Friday, January 8, 2010

Cowboy Lovin' Day 8: Carol Ericson


Today join me in welcoming Harlequin Intrigue author Carol Ericson! She writes great stories of romantic suspense, but her latest books surround the McClintock brothers - Ryder, Rafe, Rod, and I hear there's a half-brother coming soon as well! I read the first book in her McClintock saga, Circumstantial Memories, and can't wait to read the second, which launches this month...

It’s pretty clear we all love cowboys! Is it the steely gaze under a wide-brimmed cowboy hat? The tight jeans beneath the chaps? Or the true heart beating beneath the silver badge? The image of the cowboy is one of someone who is fiercely loyal, protective, independent, and honorable. But how did this image originate? I think it goes back to the time of America’s expansion West.

Manifest Destiny. Americans have always believed we had a duty to explore and expand. But just think about the first settlers who headed West, braving hostile Native American tribes, inclement weather, and the unknown. Think about the men who preceded these settlers—trappers, mountain men, miners. They had to be brave, independent, fearless, and strong.

When these men (and women) traveled West, in many cases there were no laws, no rules, no civilization. Sometimes a single sheriff or marshal was all that stood between settlers and bad people intent on taking their land or stealing their cattle. Sometimes not even a lawman was present. Without the rule of law governing them, cowboys became a law unto themselves. They had to live by a code of honor. They became the knights errant of their time and locale.

In the early 1900’s authors picked up on this image of the cowboy as knight errant. Writers such as Zane Grey (Riders of the Purple Sage), Louis L’Amour (Hondo), and Owen Wister (The Virginian) solidified the image of the heroic cowboy in the National psyche.

Soon after, Hollywood further romanticized the cowboy, producing such films as High Noon, Shane, Stagecoach, and The Searchers, making a star of John Wayne. Then we got the “Spaghetti Westerns,” the Italians’ take on the American cowboy—Sergio Leone’s films, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly and A Fistful of Dollars, landed Clint Eastwood in the cowboy hall of fame! Eastwood is still my quintessential idea of a cowboy (and I met him once, but that’s another story!). Then Eastwood went on to make a couple of stellar Westerns himself – Pale Rider and Unforgiven.

Today we still love our cowboys. Western movies wax and wane in popularity, but in romance novels cowboys are always a favorite hero.

The heroes of my McClintock Brother series for Harlequin Intrigue are all cowboys from Colorado. This month, Rafe McClintock, The Sheriff of Silverhill, gets his story.

So who’s your favorite cowboy of all time?

Thank you, Carol, for the intriguing post! Readers, you have until midnight EST Tuesday, January 12th to enter. The winner will be announced the following Tuesday, January 19th! Chances of winning depend on the number of entries. You must be 18 years or older to enter.

Be sure to check in tomorrow for another great guest author. And today's the last day to enter Cindy Spencer Pape's giveaway (below)....

27 comments:

Dorthy said...

My favorite cowboy (other than my hubby, and my 3 oh, sorrry 4 year old who was now wanted to be a bull rider for 2 years) is (at least from the movies) Clint Eastwood.

From books...oh I don't know! There are so many to choose from.

I really liked your post. I can't wait to get The Sheriff of Silverhill so I can dive into Rafe's story.

Carol Ericson said...

Hi Dorthy, I love Clint Eastwood too. Do you want to hear my "how I met Clint Eastwood" story? He lives in the Monterey/Carmel area, and my brother was a newscaster for a TV station in Monterey. I went up to visit him during the big golf tournament (used to be the Crosby, but I think they changed the name) when there are parties all over town. I went with my brother and his entourage to a bar/restaurant in Monterey called Hammerheads. My brother wandered away and his friend came over and told me my brother wanted me to meet someone. I followed the friend, who then turned around and said, "it's Clint Eastwood." I thought, "yeah, right." Then I rounded the corner and there was Clint! My brother introduced us (my bro had interviewed him before) and I shook his hand and told him I enjoyed his movies. He had a couple of bodacious blondes hanging on his arm, so I didn't get to chat with him. My friend, Wendi Darlin has another Clint story. She'll be blogging later this month, so maybe she'll share it!

Carol Ericson said...

LOL - Now I see that Wendi beat me here - and no mention of Clint Eastwood...

Robin Cain said...

I have three horses...but, sadly, no cowboy :-( Maybe I just need a good book!

Mary Ricksen said...

Little Joe Cartwright, he was soooo cute. And a good guy too.

Rafe's story really interests me, I gotta get it.

Good luck with sales!

Carol Ericson said...

Robin, sounds like you need to "fill" those horses!

Carol Ericson said...

Mary, I totally forgot about Joe Cartwright. He was definitely the cutest. But wasn't the oldest brother kind of dark and brooding? Can't remember his name. And Hoss was the middle brother, right? James Arness was always a big, strong, protective cowboy too.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
robynl said...

my fav cowboy was Roy Rogers and his horse Silver.

yourstrulee(at)sasktel(dot)net

Debra St. John said...

Mmmn, cowboys...there's no way I can pick a favorite...they are all yummy!

Missy Roth said...

I still think John Wayne was the coolest cowboy ever. You just didn't want to mess with him!

Carol Ericson said...

Robyn, my younger son's middle name is Roy and my husband calls him Roy Rogers sometimes. Of course, the kids have no idea who that is!

Carol Ericson said...

Debra, you're right! What's not to like about a cowboy? I even fell in love with Ty Murray when he was on Dancing With the Stars - such a gentleman!

Carol Ericson said...

Missy, John Wayne is definitely a man's man. My husband "loves" John Wayne - total bromance! LOL

Sandy said...

Carol, the oldest brother you're trying to think of is Adam. He was definitely a brooder. Smile.

I enjoyed the Zane Grey books when I was young. I liked Gene Autry, Cisco Kid, Roy Rogers and numerous others I can't think of at the moment.

suehussein said...

Hi Carol you're a new author for me. I do like a good western suspense read!! I like ALL of Linda L Miller's cowboys. I've yet to not really luv one of them, from any read. I like a good series and she does lots of them. I also used to like Clint in western movies, and I watched The Ponderosa too. I thought Ty Murray was the epitome of a cowboy and I now follow Jewel on Twitter to keep up with them.
Thanks, Sue

Carol Ericson said...

Sandy, oh yes, Adam. See I knew I was in trouble when I had a thing for moody Adam instead of cute, sunny Joe. I also preferred George Harrison to Paul McCartney. George was always my favorite beatle..not that he's a cowboy or anything...

Carol Ericson said...

Sue, doesn't Linda L. Miller have a series with the McKittricks (sp)? When I saw that on the shelf, I thought - oops - since mine are McClintocks! But I got the McClintock name from a Calif. politician I like!

Julie said...

I'd have to go with John Wayne. ;)

Carol Ericson said...

Julie, The Duke is the quintessential cowboy, isn't he?

Linda Henderson said...

While I do like Clint Eastwood, John Wayne would be my favorite cowboy. Even though I've seen then a bunch of times, I still watch his movies when they are on.

Lisa G said...

I was raised to be a big John Wayne fan, but Clint Eastwood is a very close second.

robynl said...

Carol, my dh's second name is Roy after his father.

Anne Carrole said...

I love cowboys, of course. And there are many favorite movie stars who play them from Clint Eastwood to Hugh Jackman (Australia). But my favorite cowboy is a real one--Stran Smith--2008 NFR Champion tie-down roper. Google him and you'll see what I mean.:)

Carol Ericson said...

Linda and Lisa, it seems as if John Wayne and Clint Eastwood are the hands-down winners! Thanks for dropping by!

Carol Ericson said...

Robin, you don't hear of many Roys these days!

Carol Ericson said...

Anne, I forgot about Hugh Jackman in Australia. I really liked that movie. I just checked out Stran - and I do see what you mean!