Who Doesn’t Love a Cowboy Hero?

1 06 2009

Cowboy Up

Here at The Write Direction, we’re celebrating June as Summer Fun Month.  I kicked off my summer with a trip to the rodeo.  And it was fun–beautiful horses, cute kids on ponies, Dandies riding in figure eights, ridiculous clown jokes, and of course, lots of eye candy in cowboy hats.

There’s just something about a cowboy that’s sexy. The ruggedness, the Wranglers, the boots, the swagger–and they do swagger, even when they’re limping out of the arena after being thrown head first off a bucking bronc. And I’m not the only one thinking come-hither thoughts about cowboys.

Cowboy heroes are a staple in romance novels (especially categories), so lots of readers out there melt at the idea of a hard working, hand-calloused, Stetson-wearing alpha male.  I’ve been advised by several writerly sources, both published with Harlequin and pursuing publication with Harlequin, that cowboy heroes are the way to go if you want a request (and hopefully a contract). I think they’re probably right.

Don’t get me wrong–throwing in a cowboy won’t make up for poor writing or weak plot lines or substandard characterization or any other writer’s pitfall. But if a writer already has an affinity for cowboys, then working a story around a tried and true character type with high marketability can’t be a bad idea.

I was in Walmart over the weekend, perusing the Harlequin section. I counted how many of the covers featured cowboys. Five. And they crossed three different lines–Blaze, Desire, and Silhouette Special Edition. Also keep in mind that it’s the very end of the month, so I was primarily looking at the May leftovers before the June books fill the shelves.  And…I’ll go ahead and admit it.  This wasn’t the first time I’ve counted cowboy covers.  Frankly, five is a low number. I’ve seen a lot more than that in the past.

I have two works in progress that feature cowboy heroes–a romantic suspense and a small town contemporary. My trip to the rodeo provided some great inspiration. I’ve got to write down my sensory details before I forget the experience.

What about you?  Does your heart melt over a cowboy?  Do you have a favorite romance novel featuring a cowboy hero?  Do you have a link to worksafe cowboy eye candy?  Throw your western themed thoughts at me via a comment and you’ll be entered to win our June contest prize!

Speaking of contest prizes…

Our June Summer Fun contest prize is a beach bag filled with all kinds of summer goodies!  As we add new posts throughout the month, we’ll be adding prizes to the bag.  Then, at the end of the month, one lucky commenter will win it all.  Stop back throughout the month and comment on additional June blog posts to increase your chances to win.  We’ll randomly draw for a winner at the end of the month.

This week, I’m contributing a fun summer read…and wouldn’t you know it?  It has a cowboy cover! The first item in the tote bag is The Texas Twins by Tina Leonard. I haven’t read it yet…it’s a June release, but Harlequin American is one of my favorite lines.  And it’s awfully hard to resist a cover with TWO cowboys.

The Texas Twins by Tina Leonard

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18 responses

1 06 2009
Katie Reus

I LOVE a hot cowboy!! I only have one cowboy story out but it’s the one I get the most mail about! Don’t enter me into the contest Estelle, I saw your post on Divas and just wanted to stop by and say hey 🙂

1 06 2009
Estelle

Katie! I’m so glad you stopped by. 🙂 I’ll have to check out your cowboy story.

1 06 2009
Traci Kenworth

I ADORE cowboy heroes!! There’s just something about them that sets my pulse racing.

1 06 2009
Estelle

Me too, Traci! 😉

1 06 2009
Kate Pearce

I love cowboys! Always have always will. I even learned to ride Western-style when I moved to the USA just in case 🙂

1 06 2009
Estelle

How funny, Kate! I haven’t been on a horse since I was a teenager, but I sure do like to watch the guys ride. 🙂

1 06 2009
Desiree fka SheWolfSilver

I love cowboys! When hubby has his cowboy hat and boots on I think…and this could totally be because I’m biased, but I think he looks like George Strait.

1 06 2009
Estelle

Desiree, you sound like one lucky lady, LOL. 🙂

1 06 2009
LaTessa

“And I’m not the only one thinking come-hither thoughts about cowboys”

Of course you’re not Estelle- LOL. What’s a good come hither thought without a cowboy or too ;-).

There are not many cowboys featured in the AA subgenre of romance, but one of my favorite authors, Brenda Jackson, has two multi books series out (the Westmorelands & the Madaris’) in which several of the leading men are cowboys or cowboy-ish. I love them. Peronally, I think it’s the hat that does it. LOL

1 06 2009
Estelle

Hey LaTessa! You know…I’ve seen Brenda Jackson’s books, but I’ve never read one. I’ll have to look these up and give her a try. And yeah…the hat’s a big part of the appeal. 🙂

1 06 2009
Lynne DuMae

I love cowboys!! That reminds me, I must get back to my cowboy ms!!!

1 06 2009
Estelle

Oh a new cowboy story in the works! Happy writing on your ms, Lynne. 🙂

26 06 2009
Chris J.

Cowboy stories are very popular, especially here in TX!
So I married a soldier who was really a cowboy (he’s from TX) and I love when he puts on the boots and stetson hat! Yee-haw! lol

Happy Wriiting and Happy Trails to You!! 🙂

26 06 2009
Estelle

Oh boy…a cowboy and a soldier, now there’s a good combination. 🙂 I actually have a story idea that’s been rattling around in my head for a while now with that exact mix. 🙂

26 06 2009
Afshan N

There really is just something irrisistable about cowboy’s, I can’t even explain it, but your description fit perfectly. Aren’t you lucky!!! I would pass out from the pure excitment of being at a Rodeo.
Twin Cowboys?? Double the pleasyre double the fun!!!
~Afshan

26 06 2009
Estelle

The rodeo was a lot of fun. It had been several years since I’d attended, and I really don’t know why I don’t make it an annual event. It’s worth it just for the eye candy. 🙂

26 06 2009
Karin

Cowboys are definitely one type of hero that automatically melts my heart. I’m not sure why, but there’s just something about them that grabs me. I’ve never been to a rodeo, but I want to go. There are plenty within driving distance, I just need to take the time to go. *sigh*

28 06 2009
Estelle

You should definitely make time to go to one. They’re lots of fun! 🙂

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