Category Archives: Texas

My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys

It was a cold night in the Texas Panhandle, and I was a little girl going to the rodeo with my family. This was not a slicked up rodeo but a nitty-gritty rodeo out in the country with real cowboys, some of which were my older cousins. I remember sitting on one of my cousins’ laps. She already had children of her own but she helped warm me up on that chilly night as we watched the cowboys rope steers and ride bulls.

strongsilentcowboyMaybe that’s where my love of cowboys began. Because most of my cousins were many years older than me, I didn’t know them well and simply watched and admired them. My dad also raised me on John Wayne movies. My favorite movie growing up was True Grit. Just the opening song could get my blood pulsing.

As I grew up, I fell in love with country music. One day, I was driving around Dallas, to and from work, listening to Rodeo by Garth Brooks when a character came to me. He was wearing chaps and boots and he had a slight stutter. I immediately fell in love with Kirk and had to write his story, Strong, Silent Cowboy, which became my very first published book.

So began my writing career, which started with writing about cowboys. I love cowboys’ strength, ingenuity, traditions, and love for nature. I love that they are real men, with a bit of swagger, but also a touch of humility. They know God created the land and bow their heads to pray. I’m proud that I know real cowboys, and I’m blessed to have been able to write about them.

christmasinjulyChristmas in July was my second published book and a sequel to my first. This book features not only a cowboy but also a cowgirl–a barrel racer. These girls have courage and big hearts. Geena, a young widow, has more than her share but she also has a wall around her heart that the right cowboy is going to have to jump.


Finally, my latest release, For the Love of Cody, is actually a re-release of my 5th book. It garnered the National Readers’ Choice Award when it was published. Since then, it went out of print but I gained the rights back to it and recently brought it out as a Kindle ebook. But now, it’s also available in paperback! You can click on the titles of my books to find out more about them.

So for a long while, my heroes have always been cowboys. Next year, I’m publishing a brand new cowboy story! Hope you’ll hang around until it’s ready.

So what about you? Do you love cowboys? Country music? Western movies?

Contest: For a copy of the paperback For the Love of Cody. At the end of this week, I’ll draw a name from those who leave a comment below for a winner.

What I did on my Summer Vacation

Did you ever have to write an essay in school about your summer vacation? Worse, did you ever have nothing extraordinary to share? Of course, I have fond memories of family vacations, riding in a station wagon to Arkansas, an RV to Washington D.C., and a caravan of two Winnebagos to Colorado (which was my favorite!). I remember one vacation when we drove to the coast during Spring Break. We were driving an RV and hauling a boat. I don’t know why this happened but apparently we ran out of gas and my dad had to siphon gas out of the boat and put it in the RV. He simply used a tube and sucked on it. He turned a little green and the stubble of his beard turned white. LOL! I have such fond memories of finding sand dollars on the beach and traipsing through majestic pines. But you never knew what crazy things might happen.

Which is true of my own family’s vacations. When we went to the Big Island of Hawaii a few years ago.

The last morning as we were packing our suitcases and about to head to the airport, the island experienced an earthquake. Airports were shut down. Power was off on the main island. And we were stuck. How horrible, right? But oh, I remember swimming with the turtles and the taste of fresh pineapple. Bliss.

Then there was our trip to London a couple of years ago. London is one of my favorite places in the world! I’ve been blessed to go three times now (and hope to go again!).

We were in the Victoria and Albert Museum, and my dear daughter was called down because she got too close to a statue. She simply wanted to see what the ‘girl in marble’ was reading on her scroll. Thankfully, we were then shown several interesting bits and pieces. While this lovely man with a delightful British accent explained some amazing history to us, I saw a girl that looked like someone we knew. I whispered to my daughter, “That looks likeā€¦” And when the girl heard her name, she turned around. It was our friend! We both happened to be in the same gallery in the same museum so far away from our homes at the same time. What a small world! The funny part was that I then tried to explain to the museum guy that the young teens knew each other and had been orphans together. I’m sure he thought that was odd. What I really meant was that they were in the production of Annie together. LOL!

Through writing, I’ve been blessed to take my kids several places on research trips or to writing conferences. My daughter and I went to New York together, and were able to see a couple of Broadway shows.

We had a marvelous time eating barbecue throughout Memphis when I researched Elvis Takes a Back Seat.

When we visited Marfa, Texas for Once in a Blue Moon, we arrived at the same time as the annual Marfa Lights Festival and my kids got to ride the ‘bull’ on the town square.

In Scotland, we chased Princess Anne through Edinburgh. Not really. But we kept running into her.

I can’t seem to stop remembering now that I have gotten started down this happy trail. So many happy times. So many sweet memories. So many adventures. What stories will I have to tell when we get back from Paris? Au revoir! If you’re my ‘friend’ on Facebook then you know some of the craziness that happened in France, but I’ll share here soon.

By the way, this picture was taken by my fabulous travel agent, Caron Guillo.

Leave a comment about your favorite place to travel, and I’ll draw a winner next Monday (June 17th)! The winner will receive one of my books mentioned in this post!