Sunday, August 12, 2012

Marin Thomas: A Cowboy's Duty


Never Trust A Man!
That’s what Dixie Cash learned from her mother. That and fathers don’t stick around. She's pretty independent, and doesn’t need help from her baby’s daddy, sexy rodeo rider and ex-soldier, Gavin Tucker. But he seems determined to do right by her. Just as Dixie starts to imagine together they might be a family, tragedy strikes—and Gavin shows his true colors. She knew he wasn’t honorable!

After what Gavin went through in Afghanistan, he was more than happy to lose himself in the rodeo circuit—and in sweet Dixie’s arms. But doing the right thing can be hard sometimes, and when Dixie—Gavin’s lifeline—doesn’t need him anymore, he’s at a loss. His heart still longs for Dixie, though he’s not sure he deserves a second chance...

Who Said Girls Can't Ride Bulls?


I love writing cowboy stories and I'm currently finishing up a six-book series for Harlequin American Romance called Rodeo Rebels. You can find more information on the series at Happy Ever After…The Cowboy Way. (www.marinthomas.com) Regarding the final three stories in this series my editor asked that I come up with a unique angle to tie the books together.  The stories all take place in the same fictional town—Stagecoach, Arizona, but my editor wanted something more than just a location to tie them together. 

Years ago when my family vacationed in Colorado I recalled meeting a really old rodeo cowboy who'd been a friend of the family for years.  I don't recall his name—only that it had sounded old-fashioned. Vern…Vick…Vance…not sure.   Anyway, this old cowboy had been a former bull rider and he had the bowed legs and crooked spine to prove it.  He competed in rodeo back in the day when no cowboy had heard of Kevlar vests and protective head gear.  He told stories of his days on the circuit and one tale in particular left a lasting impression on me.  He claimed a young woman had entered a bull-riding competition using a man's name.  As the story goes, she was "about as handsome as a sack of horse-shoes."  Today we call these women "plain Janes".  Supposedly, this young lady hid in the shadows until it was her turn to ride.  She rode the bull a full eight seconds and the fans went crazy until her cowboy hat popped off and exposed her long, blond braid.  The cheering turned to booing and as the legend goes….the cowboys chased her "halfway to Mexico". 

So where is this memory of mine leading….to the unique angle I came up with for the final books in my Rodeo Rebels series.  I've incorporated women's bull riding into each of the stories.  I admit this is an unusual angle for a romance, but the sport calls for very strong heroines—both mentally and physically and I gave each heroine a strong motivation for riding bulls.  I've learned a lot about women's roughstock events while writing these books and have come to greatly admire the courageous women who compete in bare back, bull riding and saddle bronc events. 

So tell me, does an unusual storyline scare you away from buying a book or are you willing to read something a little off the beaten "romantic" path?  Leave a comment by midnight tonight for a chance to win a copy of A Cowboy's Duty.

You'll find Marin hanging out at...

Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/cowboyauthor/)

***Marin's winner is Shelley B!  Congrats, Shelley!  Please send your full name and mailing into to totebag@authorsoundrelations.com.  Thanks!***

19 comments:

  1. I love a good cowboy story (maybe because there are no cowboys in Italy & I always have been intrigued by them). Regarding unusual storylines, I admire authors who are willing to take a risk & come up with something different: unusual storyline, atypical heroes, etc. It certainly makes the book stand out & I tend to remember the ones that are slightly different than the others.

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    1. Hi Natalija--thanks for dropping by! No cowboys in Italy--the U.S. needs to send a few over there for you Italian girls :-) I'm glad to hear you're open to unique storylines and I'm not alone in that. I'm always drawn to unique book covers and unique story ste-ups.

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  2. Like Natalija, "I tend to remember the ones that are slightly different than the others." Bring it on!
    That being said, I'll still throw a book across the room if it doesn't have a happy ending!

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    1. Hi Laney, thanks for taking the time to read my blog here. I have to laugh at your comment that you throw a book across the room if it doesn't have a happy ending. A reader once wrote to me that she threw my book across the room because my heroine frustrated her :-) Thanks goodness it had a happy ending otherwise she might have burned it, lol!

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  3. I will always read a story, if it's written well with strong characters that I invest in, and a compelling story line. Thanks!

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    1. Hey, Shelley, thank you for leaving a comment today! You're all making me feel good about trying a unique angle for the last 3 books in my Rodeo Rebels series!

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  4. Read your "Arizona Cowboy" and it was super good so I know this one will be too. Can't wait to read it!

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    1. Hi Barbara--thank you so much for picking up a copy of Arizona Cowboy! I'm glad you enjoyed the story and I hope you'll like A Cowboy's Duty just as much. It's a bit more angsty but RT Book Review boasts that my characters will keep you turning the pages, lol! There, I gave myself a shameless plug :-)

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  5. Hi Marin!
    I definitely look forward to reading something a little off the beaten "romantic" path:) It's what I try to look for and usually the ones that stick out the most to me. Haven't yet found anything that scared me:)

    yadkny@hotmail.com

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    1. yadkny--thanks for dropping in! Like you I haven't picked up an unusual book that's turned me off or scared me...in fact it has the opposite effect on me--I usually learn something I never knew and then I go off to Google and learn more about it :-)

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  6. I welcome unique and different storylines. Often I find them exciting and less predictable. I recently read a book where the heroine who stayed with me because of her bold actions.

    Cambonified(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Hi Na, I like bold heroines... but I also like reading about heroines who aren't bold in the beginning but they come out of their shell and become "something to be reckoned with" Then there are books where the heroine starts out with a bang and never lets up and I finish the story thinking "I'm a wimp" in comparrison :-)

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  7. I like something different now & then. Give me a unique story & I will be back for more.

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    1. Hi marybelle

      I agree with you...I have my favorites but every now and again I like to try a different read...different plot...even weird characters :-)

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  8. I recently read a book with a different story line where the main characters didn't end up together, instead the hero got paired to the heroines (coquette) sister. At first I was disappointed and nearly gave up reading it, but my conscience got the best of me. Haven't let down a book unfinished. I just need some time to adjust to different story lines. At least the story made a huge impact on me and still haven't forget some parts of it. :D

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    1. Hi Lory Lee
      Thanks for dropping by! I think I would have been taken by surprise too if I'd read a book where I wasn't expecting a hero or heroine to be paired with a surprise character, but I'd keep reading to see how the author justified the switch and to see if it worked out for the best.

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  9. Like previous commenters, an unusual
    storyline can pull me towards a book
    just to see how it turns out.

    Pat C.

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    1. Hi Pat
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! Sometimes those unusual storylines turn out to pretty good and in the past when I've liked one of those, I've gone back and looked up other books by the author and found even more interesting plot lines that he or she had written.

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  10. Congratulations, Shelley B! You're the winner of my book giveaway. Please send your full name and snail mail address to marin@marinthomas.com and I'll ship out a copy of A Cowboy's Duty to you ASAP.

    My thanks to everyone for stopping in to comment on my blog!
    Happy Trails,
    Marin
    www.marinthomas.com

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