Saturday, July 22 is National Day of the Cowboy, so this week we're dedicating our blog to a celebration of cowboy lore and culture all week long!
To help me celebrate, I've rounded up five other authors who write across a range of sweet, sexy and suspenseful romance featuring cowboys. Today, Linda Broday joins us to share her latest top-selling romance, Heart of a Texas Cowboy, as well as her extensive knowledge and wisdom about cowboys.
"I'm a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of historical western romances and I reside in the Texas Panhandle on land the American Indian and Comancheros once roamed. I can feel their ghosts lurking around every corner. I love research and looking for little known tidbits to add realism to my stories. Chocolate is my best friend. It just soothes my soul."
The Heart of a Texas Cowboy is Book 2 in the Men of Legends series
One bullet is all it takes to shatter Houston Legend’s world. He swore he’d never love again, but with the future of the Lone Star Ranch on the line, he finds himself at the altar promising to love and cherish a woman he’s never met—a woman whose vulnerable beauty touches his heart.
All Lara Boone wants is a name for her baby. She never expected to fall in love with her own husband—or any man—after the heartache she’s endured. Yet when her troubled past catches up with them, Houston will move heaven and earth to protect his bride…and discover depths to a marriage of convenience neither realized could be theirs to claim.
Here's an excerpt
With night wrapped around her like a cloak, Lara hummed while she washed the dishes and put everything away.
Houston sat on the ground with Gracie, his back against his saddle. The babe lay on his chest with his hand patting the small back. He caught Lara looking and winked as boldly as some scoundrel. Heat rose to her cheeks. She lowered her gaze and made quick work of the dishes.
“Do you want me to take Gracie to her bed?” Lara asked, joining him.
“If you can pry open her fist to get my vest out of it. For such a little thing she’s sure got a grip.”
Houston was so near his soft breath fanned her cheek. Her pulse raced. This man she’d married invaded every thought. He’d shown kindness and caring and brought hope back from the grave where she’d buried it.
He laid a hand on her arm. “You’ll be back?”
“Yes. I won’t be long.”
“I’ll only be in camp a little while,” Houston said, yawning. “Have to spell the other drovers.” At her questioning glance, he explained, “Everyone shares guard duty, me included.”
She nodded and hurried to lay Gracie in her crib next to her crib beside the chuck wagon. With her precious daughter sleeping soundly, she returned to the fire to find no sign of Houston. Her heart sank with disappointment. She’d missed him, missed her goodnight kiss that he’d begged for.
Houston called quietly from the deep shadows. “Over here, Lara.”
Following his voice, Lara discovered him leaning against the trunk of a mesquite tree. Rays from the full moon lightened the dark brown strands nestling against his collar, adding glints of silver.
“I didn’t want to take a chance on us being interrupted so I walked out here,” he explained.
Lara wet her lips. “I thought you’d changed your mind.” That he didn’t want to kiss a woman so scarred.
“Not a chance, lady,” he growled low and pushed away from the tree. “It’s all that’s been on my mind since you agreed.”
When she moved to him, he opened his arms. She walked into his embrace as though it was door and pleasure awaited there. Inhaling the scented air, she laid her head against the hard wall of his chest. She wanted to stay there forever.
Houston lightly rested his chin on the top of her head. “I’m real glad you came on this drive. Nights can get lonely out here.”
His deep voice vibrated inside her. It was like he became part of her. “I’m glad I did too. Even though I had to work to convince you.”
“Yeah, well, I’m a stubborn fool.”
He put a finger under her chin and lifted her face. Without a word, he lowered his mouth. The minute his warm lips touched hers, Lara had to clutch his arm to keep from falling. Her heartbeat pounded as though trying to keep up with the blood racing through her veins.
A hot, demanding, achiness swept over her. She needed this man and at the moment didn’t think she could live without him. Nor did she want to try.
Find more from Linda:
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/lindabrodayauthor
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Linda-Broday/e/B001JRXWB2
E.E.: Describe in your own words what makes a “cowboy” a cowboy.
Linda: It’s a lot more than clothes or fancy boots. A cowboy shows fierce pride in the way he carries himself. His confident attitude comes from a place deep within and in many cases, it’s something that’s been passed down. A cowboy lives by a code, or a set of rules, that’s he’s laid down for himself and he’ll never break one. He has honor, courage, and dogged determination in spades. The land is in his blood and there’s no getting it out. The love of family and animals lives inside him.
E.E.: Why do you think the “cowboy culture” remains so appealing?
Linda: We live in a society where so much is fake. People are looking for someone to look up to who is genuine in his beliefs. These men are larger than life. If you need something done they’ll step up to the plate. And I have to admit that my heart always beats a little faster when I’m around them here in the Texas panhandle.
E.E.: What is it about cowboys that you find attractive, and/or inspiring?
Let’s think about how about they look for starters. Boots, jeans, and a hat are okay, but if a cowboy wears them…oh my! I write historical western romance for other reasons too. Cowboys make great heroes. It’s that inner strength and confidence that just won’t let them quit. You may get him down but he doesn’t stay. He’ll fight to the gates of hell and beyond for something he believes in. He’s tough as grit yet tender underneath all that hardness.
E.E.: Who are some of your favorite cowboys?
Linda: My lists are as long as your arm, but these stand out in one way or another.
On the big screen, a few are: John Wayne, Sam Elliott, Clint Eastwood, Kevin Costner, and Robert Duvall. These actors have what it takes to fill a cowboy’s shoes.
In history: Charles Goodnight, Jesse Chisholm, Wyatt Earp, Oliver Loving—they were men who blazed trails and cast a long shadow.
In books: Johnny Cain (The Outsider,) Rowdy Rhodes (A Wanted Man,) Brady Wilkins (Pieces of Sky,) and Chance Wyatt (The Tender Texan.)
E.E.: Any favorite cowboy quotes?
From The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – “See, there are two kinds of people in this world, my friend. Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig.”
From Tombstone— “Are you going to do something, or just stand there and bleed?”
“Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear, or a fool from any direction.”
“Generally you ain’t learnin’ nothing when your mouth’s a jawing.”
“Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.”
“A real cowboy ain’t the man who gets on a bull to show off for a bunch of girls. It’s a man who is out in the snow at 10 below, caring for his herd before anything else.”
Enter for your chance to win prizes in our Celebrate Cowboys giveaway.
Glass boot filled with chocolate
Western book charm and signed copy of Maybe Baby
Readers choice Kinnison Legacy books,
Last Hope Ranch books, or End of the Line books
Three $5 Amazon gift cards
Premium swag packs with books from Beth
Silver Boot Earring, a cowgirl hatpin
Books 1 & 2 Men of Legend series
Five copies of Toughest Cowboy in Texas
Three copies of Wicked Cowboy Charm
a $25 Amazon gift card
a $25 gift card to Longhorn Steak House Restaurant
Texas wine charms & and autographed book from Angi
Winners announced Sunday, July 23 on this blog.
Tomorrow join New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Carolyn Brown, and discover the Toughest Cowboy in Texas.