STAMPEDE! ~ Pam Crooks UNTAMED COWBOY, my heroine, Carina Lockett, is a cattle woman who owns the C Bar C Ranch. Unfortunately, she is blackmailed by the father of her precious daughter for a huge sum of money, her entire herd of cattle. To get  her daughter back after she’s been kidnapped, Carina must drive the herd to Dodge City and pay the ransom with the sale money.

Enter Penn McClure, one of her ranch hands who has burning revenge for the man blackmailing Carina. Penn is only too happy to help Carina get to Dodge City and settle his score.

Now, my friends, cattle drives ain’t easy. All kinds of things can go wrong and usually do. One of the worst is a stampede. 

You wouldn’t think animals weighing a thousand pounds each would get scared of the littlest thing, but they do. A rabbit, a fox, a coyote–or even the strike of a match on a quiet night–could spook the herd and send them running. And that’s exactly what happens in UNTAMED COWBOY.

Here’s an excerpt:

The cattle had turned themselves around and were heading south, losing the ground they’d gained all day. He had to get to the front of them and turn the leaders so the rest would follow. Their hooves hammered against the ground, surrounded him with a deafening roar. Dust clouded his vision, thickened in his throat, but he lay over the gelding’s neck and rode even faster.

In the moonlight, those three thousand head of wild-eyed, horn-swinging cattle were a dark mass of terrifying power. Penn hoped fervently none of the men would be trampled. Or gored. One wrong move, and it could happen. It’d be easy, so easy. Dangerous for anyone, but especially a woman…

He closed his mind to Carina Lockett, to the worry that she was out here with him and the rest of her outfit. He pressed on, at last passing the thundering longhorns. Moving in amongst them, he swung his bullwhip again and again, aware if his horse found a prairie dog hole, or a hidden ravine, he’d go down, stomped to his death by those heavy hooves.

Yelling, relentless, he fought to turn the animals into the center of the herd. Then, to the side of him, there was Woollie, Stinky Dale and Jesse, and damn it, the she-boss, too, lashing her quirt, as desperate as the rest of them to get her herd to shift direction.

Finally, finally, the cattle began to veer into a wide circle, changing their straight run into a giant wheel of heaving cowhide. The switch got them bellowing to one another in confusion, and relief flowed through Penn at the sound, a sign their stampede was nearing an end. Gradually, they slowed and shuddered to an exhausted halt.

Penn halted, too. Breathing hard, he vowed vengeance on the night-herders responsible. Orlin Fahey was one, and he’d better have one hell of a good reason for those steers to run like they did.

The stampede is a crucial point in the book and sends Penn and Carina’s relationship in a whole new direction. A romantic one, of course!

Like with most all disasters, someone was responsible, and I hope you’ll read UNTAMED COWBOY to learn more about the stampede that made all hell break loose for Penn and Carina. Amazon



Let’s Chat!  Have you ever done something that created havoc?  

Has someone in your family? Or a pet?


I’ll go first. This winter, while visiting my sister in New Mexico, our Golden Retriever had to potty at 2:00 am. I put him off for a solid hour, but by 3:00 am, the poor dog just had to go out. When I opened the door to their patio, their alarm system went off. Lights flashed and sirens peeled. Their dog barked. The kids got scared. My brother-in-law came running toward me in his underwear . . . I felt awful, and I was so embarrassed. Yikes!

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Pam has written 30 romances, most of them historical westerns, but her newest releases are contemporary sweet romances featuring the Blackstone Ranch series published by Tule Publishing. Stay up on the latest at

24 thoughts on “STAMPEDE! ~ Pam Crooks”

  1. When I was about middle school age, early 80’s, my mom started a new job, on her 1st day she was getting ready to go to her new job when she looked in the backyard and a skunk was on fire. Yes I said FIRE. We lived in the country in thick woods and leaves were all on the ground. She freaked, because the chance of setting the country on fire was emanate. However before she got out to the skunk to put the fire out, it had rolled around on the ground , (yep just like we are told to do if we catch on fire), and put it’s self out. Then it scurried off with a 1/2 burnt tail. She had to call her new boss and tell him she was going to be a bit late because she had a skunk on fire in her backyard. I wished I could if seen her bosses reaction when he heard that excuse. By the way, she worked for 26 years at that job before her retirement. We all still laugh about that story.

    • Oh my lord! How the heck did a skunk catch its tail on fire! She probably kept her job that day because her boss thought, “well at least she came up with a doozy!” ? Who was the boss? Maybe I know them! I’m laughing my but off!

      • Stephanie. The skunk got its tail in the ekecric fence and it caught on fire. Jerry Singleton was her boss at TX Electric. Of course it’s changed it’s nane so I’m not sure what it’s calked now. It helped that Jerry knew my on, so he knew she had to be telling the truth.

      • That’s too funny! I bet that was one shocked skunk between the shock and catching on fire. Yes I know Jerry, of course, it’s a good thing he knew your mom. I bet he told the story of the wildest “I’m going to be late because” story for many years to come. Y’all are very lucky that y’all got a smart skunk that knew to Stop, Drop, and Roll! ?

    • What a great story, Tonya! Yes, her boss’s reaction would’ve been something to see. Obviously, he believed her, though, and she’s built a great reputation over the 26 years. Good for her!

  2. I had a head on car wreck last summer and was in hospital I had a 5 month old Great Pyrenees at the time.
    My son came in from work to take her out for a walk only to discover she had almost completely destroyed my living room. Needless to say she found herself having to stay outside from that day on. I have yet to find a necklace I had on my coffee table when this happened

  3. I should have a million stories for this but of course, at the moment I cannot think of one that involves me. There should be plenty to choose from. So let’s go with my oldest daughters teenage antics. Victoria had a period when she was 14 through about 16 that we had an issue with her sneaking out and taking one of our vehicles on joy rides with friends in the middle of the night. My former husband had an issue of not leaving keys in vehicles or in places where she could find them. Heck, there may have been a point that she had copies made for all I know. Anyway, she was in middle school in our tiny little community. She went and picked up her best friend and a couple of other friends. One of which was the middle school principals son. Showing off I’m sure so they didn’t get very far up the rural country road before something went wrong and they were off the road, through a fence and sailing through a pasture. Of course, for one reason or another, I didn’t hear either of my phones when she started calling us. The last message I received was that the owner of the property was going to call the cops if we didn’t get there soon. We made it on time thank goodness because little did my child know that there was a bottle of liquor and case of beer in the trunk that my husband didn’t get taken into the house that night. Praise God that that pasture had lots of sand in the soil and the car bogged down because this could have been a huge disaster. Even bogging down the car was way out in the pasture, hence we knew they were flying. So I can only imagine how fast they were going. It turns out that the land belonged to the middle school principal family and the first to arrive on scene was her father, grandfather of one of the car occupants because he lived there. Needless to say, by Sunday everyone at all the churches knew and by Monday everyone at school knew. Her cries of everyone knows and is joking about it fell on deaf ears. My husband spent the next day repairing fencing of course. By the way, when we arrived at the accident, my husband proceeded to throw up because of all the what-ifs when he took in the scene. It’s funny how we can laugh about it now because it wasn’t funny at all at the time. Sidenote, that middle school principal didn’t like Victoria very much. Lol. Just one story from the teen books of Victoria and why she never was taken to get her permit or drivers license and ended up not getting her license until she was 18. She had a way of creating lots of havoc in those years but you would never know it now because she a wonderful young lady.

    • Wow, praise Jesus they were not hurt. I’m glad to hear she’s a responsible adult. I bet it took awhile before you could laugh at this story.

    • Oh, Stephanie, I’m sure you grew some gray hairs with your daughter’s antics. Why some kids have to go through that rebellious phase is hard to figure, but I’m glad she matured and has learned to do things the um, lawful way! Great story. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I honestly can’t think of anything that I or one of my cats did to create havoc except the time I took one of my cats into Blockbuster after his vet visit. A lady came up to me asking what kind of little dog I had in the carrier and when she saw it was a cat, she told me I had to leave. Cats weren’t allowed in the store even in a carrier. She acted like he had the plague or something. Now, my husband had a dog (before I met him) and that dog destroyed the entire house. he chewed on walls and carpets and ripped up flooring and wallpaper. There was even a hole in the center of the bed where he chewed it up one day while he was at work. he couldn’t leave him outside because he jumped the fence or pulled off fence planks several times to get out. Needless to say, that dog was gone (to one of his friends where he became a farm dog) before I met him, but if he wasn’t, he would have been before I moved in. It took us a long time to get the house back in shape after I moved in. He said he even took the dog to a dog training place and they refunded the money saying he wasn’t trainable.

    • Janine, why did you bring your cat into Blockbuster? You didn’t want to leave him in the car?

      Yikes! Your husband’s dog had a serious anxiety issue! He would’ve been OUT if that was my dog. Not surprised he wasn’t trainable – and while that’s funny, I’m glad he got the refund!

  5. When I was a teenager we had a german shepard that would get lose and reek havoc on the neighborhood. Now mind you he didn’t like people touching him except us and he never went after anyone he would just run until he tired himself and one of us would go and get him. My father finally find something that he could not break to get lose. The neighbors were also warned not to go near if he got lose. I was just a big baby.

  6. Great excerpt, Pam! I’m definitely intrigued.

    When my husband and I were newly married and still in school, there was a year where my husband’s brother lived with us (he was also in school). He had a pet cat named Zorro. He liked to play rough with the cat, and whether it was that play style or just a crazy streak, that cat was insane. He would be laying on the top of the back of a recliner one second then leap up and bounce all four paws off the wall and go tearing across the house for no apparent reason. He pulled down Christmas trees, too. Let’s just say, I was not sad to see that cat go when my brother-in-law moved out. The brother-in-law I could live with. The cat? Not so much.

  7. OH goodness, well now you can probably look back at that instance and laugh. Oh this sounds extremely wonderful. Now on my list. I love the name Carina. Well when I was 8, we went camping at Yellowstone. I was the oldest of four at the time. Dad had to buy a special sausage. All the food was put up in the trees that night. In the middle of the night, we all awoke. There was a bear in our camp. Oh my, mom was holding the dog with one hand, who was barking her head off, and dad with the other, who wanted out of the tent. Dad didnt want that bear to get his sausage. Us four kids just huddled together.The next morning, we checked out the campsite. The bear only went after dads sausage. LOL Woohee dad was hopping mad. We trailed the bits of sausage until we came upon all the rest of it in the dirt. Even the bear didnt want dads sausage. LOL Until dad died we talked about that story.

    • Oh, no! LOL. That is funny that the bear didn’t want the sausage, but oh, thank goodness he didn’t get into your tent!!! I would’ve been terrified, but I guess guys think differently than women do.

      I hope he got more of his special sausage!

  8. My friend’s baby was on a SIDS monitor–preemie, medical miracle. I was holding him while she answered the door, and I tripped his wire. Even though it I connected it right away, the emergency operators had to call to make sure everything was okay. It wasn’t the first time it had happened, but I still felt bad.

  9. That sounds just like my house alarm debacle, and yes, you wouldn’t have been the first, but it’s still mortifying, isn’t it?

    Thanks for joining in, Denise.

  10. We were on a trip to Colorado several years ago when we got a call from our daughter back in Tennessee telling us our son had been hurt. It seems he let our dogs out about 11 pm and the two big ones, one a black lab and one a border collie mix, took off through the fence into the pasture, barking like crazy. The little terrier stayed on the porch. He called the dogs for a long time but they ignored him and kept barking out in the field. He finally got tired of them barking and slipped through the fence to haul them back in. It was a dark night and he couldn’t see much until he got to where they were making all the noise. They had a bear, a large rather aggravated bear, between them. He yelled at the dogs to stop which they of course the dogs ignored. I don’t know who swung first, but our son punched the bear in the nose and the bear swatted his fore arm. At that point our son had enough sense to retreat and ran back and dove through the barbed wire fence causing more injuries. Thankfully, the dogs followed him. When we called him, he said he was fine. We told him to report it to Fish and Game, but knew he wouldn’t. I called them and asked them to call him and make a report. When the game officers the wound on our son’s arm, he strongly encouraged him to have a doctor look at it. He didn’t. We got home a couple of days later. I noticed sheets with blood on them and checked the bed. There was a blood “spot” on the mattress about 3 feet in diameter. He had scrubbed and cleaned the wound well and didn’t;t get infected. Since they were gouges, they couldn’t have been stitched up. A month or so later he was working in the blacksmithing forge and thought he could smell something cooking. He looked down and there was a hot coal on the back of his hand. He hadn’t felt it. Evidently there was nerve damage from the bear clawing.
    Not an episode we would like to repeat.

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