Sunday, January 3, 2010

Cowboy Lovin Day 3: Cindy Spencer Pape

It's January 3rd and Cowboy Lovin' keeps on truckin' along with western romance author Cindy Spencer Pape! Before Celia and I published our Wayback, TX novellas with TWRP, Cindy published her first. It is, hands down, one of the best in the series....

"Gotta Love A Cowboy"

What is it about a cowboy? Well, face it, who among us never had a thing for John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, or any one of the cast of Young Riders? Cowboys are self-sufficient, tough, and yet tender enough to care for a baby calf or foal. They epitomize the strong, silent hero, and whether we’re talking about modern or historic Western settings, they still have to be in top physical condition. In short, yum. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that our fictional cowboys never seem to chew tobacco, drink too much, or smell like horse poop. Oh, no, that would ruin the fantasy. And in romance, isn’t fantasy what it’s all about?

I’d like to introduce my two Wayback heroes, Drew Lawson, and Zane Malone, who are different as night and day—except for the strong, loyal, and loving part, of course—and the not smelling like horse poo.

You might also want to check out my western series, Love at the Crazy H, featuring the Hall brothers, also available from the Yellow Rose line at The Wild Rose Press. For more information, you can stop by my website:

Happy Reading!

All the Way Back
By Cindy Spencer Pape
A Wayback, Texas story
Available as a stand-alone novella,
Or in the print anthology Wild Wayback Nights
From The Wild Rose Press

Drew Lawson left Wayback for the army a long time ago. Now he’s back, a little older and a lot wiser, but the past still haunts him. Music teacher Annie Zykov had a crush on Drew when she was a kid, but what she feels for the man is something else entirely. With Annie’s help, can Drew come to grips with his past and learn to face the future? Is love what it takes to bring him All the Way Back?

Excerpt (PG):

“Would you like to dance?”

The band was playing an old George Jones song, slow and sweet. Annie nodded and set her hand into his, totally unprepared for the jolt of electricity that jangled her nerves. His hand was warm and strong and rough—whatever he’d done for the military, it hadn’t been a desk job. She swallowed hard and let him lead her onto the dance floor and draw her close.

One big hand settled at the small of her back while the other clasped hers. Her head tucked under his chin and her cheek rested against the broad plane of his chest. She inhaled his scent—warm, slightly spicy, and all male.

“I haven’t done this in a long time,” he murmured. His breath stirred her hair. “I’ll try not to step on your toes.”

“It seems to be coming back to you just fine,” she replied.

His movements were sure and graceful, in perfect time with the music. She closed her eyes and began to quietly hum along to the music.

“Why didn’t I ever know you could sing?” he asked. “You must be pretty good at it to teach it for a living.”

She shrugged against his chest. “I do okay—I’m no Gretchen Wilson, but I don’t usually send people screaming, either. I didn’t really start taking it seriously, though, until high school. When I was younger, it was just something I did at Sunday school, or singing along with the radio. I sure wouldn’t have tried to sing in front of my brother or his cute friends—I was trying to hang out with you guys—not be laughed at.”

“Were we that mean to you, Little Bit?” he asked with a warm chuckle that made his chest vibrate against her cheek. “Kids can be rotten to each other, but I’d hate to think we hurt you.”

“Nah. You didn’t have a mean bone in your body, Drew. I don’t believe you have it in you to deliberately hurt anyone.”

He stopped moving. His whole body stiffened, as if she’d just belted him with a cast iron pan. His hands tightened convulsively, then he inhaled a deep breath and slowly relaxed his muscles. “You’d be surprised, darlin’, what a man like me is capable of.”

After the Rodeo
By Cindy Spencer Pape
Available digitally or in print as part of
The anthology Finding Their Way Back
From The Wild Rose Press

Free Wulfsen learned early on to ride fast, and that rodeo relationships never last. But after one wild weekend in Nevada, the barrel racer finds herself married to bull rider Zane Malone. She’s all set to ask him for a divorce when she takes a fall—and finds out she’ll have more to remember him by than a ring. Now it’s up to Zane to convince Free than love can last after the rodeo’s done and that the real prize is a lifetime together.

Excerpt (PG):

Zane’s heart thumped as Free rode into the ring. He’d known her for years, yet he was still stunned by her strong, blonde beauty every time he saw her. There she was, big as life, her pale blonde hair flying behind her, astride a sleek palomino quarter horse he knew she’d trained herself. Rider and mount moved so perfectly in tandem that it was almost as if they were two halves of one being. He couldn’t help remembering what it had felt like to have all that intensity and strength wrapped around him. His one weekend with Free had only made him hungrier for more.

The horse rounded the first and second barrel of the cloverleaf pattern with a deceptive ease. No way getting a thousand pound animal around an oil drum at high speed was an easy task. Her time looked good—she was sure to qualify for the finals. That meant she’d be here ’til Sunday. Zane’s body reacted to that thought, making his jeans too tight.

“There she goes around the third barrel. Look at them move folks,” the announcer called. “Pure poetry in motion.”

And then Zane’s heart stopped in his chest.

Almost as if it were slow motion, he watched Mistrunner lose his footing and go down. Free was flung from the saddle, her foot caught in the stirrup. Zane was already bolting over the fence when he heard the crack of her skull striking—something. A rodeo clown grabbed the struggling horse as it righted itself, making sure the fallen rider was clear of the saddle while Zane knelt in the dust by Freya’s side. An ugly bruise was already forming at her temple, leaking a small trickle of blood onto her cheek. Her chest moved steadily, though, thank God. Zane let out the breath he hadn’t known he was holding.

Two other men pushed their way to her side only moments behind Zane. Her brothers were here, he registered absently. She’d like that. The paramedic nudged Grey and Dusty Wulfsen apart, holding a stethoscope to Free’s chest. In the background he heard the announcer reassuring the audience that the rider was going to be all right. A couple of clowns started juggling to distract some of the viewers from the paramedics in action.

“Pulse and respiration are good,” the lead medic told his partner. He moved to check her pupils just as Free’s lashes fluttered open. She looked at Zane, blinked and shut her eyes again.

“Zane.” It was little more than a whisper.

“I’m here, darlin’. You’re gonna be just fine.” He hoped she couldn’t hear the quaver in his voice.

“Miss Wulfsen, can you tell us how you’re feeling?” The medic asked. He checked her eyes when she opened them again. “One’s dilated, not responsive.” Concussion, Zane concluded. No big surprise.

“She conked heads with Mistrunner,” one of her brothers noted. “At least it was his skull, not a hoof.” Yeah, that was good. Hooves could smash skulls like pumpkins.

“Anything else hurt, ma’am?” They had a backboard ready and the two medics moved to lift her onto it.”

“Ankle,” she murmured. “Left. Broken, I think. Hurts like a bitch.” She gazed up at Zane again. “Misty?”

“He’s fine,” Zane assured her. “Walked off without a limp.”

“Good.” Free gave a little flutter of a smile and dropped back into unconsciousness.

“Lift.” The medics had her on the backboard, moved to a gurney. “Okay, you two are her brothers, right? One of you want to ride with us to the trauma center?”

While Grey and Dusty looked at each other, Zane shook his head. “Nope. They can drive. I’m riding with you. I’m the lady’s husband.”

Aw, thank you, Cindy, for bringing Drew and Zane over for a little playtime! And that Wild Wayback Nights cover? You're so right: yum!

Readers, be sure to check out Cindy's Wayback titles. They're so worth it! Today she's giving away a free digital download of All the Way Back. Comment before midnight EST January 8th to enter. Winners will be announced Tuesday, January 12th. Chances of winning depends on the number of entries. You must be 18 years or older.
And check back in tomorrow for another giveaway + a steamy peak at the silent cowboy of my award-winning Wayback novella, Blackest Heart! Oooh, and some of the cowboy eye candy that inspired it....


Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Thanks, Amber, for inviting me here today. It's always fun to come talk about cowboys!

Anny Cook said...

See...I loved all of them. Don't add me to your drawing as I already HAVE all your cowboys! And enjoy them every time I read them!

Becky said...

What a great post! I enjoyed reading the two excerpts and now what to read both books. I definitely added both to my list to get. I will have to move them to the top so I can get them to find out what happens in both.

Sandra Cox said...

Good post, Cindy. But no surprise there, you're a great writer.

Autumn Jordon said...

Cindy, Both of your excerpt's were awesome. And your heroes, yum. I love the quiet guys too.

I'm still playing catch up on the Wayback series books but All The Way Back is moving to the top of my buy list.


Fran Lee said...

These sound like fabulous reads, Cindy! I love cowboys. Grew up among them in Nevada.

Beth Caudill said...

You don't need to add me to the drawing. I too have them all. Even though I'm not really fond of cowboys. ;)

I just love your writing.

Debra St. John said...

Mnnn, *sigh*, there is something about a cowboy. For me its the soft southern drawl and the way they look in their Wranglers.

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Thanks, Everyone. Debra, you definitely have a point about the Wranglers!

Mary Ricksen said...

Go Cindy! Good luck with sales. Love cowboys!

P.L. Parker said...

Cowboys! Low slung jeans, trim hips (young ones at least), lots of BS. Love their horses, trucks and their dogs. When I was single, I only dated cowboys, ended up marrying a yuppie. But the cowboys were exciting.

Good luck with sales.

Lisa G said...

I can't wait to read this series.

suehussein said...

Hi, I love reading excerpts from new authors. I read all westerns contemp and historical. I live in the North and I think the attraction is a way of life different from mine. I also love a good series and I plan to read this one. Thanks, Sue

Anonymous said...

It is reserve, neither it is more, nor it is less

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Mary, Patsy, Lisa, Sue, thanks so much for the great response!

Paris said...

There's just something about your cowboys that leave my knees weak;-)Yum!

Julie said...

Excerpts are my weakness. *____* Thanks for the chance to win!

Linda Henderson said...

Cowboys, one of my favorite subjects. I really enjoyed the excerpts.

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Paris, Julie, and Linda, thank you. Glad you enjoyed the excerpts. Drew and Zane are two of my favorite heroes.

Andrea I said...

I enjoyed the introduction to Drew and Zane. I'll check out your books from The Wild Rose Press.

Missy Roth said...

I'm so glad I found you wonderful ladies!! Now I need to take a day to update my book-buying list...

So many cowboys, so little time!