Friday, November 9, 2012

Marin Thomas: A Passion For The American West Cowboy

Everyone's Story warmly welcomes this week's guest, author Marin Thomas. I've known Marin for several years now, but it's amazing what I've learned about her in preparation for this blog segment. Relax a bit with Marin and see how this once Chicago-based woman has settled in a place where her vision of a perfect cowboy sits on his horse and watches as the Arizona sky turns fiery red and orange as the sun sets.

Check out Marin's awesome Giveaway, and see what she says in a mini interview.

Book Giveaway:
HARTS OF THE RODEO, a six-book miniseries about a family determined to rebuild their ranch and their lives, with love, hard work, and the help of a legendary stallion...
Beau: Cowboy Protector is Book 5 in this six-book series out this month. 

Beau Adams can’t stop thinking about Sierra Byrne. Her feisty spirit and ample curves dominate his thoughts, while he should be focused on getting himself and Midnight, the Harts' prized stallion, to the National Finals Rodeo. When Beau and Sierra’s electric connection finally leads to a steamy night together, Beau hopes it’s the beginning of something more.
As much as Sierra wants to be with Beau, anything long-term is out of the question. A recently diagnosed eye disease will soon leave her blind, and she can’t ask a rising rodeo star like Beau to take on that responsibility. Though she tries to pretend their tryst was just another item on her bucket list, Sierra’s true feelings run a lot deeper. Will she let her affliction steal not only her sight, but her dreams of happiness, as well?

Marin is offering one copy of Beau: Cowboy Protector to one commenter randomly chosen. The winner will be announced on Friday, November 16th between 4-5 EST. Please leave your email address within the body of your comment.

Romancing the Cowboy and the American West 

by Marin Thomas

Thank you, Elaine for inviting me to your blog!  I never turn down a chance to chat about cowboys and my passion for writing current-day western stories for Harlequin American Romance.  I'm often asked…."Why cowboys?"  If you visit my blog All My Heroes are Cowboys you'll notice the blurb at the top of the page….

"America needs the Cowboy both to remind us of how far we have come and to bring us back to the simplicity of the values he represents. He is also needed because he is a piece of who we are as a country. He represents a lifestyle and a time period that is a cherished part of our History. Little boys want to grow up to be him and the little girls want to grow up to marry him."

I became enamored with the cowboy and ranching way of life when I was sixteen and my family traveled to Colorado.  We visited second cousins who owned a horse ranch and after spending a week with them….watching…learning….listening….I fell in love with their way of life and it has stuck with me all these years.  

What is it about the cowboy hero that fascinates me—aside from his big belt buckles and the way he tips his Stetson to a woman as he passes her on the sidewalk?  Cowboys are inherently strong men inside and out and that raw, elemental strength still appeals to the modern-day woman.  Although the traditional cowboy from the Old West is long gone from this world, you'll still find his DNA in the modern-day cowboy hero.  

So what's in cowboy DNA?  To put it simply….characteristics that demonstrate a decent, hard-working man who takes his responsibilities seriously and treats others with respect, tolerance and patience.  A man who isn’t afraid to admit when he's wrong or give credit where credit is due.  And let's not forget cowboys make great fathers!  What woman wouldn’t want to fall in love with a man like that?  

I'm always doing research on cowboys for the Wild West Trivia Contest I run in my monthly newsletters.  One area that that I've delved deeper into is the cowboy and his religion.  The cowboy quietly goes about his daily life without making a commotion, yet demonstrating his relationship with God in just about everything he does.  You see, a cowboy's religion is with God.  Not with the church.  Not with members of the church.  Not even with the policies and social causes the church supports.  His relationship is between him and God and he keeps it that way. 

There's something very powerful and inspiring about a man who lives a personal and private relationship with God.  The cowboy knows he can't save the world but he can care for those within his immediate circle and his community, and he focuses on helping those within his reach—his family, his neighbors and on occasion the person stranded on the side of the road with a dead car battery.

More often than not, you'll find the traditional, old-school cowboys attending a local Cowboy Church in their community.  The Cowboy Church is a Christian church that embraces the cowboy culture with a western flare.  These churches meet in barns, metal sheds, rodeo arenas or even outside in a rancher's meadow.  They embrace the "come as you are" dress code. And if you put a donation in the hat that's passed around you know the money will go to a local family in need.

When the rest of the world changes around them, Cowboys work from sundown, holding fast to a set of time-honored values that have been passed onto them through generations of men who were passionate about the life they chose to live.

Courtesy Google Images

Two Questions for Marin: 

Call it the Wild West Days or the Last Frontier, but many are fascinated by this era of American history. Have you ever met a true modern day cowboy, characteristic-wise? If so, what was your first impression of him?

I was sixteen when I met my first "real" cowboy.  Our family was vacationing in Colorado and one Saturday afternoon we attended a local rodeo where an old geezer-cowboy who'd once been a local rodeo legend in the area sat near our family in the stands.  He did all the things authors write about in their cowboy romances: He tipped his hat to women, called everyone "ma'am" or "miss".  People stopped to greet him and chat with him and a couple of really cute younger rodeo cowboys came up in the stands to get his autograph.  Everyone called him Tex and I remember thinking how funny that was because he lived in Colorado.  His face looked like a wrinkled road map and his skin was dark and rough from years in the sun.  His cowboy hat was so old it had molded itself to the shape of his head. At the time my mother (a big fan of western historical romances) moved closer to talk to him.  He entertained her with stories of his rodeo days and I'll never forget that he told my mom he longed for most was a return to the days when men were real men and women stayed women…I don’t think he supported equal rights for women.  In the end I believe my mother was more enthralled with him than I was but I've never forgotten that cowboy.  Come to think about it…isn’t that what cowboys are known for—making big impressions on people?

 And for fun: on a purely platonic basis, if some genie waved a wand over your head and a cowboy (and yes, your husband's invited too!) appears to whisk you and he back into history, where would you like to go/what would you like to see, and what would you like to chat about?

This is easy…I'd go back in time to the Old West and I'd drop in on Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  I'd love to ride along with them for a few days and visit the famed Hole in the Wall hideaway and their ranch in Bolivia when they fled to Mexico for a time.  I know history has romanticized their adventures but what woman wouldn’t want to be adored and loved by these two famous outlaws? 

Viewers, let's chat: What heroic trait does your real-life hero (husband, father, grandfather, neighbor...) possess and why does that make him so special?

Author Bio:
Marin Thomas grew up in Janesville, Wisconsin. She left the Midwest to attend college at the University of Arizona in Tucson, where she played basketball for the Lady Wildcats and earned a B.A. in Radio-TV. Following graduation she married her college sweetheart in a five-minute ceremony at the historical Little Chapel of the West in Las Vegas, Nevada. Over the years she and her family have lived in seven different states but have now come full circle and returned to Arizona where the rugged desert and breathtaking sunsets provide plenty of inspiration for Marin's cowboy books.  Marin is represented by Paige Wheeler of Folio Literary management, LLC.

You Can Find Marin on the Web:


  1. Marin,
    Great to see you here at Elaine's! You know how much I love to read your stories. Keep 'em coming!
    Elaine, tough question. But to me, the heroic trait that belongs to lots of our country's men is that of helping those who need help, no matter who they are.

    1. Jeanmarie, thanks for the visit today. You know, I totally agree with you about the one common denominator that many American men have.

  2. Hi Jeanmarie! Thanks for stopping by Elaine's blog and the kind words about my books! You know who comes to mind after reading your comment..firefighters, policemen, first responders...all those men out East who are pitching in and helping their neighbors through tough times after the devastation from Sandy. Some of our biggest heroes are the men who live right next door to us or down the block.

  3. Wonderful post, Marin! I too wish more values of old were around today. Then again, I think every generation says the same thing. :) My 'cowboy' hero is my husband. I remember when we were in a store years ago and a lady fell to the floor suffering from an epileptic seizure. No one jumped forward to help--except my dh. He's always been like that, the first to step forward when the needs arises.

    Thanks, Elaine, for having Marin here. I love all her books!


    1. Mary, thanks for stopping by. I always enjoy learning more about you... and now I know more about your heroic husband as well. Please give him a hug from all of us :)

  4. Hi Mary--good to see you here! I agree with you that as the world changes around us we wistfully look back in time and wish for the good ol'days of old-fashioned values and manners. Your hubby sounds like a keeper and a man who stays calm in a crisis--always handy to have that kind of guy around! :-)

  5. Marin, how nice to see you here. We miss you on Sweethearts of the West. Nice to know your career is doing so well. Best wishes for the future!

    1. Caroline, welcome back to Everryone's Story, a place you're always appreciated.

  6. Hi Caroline--thanks for dropping by Elaine's blog. I still pop over and read the Sweethearts of the West blog as often as I'm able--love the history of the American West, which is home to many American heroes :-)

  7. Marin, I'm in denial that Thanksgiving is really next week (I'm still daydreaming of taking hikes and picnics), let alone that another week on Everyone's Story has ended. Thank you so much for being such a great guest. Also thanks for the awesome book giveaway of your newest release...

    And the winner of Beau: Cowboy Protector is Jeanmarie. Yea, Jeanmarie ♡ Marin and I will contact you directly in separate emails.

    I wish you both, and all of my viewers, a Happy Thanksgiving. And to all my international viewers I pray for blessings of peace at home and bountiful provisions.


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