Who doesn't love a cowboy? I certainly do. When I was 18, I fell in love with a country boy. My mother was mortified. She wanted me to find someone in my own (middle) "class," but love doesn't see class. It sees only the heart.
I never understood her bias, especially since she married a west Texas farm boy herself. But my dad was an engineering student at Texas Tech, bound for bigger and better things. From the time I was six, we lived in big cities like NYC, San Diego, and a Dallas suburb. But I'd grown up with those city boys and I wasn't impressed. When I met my future husband, I was hooked from the first moment by his sincere eyes and his sweet unassuming smile. He had manners, something city boys had abandoned long ago. He had morals, which most of the boys I knew either never had much of or didn't worry much about.
Some of my books are about big-city guys, but they're more down-home types, guys with tough exteriors and soft hearts. But it wasn't until I wrote my first contemporary western romance that I felt like I'd found my place. I drew on memories of my cousins who grew up in west Texas, within minutes of my grandparents' place. The sense of family and community they all shared, which my busy city family never had. I drew on yearnings I didn't even realize I had, to return to the simple life in the country.
My husband and I tried the city life for the first 23 years of our marriage. He hated it, and I wasn't loving it. So in 1996 he moved the family to the country, not far from where his parents and his brothers lived. We raised the two youngest there, along with a slew of animals. We built our house with our own two (four?) hands. And now that the kids are gone, and quiet and peace has settled upon us, I'm reminded how much I love it here. Traffic is when the train comes through town and cars back up 6 or 7 deep at the crossing. The nearest Walmart is 25 minutes away, the nearest hospital 30 minutes away. I don't hear many sirens or cars honking or neighbors yelling. If I do, there's something major happening.
What I do hear is birds singing, cows mooing, the occasional braying donkey or barking dog. And the sound of a relaxed and happy spouse who knows he's where he's supposed to be and who he is supposed to be. When I walk out my door, I see trees and squirrels and cute little rabbits. I see roadrunners and cardinals and hummingbirds. I see the occasional snake. Mostly, I see peace.
Maybe that's why we love cowboys? The sense of peace they carry with them, never in a hurry, always willing to stop and chew the fat for a bit, always with a story to tell. We love the "yes, ma'am" and "no ma'am" and the touch of humility. The clear, direct gazes that have nothing to hide. The muscles that come from hard work and not from the gym.
If you put two pictures, side by side--one of a cowboy in Wranglers and a real cowboy hat (not one of those cheap imitations), the other of a clean-cut guy in a suit--I'm going to go for the cowboy every single time.
What about you? What is it you love about Cowboys?
Blame it on Texas is Book One of the Lone Star Cowboys series and right now, through May 3rd, it's on sale for just 99 cents. Check it out and see if the men of Morris Springs, Texas, tickle your fancy.
I also have Lone Star Justice on sale for 99 cents for the same dates. Set in East Texas, Sheriff Rand McCade is pure western heart and soul.
Come check out the Book Lovers Buffet Bouquet of Books sale for more western and mystery romances on sale!
Leave a comment on the blog for a chance to win a copy of your choice of either Blame it on Texas or Lone Star Justice plus a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card. Don't forget to leave your email address, too, so I can contact you if you win.