September 18th, 2019
Home | Log in!

On Top Shelf
Fresh Pick

Reviewer Application

New Books This Week

Latest Articles

Slideshow image

Since your web browser does not support JavaScript, here is a non-JavaScript version of the image slideshow:

slideshow image
A deadly poisoning, a stolen painting and a criminal mastermind challenge the skills of Sharpe and Donovan

slideshow image
Opposites attract in this gilded age historical romance when a young American suffragette eschews marriage until a handsome detective is hired to protect her from a dangerous stalker.

slideshow image
The CDC’s Outbreak Task Force director is on the hunt for a killer–she doesn't need the distraction of her bodyguard!

slideshow image
When missing turns to murdered, one woman's search for answers will take her to a place she never wanted to go…

slideshow image
Where do you go when you're at the end of your rope?

slideshow image
The men of BOLO Consultants uncover a dangerous enemy in the City of Sin.

Sumptious September books for you

Barnes & Noble

Fresh Fiction Blog
Get to Know Your Favorite Authors

Joanne Kennedy | How Tough is "Cowboy Tough?"

Cowboy Tough
Joanne Kennedy




Barnes & Noble

Powell's Books



He's tough when he has to be and tender when it counts

February 2013
On Sale: February 1, 2013
384 pages
ISBN: 1402265522
EAN: 9781402265525
Kindle: B009RXJHIM
Paperback / e-Book
Add to Wish List

Also by Joanne Kennedy:
Cowboy Fever, January 2020
Add to review list
Cowboy Summer, July 2019
Cowboy Trouble, April 2019
How To Wrangle A Cowboy, February 2016


If you look at the cover of my new book, you might think being "Cowboy Tough" was all about muscles. Or you might think it meant sticking to the back of a bucking horse for eight seconds.

But being "cowboy tough" means something quite different here in the West. It's not about physical strength; it's about the strength of your mind and your heart. It's about dedication, determination, and fighting against the odds. I'll give you a few examples.

If you've ever watched steer wrestling, you know it's one of the most physically challenging events in rodeo. The contestant bursts out of a chute on horseback and chases a grown steer down the arena, then leaps from his horse onto the back of the steer, using momentum and skill to halt the steer's run and bring the animal to the ground. You couldn't possibly pay me enough money to even try to do that—but in February, World Champion Stan Williamson showed the crowds at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo that you're never too old to compete. Williamson won his first buckle in 1979, his second in '82, but at 65 years of age, he still managed to halt his steer in under four heart-stopping seconds, putting him near the top of the competition.

Joyce Sterkel is no ordinary rancher, and The Ranch for Kids in Eureka, Montana is no ordinary ranch. After working as a midwife in Russia, Sterkel adopted several children from Russian orphanages. Her success with these troubled children prompted other adoptive parents to ask for her help, so she started The Ranch for Kids, where children suffering from attachment disorder, fetal alcohol syndrome, and behavioral issues learn cooperation and basic life skills. These aren't just rebellious teenagers or troubled children; these are kids whose broken pasts make them prone to violent or even criminal behavior.

Recently Sterkel has had to fight some big battles with the state of Montana and even with Russian officials, but the battles she fights every day to win the hearts and minds of these children make her as tough as any cowboy in my book.

Another example of what it means to be "Cowboy Tough" is champion bareback rider Bobby Mote. In 2011, he was headed for a possible fifth gold buckle in bareback riding at the National Finals rodeo when his mount at a rodeo slammed him against the chute. Hard. He rode through the pain, scoring a respectable 76. The pain increased as the day wore into night, but he refused treatment, electing to fly to Seattle with his traveling pals, a group of friends so tightly knit they're known as "The Pride."

As it turned out, Mote had a broken pelvis and a bunch of broken ribs. But he knew that if he went for treatment, his friends would stand by him and miss their chance to score at the upcoming rodeo. So, as cowboys have done for generations, he toughed it out—not for himself, but for the sake of his friends.

So there are a few different examples of what "Cowboy Tough" really means. It's not about roping and riding; it's about making sacrifices for the people you love, doing a hard job and doing it right, and taking care of those who need you—your land, your animals, and your children. It's about being tough enough to hold onto the traditions that built the West, and keeping them alive for coming generations.

No wonder we love those cowboys.


She's hardly a cowgirl...

Cat Crendall left a successful advertising job in New York to teach art workshops in the wild west.  The Boyd Ranch is hardly her dream destination, but if the outing's a success, the company will send her to more exotic locations.

But once a cowboy...

Mack Boyd was in the middle of the best bronc-riding season of his life when his mother asked for help with an artists' retreat at the ranch.  Mack might be able to ride a wild stallion to a standstill but he can't say no to his family.

Cat and Mack are complete opposites...but when the ranch is threatened financially, can they set aside their differences and work together?


Joanne Kennedy's lifelong fascination with Wyoming's unique blend of past and present inspires her to write contemporary Western romances with traditional ranch settings. In 2010 she was nominated for a RITA award for One Fine Cowboy. At various times, Joanne has dabbled in horse training, chicken farming, and bridezilla wrangling at a department store wedding registry. Her fascination with literature led to careers in bookselling and writing. She lives with two dogs and a retired fighter pilot in Cheyenne, Wyoming. For more information, please visit and on Facebook.

To Purchase COWBOY TOUGH | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book-a-Million | IndieBound | Chapters/Indigo | Discover a New Love | Sourcebooks




40 comments posted.

Re: Joanne Kennedy | How Tough is "Cowboy Tough?"

Anyone can work together if it means something good is going to come out
in the end and something wonderful happens
(Ava Curtis 11:09am February 28, 2013)

Sounds like my kind of book, I'd love to read it.
(Wilma Frana 11:14am February 28, 2013)

Definitely a book I would enjoy... thanks for sharing your post with us!
(Colleen Conklin 11:40am February 28, 2013)

Hi, Joanne! You are a new author for me. Your book sounds very good, and I loved your blog.
(Cathy Phillips 11:41am February 28, 2013)

Joanne, sounds like you write a book that I'd like to read.
(Mary Hay 11:47am February 28, 2013)

Sounds like a good book. Congrats.
(Vicki Hancock 11:56am February 28, 2013)

Luckily I have never had to be as tough as the examples in your blog but I hope that if it ever happened I would be able to measure up. This sounds like a great book.
(Kathleen Yohanna 1:19pm February 28, 2013)

I love your definition of "cowboy tough" - I think a lot of those values live today in families, to find them combined with integrity is a treasure not to ever be let go of.
(Carla Carlson 2:29pm February 28, 2013)

The book sounds great. I love cowboys.
(Pam Howell 2:34pm February 28, 2013)

Thanks, everyone, for stopping by, and thanks to Fresh Fiction for letting me talk about my favorite subject: cowboys! Kathleen, you're right - we never know if we'll measure up until something happens, but I think most of us would be surprised at just how "tough" we are deep down inside.
(Joanne Kennedy 3:55pm February 28, 2013)

I love everything about your book, the plot, the setting, the characters, the character about each character, and where I believe the plot will be heading. This is the perfect type of book to knock of "Winters' Chill." I believe that a Cowboy has one of the hardest jobs out there today, and my heart goes out to them. Please tell your Husband that I said "Thank you for your service."
(Peggy Roberson 3:55pm February 28, 2013)

ob2xlooks good
(Kent Cook 4:25pm February 28, 2013)

love cowboy books!! Something about a man and a horse...
(Michelle Schafer 4:56pm February 28, 2013)

Bobby Mote really went through a lot of pain toughing it out for his buddies (that's really being "cowboy tough"). Enjoy reading about cowboys and would love reading your book which sounds great!
(Rich Cook 5:31pm February 28, 2013)

Sounds like a great book :)
(Aimee Robison 6:24pm February 28, 2013)

Sounds like a great read!!
Thanks for the chance to win!
(Natasha Donohoo 6:31pm February 28, 2013)

My all-time favorite genre to read are Cowboy books. I just got two of your books to read from our library. I also found one at one of our thrift stores. Anything cowboy with rodeos, horses, ranches, etc., I'm there! Can't wait to read these and would love to win this latest book, Cowboy Tough so-o very much!!
(Linda Luinstra 6:40pm February 28, 2013)

Yes, being a cowgirl and farm girl from Kansas. I would
really love to win COWBOY TOUGH. What a handsome cowboy on
the cover. A real hunk.... and what lady could resist falling
for a handsome man like that. Thanks for the great contest
and God Bless Everyone! Cecilia CECE
(Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez 7:57pm February 28, 2013)

Sounds like a book I'd like to read!
(Cheryl McEwen 8:53pm February 28, 2013)

Cowboy Tough sounds like a fantastic read!
(Elizabeth Hyatt 9:04pm February 28, 2013)

Cowboys make me stand at attention and whistle, but mine sounds more like a tea kettle than a real whistle.
(Alyson Widen 9:44pm February 28, 2013)

How tough is "Cowboy Tough"? There are no manuals or books that you can read in order to learn to be "Cowboy Tough". "Cowboy Tough" can't be bought or ordered from Amazon. A person either has "IT" or not!
(Joanne Hicks 10:27pm February 28, 2013)

love a cowboy!!
(Pamela Dolen 11:12pm February 28, 2013)

Cowboy Tough is tough. After all, cowboys have to braved the element during the cattle run, sleep out in the open, rain or shine. They have to do back-breaking works. Yes, they do need to be tough.
(Kai Wong 11:18pm February 28, 2013)

sounds like i book i would really enjoy...thanks for the blog
(Kimberly Hoefs 11:57pm February 28, 2013)

Cowboy tough sounds a lot like Aussie True Grit and the ANZAC spirit!
(Chris Coulson 12:31pm March 1, 2013)

Sounds like a great read. I love cowboys. Thanks for a chance to win.
(Linda Hall 12:34pm March 1, 2013)

I've enjoyed your other books. I hope to get to read this one soon.
(Laura Gullickson 1:13am March 1, 2013)

another interesting read to help get through the winter.
(Lisa Fitzgibbons 6:05am March 1, 2013)

A broken pelvis? how could he walk? I know a man who had a colt rear up and fall over on him, crushing him against the concrete yard. He broke his pelvis in three places. He was in intensive care for two weeks.
Sorry, but that guy is not tough, he's stupid.
(Clare O'Beara 7:08am March 1, 2013)

you have the best book covers, always brings a big smile, so I know I am going to enjoy the story !!! thanks
(Rosemary Foley 8:29am March 1, 2013)

Sounds like another keeper.
(Danny BrĂĽggemann 10:08am March 1, 2013)

Love a cowboy themed book. This sounds like a great story - so best of luck with it. And thanks for the chance to win a copy.
(Nancy Reynolds 12:07pm March 1, 2013)

physical strength will only get you so far - emotional and
mental strength will help you all your life
(Diane Sallans 12:23pm March 1, 2013)

Love cowboy themed books and yours are always so good!
(Nancy Wolfe 12:29pm March 1, 2013)

Would love to read this book
(Bonnie Capuano 1:11pm March 1, 2013)

Love cowboys!!
(Kathy Sullivan 3:33pm March 1, 2013)

Great sounding book, thank you for the chance to win it.
(Holly Vanderhule 5:20pm March 1, 2013)

(Shelley Summers 6:51pm March 1, 2013)

Cowboys are rather special!!
(Mary Preston 7:24pm March 1, 2013)

Registered users may leave comments.
Log in or register now!


© 2003-2019  all rights reserved Privacy Policy