I’ve been having a fabulous time in Morocco and enjoying some good times with Surfer Ty. It’s been a glorious few days here. I should try to find a way to do it more often! The sun is bright and shining, the Souqs are full of vivid colors and tastes and the people are just amazing!
I’ve also spent some time by the pool and actually just finished reading Melissa McClone‘s Kiss Me, Cowboy. I’m such a fan of Melissa’s. Not only is she a wonderfully talented author but she’s also a warm, wonderful person to know and this week, she’s a guest on my blog! Here’s Melissa McClone to share her thoughts on being a cowgirl!
Thanks for having me on the blog today, Jane! My dad grew up on a sheep ranch in Colorado and a couple cousins competed in rodeos so writing Kiss Me, Cowboy brought back many memories, including more recent ones of watching rodeo events at our county fair!
It’s been a long time since I’d been on horseback other than trail rides on vacation, so I decided to do a little hands-on research at a working cattle ranch in southeastern Oregon. I spent three nights up at their cow camp where the herd grazes during the summer months.
My favorite part of being a cowgirl—next to wearing my first pair of Ariat cowboy boots—was herding cattle. I rode a horse named Lil’ Britches. Out in the canyon on horseback, the breeze rustling through the quaking Aspen, I could easily imagine my wranglers from Kiss Me, Cowboy, Charlie (Charlotte) Randall on her horse Sierra and Zack Harris on Blackbeard, riding with me!
Our cattle herding experience was actually a surprise. We’d headed out to drop off mineral (i.e. 50 pound salt blocks) to the herd, but on our way down the canyon to where they pastured, we started picking up small groups until we had a herd that had to be pushed along. (We later discovered a hole in the fencing that they were using to get back into this part of the ranch.) The cattle didn’t want to move, so they kept looking back to see if you were still there!
We would break off into pairs (i.e. teams) to keep cattle from wandering off, and more than once, one or more of us had to ride into the trees to keep a mama cow and her calf from crossing the creek and setting off yet another chase. I saw how a cowboy’s chores led to rodeo events.
A cowboy’s work is hard and dangerous. I learned a lot, but next time I’m heading to a dude ranch like the Bar V5 that I write about in my Montana Born Books, a guest ranch with mouthwatering gourmet food and spa services. Not to mention hot wranglers named Zack, Ty, Dustin and Eli!
Thanks so much for sharing with us, Melissa! I think I’ll tag along with you to that dude ranch next time. :)
Readers, do download a copy of Kiss Me, Cowboy if you didn’t already. You’re going to love it! And to help Melissa celebrate her new release, here’s a special prize just for you! For a chance to win, leave a comment to welcome Melissa to my blog, tell me if you’ve ever been to a cattle ranch or just tell us about your week! Winner will be announced on Friday.