Always Love a Cowboy! Welcome, LORRAINE HEATH

It’s such a pleasure to be back here visiting with the fillies. This year has been filled with nostalNOVEMBER 29 HEATHgia as three of my previous westerns received  new packaging and were made available to readers again. In June, it was A ROGUE IN TEXAS. In July, the novella THE LAST GUNSLINGER was re-released. It was originally entitled “A Long Stretch of Lonesome” and appeared in the TO TAME A TEXAN ANTHOLOGY. I was given the opportunity to expand the novella for AvonBooks when they re-issued it.

And now NEVER LOVE A COWBOY is back in print and in bookstores November 24.

It was fun working with cowboys again. It was nice to have the opportunity to dip back into my research books on cowboys and the old west. I’d forgotten just how much I love cowboys. They are just so danged sexy. Rangy, muscled from hard labor, tough, and strong. They have slow, easy grins, tip their hats to the ladies, and say, “Yes, ma’am.”



While it might date me, the very first cowboy I ever fell in love with was Roy Rogers. He rode his horse so well, and he shot straight. He always got the bad guy. I used to tell people at school that he was my uncle. I think I truly believed it, because I remember my mother sitting me down one day and explaining to me that he wasn’t related to me.

Then there was the Lone Ranger. The one on TV. “Hi-ho, Silver.” He fought for justice, and was so mysterious behind his mask. Who was he really?

Gene Barry as Bat Masterson was quite sophisticated. He showed us a different kind of cowboy. Polished, refined, but still deadly with a gun—or a cane.

Steve McQueen as Josh Randall in WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE was more traditional. A loner, who always got his man.

Chuck Connors as the Rifleman. He was always about doing what was right, even when the choice was difficult, especially when he needed to teach his son a lesson.

I never watched Gunsmoke or Bonanza, which is probably sacrilegious for true western fans, but oh, how I loved James Drury as the Virginian. My favorite episode was one that featured a very young Robert Redford as a man just released from prison who was trying to go straight. Then there was Rowdy Yates…

My favorite of all the cowboys, though, was Heath Barkley of THE BIG VALLEY. Never missed an episode. He was the ostracized and misunderstood bastard, the one who didn’t really belong but wanted to so badly. He worked and fought the hardest to maintain the ranch for the family.

Of course, if you’re considerably younger than I am, you may not be familiar with any of these cowboy heroes. I’m not sure why westerns aren’t as popular on television or movies anymore. Maybe there was an innocence or a goodness to them that doesn’t translate well with modern TV. But I think it’s a shame that the western historical cowboy isn’t appreciated as much as he once was. That we have to search so hard to find him on TV or at the movies—or even on the bookstore shelves.

I really appreciate that the fillies here at Petticoats and Pistols are keeping the home fires burning, that they continue to write about and celebrate cowboys. These champions of the trail are a special breed of men.

  • Who is your favorite cowboy hero?


Three lucky commenters will receive an autographed copy of NEVER LOVE A COWBOY.

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27 thoughts on “Always Love a Cowboy! Welcome, LORRAINE HEATH”

  1. My favorite cowboy is John wayne! When i was a child my sister and i used to stay up late at night and watch his movies. We would record them on our tape recorder so we could listen to them over and over again.

  2. Welcome back Lorraine!

    My favorites: Sam Elliott in anything – but especially as Tell Sackett, Bruce Boxleitner as Luke Macahan in the late 70’s series The Machans/How the West was Won and Timothy Olyphant in Deadwood & Justified.

  3. my favorite was Tom Selleck in the sacketts,,and I like Sam Elliot too but Tom Selleck is still just as sexy now as then

  4. I think Burt Reynolds was looking good in his cowboy hat, (Smokey & the Bandit) and although he was a half-breed in Gunsmoke he was in the western themed show..
    * *Gus stole my heart in Lonesome Dove 🙂

  5. Hi Lorraine!! Welcome back. We’ve missed you. I’m so glad you’re re-releasing this western romance series!! I loved each book. In fact, I couldn’t read fast enough. Those men captivated me. And if anyone hasn’t read THE LAST GUNSLINGER, they need to run — not walk — to get it. I think this book was one of your very best! Such a wounded alpha hero.

    Now you know asking us to name just one favorite cowboy hero can get you in serious trouble. I can’t choose just one any more than I can eat just one potato chip. Robert Fuller of Laramie and Wagon Train, Clint Walker of Cheyenne, All the men on Bonanza, James Arness of Gunsmoke, Tom Selleck, Sam Eliott, John Wayne, Robert Duvall. And these are just to name a few.

    Wishing you much success and saying prayers that you’ll return to writing western romance full time very soon!!

  6. Linda: Thank you for the kind words about THE LAST GUNSLINGER!

    As for Tom Selleck–I can’t believe I didn’t mention him when he was my inspiration for Dallas Leigh in TEXAS GLORY.

    I’m loving seeing these familiar and much beloved names. It is hard to choose one favorite.

  7. John Wayne will always be my favorite cowboy. You said you liked Rowdy Yates. I always watched Rawhide but my favorite was the trail boss Gil Favor.

  8. That’s so hard since I grew up watching cowboy shows. A young Clint Eastwood in Rawhide was memorable or James Garner in Maverick and The Magnificent Seven with Yul Brynner being a favorite too.

  9. Hello, Lorraine, and welcome back to the Junction!

    You know how I love your cowboys! And I think you hit just about all of my favorite TV/movie cowboys, except Ben, Adam, Hoss & Little Joe – the Cartwrights.

    Happy to have NEVER LOVE A COWBOY available again!

  10. in no particular order:

    Cord Tanner in Never Love a Cowboy by Janette Kenney
    Trace McKade in The Cowboy’s Baby by Patrica Thayer
    Austin in Montana Bride by Jillian Hart
    Jake in Sweet Lullaby by Lorraine Heath

    I think always in terms of books when asked these types of questions:)

  11. Lorraine, we must be the same “vintage.” I grew up on the same westerns and enjoyed them. I would throw in Paladin, Wagon Train, Cheyenne, Have Gun Will Travel, Wyatt Earp, Maverick, My Friend Flicka, The Virginian, Yancy Derringer, and Rawhide for the middle aged ones and Zorro and Annie Oakley for some of the older ones. I loved Bonanza and The Wild, Wild West, and never watched Big Valley. My children enjoyed Young Riders, Little House, Lonesome Dove, and Dr. Quinn. The more recent Into The West mini series was very well done. As you can tell, I was/am a big western fan. I read lots of westerns, both historicals and contemporaries.

    As for a favorite cowboy, I have no idea. It usually depends what kind of a mood I am in : )

    It really is too bad that the cowboy ethic doesn’t seem to fit well in todays world. It would do a lot to make this a nicer place to live.

  12. I have always loved John Wayne. My new favorite cowboy is Sheriff Walt Longmire. I enjoy reading the Walt Longmire books.

  13. Hi Lorraine. I just watched the Virginian today. I watched and loved all of the ones you mentioned above. But my favorite and which you left was John Wayne. Loved that guy. Still love to watch his movies. I have several stations, 4 at least, of the old westerns, which I follow everyday. I have read Western books for many years. If you have any of these stations you have another chance to watch Bonanza and Gunsmoke. Bonanza has a great bunch of brothers like Bid valley. I would love to win this western you are giving away.
    Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

  14. Talking cowboys has me hankering to pull out a western romance novel and curl up before a fire for some lovely reading. Thank you all for stopping by and joining me on this trip down memory lane.

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