Tag Archive: Cowboys


From Publisher’s Website

LET’S GIVE ‘EM SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT . . .

If gossip is the lifeblood of a small town, then Lizzy Logan has been its beating heart. After being dumped by her fiancé for another woman, she could have decided to crawl under a rock. But no, she’d rather really set tongues wagging by “moving on” with one of the hottest cowboys in Texas, who happens to live next door at the Lucky Penny Ranch. Those busybodies don’t have to know it’s actually all pretend. And just because Lizzy has no aim to tame her wild, blue-eyed neighbor doesn’t mean she can’t enjoy the ride of her life.

Toby Dawson never was and never will be the settling-down type. But what harm could there be in agreeing to be Lizzy’s pretend boyfriend? They’ll put on a show for a few weeks and be done. Yet the more he gets to know Lizzy-really know her-the harder it is for him to keep his hands off of her in private. Soon this rough-and-ready cowboy is hoping to heal Lizzy’s bruised heart and turn their fake affair into a true romance . . .

My Review:

Hot Cowboy Nights is the second book in Carolyn Brown’s Lucky Penny Ranch Series. So far, of this series, this is my favorite. I loved watching Lizzy rediscover her true self and realize how much of a controlling, emotionally abusive man her ex-fiancé actually was.

I’ve always loved stories with a heroine who knew her worth and was confident in herself and her skills, whatever they might be. Over the past few years, I’ve discovered that I also enjoy stories of heroines who either learn how strong they actually are or rediscover that side of herself, especially if that realization and change is helped by a man who values those traits.

I found myself yelling at Toby. One reason he didn’t want to settle down was because he wanted to always be able to flirt when he was out at the Honky Tonk. He just needed someone to take a 2×4 to the side of his head until he realized that he could still flirt at the Honky Tonk if he settled down. The only difference is that instead of flirting with any female in the bar, he would flirt with his other half.

Since I started reading and reviewing Carolyn’s books, there has been a definite improvement in the story telling. I’ve enjoyed the journey.

While I loved this book, I can’t quite give it 5 Horseshoes. There are some continuity issues in the story. I’m guessing that Lizzy named the kittens with Toby’s help instead of with her sister’s help. There is a conversation with Toby that starts with Lizzy saying she hadn’t named the kittens yet, but by the time they go to pick up Toby’s donkeys, she had. I’m surprised it hadn’t been caught during the final editing, but oh well.

I am really looking forward to the next book in the series, Merry Cowboy Christmas.

I give Hot Cowboy Nights a 4 Horseshoe rating.

 

 

Hot Cowboy Nights is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions. It is also available from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook editions.

 

 

Publication Details:

Author Carolyn Brown
Title Hot Cowboy Nights
Format Ebook
Length 400 Pages
Publication Date May 31, 2016
Publisher Grand Central Publishing
ISBN 978-1-4555-3490-6

From Publisher’s Website

Tis the season for…
A pistol-totin’ woman who’s no angel
A tough rancher who doesn’t believe in miracles
Love that warms the coldest nights

After a year in Kuwait, Lucas Allen can’t wait to get back to his ranch for Christmas and meet his gorgeous Internet pal in person.

When he pulls in, there’s Natalie Clark right in his front yard with a pink pistol in her hand and a dead coyote at her feet.

Lucas is unfazed. But wait…is that a BABY in her arms?

My Review:

Recipe for a great Christmas season romance:
Ingredients:

  • Snow
  • Holiday Decorations
  • A Sexy Cowboy
  • A Gun Toting Sassy Cowgirl
  • An Adorable Baby

Shake until well mixed. Sprinkle in three ranchers who want to have babies around the ranch. Finally, enjoy the wonderful story that Carolyn Brown has written.

While Trace and Gemma from Just a Cowboy and His Baby are my favorite characters that Carolyn has written, Lucas and Natalie are not far behind. Actually I could easily see Natalie and Gemma being best friends (too bad it’s 300 miles between Savoy and Goodnight)!

Natalie is a handful. She is a woman who can handle ranch chores, raise a child alone, cook killer meals for the men on the ranch, and shoot better than most men. But she has been lonely since her best friend died in Kuwait. Luckily, Lucas was more than willing to fill those boots. After eleven months of chatting online, they are finally meeting. Lucas’s tour in Kuwait was done and he was coming home.

Natalie and Lucas thought they knew each other after all the hours they spent chatting online but they quickly learn that there are things you can only learn about a person when you are together. They learn to navigate through a meddling ex-girlfriend, Lucas’s male relatives, Natalie’s mother, and assistance from the ghost of Lucas’s grandmother to find love.

I loved this book. I’ve read bits and pieces multiple times since I finished it. This will be one that I will re-read regularly, not just during the holidays. I’m hoping that Carolyn will give us glimpses of these two in the other books of this series. Life for this couple will be filled with fireworks and love.

The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby is the second book in Carolyn Brown’s Cowboys and Brides series.

I give The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby a 5 Horseshoe rating.

The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions and from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook.

Publication Details:

Author Carolyn Brown
Title The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby
Format Ebook
Length 346 pages
Publication Date September 24, 2013
Publisher Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 9781402280498

From Back of the Book

Being a cowboy is all he knows…

Bronc-buster Mack Boyd can ride a wild stallion to a standstill, but he can’t say no when his family prevails on him to come home and help run the ranch. The last person he expects to find there is a high-class Easterner like Cat Crandall.

But no cowboy can rein her in…

When Cat Crandall gives up a lucrative advertising job to follow her artistic dreams, she’s thinking Paris, Tuscany – not the vast and lonely Big Sky country of Wyoming. Her success at Boyd Ranch’s artists’ retreat could be her ticket to far more exotic places… but the rough and rugged cowboy she meets there is giving Cat a different kind of inspiration.

My Review:

I have read all six of Joanne Kennedy’s books and with each one she continues to improve as a story teller. Like Lori Foster, Joanne’s books quickly become comfort reads, even when you are reading the story for the first time. With every one of Joanne’s books, after I finish the story, I will go back to re-read a specific section but end up reading from that spot to the end of the book. I always find myself going back to her books.

One of my favorite things about Joanne’s story telling is that she always has a message to share. It isn’t an in your face message, but it is always there. In Cowboy Crazy, the heroine was torn between being a professional and being a country girl, and it also touched on the importance for corporations to help take care of the small towns they purchase natural resources from. In Cowboy Fever, Joanne reminds us that even people with disabilities deserve a chance at independence.

In this story, the two main messages are family first and it is never too late to follow your dreams. Sometimes I wonder if Joanne is spying on my life, and her books are her way of reminding me of the important things.

After the death of her sister, Cat finds herself stuck in a job she settled for, in a city she only likes because of the art galleries. She finally decides to take a chance on doing something she loves, art and teaching art. When she signed on with an artist retreat company, she figured she would finally see the world, but instead they sent her to a ranch in Wyoming. But Cat learns that she doesn’t need exotic locations to be an inspired artist or to be happy.

Mack, on the other hand, comes home to the family ranch to help with the artists and discovers how badly his mother was swindled by estranged husband. Over the years, Mack spent his time on the road. He used it as an escape from what was happening at home. During the two weeks he is helping with the artist retreat, he rediscovers the importance of family and having a home. The time off the rodeo circuit helps him put his priorities straight.

Those two messages are expertly weaved in to the story of romance between Cat and Mack. Just like all her other books, Joanne has a wonderful cast of characters in this book. From the emo teenager to the retiree who loves anything western. During their retreat, they all become a miss-mashed little family.

I wanted to point out that the cover art at the top of this page is not the cover art that the book was printed with. Sometimes between when I receive my Advanced Copy and when the book is actually released, the publisher will change the cover. When I discovered they changed this cover, it saddened me. There is a section in the book that this cover fits with better than the one they used.

Cat looked him up and down and decided she didn’t care as long as he wore those chaps. They might make him look like a cartoon cowboy from the funny papers, but they hugged his slim hips and emphasized his muscular thighs. The leather tie at the front reminded her of a bow on a very nice, very masculine birthday present, and it put his assets front and center….

I think of that section every time I see the cover on my Advance Copy. It always makes me smile. Anyone who has a thing for cowboys has always wanted to undo that bow… 😉

I give Cowboy Tough a 5 Horseshoe rating.

Cowboy Tough is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions.

Cowboy Tough is also available from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook editions.

Publication Details:

Author Joanne Kennedy
Title Cowboy Tough
Format Print
Length 371 Pages
Publication Date February 2013
Publisher Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 978-1-4022-6552-5

From Publisher’s Website

She’s Got Her Eyes on the Prize…

Gemma O’Donnell wasn’t the first woman to win the ProRodeo buckle for bronc riding, but she was darn well going to be the second. What she didn’t count on was her main competition sweeping her off her feet.

He’ll Do Whatever It Takes To Win…

Trace Coleman isn’t really after a title—he needs the cash prize to buy his dream ranch. But one sexy, determined cowgirl keeps getting in his way. In his effort to take her out of the running, he risks losing both the title—and his heart.

My Review:

I have read many books by Carolyn Brown, but this one is my favorite. I have found that Ms. Brown’s writing improves with each book she writes. With this one, the writing is exciting, compelling, and makes the reader wish for more.

I have read this book three or four times. Only books that have a great story line, and characters, cause me to reread it many times. I love the characters in this story. Gemma has always been my favorite of the O’Donnell clan. I’ve loved her spunky, kick ass attitude and view on life. If something scares her, she tries harder. I was not surprised when she decided to chase the bronc riding dream. If any woman can do it, it would be Gemma. I wish she was a real person, because I would love to be her friend.

Trace is an amazing cowboy. He doesn’t want the national title for the ego boost. He wants the title just for the money so he can buy his own ranch. While competing, a woman he spent a long weekend with shows up with a baby saying it was his. Instead of signing paper work that would allow the woman to put the baby up for adoption, he took on the task of raising the child himself. But soon discovers that he needs Gemma’s help.

Gemma and Trace are amazing together. They are able to compete against each other but not hold the outcome of each contest against each other. Very few couples can do that. I’m hoping we will see some more of Gemma and Trace in future Spikes and Spurs books.

I give Just A Cowboy And His Baby a 5 Horseshoe rating.

Just A Cowboy And His Baby is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions.

Publication Details:

Author Carolyn Brown
Title Just A Cowboy And His Baby
Format Print
Length 324 Pages
Publication Date December 2012
Publisher Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 9781402270185

Joanne Kennedy is the author of three previous contemporary Western romances for Sourcebooks. She brings a wide variety of experience, ranging from chicken farming to horse training, to her sexy, spicy cowboy stories. She is a 2011 finalist in the prestigious Romance Writers of American RITA© Awards, for One Fine Cowboy. Joanne lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where she is working on her next book, Cowboy Crazy (June 2012). You can find visit her at her web site or her Facebook Fan Page.

PonyTails (PT): Tall, Dark, and Cowboy is your 4th Contemporary Western Romance to take place in Wyoming. How did you choose Wyoming for your setting?

Joanne Kennedy (JK): To me, Wyoming is the heart of the West. It’s the least populated state in the US, mostly because there’s so much wide-open, inhospitable land here. It’s tough to make a living off this land, so you have to be absolutely committed to the cowboy way of life to make it work. That’s why the symbol of our state is a cowboy on a bucking horse. You can’t get much more cowboy than that!

PT: Except for Jodi in Cowboy Fever, all of your heroines are City Girls who discover the joys of country living. Is that a dynamic that is close to your heart?

JK: The fish-out-of-water experience comes straight from my own life. I wasn’t a city girl, but I was a suburban one. The only crop my family grew was grass, but when I was in my twenties, I decided I wanted to be a farmer. The learning curve was pretty darn steep, and so many funny things happened along the way that I have material for lots and lots of books. Then I got interested in horses, and of course they’re an endless source of inspiration.

PT: Why do you write about cowboys, i.e. personalities, code of ethics, etc?

JK: I really admire the commitment and courage of modern-day ranchers. It’s not an easy life, and those who choose it have to survive a lot of hardship and take a lot of chances to live in a time-honored, traditional way. So being a cowboy is about commitment, passion, and traditional values. What more could you ask for in a man?

PT: Your second book published, One Fine Cowboy (which is my personal favorite), was a Romance Writers of America RITA Award Finalist this year. Has that affected your writing? If so, in a good way? Do you feel under pressure to produce another RITA Nominee?

JK: It was an amazing honor that I didn’t expect so early in my career. The nomination gave me a lot of confidence in my writing and made me more willing to trust my heart rather than thinking so much about the “rules” of romance. My books are a little different from other cowboy romances; I think my West is less idealized and a little grittier. I wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing. The RITA nomination told me it was good.

But the main reason I’d like to produce another RITA Nominee is because it would mean I was again creating a book that really spoke to readers.

PT: With the release of Cowboy Fever we learned about one of your favorite organizations to support, the Cheyenne Therapeutic Equestrian Center. Are there other organizations you support? If so, why those organizations?

JK: CTEC is such a great organization because it brings kids with disabilities together with rescued horses and everybody wins. I have a friend whose daughter has autism, and their journey has taught me so much about love and commitment and courage. I also admire the endless patience and dedication of the people I’ve met who work with kids with autism. It’s a surprisingly common disability and right now we’re learning so much about it—I support any organization that works toward a better understanding of people whose minds work differently. I think we can learn a lot from the way they perceive the world.

PT: Do you plan your stories or do you just put pen to paper and see what happens?

JK: I work with a very loose outline that tells me what problems the hero and heroine have to overcome, the major turning points along the way, and the resolution. Other than that I just set the characters loose and let them live their story. Sometimes they surprise me, and the outline often changes quite a bit along the way.

PT: What are your go to resources when you write? Favorite books, websites, technology, etc?

JK: My favorite resource is other writers. I read romances and other books voraciously. I like to know what’s out there so I can do something different, and I’m inspired when I find a book that really works. I’ve learned so much from writers like Nora Roberts, Linda Lael Miller, Jodi Thomas, and so many others. I also have wonderful writing friends. We meet for coffee or lunch and talk writing – it always revitalizes me.
Another great resource is the customer reviews on bookstore websites like Barnes & Noble and Amazon. After I read a book, I think about what worked for me and check to see what other readers thought. I discover a lot of pet peeves and problems I otherwise might have stumbled into, and let me know what matters most to readers.

PT: If you were a writer entering the industry today, what is the most important advice you’d give yourself?

JK: Remember what really matters about your writing: you have stories to tell, and you want to connect with readers. Don’t worry about where you are in your career compared to other people. Don’t get caught up in sales numbers and bestseller lists; just keep writing the very best books you can, with characters readers can fall in love with and stories they can’t put down.

Thank you to Joanne for visiting PonyTails again! I love having you here! Also thank you to Sourcebooks Casablanca for sponsoring the giveaway!

Sourcebooks Casablanca has generously donated 2 copies of Tall, Dark, and Cowboy for a giveaway. This giveaway is open to US and Canada residents only. Please fill out the form at the end of the post. I will close the sign up on Friday November 25, 2011 at 11:59pm EDT. I will use Random.org to select the winner and will announce the winner here on Monday November 28!

About Tall, Dark and Cowboy:

She’s looking for an old friend…

In the wake of a nasty divorce, Lacey Bradford heads for Wyoming where she’s sure her old friend will take her in. But her high school pal Chase Caldwell is no longer the gangly boy who would follow her anywhere. For one thing, he’s now incredibly buff and handsome, but that’s not all that’s changed…

What she finds is one hot cowboy…

Chase has been through tough times and is less than thrilled to see the girl who once broke his heart. But try as he might to resist her, while Lacey’s putting her life back together, he’s finding new ways to be part of it.

If you click the book image it will take you to my review of Tall, Dark and Cowboy.

Tall, Dark and Cowboy is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions. Also from Barnes and Noble in Print.

UPDATE 11/25/2011: Since there are only 2 entries, I am extending the giveaway until December 2nd!

From Back Of The Book

SHE IS TRADING IN HER LUXE LIFESTYLE AND HEADING FOR WYOMING…

In the wake of a nasty divorce and with her ex’s vicious cronies hot on her tail, Lacey Bradford heads for Wyoming in search of an old friend. But her high school pal Chase Caldwell has changed, hardened by bitterness and loss. He’s considerably less than thrilled to see the girl who once broke his heart – especially when Lacey turns up on his doorstep asking for help.

As the two grapple with the ruins of their former friendship, a brand new, surprising attraction ignites. Lacey is boldly beginning to create a new life for herself. And Chase has to admit, he’d rather be part of that life than be out in the cold alone…

My Review:

Joanne has done it again. She has written a wonderful western romance that is fun, gritty, with a sexy cowboy and a memorable heroine.

I loved how much growth Lacey went through during the story. From a wallflower to brave independent woman. I enjoyed the change. I’m not sure she could have made that change without Chase. His initial treatment of her definitely put her on the track of self-sufficiency.

Chase had a lot of growth to go through himself. He needed to learn how to move beyond things that happened in the past, and to forgive Lacey. Giving up his bitterness toward the world was a hard thing to do, but it made him a wonderful man.

Nate will always be my favorite Joanne Kennedy cowboy, but Chase is a very, very close second.

I always feel bad for Joanne when I get one of her books to review. I know she is nervous about if I’ll like the book, but so am I. I have such a high expectation of her writing, that I get nervous that the next book won’t measure up. But we shouldn’t be nervous, I don’t think there is a bad story in Joanne’s veins.

I give Tall, Dark and Cowboy a 5 Horseshoe rating!

Be sure to join us on November 21st when Joanne visits PonyTails for an interview!

Tall, Dark and Cowboy is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions. Also from Barnes and Noble in Print.

Publication Details:

Author Joanne Kennedy
Title Tall, Dark and Cowboy
Format Print
Length 377
Publication Date November 2011
Publisher Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 978-1-4022-5144-3

From Publisher’s Website:

Conner Creed knows exactly who he is: a hardworking rancher carrying on his uncle’s legacy in Lonesome Bend, Colorado. Maybe a small-town cowboy’s life isn’t his dream, but he owes the man who took him in as a kid. Until the identical twin brother he’s been estranged from for years re-enters his life.

Conner struggles with identity issues as he gets to know his wilder brother. And then he meets Tricia McCall, a beautiful woman who knows a thing or two about living someone else’s dreams. Together, they just might find their own dreams right here in Lonesome Bend….

My Review:

Once again, I was honored with the opportunity to receive and review an ARC of a Linda Lael Miller book. There is a reason why this woman is called the First Lady of The West. She knows what it means to be cowboy and the type of woman it takes to love such an honorable man.

I know there is one more book in this trilogy, but Conner is my favorite of the Lonesome Bend, Colorado Creed cowboys. While his brother ran off to chase a rodeo dream, and his cousin went to law school, Conner stayed behind to take care of the family ranch. From what the reader is shown, Conner seems to thrive on running the family ranch.

Tricia is an interesting character. Torn between running her deceased father’s campground and wanting to return to Seattle. But once the campground is sold, she realizes that her true home is in Colorado near her great grandmother and not in Seattle. I want to know if she will be opening her dream art gallery in Lonesome Bend, or if being a ranch wife and running the home will be enough for her. Hopefully we will find out in Brody’s book.

I absolutely loved Netty, Tricia’s great grandmother! She is the type of woman who pioneered the west and made it what is today. It takes the tenacity and personality that Netty has to make a new start in a wild land.

Once again Linda Lael Miller has given her readers an accessible couple who reminds us all that home is where love thrives and that love has a stronger pull than any thing else in the world.

The last book in this trilogy, Creed’s Legacy will be released in July. I am excited to read about Conner’s twin brother, Brody.

I give Creed’s Honor a rating of 5 Horseshoes!!

Don’t forget to check out Harlequin’s website Take A Cowboy Home! There you can watch web epidsodes of the cover shoot for this trilogy and take a quiz to find out which of these Creeds is your best match. You can find my review of the website on my other blog, Tales From The PonyTails Barn.

Creed’s Honor is available on from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions. Also from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook editions

Publication Details:

Author Linda Lael Miller
Title Creed’s Honor
Number of pages 377
Publication Date June 2011
Publisher Harlequin
ISBN 978-0-3737-7580-4

I received an email today from Sourcebooks Casablanca asking me to spread the word about their current eBook Deals!!! Certain Joanne Kennedy and Carolyn Brown eBooks are discounted to $1.99, The discounts are good May 18, 2011 – May 23, 2011. So act quickly!!!

Here are the books they are offering and links!  If you click the image on the two Joanne Kennedy books, it will take you to my review of those books.

Cowboy Trouble by Joanne Kennedy

A cowboy like that could break your heart

Fleeing her latest love-life disaster, big city journalist Libby Brown’s transition to rural living isn’t going exactly as planned. Her childhood dream has always been to own a farm—but without the constant help of her charming, sexy cowboy neighbor, she’d never make it through her first Wyoming season.

But he could sure keep you warm at night, too…

Handsome rancher Luke Rawlins is impressed by this sassy, independent city girl. But he yearns to do more than help Libby out with her ranch. He’s ready for love, and he wants to go the distance…

Then the two get embroiled in their tiny town’s one and only crime story, and Libby discovers that their sizzling hot attraction is going to complicate her life in every way possible…

Nook and Kindle

One Fine Cowboy by Joanne Kennedy, A 2011 RWA RITA AWARD NOMINEE!

His heart is as wild as the horses he trained…

Nate Shawcross is perfectly content to spend his days training wild horses. So when a beautiful greenhorn unexpectedly shows up for a seminar from the famous “Horse Whisperer” of Wyoming, all Nate wants to do is send her packing…

The last thing she expects is a lesson in romance…

Graduate student Charlie Banks came to the ranch to learn about horse communication, but when she meets the ruggedly handsome cowboy, she starts to fantasize about another connection entirely…

Nate needs to stay focused if he’s going to save his ranch from foreclosure, but he can’t help being distracted by the brainy and breathtakingly sexy Charlie. Could it be that after all this time Nate has finally found the one woman who can tame his wild heart?

Nook, or Kindle

Lucky in Love by Carolyn Brown

Beau hasn’t got a lick of sense when it comes to women…

Everything hunky rancher “Lucky” Beau Luckadeau touches turns to gold—except relationships. He’s gone and lost track of the woman of his dreams, and now he’s got himself tied up with a gold-digger…

Milli can mend a fence, pull a calf, or shoot a rattlesnake between the eyes

When spitfire Milli Torres shows up to help out at the Lazy Z ranch, she’s horrified to find that her nearest neighbor is Beau Luckadeau—the very man she’d hoped never to lay eyes on again…

And if Beau ever figures out what really happened on that steamy Louisiana night when they first met, there’ll be the devil to pay…

Nook and Kindle

Hell, Yeah by Carolyn Brown

She’s finally found a place that feels like home…

When Cathy O’Dell buys the Honky Tonk, the nights of cowboys and country tunes come together to create the home she’s always wanted. Then in walks a ruggedly handsome oil man who tempts her to trade in the happiness she’s found at the Honky Tonk for a life on the road with him…

He lives the good life…

Gorgeous and rich, Travis Henry travels the country unearthing oil wells and then moving on. Then the beautiful blue-eyed new owner of the Honky Tonk beer joint becomes his best friend and so much more. When his job is done in Texas, how is he ever going to hit the road without her?

Nook and Kindle

From The Back Of The Book:

She thought she had it all…

A modeling contract with Wrangler got this Miss Rodeo America a first-class ticket out of town, but somewhere along the way Jodi Brand lost her soul. When she gets back to her hometown, her childhood friend Teague Treadwell’s rugged cowboy charm hits her like a ton of bricks…

He believed he wasn’t good enough…

Teague is convinced Jodi’s success lifted her out of his reach. Now he’s got to shed his bad boy miage to be worthy of the girl next door…

But whoever heard of a beauty queen settling for a down and dirty cowboy…

My Review:

Once again, Joanne has delivered a wonderful, heart warming cowboy romance. Her writing keeps getting stronger with each book she writes. She does an amazing job of giving her readers strong, approachable, memorable characters. They are people that one would love to meet and become friends with. If she keeps this up, she will soon be giving Linda Lael Miller a run for her money.

Joanne’s descriptions of Wyoming make me homesick for the west. I miss the open plains with the blowing tumbleweeds. But I don’t miss the gossip chain and gossip mongers like Darla Black. I loved Joanne’s description of Darla: “It was like having Gypsy Rose Lee, Hello Dolly, and Auntie Mame all rolled into one convenient pharmacist.” I nearly died laughing at that, mostly because it reminded me of one of the older ladies in my hometown.

I love the rekindled friendship and attempt at a relationship vibe this book had. I’m a sucker for those stores (probably why my WIP is about a similar topic). I love seeing people who are best friends and very compatible discover that they do love each other and are compatible in a sexual sense as well. And boy are Jodi and Teague compatible!!!

I literally squealed with delight when Nate from One Fine Cowboy made an appearance in this book. I also was excited that Lackaduck, the town from Cowboy Trouble was also mentioned. I’m hoping that in future books Joanne will give us a glimpse of what is happening with Nate and Charlie and Luke and Libby.

However, my favorite part of this story was how Joanne showed that everyone with disabilities deserve a chance. Troy, Teague’s older brother, has Down syndrome but he wants some independence. He is tired of being so reliant on his brother. Jodi helped with that by giving Troy a job helping with her Therapy Clinic. Through the Therapy Clinic, Jodi also helped many other children discover a freedom they do not have in their normal lives. It may have been something as simple as time out of a wheelchair or a break from the overwhelming stimulus of life. I am very envious of Jodi’s ability to make the life a child, as well as an older retired horse’s life, better.

Joanne’s next book will be Tall Dark and Cowboy and is scheduled for release in November 2011.

I give Cowboy Fever a 5 Horseshoe rating!!!

Remember when you purchase your copy of Cowboy Fever through Barnes and Noble’s website, please use the code 10442713 at checkout. A portion of the sales of the book sold between today (April 2nd) and April 6th will go to the Cheyenne Therapeutic Equestrian Center!

Publication Details:

Author 

Joanne Kennedy
Title 

Cowboy Fever
Number of Pages 393
Publication Date April 1, 2011
Publisher Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 978-1-402-25141-2

Joanne Kennedy is an author of Contemporary Western Romances. Her newest book Cowboy Fever will be released April 1st!  Part of the sales, made through Barnes and Noble, of Cowboy Fever will be going to an organization that is close to Joanne’s heart, Cheyenne Therapeutic Equestrian Center.  I asked Joanne to visit PonyTails to discuss why she chose this organization.  I will be cross posting this to my regular blog and at the end of the post will be links to my reviews of Joanne’s first two novels Cowboy Trouble and One Fine Cowboy. My review of Cowboy Fever will be posted on April 2nd on my review blog.

Win, Win, Win! Therapy Riding is a Triple Triumph

By Joanne Kennedy

On April 2nd, I’ll be celebrating the launch of One Fine Cowboy with our usual “moveable feast,” beginning at Barnes & Noble and moving to Uncle Charlie’s Pub after hours. But it’s not all about me this time! The whole shindig is going to benefit Cheyenne Therapeutic Riding Center (CTEC).  I volunteered for this group a year or two ago, helping kids with autism learn from horses, and discovered that the folks who run CTEC have created a win-win-win situation.

Winner number one is the kids. Every child with autism is different, but most live their lives with no sensory filters.  To them, the sound of a refrigerator running battles with the buzz of a fluorescent light bulb, and the feeling of  a blanket under their hand can be as coarse and caustic as sandpaper.

To make matters worse, many are unable to communicate their distress.  Language, communication – many don’t have the ability to make those connections. It’s a mystery to them, just as they themselves are a mystery to others.

Imagine living your life confused and overwhelmed and unable to ask for help—and then  imagine meeting a kindred soul who understands your fear, who instinctively reacts the way you do to loud noises, sudden moves, and unexpected events.

Riding therapy builds self-confidence, helps kids focus, and often provides a gateway to communication. Many of the kids communicate more readily with the horses than with other people, and a simple command for the horse to “walk on” or “whoa” is often one of the first words they learn. The horse’s immediate response shows them the power of words, and they carry what they learn in the riding ring out into their daily lives.

The second winner  is the horses themselves. Many of the horses at CTEC are rescue horses, elderly animals who had lived out their usefulness in the rodeo ring or riding stable. Carrying rookie riders from one colored square to another or standing patiently while

a child tosses a Nerf basketball into a hoop might not sound exciting to you, but I firmly believe that most animals, like people, are happiest when they have a job and a purpose. The horses are specially chosen for their patience and their bomb-proof temperaments, and they seem to know they’re carrying precious cargo.

The benefits to the kids and horses are obvious, but the volunteers are the third group of winners. Working with the horses and kids has enriched my life and given me a new understanding of a syndrome that now affects one out of every 150 children.

I originally went to CTEC to help out my friend Laura when her daughter had a lesson. I worked as a side-walker, simply walking alongside the horse and making sure Leighann didn’t fall. I was so inspired by Leighann’s ability to focus on horseback—and by the way her face lit up as she rode—that I ended up helping all day and coming back for more.

Through the program, I met a number of kids with autism and their parents, and it’s a toss-up which I admire most. Bringing up kids is always tough; bringing up a child with autism is a challenge most of us can’t even imagine. The parents  never give up, and they’re always looking for new ways to help their kids. Their patience is never-ending, and their devotion even on the hardest day is a testament to the power of a parent’s love. That’s why Cowboy Fever is dedicated to my friend Laura and her family. They are my heroes in so many ways.

Part of the challenge parents face is that no two children with autism are alike. One may not speak at all; another recites lines from TV shows and cartoons. One may be afraid of the horse; another frighteningly fearless. Because they’re all so different, there’s no single solution to helping them learn. It’s like finding your way in the dark, turning one way, then another, feeling around for the doorway that will get you where you want to go.

But I’ve yet to see a child that wasn’t helped by the horses. Some resist it at first or are afraid of the animals, but all of them eventually come to look forward to their lessons, and when one of these kids smiles, it lights up the world.

My goal isn’t just to raise money for CTEC; it’s to let people know that horseback therapy is a legitimate learning tool. It may be recreation for most of us, but for these kids it’s a way into the world, a means of focusing and learning. Hopefully someday it will be recognized for the miracle it is. In the meantime, parents whose resources are often stretched to the limit have to dig deep for the money to pay for riding therapy, and many can’t afford it.

If you have a chance to stop by Barnes & Nobel Cheyenne on Saturday, bring your shopping list! If you let the cashier know that you support CTEC, a portion of your purchase will benefit the organization and let more kids experience the benefits of riding. We’ll also be passing the cowboy hat at the after-party for anyone who wants to help out.

And if you buy online between April 2nd and 6th, please use the code 10442713 at checkout to ensure that your purchase helps more kids get all the benefits riding therapy has to offer.

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Thank you Joanne for the wonderful post and the pictures of Leighann! Please help Joanne in supporting the Cheyenne Therapeutic Equestrian Center by purchasing Cowboy Fever between April 2nd and April 6th.  If you are in the area, please go meet this extraordinary woman at the release party at the Cheyenne Barnes and Noble.

About Cowboy Fever from Joanne’s website:

Miss Rodeo Wyoming Jodie Bryce is back from the big city to find that her childhood friend Teague Treadwell’s rugged cowboy charm never looked better. But Teague thinks Jodie’s success lifted her out of his reach, and now he’s got to shed his bad boy image to be worthy of the girl next door.

April, 2011
Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 9781402251412

Review Links (just click the title):  Cowboy Trouble and One Fine Cowboy