Friday, February 8, 2013

Launch Party - COWBOY TOUGH

I'm so excited to be back on the Casa blog - especially since I'm here to announce the release of my sixth Western romance, Cowboy Tough.

I love that title, because "toughness" is a big part of the cowboy way. It's obvious that rodeo riders have to be tough. I mean, forget riding the bull; I don't even want to climb into that itty-bitty chute with him! But the best side of cowboy courage comes out not in rodeo, but in ranching. When a man goes out in the snow at ten below to tend cows before breakfast--that's tough.

My characters might not be out tending cattle in the cold, but they're a pretty tough bunch.

Naturally, our heroine Cat Crandall is one tough cookie. I couldn't get my girls to go out West if they weren't pretty tough to start with, and it never takes long for the West to toughen them up a little more. In Cat's case, she's brave enough to leave her boring but comfortable job in advertising for a much less stable occupation: teaching art workshops in exotic locations. Wyoming? Exotic? It is if you look at it right!

She's also tough when it comes to her teenaged niece, Dora. Dora's mother--Cat's sister--passed away a while back, and Dora seems stuck in the "anger" stage of grief. Cat's determined to figure out how to help the girl find her way back to happiness.

Then there's our hero, Mack Boyd. Mack's a rodeo cowboy, which requires a certain amount of toughness. But as I said, the courage to ride a bull is nothing compared to the courage it takes to make a living as a rancher. Mack's tough enough to give up his rodeo career when his family needs him, and go back to the ranch--but he's not tough enough to resist Cat's charms for long.

Mack's mother, Maddie Boyd, is probably the toughest person in the whole book. She's been through some really hard times. Her first husband--"the good one"--passed away, and she didn't get so lucky on the second try. Her second husband took just about everything she had, but she's determined to save the ranch somehow. Turning it into a dude ranch and inviting Cat and her class of aspiring painters to visit turns out to be more of a challenge than she expected.

Then there's Hank Slay. Hank is the ranch's top hand. Actually, he's their only hand, because all the others left when Maddie ran out of money to pay them. Hank has stuck with the place, mostly because of his admiration for Maddie. But Hank doesn't talk much, and he's not sure he's tough enough to tell the boss how he feels about her.

There are lots more characters to meet in "Cowboy Tough"--in Ed Delaney, the elderly gentleman painter who always wanted to be a cowboy; in his daughter, Abby, who looks like "a pugnacious bear awakened too soon from hibernation" but hasn't given up on finding love; and in Charles, a tattoed hulk of a man who guards a personal secret. Even Dora is tough. She's a teenager. They're always tough--or at least, they think they are!

Toughness is a big part of the Cowboy Code; in fact, it's right there in black and white: "Be tough, but fair." But you don't have to be a cowboy to be Cowboy Tough. As John Wayne said, "Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway." I think all of us can think of a time in our lives when we rode in that saddle.

I've proven I'm "cowboy tough" by making my own move West. When have you had to be "cowboy tough?"

19 comments:

  1. Joanne, congrats on your new release! I moved from a small town in southern Illinois to Chicago when I was twenty. :)

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  2. Congrats on the new release! I married a cowboy of my own.

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  3. I can't wait to get caught up so I can sit down and enjoy this book! Love the cover, the premise and the whole package.
    Tough? Yesterday, I hit the wrong button when I saved my WIP and deleted 9000 words (30 pages) that I could not retrieve. Had to rewrite it and I only pitched a small hissy! Does that count as tough?

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  4. Congrats on another great cowboy story, Joanne!
    Cowboy tough? Having been around horses for the greater part of my life, I've been called tough a few times myself. Not so much anymore, though. My horses are acting older than I am!

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  5. Trace, that would take some toughness! I've lived in small towns enough that I'm not a big-city girl at all. Tall buildings scare me!!

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  6. Thanks Victoria! And congratulations;)

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  7. Ooooh, Carolyn! It would have taken me three days to get over something like that! You did GOOOD! And I can't wait to hear what you think of "Cowboy Tough!"

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  8. Cheryl, it does take some toughness to deal with horses, doesn't it? More or less, depending on the horse!

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  9. I have to be tough a lot with my daughter. She can wear one down, but I have to stick to my guns (see cowboy tough).

    And, yes, Carolyn, that counts as tough. Hugs!

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  10. Great quote from John Wayne. And yes, I'd say we've all done our share of being tough! I mean we're writers and this business is not for the faint of heart.
    Wishing you great success on your new book. Looks like a winner to me.
    Amelia

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  11. Shana - good cowboy pun!!! And I agree, teenagers take all our toughness. There's one in "Cowboy Tough" who's even tougher than most - but in the end, they're worth it, right?

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  12. Amelia, that's so true! I don't think many people realize how tough this business is.

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  13. I have been lucky enough to read an ARC of this book, and I have to say, I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it!!!! I hope that you will continue the saga of these characters, as they are an incredibly engaging crew of "cowboy tough" folks who I feel privileged to have 'met' and I'm very curious to know what they do next!! Any chance for a sequel??? I'm going to buy two copies, one to re-read myself, and one to pass around in my friends and family!

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  14. Suzy, thank you so much! That's what an author really loves to hear. You made my day!
    I love the characters in this book, too, and I definitely wouldn't rule out the possibility of a sequel. But it'll be a while, because I'm working on a new series with an all-new cast of characters. I hope you'll love visiting Decker Ranch as much as you liked hanging out with the "Cowboy Tough" crew!

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  15. Cowboy tough to me is living each day dealing with my own baggage and with whatever life hands me without curling up in a ball of self-pity or falling down without getting up again. To live life with my head held high and be willing to keep putting one foot in front of the other is "cowboy tough."

    Speaking of which, I loves me some cowboys and can't believe I haven't read one of your books as yet. The problem here is...if I read one and like it, then I'll have to have the whole series;) Can you live with that? ;)

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  16. CONGRATS on the release!!!

    My cowboy tough moment came the first time I had to fire someone... I was only 19.

    yadkny@hotmail.com

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  17. Nancy, I can live with that! Especially from someone who does such a great job of defining "cowboy tough!"

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  18. I don't think of myself as particularly tough, but I do suck it up and do stuff that needs to be done when I need to. I raised my son alone, picked up and moved across the country and started all over, and just a couple years ago left a long time job that was really stressful and found a much better one. I'm always afraid before I take on something, but I do it anyway. I think Cowboy Tough sounds fantastic and I can't wait to read it.

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