The word cowboy appears in about half the Special Edition titles every month, and my books are right in there with them. As the lovely Fillies of Wildflower Junction will attest, cowboys sell books.
I’ve been writing about cowboys since many of you were knee-high to a Shetland Pony, but you’ll only find the word cowboy in three of my pre-Google Special Editions. My first one was SOMEDAY SOON, and you had to know the song lyrics to get the cowboy message. It was our song, my cowboy’s and mine, back when he came courtin’. Well, sorta courtin’. Okay, I was the one who invaded his territory—the Eastern dude gone West. But that’s another story.
Back to The Word. These days, key words mean everything, which is why some of our series book titles might seem a little—dare I say it?—silly. Key word overload sometimes. But with cowboy, one word says it all.
And I know you’ve talked about your ideal cowboy many times around this watering hole, so I won’t ask. (But you’re welcome to tell me.) I will say that my personal ideal is an Indian cowboy. And while they’re becoming all too rare out on the prairie, I can bring them to you between the colorful covers. I’ll bring you a cowboy whose roots reach way down deep in prairie sod, who rides as an extension of his horse, lives his life as a natural part of a land that still refuses to be paved over or plowed under.
While I treat each of my characters as an individual, I keep my husband’s oft repeated claims in mind. Like, “I’m a jack of all trades, master of none.” Which means if it is broke, he can fix it. It might not be pretty, but he can get it working again. “I’m secure in my manhood.” Meaning he’ll read a romance on a plane. And he’ll fly if he has to, but he’d rather ride a horse.
I’m continuing my Special Edition Wild Horse Sanctuary series with ONE BRAVE COWBOY, on sale September 20. I’d like to celebrate with you by sending two randomly chosen commenters an autographed copy of one of the earlier books in the series—your choice.
ONE BRAVE COWBOY introduces another competitor for Mustang Sally’s Wild Horse Training Contest, a thread that runs through four of the six books connected with my fictitious Double D Wild Horse Sanctuary in South Dakota. The title cowboy’s name is Cougar. Just Cougar. He served in the Army with Mary Tutan (ONCE A FATHER), and he’s a wounded warrior, but his worst scars are not visible. Newly released from a VA hospital, this Indian cowboy desperately needs to come to terms with his losses at home and on the battlefield. He came home from his first tour in the Middle East to find his girlfriend—the woman he’d planned to marry—with another man. During a later tour he was injured in an incident in which a child was killed, and he blames himself. His hope for saving his sanity—the horses his brother was keeping for him—were sold during his absence. His entry into Mustang Sally’s Wild Horse Training Competition is the means he’s using to find his way among the living after pulling himself back from the brink of suicide. Then he meets Celia Banyon and her young son, who was injured in an accident and whose worst scars are also not visible.
Did I mention that many Indian cowboys are also veterans? Mine is. He’s comfortable wearing boots, but, like Cougar, he prefers pointed toes and riding heels. It’s an interesting blend of experience—Indian, cowboy, warrior—that I think you’ll agree makes for one hell of a Western hero.
Thank you for inviting me back to Wildflower Junction! Now let’s circle up and pass the talking stick around.
I will be giving away two of my earlier novels in the series to two lucky readers
who leave a comment!