Friday, October 28, 2011

Researching Cowboys



Part of being a writer is doing the research on the time period of your book. One of my favorite subjects is the old west. Here is what I learned about cattle drives.

During the late 1800’s, cowboys drove millions of cattle to the railroad towns of Abilene, Dodge City, Wichita, and Newton. A long trip, men were out on the trail for twelve to sixteen weeks, covering over a thousand miles to get the herd to market. In Texas, this process usually started in February with the ranchers branding all their cattle. Then they would decide on which ones to sale. With over a thousand heads, a team of maybe fifteen men handled the herd on the trail.

These men faced all types of hardships: sickness, indians, bad weather, and hours on end in the saddle. The trail boss took the lead and scouted ahead for water, grass, and places to bed down for the night. The cattle strung out in a long line. Two men would ride at the front of the line keeping the lead cows pointed in the direction they wanted them to go. Several other cowboys would ride intermittently along the long trail. These flank riders kept the cattle moving. At the end of the line were the rear riders, making sure no animal strayed from the herd.

In my story “Texas Passion,” Trent McCall is just getting home from a long cattle drive to Abilene and wants to unwind. But in his absence, his father's been making wedding plans...for Trent. The last thing he wants is a spoiled and pampered socialite for a wife. What he wants is a hard drink and a willing woman. An uncomplicated woman who understands a man’s need for release after a hard ride. Good thing he’s got one waiting for him.

Four years back East haven’t changed Catherine Turnberry’s mind. Her heart is set on neighboring rancher, Trent McCall. When an end-of-the-trail party threatens to put him into the arms of another woman, Catherine grabs the bull by the horns. Taking the place of the whore hired to pleasure Trent, she intends to give him a welcome he'll never forget and show him what Texas passion is all about.





Texas Passion



Available at  The Wild Rose Press

Excerpt:

“Well, now, did you think I’d ever arrive?” He shut the door and tossed his hat onto the table by the door. Dark curly hair circled his head, and his dark brown eyes met hers.
“I had no doubt you’d get here eventually.” Her hands shaking, Catherine laid her book on the rocker and tried for a more seductive tone. “But I’d like to know what delayed you.”


One corner of his mouth turned up in a crooked grin, he stepped forward, and then paused. “Wait a second, don’t I know you?”


Catherine nodded and toyed with the knot holding her robe together. Should she shed her robe and try to seduce him first? Or just tell him her name?
He tilted his head slightly, and a frown formed on his lips. The subdued lighting of the lantern didn’t mask the lines marring his brow.
Apprehension slithered over her skin, and a lump the size of Texas grew in her throat. “I…uh…”


“Catherine?”


More of an accusation than a question, her name echoed in her head. “Yes, I…” She edged closer.
He shuffled backward until his back hit the door. “What the hell are you doing here?” His gaze dropped to swell of her breasts, and the cattywhumped expression on his face registered. Clarity filled her head. The man might deny it, but the heat in his eyes proved he found her appealing. Energy pulsed through her, and she untied the knot at her waist. “I decided, since we’re practically engaged, I didn’t want you sleeping with another woman.”


“Whoa, don’t even think about removing that robe.” He held out his hands to stop her, but his tongue slid over his parched lips and the blaze in his eyes sparked higher. Catherine’s confidence grew, and the doubt that had plagued her for the last few hours faded. He might resist, but she’d show him this was what they both wanted.

Thanks for letting me blog with you, Brenda,


Anita Philmar

Want to feel more?
Read Anita Philmar.

www.anitaphilmar.com

www.anitaphilmar.blogspot.com

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