Saturday, December 26, 2015

That Cowboy Charisma

Congratulations to Amy P., Colleen C. and Laney 4, the winner in Leslie's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

In the old TV westerns—the ones I watched for the horses, not the cowboys—few of the cowboys were married. Beautiful women drifted into and out of their lives more often than not, although a few, notably Miss Kitty, were permanent fixtures in that rough and free environment.

Cowboys worked months at a time away from home, drank, gambled, swore and fought—not the kind of men, really, that we would expect to hold our hearts in such a huge way.

So…what is it about cowboys?

Well, for readers, and on a strictly superficial—ethereal point of view, it’s those chiseled faces, washboard abs, and all that other eye candy models sport on romance novels and in movies. I’ve always held that although cowboys might have chopped wood half-naked (no one uses an axe in the altogether, not even the most drool worthy cowpuncher), never did a cowboy gallop around shirtless. Too many impediments—weather, bugs, brush—a man intelligent enough to become legend couldn’t possibly have done that. But certain truths—that not every cowboy was magnificent, that few did their chores with as little clothing as possible—are only the beginning point. One builds on truth—and the truth is that cowboys were and are remarkable men.

Fair, independent, gentle and fierce, depending on what a situation demanded. Fairly or falsely, those knights of the western era became known as honest and dependable. You could count on a cowboy to do everything that he said he would, to protect you and cherish you, even if eventually he left you. And what woman then or now doesn’t believe that she can change a man, even a cowboy, if she just loves strongly enough?

But to me, the main attribute has to be that cowboy charisma. Yeah, being of southern rearing, a tip of the Braves cap is okay—but when someone touches the brim of that Stetson and smiles—that’s a whole new ballgame--or rodeo. Cowboys love their environment, and can convince the rest of us that sleeping under the stars on rocks with scorpions scurrying around is sexy. Or at least rewarding. They have that much charisma. Cowboys can dare with a look, promise with a touch.

And so, the legend lives on. We love on. And off on the horizon, the silhouette of a man on a horse at sunset—but he’s riding our way.

And we’re here.

For more on charismatic cowboys, pick up Cowboys Forever, a charismatic collection of six cowboys you won’t soon forget.

Here’s an excerpt from Cowboy Apocalypse, my offering about a cowboy trying to go home and a movie star tired of the Hollywood life.

EXCERPT from Cowboy Apocalypse

Stone laughed. “You called him my crazy friend. We pretty much terrorized the school, to hear us talk back then.”

“Baby Bennett!” she crowed, her face lighting up as she remembered. “He left with you when you enlisted!”

“Doubt a grown man buying his own piece of ground hankers to be known as ‘Baby’ anything,” Stan noted wryly, then flinched when his cell phone rang suddenly. “Might be Mr. Salinas.” He dug it out of his pocket and peered at it. “Well!” Then he pushed the button. “Juan Ramirez, you old goat! You haven’t called in months! How are you?”

He listened, his mouth turned down at the corners. “Why I never—no, sure. Stone’s home. He’s sitting right here. Well, no, glad you called us first. Why would anyone be looking for my boy anyhow?”

Stone watched in puzzlement as his father’s brows drew together as if in confusion. Finally, curiosity got the best of him. 

“Dad, is it for me or not?”

“Okay, Juan, thanks. No, it’s okay that you told them. At least you let us know before they got here. Okey dokey. See you.”

He clicked the phone off and looked at Stone and Lois.

“Well, hell,” he said. “That’s the damnedest thing.”

“Honey,” Lois said gently, her fingers clutching her fork, “if you don’t tell us what’s going on, we’re going to get really upset with you.”

“I don’t want that.” Stan sighed. “Someone went by Juan’s looking for Stone.”

“Who?” Stone asked.

“You dated his daughter before you left home. He and I used to go up to north Texas together to buy new stock.”


“Well, seems his wife and daughter both saw your picture on the news and that Facebook thing all you young people use.”

“Where would anyone get a picture of me?”

“The one kissing the young lady. Apparently some folks there in the store took pictures of you as you left.”

Stone just stared. 

“Why on earth would they do that?” his mother asked, as bewildered as he was.

“Well, they figured he was some movie star.” Stan chuckled. “Who would have thought!”
“Who’s coming to the ranch?” Stone prodded. “And why?”

His father shrugged and finished his coffee. “Folks from that movie they’re making ‘round here. They want to ask if you can ride a horse.” Stan pushed his chair back and stood, picking up his plate and cup.

“If you can,” he finished, heading toward the sink, “they’re gonna make you a movie star.”

Cowboys Forever 
Six Women—Six Cowboys Forever
Six Cowboy Love Stories by the best selling authors who brought you Cowboy Up 1&2
ISBN: 978-1-939590-98-5

Marry Me Again, Cowboy by Allison Merritt

An unlikely match made in Texas...

Greer Daily is happy running the ranch she inherited from her father until a resort opens up next door and unruly guests terrorize her livestock and destroy her fences. After she confronts two of them and the situation gets sticky, she finds herself venting her fury on sexy resort owner Guy Carter. But the smooth-talking cowboy isn't getting out of this mess easily. She wants reparations for her trouble.

Guy's first initial meeting with Greer could've gone better, but he hopes to placate her fiery temper by making amends for the fences. When a judge calls them out for being irresponsible and self-absorbed, then orders them to marry, Guy's whole world is upended. Their choices: Six months of marriage or a month of jail time. How bad can a few months with the queen of the cattle range be? Heaven if he can get her to bend, hell if she maintains her starchier than pressed jeans attitude.

Just as something deeper than friendship blossoms between them, Guy's personal assistant throws a wrench into the marriage of inconvenience. If Greer and Guy can't overcome that particular pothole, they have more to lose than their freedom--a lifetime of love.

Cowboy Apocalypse by Leslie Garcia

Can a former Marine and a Hollywood diva facing apocalyptic changes in their lives salvage new beginnings together?

When Stone Winters joined the Marines, he always meant to come home. A woman’s impossible dream kept him away so long that he doesn’t think there’s anything left—especially not when he meets Price Adams, a film star with another impossible dream. He just doesn’t think he’s up for that again.

Price Adams traded in a childhood on her grandparents’ ranch for Hollywood glitz in spite of being a teenage mother. Torn between the stardom she won and full-time custody of her daughter, she accepts one last role—in Cowboy Apocalypse, an inane movie about zombies being filmed on ranches around deep south Texas. Burned by men more times than she can remember, Price doesn’t want a man in her life—especially not one who looks down on her career and the courage she needs to let it all go.

Claiming A Cowboy’s Heart by Melissa Keir

Even broken souls deserve a second chance at love… 

Elementary Teacher, Michelle Alt’s faced untold trials in her life, yet she continues to do what’s right to make things better for the next generation. 

Cowboy Veterinarian, Preston Hall has lost everything in order to follow his dreams and return to his grandfather’s small town practice.

These two broken souls recognize each other’s pain and come together to heal, but fear and misunderstandings send their blossoming relationship into a tailspin. Will they be able to put aside their pain to find the love of a lifetime?

Rock-n-Roll Cowboy by Autumn Piper 

Never judge a rock band by its cover song.

A cowboy leading a rock band? Logan gets an earful from his dad every time he leaves the house to perform. His rock persona destroys his ranching cred with the old-timers, and sticking to the cowboy life instead of running off to Hollywood cost him his girlfriend. Yet, he dreams of success in both worlds, and he’s determined to find a way.

Melody agrees to run a publicity campaign for a local rock band, fully immune to the sexy lead singer’s magnetism—she had childhood experience with a rocker’s absences. Still, Logan is charming, and vulnerable. And persistent…

Logan can tell Melody’s PR plan is his passport to popularity. He has to keep his hands off her, or he just might blow his one shot at making it big.

A Cowboy's Princess by Sara Walter Ellwood

Oil and water don't mix...neither does Texas oil royalty and an ex-Navy SEAL turned rodeo cowboy until danger forces them together.

All retired Navy SEAL turned rodeo cowboy Justin Tanner wants is to get to his next rodeo when a vision in a pair of tight fitting jeans walks up to him and hands him his deepest desire on a silver platter—the deed to his father’s ranch, land her grandfather had swindled him out of. 

Lacey Mackenzie is true Texas oil royalty, but when her grandfather dies and leaves her the keys to the kingdom, she finds herself with more enemies than friends and only Justin’s name as the one who can protect her, but can he after she discovers only the oil under his promised ranch can save her company. When her enemies attack, he’s duty bound to save her, but can he give her the one thing she wants after a hot night of passion—his heart?

Ride, Cowboy, Ride by D’Ann Lindun

Can they find freedom together?

A locked up heart.

After imprisoned in a federal penitentiary for ten years over a woman's betrayal, the last thing Lyle Landry is looking for is love.  A quick tumble?  Sure.  A cold beer?  Absolutely. And then he's on to the rodeo circuit to reclaim his title. 

Broke, busted and blue.

After her ex-husband leaves her high, dry and dead broke, another man isn’t high on Sarah Reed’s list. Especially a sexy ex-con who makes it perfectly clear he’s not interested in more than a one night stand. But his determination to make something out of himself impresses her more than she wants to admit, and she falls hard for the cowboy. 

Available on AMAZON

Leslie will be giving away 2 copies of Cowboys Forever, and a $10.00 Amazon gift card.

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Dec. 27th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JCR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway. 


  1. Happy Holidays, everyone, and a Happy New Year Ahead! What strikes you most about those charismatic cowboys?

  2. Happy New Year to you and yours! Ah, those charismatic cowboys. What strikes me the most about them? Their manliness especially in an 'older' cowboy. They can be tough and rough but just as gentle when it comes to treating a woman.

    1. So true! Cowboys age well (if they don't rodeo too long!) and just get better. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope the year ahead is wonderful to you.

  3. I do believe that they have the manners in how to treat a woman. They see them as the precious jewels they are... but the Cowboys are also hard working and honest. Nothing wrong with that either!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Melissa! No, nothing wrong with hard working and honest--or being treated like a jewel! All my best!

  4. Great post, thanks for sharing! Where I come from, there are no cowboys, so it comes as a no surprise that I'm immediately drawn to cowboy heroes. I see them as men of few words, strong, hard-working and loyal.


    1. Natalija, thanks so much for the kind words and for stopping by! You know, I think the cowboy mystique and charisma is especially powerful for those who haven't grown up around them. The qualities you mention are what attracts me, too! Good luck in the drawing, and hope the year ahead is marvelous!

  5. Dear Leslie, Thank you for a beautifully written post. I've always loved and admired your writing, and your emotions about cowboys and the West swept me back to my youth in Arizona. Your last line said it all: cowboys can dare with a look, promise with a touch. Lovely and heartfelt! As your fellow author, I want to encourage everyone out there to buy your novels. They are wonderful. P.S. Please don't enter me in the contest, as I wish for your readers to win.

    1. Deborah, I'm always honored and touched by your kind words! Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read my post. Have a wonderful year ahead-I know that you'll stay incredibly busy since you are two of my favorite authors--yourself, and Morgan O'Neill!

  6. I love these anthology sets! Wishing everyone a Happy upcoming New Year!

    1. Thank you, Colleen C.!! Good luck in the drawing, and all of us involved in Cowboys Forever and the Cowboy Up anthologies wish you a Happy New Year, too!

  7. Great stories by terrific authors! A wonderful Christmas present

    1. Thanks, Robyn! Nice to hear from you! Good luck in the drawing and Happy New Year to you and your loved ones!

    2. Oh so nice! Especially the tipping the Stetson and smiling. Swoon worthy! There's just something about a cowboy. Best wishes for a wonderful New Year!

  8. Thanks for stopping by, Teresa. I love tipped hats--and gamf smikes, and a lot more! Good luck in the drawing and Happy New Year!

  9. Cowboys are fun

    Bn100candg at hotmail dot com

    1. Hi, bn100! It's always fun to see you on blogs! Hope you and yours had a great Christmas and will have a great new year! Cowboys are fun--to know or to read! Good luck in the drawing, and thanks for coming by!

  10. I love that cowboys are such hard working men and willing to help out just about anyone. amyp115 AT yahoo DOT com Thanks!

    1. Hi, Amy. I love your point about being willing to help out anyone--I think that's an important quality. I worked briefly on a Texas dude ranch, and I remember some amusing incidents where one of the jobs was to help timid 'dudes' mount horses--the hands at the ranch were so patient! Good luck in the drawing, and a happy new year ahead!

  11. Who doesn't love a true gentleman? Cowboys are that and more. So much more....
    Maureen has my email address.

    1. Hi, Laney. Good point--and personally, I think gentlemen are an endangered breed, so thank goodness we have cowboys! Good luck with the drawing, and hope you and yours have a wonderful year ahead!

  12. Can't wait to read this wonderful collection of cowboy stories. Merry Christmas, Leslie!

    1. Hi, Rachel! So nice to have you visit! Thanks for the kind words, and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, too!

  13. Happy New Year, I love books when the hero is a cowboy. They are wonderful heroes. yenastone at aol dot com

  14. Hi, Tammy. Happy New Year, and thanks so much for dropping by! I think cowboys are terrific heroes, too. Probably my favorite of all the common heroes. Good luck in the drawing, and hope your year ahead is wonderful.

  15. I want to thank you all for stopping by. Hope you have wonderful years ahead!

  16. This sounds like such a great collection! I hate that most of these giveaways are on eastern time! ☹️


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