First, let me say how happy I am to be invited to be a guest at Petticoats and Pistols.
Having grown up in West Texas and having lived in three western states, I’m a true lover of the West. I’m from the cowboy culture, to be sure. My dad was a small cattle rancher and most of my family does something to this day related to ranching and agriculture. That’s why I enjoy setting my stories in a western locale. It’s what I know.
Even though my books are classified as contemporary mainstream romance, they have also become classified as “westerns.” I’m still not sure how that happened, but there you go.
In fact, most my stories are relationship stories. They could occur in any setting, but they seem to be a little more interesting set against a backdrop of cowboy life. After all, what red-blooded American woman doesn’t love a cowboy? I also try to throw in a little Western or Texas history, though not enough for the books to be called “historical” or for someone to scream at me about accuracy.
In LONE STAR WOMAN, all of the players are cowboys and cowgirls to whom working outdoors with animals every day is a way of life and it’s a lifestyle they love. A big part of the character of the protagonist, Jude Strayhorn, comes from her love of the land and her family’s long ranching history. I based the setting and took the history from the old-time ranches that sprang up in Texas during the late nineteenth century, when the Eastern demand for beef fostered an entire industry and a culture.
During my research for that book, I delved into how “cowboys” came to be in the first place. Because before the Civil War, there really weren’t any cowboys as we’ve come to know them. What there was was Mexican vaqueros who knew how to ride the wildest of horses and rope the wild cattle descended from those the Spanish left behind. It’s no coincidence that much of the cowboy jargon descends from the Spanish, i.e., rodeo, remuda, lariat, reata, concho, etc., etc. Then there were Southern farm boys displaced by the Civil War who came to Texas without much other than the courtly manners of the Southern gentlemen. When those two factions met, “cowboys” emerged. And they’re still here, I’m happy to say.
You can always tell a real cowboy. He probably won’t own a ranch, though he might own a cow or two. He’ll probably own a dog, a horse or two or ten and he’ll drive a pickup truck. If you’re female, he won’t let you lift anything heavy, he’ll always open doors. He won’t expect you to pay for dinner and would be insulted by the idea of “going Dutch,” even if he has to spend his last dime. He won’t have much to say and when he does, he’ll always call you ma’am. Now he might be a misfit of the tallest order, he might be a scalawag and a rascal, but he’ll always be charming to the ladies and he’ll always be an independent cuss whose mind isn’t easily changed. Willie Nelson said it all in “Mama, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys.” He also said it again in “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys.”
Pam here: Come on in, and let’s talk cowboys! Have you read the Anna Jeffrey books? Remember those beautiful covers? What is it about relationship stories that appeals to you? And are you as curious as I am about how Jeffrey got her name? LOL.
Jeffrey will be giving away a copy of LONE STAR WOMAN and an ARC of her July release, written as Dixie Cash–CURING THE BLUES WITH A NEW PAIR OF SHOES. Is that a fun title or what?
To learn more about Jeffrey and her books, written as Sadie Callahan and Dixie Cash, visit the websites:
Click on Cover to order from Amazon