Posts Tagged 'western contemporary romance'

Girls and Horses and Cowboys — yeehaw!

Girls

I’ve told you all how obsessed I was with horses as a girl–I still have a few of my Breyer model horses and other statues. Some girls played with dolls; I played with toy horses. The song “Girls & Horses,” which I love, pretty much sums up my love of horses. You can listen to it (legally) on Templeton’s website. If there’s a horse crazy girl or woman in your family, go buy it. Heck, buy the whole album (also titled Girls & Horses). It’s full of great horsey songs.

Horses

All this reminiscing about my past with horses got me a bit misty-eyed and I went looking for an old photo album. Despite the disaster that is my office, I found it. This is my first horse, Peaches, bought when I was in college.

Peaches

She was just a weanling when I got her, and I eventually trained her myself. None of those things are really great ideas, by the way: buying a horse while still in school, buying a weanling as your first horse, breaking and training your first horse yourself. But I loved that little mare, and I’d like to think she loved me. We made it work. This picture was somewhere around 1985 or 6. We used to do pretty well in our local open shows.

Cowboys

Which brings me to the real point of this post. I’ve been asked why it’s taken me fifteen years to finally start writing about cowboys, given their popularity in genre fiction. Well…let me tell you a story. See, I was in college, remember? So I had to work to pay for my horse habit. For a couple of semesters I worked for a horse trainer / cowboy we’ll just call Dave. Dave was a good guy. He treated me well and taught me a lot. But he wasn’t a fancy pants show trainer like some you see today. He was a cowboy. And one thing cowboys then were never without was a tin of Skoal in their back pockets. Dipping tobacco. Snuff.

Snuff said.  🙂

I used to accompany Dave to horse shows to help with feeding, cleaning stalls, exercising and such. We travelled in his rattletrap battleship of a rusted pickup truck with a bench front seat. Outside, Dave would just spit his tobacco juice on the ground. But in the truck…well…we all know what happens when you spit out a window at 60 mph, don’t we? So he had a spit cup. A BIG spit cup. And that old battleship didn’t have cup holders so it sat on the dash as we jounced down country roads to the horse shows.

I lived in fear of that spit cup. I just knew one day it was going to land in my lap.

Really, chewing tobacco is not a very attractive habit in many ways. Spitting is gross. Flecks of tobacco between the teeth is gross. And it tastes gross when you…

Yeah, I just might have kissed that cowboy once or twice.

And that, friends, is why it’s taken me fifteen years to write a western romance novel and a cowboy hero.

 

Inspiration

One of the most common questions writers are asked is “Where do you get your ideas?” So since I just kicked off my new western contemporary series Mustang Wild! yesterday with the release of “Cowboys Don’t Cry” as part of the Cowboy Up boxed set, I’d thought I’d clear the mystery of my inspiration right off the bat.

First off, you should know I’ve loved horses all of my life. When I was a kid without a horse of my own, I used to ride my bike for miles to get to a pasture where two of these magnificent creatures lived just so I could pull grass and feed them across the fence. I come by my obsession honestly. My grandfather was a mule trader back in the day. Here is a picture of him and one of his animals:

Papa_muleDespite having a very large extended family, I seem to be the only one who inherited the horse-crazy gene. But I got enough of it for all of us. As soon as I was old enough to hold down a job and make some money, I bought a horse, and I’ve never been without at least one in my life since. Right now I have four horses, a standard donkey, and a miniature donkey. More about them in future posts.

A few years ago I started volunteering with a dog adoption program that just happened to have an annual event held in conjunction with the Extreme Mustang Makeover in Ft. Worth, Texas. It was my first up-close-and-personal interaction with mustangs, and I was wowed with what they can do.

Then I stumbled on a Facebook page created by Mustang Meg, a photographer who regularly haunts mustang territory and takes amazing pictures. If you just want to look at pretty wild horses, follow her page. Seeing the mustangs in the wild, the way they were meant to be, got me really hooked and I new I had to write about them. Sadly, as I learned more about the wild horses, I found out they are being systematically exterminated by the government organization established to protect them. More about that, too, in future posts. For now just know I needed a way to express that sadness and my anger.

So I created Mustang Wild! The stories are set in Oregon, and while the humans in the books are on center stage, the mustangs make a dramatic backdrop.

So there’s the story of how the series was born. In the next post I’ll talk about how “Cowboys Don’t Cry” specifically came to be written.

And by the way, the Cowboy Up boxed set is on sale now for just 99 cents.

CowboyUpGroupBundle


Available Now!

western romance novel boxed set

7 men as tough as the West. 7 women ready to Cowboy Up

Available Now!

Psychological Suspense short story with a bonus inspirational short story included

Coming Soon from Vickie Taylor

Fantasy Romance Novella

What am I reading today?

GOOD OLE BOYS - Denise Barker - Just started, but I'm intrigued so far!

Last five books read:

TEXAS GOTHIC - Rosemary Clement-Moore - Awesome! Great fun and spooktastic at the same time!

MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN - Ransom Riggs - Really creative idea. Enjoyed it very much!

BOOTSCOOTIN' BLAHNIKS - D.D. Scott - Very enjoyable, fun book!

THE GOOD DAUGHTER - Diana Layne - Awesome! Get it now!

GOT YOUR NUMBER - Stephanie Bond - Fun little mystery!

What’s on my TBR List?

GOOD OLE BOYS - Denise Barker

Reader’s Guide to E-publishing

Find your next e-book here!

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