These Boot Are Made For Giving!

After the Civil War, the boots cowboys were wearing weren’t cutting the muster on the job. While accounts differ whether this occurred in Kansas or Texas, most agree a cowboy went into a shoemaker asking for changes to the day’s boot style. Each feature the smart cowboy asked for fixed a problem. The pointed toe made it easier for him to get his foot in the stirrup. The taller shaft served the purpose of protecting his leg from mesquite tree thorns, barbed wire, snakes and other dangers. The bigger, thicker heel kept his foot from coming out of the stirrup. The boot’s tough leather protected a cowboy’s ankle from being bruised by the wooden stirrup.

The cowboy changed his footwear his footwear because it wasn’t working. A lot of my stories deal with something not working in my hero and/or heroine’s life. Sometimes they know they need to make a change. Sometimes not. Sometimes life forces them to make a change when it’s the last thing they want. But still, my characters tug on their boots, put one foot in front of the other, whether they’re happy about it or not, and walk toward the future.

In To Catch A Texas Cowboy, both AJ Quinn and Grace Henry are forced to make a change in their lives, and neither is very happy about it. Grace is laid off and her best friend talks her into coming to Texas to manage her bed and breakfast. AJ is undercover for the FBI taking the recently vacant job as chief of police to catch a forger. Both vow working in Wishing, Texas, is temporary. They know where they want their lives to go and this isn’t what they had in mind.

Their meeting is one of my favorites. Grace is driving into town and her breaks give out. She rear ends AJ’s truck. AJ tries to tell Grace who he is, but she won’t let him get the words out, instead saying they should exchange insurance info, call a tow truck and be on their way. AJ lists the reasons to call the police, her insurance company may require a police report, debris needs to be cleared from the road, and someone needs to divert traffic until their vehicles are moved. When Grace still resists, AJ asks if there’s a reason she doesn’t want the police called. Grace responds that all the police will do is complicate the issue and small-town police will be even worse about it. Talk about an awkward first meeting! I love when my characters dig themselves into a hole and refuse to put down the shovel!

Another thing I love to do is have the hero or heroine give a gift to the other during the story. Though they may not realize it at the time, the gift is a big turning point in their relationship. In To Catch A Texas Cowboy, Grace is a New York city girl. AJ tells Grace she can’t keep running around in flip-flops and gives her a box. What does AJ give her? What else? A pair of cowboy boots she admired!

I’m going to admit something…I love shoes and I love boots even more. I have four pairs of cowboy boots I wear in the winter and various open toe ankle boots I wear in the winter. Stop by today and leave a comment about your favorite footwear to be entered to win a signed copy of To Catch A Texas Cowboy and a pair of boot socks. 

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Julie Benson has written five novels for Harlequin American, and her Wishing, Texas series is available from Tule Publishing. Now that her three sons have left the nest in Dallas, when she isn't writing, Julie spends her time working on home improvement projects, rescuing dogs, and visiting Texas wineries with her husband. Visit her at www.juliebenson.net.

46 thoughts on “These Boot Are Made For Giving!”

  1. Welcome today. Oh but this sounds like a fantastic story. Love the cover. Boots are an essential in many areas. But I too do love my flip flops. LOL

    • Lori, thanks for stopping by today. I love my cowboy boots. I had never owned a pair until my oldest went to Texas A&M University. When he went there (he graduated in 2013) it had a real western feel in terms of dressings. (Well, except when the Corps of Cadets were wearing their uniforms.) He wore cowboy boots and a hat all the time. I went boot shopping with him a couple of times and fell in love with Cavender’s. That’s when I decided I needed a pair of cowboy boots. I now have 4 pairs! That’s all I wear in the winter. My son wears them in the summer, but my feet get too hot to wear mine.

      I’m not a flip flop girl. They don’t give my feet enough support and I tend to trip in them! I’m one of those clutzy people. There can be one piece of furniture in a room, and I’ll bump into it!

  2. How cool!!! I wonder how he knew her size, though! I know for me, depending on the store I go to, I can wear different sizes!!

    • Trudy, I’m trying to remember how AJ knew Grace’s size. This is the second book in my Wishing Series and To Tame A Texas Cowboy came out in January. Now I’m working on book 4 so my memory might be fuzzy…

      Okay, it was driving me crazy, and I didn’t want to tell you something that wasn’t right so I checked the book. Here’s what happened in the scene.

      Grace is in town introducing herself to other local business people when she meets AJ on the street. He decides to tag along and they enter a shop called Dress Like a Dream. They talk to the shop owner and Grace looks around a bit. When Grace tries something on the store owner tells her she needs boots and asks what size she wears to get some for her to try on. Grace tells the woman she’ll be back to make some purchases when she gets her first paycheck. Then she and AJ leave.

      Reading it again, I’m kind of impressed how I handled that. Sometimes I really surprise myself. 🙂

    • My favorite boots are the ones I got last year for my son’s wedding. I love boots of all kinds but those are my favorite.

      • Vicki, those are special boots! On my personal Pinterest page I have pictures of women that reminded me of my heroines. I have some of them in wedding dresses wearing cowboy boots and I could so see Grace and Cassie doing that. Those heroines may have started out NYC girls, but once they got to Texas they loved it. Thanks for stopping by to tell me about your favorite boots! Stay safe!

    • Teresa, I learned a lot with a surprising little research. I knew about the toes being pointed to the boot could slip into the stirrup easier, but I didn’t know that the leather was thicker around the ankle to protect the cowboy’s ankle from the wooden stirrup. It was amazed how much thought went into creating cowboy boots. Thanks for stopping by today.

    • Caryl, mine too. The only problem I have with my boots is my favorite pair of black cowboy boots are slick. When it’s the least bit wet outside I slip. I wore them one day to early voting. It had been misting. I was heading into the library and Representative Van Taylor was there talking to people. I slipped and fell right in front of him wearing those black boots. He was very kind. He helped me up and asked if I was okay. Embarrassed, I headed in to vote. And yup, I voted for him. I figured that was the least I could do.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Debra. I wear sneakers to substitute teach on days we’re allowed to wear jeans, but once the weather gets warm my feet get too hot so I change to sandals, too. I’ve learned to invest in a good brand such as Born or Clarks for teaching. Otherwise I end up with sore feet and legs. Thanks for stopping by today.

  3. Hi Julie!! Right now in the midst of our stay at home order, my favorite footwear is my cozy slippers. In winter my Uggs are my go to and in summer a pair of Keens. I loved this story. Can’t wait for the next one! Stay home and stay safe!
    Jeanne

    • Jeanne, it’s so great to hear from you. I keep worrying about you and Jenn out there in Washington state where it’s been so bad with Covid-19.

      I’ve never heard of Keens. I’ll have to check them out. I had a favorite pair of Iowa State slippers but I’ve worn them so much they’re all stretched out. Guess I need to order another pair. But of course now the weather here is getting warmer, and fast! Yesterday it was in the 80s and today we’re supposed to hit 91! So much for spring. The older I get the more I miss having a traditional spring and winter. But if I moved back to Iowa I bet I’d complain about the cold. Plus, all my boys are back in Texas now…Tell Walter and Ben hello. Miss y’all and stay safe.

  4. Great & informative post Julie. I live in boots during colder weather. Since no one is going out I’m either in my slippers or socks ?. Going to have to get used to wearing shoes or boots again when this is over. Stay safe everyone !

    • Carol, I know. I’m going to have to get used to getting dressed at a reasonable time again! I hate to admit it, but some days I haven’t gotten out of my PJs until it was time to put on clean ones to go to bed! Thanks for stopping by today. I’m saying prayers everyone stays safe, too.

  5. Isn’t it funny how things evolve for need and sometimes style and the same old thing go by the wayside. I broke my foot several years ago and it will never completely heal, so my usual footwear is an athletic shoe with an insert. But my husband used to be a regular boot wearer and always told me they were the most comfortable footwear ever.

    The story sounds like fun for sure. Thanks for the giveaway.

    • Sally, I’m sorry about your foot. It’s got to be hard when an injury like that will never heal completely. I was surprised how comfortable cowboy boots were when I started wearing them. I didn’t expect them to be. But it only makes sense that they would be since cowboys had to wear them all day…

      Thanks for stopping by today and stay safe!

  6. I like boots too! My favorite boots are brown suede that have a very low heel. But, slippers are my favorite footwear for home!!!

    • Becky, thanks for stopping by the corral to chat today. All my boots are regular heels, too. In Texas I’d probably get thrown out of the state if I tried to wear any other kind of cowboy boots. Take care and stay safe!

  7. Hello Julie- I loved your blog. I’m seeing a theme here this week on P&P blogs.. BOOTS, BOOTS, & more BOOTS!! I love it.
    My favorite pair of boots are my square toe boots I wear everyday. I inspect feedyards for a living and grew up rodeoing bk in Texas in my younger days in Jr. High, HS, and college. I’ve been wearing boots since I was knee high to a grasshopper. My boots are my house-shoes, too. I’d put them on with my gown and head out to the barn to feed the horses in the morning. My friends who would spend the night, (they were townspeople) would gasp that I’d go do this. After the 1st few times they learned it was my norm!!
    I have many pairs of boots, boots that are waterproofed for snow and rain, a ostrich dress pair, and my everyday boots. Thanks fir the great blog. The cover of your book is beautiful! Love and hugs.

    • Tonya, ooh, I need a waterproof pair. Jake Owen’s has the song “Homemade” out right now. It says, “gettin’ dressed up means buttoned down shirt and a good pair of jeans.” I’d add that it also means putting on your “good” boots. Any cowboy worth his salt has one pair of boots that he doesn’t wear unless he’s dressing up. He has his stomping around working boots, and of course, his dancing/going out to a club boots. Did I miss any, Tonya? Always good to chat with you, and I’m glad you enjoyed the blog. Stay safe, girlfriend!

  8. I have my favorite boots I wear to all my country music concerts , Brown with Rhinestone design.. I miss the days I had horses as I had my old worn boots I wouldn’t of traded anything for !!!

    • Rose Ann, no matter how many boots I get, I still find myself wearing my favorite black pair most times. They’re like my favorite jeans, they just fit right. I don’t know what I’ll do when they wear out. Fortunately they’re still hanging in there. Those brown boots of yours with Rhinestones sound beautiful absolutely perfect for country music concerts! Thanks for stopping by the corral today, and stay safe!

  9. I enjoyed your lovely post. I wear running shoes when I am out walking and doing errands but slippers at home. Comfy and cozy at home and supportive shoes out.

    • Annie, thanks for your comment. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. It was fun learning about cowboy boots. I’ve had trouble lately finding a pair of running shoes I like. The last pair I bought hit me funny on that big toe joint on my foot. I’m trying to get them to loosen up because even running shoes on sale are expensive. If only I could substitute teach in my slippers.

      Thanks for stopping by the corral today, and take care.

  10. My favorite shoes from this past winter are ankle boots with just a little heel–enough to be dressed up or dressed down. I have four pairs of boots and all are black–riding, western, funky, and the aforementioned ankle boots.

    • Denise, I’m a fan of ankle boots, too. I have some open toe black ones with fringe along the side that I love. Like you said, they’re great with jeans or when I’m dressing up some. I hope the boot trend sticks around for a while, but even when it’s gone, I’m still wearing my cowboy boots! Thanks for stopping by to chat and stay safe!

  11. When I Lived in the Great White North I wore boots for 5 months straight and needed waterproof ones for the slush and snow, leather for good and short ones for pants. none kept me warm. I no longer need warmth since I relocated but still love my short booties.

    • Sharon, thanks for stopping by to chat. When I went to Iowa State University, the winters could be terrible. I remember walking to campus when the temperature with the wind chill was below zero. I wore hiking boots with at least one pair of regular socks and then thick wool socks over those, but my feet were still cold. The technology is so much better today. I miss the cold and snow, but I suspect if I was in it for more than a few days, I’d freeze. My blood has thinned out living in Texas thirty plus years! Take care and stay safe!

  12. I love cowboy boots but I can no longer where because of hardware in my left ankle and overactive nerves because I have MS. I wear Montana West flip flops as much of the year as I can and they are my favorite shoes to wear. I’d love the opportunity to read your book!

    • Stephanie, I always say prayers for everyone dealing with chronic (for lack of a better word) health issues. May God strengthen you in your daily battles against MS.

      I’ve never heard of Montana West flip flops but I’m going to have to check them out. I tend to be rough on shoes and even more so the few times I’ve bought flip flops. I also tend to stub my toes a lot. I must drag my feet in some weird way. Thanks for chatting about your favorite shoes and take care!

  13. I need to take time to shop for new boots. My work boots are worn out and getting holes in them,beyond repair. Something to look forward to when the “stay home stay safe” orders are lifted.

    • Alice, thank you for stopping by to chat today. I hate it when a favorite pair of shoes or boots get so worn out I have to let them go. I always think if I’d known I was going to like them this much I’d have bought two pairs! I had a cute pair of denim sandals made by Aerosoles that were so comfortable and were great to wear in the summer. They were slip ones and if I wore jean shorts, I was set. I still miss those shoes. Okay, that sounded way too sentimental for me talking about shoes! Take care, stay safe and let’s hope this Covid-19 subsides soon.

  14. For outdoors and walks running shoes, summer sandals otherwise and winter ankle boots all fall and winter.

    • Thanks for stopping by today to chat. I’m picky about my summer sandals. I don’t like ones that have a piece that goes between my toes. Lately it seems like that’s what all the cute ones are. But I love a cute ankle boot! Take care.

  15. I love cowboy boots too! I love the way they look and sound! When you wear them, there is just something about them that makes you feel more confident in yourself.

    That being said, with my fibromyalgia, I’ve had to stop wearing them to the grocery store. I start limping about halfway through the store. I miss getting to wear them all the time.

    • Linda, I love what you said. I never thought about it, but you’re right. There’s something about putting on a pair of cowboy boots that makes me feel more confident. I think for a man, they put a swagger in his step. Thanks for pointing that out. I’m sorry your fibromyalgia keeps you from wearing boots as much as you’d like. Save them for when you really want to get your sassy on! Take care with your health issues during this scary time. Stay safe, and thanks for spending part of your day with me.

  16. I love my boots but I can’t wear them like I used to after a head on car wreck busted up my right foot so bad it had to be reconstructed. I can only wear for short periods of time so I mostly wear them to church.

    • Glenda, I’m so sorry about your foot, but after you saying the crash was head on, I’m amazed that you weren’t hurt worse! That had to be incredibly scary. Thank you for stopping by the corral today. I’m glad you still can enjoy your boots at church. Take care and stay safe.

    • Diana, thanks for your comment. What brand of running shoes do you like? I’m having a terrible time finding some that are comfortable for my wide feet. Take care and stay safe.

  17. I live in my athletic shoes and water shoes. I have one nice pair of dress shoes. No boots.

    • Laurie, I’m taking a poll. What kind of athletic shoes do you like? I have trouble finding ones that are comfortable because my feet are so wide. Thanks for chatting and stay safe.

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