Today on My Overstuffed Bookshelf, I have the pleasure of having author Joanne Kennedy here to chat with us. I also have a fabulous giveaway, sponsored by Sourcebooks, for 2 lucky people! So sit back, relax, and enjoy the chat! Let’s give Joanne a warm welcome!
I was never a fan of the lunchbox cowboy. Roy Rogers was a little too squeaky-clean for me, and the image of Gene Autry strumming his guitar on horseback simply seemed ridiculous. John Wayne never appealed to me either; there’s a reason they call him “a man’s man.”
I do have a secret passion for Clint Eastwood, though. From Rowdy Yates to Josie Wales, something about the square-jawed, steely-eyed Eastwood works for me. He’s the hard-edged, masculine side of my cowboys, and you’ll find him mentioned, directly or obliquely, in every one of my books.
But it’s the type-and-paper cowboys that really inspired my love for the Wild West.
Probably the first cowboy I ever “met” was Lassiter in Zane Grey’s Riders of the Purple Sage. The taciturn, black-clad Lassiter is the quintessential gunslinger, intriguingly dangerous, with a shadowed past and a strong-and-silent demeanor that makes him swooningly attractive.
Another favorite is Texas Ranger Augustus McCrae from Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove. I don’t know why Gus appeals to me so much. He’s pretty darn useless except when it comes to talking, drinking, and womanizing. But he’s funny, loyal, honest, and brave.
And of course I love Louis L’Amour’s cowboys. In true Western fashion, they don’t have much to say, but their actions are courageous and their moral compasses flawless.
Still, I’m not sure I’d want a relationship with any of these guys. Clint’s a little on the grumpy side, Lassiter has a severely limited wardrobe, and Gus is hardly a paragon of romance. While Louis L’Amour’s cowboys are marginally better boyfriend material, they’re a pretty chauvinistic lot.
Women writers create cowboys with a little more sensitivity and spark. Linda Lael Miller’s McKettrick boys are to die for, Jodi Thomas speeds up the heartbeat of the old West, and Carolyn Brown’s Honky Tonk heroes more than live up to those hot, half-naked covers on her books.
But of course, my absolute favorite cowboys are my own.
In Cowboy Trouble, rancher Luke Rawlins looks like Elvis, talks like John Wayne, cooks like Martha Stewart, and is almost impossible to resist. He’s caring enough to understand the heroine’s scars from her previous relationships, and tough enough to work his way past them.
Then there’s Nate Shawcross in my September release, One Fine Cowboy. Nate is closer to the strong, silent cowboy archetype than Luke, but he has a soft spot for animals, children, and my heroine, Charlie Banks. And while I can’t see Clint or Gus or Lassiter cradling babies, Nate is a caring and devoted father. He has other fine qualities, too—which he demonstrates in the bunkhouse, the bedroom, and—almost!—the hatchback of a 1978 Toyota Celica.
One Fine Cowboy hits the shelves this month, and I can’t wait for readers to meet Nate—along with Charlie, the Jersey girl who drives him crazy in and out of bed, and all the other characters who find their way to Latigo Ranch. They’ll also meet a horse named Trouble and Nate’s overweight but cheerful cattle dog, Butt—short for Buttercup, of course.
I can’t see Clint Eastwood putting up with any of them, and Lassiter would probably gallop off to his canyon hideaway rather than taking on the challenges Nate faces. The Sackett boys would do their best, but I never saw any evidence of Nate’s special skills in the pages of a Louis L’Amour novel.
So I’ll stick with the hard-riding, hot-loving figments of my own Wild West imagination.
And meanwhile, tell me who your favorite cowboys are—and who was your first cowboy crush?
IN STORES – SEPTEMBER 2010
He’s got a way with horses…and with women…
Nate Shawcross is perfectly content to spend his days training wild horses. So when a beautiful greenhorn unexpectedly shows up for a seminar from the famous “Horse Whisperer” of Wyoming, all Nate wants to do is send her packing…
The last thing she expects is a lesson in romance…
Graduate student Charlie Banks came to the ranch to learn about horse communication, but when she meets the ruggedly handsome cowboy, she starts to fantasize about another connection entirely…
Nate needs to stay focused if he’s going to save his ranch from foreclosure, but he can’t help being distracted by the brainy and breathtakingly sexy Charlie. Could it be that after all this time Nate has finally found the one woman who can tame his wild heart?
About the Author
Joanne Kennedy has worked in bookstores all her life in positions from bookseller to buyer. A member of Romance Writers of America and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, she won first place in the Colorado Gold Writing Contest and second in the Heart of the Rockies contest. Joanne lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming. For more information, please visit http://joannekennedybooks.com/.
Thanks to Danielle at Sourcebooks, I have 2 copies to giveaway of One Fine Cowboy!
1. USA and Canada only.
2. One entry per person. No need to be a follower, but I would love you to join my blog as one!
3. You must answer the author’s question above, in red, and please include your email address for me to be able to contact you if you win!
4. Contest will end on 9/6/2010 and the winner will be announced on 9/7/2010.