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05-19 Sarah Raplee – Riff on 7 yrs. Of SPAM & a Giveaway

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Gotta Love a Cowboy!

Barbara White Daille
Thanks to Romancing the Genres for inviting me to chat with you about Western Romance. 

I grew up in a small city on the East Coast, where we never laid eyes on a cowboy except in the old movies my dad watched on television.  Then, what's a city girl like me doing spending most of her time with cowboys? 

Well, let's see...

I'm a reader like you.  If I'm going to write about any hero, he's got to be one I want to read about, too.  One I can fall for.  Because we all know we can't be romance readers without lusting after the hero of a story once in a while, if not with every book we read.  ;) 

Who better to love than a cowboy or rancher?  They work hard, hold high values, and know how to stay on a bull.  Of course, they're sexy.  And they're rough, tough heroes with heart.


That's important to me in all my story people.  Whether I'm reading or writing a book, my focus stays on the character.  No matter how compelling the plot, what keeps my attention is seeing how the characters are impacted by the story—and the impact they make on events themselves. 

A cowboy is as deep and complex as any character we love to read about, but because he's got that rough, tough exterior, we have to work harder to get to know him.  To learn where he draws the line on issues.  To find out what buttons must be pushed before he'll open up.  And best of all, to get closer and closer to the secrets he's keeping that, when finally told, will reveal to us who he truly is.

In other words, we get to the heart of him.

I'd like to introduce you to a couple of my favorite cowboys.  Both come from the tiny town of Flagman's Folly, New Mexico, where folks always want to...shall we say..."stay up-to-date" on everyone else's business and to "help" run their love lives, as well.

Sam Robertson, the hero of A RANCHER'S PRIDE, is a solitary man whose life is turned upside down when his ex-wife leaves him with a four-year-old he's never known existed.  Then he discovers his child is deaf and he has no way to communicate with her.  And then he learns the child's aunt wants to take his daughter away from him.

In my new release, HONORABLE RANCHER, Ben Sawyer has always loved Dana Wright from afar.  But she's the wife of his best friend, a soldier recently killed in combat.  Folks in town want to bestow an honor on their fallen hero.  An honor guaranteed to put Dana out of Ben's reach forever.

He thought of his best buddy often, recalling him as young and full of life.  As part of almost every memory he'd forged since the day he started school.

In all the years since then, nothing had ever come between Paul and Dana.  Ben had always honored that.  Now he had to make doubly sure not to cross the line.  "Today has to be hard for you," he said, keeping his voice low.

"Seeing Tess and Caleb so happy?  Why should that cause me any trouble?  I'm glad they're finally together."

She meant it, he knew, though her words sounded as brittle as the chipped ice in the banquet hall's champagne buckets.  In the moonlight, her eyes glittered.  Had she tried for a lighter tone to keep tears from overflowing?  Or to prove how comfortable she felt around him?

Why did she have to prove anything?  Why the heck couldn't she enjoy his company, the way she always used to?  If she'd just give him that, he'd feel satisfied.

Sure, he would.

She'd grown quiet again, and he gestured toward the fountain.  "What brought you out here?  Wanting to make a wish?"

She shook her head.  "No.  Those are for people who aren't willing to work hard to get what they want."
"I can't argue with you there."  Still, he felt tempted to toss a coin into the water for a wish of his own....

Sam and Ben face problems they’ve never before encountered.  They're plunged into situations that make them vulnerable and let us see into their hearts.  That's why I love these two cowboys.  If you happen to run across either of them, I hope you get to know and love them, too.  ;)

There you have just a few of the reasons I like being a Western writer.

And now, I hope you'll share with us what you like about cowboys—or about any other type of hero who has a place on your must-read list.

Barbara's Bio

Originally from the East Coast, award-winning author Barbara White Daille now lives with her husband in the warm, sunny Southwest, where they love the lizards in the front yard but could do without the scorpions in the bathroom.

From the time she was a toddler, Barbara found herself fascinated by those things her mom called "books."  Once she learned the words between the covers held the magic of storytelling, she wanted to see her words in print so she could weave that spell for others.

Barbara hopes you will enjoy reading her stories and will find your own storytelling magic in them!

You can find her at
her website:  and


Barbara White Daille said...

Thanks again to Romancing the Genres for inviting me to visit.

I'll be popping in and out all weekend and look forward to chatting.


Judith Ashley said...

Hi Barbara,

Thanks for a Great Post! I was never much into Louis L'Amour but I grew up on Tom Mix, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, The Lone Ranger and Tonto, etc. at the Saturday Matinee and then again on television where I'll add Bonanza and Wagon Train to the list.

Guess I'm a sucker for the strong and silent type - lots going on between the ears but it takes a special woman for him to drop his guard and open up.

Barbara White Daille said...

Hi, Judith - glad you enjoyed the post.

I'm partial to the strong, silent type myself. They're good characters for all kinds of stories but seem to fit especially well when it comes to cowboys. Or maybe I just like to think so!


Diana Mcc. said...

Gotta' love a cowboy!! Great post. I've been around cowboys off and on through out my life. And you are on spot with your description of them. I would add the cowboys I've met have always been very respectful and had very good manners.

ElaineCharton said...

Hi Barbara-
Good to see you here! I've always had a thing for cowboys,actually Probably because my brothers usually won the battle for what to watch on tv. I was outnumbered. That's ok.
One of my favorites now is Longmire. He'll show up in a book some day. Maybe not as a cowboy, but definitely the tall silent type,

Barbara White Daille said...

Diana - thanks so much for the kind words! And I agree with you about the respect and manners. They help a lot to make a man good hero material.


Barbara White Daille said...

Hi, Elaine - good to see you here, too!

I hear you on being outnumbered. In my house it wasn't a battle. Dad wanted cowboys. We watched cowboys. LOL Or in my case, sometimes, went off and read a book. At least, till we got a second TV in the house.

I haven't seen Longmire but heard it's good.

I'd vote for the tall, silent type any day...though the hero of my current book is a talker. But luckily, romance readers like all kinds of heroes!


Paty Jager said...

Hi Barbara, Cowboys are great heroes because of their values and codes they live by. You're books sound like great reads. My Critique partner who writes historical westerns like I do is from the east coast and we bonded over me helping her get her horse anatomy and tack correct in her stories.


Sarah Raplee said...

Thank you for Guesting with us, Barbara!

I think part of the attraction for us city girls is that cowboys are so much a part of American history and traditions (both North and South American!) They live a lifestyle that is more physical than most city dwellers, must command both large animals and large machines, work in any weather...The list goes on.

I'm also a Longmire fan. We need a cowboy/western hero to look up to, although Longmire certainly has flaws. The setting is almost a character in this show, which adds to the charm.

Barbara White Daille said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barbara White Daille said...

Sarah - my pleasure, and thank you for hosting me here at RTG.

A hero with flaws makes the stories more interesting--and so does the physical lifestyle you mention.

You're making me eager for the morning, when I can dive into my current manuscript (which also has a cowboy/rancher hero), so thank you!


Barbara White Daille said...

(Sorry, had to add something to my reply to Paty, so here's the replacement.)

Hi, Paty - it must be awesome to have a friend who knows the details!

I'm betting many of us who grew up in cities need to research more than authors who were raised around horses.

I don't have a lot of experience with riding, but I definitely recall the last time I was on a horse--because he tried to roll over in a sand pit...with me STILL on him. LOL


Sarah Raplee said...


I'd certainly have to do a lot of research to write a cowboy western. While horses will no doubt make an appearance in my Steampunk YA, I hope to avoid going into detail. My husband knows horses, so he can help out.

I always ask for a horse with a nurturing streak that knows what it's doing, since I don't. LOL

Barbara White Daille said...

Sarah - nice to have an expert in the house.

And I think my horse had a playful streak! LOL


Paty Jager said...

Barbara, my brother and my kids have both had horses lay down with them in knee high streams. My brother's episode was more humorous because it was my older brother trying to show my younger brother how to make his welsh pony cross the river. Only the pony with my older brother on her, decided to lay down in the middle of the river. My younger brother and I were both laughing so hard we had tears and my older brother was roaring with rage. Oh the fun times of summer as a child.

Barbara White Daille said...

Paty - I can just imagine that scene.

It must have been so funny, especially since your older brother was trying to prove his point. That's always the way, isn't it!

I'll bet you and your younger brother haven't let him live it down. LOL