Tuesday, September 4, 2012

My Heroes Haven’t Always Been Cowboys

Congratulations to "Judi L" and "Allison G.", the winners of Norah's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

I confess.

When I sat down to write a story with a cowboy hero, I did it out of sheer frustration. I’d written lots of romantic suspenses with my beloved police detective heroes, but hadn’t been able to sell a single one to a New York publisher. So I quite cynically set out to write a cowboy hero, because cowboys were reputed to sell. Because I didn’t think my cowboy was going to be enough to keep me interested, I threw in a paranormal element (psychic heroine). Fortunately, I have always loved horses, so that helped make the prospect more palatable.

But a funny thing happened on the way to “The End”.  As I got deeper into the research, I fell in love with my subject – with cowboys and with my hero in particular.  I wanted him to be an ex professional bull rider turned rancher, so I found PBR (Professional Bull Riders) competitions on television and started watching. Oh. My. God! I was fascinated! Those enormous bulls would send most sane people running, but these guy climb on top of them, pull their bull rope to their satisfaction and nod for the gate. And when they stick on that bull for the requisite 8 seconds, they’re just incandescent with joy. (Or maybe that’s just what an adrenaline high looks like!)
Need convincing? Here’s a clip of my favorite bull rider, Brazilian Adriano Moraes, riding to a win in the 2006 PBR World Championship, at the advanced age of 36. Then watch him climb up in the stands to share the moment with his family.
Naturally, I had to make sure my retired bull rider Cal Taggart got a chance to ride a bull in the course of the story. Let’s just say my heroine Lauren Townsend, who is uninitiated to bull riding, is less thrilled with Cal’s performance than Adriano’s wife was in that clip!  
Happily, my cowboy romantic suspense book sold – hopefully not just because cowboys sell. It finaled in the Romance Writes of America’s Golden Heart® contest and went on to win Dorchester Publishing’s New Voice in Romance contest. In 2004, it was published by Dorchester as Lauren’s Eyes. Unfortunately, it didn’t have a very genre-appropriate cover and didn’t reach its target audience. Now, thanks to Montlake Romance, it is being reissued today as Every Breath She Takes, with what I think is a gorgeous cover.
In fact, in celebration of the book’s release, I have teamed up with Trish McCallan whose Montlake title Forged in Fire also releases today, to give away a 64GB Apple iPad, to be awarded on September 29. Visit Trish & Norah’s Big Giveaway for details on how to enter.
But here’s a more immediate giveaway! Remember those romantic suspenses featuring police detectives I mentioned earlier? They are now published in my Serve and Protect Series. I’m happy to offer the 3-book omnibus electronic collection (MOBI or EPUB) to two winners. If a winner does not have an ereader or prefers print, I would be happy to substitute a print copy of Guarding Suzannah, the first book in the Serve and Protect series.
Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Sep. 4th. 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 maureen@justromanticsuspense.com with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway. 


  1. I love a good suspense , but I also love cowboys and the PBR. This story sounds like one that will keep me up all night until I reach the last page. Can't wait to read it. I have seen covers ruin a good story. Good luck with the new one. I myself judge by what's inside. Great post. Lynda. Lyndakayefrazier@yahoo.com

  2. I love detective and police type heros...but I also have come to love those cowboys recently. I guess it comes from picturing what it would be like to ride the range. I would love to win your book, thanks...lsscarchuk@att.net

  3. Thanks for bringing us such great books to read. Love those heroes that are as tough as nails but have a heart for protection. Love the covers on these books. Congrats!
    grandmabkr at yahoo dot com

  4. It sounds like a awesome book going to look it up on b&n.i love cowboys and bull rider they rock but that video was to cute what a man.i always love reading suspense novels there are great, Debra Stolhand-cher123@cableone.net

  5. Love the new cover on your latest release and congratulations! Cowboys, cops I'll take my heroes any way I can get them.


  6. Norah, Your success is inspiring. I look forward to reading all of your books, and I'm impressed with the Montlake authors. Thanks for the give-aways. Every Breath She Takes is especially calling to me.
    (The cover for EBST is smashing!) Obviously, I'd be delighted to win one of your books.

  7. Woops, forgot to include my email address.
    malvernolson at gmail dot com :)

  8. I love RS in any form... so bring on those cowboys & the PBR! EBST is definitely on my TBR queue. [I have Spanish family... we run in front of bulls and jump over bonfires, so I guess the concept of the PBR isn't that strange :P]

    Cops are good too... they make my Kindle happy, haha.


  9. Oh I love cops... cowboys are great too! What a great prize, thanks for the chance to win the 3 in 1 police detective stories! :)

  10. I'm so surprised that your police detective books didn't sell! I love romantic suspense and police detectives are among my favorite. Living in Texas, I get to see my share of cowboys and I really enjoy reading about them, too. I've been to a few rodeos and seen the bull riding events - not sure what motivates them to do it but whatever it is - I don't have it! Great clip, too. Every Breath She Takes sounds really good and I hope it is very successful for you. Thanks for the chance to win (I have a nook).

  11. I love a good romantic suspense story! Add in cowboys or cops and it is even better! Thanks for the chance to win your stories!


  12. Congrats on the reissue, Norah. I will definitely check out your great giveaway.

    janie1215 AT excite DOT com

  13. Nice post. These books sound good.


  14. Eight seconds doesn't sound like a long time unless one is watching someone one cares about on the back of the bull.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

  15. Thanks for a great post and congrats on the re-release! I'm very excited cuz I just got it and I can't wait to read it!!! WOW... I'm in awe of any athlete, let alone someone who can ride a giant, angry! animal for that long. I couldn't watch, it was too scary!!

    Thanks again for the giveaway... I went and added the bundle to my "want" list :)


  16. We have an email entry....

    Please consider me for your fantastic book giveaway!!!! YAY
    Allison G.

  17. We have an email entry...

    Dear nora, I just love police detective heroes. What is wrong with those publishers. I have nothing against cowboys, but really, police detectives have to put up with the scum of the earth and have such a lot of pressure. It is great to see the heroine find the sensitive side of the tough cynical detective. thank you, Ann