Julie Benson returns with a Cowboy In The Making.

Julie BensonHey everyone! Today in the Lair we’re welcoming back author Julie Benson. As you know Julie writes contemporary western romances for Harlequin American. Today she’s going to tell us about her newest book, COWBOY IN THE MAKING.

Suz: Glad to have you back in the Lair, Julie! COWBOY IN THE MAKING is your fifth book set in the Colorado town of Estes Park. What made you choose that area of the American West to set your stories in?

Julie: I went to a wedding in Estes Park, Colorado and few years ago and fell in love with the area. While visiting there an idea for a story—one completely different than anything else I’d ever written—hit me smack in the face in the form of one fine looking cowboy. One day when I got stuck on a current story I took Suz’s advice and started working on something completely different—my cowboy story. I found my voice and had a blast writing that book. Then when I sold that story I decided to stay with the Colorado setting and cowboys for a few more books.

Suz: Tell us about COWBOY IN THE MAKING.

Julie: Here’s the blurb:

A Little Bit Country… 

Emma Donovan ran off to Nashville when she was young and full of dreams. Now she’s back home in Colorado with a little more common sense. And that sense is telling her not to count on Jamie Westland. He won’t be around long—not with his big-time career in New York City. 

Jamie’s never felt at home, not with his adopted family, not with himself. Now, on his grandfather’s ranch, the pieces of his life are coming together in a way that feels right. And Emma has so much to do with it. But when an opportunity comes along back in New York, he has to decide between his old life and the promise of a new one…with Emma. CowboyInTheMakingFrontCover-2-2

 Suz: In COWBOY IN THE MAKING, you handle the subject of adoption. I like how you showed three different sides to the process. How did you decide on that conflict for the book?

Julie: When Jamie’s character popped into my head I knew he was adopted. That’s where the whole story started. I first met Emma when she showed up as Avery’s friend in my third book, The Rancher and the Vet, but I knew very little about her other than she worked as the volunteer coordinator at the animal shelter and she had dreams of a career in country music. Jamie was much clearer to me. I realized he’d never felt like he fit in with his family because he was so very different from them. He also carried a lot of pain from his birth mother not wanting anything to do with him when he reached out to her as a teenager.

Suz: Both your hero and heroine are musicians in COWBOY IN THE MAKING, but from different genres, country and classical. Which begs me to ask the question, which are you more a fan of? Why?

 Julie: I’m a rock and roll girl, but my son Alex has gotten me listening to country music over the last few years so I’d choose it over classical music. I love how country music often tells a story and has such genuine emotion running through it. Those things call to me. Country music so often taps into universal themes. It’s got an honesty to it.

So readers, are you a rock and roll kind of person or more country? Or are you into classical? Jazz? What’s on your iPod or the CD in your car stereo? Do you listen to music when you read? If you’re a writer, do you listen to music while you write or do you like it quiet?

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  • Jane says:

    Congrats on the new release, Julie. I’m definitely more a rock n roll kind of person. I don’t think there are any local country music stations here. On my iPod are Beyonce, Prince, Springsteen, U2 and Jay Z. I do listen to music when I read.

    • Morning, Jane!!

      Yep, by the list on your iPod, I’d say you were a modern rock girl!! Did you upload U2’s new free song last week? Hubby keeps telling me it will eat up all the space on my iPad, so I haven’t done it yet?

    • Julie Benson says:

      Sorry I’m late to the party. I had some family commitments this morning. I’m so glad to be here. Jane, I like your playlist.

  • Patty L. says:

    Wahoo I get the Rooster!

  • Patty L. says:

    Jane beat me! I typed a whole message and then it didn’t show up.

  • Patty L. says:

    Julie I love your books and can’t wait for this next book. I love music (all genres) just like I like my books. I want the music to match my mood.

  • Amy Conley says:

    Rock n Roll all the way.

  • Helen says:

    Hi Julie

    The new books sounds fab 🙂

    I love all types of music I grew up in the 70’s so rock and roll and ballards and country I love singing along and yes I have the radio on while reading although i don’t sing when reading LOL

    Have Fun

    • Hey Helen!!!

      How are things down under? Warming up a bit?

      I’m giggling over your refraining from singing while reading…I’d end up singing the words to the book to the tune of the song!!

    • Julie Benson says:

      Helen, I can’t read with music on. I start singing and the next thing I know I’ve read the same paragraph six times. But then I have trouble walking and chewing gum at the same time some days.

  • Sandy Blair says:

    Hi Julie and Suz,
    Great interview. Can’t wait to read this story. To answer your question: Soft rock is on the radio, but I enjoy most country music as well. (We should all Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy. 🙂 )

  • Shannon says:

    When I was growing up we had a little of everything. I liked soft pop in high school but worked at a country radio station editing the news and running the machinery during automated operations. Where I worked music was not an option for one reason or another so I got so I work (research or write) better without music. Now a days I usually have npr on rather than music on the radio. Whatever type of music, I like lyrical music either words or melodies that soar whether these be pop, country, or classical. An obscure example might be Silver Medals Silver Memories. Or a pop tune like Working My Way Back To You. In choral music Now the Vault of Heaven Resounds.

    Adoption is hard. No matter how if the reasons where noble or mixed, the child is left wondering if there wasn’t something wrong or unloveable about me. I learned a little (enough?) about my birth mother to know she made a good choice and that a meeting would be messy and upsetting. So of course I do and don’t want to read this story. In my my family, I am the one who headed east while they stayed in the west and the country.

    • Morning, Shannon!

      Wow, you really have had an extensive exposure to a variety of music. I tend to like lyrical music, too, whether it’s country, rock or classical, (especially classical…give me nocturnes any time!)

      Adoption is a tricky business, especially for the child, but if handled with honesty and openness it can be a blessing for so many, too. Glad you came to an understanding about your situation and that your birth mother did what was best for you.

    • Julie Benson says:

      Shannon, your story is a prime example of how adoption affects people in different ways. It’s a wonderful thing, but you’re right sometimes the child is left wondering. Jamie had the same thoughts in this story. Sometimes we can’t understand why someone made the decision they did. Sometimes it has everything to do with who they are, and very little to do with us. I’m so glad you made the right choice for you and didn’t meet with your birth mother. All we can do is what we feel is best. That’s the message I hope readers take away from this book.

  • Debbie Oxier says:

    Prefer light rock, preferably the oldies (think Beatles). Don’t usually listen while reading although the TV being on doesn’t bother me.

    • Morning, Debbie!

      I used to work with a doctor who complained about his kids choices in music. I told him mine were raised on the classics. He said, “Beethoven, Bach and Mozart?” I said, “Nope. Beetles, CCR and Led Zepplin!” 😀

    • Julie Benson says:

      Debbie, I love the Beatles. I can’t do anything with them on. I have to stop what I’m doing, enjoy the greatness and sing along.

  • catslady says:

    i normally read late at night in bed so no music. It would distract me unless it was just background music with no words. I really love a variety from country rock to classical and everything in between (except maybe heavy metal or most rap lol).

    • Hey Catslady!

      I can’t read at night…I don’t go to sleep…I stay up late reading and reading and reading. 🙂

      I think it’s fun listening to all kind of music, too. There’s a little rap I like. My kids had me hooked on the Beastie Boys back in the day!

      • catslady says:

        I remember liking Eminem but I can’t understand a lot of the new ones – it could be my hearing lol.

  • Rita Wray says:

    I like all kinds of music. Sometimes I listen to Classical, sometimes rock and sometimes country. One day I’ll have Motley Crue on and the next day it could be Garth Brooks.

  • Cassondra says:

    Hi Julie!

    Love the sound of this story, and I’m thinking I’ll love these characters too. I like all kinds of music, and my iPod and the cds on my rack are a complete mashup. From Fleetwood Mac to Dire Straits to George Strait to Trisha Yearwood to AC/DC to Aaron Copeland to Big Band to jazz. I don’t enjoy death metal and I don’t like rap, but I like almost everything else. Wonderful blog, Suz!

  • So here’s my confession, I love all kinds of music.
    Grew up listening to both George Jones and the Stones. Grew to love classical music when I took piano lessons, chamber choral music and choir in latin and german. Met a guy in school who played the flugle horn and learned how cool jazz is, (Not the Jazzman, met him later.) Drifted towards more rock over the years, then everything from swing, ska and punk rock with my kids. 🙂 AND I write much better with music in my ears. It drowns everything else going on around me!! 🙂

  • Becke says:

    Love Estes park and just finished a story that has a scene there. My favorite place was Loveland. CO.
    As for music, I’m all over the map. I love rock, country, and classical. I can’t do jazz. It makes me irritable like fingernails on a chalkboard. However, I like Kenny G

    • Julie Benson says:

      Becke, I keep saying I’m going back to Colorado for a nice long vacation, but life keeps getting in the way. I’ll have to put Loveland on my places to go one day list.

  • Julie, welcome back, and congrats on the new release! My SIL and her family used to live in Estes Park. That’s beautiful country.

    Rock is my default, but I like pretty much all kinds of music. When I write I prefer quiet. If there’s street noise I have to drown out, I usually opt for classical, sometimes symphonic, something with no lyrics to distract me from the words in my head. Some movie soundtracks work well for that.

  • Kaelee says:

    Hi Julie ~ Just wanted to pop in and tell you how much I love your stories. Loved your debut with the non underwear model.

    Since my husband retired I don’t listen to much music anymore but I do love country and the oldies. I’m not too fond of Rap or Jazz but I will listen to almost anything else.

  • flchen1 says:

    How fun, Julie! Congrats on the new release! As for music, I’m happy to listen pretty widely, but if I have to concentrate, I prefer classical or something else mellow without lyrics (clearly I get distracted easily!)

  • bn100 says:

    little of everything