We’re all here because we love westerns, right? 

I remember traveling from New York to California when I was 7 years old listening to my father’s thrilling words of what to expect in the wild, California West.  My imagination ran free. I envisioned cowboys and Indians, forts and teepees, and horses galore. The city folk were going to live in the country, after all.

          On Saturday mornings, we’d sit together and I’d listen to my dad’s wonderful stories, fully enraptured.  My father always made me the “star” of the stories. I was Sheriff Charlene, or Ranger Charlene, or Goldminer Charlene.  I would giggle and laugh through those tales and I’m sure even he, who loved American history and knew it upside down and backwards, didn’t realize that those wonderfully vivid stories he told stirred in me a deep love of Western Americana and of writing.

          I couldn’t verbalize a story like he could to save my life, but boy, I sure do enjoy writing them!  I love to write the west, both in historical and contemporary settings. 



A hunky cowboy, is a hunky cowboy, no matter the time period. Right? 

So instead of packing a six-gun, my contemporary cowboy comes armed with a hefty bankroll and cool confidence.  Instead of riding a spirited black stallion over the plains, my contemporary cowboy drives a Chevy Truck over rough terrain. Instead of protecting the town from villainous bank robbers, my contemporary cowboy protects his company from devious saboteurs.  Instead of wearing sexy hip-hugging denims and tall leather boots … um, heck, my contemporary cowboys STILL wear sexy hip-hugging denims and tall leather boots!

What else do they have in common?  Whether western or contemp, my cowboys always come up against spirited women who drive them a little bit crazy, confusing and confounding them. 

But my heroes always win in the end … they get the girl and ride off into the sunset. 

You see, there ain’t much difference between the historical cowboy and the contemporary one.  Only time! 


What do you think?  Do you read sexy western contemporary stories too? What contemporary cowboy stories have you enjoyed?  Would you like to give my newest contemporary a try when it comes out next month? 

If so, post a comment and you’ll be entered to win a copy of my January 08 release,The Corporate Raider’s Revenge – the prequel to my new Suite Secrets series from Desire that begins with Five-Star Cowboy. As an added bonus I’ll be giving away this great set of Five-Star western coasters! 


Available for pre-order now.

Click on each image if you’d like to purchase.

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56 thoughts on “FIVE-STAR TALES”

  1. Great interview and WOWZER Pic. LOL I would love to read anything you write.
    Here’s a few I’ve read:
    Taming the Outlaw by Cindy Gerard
    Heartbreaker by Diana Palmer
    The McKettrick Way by Linda Lael Miller
    Colter’s Woman by Maya Banks

  2. Hi, Charlene! I’ve read some historical westerns and some more contemporary ones. I do think that a lot of what makes cowboys appealing hasn’t changed 🙂 As for specifics, I think the contemporaries I’ve read most recently were by Linda Lael Miller, Diana Palmer, and a couple by Debbie Macomber (though I’m not sure I consider them westerns, for some reason).

  3. Hi Charlene, I love cowboys of all shapes and sizes, in any era. I admit to trying Highlanders and vampires and dukes and detectives a time or two, but I’m always drawn back to the sexy denims and leather boots and oh, a Stetson dipped low. Sigh. Just like your five-star hunk.

    BTW I love all of your heroes 🙂

  4. Hi Charlene! I grew up in Michigan watching westerns every Saturday morning and dreaming of finding a cowboy of my own. During a family road trip to California I attended my very first rodeo, in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Twelve year old me thought she had died and gone to heaven! 🙂

    I love cowboys and westerns from all time periods. Some of the contemporary cowboys I’ve enjoyed have been LL Miller’s McKettrick’s (love the historical McKettrick’s too!), Diana Palmer’s Long Tall Texans and the cowboys of Texas Cattlemen’s Club from Harlequin Desire.

  5. All my life I have loved Western stories. Love historical novels but contmporary ones can really heat things up. Something about tight jeans and a black hat that pulls me in.

    Shades of Ricky Nelson, The black and white phote made me look a second time!!

  6. I love cowboys. I will read westerns no matter what time period they are set. Your book sounds wonderful. Love the cover.

  7. Ah Cheryl – you’re so dang sweet!

    Hi Kimmy! I’ve read all those authors except Maya Banks. I have to say Cindy, Linda and Diana write incredible books, no matter the time period.

  8. Hi Tanya- I love all your heroes too! You write great historical men. I have to admit, I like an occasional cop story too. Or detective, if they’re done well. But mostly, I’m drawn to contemp cowboy stories. Judy Duarte does them well and some of the Harlequin American authors have it down perfectly.

  9. Hi PJ – I’ve just been contracted to write a Texas Cattleman’s Desire! I’m thrilled about it and like working on continuities. It’s a team effort with a batch of great authors.
    You’ll find lots of my hero’s once were rodeo champions. Like you, I have a fondness for a man in or out of the saddle!

  10. Hi Crystal and Connie – Thanks for blogging today! I just loved Ricky Nelson! Did you think the pic looks like him a little? I have no idea who the guy is, but I wanted him in my post today . 🙂

  11. Yummy photos, Charlene, and I’m going to make it a point to get your book. I’m actually working on a contemp Western trilogy for submission. My lovely editor (who is also yours) has been helpful and supportive but the proposal isn’t there yet, so I’m revising and revising in between historicals. Cross your fingers for me and I’m looking forward to your cowboy!

  12. I have to admit that the only contemps I read are the ones with cowboys, isn’t that awful! I have a ton of Annette Brodrick, Diane Palmer, Joan Johnston, and of course, Charlene Sands contemparies, and all of them have cowboys. I seem to like the Silhouette Desires best when I read contemps.

    Can’t wait to read the new one.

  13. Sounds Awesome Charlene Millionaire Cowboys!!!! I love any kind of Cowboy read and it’s just a bonus that you made them loaded!

  14. Hi Charlene! I loved hearing about your dad’s stories with you as the star. 🙂 He must be very proud to know you’re continuing with the tales.

    Your book sounds great.

  15. I like both historical and contemporary western romances. Like you said, a hunky cowboy is a hunky cowboy no matter the time period. Linda Lael Miller wrote both historical and contemporary in her series of the McKettrick men.

  16. Welcome Charlene. I enjoyed your wonderful post today since it awakened so many wonderful memories of watching the Westerns that I enjoyed so much during the 1950’s when they were popular. I could picture the West and it always was appealing and compelling. I read all Westerns, Historical and contemporary. They keep me company and provide me with great enjoyment.
    Yours are memorable and Louis L’Amour is my favorite author whose writing is unforgettable.

  17. Ooooh cowboy!!! Historical or Contemporary, they sure sound yummy to me!!! Bring on the rugged cowboys… yeehaw!!! 😉

  18. Charlene,

    I’m like the majority, it doesn’t matter what time period you place a story if it has a cowboy in it. I just like ’em all.

    Some of my favorite contemp westerns are by Linda Lael Miller. She did a whole series on the McKettrick family, starting in the 1800’s all the way to present time.

    I LOVE the cover of your new release! That guy sure makes me feel all warm and tingly. lol Can’t wait for it to get to bookstores. 🙂

  19. What a great story you told today. Your trip, your writing and that photo is super. Thanks for this wonderful introduction into your love of Westerns. Yes, it has a special place in my heart. I grew up watching all the programs and developed a fondness for reading Westerns way back. They enthralled me and let my imagination run wild. Stories that were thrilling were ones by Madeline Baker, Laura Drewry and your wonderful novels.

  20. Hi Terry! I guess I’m partial to Desire myself. I miss writing the down-on-his-luck cowboy since all of mine have to be rich and gorgeous and very much in control of their lives. But I’m glad you read contemp westerns.

    Hi Karen B – I agree. Who doesn’t love a cowboy!

    Lori – My heroes all come from humble roots. I’m excited about this story, set on a hotel type dude ranch for the rich and famous in gorgeous Crimson Canyon, Arizona. I fashioned after one of my favorite AZ sites, Sedona.

  21. Hi Kate – My dad was a really unique man. He never saw one of my books get published, but I know, he knows! He’s always with me. Mom too. But Mom at least got a chance to see my books in print. She was very proud of me.
    Thanks for the kind words.

  22. Hi Cheryl C and Linda – I’m with you. I was lucky enough to meet Linda Lael Miller and talk with her. I do love all of her books, no matter the time period. Her stories flow so easily that I hate for them to end. She’s a great western writer!

  23. Hi Annie, Colleen and Ruth! It’s good to see you here! I’m a fan of so many authors. Do any of you remember Sandra Brown’s westerns? I miss her. She writes suspense and thrillers now.

  24. I love that cover, Charlene, a cowboy hat and a tux, you know a cowboy can just turn any look into something even better.

    The really great thing about cowboys is contemporary westerns can have so much the same feel as historicals, man against the elements, that old feeling of raw power and grit.

    I love cowboys.

  25. Your post today resounded with me. My interest in the West resulted in my locating to the land of my dream, the Southwest which I love. The setting and the beauty is like no other. I read Westerns of all types, contemporary novels which I enjoy and historicals. Cowboys have a mystique which is always apparent.

  26. Speaking of cowboys, I can’t explain why but it seems every second book I read has a cowboy as the hero. Hmmm.

    I’ve just finished reading 2 Historicals by Vicki Bylin, Abbie’s Outlaw and Bounty Hunter’s Bride. She writes such emotional stories about ‘bad boys’.

    Before that, I read about some great contemporary cowboys in Silhouette’s ‘World’s Most Eligible Bacherlor Series’ as well as Pat Warren’s Some Kind of Cowboy.

    And, waiting in my tbr pile are:
    – HSR’s Cowboy Country series
    – HSR’s Texas Hold ‘Em series
    – Judy Duarte’s (SSE) The Texas Homecoming series
    – Lois Faye Dyer’s (SSE) The McClouds of Montana

    Have I told you that I love cowboys?

  27. I’ve probably read mostly historical cowboy books but I’m always open to new genres and anything with a cowboy would have to be good 🙂

  28. I love contemporary Western stories!! they are one of the main ones I read. I grew up on farms and I live in a province where rodeos are everywhere and branding takes place and is a big event. I love everything Western.
    I’d love to give your new book a try and the coasters are awesome.

  29. I really do like cowboys!

    Among those cowboy books I’ve read are: Several of
    the McKettrick series, Texas Lullaby/Tina Leonard,
    Winter Roses/Diana Palmer, The Texas Hold ‘Em Series, and The Texas Cattlemen Club series.

    Pat Cochran

  30. Hi Crystal, Pat, Jeanne, RobynL,
    It seems we have the same taste in books! You can’t go wrong with Special Edition or Harl Romance line that includes handsome, earnest cowboys!

  31. Hi Mary,
    I think MY cowboy would have worn a Bola tie instead of a bow tie, but nonetheless, it’s a nice cover. Sort of, in your face, handsome. 🙂
    Congrats on all your successes lately!

  32. Charlene – did you say you have a new series coming out?

    You might have noticed from my above post that I love reading books in series almost as much as I love reading about cowboys.

    And you dare ask if I’d like to try reading a story about a contemporary cowboy in a series? Well, Gollllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeee, YES!!!

  33. Hi Anne and Anita Mae,

    I’m in love with Arizona. I’ve been there a few times for research and pleasure and if it weren’t so dang far from my kids, we’d move!

    I love Vicki Bylin’s books too! She’s a great writer. And ditto on Diana Palmer and Judy Duarte!

  34. Im wondering why did they stop making good westerns?You can only read them in good books,which I do,but their used to be such good ones on TV to watch when I was a kid an now its just junk for kids to watch,oh well,lets all go back to the good ole days,huh.

  35. Oh my gosh, though abs. Thought it was intereting, Charlene about your dad telling you stories and making you the hero of them. Great pictures and great blog.

  36. Anita Mae,
    Yes, Five-Star Cowboy begins my Suite Secrets Series in August. All of the stories revolve around hotels and owners. Five Star is set in Arizona with my cowboy. Do Not Disturb Until Christmas in November in New Orleans and Reserved for the Tycoon is set for Feb 2009 in Hawaii. Not all cowboys, but brothers and friends stories that I hope will entertain. I sure had fun writing them!

  37. Hi Karen and Vicki – I know, I know. I wish they had some westerns on television. We get an occasional new western movie, but that’s about all.

    Karen, my Dad was a great storyteller. Told stories to all ages and loved kids. They would follow him around and he’d tell them stories and make everyone laugh. I have great memories. Wish I’d have taped some of them though.

  38. I love to read westerns about strong, slow talkin, slow walkin cowboys. But fast where it counts- with a gun or a sweet talkin gal

  39. Yes, Westerns are a definite preference for me since I was addicted to the Westerns on t.v. for years. Just loved the hunky guys that looked so brave and amazing. I fell hard and that was it for me. Now I read all the books I can since they are my life. Excellent contemporaries and romantic historicals all fill the void. Thanks for this trip out West. Loved every minute of it.

  40. Thanks for listing the titles in your upcoming series.

    I love having it handy to ensure I don’t miss any and sometimes it’s hard to get that info before the books are out.

  41. Love westerns of all eras, but I do tend to lean toward the historical.

    Love the picture you shared with us today.

  42. I have never really read western contemporaries other than the occasional Janet Dailey Americana series. I prefer to read western historicals 🙂

  43. Hi Lily, Nathalie, Sherry, Joye and Ellie,

    Thanks for blogging today! Check back in just a little while – I’ll be picking our prize winner.

    It was fun seeing all of you here and I hope you try some Contemporary westerns from so many of the great authors who write them!

    I’ll be back in a little while.

    Happy Trails!

  44. Those coasters are so cute! And so are the cowboys in your post 🙂 🙂
    I will never pass up a cowboy romance book! So yours is a definite read!

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