Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tanya Michaels is in the house!

I'm so excited to have Tanya Michaels on the blog today! We "met" after the RITA announcements and incidentally also realized that we are in a Mother's Day anthology together. I can't wait to meet her in person - but until then, she's popped into the blog to talk about one of my favourite topics: Cowboys. :-)

I have Cowboys on the brain.  No surprise there—while recently visiting the Texas cattle farm where my husband grew up, I met my deadline for an upcoming Harlequin American Romance (about a cowboy), leaving me free to FINALLY read all the great books that have been patiently waiting for months on my Kindle (starting with Donna Alward’s RITA-nominated How A Cowboy Stole Her Heart.)

And I’m not the only one with cowboys on her mind. It seems as if half the book covers I walk past feature these rugged heroes. There’s been a resurgence in cowboy television shows and miniseries (let’s pause for a moment to appreciate how nicely Timothy Olyphant wears that cowboy hat).  It made me curious. Why do these heroes have such an enduring following? To answer the question, I began with a very scientific poll.

First, while sitting at my computer, I wondered aloud, “What do you think of when I say cowboy?” My third-grade daughter put on one of her dad’s cowboy hats and galloped around on an invisible horse while my son burst into song, “On a steel horse I ride… I’m wanted, dead or alive.” The third respondent, our hyperactive bichon, squeaked a toy at me, then threw it at my head. (That dog’s aim is uncanny.) Okay, so perhaps not the most scientific poll ever—Dr. Sheldon Cooper would definitely not approve of my research methodology. I further pondered the question of cowboy popularity while doing dishes and folding laundry (ahhh, the glamorous lifestyle of the romance writer) and came up with some thoughts.

            The cowboy archetype is a man of action and morals. He may not play by the rules, necessarily, but he follows his own code and has a strong sense of loyalty. He’s not given to flowery speeches or witty repartee, but what he says, he means. And I’d much rather have a guy in my life who sees something that needs to be done and accomplishes it than someone who makes me grandiose promises but fails when it comes to follow-through. Cowboys are capable. They tame frontiers and are good with their hands. They know how to build barns and fences (and in the case of my husband, a kick-ass walk-in closet.) They have a sense of family and legacy; they can recognize women as equals but still protect them against rattlers, wolves, or really large spiders.

            Escapist reading is great fun. I enjoy historicals set in long ago ballrooms and I like reading a good paranormal about a vampire or shapeshifter. But cowboys are real, which can boost their appeal. I like knowing there are men out there who look damn good in a saddle, men who might smile at a woman from beneath the brims of their hats with a lazily drawled, “Yes, ma’am.”

            If you find yourself craving some cowboy for your summer reading list, consider Donna’s highly acclaimed How a Cowboy Stole Her Heart, the Teagues of Texas series by Trish Milburn, Barbara Dunlop’s A Cowboy Comes Home, my own Claimed by a Cowboy or, for those who love a great cowboy historical, any of the Rock Creek Six books (released electronically by bestselling, RITA-winning authors Linda Devlin and Lori Handeland). Meanwhile, I’d love to know your favorite aspect of a cowboy hero and any great cowboy romances you’ve read lately! I think my Kindle’s still got space for a few more…

 Leave a comment and be entered in a drawing for Claimed by a Cowboy and Tamed by a Texan, her two Harlequin American Romances this year!

21 comments:

  1. Cowboys, Bon Jovi and Dr. Sheldon Cooper all mentioned in one post *swoons a little*

    Anyone that can do that goes right to the top of my ToRead list!

    Donna, you have wonderful friends :)

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  2. Oh, and I forgot to say I love the First Responders banner ;)

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  3. He he he Thanks Heidi! (Tanya, Heidi is my editor at Samhain!) And I agree. Cowboys, Bon Jovi and Sheldon together hits all the right buttons!

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  4. I, too, know the love of a taciturn man. : )

    I'm into cowboy romances for the horses. Call me Nell.

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  5. I love the Bon Jovi reference :-) Yes, cowboys can be yummy, especially if seen in action on a horse while wearing a cowboy hat. Sigh. I miss horse riding. And Tanya, love the book title.

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  6. Meanwhile, I'm cracking up over the Willow quote from BtVS :-) Thanks so much guys for dropping by to say hi!

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  7. I agree with your daughter. I think of a cowboy hat and picture him riding a horse.

    By the way, I live your cover for "Claim by a Cowboy".

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  8. Men in chaps... that's my reason!

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  9. I like Cowboys because they are respectful and they like to take charge. Smoking hot is also a nice benefit.

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  10. It's been a while since I've read(rode) a good cowboy :)

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  11. I love cowboys. Shane, any Louis L'Amour cowboys, Elizabeth Lowell cowboys. I love a quiet man on a horse. He's liable to save day and steal your heart without ever smiling. I'm a fan of Ms. Michaels so her cowboys are always a treat!

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  13. My grandmother was born on the second largest horse ranch in Wyoming, so I have a special affinity for anything set in the west. To this day, my favorite book is "The Virginian," first given to me by my grandfather when I was 12. I'm on my third paperback copy. I realize it isn't a traditional romance, and more than one person has commented that it's hard to read, but I adore it and I contend it's one of the best love stories ever written. When she says "I don't believe I like you very much" and he replies "That's ok, you're going to love me before we're through"? Whew, Nellie!

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  14. I was totally hooked on Clint Eastwood in Rawhide. He was handsome and no matter what happened, nothing fazed him. He was cool!

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  15. Maggie, that's a fantastic line!

    It's really nice to meet some of Tanya's readers and glad that some of my friends are getting to meet HER!

    I'm leaving the post up for today (Thursday) to give more time for the contest!

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  16. I love my cowboys- I books will be ordered from Harlequin. I have been reading Katie Lane for that cowboy fix.

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  17. I love cowboys,most of my friends are cowboys, and love reading about them...my cowboy friend name Trey he had a cattle ranch and I met him at cowboy church, he's in the worship team and plays the guitar and sings...I was out of work and started cleaning his house and were really good friends, love reading about the west,Reid rosenthal has 2 good books out and I have read alot of cowboy books...Linda Leaul Miller has alot of good cowboy stories and have read a few of yours...cowboys are loyal and if they say there gonna do something they do it and get the job done right...love to win this contest!carolefiore@yahoo.com

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  18. Cowboys! Love the guys ever since I first saw Roy Rogers!!

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  19. love cowboys, we called them "bocah sapi", translation in Indonesia language lol

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  20. The winner is Cathy Shouse! Cathy, if you can give me a shout with your deets, I'll pass them on to Tanya!

    Thanks for stopping by this week!

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