Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Great Western Drive: Keeping Up The Good Fight

Today is the final day of The Great Western Drive, and I hope you all had as much fun reading about our insanity (me, Kristie and Sybil) as we did putting it all together for you.

In honor of getting all of our happy cattle to market, I thought I would use this post to reflect on why we (OK, so it really is all Kristie's fault) felt the need to put together this week-long celebration of westerns. In the sake of full disclosure, I'll be brutally honest.

We're desperate women.

People, I can only go to so many Publisher Spotlights at the annual RWA conference and hear so many times, "We don't want your stinky westerns filled with their stinky western cooties" from the editors before I find myself fantasizing about stabbing someone with the complementary pen that always comes with the conference tote bag.

I'm not kidding. Really. I'm not.

(I've probably just effectively scared all editors off from the Librarian Event at conference. Sorry about that RWA!)

This year, while standing in a line at conference someone casually asked me what my favorite sub genre was. When I replied, "I love westerns." She shook her head and said, "Oh you poor dear." Not because she thought I had horrible taste. No, because it's damn, damnity, damn hard to be a western lover in today's romance market place.

So yeah, we're not above whining. And hell, we aren't even above begging. The whole purpose of this "drive?" To hopefully convince some of you who think you "don't like westerns" to give one a look. Pick one up and read it. Maybe you'll like it, and maybe you won't. But please for the love of my sanity, at least try one.

Now I'll admit it, westerns are a bit like erotic romance. There are potential mine-fields all around you. There are terrible westerns out there. Truly awful. That's why we literally beat you over the head with recommendations this week. Kristie, Sybil and I have excellent taste (no really, we do!), and we wanted to give you lots of choices on what we like and hopefully you'll find something that you like too.

If you start picking up westerns, and discover you like them? Do what I do. Buy them new. Always, always, always buy them new. Start selling your blood if you have to, just buy any western romances that sound interesting to you new, and preferably right around the release date. I've been doing this for years, and so far it hasn't made a damn bit of difference, but maybe if more people did what I'm doing? Maybe it would send a message to publishers that yes, people still like and want westerns. Please publish some already! I don't purchase every single western romance published, but the ones I do want? Yeah, I'm forking over my cold hard cash. That's how great my love is for this sub genre.

Now, in honor of me ending my whine (ha!), we have a contest!

One lucky commenter (on this post) will receive their very own copy of Jo Goodman's September release, Never Love A Lawman. Thanks to the fine folks at Kensington Publishing for offering up copies for us to give away! Squeeee!

What do you have to do to be eligible to win? Tell me something that you "got" out of The Great Western Drive? Maybe you liked one of the recommendations? Maybe you discovered a new-to-you blogger? Maybe you like to read grown women beg? (in which case, you my friend are a sick little monkey). A winner will be drawn at random Wednesday, August 26.

And while this technically is the last day of The Great Western Drive (gah, am I tired!), I think it would be helpful for me to dump some links in a "wrap-up"-style post for tomorrow. Between me, Kristie and Sybil there's been a ton of "stuff" to read through. Putting it all in one post will probably be helpful. Yes? Look for that tomorrow.


catie james said...

Feel like I'm answering an essay question for English: "What I Got Out of the Great Western Drive Week" by Catie James.

Let's see: lots of new titles added to my wishlist(s), a new book to pick up from the library (PRAIRIE MOON), two new westerns in my TBR pile (DESTINY'S CAPTIVE & TEXAS WEDDING FOR THEIR BABY'S SAKE, with every intention of purchasing the prequel THE LADY AND THE REBEL as funds become available), and a new appreciation of the importance purchasing/supporting Western historical romances right out of the gate should I wish to continue my indulgence in this superb sub-genre. Thank you Wendy, Kristie, and Sybil. xoxo

Leslie said...

Now I know I'm not alone in my love of westerns. :)

I've added a bunch of books to my TBB list and have moved up some books on the TBR list - Lorraine Heath being one that has moved to the top.

One author that I've never read and don't own is Susan Kay Law so I want to give her a try.

maered said...

You have renewed my love of the Westerns. I haven't read any Westerns in AGES, and I didn't even notice! (I was a more casual reader) Now I'm on a quest to get my hands on some great reads as fast as possible. Thanks for the recs!

Emily said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you to Kristie, Wendy and Sybil for their Drive. Westerns are my favorite and from you all I got a lot more to add to my TBR pile. Please may they come soon! I love buying Westerns new but have increasingly found the best to be used. I hope this trend changes and editors realize we are a poor, lonely group of fools!

Morning Glow from Novel Addiction said...

Well, I came to The Great Western Drive later in the week, but I had a great time writing down titles and authors to check out. I'm not a huge Western buff, but only because the only ones I've ever picked up, with an exception or two, have been kinda... well, bad. But thanks to you guys, I have some great recommendations, and a new hope that there are some good ones out there. I want to thank you guys for doing this, it really was great!
Morning Glow

azteclady said...

What I got out of the week? Recommendations, definitely.

I also got to harass the amazing Super Librarian about her not having read Maggie Osborne's Silver Lining (cue me saying, in Kristie(J)'s voice, "Wendy, Wendy, Wendy!")

That alone would have made my week, but then...

I confirmed that the aforementioned Super Librarian loves to torture her fellow readers by spreading the crushing TBR anxiety.

(thank you, m'dear!)

Summer Devon said...

and here I thought for sure deadwood would bring back the western in all sorts of genres (western horror, western romance, western paranormal...)

There was the McCarty book on romfail last night. Does that count as something I got from the western round up?

book recs--got those! and those are lovely.

Oh bugger, I'm signed in as Summer Devon and I'm too lazy to sign out and in again.


Kati said...

I've so enjoyed watching the three of you champion romance westerns. Congrats on highlighting a genre which many readers discount out of hand. It's been a truly fun and remarkable week!

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

Wendy, since you are the queen of everything historicals, what would be the difference between Western Romance and a Americana Romance? I just recommended Courting Miss Hattie by Pamela Morsi and that has people working on ranches in the mid west but it isn't considered a western.

Can a Western and Americana romance be the same thing?

I am always up for a contest! :D

WK said...

Well as this is the first I've heard of this "Great Western Drive" I had to go look through the posts to see what it's about. I most certainly got some great recommends out of it.

I'd love to win this book!!!

I'm also sending my mom this way. She adores Westerns and as you say they are hard to find. But since she just recently started reading fiction again, she's had tons of older titles to read, plus she reads Christian Fiction.

Thanks for doing this and yes a post with all the links etc would be great. As well as a list that maybe I could print out with all the titles.


Wendy said...

Kate R: LOL - I knew it was you, so no worries!

Katie(babs): I don't have a good answer for this, as for me it comes down to "feel" and plot. It's sort of like the old argument of how do you know something is porn? "I know it when I see it." Given the subject matter, I do think Courting Miss Hattie can be seen as a western. I also think Pamela Clare's Ride The Fire can be considered a western, even though it's technically a colonial. People tend to forget that the "wild west" used to be east of the Mississippi - it just boils down to what year we're talking about.

One of my favorite books is Hearts by Stef Ann Holm - and while that one takes place in Montana, it struck me more as "Americana." All because of the plot and "feel" of the story.

So um yeah - that's my deep, insightful non-answer. I know it when I read it.

joder said...

I appreciated the recommendations of new-to me authors. I normally read Jodi Thomas, Lorraine Heath and Stacey Kayne among others. But you gave me some new authors to look for, so thank you for that.

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

Kristie (J) said...

Wendy *sniff* I'm so proud of you!!! You can beg like nobody's business!!

Keira Soleore said...

I came to westerns relatively late in my romance reading. Thanks to the Banditas, I was introduced to Jodi Thomas and Stacey Kane. Since then, I've branched out and tried to read as much as I can lay my hands on: Tracy Garrett, Linda Lael Miller, Patricia Potter, etc. This July at RWA I met Janette Kenny and have been reading through her backlist.

You guys have introduced me to: Hope's Captive by Kate Lyon and Alaskan Renegade by Kate Bridges.

I can beg very prettily, too. Please, please, pretty please, I'd like a copy of the Goodman. I adore Goodman and a western by her? Pure gilded leather!

Mari said...

I like westerns, I always have. I'm sure that the pendulum will swing back eventually and the authors I love will start picking up their pens (or laptops or whatever) and throw us a bone every so often! Oh how I miss Elizabeth Lowell's westerns...sigh

Estella said...

I have always loved westerns and I got a lot of new titles to add to my TBR pile.

Barbara said...

Count me in, Wendy! You ladies did a great job with this :)

Amy said...

What did I learn? That I actually have a lot of the books that y'all recommended already in my TBR. I'm just waiting for the tractor to come along and help me unearth them...heh.

I used to enjoy Shirl Henke's westerns, and actually have copies of her two latest releases, both westerns/Indian romances.

Amy said...

Oh, and props to Katiebabs for Courting Miss Hattie -- LOVED that book!

Did y'all mention the Rock Creek Six series? Which I have all of (courtesy of my great UBS and Wendy) and have YET to start them...*sigh*

Wendy said...

Amy: Rock Creek Six got mentioned in the comments over at TGTBTU (don't ask me what post now, cuz darn if I can remember!). I didn't feature that series because I was trying to concentrate on books that I actually did reviews for. The only RCS book I have a review online for is Rico - which is back from my TRR days. The rest of that series? Yeah, I read them back-to-back pre-blogging days. So, no reviews :( I really need to reread them and do proper reviews - cuz dang, I love the last 3 books in that series: Jed, Nate, and Cash.

For those of you who have no idea what we're talking about - the Rock Creek Six series was written by Linda Devin and Lori Handeland.

CathyR said...

Well, thanks to your enthusiasm, I'm up for trying a western again for the first time in...20 years? Hopefully, I'll win one ;>

BookJunkee00 said...

I Loved This Great Western Drive Week added some new authors of Westerns to my list and Looking forward to all the new releases.

cheryl c said...

You didn't have to talk me into reading historical westerns because I am already a lover of the genre. It was fun to share the enthusiasm for westerns, and I found out about some new and old westerns that I want to read. Thanks for this week. It was fun!

SandyH said...

I have to admit I haven't read a western in awhile but you have piqued my interest. I am looking for some of your recommendation. The whole week of western themed blogs was a refreshing change from paranormals.

Lori said...

Thanks for doing this week! What I got was a ton of older books to go hunt down. Totally psyched about that. All the recs from authors' way back lists (kinda like the way back machine *g*) that I hadn't heard of, but will definitely be hunting down (mostly from Kristie, actually, cause you've already pimped all yours to me, LOL). Oh, and I should have told you that the Albright that you told me nobody else liked that I took from our last lunch? Rebel & the Lady? Yup, liked it.

Wendy said...

Lori: I always knew you had most excellent taste ;-)

Tania said...

I found a bunch of new authors I'd like to try out, which is nice becuase there is a ton of stuff out there and I don't want to pick a dud :)

Nikki said...

Besides the fact that I like to see grown women beg, I can't wait to get my hands on Jo Goodman's new book. I have A Reason to Live in my TBR, with several others in line on the to-be-bought list. Thanks, grown women, for the recs.

Virginia said...

I have loved the Great Western Drive although I just came upon it a few days ago. I would love to have Jo's book because I know it will be a great read. I love reading my some westerns.


M. said...

OK. I'll admit upon risk of flying tomatoes and Stetsons (see! I can dredge up some jargon if I have to!) that I am one of those readers who have failed to see the charm of this subgenre. I think my grand total of experience is one Christine Monson book (whose title escapes me, and which was not one of my favorite stories of hers) and one Kate Bridges book (with a Mountie, whose title also escapes me) which I enjoyed, but which somehow didn't make me rush out saying 'Westerns! I must have more NOW!'. So I guess it's not so much that I dislike them, and more that I for some reason never felt attracted enough to read more.

But I am stand ready to be educated, if whopping great stories can be recommended. As indeed, they seem to have been for the past few days.

JenB said...

I neeeeeed this Jo Goodman book!!!

I hunted down a copy of The Horseman by Jillian Hart because of this event. I can't wait to read it!

Maureen said...

Thank you for your recommendations, some of which I had never heard of and I am now excieted that Kate Lyon has a new book coming out this year which I hadn't realized. After reading your posts I am definitely going to pull some westerns out of the TBR pile.

LoriK said...

What I got out of the Great Western Drive: two books added to my TBR that I would otherwise have totally ignored:

Hope's Captive: I would never have picked up that cover

Seduction of Samantha Kincade: I usually can't run away from chick in pants stories fast enough

RachieG said...

Things I got from the WEstern Drive....I have seen a ton of new authors I would like to try AND I was able to gush over the authors I enjoyed and try to talk other people into trying them. :)

So much fun this past week, good job everyone!! :)

rachie2004 @ yahoo (dot) com

Lyoness2009 said...

I had a GREAT week. It was nice to see so many new authors and I had fun reading what others recommended and enjoyed in this genre.

I'm a fan and am glad westerns haven't fallen to the wayside!

lyoness2009 AT hot mail *dot* CoM

Lisa said...

What have I gotten: I've been reminded that I used to love Westerns as well. I held onto Jenny Jones for years and years. I used to love E Lowell's Only series. Somewhere along the way I stopped reading them, but thanks for reminding me.

Karen W. said...

What I got out of the "Great Western Drive"

Knowledge that I'm not alone in my love of westerns

Reminders of some wonderful books I've loved

Titles of a few books I haven't read yet & want to find

Joy in spreading the western love far & wide :)

Karen W. said...

P.S. The begging was kind of fun too. ;-)

Laurie said...

The desire to read several westerns!
I'm always willing to try new authors and Jo Goodman would be one!!
I'm going to search back for any westerns buried in my TBR pile.

Rosie Hong said...

Came to westerns week a little late, but still am getting something out of it! I absolutely adore Maggie Osborne with her women who actually go out and DO stuff, so for a while I was on a westerns kick, but then I ran out of good westerns to read. I will definitely try some Cheryl St. John and Patricia Potter. Maybe they will get me back into westerns. I'd also love a copy of Goodman's To Love a Lawman. :D I was on a major Jo Goodman kick for a while too, and at one point owned almost every book she wrote.

lesleen said...

What I got out of your posts (and others) is that I still love western historicals! I moved into contemporary and paranormal when it seemed that all the good historicals were gone. Now it seems that they are just like gold dust and you have to look to find them! Thank you so much Wendy, I now have more to add to my TBR pile!!!

Wanda said...

What I "got" out of The Great Western Drive was a renewed interest in reading Westerns. I would love to be entered in your draw. Thanks.
wandanamgreb (at) gmail (dot) com