I love Cowboys! It doesn’t matter if they’re contemporary or historical. I love them both. To me there is just something about a nice fittin’ pair of Wrangler jeans on the contemporary cowboy, or a gun holster slung low on the historical cowboy’s hip. And I drool when a cowboy from either era has a sexy smile on his face shadowed by the brim of his dusty hat, and a glint in his eye that keeps a girl guessing. Add in the fact he can handle animals weighing in at over 1,000 lbs, ride a horse at breakneck speed, and still be gentle and caring with his woman and, oh boy, I’m hooked. The true American cowboy is number one in my book! So, it’s only natural I write stories about cowboys, and you guessed it, both contemporary and historical cowboys.
I love my job!
My mom was a huge Roy Rogers fan so I guess you could say, Like mother, like daughter! I love Roy, too. He was one handsome dude in his day. No wonder all the young girls saved their dimes to go to the movies every Saturday. My mom included!
Speaking of Roy, I was bummed to hear they closed the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans museum in Branson, MO., last December. Apparently, even the King of the Cowboys isn’t immune to tough economic times. Roy’s museum was one I’ve always wanted to visit. When it moved from California to Missouri I thought sure I’d make it there to see Trigger and Buttermilk. Now, the opportunity is gone. Darn. Sadly, much of the Rogers collection was put up for auction this past summer.
The other TV Cowboy landmark I missed was the Ponderosa Ranch located at Incline Village, Nevada, near Lake Tahoe. The Ponderosa, made famous by the long running series Bonanza, was another one of my “to visit” sites. I loved watching Bonanza. Still do! So, it was only natural that I wanted to check out the location for a glimpse into the fictional Ponderosa Ranch. Unfortunately, they closed the Ponderosa in 2004 and I missed that opportunity as well. Shoot. I need to do better at travel planning.
Putting aside the Hollywood TV glitz, at the heart of Bonanza was a core storyline that is timeless and one that I love—a handsome widowed father and his three, also very handsome and eligible, sons working hard to make their mark in the West. They had wealth, land, cattle, and a strong family with equally strong morals and virtues. And each Cartwright had his own archetype, allowing for all kinds of exciting stories.
All these loyal-to-the-core hunks needed were good women to make the romance of the West complete. Well, the studio gave them those women…sort of. They gave them then took them away almost faster than a cowboy could spit! You might have noticed all the potential Cartwright women were either killed, died of illness, left Nevada, or darn it all, were in love with another man the whole time they were sparkin’ with a Cartwright. What’s up with that? I used to grumble at the TV screen and think what an idiot the gal was. How could she fall in love with another man when she had a Cartwright right there wanting to kiss her?! You wouldn’t have caught me high-tailing it out of there. No sir. No silly fever or bullet would’ve stopped me from marrying one of those men! The hard part would have been choosing which one. I loved them all!
Of course, my disgruntlement with the writers of the show was back in the days before I knew the truth behind the Bonanza series. The producers didn’t dare marry off one of the Cartwrights for fear of upsetting all their women viewers. I guess the studio received more than a few letters to testify to the fact women fans didn’t want the boys getting married.
Another Western series that tripped my trigger was the Magnificent Seven. Wow! This show gave us seven archetypes in the form of seven handsome men to drool over. There were a ton of story possibilities to be explored here, but unfortunately, the network only gave us two seasons, leaving us faithful viewers unhappy and wishing for more. Much more. Thank goodness for DVD!
Since I’m a romance writer I can make up for missed opportunities and story lines that ended too soon, or not the way I envisioned. I’m in the process of writing a western historical novella series called, The Cowboys of the Four Aces. For this series I’m the writer and in control. Yes, three sons will carry on their father’s legacy on the Four Aces Ranch located in the sandhills of Nebraska. And I promise a romantic happily-ever-after every time.
Cowboy and Hell Cat The first book in the series, The Cowboy and the Hellcat, was released November 10th from the Wild Rose Press. I can’t wait for you to meet Adam Ford. Yes, he’s tough. He’s rugged. And you bet, he’s as handsome as sin. He’s honest, caring, and loyal to the bone, too. Three qualities that all my cowboy heroes must have. But let me tell you, he meets his match in tomboy Ellie Merrick! And don’t worry, the two younger Ford brothers, Jesse and Cole, will get their chance to fall in love soon!
So, if you love cowboys, share which you like better—contemporary or historical? Or do you like both? Do you have a favorite cowboy romance? Or a favorite on-screen cowboy? Come sit around the camp fire and let’s talk cowboys. I’m giving away a Sherry James Cowboy T-shirt so leave a comment to get entered in the drawing.
And as Roy would say—Happy Trails!