Friday, July 21, 2017

Celebrate National Day of the Cowboy with Carolyn Brown

National Day of the Cowboy is tomorrow, July 22. But we've been celebrating all week! You already met five romance writers who are crazy about cowboys. Joining us today another New York Times and USA Today bestselling author whose phenomenal contemporary cowboy romance is rocketing up the charts--welcome Carolyn Brown.

With more than 3 million copies of her books sold, Carolyn Brown is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and a RITA finalist. She’s won the National Reader’s Choice Award three times, the Bookseller’s Best Award and was awarded the prestigious Montlake Diamond Award for selling over a million books.  Her books include romantic women’s fiction, historical, contemporary, cowboys and country music mass market paperbacks. She and her husband, Charles, a retired English teacher, live in Davis, Oklahoma that only has one traffic light. They have three grown children and enough grandchildren to keep them young. When she’s not writing she likes to sit in her back yard with her two tom cats, Chester Fat Boy and Boots Randolph Terminator Outlaw and watch them protect the yard from all kinds of wicked varmints like crickets, locusts and spiders.

Toughest Cowboy in Texas kicks off her new Happy, Texas series...

The Spark of an Old Flame

Last time Lila Harris was in Happy, Texas, she was actively earning her reputation as the resident wild child. Now, a little older and wiser, she's back to run her mother's café for the summer. Except something about this town has her itching to get a little reckless and rowdy, especially when she sees her old partner-in-crime, Brody Dawson. Their chemistry is just as hot as ever. But he's still the town's golden boy-and she's still the wrong kind of girl.

Brody hasn't had much time lately for anything other than ranching. Running the biggest spread in the county and taking care of his family more than keeps him busy. All that responsibility has him longing for the carefree days of high school-and Lila. She may have grown up, but he still sees that spark of mischief in her eyes. Now he's dreaming about late-night skinny dipping and wondering how he can possibly resist the one woman he can never forget...

Here's an excerpt...

Lila reached across his booth to pick up a one-page menu stuck between the salt shaker and napkin holder. Her arm brushed against his chest and more sparks danced around the café. Hoping that he didn’t hear the breathlessness in her voice, she straightened up to her full height and started reading. “We have chicken fried steak, grilled pork chops, breakfast served all day, burgers of all kinds and today’s lunch special was meatloaf and mashed potatoes. I think there’s a little more left if you are interested. I really thought you might have learned to read down there at Texas A&M.”
Brody laid a rough, callused hand on her arm. Pure electricity shot through her body.
“Are you still as wild as ever?” he whispered seductively.
“Oh, honey, you can’t even imagine what all you’ve missed out on the past twelve years.” The chemistry between them hadn’t changed a bit—at least not for her. She pulled her arm back and looked back down at the menu. “Want me to go on or have you heard something that appeals to you?”
He raked his fingers through his thick, dark hair. It needed a cut, but then maybe he wore it a little longer these days. “Just something to drink for now,” he said.
 She turned away from him and headed back to the drink station. With shaking hands, she poured the tea and lemonade, stirred and picked up the glass to carry it to his booth. When she took it to him, he motioned toward the other side of the table.
“Sit with me.”
“You’re a few years late with that invitation,” she told him.
“Ahh, come on, Lila,” he said.
Throw a plaid shirt over that dirty white T-shirt and he’d still be the boy who had broken her heart all those years ago. But she’d cried her tears and burned the bridges between her and Brody so bygones be damned.
He nodded toward the other side of the booth. “You’re really going to hold a grudge and not sit with me for five minutes?”
“I really am,” she said.

E.E.: Describe in your own words what makes a “cowboy” a cowboy?

Carolyn: A cowboy might have flaws because after all he is human and he is of the male gender. But he’s a special type because he’s kind, honest, respects women, would fight to the death for his friends or his family and he loves his mama.

E.E.: Why do you think the “cowboy culture” remains so appealing?

Carolyn: It’s honest living whether the cowboy is barely eking out a living on a rundown ranch full of nothing but mesquite bushes, cow tongue cactus and chiggers or a huge spread that has lots of hired hands helping him out. Folks like to read about men who work with their hands, who aren’t afraid of sweat and dirt, and who love living close to the land.

E.E.: What is it about cowboys that you find attractive, and/or inspiring? (Basically, why do you write stories featuring cowboy lore or American West historical or contemporary culture?)

Carolyn: Physically, the way they walk in cowboy boots. There’s just something about that swagger that makes a woman take a second look. But then add to that the way they tip their hat to a lady, and the way that those tight fittin’ jeans hug their bodies and they should give away those fans that we used to have in church with each cowboy romance purchase—remember those cardboard fans with the 23rd Psalm on one side and an advertisement of the local funeral home on the other? That’s the ones I’m talking about.

E.E.: Who are some of your favorite cowboys (in history, literature, films, television, real life, whatever)? 

Carolyn: I absolutely love Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens in Justified; Tom Sellack in Quigley Down Under and Lee Majors as Heath in the Big Valley television series from years ago. I could go on and on but I expect that space might be limited.


What is it about cowboys that YOU find attractive and appealing? Leave a comment, and don't forget to enter the raffle!

Enter for your chance to win prizes in our Celebrate Cowboys giveaways. 

Winners announced Sunday, July 23 on this blog.

Tomorrow join USA Today & Publisher's Weekly Bestselling author 
Angi Morgan as she wraps up our week long celebration!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Get Lost on Facebook   @GetLostInAStory  #GetLostStories
AND Join our Facebook Group: The Readers’ Spot
QUESTION OF THE DAY $5.00 Gift Card during Cowboy Week 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Celebrate National Day of the Cowboy with Linda Broday

Saturday, July 22 is National Day of the Cowboy, so this week we're dedicating our blog to a celebration of cowboy lore and culture all week long!

To help me celebrate, I've rounded up five other authors who write across a range of sweet, sexy and suspenseful romance featuring cowboys. Today, Linda Broday joins us to share her latest top-selling romance, Heart of a Texas Cowboy, as well as her extensive knowledge and wisdom about cowboys.

"I'm a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of historical western romances and I reside in the Texas Panhandle on land the American Indian and Comancheros once roamed. I can feel their ghosts lurking around every corner. I love research and looking for little known tidbits to add realism to my stories. Chocolate is my best friend. It just soothes my soul."

The Heart of a Texas Cowboy is Book 2 in the Men of Legends series

One bullet is all it takes to shatter Houston Legend’s world. He swore he’d never love again, but with the future of the Lone Star Ranch on the line, he finds himself at the altar promising to love and cherish a woman he’s never met—a woman whose vulnerable beauty touches his heart.

All Lara Boone wants is a name for her baby. She never expected to fall in love with her own husband—or any man—after the heartache she’s endured. Yet when her troubled past catches up with them, Houston will move heaven and earth to protect his bride…and discover depths to a marriage of convenience neither realized could be theirs to claim.

Here's an excerpt

   With night wrapped around her like a cloak, Lara hummed while she washed the dishes and put everything away.
   Houston sat on the ground with Gracie, his back against his saddle. The babe lay on his chest with his hand patting the small back. He caught Lara looking and winked as boldly as some scoundrel. Heat rose to her cheeks. She lowered her gaze and made quick work of the dishes.
   “Do you want me to take Gracie to her bed?” Lara asked, joining him.
    “If you can pry open her fist to get my vest out of it. For such a little thing she’s sure got a grip.”   
   Houston was so near his soft breath fanned her cheek. Her pulse raced. This man she’d married invaded every thought. He’d shown kindness and caring and brought hope back from the grave where she’d buried it.
   He laid a hand on her arm. “You’ll be back?”
   “Yes. I won’t be long.”
   “I’ll only be in camp a little while,” Houston said, yawning. “Have to spell the other drovers.” At her questioning glance, he explained, “Everyone shares guard duty, me included.”
   She nodded and hurried to lay Gracie in her crib next to her crib beside the chuck wagon. With her precious daughter sleeping soundly, she returned to the fire to find no sign of Houston. Her heart sank with disappointment. She’d missed him, missed her goodnight kiss that he’d begged for.
   Houston called quietly from the deep shadows. “Over here, Lara.”
   Following his voice, Lara discovered him leaning against the trunk of a mesquite tree. Rays from the full moon lightened the dark brown strands nestling against his collar, adding glints of silver.
   “I didn’t want to take a chance on us being interrupted so I walked out here,” he explained.
   Lara wet her lips. “I thought you’d changed your mind.” That he didn’t want to kiss a woman so scarred.
   “Not a chance, lady,” he growled low and pushed away from the tree. “It’s all that’s been on my mind since you agreed.”
   When she moved to him, he opened his arms. She walked into his embrace as though it was door and pleasure awaited there. Inhaling the scented air, she laid her head against the hard wall of his chest. She wanted to stay there forever.
   Houston lightly rested his chin on the top of her head. “I’m real glad you came on this drive. Nights can get lonely out here.”
   His deep voice vibrated inside her. It was like he became part of her. “I’m glad I did too. Even though I had to work to convince you.”
   “Yeah, well, I’m a stubborn fool.”
   He put a finger under her chin and lifted her face. Without a word, he lowered his mouth. The minute his warm lips touched hers, Lara had to clutch his arm to keep from falling. Her heartbeat pounded as though trying to keep up with the blood racing through her veins.
   A hot, demanding, achiness swept over her. She needed this man and at the moment didn’t think she could live without him. Nor did she want to try.

Find more from Linda:
Facebook Author Page: 

E.E.: Describe in your own words what makes a “cowboy” a cowboy.

Linda: It’s a lot more than clothes or fancy boots. A cowboy shows fierce pride in the way he carries himself. His confident attitude comes from a place deep within and in many cases, it’s something that’s been passed down. A cowboy lives by a code, or a set of rules, that’s he’s laid down for himself and he’ll never break one. He has honor, courage, and dogged determination in spades. The land is in his blood and there’s no getting it out. The love of family and animals lives inside him.

E.E.: Why do you think the “cowboy culture” remains so appealing?

Linda: We live in a society where so much is fake. People are looking for someone to look up to who is genuine in his beliefs. These men are larger than life. If you need something done they’ll step up to the plate. And I have to admit that my heart always beats a little faster when I’m around them here in the Texas panhandle.

E.E.: What is it about cowboys that you find attractive, and/or inspiring?

Let’s think about how about they look for starters. Boots, jeans, and a hat are okay, but if a cowboy wears them…oh my! I write historical western romance for other reasons too. Cowboys make great heroes. It’s that inner strength and confidence that just won’t let them quit. You may get him down but he doesn’t stay. He’ll fight to the gates of hell and beyond for something he believes in. He’s tough as grit yet tender underneath all that hardness.

E.E.: Who are some of your favorite cowboys?

Linda: My lists are as long as your arm, but these stand out in one way or another.
On the big screen, a few are: John Wayne, Sam Elliott, Clint Eastwood, Kevin Costner, and Robert Duvall. These actors have what it takes to fill a cowboy’s shoes.
In history: Charles Goodnight, Jesse Chisholm, Wyatt Earp, Oliver Loving—they were men who blazed trails and cast a long shadow.
In books: Johnny Cain (The Outsider,) Rowdy Rhodes (A Wanted Man,) Brady Wilkins (Pieces of Sky,) and Chance Wyatt (The Tender Texan.) 

E.E.: Any favorite cowboy quotes?

From The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – “See, there are two kinds of people in this world, my friend. Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig.”

From Tombstone— “Are you going to do something, or just stand there and bleed?”

“Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear, or a fool from any direction.”

“Generally you ain’t learnin’ nothing when your mouth’s a jawing.”

“Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.”

“A real cowboy ain’t the man who gets on a bull to show off for a bunch of girls. It’s a man who is out in the snow at 10 below, caring for his herd before anything else.”

Enter for your chance to win prizes in our Celebrate Cowboys giveaway. 

Glass boot filled with chocolate
Western book charm and signed copy of Maybe Baby
from E.E.

Readers choice Kinnison Legacy books, 
Last Hope Ranch books, or End of the Line books
from Amanda

Three $5 Amazon gift cards 
Premium swag packs with books from Beth 

Silver Boot Earring, a cowgirl hatpin
Books 1 & 2 Men of Legend series 
from Linda

Five copies of Toughest Cowboy in Texas
Three copies of Wicked Cowboy Charm
a $25 Amazon gift card
a $25 gift card to Longhorn Steak House Restaurant
from Carolyn

Texas wine charms & and autographed book from Angi

Winners announced Sunday, July 23 on this blog.

Tomorrow join New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Carolyn Brown, and discover the Toughest Cowboy in Texas.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Get Lost on Facebook   @GetLostInAStory  #GetLostStories
AND Join our Facebook Group: The Readers’ Spot
QUESTION OF THE DAY $5.00 Gift Card during Cowboy Week 

How about you? Do you have any favorite cowboys? 

Who are they, and why are they your favorites?