Lori Wilde – The Allure of the Cowboy

Throughout my life, cowboys have surrounded me. I took them for granted, believing that everyone grew up familiar with men dressed in sharply creased Wranglers that snuggly hugged their behinds, dusty cowboy boots, belt buckles big as saucers and jauntily cocked Stetsons. I thought all men opened doors for women, said ‘yes, ma’am” and “no, sir”, walked with a John Wayne swagger, and passionately defended their family and friends.

I was never surprised to see a cowboy walk into a hamburger joint wearing jangly spurs or a catch of whiff of livestock, rope, sun and leather as he sauntered past. The men I knew wore long sleeves and blue jeans all year round and never, ever put on sandals. They loved their dogs, guns and pickup trucks all pretty much equally.

Because this was the earth from where I was sprung, I did not really take much notice of cowboys. I was attracted to the exotic and unfamiliar, never realizing that cowboys were exotic and unfamiliar to someone. It was only when I started publishing books and an editor pointed out that as a country girl from Texas, I should be writing about cowboys, that I came to truly appreciate what I had.

The stereotypical cowboy is laconic, tall, lean, stalwart, stoic and rides to the tune of his own drummer, but stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason. This is the profile of most cowboys I’ve known. They’re loyal, compassionate, practical and honest. The kind of man you can depend on. Most of them can do a mean two-step, a lot of them play guitar and almost all of them like to take their time. Giving new meaning to the phrase “slow hand.”

Don’t ask them to dress in a tux unless it’s aTexas tuxedo. They’re not big on small talk or wasting time with inconsequential things. They work hard, but know how to play when the time comes. They live by a code of honor that’s rare in the twenty-first century.

Honestly, I can’t believe I took cowboys for granted all these years. My bad. These days, I make up for it by writing about cowboys and sharing these great men with readers who aren’t lucky enough to have a cowboy of their own.

How about you? Do you love cowboys? What kind of men did you grow up with? Are there people and things from your childhood that you’ve taken for granted? Leave a comment and be entered in a sweepstakes. I’m giving away ten copies of THE COWBOY TAKES A BRIDE, the first book in my Jubilee, Texas series.

Also, Christie Craig (she writes hot, funny stories about cowboys) and I are giving away a Boot Scootin’ Basket. Here’s the link to enter. http://freshfiction.com/contest.php?id=4511. Get your cowgirl on!

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40 thoughts on “Lori Wilde – The Allure of the Cowboy”

  1. Hi Lori! I saw my first real cowboy in an Oklahoma coffeeshop. He was playing one of those “grab the toy with a claw” games, winning every time and passing out the stuffed critters to the children in the restaurant. He doesn’t know it, but he’s been in a few of my book 🙂

    Thank you for visiting P&P today! Both of your book covers are terrific.

  2. I grew up around military men. My dad was a career man in the Air Force then my brother spent 13 years in the Navy so there were always men in uniform around. So I grew up around men opening doors for ladies and girls. Did I take them for granted? I think I probably did at the time. But let me see a man in a military uniform and it brings back wonderful memories! 🙂

    I’m originally from Southern California and the closest I ever got to a real live cowboy was seeing George Strait in concert (second row). Owe those crisply creased Wranglers! 😀

    My brother and nephew now live in Texas (about 30 miles east of Dallas) and I tell you what I love to visit and whatch those cowboys! 🙂 Whew! I think I have a case of the vapors! 😀

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

  3. I use to go to rodeos with my parents as a kid,an Tom Selleck is my fave actor cowboy,he fills a pair of jeans like no body can,,not too many cowboys in Tenn.but love to watch them on tv an the movies

  4. Cowboys are to be admired for their strength, principles and values. I learned about their determination and inner courage many years ago and continue to admire them greatly. Thanks for this wonderful post.

  5. I liked the John Wayne movies where he played a cowboy. True Grit and McClintock were some of my favorites. John Wayne was at his best when he played a cowboy. OK – The Quiet Man was an exception.

  6. I think the fact there were men in my childhood (dads, grandpas, husbands) is something I took for granted until I starting working with families who don’t know what it’s like to have a dad, or a grandpa to spoil them. I love reading about those cowboys who are tough on the outside, but have a soft, family-man interior, like the one Victoria described!

  7. I have always been fasinated with Cowboys, from the first time I saw John Wayne on the big screen and Clint Eastwood and Lee Majors on the small screen… I guess because I was always a city girl, surronded by men who went to work in suits and white shirts and ties… And for me when I thought of Cowboys it was always Texas that came to mind… Now I now that there are cowboys in lots of places…

  8. I love cowboys since they represent all that is right and good and special. I think that cowboys are wise, wonderful and special. Many things from my childhood are missing. Integrity and honesty.

  9. Hi, Lori! So lovely to see you here! I love a good cowboy story. I read historical and contemporary western romances. A cowboy represents hard work, loyalty, integrity, and strength. And, gosh, they are just so MANLY!:-)

    Don’t enter my name in the drawing because I have read and emjoyed both of the books in the series. Do you think the next book will still come out in October?

  10. When I was young I watched the Westerns on television in the 1950’s. This gave me insight into the character of the cowboy. Roy Rogers, The Rifleman and movies with Gary Cooper as well. Real men who were brave and able. I grew up with families whose fathers worked hard to provide. It was normal at that time and the men were ordinary but responsible and hardworking.

  11. You were lucky to grow up in an area with a special type of man to represent it. Few other areas have someone as special to truely represent what they stand for. The coastal areas have fishermen and shrimpers, but there just isn’t a romantic ring to that. The Northwest has loggers which do come a bit close to the cowboy in stature and special qualities. But there are few other images that represent the ideal American image than the cowboy. We lived in Colorado Springs for 3 years and loved it. There are cowboys there too. Not flashy or trying to stand out, but there they were, just part of every day life, standing out because they were so much a part of the area.
    For those of us who have missed out of having them a part of our lives, I am glad we have you and other authors to bring them to us.

  12. Lori, welcome to P&P! We’re so honored to have you. And your subject is one we definitely have no problem relating to. We do love our cowboys. Like you, I’ve been around them all my life and never realized their allure until I started to write. It was a normal everyday thing to see them on the streets and in businesses. Here in Texas we just see them as part of vast landscape. I’m from the Lubbock area and cowboys are really common here. But, I’m looking at them in a whole new way now. I do appreciate the view.

    Sam Elliot is my all time favorite cowboy. He only seems to get better with age. And that voice. Oh MY!!

    Wishing you lots of luck with your books. The covers are great.

  13. I didn’t grow up with cowboys, but I love them in movies, books, and on TV. My current favorite semi-western and semi-cowboy is Anson Mount on Hell On Wheels.

  14. I grew up around firefighters and policemen… not cowboys, but I love reading about them and watching shows and movies with them. Love the covers for your books! Thanks for sharing with us today! 😀

  15. I grew up way out in the country–so country was all I knew Until I started high school.
    Don’t enter me for the book. I have read it and just finished The Cowboy and the Princess—loved them.

  16. Anne,

    Cowboy do really have a code of honor. Not that they’re aren’t a few bad apples in the bunch, but for the most part, cowboys are men you can truly trust.

  17. Texas and Nevada aren’t the only places that have cowboys. I grew up in Eastern California and we have our share–big time. They even make your western movies here. However, those are the only men I was acquainted with until I was married and we moved to a college town. What a wake-up that was. My boys only wore boots and jeans and hats. Even the 2 yr old. We drove an old green pickup. We were slightly out of place on campus. It was a joy to go back home and be ourselves. When I built my house, later on, we made sure there was no carpet except in the living room. It’s hard to clean manure out of carpet. Tile flooring cleaned up easier. My daughter and I were laughing about that just a few days ago.
    Still love those cowboys. Young and old.

  18. I’m from a small Texas town. The guys I grew up with weren’t the tall, sexy guys you read about in stories. So, I guess I did kind of take them for granted. I never understood the SUPER tight Wranglers. But I understand now. As a girl, I loved it, when I finally got my first pair of Rocky Mountains.

  19. Lori,

    Reading your post, I thought I was reading about me until you said Texas. I grew up in Wyoming and just didn’t get what the big deal was about cowboys. They were the guys in school, and the family I grew up with. Now, I wonder where my mind was all those years, and I love giving all those guys I knew, and took for granted a voice in the stories I write. :o)

    –Kirsten

  20. Hi Lori. I love cowboys. They are so sexy and have such good manners. I enjoy watching westerns where the cowboy saves the day.

  21. I’m a born and bred city girl–a New Yorker. I call Indiana, where my hubby is from, “out west.” However, I love cowboy romances. They’re tall, silent, practical, love their women, work hard, and work even harder. As I type this, I realize my hubby has a lot of the attributes of the cowboy heroes I read about. Hmmm, now it all falls into place. 🙂

  22. I do love me some cowboys and have heard a lot about this book. I grew up in the country but not around cowboys. I lived on a very small farm but we didn’t have cowboy so sad. Didn’t have cows either. I love reading about cowboy they are my favorite read. Love both of your book covers, and I can’t wait to read your books. Thanks for sharing with us today.

  23. I do love cowboy’a and always have! But I grew up around Nebraska farmers. Didn’t like them much. Then I met THE FARMER! Been married now for 49 years next month!

  24. I grew up on a NY state dairy farm in an area that had a lot of horse shows with “western equitation” classes. There was also a “dude ranch” that held a professional rodeo every weekend in the summer. Soooo…. even though the cowboys I grew up around made a living milking cows and working in factories they still wore wranglers, boots, and hats. Then I came west to a friend’s house for vacation and met my very own real cowboy and I’m still here helping feed beef cows instead of dairy cows.

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