Musing of a Wannabe Cowboy by D. Jackson Leigh

Every Second Counts 300 DPICongratulations to Nicole Gough! Woo! Watch your inbox for an email with all the glorious details!

Every Second Counts by D. Jackson Leigh is now available from Bold Strokes Books. This is Leigh’s fifth release and she wants to celebrate by giving away a signed copy to one of y’all!

Want to enter the drawing? Rules are simple. Just leave a comment in the comment section below. Be sure to fill in the box that asks for your email address, that way we can contact you if you win. I’ll do the drawing on Friday, 2/22. The winner will be contacted via email and we’ll also post the winner’s name here at the top of this blog. So, if you don’t hear from us, but want to double check to see who the winner is (and make sure you aren’t actually the winner), you’ll totally be able to do that.

In the meantime, check out her website HERE. Or her blog HERE. Or hang out with her on facebook HERE. Or buy her books HERE.

Musing of a wannabe cowboy

by D. Jackson Leigh

I always wanted to be a cowboy.

Not a cowgirl, because the only one on TV was Dale Evans and she was like June Cleaver in western clothes. Yuck.

I wanted to be one of tough guys who bellied up to the bar and demanded whiskey. I dreamed of being one of the boys John Wayne hired to trail his cattle across rough country when all the grown men hadn’t made it home from the war. (The Cowboys, 1972).

I imagined standing on at tall rock formation, looking out over the prairie with the broad brim of a sweaty Stetson shading my eyes, trail dust coating my neck, and a Colt .45 slung low over my very sexy leather chaps. I didn’t think much of Roy Rogers—cowboys should scowl not sing—but I did want horse just like Trigger. I considered the Lone Ranger’s horse for tiny second, but how the heck could you keep a horse that white on a cattle drive? I digress.

The closest I came to that experience was when I was ten years old. In the summer months, my brother and I would often spend the day at our friend’s farm, riding the constant stream of horses and ponies his auctioneer father bought and resold. One Saturday morning, we were ecstatic to find a small herd of about twenty cows also roaming the huge pasture. It was high noon and we had some doggies to move.

They weren’t Texas Longhorns, but white French Charolais with very short horns and silly curls on their heads. Still, we herded those cows all day from one end of the pasture to the other until our ponies were tired and balky. It was the best day of our imaginary cowboy lives, until our friend’s father blew a gasket because we’d been running the fat off his beef cows.

Ah, well.

The dream faded only a little as I grew up. I still wanted  to own a Stetson (I do) and buckle on some chaps (bought some, wore them once, then sold them to my ex’s friend who planned to wear them for a different kind of ride. TMI). I quietly fed my adult cowboy fascination with movies like Lonesome Dove, Comes a Horseman (Jane Fonda), Maverick (Jodie Foster and Mel Gibson), The Horse Whisperer, Young Guns and The Mask of Zorro.

So, when a reader who had just finished my second book, Long Shot, emailed to say that I needed to write another book set in Cherokee Falls so that “some butch can come along and rock Bridgette’s world,” I chose a tough and sexy rodeo rider.

Warning: I like to write hot romances, but Every Second Counts turns up the heat several degrees.

Marc Ryder is actually a modern version of a roguish horse-whisperer I used to role-play in a yahoo fantasy group. Dusting her off again was like revisiting an old friend.

The modern Ryder returns to Cherokee Falls after being away for more than ten years and is reunited with her childhood buddies, Skyler Reese and Tory Greyson – characters from my first two novels, Bareback and Long Shot.

It was fun to write both the playful banter between the three old friends and the rodeo scenes where Ryder tests her mettle against the broncs and bulls.

This story also was work, requiring a lot of research.

To write those scenes, I watched a lot of videos of how to ride a bronc or a bull, videos of guys getting their butts bucked off and sometimes stomped, and even went to a bull riding show at the local coliseum to help capture the flavor of the event. I also pored over rodeo websites and rodeo bull pedigrees.

I’m thinking it will be the last time I visit Cherokee Falls in a full-length novel, but these women will stay in my head and my heart for a long time.  I hope they linger in yours, too.

Want to know more?  D. Jackson Leigh answers twenty questions about Every Second Counts HERE.

62 comments

  1. I absolutely LOVE your books. Picked the first one up at the NC Pride event 2 years ago. I now have all of them, except “Every Second Counts”. Can’t wait to read it. Please keep writing your books. Your characters are so real and the descriptions in your books take me back to days spent with ‘my’ horse, the smell of hay, and the feel of his coat. Thank you.

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    • Thanks.If your name is drawn, you can always request any of my other books instead. If you have them all, I can put you down for a free copy of my next, “Hold Me Forever” that comes out in September.

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  2. Well, I was enjoying this blog until the part about this book being the last visit to Cherokee Falls. At least I can always re-read them. I actually just read Every Second Counts this weekend. Very enjoyable. I’ll allow someone else the opportunity to read it, so it’s not necessary to include me in the drawing. Thank you D. Jackson Leigh, for your novels!

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  3. Please count me in for the drawing. Love the west and miss my horse. My dream vacation would be spending a week on a cattle drive. LOL
    Win or not, I will be adding this book to my collection.

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  4. Looking forward to another novel from Cherokee Falls. My parents have an early movie of me on Christmas morning, cowboy hat on head, six-guns strapped to each hip and I am pushing my baby brother off his horse (one of the ones on springs) and riding it for all it is worth. I still have a cowboy hat (a couple of them), but not the other stuff. But, I get the attraction to it all. Thanks and I would love to win the book, but look forward to reading it win or not.

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  5. I can’t wait to read this book and get to know these new characters!!! I don’t know of i’m more excitted about that or about being able to reunite with the characters from Long Shot and Bareback!

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  6. Not so patiently waiting for Every Second Counts to show up in my mailbox. Your books are terrific and definitely on the reread pile.

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  7. I can relate to your blog because I wan’t to be a cowboy also. There is my Christmas picture in me wearing a new cowgirl outfit but not in my head.
    Loved the story of the cows. I love your stories so much. Please keep writing them.

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  8. I just discovered your writing a few months ago, when I bought the e-book version of “Bareback”, which I really enjoyed a lot.

    Speaking of stetsons, I LOVE wearing dykey hats and have a little collection of various ball caps and flat caps. However, I always wanted to own and wear a stetson, but the closest I’ve come to it so far is an Australian-style wide-brimmed hat with snaps that allow you to flip up the sides and fasten them in place so makes the hat resemble a stetson–kind of. I was in a western-style store for country-western dancers a few years ago, but they only had those cheap plastic stetons, which were itchy and made your head sweat, so I didn’t buy one. Anyhow, I read your blog entry about this latest book, and would love to win it, so thanks for allowing your readers a chance to do so. Regardless, you have a fan in me! Thanks for writing the kind of romances I like to read.

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  9. How fun!! Please add me to your drawing. My little (6’+) brother is a real cowboy, and use to ride rodeo. I like the idea of the cowgirls take on the story and look forward to reading this. Always great reading new stories by new authors. Many speak highly of your work, so I’m excited to saddle up and take a ride!!

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  10. I’dlove a copy! there is no such thing as buying lesbian books in a store here (i am jn suburban australia) so i buy all of my books online. I can honestly say since there is no gay community where i am that its these books that give me acceptance and a sense of belonging to something that i so desperately need. Never stop writing! All characters in all these books are like the friends i cannot have.

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  11. Enjoying the rodeo cowgirl on the bull not the horse. Just the idea of all the injuries makes me groan. Certainly made an exciting story.
    Gene Autry was a middle of the road guy, and a good fighter. Champ was smart too.

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  12. D…
    First of all I found your books about 2 yrs ago on a summer vacation to Virginia. I ended up reading Long Shot twice in two weeks, and couldn’t wait to get Bareback. Now onto the cowboy fantasy…I am with you, I would have rather been sweaty, dirty, and dusty from working with John Wayne than the Roy Rogers version of a cowboy. I only own one hat, no chaps, and no horses….I am missing out… although you made me think of my childhood memories of trying to get on my cousins pony (with no saddle) and being hoisted over to the other side of the horse by my cousins. After the 20th or 30th time of eating dirt and grass (determined although slow learner at that age) my uncle came out and suggested we take the pony by his tractor to get on. No more eating dirt and grass after that.

    I just recently purchased ESC, and I am so happy you are giving Bridgette her chance….it felt like she was just left out there after Long Shot.

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  13. I always wanted to be The Cisco Kid. Yes in the rodeo every second does count. Looking forward to the ride ~ 😉

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  14. D. Jackson I have enjoyed all of your stories and eagerly await payday so I can get Every Second Counts. I look forward to re-visiting old friends and meeting new ones. Keep doing what you do, it is a winning formula.

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  15. The research sounds like it could have been very fun! Loved the first two and am looking forward to the third to finish out the trilogy. Thanks for providing us all with a means to be horsewomen.

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  16. I just finished reading Bareback and Long Shot. Looking forward to Every Second Counts….But will be sad when you stop writing about Cherokee Falls.

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  17. I love your books! I have recently re-read Call Me Softly and really do like how you worked the story with Lily and Swain. I do wish more writers would write about women and horses :). Keep them coming…

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    • I have a second one coming in Sept. It’s set in Quarter Horse Racing in Louisiana. Very Southern. Just starting edits on it now. I think you’ll like that one, too, if you liked Call Me Softly. It’s the 3rd in my Southern Secrets themed romances, called Hold Me Forever.

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  18. So far, what I’ve heard about this book is “it made me blush”. It’s high on my reading list after that comment and I’d love to win a copy.

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  19. I’ve fallen behind in my D.Jackson Leigh reading, so would love to have a chance to catch up. Sounds like another winner. The heat has been turned up with this one? All the more reason to grab a ride. 🙂

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  20. mmmm…hot, tough rodeo riders? if you’ve made Ryder hotter than Skyler Reese i might just pass out. I think I’ve re-read Bareback 6 or 7 times. Anyway, congrats on the latest release, looking forward to reading it! ~allie

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  21. I look forward to adding this book and “Bareback”, to my collection with your two other books “Call Me Softly”, and “Long shot.” Your books are on my keeper list, I enjoy them.

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