The Changing Face of Ranchers and Cowboys and a Giveaway!



I’m a city girl who has always loved stories about the west.  Most of what I learned about ranching and cowboys came from research books like these.  They taught me what everyday life was like to a rancher in olden times.  I came to rely on these books for insight and they proved invaluable to me as I slowly morphed from writing western historical heroes to more modern day heroes of the west.



Surely the truth about ranching and cowboys is far less glamorous than is portrayed.  The work was hard, the days grueling and long.  Mexican vaqueros were well versed in ranching and taught their counterparts about horses, grazing, feed, cutting and cattle drives. They were the first true ranchers and cowboys of the American West.


Soon western film and TV stars became household names and introduced to society a whole different image of the rancher and cowboy.   Roy Rogers was my personal favorite. I had a fan girl crush on him back in the day while watching reruns!

Roy Rogers

Bump it up a few years and our image of ranchers/cowboys became much more romantic and women fell in love with the likes of Rowdy Yates aka Clint Eastwood.

Clint Easwood

And then of course, John Wayne came on the scene too and brought with him grit and power and a sense of national pride.  There’s something all American about a rancher working the land. john-wayne-movie-poster-1971-1020222804


A generation passes and by now our image of ranchers and cowboys has altered once again to a well educated, smart about the environment, savvy businessman or businesswoman. That’s Scott Eastwood, btw, son of Clint.   The recent success of Pioneer Women too, shows a real interest not only about great country food, but about cowboys and ranch living and women!





One thing is for certain the appeal of ranchers and cowboys remains constant in the hearts and minds of most people and the romanticism lives on.  I bet you wouldn’t guess by the cover that my newest release is all about a small town rancher! (Yes, that’s my cowboy hunk, Code Matthews)   The Bachelor Auction he gets finagled into brings him up close and personal with his ex-crush and one-time best friend.  Not good, but oh, did I mention this rancher gets his Happily Ever After!

Post a comment here about what fascinates you most about cowboys and/or ranchers and one blogger today will win a book of your choice from my available list!


Bachelor Auction release











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33 thoughts on “The Changing Face of Ranchers and Cowboys and a Giveaway!”

  1. I love how cowboys and ranchers love their families and the land, and will do anything to keep the land and their families. Loved your new book! Code Mathews is swoon worthy for sure!

    • Thanks so much Kimberlyindy! I love the feel of the modern day rancher when I watch Pioneer Woman. That family surely depicts what it’s like to be loyal, hard-working and dedicated.

  2. I think the things that fascinate me about cowboys are their strength, courage and their manners. Plus they usually clean up well…you know a nice pair of jeans, crisp shirt and their Stetson (or another brand of hat). Hmmm…I do love cowboys. 🙂

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

  3. Oh I love Cowboys, ranching, and the way the world moved at a slower pace back then. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful blog.

  4. Living in Texas, I should know more about cowboys and ranching, but I have never had the chance to spend any time with any cowboys. So I have learned the most through books. I enjoyed Bachelor For Hire. It’s a wonderful kickoff to the new bachelor auction series.

    • Hi Janine,
      I see influences when I visit my FIL in Texas. I once met one of his cousins who actually raises cattle. The ranch was everything you’d want, beautiful house on a lakefront, barns, horses, rolling hills. It was eye-opening for me. Thanks for the shout out about the Bachelor Auction series!

  5. I love the work ethic and chivalry of cowboys. The appeal has to be their hard working attitude and cowboy hats and boots. 🙂

  6. It definitely takes more than a hat, jeans, and boots to make a real cowboy! I get to see real ones as well as wannabes almost every day.

  7. I love everything about the West, too. I grew up in the country but wasn’t a farm or ranch girl, just fascinated with those times. And I recognize the Time-Life Old West book – still have that series on my bookshelves! And I love the way the cowboys have “modernized” but are still those rugged heroes. Thanks for the giveaway.

  8. hi Charlene, congratulations on the new release! I can’t wait to read it. I think somehow, I’m a secret cowgirl. I loved camping in the mountains and riding horses in Girl Scout Camp. And spending my student teaching in Colorado might have contributed something LOL. I too grew up on TV Westerns and understand how “sanitized” they were…watching Hell on Wheels kinda shows the grit and mud and how it probably really was. Although one of the best times I’ve ever had was publishers’ retreat at a real ranch in Bandera, Texas. Love me a cowboy any day! Hugs!

    • Hi Tanya
      Thanks for stopping by. I loved when you said. “I think I’m a secret cowgirl.” I feel the same way. I can really related to the cowboys and ranching and I love to watch Pioneer Woman. I have learned a lot about modern ranching, more so, than cooking, from that show!

  9. Hi Sally,
    Well said. Those Time Life books are an amazing font of knowledge. I bought a whole set of them about the west, and referred to them so much to make this city girl’s stories about the west seem authentic. Thanks for stopping by!

  10. I like their code of honor, manners, their love of the land and of course the way they look in jeans and on a horse! 😉

    • Hi Colleen!
      It’s nice to reflect back to a time when men had manners. I’m afraid in some places, boys aren’t being taught that too much. Kinda sad. But in our family back in Texas, the kids are all so respectful and it gives me hope.

  11. I love the fact of the way they honor their families’ core values… love that they are wrangler wearing, boot scootin’, bull ridin’, country lovin’, horse lovin’ men!

  12. I love historicals and cowboys are really that for our country. And who could resist those hard working, hunky men!

  13. Hi Charlene:

    Well, since I am married to my own cowboy hero, I had to jump in and congratulate you on your success. I’m married to a fourth generation cattle rancher/cowboy/former bull rider. We live on the original farmstead and we are now a fifth generation ranch with the sixth generation jumping in to work! If you have questions, you can always check in with me! We aren’t “big” compared to TX size ranches, but we are in the mountains of NORTHERN CA (“the State of Jefferson” ), 40 miles from Oregon. We run about 1000 head of cows. Used to raise hogs but now only butcher hogs for our family; we still make all of our own bacon, sausage, hams, etc, in the same way (same tools, same smokehouse) that the family has done it for 150 years 🙂 We are a multi-family operation (six men – 3 generations – plus their families).

    We “Jenner girls (7 of us)” have also been working our own beef business, Jenner Family Beef — 100% Natural/No hormones/No antibiotics, etc., ranch-bred and raised and pasture/hay fed. We are now selling to 3 restaurants plus regional and local sales to consumers via website and farmers’ market. We run about 20+ horses and used to take cows into the mountains, but no longer. My hubby rode bulls for several years, and our sons dabbled in rodeo, and our grandsons are “mutton busters!” Anyway, I’m an avid cattlewoman and love our life. The valley we live in is a sort of “Shangri-La” — 30 miles long/6 miles wide. Biggest town 7,000 and that’s 25 miles away. We have to go to Medford, Oregon, for our “big” shopping!

    Again, if you have questions, ask away! 🙂 I wouldn’t change a moment of our life — but long hours is definitely the routine. As I’ve pointed out to many people, my kids never even got to spend Christmas morning with Dad — cows ALWAYS come first and in winter (with snow/storms), we feed cows every day…..


    • Hi Gail,
      Thanks for sharing info about your life. You could be like Pioneer Woman too! I am in Southern Ca, but I will look up Jefferson, since I don’t know the area and check it out. I imagine winters are plenty cold there. I love that your ranch is 5 generations strong. It’s the American Dream personified and a great legacy for your children! Gosh, I would love to sit down and talk to you one day! Thanks for sharing today!!

  14. There’s just something special about a great hat and buckle! (LOL!) But, seriously, “cowboy” is so much more – its the work, the dedication to “riding for the brand,” its a life invested in taking care of the land, the animals, family, neighbors, and community. Like Sally shared, my copy of the Time Life “Cowboy” volume is much worn and well loved. When I was in docent training at the Autry National Center nearly 20 years ago, it was recommended for all our home libraries – along with “The Log of the Cowboy” by Andy Adams. Congratulations on your new release!

  15. My interest in cowboys/ranchers came from watching Roy Rogers reruns as a kid. My family watched Bonanza, The Big Valley, Rawhide, and The Virginian among others. My grandfathers ranched and farmed. This is part of why I took such an interest in cowboys.

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