Friday, June 29, 2012

Hot Summer Nights with Joanne Kennedy (Interview/Giveaway)

Want some more Hot Summer Nights? 
Today we would like to welcome Joanne Kennedy to the blog to share her love of cowboys, and her favorite thing about hot summer nights.

Lexi: Summer is here in all its hot sticky glory. And what happens when it gets hot enough to fry an egg on the highway? Guys take their shirts off, and what better type of guy to walk around shirtless than a cowboy. At least we get to see some on your covers. Do you get to see real cowboys (shirtless or not) in Wyoming? 

JK: I do get to see lots of real cowboys, but I have to admit that shirtless-ness is far more common on book covers than in real life! The work cowboys do is dangerous and kind of dirty (in a good way, of course), so being half-naked is unfortunately not always an option. But in fiction, we can create the world we want—and I want shirtless cowboys!

Lexi: I admit I have a soft spot for Wyoming; I married my husband in the Big Horn Mountains. What is your favorite place to be in the state? Besides snuggled up to your handsome man.

JK: I love my home town of Cheyenne, but I think you got married in one of the most beautiful spots in the state, or maybe the country! 

But beautiful as northern Wyoming is, I really love the hinterlands—the miles and miles of scrubby, barely-populated outback, dotted with blink-or-you’ll-miss-it towns that are throwbacks to a simpler time. Towns like LaGrange and Clairmont have no chain stores or restaurants, just mom-and-pop businesses run by locals. People are friendly and quirky, and a short spell at a bar or café gives me page after page of great dialogue.

These towns are changing rapidly because of all the oil and gas activity in the state, and that’s one reason I wrote Cowboy Crazy—to show how hard it is for these little outposts to keep their character in the face of sudden prosperity.

Lexi: What a perfect place to live to inspire your writing. Have you ever gone and checked out different working ranches, or toured any interesting historical places for your books?

K: One of the best things about being a writer is the access it give you to interesting places. When you tell people you’re doing research for a book, they’re always ready to help. One of the most interesting places I’ve been is the state prison down in Colorado where the inmates break and train mustangs for sale. 
Western history was an interest of mine even before I moved out here. I’ve traced much of the Oregon trail, visited the sites of the Indian wars, and checked out the old mining towns in Colorado, Montana and Wyoming. I love history, but even more I love poking around old abandoned towns and tumbledown ranches and imagining what daily life was like there. One of these days I’d like to write a historical Western.
Lexi: Cowboy Crazy is your book that was released this June. Reading about it I can see echoes of your life, girl comes from the big city and finds her inner cowgirl when she finds her perfect cowboy. Do you put pieces of yourself in your characters stories?

JK: Yes, there are definitely pieces of myself scattered through my stories! The “fish out of water” motif is a recurring theme in all my books, probably because I took that leap myself. I hope my stories encourage women to take risks and find the life they’re meant to lead. It worked for me!  

Lexi: Your next release, Cowboy Tough, comes out next February (and sounds incredibly good). Do you have multiple book ideas floating around in that head of yours?

JK: Thanks for the vote of confidence! I really love this one. The characters have been with me for years, looking for their story, and I was glad to finally give them their happily-ever-after (and get them off my back!).
And yes, I have so many ideas! I wish there were forty hours in a day so I’d have time to write all the books that are spinning around in my brain. I have lots more Western ideas, and I’ve also written a couple of paranormals and have plots for thrillers and young adult books. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to write them all, but it seems like every book I write sparks ideas for three more, so I may not ever catch up. I guess that’s a good problem for a writer to have, but I really wish I could write faster.
Lexi: Thanks for answering all these questions Joanne, I only have one more. What is your absolute favorite thing about hot summer nights?

JK: I won’t tell you the first “favorite thing” that leapt into my mind! But I do love summer nights at the rodeo. There’s a scene in Cowboy Crazy where the heroine, Sarah Landon, goes to a rodeo (starting on page 44 if you’re following along) and it includes all my favorite things about those nights – the scent of “fair food” like hot dogs and nachos wafting from the concession stands, the sound of the announcer’s voice on the tinny speakers, the kids polishing up their roping skills on the playground, and the barrel racers loping their horses with one eye on the cowboys, who lounge around pretending they’re not watching. Rodeo nights take all the best parts of the West and boil them down into a perfect sensory stew. I love it!

Sparks fly when sexy cowboys collide with determined heroines in a West filled with quirky characters and sizzling romance. Acclaimed for delivering “a fresh take on the traditional contemporary Western“ Joanne Kennedy’s books might just be your next great discovery!

From stable to boardroom…

Sarah Landon’s Ivy League scholarship transforms her from a wide-eyed country girl into a poised professional. Until she’s assigned to do damage control with the boss’s rebellious brother Lane, who’s the burr in everybody’s saddle. He’s determined to save his community from oil drilling, and she’s not going back to the ranch she left forever. Spurs will shine in this saucy romp about ranchers and roots, redemption and second chances.


Joanne Kennedy is the author of four contemporary Western romances for Sourcebooks: Cowboy Trouble One Fine Cowboy, Cowboy Fever, and Tall, Dark and Cowboy. She brings a wide variety of experience, ranging from chicken farming to horse training, to her sexy, spicy cowboy stories. She is a 2011 finalist in the prestigious Romance Writers of American RITA© Awards, for One Fine Cowboy. Joanne lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where she is working on her next book, Cowboy Tough (February 2013). For more information, please visit Joanne Kennedy. To purchase Joanne’s latest release, Cowboy Crazy, please visit

Sourcebooks wants to give one lucky commenter something sizzling to read some Hot Summer Night. For a chance to win fill out the rafflecopter and leave a comment or question for Joanne, anyone have a real life cowboy at home? Additional entries are available but not required. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. We live out in the sticks in southern Indiana. My hubby wears his jeans and Stetson quite well ;) Get him dirty and I just can't help myself!!

  2. How many books will be in this series? Your books have great covers. Unfortunately, no cowboy at home for me but there's still time. Cowboy Crazy sounds fantastic. Can't wait to read it.


  3. Sadly, my state lacks cowboys unless you count the Hollywood variety, so no cowboy for me. Your books sound like fun reads!

  4. Melissa Cutler wrote a book called Trouble with a Cowboy and it is set to release, I believe, in October 2012. I would highly suggest it :D

  5. Kassandra, we love those dirty cowboys! I don't know much about Indiana, but it sounds good so far!

  6. Joanne, I have five books out so far. They're all set in Wyoming, but they're not a series; you can read them in any order you want. The next one, "Cowboy Tough," will be out in February 2013. It's got another great cowboy cover:)

  7. Kristy, the Hollywood cowboys only count if they're Clint Eastwood:) But if you're in California, there actually are some cowboys, and it's where the vaquero tradition started. You just have to know where to look!

  8. I love cowboys but instead of a cowboy at home I have a soldier. I love your covers. We are always in need of more shirtless men! ;)

  9. I've never really known any cowboys...just the ones in books, tv, and movies.

  10. We have more farmers than cowboys where I live but the do wear their wranglers and boots well. Does that count?

  11. Mmmm, how I wish I had a cowboy in my life. Instead, I've got more rednecks than you can count and they travel in herds, lol. It's probly the reason why I read so many cowboy/western books!

  12. I don't have any cowboys at home. I have a farmer though. And farmers all around me. I do love cowboys though. I especially love love them in boots and the sexy cowboy hats. Thanks for the great giveaway. Have only read one of joannes books and loved it.

  13. I don't have a cowboy at home. I have a redneck.

  14. I don't have a real life cowboy at home, but that's what role play is for :)

  15. Congats on the newest release! I don't have a cowboy at home but I wouldn't turn down Matthew McConaughey (even though I found he was cheating on me and got married!)

  16. well...because i live in indonesia, there's no cowboy here..only farmer :p

    i want to ask joanna...why ur leads always been cowboy ?
    r u in love with one lucky cowboy ? just curious :)

    love, nurma

  17. Is this your favorite type of genre to write and would you
    try another one, if you could?

  18. I grew up surrounded by cowboys but I never snagged one for myself. I left my state right after college and missed my chance. ;)

    geishasmom73 at yahoo dot com

  19. When I first met my husband all he wore was his boots and jeans...he doesn't wear them that much any more. But he still looks mighty fine in them when he does!

  20. I have never met a cowboy but I do enjoy stories about them. I think of them as loyal and tough.


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