Tina Radcliffe: Rhinestone Cowgirl

Thank you to all the Fillies at Petticoats & Pistols for inviting me to your home. To you I’m just another writer visiting your humble western abode. For me this visit is monumental. I can now die happy.
So I’ve decided to use this opportunity to cleanse my soul.
I’m really a rhinestone cowgirl.
That’s right. Only a few buckles short of a bunny.
It all began when I was a short, chubby wrangler who spent hours upon hours watching John Wayne movies on Saturday afternoons, a bandana around my neck and my plastic pistol in its holster. Red River and was a particular favorite. Great humor.
This would explain my debut January release from Love Inspired, The Rancher’s Reunion.
“You look awful.” Will Sullivan shoved his hands into the back pockets of his Wranglers and continued his intense scrutiny.
“Well, you haven’t changed a bit,” Annie Harris said with a laugh. Leave it to Will to cut to the chase.
In truth, he hadn’t changed. He was everything she remembered. Hatless today, his blue-black hair was clipped short to control the unruly curls. Will thought he could control everything. Standing inches over six feet tall in a faded blue oxford shirt, jeans and scuffed boots, he scowled.
Annie took an unsteady breath. Oh, how she had missed that scowl.

So how did my secret life begin?
I met a cowboy.
One twang and I was lost.
I spent the next seventeen years in Tulsa, Oklahoma feeding my habit. At night was a registered nurse specializing in oncology working the graveyard shift. By day I was an Oklahoma cowgirl. Okay, maybe not exactly a cowgirl. But the mind is a powerful drug and I know how to use it.
Everywhere I went in Tulsa I saw great back pockets, Stetsons, Tony Llama boots and buckles to swoon for. Rhinestone cowgirl heaven.
I learned to line dance. I became a member of the Garth Brooks fan club and attended his Tulsa concerts in full cowgirl dress. I subscribed to American Cowboy Magazine and watched Urban Cowboy 35 times.
When I wrote The Rancher’s Reunion and the follow up book Oklahoma Reunion which releases in October of this year I tried to incorporate all the wonderful things I love and miss about Oklahoma: The PRCA Rodeo at Expo Square. The Bible Belt philosophy. Route 66. Mazzio’s Pizza. The Tulsa State Fair. Jenks, Oklahoma. Bixby, Oklahoma. And Braum’s cherry-limeades.
I also felt it was important to correctly portray the great guys I knew in Oklahoma in my stories. Honorable, proud and hardworking heroes and with a sense of humor as big as Green Country.

Will realized she was getting mad. Plain mad. His brain scrambled backwards to figure out what he’d said.
Too late.
She stood and half stomped, half limped to the sink with her empty glass. “You apparently have this image of me as some sort of kid. I’m not a child, Will, I’m a-–well, I am not a child.”
Will averted his eyes from her perfectly silhouetted form standing against the sink in the black dress. A shudder went through him. A man could only handle so much.
No, she sure was not a child. Hoo boy. He’d grant her that.
“Hey, look. I’m teasing you,” he said softly. “It just comes natural, like breathing. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. You’re right; it is an eye opener to consider Annie E. has had her heart broken.”
She whirled around. “Why? Why should you be surprised? I’m not like my mother. I don’t fall in love at the flip of a Stetson.”
“Ouch. Annie, I never said that.”
The silence in the room became tense. He could hear her breathing as he stared down at the table. “So who is this fella who broke your heart?”

Now I have a little puzzle for you.
Tulsa was originally Indian Territory and the paperwork on my first home in Tulsa County could trace the land back to those days. Tallasi meaning ‘old town’ in Creek is the origin of the word Tulsa. Tulsa became incorporated in 1898. Tulsa was known as the oil capitol of the world for most of the twentieth century.
I currently reside in the foothills of Colorado. Denver was established some forty years earlier in 1858 as a mining town.
There’s a point to this little history lesson. I have always been confused as to why there appear to be more cowboys in Oklahoma than Colorado. Why is that?
Are they hiding in Colorado? Where? Please send directions.
It seems to be harder to be a cowgirl in Denver than Tulsa, but thanks to Crybaby Ranch (www.crybabyranch.com) and the Western Stock Show I’m persevering.
Thank you, Fillies for letting me share my secret. I feel cleansed. Today I’m giving away two copies of The Rancher’s Reunion to visitors. And if you feel very inspired by my confession, drop by The Sullivan Ranch website. www.thesullivanranch.com for a chance to win rhinestone cowgirl and cowboy goodies.

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74 thoughts on “Tina Radcliffe: Rhinestone Cowgirl”

  1. Tina, I don’t know why those cowboys are hiding in Denver. I do know I found plenty of them in Wyoming much to my husband’s chagrin!

    Sadly, I keep my cowboy hat with the rattlesnake band in my studio here in NC just to remind me there are cowboys elsewhere. But I do believe there are a lot of “inner cowboys” lurking EVERYWHERE.

    Folks, get Tina’s book. It is truly marvelous. Great relationships, writing style, and cowboys!

    No need to enter me in the drawing. As you can see, I have already devoured Rancher’s Reunion and am eagerly awaiting Oklahoma Reunion…time is passing slowly.

    Peace, Julie

  2. Tina, the cowboys are out in droves since the National Western Stock Show is in town! Kinda funny to go roam the aisles of western wear and such and see the guys and gals who wait all year for the chance to dress up western! What a hoot!

    Makes me want to fluff my hair big and pour into my Cruel Girl jeans…

    Yeah right.

    Although I do still wear the bling. A girl’s gotta have her bling belts and necklaces if she’s gonna write about cute guys in Wranglers : )

    Thanks for the peek into the cowgirl side of Tina. I love it. I’m loving The Rancher’s Reunion and can’t wait for Oklahoma Reunion!


  3. Hi Tina! Welcome to Petticoats & Pistols. Love the post, love the hat. My family and I passed through Tulsa on our way from L.A. to Washington D.C. I’ll never forget the cowboy hanging out at the diner where we stopped for supper. A little kid was having trouble with a “claw” game. The big guy came to the rescue and won about six toys for the kid.

    Your book sounds wonderful. I’m looking forward to reading it!

  4. Congrats on your first book! After reading your “teaser” above, I’m sure there will be many more published.
    I enjoyed the way you wrote. I was noticing certain words/phrases and smiling in most sentences, like when I read “hoo boy” and “he said softly” and “his brain scrambled backwards” and “half stomped half limped”. Vivid words. Excellent detail.
    Thank you for sharing here, plus sharing your books with your lucky winners.

  5. I moved to Tulsa when I graduated from high school and lived there for over 30 years. We moved to Vinita after we retired to be close to the grandchildren. All the best to you with your writing.

  6. Hi, Victoria! Tulsa is on Route 66 which is pretty cool too! Lots of history in that town. It’s huge on art deco and has many examples in the architecture.

    Anyone ever have to restrain themselves from taking a hat off a cowboy? A stranger even?


  7. Hi Tina and welcome to the Junction!

    Another John Wayne fan. Yea! Love that swagger. And I hear you on missing the cowboys. While there weren’t all that many in Dallas, after 25 years in the Lone Star State, we moved to Missouri. The only Stetsons around here are the ones that live in my mind. 😀

  8. Hi Tina! A big hearty welcome to P&P. We’re so thrilled to have you. Hope you enjoy it and want to come back again.

    Congratulations on your debut book. That’s really exciting. I love the cover. I’m wishing you lots and lots of success.

  9. Thank you so much, Linda. It’s totally an honor to be here and rubbing elbows with all you P&P Fillies.

    You should see the entry in my diary for today.

    This is right up there with front row at the Brooks & Dunn concert. My jaw hurts from smiling.

  10. The books sounds great! Had no chance to try an Inspirational yet, but would love to!
    As to cowboys, well, I’ve never met one in real life! I can hear all of you shouting “What?”, lol! We don’t get cowboys very often here in Germany. 🙂 But I would love to meet one, for sure!
    Good luck with your next book!

  11. Wow, Claudia!! Germany. I lived there for almost two years, right outside of Augsburg in a small village when I was in the Army.

    Leave your contact information. We MUST chat!!

  12. Thank you, Colleen. Harlequin’s Inside Romance magazine-it’s a very small magazine/booklet available in where their books are sold-has named 2011 THE YEAR OF THE COWBOY!!


  13. Flat Oklahoma + great grazing land + cows=cowboys. Colorado (aside from the eastern bit): too many mountains. As a Kansas girl, I too appreciate the cowboy. Mostly, I appreciate the farm boy. 😉

    Your book looks wonderful!

  14. Many cowboys around here; there are trail rides, rodeos(indoor and out), brandings. Love the cowboy stories/Western genre. Being an inspirational is an added bonus.

    thanks for sharing today.

  15. Tina — I LOVED this book! You made Will and Annie come ALIVE. Tugged at our heartstrings. And I often found myself smiling as I read. 🙂 Can hardly wait until your next one releases!! You’re off to a GREAT start, you little rhinestone cowgirl you!

  16. Hi Tina,
    I live in a household of cowboys. Not only are they working with cows, but Packers, too. That is horses and mules. They rodeo–just the team roping. They track mud and manure into the house and there are scrapes in the carpet and tile from the spurs. But we all love them. The dogs love them and our stock love them. They are our own cowboys. My husband has a $400 custom cowboy hat! Now that is bling!

  17. What a great post, Tina! I had no idea you were such a cowgirl at heart! My two older brothers sure qualify as cowboys. One has already gone to meet his Maker, but the other, at 80 years old, is still going strong in the Texas Hill Country. However, coming along after my brothers were all grown up, I ended up a city girl. And always felt cheated. Nice we can indulge our cowboy dreams in wonderful stories like THE RANCHER’S REUNION!

  18. Mary J,

    I bet you’re enjoying how we romanticize the life!
    Nothing like the studs of real denim jeans-not designer stuff-to cut through the finish of your dining room chairs, either!!! LOL

  19. I agree, Myra, you should be writing cowboys. But sometimes the stuff that you are close to is hard to write. I have often considered writing medical but I think I really am too close to the topic and I can’t find any fun it it so far.

  20. Enjoyed reading the article. I grew up in Colorado and there were plenty of cowboys on the Western slope. I think Denver always thought of itself as the cosmopolitan city of the plains and when visiting the town the cowboys left their “look” back home.
    I live in Arizona now and I see plenty of cowboys in my area. Come to Prescott over July 4th and you will see a lot of them during the Rodeo.
    I think being a cowboy is a state of mind anyway.

  21. Yep, Joye, I don’t make it over to the Western slope, I must admit.

    And you are right. Everyone puts on their city face in Denver.

    Prescott, huh? I smell the setting for a book.

  22. I wrote a cowboy book a few months ago. Still waiting for some savvy editor to snatch it up. ;>D

    Also reading Glynna’s SECOND CHANCE COURTSHIP–fun! You gals know how to write ’em!

  23. What’s ‘Western Slope’ mean? The western slope of the Rockies? Don’t the Rockies stretch all the way to California?

    Excuse me while I go study geography.

    I’ve got a book releasing in August sent on the western side of Pike’s Peak. Is that the Western Slope. It’s thick with cowboys. A gold rush has just ended. 1868-ish.

  24. Not sure. Something like, “Don’t try to understand them. Just rope them up and grab them.” I’m probably way off. Oh well….

  25. Oh. They probably have ’em in them, so I’ll redo that: Don’t try to understand ’em. Just rope ’em up and grab ’em.” Probably still way off, though….

  26. Mary have you ever been to the Pike’s Peak area? Royal Gorge has a 1/4 of a mile suspension bridge–it’s terrifying and amazing. You should come back to Colorado and we’ll get some guppy..I mean volunteer to do the driving and go up there.

  27. Here’s how we divide Colorado sorta since I am not an expert nor a native.

    1. Mountains-area above 9 thousand feet.

    2.Foothills -small towns between 6-9 thousand feet surrounding the mts.

    3.Plains -East of I-25

    4. Western Slope -west outside the mountains (think Grand Junction)

    5. Front Range-Denver and the burbs (technically I live here but real close to the foothills)

    6. Palmer Divide-area between Denver and Colorado Springs

  28. Hello Tina and you P&P gals! I’m loving The Rancher’s Reunion. Tina’s writing is as smooth as melted butter and molasses. Nothing seems forced, the story just flows like buttermilk out of a jug.

    So, grab some of Ms. Rose’s homemade biscuits and dive in. You won’t be sorry!

    Oh, and I went to the PRC finals in Philadelphia, MS last night. It was a good night: nobody got whupped on by a 2000 lb bull. I always hate that!

    And, we got there too late for the National Anthem, so dh and everybody didn’t have to see me cry. Sigh

  29. Must stand up for my home state of Texas and its long, long history of cattle ranching brought here by the Spanish conquistadors. The haciendaderos and vaqueros of those days are
    the forerunners of the cowboys of today. Here
    in Houston, especially during the Fat Stock
    Show & Rodeo each February, you will find “real” cowboys (who ranch daily), professional cowboys (they “rodeo” daily) and those of us Houstoni-
    ans who “cowboy” for a day or days during the
    run of the Rodeo. This is all to say that you
    will find many kinds of cowboys in Texas. BTW, thanks for sharing your secret with us. I look
    forward to reading The Rancher’s Reunion.

    Pat Cochran

  30. I’m not sure why cowboys are hiding in Colorado either but I do know I found quite a few of the handsome critters in Texas when I went there for Christmas! Yummy!

    Loved the post today!

    Smiles, 🙂
    Cindy W.



  31. Love the post! Our daughter lives in the foothills on the southeast side of Denver near Deckers. We love going to vist her in her little mountain home. I think she would qualify as a rhinestone cowgirl. At least if the love of horses and rodeo mean anything.

    She and her husband are in training to hike Pikes Peak nest fall and three or four other tall mountains. They hike most all weekends right now so are really determined to do this. I told a mule ride would be much easier but she said not as much fun.

  32. Hi Tina,
    WOW I almost missed the party! That would never do–I’m a native Oklahoman myself and everything I write takes place in Oklahoma or Texas. Your books look wonderful. So glad you could join us here at the Junction today. Yep, you are so right–there are TONS of cowboys in Oklahoma, I’m proud to say, and we love ’em. You’re right–THEY ARE DARN CUTE!
    Cheryl P.

  33. Your book sounds like it will be a fun read. I think you will find cowboys in every state, at least cowboys at heart. Here in eastern Washington we have lots — the cow owning kind and the all hat no cows kind. I’m waiting for someone to write a romance set on a ranch or a wheat farm in Eastern Washington. They really are as common here as in Montana or Wyoming.

  34. Oh my stars, this EXPLAINS SO MUCH, RADCLIFFE!!!!

    If only I’d know you when, LOL!

    And I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED The Rancher’s Reunion, oh my goodness, what a great fun, romantic cowboy read.

    And I loved Annie, her warmth, her guts, her gusto.

    Marvelous stuff and a great part of Harlequin’s Year of the Cowboy.

    YEE HAW!!!!!

  35. @Tina Radcliffe Funny thing! I’m not living in Bavaria, but close in Saxony! Hope you have fond memories of Germany! You can either email me (claudigc at msn dot com) or find me on twitter ClaudiGC84. I’d love to chat with you!

  36. TINA!!! Thirty-five times??? You watched Urban Cowboy 35 flippin’ times???? WOW, you take the spurs, girl, because that’s downright impressive.

    Fun, FUN interview Mary and Tina!!


  37. Sorry I missed the post yesterday. Enjoyed it and the excerpt from THE RANCHER’S REUNION.

    Head on down to Colorado Springs. The ProRodeo Hall of Fame & Museum of the American Cowboy are located there. The Pikes Peak or Bust Parade and Rodeo were great fun. We lived there for three years in the early 1980’s and loved every minute of it. We moved there from Northern NY so it was a change and a nice one. The fewer number of trees, even with the pine and aspen covered mountains was the first impression we had. Of course it was our first experience with cowboys and the West. Always took our company to the Flying W Ranch for their chuck wagon dinner and show by the Flying W Wranglers. We were back a few years ago and couldn’t believe how much Colorado Springs has grown. The gate to the Flying W Ranch used to be a few miles out of town, now they are in a subdivision.

    I’ll be looking for your books. Like Laney4 I like the way you phrase things and write. I hope the release is going well and the next one goes well too. By the way, liked the cookie recipes on your website.

  38. Hey there, Tina! Whee haw!!! I just sent my email to you and am already watching my mailbox, LOL! Thanks again!!!

  39. Love the hat almost as much as The Rancher’s Reunion! Can’t wait for your October book! And the next trip to Denver, Tina. You’re the hostess with the mostest, cowgirl.

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