Tracy Garrett returns to the Lair

T_Garrett_2012_ smallBanditas and Bandit Buddies pull up a barstool and get comfortable. Today I’m having one of my dearest friends and fellow lover of cowboy romances back in the Lair today. It’s been far too long since Tracy Garrett visited. And today she’s brought along some western historical romances to chat about. Welcome, Tracy!!

“Coming Home”

I am thrilled to be back with the Bandits! It feels like its been years—oh, wait, it has been years. Too many! lol But I have two short stories out in two anthologies from a brand new publisher, and Suzanne (hello, my friend!) invited me to come back for a visit.

For those of you who don’t know me, I’ve been writing for more than 15 years and have published two novels. Both Touch of Texas (2007) and Touched by Love (2008) are western historical romances.

Though I love what I do, I didn’t grow up expecting to be a writer. I’m a classically trained musician (flute and voice) and I still perform and conduct regularly. But I’ve read romance for as long as I can remembers, and, when a hard-headed cowboy started knocking on my creative mind—usually at night—I decided to write down his story. Then the next one showed up. And the next… The rest, as the saying goes, is history.

I’m not complaining. I don’t mind a bunch of tall, sexy cowboys propping their boots on my desk. Who would? When Hearts and Spurs MedPrairie Rose Publications came knocking, looking for authors who love to write western historical romances, I knew it was the place for me!

HEARTS AND SPURS is the second anthology from PRP, with nine short stories in it, just in time for Valentine’s Day. My story is COMING HOME.

Sometimes it takes two to make dreams come true.
When a man who believes he’ll never have a home and family…
Former U.S. Marshal Jericho Hawken should have been shepherding a wagon train to new territory, but he unwillingly left them vulnerable to a vicious raider. The murder of the settlers he was supposed to be guarding is the hardest thing he’s ever had to face…until he meets the sister of one of the settlers.

…meets a woman who has lost everything…
Instead of a joyous reunion with her brother, Maryland Henry has come to River’s Bend to take responsibility for her three orphaned nieces. Fired from her teaching position and with no other family on whom to rely, Mary believes Jericho Hawken is responsible for all her woes. Or is he what she’s been searching for all along?

It’ll take a lot of forgiveness and a few fireworks to realize that together their dreams can come true.

Wishing for a Cowboy WebMy first short story with Prairie Rose Publications, HER CHRISTMAS WISH, was released in December, 2013, as part of the Christmas anthology WISHING FOR A COWBOY. The book includes eight wonderful western historical romances and, as a bonus, eight recipes from those stories!

I love writing westerns and following characters to their “happy ever after.” Adding history to the mix just makes it that much better.

So let’s chat a bit. Who’s your favorite “old west” hero of all time?

In celebration of being back with the Bandits, I’m giving away one autographed copy of each of the anthologies to two winners. [First name chosen gets to pick.]

Wow, y’all, that’s like getting 8 or 9 books in one!!



  • Hey, am I first? I’ve never had the rooster as a guest. Of course, as a guest myself, that probably isn’t how it’s done. Ah, well. Next time.

  • Tracy, welcome back! It’s been too long. Love the sound of the new stories. Congratulations!

    Ooh, fave western heroes? Am I allowed to have fictional ones? I think Montgomery Clift plays Mathew Garth in Red River absolutely wonderfully. He’s brave and honorable – one of those quiet, courageous men with a backbone of steel. Such a great character.

  • flchen1 says:

    Ah, Tracy, I recall your earlier visits! And I love the sounds of these new anthologies–I’m definitely fond of stories set in the Old West! I’m not sure I have one favorite hero… I did love Stacey Kayne’s Wild trilogy though–some memorable heroes in those 🙂 And John Wayne brought some great ones to life in the movies…

  • Marcy Shuler says:

    John Wayne was the king of westerns, wasn’t he? But I love humor and was a big fan of F-Troop. LOL

    • Tracy Garrett says:

      Hi, Marcy! F-Troop was hysterical. I loved that show. I need to see if some of those old episodes are available anywhere. Thanks for the memory.

    • OMG, Marcy!!!

      I haven’t thought of F-troop in years, but I loved that show. Know my favorite character? Forrest Tucker’s!

  • Mary Preston says:

    I’m a John Wayne fan from way back. Saturday afternoons there was always a movie on television. More often then not a western. They may not have been PC, but they were pure entertainment.

  • Helen says:

    Hi Tracy

    I do love a good western and have read amny in the past Leigh Greenwood’s and there was someone else Anna someone who have both done some great westerns I must look out for these two 🙂

    I too am a big John Wayne fan from way back but one of my all time favourite westerns is Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid 🙂

    Have Fun

    • Tracy Garrett says:

      Another excellent movie, Helen. Paul Newman’s eyes just mesmerize.

      Yesterday I blogged at Petticoats and Pistols (.com) about race cars and Patrick “Dr. Dreamy” Dempsey–he owns a race team and is a driver. Paul Newman was also a race car driver and team owner. And man, could he lay the rubber on the track.

    • Hey Helen!

      One of my favorite western movies is Quiggly Down Under! I mean, Australian outback, Tom Selleck. What’s not to like?

  • Amy Conley says:

    My favorite western/histoical was CENNTENIAL with so many great actors, Bruce Boxletner being my favorite.

  • Shannon says:

    I’m afraid I just dipped my toe outside of English Historical Romance (Regency, Georgian, Cromwellian ear) to read some contemporaries, light fantasy, and hard historical books. I did read my Dad’s Zane Grey series. It may be time for me to pick up a Western. I’ll be looking at your books or some of the great suggestions likely to follow. Oh my TBR pile!

    • Tracy Garrett says:

      Shannon, welcome to the world of cowboys! I’m a big English-set romance fan (Sarah MacLean, Lorraine Heath), but cowboys have always been my favs. And Zane Grey is my hero! I hope you give us a try.

    • Hey Shannon,

      If you’re looking to overload the Kindle you need to read the anthologies with Tracy’s books in them. You can also read some great westerns by Lorraine Heath (they’re re-releasing her early works set in Texas) and Jodi Thomas. Tracy, Lorraine and Jodi are among my favorite western writers!

  • Addison Fox says:


    What a fun post! And there’s nothing like a good, strong Western hero. My mom’s gotten me hooked on old episodes of “The Virginian.” He was such a good, strong character – even if he did need a name! 🙂


    • Tracy Garrett says:

      Hello, Addison! *waving* — Addison Fox is my dear friend and writes amazing stories!

      Why didn’t The Virginian have a name, I wonder? I loved his craggy face and strong chin–James Drury. Sigh…

    • Okay, Loved The Virginian. My favorite character though was Trampass played by Doug McClure. Sigh

  • Deb says:

    Hi, Tracy! I haven’t read a western historical romance in awhile and it looks like I’ll be doing so. 🙂 Congrats on your books!

    When I read your question, the first thing that popped into my mind was a real old west hero. Buffalo Bill Cody came to mind as a Pony Express rider and later with his Wild West Show. (I teach Iowa History, and he was born here, so I talk about him.) But, another hero I have to mention is a heroine….Annie Oakley. Her husband Frank must have loved her very much…since she could shoot a cigarette out of his mouth! I love that she was a trick rider and a sharpshooter. You go, girl!

    As for movie heroes….John Wayne, hands down!

    Thanks for being here today!

    • Tracy Garrett says:

      Thank you, Deb! You made me smile.

      Bill Cody was a wonderful hero. I believe he tried to bring a bit of the true west to people who’d never know it or experience it otherwise.

      And Annie–that is one trusting man to let her shoot “at” him. Of course, she was the best in the world.

      • Deb says:

        I CANNOT believe I forgot to tell you this….! But, John Wayne was born in Iowa and he attended kindergarten and first grade in the school where I teach. (Brooklyn, Iowa) His father ran the drug store here in town, and John’s school photos are in our little town’s museum.

  • Hi Tracy, Saw this announcement on the ORA loop (btw, the link didn’t work – had to surf)

    I’m also a short story writer, as well as a novel writer. Sounds like you’ve been busy. I’m curious, which do you prefer? The short story or the novel writing? Which takes over more when you’re creating something?

  • Tracy Garrett says:

    Good morning, flchen1! It’s great to see you again.
    John Wayne, to me, is the ultimate. And Stacy writes amazing cowboys, doesn’t she?

  • Tracy Garrett says:

    Hi, Shirley. Sorry about the link but I’m glad you persevered. Welcome to The Lair!

    I was surprised to find how much I enjoy writing short. Those who know me (Suz!) know I write long. Keeping a story to that 100k word mark can be an editing challenge at times. So writing a tenth of that and still tell the whole story was great fun–and liberating.

    I don’t know that I prefer one or the other. Writing longer lets me develop the characters, add in details, tell sub plots that really build the story as a whole. But writing short lets me put two people under a microscope and really get to the heart of their story.

  • Tracy Garrett says:

    I’m going to have to rush off to the day job, but I’m sneaking my iPad in with me. 😀 I’ll keep checking in.

  • Lisa Wells says:

    Hi Tracy,

    Congrats on your new books. My favorite western hero – Matt Dillon. He was a tall drink of yuminess.

    • Lisa, you are so right!!

      Loved watching Matt Dillon stride down the streets of Dodge City. Always wanted him to grab Miss Kitty and kiss the snot right out of her!!

      • Tracy Garrett says:

        Yes! That’s exactly what I’m talking about. Unrequited love–or lust–whatever. Why didn’t he EVER kiss Miss Kitty?!

        • Shannon says:

          The story that they told us at journalism school was that “Standards and Practices” at that time did not allow kisses between unmarried people–unless they were courting couples OR the woman was clearly immoral. Don’t know if that’s true.

  • Tracy Garrett says:

    Woohoo! Boss just declared a snow day! I’m back in my fuzzy pants and in the lair. 😀

  • Tracy Garrett says:

    Hey, Lisa! Thanks for the congrats.

    Matt Dillon is still yummy in my book. But talk about commitment issues. lol

  • Oh, I your stories sound great! And the anthologies look wonderful. You know how much I love a good western. 😛
    Congrats, Tracy!

  • may says:

    Robert and Paul In Butch Cassidy abd the sun dance kid. Love that movie!

  • Laurie G says:

    Favorite hero is Marshall Matt Dillon ( James Arness) from the TV show. He was honest and caring!

  • Tracy Garrett says:

    Thinking about Chester from Gunsmoke made we wonder–Would our favorite heroes be our favorites without their trusty sidekicks? Matt & Chester; Lone Ranger & Tonto; Rooster Cogburn & Eula Goodnight?

  • Okay, Tracy, time for me to tell you my favorite westerns/cowboys.

    I’m a Louis L’Amour fan from way, way back. Discovered his books almost the same time I discovered romance novels.

    So naturally, I loved The Sackets movie. (I mean come on, Tom Selleck and Sam Elliott?)

    But you know my favorite book by him? Ride The River. It’s the story about a girl from Tennessee, Echo Sackett back in the early days of American settlement. Been a while since I read it, but I think it was early 1800’s. LOVED that story!

  • bn100 says:

    Don’t have a fav

  • Lorraine Heath says:

    Hey, Tracy! Wonderful to see stories from you available again. You’re an auto read for me.

    My favorite western hero–any tortured cowboy from Patricia Potter’s early westerns.

  • Tom Selleck in the one where he went to Australia and met up with the wicked station owner and the crazy woman. Can’t remember the title of the movie. It was his character name. Quigley Down Under. My husband and I watched that every time it came on the TV.
    Sam Elliot- that voice. Loved the movie where he was picking up notes from tumbleweeds. Don’t remember the name of that one either.
    How about Randolph Scott?
    Didn’t we have such good books and movies.
    We luckily still have great books. Like Tracy’s. Nice blog chat today.

    • Tracy Garrett says:

      Aw, Janet. Thanks! I have to admit–I’d forgotten all about Sam Elliott until “The Golden Compass.” He plays such a great, off-the-wall western hero in that movie.

    • Janet that movie with Sam Elliott picking notes off of tumbleweeds? That was titled CONAGHER, another Louis L’Amour book turned movie. Very good western.

  • catslady says:

    Oh, there are so many – how about Clint Eastwood or James Garner as Maverick.

  • Hi Tracy. Glad you have a Snow Day. Love the sound of your new story. I read Westerns ages ago, beginning when my uncle married and gave me all his old paperbacks. I’m a fan of nearly all of Luke Short’s stories –talk about writing economically, he sure could. I attribute that to his having been a newspaperman before a fiction writer. I really got back into historical Westerns with your first two, lady, which I still have! I’m so happy that you’ve got these two new stories out. Jennifer Jake’s hero Rafe is a keeper, too. 🙂 But for film (or TV) cowboys, I recently I saw an old Western on TV and was reminded how much I liked Shane, with Alan Ladd. Although Montgomery Cliff and James Steward run a tie for second 🙂 (catslady–James Garner was the best Maverick!)

    • Tracy Garrett says:

      Hi, Barb! I’m so glad “Touch of Texas” & “Touched By Love” were able to bring you back to the light. lol

      I hadn’t thought about Jimmy Stewart. Excellent!

    • Hey Barbara!

      So glad Tracy’s first books made you love westerns again!

      Loved Jimmy Stewart in How The West Was One and Who Shot Liberty Valance!

  • pjpuppymom says:

    Hi Tracy! So great to have you back here and with new stories. You know I love me a good western!

    I’m a big John Wayne fan. Also loved Newman and Redford in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. That movie came out when I was in college and I had a life-size poster of Robert Redford as Sundance on the ceiling over my dorm room bunk. Lots of lovely dreams that year! lol

    I love Jo Goodman’s western heroes. Also Kaki Warner’s. And I still have a soft spot for your Jaret Walker.

    • Tracy Garrett says:

      PJ, thank you. So glad Jaret has a place in your heart. 😀

      I really like Kaki’s heroes, too.

    • Hey PJ!

      Wasn’t it amazing how Paul and Robert looked so sexy in dusty cowboy clothes? Sure didn’t dim their smiles at all!

      And now Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head is floating around in my head!

  • Great interview, Tracy. Who doesn’t love a sexy cowboy?

  • Okay, Here’s another movie cowboy I Loved to watch….

    Gary Cooper!

  • Tracy Garrett says:

    Alan Ladd as Shane.

  • Tracy, welcome back, and congrats on your new releases! I grew up watching westerns and always have a soft spot for cowboys.

    Gary Cooper’s stoic marshall in the classic High Noon is a favorite. So is Leigh Greenwood’s Jake from his Cowboys series. Jake owns a ranch and takes in orphans, raising them as his own, to run it. In Greenwood’s Seven Brides, there’s Hen, also a marshall, a loner, and still angry over his injuries in the Civil War. I think his bride is Daisy, ut I’m not sure.

    In more a modern setting, I’d pick Foster, the head wrangler at Jesse Hayworth’s Mustang Ridge ranch. He’s kind and strong and brave and into science fiction. *g*

    • Tracy Garrett says:

      Thanks, Nancy. Its really good to be back. I need to go back and read Leigh Greenwood’s stories again.

  • Becke Turner says:

    Congrats on the release of sexy cowboys. I’m with you all the way. Nothing better than a man that can sit a horse!

    I grew up sitting by Grandpa in the big chair watching westerns.

    Clark Gable/Jane Russell- The Tall Man
    Jimmy Stewart
    John Wayne
    Montgomery Cliff
    Paul Newman and Robert Redford
    Clint Eastwood- dollar movies

    All can park their boots under my bed!

  • Tracy Garrett says:

    I’ve had such FUN being back with all of you today. Suz, thanks for the invitation!

    If you have some time this Saturday, February 8, the authors of Prairie Rose Publications are hosting a Valentine’s Fandango! Here’s the link:

    Stop by and chat with the authors of our anthologies!