Today, I have Melissa Keir talking about...
Cowboys… Are They All the Same?
I grew up watching the old television westerns like The Rifleman and Maverick. The heroes were always wearing the white hats (as in being good guys) and protected their town and families with a gun. But these shows point out how each cowboy could be a little different. Let’s take a look at two very similar shows—The Big Valley and Bonanza
Victoria Barkley (The Big Valley) heads up life with her family on a ranch in California's San Joaquin Valley in the 1870s. One of the adult children is the by-product of her husband’s infidelity, but she’s also got two legitimate sons and a headstrong daughter. Family is at the center of their shows even while dealing with bank robbers, escaped convicts and farming.
The Cartright family (Bonanza) lives on the Ponderosa Ranch located near Virginia City, Nevada. Ben is the father of three big strapping sons who were born to three different wives, each now dead. During and after the Civil War, Ben raises his sons to be strong men who defend their neighbors as well as deal with the dynamics of differences of opinions about the Civil War.
On the surface, we see two strong families who live on ranches but each is unique to their situations. Both are western shows centered around multi-generational families. They ride horses and are seen working on their ranch in some episodes.
Yet the men of the Big Valley were quite a bit different than the ones on Bonanza. Little Joe, the youngest Cartright lived a life of luxury. His family had the money to afford a Chinese house-boy who took care of the house and cooking. We see Little Joe getting into hot-headed situations where he has to charm or fight to escape. Hardly do we see him working or toiling around the farm, but rather visiting the bar in the nearest city.
Heath is a more somber character due to his upbringing. He was raised by his African American Nanny and snuck off to the Barkley ranch when he learned who his real father was. His father never claimed him and yet Heath becomes a vital and accepted part of the family. He’s hard working and is often seen working on the ranch (with his shirt off). While he does get into fights, it’s usually to protect his sister or step-mom.
Let’s get to why she’s talking about these old shows…My cowboy in Chalkboard Romance is not a typical cowboy. He was raised on a working horse ranch but it was his father’s dream, not his. Mac’s dream was to report on big changes in the world and make a difference. Money wasn’t his goal, it was personal gratification.
In Chalkboard Romance, Mac does take Lauren horseback riding as a way to cool down their romance after the one night stand. He knows he’s in for more than a fling and has to prove it to her. I think of Mac as more of the Rifleman than Maverick. He’ll do anything to protect his son, even while teaching him the tools he needs to become a man.
Cowboy, Mine... He'll Leave You Breathless...
By the best-selling and award-winning authors….
Kathleen Ball, Krista Ames, Cheryl Gorman, Melissa Keir, Lyssa Layne, and D’Ann Lindun
by Melissa Keir
Will a One Night Stand prove to be their disaster or their salvation?
Lauren Walsh, a divorcee and elementary teacher, wants to feel sexy again after her ex tosses her aside for a younger woman. Her best friend encourages her to sign up for The Playhouse--a renowned dating agency. Forced to stay away from his young son, Mac Thomas lost the ability to trust. After the death of his wife, he returned to care for his son but his sister wants more for him. She sets him up with The Playhouse.
Passion ignites but Mac’s a parent of one of Lauren’s students. A teacher and a parent dating could cost Lauren her job and her chance at happiness. Will Mac be able to convince the school and Lauren, that love is the most important thing?
After dinner with his son and sister and putting Todd to bed, he ended up fishing the photo out of the trash and looking over the info Sherry left on the date. Other than her picture, only her first name appeared in the paperwork.
He pulled up information on the computer about The Playhouse Dating Agency and Master Draikoh San. The investigative journalist in him sprung to the surface. He only found glowing praise for this mysterious man from Boynton Beach, Florida. Even his normally skeptical beliefs couldn’t find anything shady about this guy or his service. Picking up the phone, he called Sherri.
“All right, I’ll do it. Lord knows my life hasn’t been normal for a long time. It would make a good story. I don’t really know why I changed my mind. Just a gut instinct. I learned in Iraq to go with those. Who’s going to watch Todd?”
He had to pull the phone away from his ear at his sister’s girlish squeal of delight.
“I’ll watch him. You don’t have to worry. Since I arranged this whole thing, it’s the least I can do.”
“The least you can do…I’m scared, Sher. You know what Claire put us through. The fighting. How she threatened to keep Todd from Mom and Dad or you if I ever spoke about divorce. So, I stayed away. Leaving seemed better for everyone.” Mac sighed, hating the lump that made his voice tremble as he continued. “What if this woman is like Claire?”
“Mac, this is a date, not a marriage. I know Draikoh has created some wonderful marriages—including my own—but there will be time for weddings later. I want you to find yourself again. I think you desperately need this. You have to heal from the pain your wife put on you. Besides, you can’t keep hiding from women because of Claire.”
“I’m not hiding from women. I spoke with Mrs. Johnson at the grocery yesterday.”
“Be serious, Mac. I can’t keep taking Todd to school or meeting with his teachers. You have to man up. Women don’t bite unless you want them to.”
He could hear the laughter in Sherry’s voice. “I understand, Sher. Trusting again…you know how hard it is.”
“I do, bro, but Todd’s looking to you. I firmly believe this awkward stage is because he’s afraid you’re going to leave again. He loves you and needs you.”
“How did you get so wise? At least Todd got to grow up with the love of you all. Thanks for thinking of me—for being there for us. I love you, Sher.”
“Anytime, Mac. I’ll see you on Sunday night, so you can get up and get to the airport on time. Night.”
After hanging up the phone, he sat looking out the window of his home. Two fawns walked across the lawn. A larger deer joined them. Probably their mother, Mac thought.
Sherry was right. I do need to heal. Maybe learning to trust will make me a better parent. He smiled.
Melissa Keir has always wanted to be an author when she wasn’t hoping for a career as a race car driver. Her love of books was instilled by her mother and grandparents who were avid readers. She’d often sneak books away from them so that she could fantasize about those strong alpha males and plucky heroines. In middle school and high school, Melissa used to write sappy love poems and shared them with her friends and still has those poems today! In college her writing changed to sarcastic musings on life as well as poems with a modern twist on fairy tales and won awards for her writing. You can find many of these musings along with her latest releases on her website and blog.
That sounds like a fabulous love story! Can't wait to read it. Here's a bit about the other stories in this fabulous boxset:
Can love shine through the clouds of treachery and misunderstanding?
Advertising for a wife seems like the answer to all of Burke Dawson's problems. He wants a wife and kids without emotional attachments, but he has no idea how much havoc one woman can cause.
Annie Douglas has her heart set on her hunky cowboy's love and she isn't about to stop until she gets it.
Take Me Home, Cowboy
by Krista Ames
When tragedy strikes, will building tension and pride destroy a growing attraction or show them the way home?
Ally Kincaid returns to Rock Creek, Wyoming, to see her father after a two year absence. Anticipating a quiet family reunion, she finds herself butting heads with Matt Gentry—her father’s foreman—instead. The man’s arrogance and sexy drawl push all her buttons, making her wonder what he’s hiding beneath his cowboy swagger.
When tragedy strikes, will building tension and pride destroy their growing attraction or show them the way home?
by Cheryl Gorman
Can two reluctant partners ride off into their own blissful sunset on Honeymoon Ranch?
When wedding planner, Summer Conroy, discovers she has inherited half of Silver Creek Ranch, she is stunned to learn the other half is owned by sexy cowboy, Bryce Jericho. Her idea of turning the ranch into an exclusive wedding and honeymoon destination is met with a wall of resistance from Bryce who doesn’t want his ranch ruined with a bunch of wedding nonsense. He is determined to conceal his vulnerable heart that beats in fear of being betrayed again. Will this woman with dreams of happily-ever-after in her eyes transform his fear into love everlasting?
Until You Fall in Love
by Lyssa Layne
Can a longtime friendship suddenly blossom into love?
Single mom Jordan Glastetter doesn't know how she'd survive without her best friend, Abram Tomko. He's the father her son never knew and he's the rock she's always leaned on.
When Abram's father suffers a heart attack, it's Abram's turn to depend on Jordan, finally seeing her as the woman she's become and not the little girl he grew up with.
Will they risk their friendship for a chance at love?
The Cowboy’s Baby
by D’Ann Lindun
Cat wanted to keep her baby: Tanner insisted she give it up...can they find common ground seventeen years later?
Cat O’Brien left her heart in Granite, Colorado, seventeen years ago—her first love, Tanner Burke, and the baby girl she gave birth to at sixteen. Suddenly, both Tanner’s high school sweetheart and the teenage daughter they gave up for adoption are back in his life.
Cat is adamant their daughter keep her baby; Tanner isn’t as sure. Just like seventeen years before, he and Cat are butting heads over the fate of an unborn child.