Big week here at The Cozy Page! Not only is Cowboy Lovin' going all month long, I'm celebrating the launch of my second Wayback, TX novella, Bluest Heart! Before release day, January 6th, I have to dedicate a day to its award-winning prequel, Blackest Heart:
The concept for my first western romance came around slowly and on somewhat on a whim I never thought would come to fruition. Just like paranormals, it took a while to come around to the idea of reading western romance. The first one I picked up was Nora Robert's Lawless, which to this day is the best historical western romance on my shelf. I fell in love with the untamed landscape and the dangerous lifestyle of the cowboy hero. It kindled a small flame in my imagination.
The spark didn't quite catch until I found inspiration for my own western story while thumbing through a copy of Vogue magazine. The cover story was an actress who grew up farming/ranching then went on to become one of Hollywood's A-listers and an Academy Award-winner. The shoot took her back to her ranch roots. Not only did the western-style spread capture my attention, snippets of the article itself - especially the part where she harkened back to her country roots and talked about returning to them - made me take pen to paper and start brainstorming.
The notes were rough, but I saw an America's Sweetheart getting into a terrible car accident and retreating to her family's ranch to get away from the media's scrutiny and to find peace in the solitude of the West again. It would be several months before I saw another photo on a weblog that led me back to those notes. I don't know how it happened, but from this one photo the character of Judd Black, the silent cowboy, came to be. So far, no other hero I've written has lived up quite to Judd's standards and I still get fan mail about him, over a year after Blackest Heart's publication. Reviewers, too, loved him - and I believe he was a key element in Blackest Heart's 1st Place finish in the 2009 More Than Magic Contest's Novella category.
This week and later this month on Bluest Heart's virtual book tour, my silent cowboy will be up for grabs with several Blackest Heart giveaways. Follow me on Twitter or friend me on Facebook to find out firsthand where the contests will take place. If you miss your chance, no worries - Blackest Heart is available in ebook for just $3.00 at The Wild Rose Press. If you prefer paperbacks, you can also find it in The Way Back Home anthology also on sale now from TWRP or Amazon.com.
Today I'm giving away a copy of Carol Finch's new western romance The Kansas Lawman's Proposal to one very lucky commenter! All you have to do is answer the following question before midnight EST January 9th to be entered:
Who is the actress on the cover of Vogue's October 2007 issue? (If you don't recognize her in the photo from the ranch spread above, you might be able to find out here)
The winner will be announced Tuesday, January 12th - the same day the winner of Cindy Spencer Pape's All the Way Back will be announced so please check back in to see if you have won. Chances of winning depend on the number of entries. You must be 18 years or older to enter.
Tomorrow marks the first edition of the Cowboy Lovin' Round Robin. And I think I'll drop Mr. Cowboy in for inspriation! Hope to see you here for some interactive fun!