Hi, it’s Anne Carrole and Karyna DaRosa, founders of the website www.lovewesternromances.com, who are honored to be here with some of our favorite authors. When we met for the first time at a NJ Romance Writers meeting in 2006, we discovered we both loved to read as well as write western romances and we both were frustrated at not being able to find as many new western historical romances as we wanted to read. In fact, we were hearing that publishers were not so high on western historical romances anymore—imagine!
So, we combined our talents—Karyna as editor and webmistress, Anne as editor and publicist—and created www.lovewesternromances.com to help readers find new western historical authors and help authors find new readers—and prove there are a lot of us out here who love western romances!
In May we celebrated our first anniversary. In that time, we’ve featured reviews of over sixty western historical romances, have spotlighted over sixteen authors(and still counting), and our site visitors, numbering in the tens of thousands of hits per month and growing, selected the Best Western Romance of 2007. (The Best Western Romance of 2008 contest will run in December and several of the authors here will have books in the running.) Of the many authors we’ve featured in our spotlight, several have been from Petticoats and Pistols including Stacey Kayne (our very first spotlight author—thank you Stacey!), Cheryl St. John, Elizabeth Lane and as well as other notable authors such as Linda Lael Miller, Leigh Greenwood, Bobbi Smith and Jodi Thomas. And Pam Crooks will be in our September Spotlight—yay Pam!
We also run an ongoing survey on our site and ask our visitors to tell us why they LOVE WESTERN ROMANCES. Is it those rugged, sexy heroes or the independent heroines, or maybe it’s the historical time period, or those adventurous, heart-stopping plots, or just the whole uniqueness of the American West experience? Of course, we like all those things, but overwhelmingly our visitors have chosen—no surprise—those rugged, sexy heroes as the reason they LOVE WESTERN ROMANCES.
Our attraction for these cowboys undoubtedly goes beyond their handsome faces and lean bodies. H.H. Halsell seemed to sum up the mystique in his reminisces of the cowboy life in Texas in the late 1800s, when he wrote in Cowboys and Cattleland: A cowman was a friend of the weak and readily ministered to the suffering. He was chivalrous and brave, courteous to women and tender to children. It may seem strange and paradoxical to say it, but I always found the really brave and daring men to be men tenderhearted and kind. However, when danger and even when in shooting scrapes, cowboys do not always act alike or look alike…Some turn pale, some have their faces set like steel; the eyes of a few, like O.D. Halsell, seem to flash fire.
We thought we’d share with you some of our favorite cowboy heroes from western romances.
Anne: My favorite heroes tend to be those strong silent types, you know the ones where you never can tell what they are thinking. Hard men who have a vulnerability that only the heroine touches. Ones that come to mind include Caleb Black from Elizabeth’s Lowell’s Only His, Luke Shardlow from Linda Lael Miller’s One Wish, Juniper Jones from Stacey Kayne’s just released The Gunslinger’s Untamed Bride, TJ Grier from Pam Crooks recent Kidnapped by a Cowboy and Tobin McMurray from Jodi Thomas’ Texas Princess. I also fell in love with Jane Candia Coleman’s rendition of Virgil Earp in Tumbleweed, her fictional account of Allie Earp’s life.
No surprise that I tend to write my own heroes in this vain like Clay Tanner in Re-Ride at the Rodeo coming out later this year from
Wild Rose Press as part of their Wayback, Texas Series. This is a contemporary western but Clay isn’t far removed from the heroes of the Old West as he rides broncs and breaks heart. For him, everything is a competition until he meets a little spitfire named Dusty Morgan who shuts him down in less time than it takes to get bucked off a bronc. He’s aiming for a re-ride, hence the title, but qualifying may call for more than he’s prepared to give.
Karyna: Like Anne, my favorite heroes are the strong, silent types. I’m definitely into alpha males. ;-D Caleb Black is also one of my favorites!! I think Linda Howard does alphas really well. Two of my other favorites are from her books: Lucas Cochran in Angel Creek and Jake Sarrat from A Lady of the West. Although not a western, another one of my favorite Howard alphas is Gray Rouillard, from After the Night.
Of course, I, too, write alpha males. Cole Mitchell from Dry Moon, is the quintessential alpha male. Strong, silent, and oozing sexiness. 😉 Cole is fast with guns, establishing his reputation as a lethal killer. Working for a scheming cattle baron, Cole meets Cassie Taylor, owner of Taylor Irrigation, the festering thorn in his employer’s side. He thinks it odd that a woman prefers men’s trousers to wearing dresses, but watching Cassie ride away, he vows to possess her, and none too gently either.
In Tempted Fate, Lucas Reinhardt has always felt like an outsider looking in.The child of a Chippewa mother, his upbringing was one of rejection and humiliation at the hands of the pale-skins. Emma Sarris knows pain as an adopted child. Though loved and nurtured by her adoptive family, unanswered questions plague her. Who are her real parents? Why did they abandon her? An intricate silver brooch, worth far more than its weight in precious metal, is the only link to her past. When Emma’s brother loses her heirloom in a poker game to Luke, Emma will stop at nothing to get it back. She will leave her fiancé, her parents, and the safety of her home, in a desperate effort to convince the handsome, mysterious stranger to return what is hers. But what will she have to give up in return?
We like to trot around so you can find us at www.lovewesternromances.com, www.annecarrole.com, www.karyna_online.com and MySpace. Anne also has a blog, www.annecarrole.blogspot.com where she writes about the old west, particularly little known women of the west, as well as today’s cowboys, especially rodeo cowboys.
So now we’re dying to know what attracts you to western romances, what type of hero you like and who some of your favorite heroes are from your favorite western romances. And do you think cowboys today still embody H.H. Halsell’s ideal from his time riding the cattle trails of yesteryear?