Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Magic of Cowboys (or why I sometimes write westerns)

Posted by: Cindy Spencer Pape
Most of my readers know me for my paranormal and steampunk romances, but back at the beginning of my career, I also focused on one subset of contemporary romance--the contemporary western. In fact to one of my publishers, I'm that cowboy writer and the paranormal stuff (some 40 books or so) are an aberration.

So how did a city girl from Michigan end up writing about ranchers and bull riders? It's not a complicated story. My mother, who'd introduced me to category romance at the tender age of about 10 (not kidding) and her other favorite genre was westerns, a la Louis L'amour or Zane Grey. When she found a story that combined the two, she was happy as can be. She didn't much care for paranormal, and never had any interest in reading "your woo-woo stuff." So I decided to write a book for her.

About the same time, the idea of playing with romance cliches came to me. I love messing with expectations. I came up with a story that deliberately stuffed in as many romance cliches as I could fit in one book. That story became The Cowboy's Christmas Bride and the first of my Crazy H series at The Wild Rose Press. Two more brothers' stories followed, and two tied-in novellas that were also part of the Wayback, Texas series. Unfortunately, my mother died before she ever got to read any of my westerns, but she still feels very close when I'm writing about tough, sexy cowboys. FYI, I still manage to sneak some tiny bits of paranormal into most of these. The Crazy H series have matchmaking ghosts and one of my Wayback characters just...knows things. In my western Eagle's Redemption for Ellora's Cave, I have a heroine with a psychic connection to animals. It's all in good fun and I don't think Mom would mind.

Last week, The Wild Rose Press re-released my novella from the Finding Their Way Back anthology as a stand-alone e-book, with a yummy new Jimmy Thomas cover. If contemporary western romance is your thing, I hope you'll take a look at After the Rodeo.

Blurb: Free Wulfsen learned early on to ride fast, and that rodeo relationships never last. But after one wild weekend in Nevada, the barrel racer finds herself married to bull rider Zane Malone. She’s all set to ask him for a divorce when she takes a fall—and finds out she’ll have more to remember him by than a ring. Now it’s up to Zane to convince Free than love can last after the rodeo’s done and that the real prize is a lifetime together.

I'm giving away your choice of paperbacks featuring my spin on western romance. Wild Wayback Nights contains my novella All the Way Back and is steamy but not erotic. Texas Passions includes Eagle's Redemption and is an erotic anthology from Ellora's Cave, or you can choose an e-book version of any of my titles. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below. (With an email, please!)


  1. Sign me up! Both books sound great!

  2. How did I manage to miss All the Way Back? Unless I've just forgotten about it....I'll take either of them, since TP is also on the to-buy list:)


  3. The both sound awesome! I love both the genres! I just recently got really into the cowboys genre. I'd always been a paranormal girl mostly but started branching out. :) Both are added to my wishlist! Thanks so much for sharing!
    AmberLynn1231@ yahoo .com

  4. thanks, ladies! I appreciate you stopping by. Molly, I have no idea. :)

  5. Cindy - to me you'll always be that paranormal romance writer who also writes westerns. And they're good. Which considering I don't like cowboys is saying something.

    Your fellow TWRP stalker author.

  6. How completely delicious, Cindy! I have to say I've quite enjoyed all the genres you've written--I do love when authors try different ones, because sometimes I'm in the mood for any or all of them!

    f dot chen at comcast dot net

  7. Congrats to Amber Lyn for winning the contest! Thanks for everyone for stopping by!


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