Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Temptation Tuesday - Texas Cowboys

A big PHS welcome back to Linda Conrad, with a super sexy post that is still tops in our books!

Texas cowboys are out.


Oh, yes. Cowboys are out and rich millionaires, vampires and sheiks are in.

At least that’s what I’m hearing in the romance industry. Now, I like rich millionaires, vampires and sheiks as well as the next gal. So much so that I’m considering writing a new series featuring sheik heroes. But please don’t tell me cowboys are out. And please don’t give up on Texas.

You may not think of Texas as the wild west anymore. Most of it isn’t. But today there are still thousands of acres of ranch land and many wild spots along the border of Texas and Mexico. My latest mini-series The Safekeepers takes place in a small town near the Mexican border and on a huge ranch. It’s the story of two brothers and their sister. The men had left Texas behind, the sister wanted them to return. But all of them come home to find their future on the ranch of their childhood. None of the heroes is exactly a cowboy either. In fact the hero of IN SAFE HANDS is a retired British soldier. But each of them has the mindset of the cowboy.

I know Texas may not be as chic or sophisticated as a European capital. Nor does it seem as much fun as a place like New Orleans. But there is just something about Texas that fits like a favorite pair of old shoes.

Paraphrasing the state’s travel guide: Texas is so big it feels like a whole other country! Yes, the state does have fabulous sand beaches and big city sights. But what makes it still Texas to me are the gorgeous mountains and rugged desert. The water-carved canyons and bluebonnet-strewn rolling ranchlands. The still isolated and wooly feel of the land bordering the Rio Grande. The land is somehow our history as a nation.

And if it weren’t for Texas where would all the cowboys go? Gotta love those hunky cowboys with broad shoulders and rippling muscles, honed from wrangling all that cattle and riding all those horses.

The modern romantic cowboy is more of a mindset than an actual person. He must be tough and hard working, but he must also be kind and honest to a fault. A cowboy is always the good guy. We Americans need books about cowboys to remind us that the country is large, but never so large that we can’t stop and enjoy the world around us the way a cowboy does on horseback.

Modern cowboys stand for all that is pure and true. He’s never on the wrong side. He knows that a job must be done and he’s the guy who can do it. He can stay up all night to finish a job (or make love to his woman) the same way his counterparts did a hundred years ago on the trail. A cowboy never looks for trouble. He’s the man who will take on the bad guys in a heartbeat, but will also go twenty miles out of his way to take a sick dog to the vet. They defend good people who cannot defend themselves. They are honest and polite. And they know how to treat a woman.

Modern cowboys are not all molded alike. They each have their own style, and that style is uniquely suited for romance novels.

I love reading and writing romances about modern cowboys. What about you? What’s your favorite kind of hero today?

Leave me a comment and I’ll draw one person to win a signed copy of IN SAFE HANDS.

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  1. I want my hero to come and sweep me off my feet. What better way then with a cowboy? For me, there is none. Don't get me wrong, I like to mix my stories up with different types of hero's. However in the end, I always come back to my cowboy. Have a great day.

  2. My favorite hero is still the cowboy and I still love all of Texas; but then I'm a little prejudice since I am a Texan who lives on the coast but loves all the different landscapes.

    I have IN SAFE HANDS and loved every bit of it.

  3. One of my favourite things that I've seen going around the email circuit is the picture of a gorgeous cowboy with the caption beneath "save a horse, ride a cowboy". I couldn't agree more! LOL!

  4. I luuuve Texas...

    I've slept on the beach in Galveston (getting woken up when a sand crab walked across my head!), swum in a lake in the Panhandle, watched the ghost lights in Marfa, ridden a horse through Palo Duro Canyon (very slowly!!) and worked on a little indie movie called Last Night at the Alamo in Houston...

    And I've met a few very delicious cowboys along the way... I'd take them over a vampire or a sheikh any day, no question.

    Loved your post Linda, it brought back some very nice (and a few naughty) memories.

  5. I like heroes who put themselves out for others without thought of themselves or repayment.

    Cowboys symbolize integrity!. They're athletic, honest, hard working individuals!

    I hate arrogant, conceited people who are only out for themselves!

    In Safe Hands sounds wonderful!

  6. Hi Housemouse and Ellen! Thanks for the comments! And sooo glad there are still those of us who love cowboys. I hope they never go out of style!

  7. Oh Amanda I'd love to see the pic. That's a line from an old Country Western song that I sing (to myself) a lot!

  8. Hey Heidi! A woman after my own heart. I've done most of those things, just in diffferent places - but still in Texas. I didn't work on an indie movie, but I did see a Mexican rodeo in Mercedes once.
    I've met a couple of cowboys in my time as well. Can't beat um.
    Thanks for sharing- took me back

  9. I agree with you to the max, Laurie. That's why I write about cowboys. Of course, the hero in In Safe Hands is an English war hero and not Texan like the other heroes in the series, but he symbolizes all the best of cowboys (and most of the book takes place in Texas- does that count?) LOL

  10. Housemouse 88 - can you e-mail me at donna at donnaalward dot com? Thanks!

  11. I love Cowboy stories. Show me a cover of a brooding guy in a stetson and you've got a sale.

  12. Hi Linda:

    The cowboy is the American Knight. I hope he won’t be crowed out of romances as he was on TV.

    Of all the many modern cowboy romances I’ve read, I can’t remember one hero who had not worked in a college degree somewhere along the trail. Is there some editorial requirement that a cowboy hero must have at least a BA? I always look for the mention of the degree when I read a cowboy romance and it always seems to be there even if it is mentioned in only one sentence and never mentioned again. Just curious.

    BTW, I love Texas too, except for their football teams. Of course here we refer to it as Baja Oklahoma.

    Tulsa, Oklahoma.

  13. Oh me too, Nell. My dh still has his Stetson (even here in Florida) I won't let him get rid of it. LOL

  14. What a great image, Vince! The American Knight. Love it.

    And I always thought OK was a territory of Texas. NO?

  15. Vince - my cowboys don't always have degrees. Mike in Marriage at Circle M was a foster kid who started out at the Rodeo. LOL. Have to admit though some of my others have post-secondary education.

    You know, I grew up on a farm and maybe it's more a realization that farmers have also got to be businessmen. Or that as authors, we try to give our cowboys a "twist", something to make them individual. For example, in my release next June, my cowboy hero is also a veterinarian.

    I hadn't really thought of that before, you know. But I know I'll be looking for it now when I read my cowboy and rancher stories.

  16. Hi Linda. Love cowboys. DH has all the John Wayne cowboys ever made! The Alimo, The Man who shot Liberty Valance etc. Any cowboy film is enough to instill the feeling of "the good 'ole days". I am a (fledgling) historical writer so my hero's of the moment tend to be the one I'm writing about at the time. In this case a hero of the Circus Maximus in Rome at the time of Nero. At the end of the day - a hero is a hero - no matter where they come from and from what era in my (humble) opinion. Caroline x

  17. I like all different types of heroes and cowboys are one of the good ones. I also like, policemen and firefighters too.

  18. Linda I love cowboys! I'd take a cowboy over a millionaire businessman anyday. But then of course I just like the idea of riding off into the sunset or lazing about under a tree while the horses are tethered . . . you can tell I dream too much, right!!


  19. Donna, for a while the shorter lines wanted all rich and powerful men. The ranch owners not the cowboys. That might account for some of the college degrees. But I'm with you. I think today's modern cowboy would have to have some other line of work in order to make ends meet. ie: The vet. The rodeo circuit. The sheriff. etc.

  20. I agree, Caroline. That's why I'm considering doing sheiks next. (and I did six books once with American Indian heroes)
    But I just need to be sure we all still love the American hero (like John Wayne). I know I do.

  21. Maureen (grin) That's my kind of hero too.

  22. Hi Soraya, You sound like a writer. My parents used to call me lazy and a day-dreamer. That's me, making up stories in my head. At last I have a good excuse. :)

  23. I love all kinds of heros but cowboys and highlanders are my favorite! I do love me some cowboys! Don't enter me Linda because I have your books.

  24. cowboy stories have got to be right up there if not tops; I live in cowboy country where there are brandings, rodeos, trail rides, cattle drives, etc.

  25. LOL Virginia! I love you. :) And I love me some of them cowboys too!

  26. And you don't get tired of cowboys, robynl? Good for you! I used to live there too. Now I just write about em. :) And read about them.

  27. Thanks to all of you for a great blog! Your comments were terrific! I drew names and ended up with two winners: Soraya and Vince! Congrats!
    Both of you please email your snail mail address to:
    and I'll send you IN SAFE HANDS.
    And thanks again everyone!