? Making off with cattle isn’t like shop lifting an Ipod. This kind of thievery takes someone who knows how to handle cattle. Someone who knows the lay of the land and the movement of cattle owners.
In wide-open places like
Auction barns can’t ask the cow who it belongs to, not every bovine is microchipped and plastic tags are common in all colors with no links to the owner. Steal a cow, sell it at an auction in another county or state and reap the benefit of a $1000 or more. All for the cost of risking very little.
Many cattle owners turn their cattle loose in large fields or ranges and don’t check on them that often, making it easy for cattle rustlers to move in, steal half a dozen cattle and get away without anyone knowing better.
As a Harlequin Intrigue author, I’m always looking for the next cool story angle. Fortunately, my friends who don’t write mysteries are looking as well. One such friend, Megan Kerans, noticed an article online about cattle rustling in Oklahoma and sent me a note offering it up as a potential plot for one of my books.
That article was the inspiration behind my March Harlequin Intrigue, Texas-Sized Secrets. When I proposed a cattle rustling story in Texas, my editor said, make the ranch owner female and pregnant and have at it! I smartly saluted and wrote the story, threw in a lot of secrets and voila!