Wednesday, January 26, 2011

America’s Love affair with the Cowboy

I'm reading Rhonda Lee Carver's Second Chance Cowboy this week, (and yes, it is very, very good—though I knew it would be!), and last week I had the pleasure of helping Jeannene Walker polish the first chapter of her historical western, To Tame a Filly which also promises to be a very good read! (To Tame a Filly is entered in the Passionate Reads Pitch Contest! Check out Jeannene's first chapter here!). Surrounded by Western themes I couldn't help but ponder America's love affair with cowboys.

When someone mentions westerns my mind immediately turns to movies. Back in the days of one TV households and a total of three channels to choose from, I pretty much watched whatever my Dad was watching, or stuck my nose in a book! Dad is a Clint Eastwood fan. I've watched The Outlaw Josie Wales, Hang 'em High, The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly, etc. more times than I can count. I liked them well enough but it wasn't until I married my husband that I really became a fan of westerns. My husband is a Louis L'amour fan, we have two shelves of leather bound L'amour's, and his favorite movie cowboy is The Duke. He has gotten my nine year old daughter hooked on John Wayne movies so a usual Saturday scene at our house is the three of us, plus at least one cat and the dog, piled up on my bed watching AMC's John Wayne marathon, (we have a TV room upstairs with a big screen and surround sound yet we always end up in my room—don't ask me why.)

Since AMC's features have begun, I've really gotten hooked on John Wayne movies. My favorite is Rio Bravo, probably because I LOVE Dean Martin; when Dean and Ricky Nelson sing, I crank up the sound! But for overall plot, it's a toss-up: The Cowboys, The Shootist, or True Grit, I can't decide but then again, McClintock could probably go in that list as well … ah, heck I'll just say I love them all and be done with it! But why do I, and so many others, love those westerns? What makes the cowboy such an enduring figure in fiction?

I think cowboys are so appealing today because they are the embodiment of the Alpha male; tough, independent, maybe even stubborn to a fault, but woe unto the man or woman who threatens those he loves; the perfect hero for a romance novel. So what do you think makes American's love the cowboy? Do you have a favorite western movie or book?

I mentioned Second Chance Cowboy by Rhonda Lee Carver: you should definitely check it out. The hero, Chance, is all cowboy and watching him deal with the powerful emotions his wrecked marriage brings makes for a powerful read!

Blurb: After the loss of a child tears her marriage apart, Carly vows she'll never speak to her soon-to-be ex-husband Chance again. On the eve of their divorce however, Carly takes a stroll down memory lane and calls Chance. A passionate one night stand between the two is shattered by the cruel light of morning. Reality sets in and Carly admits to Chance she made a mistake, forcing him to come to grips with the fact that there is no hope left for their marriage.
But fate has other plans …

Carly tumbles down a flight of stairs and awakens with amnesia…but that's only the start of it.
Can deception bring a second chance at love or will it forever destroy an already broken marriage?

Be sure to stop by tomorrow because I'm talking about Second Chance Cowboy with Rhonda!


  1. When I was a little girl I always hated westerns because of the horses. But I love me a great cowboy or sheriff. I have my own historical western that I'm revising. I have to check out second chance

  2. I've actually read Louis Lamour books -- the Sacketts! Wasn't there one narrated in the first person by spunky Echo Sackett? I think that was my favorite. I'm the opposite of Mageela -- I love westerns specifically because of the horses. I get to ride now and I love being a cowgirl ;-)

  3. My grandmother used to babysit me when I was a preschooler so I grew up watching John Wayne westerns. I still love cowboys to this day and am in the (very slow) process of writing my own western romance. Cowboys are indeed my weakness.

  4. I always liked the outlaws. LOL