Friday, January 1, 2010

Cowboy Lovin' Kick-Off with ALISON KENT!

Welcome to Day 1 of January's Cowboy Lovin' event here at The Cozy Page! To get the party started, I'm very pleased to welcome my first guest of honor (and someone who KNOWS her cowboys), author Alison Kent! Take it away, Alison....

The first book I ever wrote was about a Wyoming cowboy. I came to romance reading through Diana Palmer, Elizabeth Lowell, and I loved their wild western men. Contemporary or historical, it didn’t matter, and so I wrote my own. I loved him. He was heroic, a man of the land, courageous, brave, hardworking, but passionately tender with the heroine, and a role model to her son. That book never sold. I didn’t know enough about making a story work. I was the queen of clich├ęs. But I did know cowboys.

Though I live in urban cowboy country, I also live in REAL cowboy country. The odors from the pasture edging our neighborhood waft strongly at times, reminding us that we neighbor with horses and cows and goats as well as with people. As many driveways sport pickups as cars. Drive another twenty minutes, and there are any number of small ranching operations scattered around. When I was a kid, my best friend’s family had horses, and my favorite thing to do was spend Friday nights at her house then spend Saturdays riding. (This is probably where I should mention the scar on my right thigh from going completely over a horse’s back once and landing on a piece of rebar.)

Though I’m a city girl in reality, I’m a country girl at heart. Just ask the husband who had to spend a vacation week with me in West Texas where there was nothing for him to do. Me? I soaked up the heat of the day, shivered in the cool desert nights. I found settings to use in future books, and any number of the people we ran across will end up with cameo appearances.

My first book for Harlequin Temptation, CALL ME, had a cowboy hero, as did my second, THE HEARTBREAK KID. Gardner and Tyler Barnes were brothers. Wyatt Crowe in TEX APPEAL was my third true cowboy hero to write, though most of my heroes are cowboys at heart, rough and tough. Kell Harding, my Texas Ranger hero from my September 2009 Blaze, ONE GOOD MAN, was law enforcement, but still pure cowboy through and through.

Willie Nelson urges mamas not to let their babies grow up to be cowboys. Paula Cole wants to know where all the cowboys have gone. So what’s the appeal? One of my favorite blogs is Confessions of a Pioneer Woman, and Ree captures a lot of it in her posts about this hardworking, honorable breed of man, and then getting to the female heart of the matter:

And all I know is that if I ever did ponder the kind of man I’d eventually end up with, “Cowboy” wasn’t anywhere in the picture. Neither was “Rancher,” for that matter, but before I met Marlboro Man I’d never distinguished between the two. Not that there’s really any difference when it comes right down to the nitty-gritty business of the All Time Most Appealing Activity a Woman Can Possibly Witness a Man Doing — Riding a Horse.

And whew. This one’s bad, ladies. It didn’t take me but two seconds once I saw Marlboro Man on a horse to decide that there was absolutely no going back for me. And consistently, throughout the ten years we’ve been married, just one glance of him on his horse has always been nothing short of an instantaneous revival of every ounce of love, lust, respect, and adoration I’ve ever felt for Marlboro Man. He gets on a horse? It all comes rushing back. I get busy and bogged down with laundry and temporarily forget all about the butterflies and hiney tingles that caused me to drop everything and move to the boonies in the first place? I see him on a horse and it all makes sense. It’s a magical, powerful feeling.

No doubt she’s got a point, though I think sometimes it’s just about the clothes . . .

I’ve got copies of both TEX APPEAL and ONE GOOD MAN up for grabs – two of each – so four people (with US mailing addresses) who comment here can be in the running! What do you guys love about cowboys?
ALW: This contest runs until midnight (EST) of January 4th and winners will be randomly drawn and posted here at The Cozy Page the following morning, January 5th. Please check back in to see if you won. Winners depend on the number of entrants and you must be 18 years or older to enter.

Thank you, Alison, for kicking off Cowboy Lovin' and the new year in a fun way...and for bringing the butt! I LOVE it! Those are some fantastic prizes! Readers, be sure to come back tomorrow for more fun with yet another Texas lady who knows her cowboys!

16 comments:

Deanne Williams said...

Those tight Levi's and boots. Wow. Is there anything else?

tetewa said...

Cowboy hats and chaps look great on them!

Maureen said...

I think of cowboys as being tough, strong and that their actions speak louder than their words.

tweetybrd22 said...

I love that jeans, boots, and that cowboy hat along with the look of a hardworking man.

Anonymous said...

I love cowboys and cowboy romance stories. The hotter the better!! Hehe!!!

Give me a tall, lean man with jeans and a cowboy hat, and don't forget that 'ma'am'........swoon!!!

Valerie
valb0302@yahoo.com

Jan Verhoeff said...

The fact that a cowboy's actions speak louder than words. They leave nothing to question, it's all about the actions.

Linda Henderson said...

Cowboys are honest, hardworking, trustworthy, and they don't look bad in their jeans, boots and hats either. I'd take a cowboy anytime.

suehussein said...

I also LUV reading Pioneer Woman's blog and her recipes!! I read quite a few Westerns and also luv LL Miller and Diana Palmer. I'm a country music lover also. I just kind of like all things Western!! Cowboys seem to be, in books anyway, polite, at times old-fashioned and sexy!! I would LUV to win these books!! Thanks, Sue

suehusseinAtAolDotCom

Autumn Jordon said...

I'm with Jan. I love the quiet, strong guy. Piercing gaze under a Stetson brim. One whose principles shows in everything he does.

My heart be still.

AJ

www.autumnjordon.com

Cheryl said...

OH YES. The Marlboro Man...one hot guy. I love cowboys, too--and I write historical westerns, but I read both contemporary and historical. Your books look great, Alison. Wonderful covers, too! LOL
Cheryl

Barbara E. said...

I've always loved cowboy stories. Those tight, worn jeans, the boots, the cowboy hats, the horses, all wrapped up in stories of couragous, loyal, hardworking men that just need a good woman to make their life complete.

Anne Carrole said...

Men in jeans and cowboy hats--yummy! Which is part of the attraction of rodeo for me, I won't lie. But it's what that rugged look represents--the cowboy way--integrity, strength, protectiveness and individualism. Long live Cowboys!

Soft Fuzzy Sweater said...

I love their quiet strength. The cowboy perfect hero does not have to prove himself to anyone. He just does what he does. I also love their earthiness...and tight jeans.

Julie said...

Alongside the nice butts (yum) and quiet strength (swoon), I'd have to say it's the fact that they're so close to nature...that's extremely sexy to me.

flchen1 said...

Ooh, I love the whole very self-sufficient, capable man, who's clearly good with his hands :) Hooray for cowboys!

Lisa G said...

Honest, trustworthy, dependable, tight jeans, stetsons - what's not to like?