Sunday, January 31, 2010

Cowboy Lovin' Day 31: Cat Johnson

Alas, Cowboy Lovin' is at an end, but we're going out in hot style today with western romance author Cat Johnson. Enjoy!

Thank you so much for inviting me to blog about one of my favorite topics—cowboys.

There is a long history that spans centuries, of women fantasizing about cowboys, but sometimes in today’s modern times, especially for us who live closer to the city than the country, it is easy to forget that cowboys are real. That makes it even more exciting when you stumble upon a real one. Then, let the fantasies (and for a romance author—the story plotting) begin in earnest. Oh, yes. You guessed it. I stumbled and then fell hard when I came across my very own cowboy.

How did I, living in the northern suburbs of New York City, come across a real live, chaps wearing, bull-riding Oklahoman cowboy to consult on my contemporary western novels? The internet, of course. Working online with my personal cowboy consultant helped me clean up my rodeo bronc rider book Rough Stock, and leant it realism. After sitting up with him on instant messenger until 4:30 am after a bull ride, his passionate and detailed descriptions of the sport made me realize I wasn’t done with cowboys yet. I needed a book about bull riders next. In fact not just a book, but a series. That’s how Unridden, the first book in the Studs in Spurs series, was born.

Unridden (which is nominated for a CAPA at The Romance Studio for best erotic contemporary of 2009, BTW) is about a NY writer attending a romance convention in Oklahoma who finds herself not one but two bull riders to help her with her book. The two heroes, Slade and Mustang, teach her more than she expects to learn. Book 2 in the series, Bucked, is Mustang’s story and releases February 16th from Samhain Publishing. It focuses on what happens to a bull rider when an injury takes away from him the only thing he knows and loves. After that I have plans for Book 3 about one of my favorite side characters, Chase, a young bull rider who likes older women.

You’ll find pieces of my cowboy consultant in every one of the heroes in the Studs in Spurs series. Slade’s story about his first bull ride is taken almost verbatim from my middle of the night online conversation with the cowboy. Yes, I was taking notes, but don’t worry, I told him. Mustang’s broken arm in Bucked is the same injury my cowboy incurred. The enthusiastic, sincere and adorable character of Chase was totally inspired by my cowboy consultant.

Will there be more cowboy books in my future? Very possibly. Even though we’ve never been in the same state at the same time, thanks to the phone and the internet the cowboy and I are now great friends. He is the one I texted much too early the morning I woke to find Rough Stock had hit #1 on my publisher’s list. He is the one who patiently let me cry to him the day I read a nasty reader review on Amazon and threatened to quit writing (FYI, I am no longer allowed to read reader reviews). He is also the one who had me quickly laughing through my tears when my entire backlist went out of print the day my former publisher closed down. But until he casually lets another plot bunny drop at my feet, readers will just have to make due with my current cast of cowboys found in Rough Stock, Unridden and Bucked, all of which can be found at Samhain. And here is a party gift for you all as a thank you for coming here today. I have a short Studs in Spurs free read available featuring Chase and titled “8 Second Ride”. You can download the PDF at the FREE READ tab on my Wordpress.

Before I go, let me leave you with the following scene from Bucked (available in eBook February 16, 2010 and in paperback December). This exclusive excerpt features two of my favorite cowboys, Mustang and Chase, while they are out on the prowl to get Mustang’s mind off his injury.

Enjoy and thanks for joining me in my homage to the modern American cowboy!


EXCERPT FROM BUCKED (rated PG 13 for language)
“So what are you going to do now?”

That seemed to be the question of the night. Mustang looked up to find Chase watching him with concern. The last thing he wanted was pity. He forced a smile.
“First, I’m gonna find me a woman and get laid. An injury is like a magnet for chicks, especially on the night it happens. Gotta take advantage of it while I can.”
Shaking his head, Chase broke into an awed grin. “You are the master, Mustang. I bow to you, man.”
“Stick with me, kid and I’ll teach you all I know.” His smile was genuine now.
Glancing around the bar and looking for likely candidates, Mustang noticed Chase’s two friends.
Garret and Skeeter seemed to be trying for a pair of hot girls who looked like they’d rather be elsewhere.
He shook his head. “Didn’t those two learn their lesson about picking up girls out of their league yet?”
Chase leaned back against the bar and laughed. “Guess not. It’s fine with me if they get shot down again. We’re all sharing one room. If they hook up, I’m out in the cold, or sleeping in the bathtub tonight. So which woman are you gonna go for?”
Mustang took a sip and browsed the many choices. Taking a young rider under his wing and teaching him the art of seduction was bringing back the thrill that had been missing for him lately. He nearly forgot about his arm, but not quite.
“You tell me, kid. If you could have any woman in here, which one would you want?”
“That’s easy. I picked her out the minute she walked in the door. Actually, I spotted her in the stands back at the arena.” Chase’s gaze skipped directly to a table in the corner where a mature brunette was seated next to a man. She looked a good fifteen years older than Chase.
The kid really did stick to the same type. This woman looked a lot like Jenna. It was no secret Chase had a huge crush on her back in Tulsa.
Mustang swallowed another mouthful of beer. “So why are you way the hell over here and not over there talking to her?”
Chase’s eyebrows shot up to his hairline. “Because she’s here with a guy.”
“Yeah, so?”
“Are you crazy? You can’t hit on a woman in front of her boyfriend.”
“Well, no you shouldn’t do that. In that case, you wait for her boyfriend to go take a piss and then you hit on her while he’s gone.”
Read a different excerpt at Samhain!

Thank you, Cat, for sharing the Studs in Spurs series! Love those covers! Readers, you can see more of Cat's wItalicork at her website.

We might be wrapping up the January celebration, but there are still prizes up for grabs. Christine Columbus's The Perfect Country and Western Story free paperback giveaway is open for entry until midnight EST tomorrow night. Winners from Week 4 will be announced the next day, Tuesday February 2nd! All entrants, please check back in to see if you won...


Cat Johnson said...

Hey all,

Just wanted to pop in with an update. Today only until midnight all my ebooks, in fact ALL ebooks, are 50% off at when you enter this code at checkout. SBTBARe1


Becky said...

Cat Johnson is a another new author to me. The Studs in Spurs series sound really good. I am planning on visiting Cat's website to check out her other books as well. Its ashamed that Cowboy Lovin' camed to a end, but I guess all good things eventually do. I really enjoyed reading everyone's posts.

Carol L. said...

I agree that it's a shame it had to come to an end. :) All this talk about Cowboys. :) I'm heading over to Cat's web site to continue on. It's been a lot of fun reading about all these cowboys especially the Studs in Spurs series. Thanks all.
Carol Luciano

Janelle said...

I can't wait to sink my thoughts into another AMAZING Cat Johnson book. Keep up all the hard work Cat!