Four Season Cowboys

I love northern cowboys.

It’s not that I’ve got anything against all those smokin’ hot Southern cowboys, or the rugged, Stetson-wearing men of the Southwest…

It’s snow.

And wind.

And avalanches.



Gathering animals or spreading hay to keep them strong in adverse conditions.

I love this series:

It’s the kind of grit and guts that either draws you in or sends you running!

I was totally drawn into the lives of the Stucky, Hughes and Galt families and their ranches.


Animals are survivors by nature. You’ve only got to look out your window at birds and squirrels and ants and rats and mice and snakes to realize that without any human intervention, animals survive.

But in a for-profit operation, it’s crucial for as many to survive as possible. And that’s where the true cowboy comes in. Or the rugged farmer, dedicated to his farm/ranch no matter what part of the country he hails from.

I’ve noticed distinct differences between Eastern and Western ranches. Eastern ranches tend to house cattle overwinter. Western ranches let the animals roam.

Western ranches use SUVs, utility vehicles and horses to gather and monitor their spreads, and their spreads often cover thousands of acres.

Eastern ranches tend to be in the hundreds of acres, marked with hedgerows spawned by being in Eastern woodlands.

The physical differences are notable, but the intrinsic love for their job, their animals, their stock, their families… that’s universal. Success arises from sacrifice, and that’s what we love about a cowboy story. The sacrificial component of their life, their choices, appeal to us!

Which then makes the cowboy the Almost Perfect Hero.

Of course he can’t be perfect.

Perfect is boring and gets old real quick.

But the profile of a cowboy, the hard-working sacrificial nature makes them great romance hero material.

Now here’s the REALITY: They get annoyed. Grumpy. Mad at the weather and forces of nature… Very few stay even-tempered when their livelihood, family, stock, homes are threatened.

But that’s normal. We wouldn’t want a hero to gloss off everything. We want him to buck up and stand strong and get back on the horse and keep on trying. Because that’s what a hero does.

They don’t give up.

Do you have favorite heroes? Who are they?

Name me your favorite hero to be tucked into a drawing for a copy of the second book of my Double S Ranch cowboy series… “Home on the Range”….

He doesn’t have to be a Western hero… any hero will do.

I want to know what appeals to you, like the northern cowboy appeals to me.

I brought coffee… and peach pie. I might be a Yankee… but I make an absolutely amazing peach pie!



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23 thoughts on “Four Season Cowboys”

  1. Ruthie,I love peach pie and I have just taken a bite of the one you made, mmmmmm delectable! My honest to goodness hero is my husband Kevin. He works hard every day to support our 12 children. At the end of the day he comes home cheerful,respectful and loving.

  2. What a way to start the mornin! Pie and coffee.. you can’t get much better! My hero.. I have two actually… my husband and my dad. My husband is a great guy, hard worker and loves his family and friends. My dad,at 89, goes to the nursing home every day to sit with my mother, from there, goes to play a round of golf and goes back to the home in the evenings for a while.He sets a wonderful example for all of us.

  3. I don’t have a favorite hero. Right now it is the people of Houston. They are helping one another, no matter their race or religion.
    Peach pie is my favorite. Warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

    • Estella, I agree wholeheartedly. Houston has been hammered, and by that I mean that whole region, not just the city…. and they’ll need our love and support for a long time.

      What a huge disaster, but how I love seeing people jump in and help, taking hold, getting things done, rescuing others.

      That is such a restoration of my faith in human nature!!!!

  4. Oh peach pie – YUM!! I adore cowboys for a million reasons. Their loyalty and hard working attitudes are something you can’t beat! I had never thought of those differences between western and eastern ranches – but it’s true.

    • Susan, my first published novel was a beef farm/ranch in the North Country of New York state…. but because we’re in Eastern woodlands, they farms/ranches don’t have sprawling fields… they’re marked by hedgerows of trees, separating them so it’s a whole different look, but a very similar operation… but here in the East we get SCOLDED for leaving animals out in the winter.


      They’d be dumbfounded! And we’ve always found that animals do better in the fresh, open air (they’re made to live outside, unlike us!) than in moist, dark barns where germs grow unchecked… It’s a funny business!

  5. Your peach pie sound delish! I can’t say I have a favorite hero right now but I do love Sam Elliot right now. I didn’t really realize there was a differents between the western and eastern cowboys but I guess there is.

    • Oh, there is a difference, but not in the dedication level, right? Just in the circumstantial level!!!

      And it’s nice to have a real live hero in the house, isn’t it???? 🙂

  6. Hi Ruth….I loved that series also. I think the family that really touched me most was the Hughes. Or maybe it was the Stuckys. He was one trying to do everything himself. My heart went out to him because he was trying so hard and he didn’t get along with his dad very well. He had the cutest little boy. What a heart-stealer. But like you, I felt the love in all them for the land, and animals, and family. That’s what I try to portray in my stories plus the fact that these men and women aren’t perfect. They’ll be the first to tell you they aren’t.

    I surely would love to have a piece of that peach pie! Yum!

    • Linda, I don’t watch reality TV usually because it’s so overdone, and I’m sure they dramatized some things, but the reality behind it (some of which I’ve had confirmed with The Connealy, she’s my beef adviser!!!) was so good…. and the winter, so long!

  7. Hi Ruth…I never gave a lot of thought to the differences in eastern and western cowboys or ranches. I remember watching The Longest Ride (book by Nicholas Sparks) and his setting of a ranch in either South or North Carolina. The setting surprised me even though I know he tends to write southern-set books. I just don’t think of a ranch there! Montana or Idaho or New Mexico –sure. Thanks for an interesting post…and I do love peach pie!

    • Peach pie… Mmmm………..

      Kathryn, isn’t that the truth? The different setting provides such a varied backdrop and different external conflicts for the story. I’ve never seen The Longest Ride… But it’s funny how we visualize things, probably based on how we see them in movies, TV, and now the internet. If you say Kentucky, we see gracious horse farms… but if that was the only thing in Kentucky, there would be a LOT of hungry people! 🙂 Do you want ice cream with that pie????

  8. My dad has always been my hero. And his passing when I was just 17 likely made all my childhood hero worship of him mythic. But he was good at whatever he took on and loved by all who met him. He was one of the truck mechanics that kept patching together vehicles in the Battle of the Bulge when he was a very young man himself–not that I ever heard that from him. He was one of those veterans who didn’t talk about war matters. I learned about that part of his life after he was gone, but it fit with what I knew of him and especially his outstanding abilities with cars. He had me listen to car sounds so I’d know what’s what, and to this day I can tell if a squealing noise is a slipping fan belt or what! I also got my love of country music and playing guitar from him, a country-western musician.

    • Eliza, what a grand tribute to your father. I’m so sorry you lost him so early, what a blow to a young woman, to a family… God bless all of you, and what great memories and skills! A head for engines is an amazing thing to this fumble-fingered author!!!

  9. My favorite hero is from one of the first romances I read. Brodick Buchanan from RANSOM by Julie Garwood is a Medieval Scottish Highland’s warrior. He is dedicated to his family and friends and has a strong sense of responsibility for his godson. One thing that I admired as much as it annoyed me, was he admired strength in and demanded strength from women, even when a shoulder to lean on was something she needed. He was a man of honor and would fight to the death for those he cared for. There have been many heroes I have liked since, but he holds a special place for me.

    • Patricia, I never read that one… but I love when a hero sticks with us. Or when a book leaves a mark so deep, that we can recall the plot years later. And Julie made him flawed… that demanding nature! It sounds wonderful, Patricia!

  10. When you started talking about a northern cowboy, I thought you were going to talk about Cowtown Rodeo in New Jersey. lol

    I love strong alpha males who fall hard for a woman and do everything to earn her love.

    • Denise, hi! We’ve got rodeos here, too, in Upstate/WNY…. I love going to the rodeo! And I really enjoy setting ranches in the north where those four seasons change things up on a regular basis. Strong alpha males…. SWOON!!!! 🙂 I hear you, loud and clear!

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