RUNNING WILD with Linda Howard and Linda Jones…

In Running Wild, Linda Howard and I (Linda Jones) put a woman on the run in Wyoming during the wintertime. We’re both Alabama girls, so trying to do the setting justice took some research. Not that either of us was dedicated enough to actually experience a Wyoming winter. 🙂 Carlin Reed, off the grid in an attempt to hide from a violent stalker, ends up on a Wyoming cattle ranch, where she butts heads with the ranch owner, Zeke Decker. 

Below I’ve interviewed Linda Howard about a few odds and ends related to Running Wild.

LJ:  Linda Howard, tell me a little bit about what it’s like to live with cows, and did that experience help you in writing Running Wild?

Linda Howard

LH:   From my experience, cows are both cunning and stupid, with an incredible sense of timing for doing exactly the wrong thing at the worst possible time.  For instance, if they’re going to tear down a fence, they’ll wait until I’m the only one here.  I don’t do fencing.  I can’t do fencing, at least not by myself, which is why I’ve resorted to repairing holes in the fence with Christmas ribbon, tied into big bows at the top.  The cows don’t like the bows, so they’ll give the ribbon a wide berth.  Works for me.  I don’t care what the guys think about it, because they weren’t here to handle the cow crisis — and the cows belong to them, not me — and I did the best I could.  On the other hand, the calves are really cute.  But I have absolutely no knowledge or experience in collecting bull semen, so when the situation arose in Running Wild, there was lots or research to be done.  Needless to say, we found out a lot.  Also needless to say, we left a lot of that information out of Running Wild, because it isn’t a subject you want to explore too deeply.  The pun wasn’t intended, but it’s almost impossible to avoid :-).

LJ:   My only experience with cows has been at Linda’s. A bull followed us through the pasture because it thought we had food. We did not. I was alarmed.

LJ:  What’s your opinion of western style shirts? Snaps or buttons? Any thoughts on pocket placement?

LH:  Western-style shirts are okay, as long as they’re functional, but regular work shirts are just as good.  Snaps are for sissies or strippers, unless something’s wrong with your fingers, such as arthritis, and you can’t handle buttons.  Pockets should be FUNCTIONAL.  They shouldn’t sit so high you’d have to dislocate your elbow to get anything out of them, and they should be large enough to stuck something larger than a dollar bill (refer back to strippers) into them.  Yes, the original cover of Running Wild featured a dude wearing a sissy shirt with sissy pockets.  I have strong feelings about sissy pockets.  They upset me.

LJ:  I agree, pockets should be useful. The original cover model’s shirt had pockets set so high they were almost on his shoulders, and they were about the size of a saltine cracker. The new cover, with no shirt at all, is much better. Thanks to the pocket issue, of course. My opinion has nothing to do with bare chests or abs. Nothing at all . . .

LJ:  What’s your favorite scene in Running Wild?

LH:  I suppose, given my own history of cooking mishaps, most of the scenes that make me smile involve cooking, such as the Never Fail White Cake, and the Burning Biscuits.  But I also like the running-off-the-cliff scene, because I can so easily put myself in that truck seat, and feel the terror.

LJ:  I loved the cooking scenes, too, and I also loved the way Carlin and Zeke bantered throughout the book. They made me smile.

LJ:  What would you do to prepare for brutal winters in a place like Wyoming?

Linda Jones

LH:  I’m from Alabama, so preparing for a Wyoming winter, for me, would be like preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse.  I’d have battery-operated everything, I’d have heavy clothing, I’d have food and water in every vehicle, as well as candles, and cigarette lighters.  I’d have chains on my tires, a winch on both ends of my vehicle <g>, a personal locator so I could signal a satellite if I got stranded or lost, some kind of radio, guns, ammo, a knife, a tent, an Arctic-quality sleeping bag, rope, a hatchet  — I wouldn’t be able to buy groceries because I’d have so much STUFF in my car I wouldn’t have room for anything else.  Yes, everyone who lives in Wyoming may now feel free to laugh at me.  It’s okay.

LJ:  This question does not apply to me, because there is no way I’m going north during the winter. Weather weenie here. I try not to leave the house when the temps drop below forty degrees Fahrenheit. Snow is pretty, as long as it doesn’t stay on the ground more than a day. Ice? No, thanks. I have a down jacket and snow boots for Alabama winters, which are plenty cold enough for me.

Food played a big part in this book. Pie, casseroles, feeding many hungry men. Be sure to check out the recipes in the back of the book. They come complete with personal notes. Whether you’re in Wyoming or Alabama or somewhere in between, what’s your favorite meal on a cold winter night? 

Please leave a comment…we’ll be drawing one winner for a copy of Running Wild


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37 thoughts on “RUNNING WILD with Linda Howard and Linda Jones…”

  1. Girls I got some smiles reading this interview. Can’t beat a hot bowl of stew and cornbread on a cold winter night. But, if you live in Wyoming, you would have to have many likes for they have real cold nights it seems forever. I lived in Jackson Hole Wyo. for over 6 years, and I think each winter got longer and longer. LOL Most times the snow never melted until late May or more likely June. And, sometimes started by September. It wasn’t a matter of if it was going to snow every day, but how much. (this is what I told my mom when she wanted me to stay in.) Of course she wasn’t there. I lived there with my husband and two daughters. BUT, it never kept me from going hunting ever. Once I thought I’d frozen my toes, but didn’t. And, once we went hunting when it was 40 degree below zero. Right, I know that sounds crazy. But, the cold didn’t bother me as much there, as when I’d come to Houston where it was damp with the cold days. And, windy. It is not humid in Wyo. You just dress for it and go on your way! I’d love to win this western. Maxie ( )

  2. I grew up in Wisconsin where the Winter temps can be around for 6 long months. Hands down my all time favorite cold weather meal is chicken pot pie with home made crust! It has to have lots of chicken meat, corn, peas, carrots and potatoes.

    One Christmas break while I was in college, I was lucky enough to go to Steamboat Springs, CO skiing. I remember the night skiing, the drier air, the mountains, the snow, hot chocolate….

  3. My personal idea of winter heaven is sitting in a nice warm house, fireplace going, watching it snow while eating a bowl of chili with cornbread. Hmm, gotta have hot chocolate in there somewhere, too.

    By sheer happenstance, my dental hygienist is from Wyoming, and she gave me lots of tips, such as covering your mouth and nose during the really, really cold weather so your lungs don’t get ice crystals in them.

  4. A good bowl of hot chili warms me right up on a cold night.
    Last couple of years the winters have been mild here in Ohio. I hate to be so cold I can’t get warm.

    Yesterday we were in the 60’s today won’t make it out of the 30’s brrr

  5. I’m from Ontario, Canada. Snow is a daily occurrence here in inter; There have been some weeks where all we do is come home from work, have soup and crackers and then we’re outside shoveling for an hour or so…depends on how much snow we got; we have coats, mitts, hats and thermal underwear. You never feel warm no matter how much you’re wearing, the winds are usually brutal.

  6. I love a thick beef vegetable soup with cornbread or chili with cornbread, when it’s cold out. As a matter of fact, in one go-through of Running Wild, I think we had the guys eating cornbread in every chapter. That was revised, a bit. 🙂

  7. The first thing that jumps in my mind for cold winter’s night is a hot cup of gluhwein (German hot spiced red wine) but to eat… Caribbean Stew would be right up there. Sweet potatoes, butternut squash, onions, tomatoes, black beans, spiced with red pepper and allspice. Can be both kinds of hot! And I’ve experienced a WY winter unprepared. My husband was in the Navy, we were transferring from HI to MD in April. We stopped to visit my mom in Cheyenne. Needless to say, I wasn’t able to get ‘appropriate’ winter clothes for the kids before we left HI so I crossed my fingers the weather would stay nice. Not a chance, blizzard came through and dumped a foot of snow. So here’s my kids in shorts and flip flops wanting to go out in the snow. Not many places in Cheyenne sell winter wear in April either, thank goodness my sister had some stuff her kids had outgrown. Have a great picture in a box somewhere of my van with a foot of snow on it and HI license plates showing.

  8. Brrrr. Way too cold for me. All it took was living in ski country for me to decide I’m a beach person. Grew up near the beach and had no interest in it, but after many months of frigid temperatures, snow, and generally never warming up year after year, I am thrilled to go anywhere temperate. My go to cold weather food is actually hot tea. I drink hot tea constantly during the cold months to try to stay warm.

  9. I live in the snowbelt of Ontario, so I have seen snow so high that my car, if parked on the road would disappear behind a snowbank.. Yep lots of snow..
    I would say that a steaming bowl of soup and grilled cheese sandwich is my fav on a cold snowy winter’s night..
    I am putting this book on my Must Be Read list… can’t wait to read it.

  10. Welcome to the Junction, Ladies! We’re so happy to have you. Loved the interview. So hilarious. Especially about the cows and the red bows. I agree about the sissy pockets on men’s shirts. Totally useless. A lot of cowboys here in Texas go to the farm supply store to shop for clothes. They’re made for real men. My favorite meal for a cold winter night is chili. It really hits the spot. And of course, you have to have plenty of cornbread with it. Yummy!

    I can’t wait to read RUNNING WILD. It’s definitely on my list the next time I go into town which is almost 40 miles away.

    Wishing you lots of success!!

  11. That would be chili and cornbread here, too. I eat my cornbread with my chili but my husband eats his chili with crackers and saves the cornbread for dessert. He eats the cornbread with maple syrup. The next day any leftover chili is served on top of macaroni with grated cheese and chopped onions.

  12. As a Georgia girl, I can totally agree with LH’s comment,”preparing for a Wyoming winter, for me, would be like preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse.” I hate being cold, so I like to warm up with soup, chili, or stew. A cup of coffee or hot chocolate hits the spot, too.

  13. My idea of winter heaven is jus5t bought groceries in the fridge and other neccessities stocked (toliet paper, etc.) and enough unread books to keep me busy for several days and paid bills in the mailbox with nowhere to go.

  14. Oooh, the chili with chopped onions and cheese sounds great. I will add here that I prefer chili WITHOUT beans; when you’re cooped up in the winter, one doesn’t need extra pollution, delivered by a cowboy or not :-). Just sayin’. Has anyone here ever had Cincinnati-style chili? I love it. The chili is sweetened with a little cocoa, then you cook spaghetti, and layer the noodles with chili, chopped onions, beans, shredded cheese, etc.

  15. Beef stew and Chili are both made alot in the winter. I do both in the crockpot but if the electric is out then both can cook on the wood burning stove.

  16. Enjoyed the Q&A! That is one yummy cover! 😉
    For cold nights, I love to eat either homemade mac & cheese or homemade chicken noodle soup…

  17. I live in PA so I know about winter and I’m tired of it lol. Loved the interview and I think ribbons on the fence is a great idea 🙂 I was born during the big storm of 1950 and my mom was taken to the hospital in a hearse (the only vehicle that could make it through) and thank goodness my mom made it to the hospital just in time. I love stew on a cold winter night 🙂

  18. I can’t wait to read this! I loved the interviews, especially the cow stories. As a girl with a town soul it was hard growing up in the country surrounded by nature so I love that y’all can make me laugh about it.

    Since we just had a cold snap here in Alabama, this will be the perfect book to curl up with after I get home from watching the Alabama game in the country. I will be feeding some hungry cowboys. The recipes from the book would have come in handy!

    Great blog!

  19. Woo hoo! By coincidence, Stephanie, I too am on the way to the Alabama game:-). Y’all, I’ll be checking out now until after the game’s over; we’re getting in to T-Town now.

  20. Love the cow stories. As an ‘old’ cowgirl, my favorite kind of story. As for my fave food on a cold wintery evening is beef stew/vegetable soup with hard crust sourdough bread and read butter.
    Here in the Eastern Sierra, our winters are pretty mild compared to the northern states. Some winters we don’t even get snow, but it’s only 90 miles to Mammoth Lakes and they always have enough of that.
    Our cowboys in this family prefer buttons on their shirts. They have to have pockets in the right place for their various things. It used to be cigarets, but most have quit smoking. YAY! Of course the chew goes into the back jean pocket.

  21. Being a definite Southern girl, I don’t do cold weather very well at all so for me, I suppose I’d have to have chili (hot in temperature but only moderately spicy) and hot apple cider to keep me warm from the inside out. And even the mention of the SN*W word around here causes a panicked run on the grocery stores for milk, bread, toilet paper among other necessities of life!!

  22. I grew up in the Adirondacks so definitely know what cold and snow are. Here in central Washington some years are snowy and cold and some years not so bad. Either way a bowl of stew and fresh homemade rolls or sourdough biscuits are great comfort food.

    As for snaps vs buttons–my husband says button holes get stretched out and the shirt doesn’t stay buttoned when he’s working so snaps please. And pockets must have flaps that fasten so the flashlight, pencil, fence tester, notebook, etc. don’t fall out.

  23. I am always amazed at why people live where the weather is so inhospitable. Just because your grandparents lived there (and eeked a living out of the ground)? Not a good reason. Just move! I did. I don’t do cold weather. So it’s Oklahoma for me, and still a good stew with cornbread on a cold night.
    Linda and Linda, I so enjoy your stories and look forward to each new one! Paper, ebook and audio. Keep up the good work 🙂

  24. Give me a good hot bowl of chili and crackers, a blanket, and a good book and I am good to go. We had a few baby calves when I was growing up that we raised for the meat.

  25. Linda, you do cowboys so well, in MacKenzie’s Mountain, isn’t that in Montana? I actually am from Nebraska and we know everything about winter, if you ever need any advice.
    I’m a big fan. Thanks both Linda’s for stopping in and for the fun interview.

    I’ve got Running Wild pre-ordered.

  26. I grew up in Wyoming and I’m back after a few years away! Yay!! And we’re expecting snow tomorrow. My favorite comfort food on a winter day is chicken and noodles and of course a hot cup of coffee.

    Running Wild sounds great! I got in pre-ordered.

  27. Cold winter nights are perfect for a good beef stew with a thick slice of sourdough bread slathered with butter. Chili works too, but my favorite is the stew. Later, by the fire, an Irish coffee finish it of nicely. Pie, brownies, or chocolate chip cookies make a nice dessert.

  28. Enjoyed reading the comments. I grew up in Colorado so know what cold winter days and nights can be. Our favorite meal was a pan of cornbread and a big bowl of potato soup made with egg noodles. Yummy and of course, there was always hot chocolate or coffee available.
    Can’t wait to read your book

  29. Enjoyed the interview! Favorite meal on a cold winter night would have to be homemade chicken pot pie. Look forward to reading, Running Wild. Sounds like a great read. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

  30. Hi, LJ and LH! I’ve lived through a few Wyoming winters, and if you dare to venture out, that’s pretty much what you take with you. Snow on the Fourth of July is an experience! Chicken corn chowder is my favorite blizzard meal, with hot chocolate for dessert. I’m buying the Kindle version tomorrow—looking forward to the story with the recipes as a fun addition. Best regards!

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