The Cowboy Lit genre featured on this page tells the stories of cowboys on the modern trail. Usually a cowboy western road adventure. Can be fiction or memoir. Any writing that embraces the cowboy lifestyle with humor, honesty and heart. Tends to be light, rather than a dark tale.
Cowboy Lit is most often set in the American western states, but also can include Canada or Australia. Or even South America. As long as there is lots of cowboy adventure, a road journey of some sort, a quest that includes male bonding, usually rodeo or other very physical action type scenes, and a bit of cowboy romance.
In the Old West historical and classic westerns, the cowboy tries to civilize the West. In a contemporary Cowboy Lit story, the West tries to civilize the cowboy. But it’s a community story, rather than a lone cowboy novel tale.
There can be exceptions to region. For instance, Owen Wister (The Virginian, 1904, TV series (1962-71) was one of the most important early popular presenters of the “cowboy genre”. Even though the Virginian is, of course, a southerner.
Author Paul Green wrote a book about The Virginian Series and made this statement in an interview about that book:
“The Virginian” has positive values. Family, friendship and community are important. Moral responsibility matters. The Shiloh family and ranch hands look out for each other.”
The same could be said about the typical Cowboy Lit.
About Cowboy Lit Novel One Step Over The Border:
Hap Bowman and his rodeo partner, Laramie Majors, set out to find Hap’s long lost childhood love. They soon chase down every Juanita from Wyoming to the Mexican border. Every place they go leads to more trouble and excitement. They herd cattle across the Rio Grande. They face off against a crooked park ranger in the Chisos Mountains. They round up wild mustangs on a desert military testing ground. It’s an adventure of a lifetime for these two modern-day cowboys.
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About Stephen Bly Cowboy Lit Novels
All novels by Stephen Bly in the Cowboy Lit genre can be labeled Family Friendly. Although there is often violence, there are no gratuitous words or scenes, except perhaps in the reader’s own imagination. And mostly his heroes are without apology tea-totallers, though they don’t make an issue of it. Yet, they remain earthy, manly, and in control, as a rule.
Another different sort of Cowboy Lit novel example is Stephen Bly’s Cowboy For A Rainy Afternoon. In 1954, six men, who spent their younger lives as cowboys in the Southwest, now gather weekly at the Matador Hotel in downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico. They shoot-the-bull during games of cribbage.
One rainy afternoon, one of the men brings 10-year-old grandson with him. The boy proudly dons his red straw cowboy hat, cap gun, and leather bullet belt with silver-painted wooden bullets. As the old cowboys tell their own Old West stories, the boy listens and remembers. They pass down to him western traditions that are quickly becoming extinct in the American way of life. Maybe he wasn’t born 100 years too late.
Meanwhile, there’s a lady in distress. The cowboy crew take the boy on a mini-road adventure of their own, riding in a ’49 Plymouth with open trunk.
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Check here for Old West cowboy slang devotionals by author Stephen Bly: https://www.blybooks.com/category/steves-devotionals/
About Cowgirl Lit Novels Too . . .
Stephen Bly also wrote some Cowgirl Lit fiction: such as, The Horse Dreams Series.
Cowgirl Lit Book 1: Memories of a Dirt Road Town . . .
For Develyn Worrell, a 5th-grade teacher in central Indiana, it was to be a summer of reconciliation with her 20-year-old daughter. But the sudden death of her ex-husband embitters her daughter against her. Delaney accuses her mother’s lack of forgiveness to the heart attack.
Depressed at the thought of a long summer alone, Develyn tosses a few things into her car and heads West in hopes to find a life she experienced on a vacation as a child. She finally pulls into the dirt road town in central Wyoming. She also discovers a paint mare, a quirky girlfriend or two, and three cowboys who help her get life back in focus.
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Cowgirl Lit Book 2: The Mustang Breaker
“Are all your dreams about horses?” Casey asked.
“Only the good ones,” said Develyn.
The mood of heavy-hearted divorcee Develyn Worrell continues to lighten, even as cowboy romances and the relationship with her grown daughter, Delaney, get more complicated.
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Cowgirl Lit Book 3: Wish I’d Known You Tears Ago
Delaney studied her mom. “Do you sleep better in Wyoming?”
“I do everything better in Wyoming.”
Restless Indiana schoolteacher Develyn Worrell finally finds her groove. Ready to savor summer’s end in her cozy Wyoming town, she basks in peace and contentment. Then a sudden series of random troubling events reset the pace. And she struggles to know exactly what her heart needs.
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Wind in the Wires Cowgirl Lit by Janet Chester Bly
A cowgirl’s search for love and family. An old man’s quest to seek justice. They take a journey together that exposes an eerie story of lies and betrayal. Will the truth be too hard for either to bear?
When elderly, quirky Road’s End citizen Maidie Fortress dies, her uncle presents Reba Cahill with an expensive piece of jewelry that turns Reba’s world upside down. She is thrust into a road adventure full of dark family secrets and two cold case murders.
The evidence leads her down unexpected paths and toward unsuspected admirers. But will the truth also ruin all hope for romance?
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Cowgirl Lit Article & Book Sample:
Find a brief discussion about Cowgirl Lit on Agent Janet Reid’s blog: http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/2009/05/cowgirl-lit.html She features All Roads Lead Me Back to You by Kennedy Foster. This is her first novel. Kennedy Foster is a teacher in Washington state.
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If other Cowboy Lit or Cowgirl Lit books come to your mind, send titles and authors to janet(at)blybooks(dot)com and will consider featuring on this page.