Friday, October 26, 2012

Romance in The Wild West: Meet Cynthia Woolf

Today, it’s great to have Cynthia Woolf here to tell us about her wonderful western romances and give us a sneak peak at her best selling book, Tame A Wild Bride.

Thank you Katheryn for having me today.  I’m going to talk about where the ideas for some of my books came from.

I have a western series of books, set in Creede, Colorado.  This is a real town and has been around since the late 1800’s.  I set my books here on a ranch that is still in existence today, though it is a dude ranch now not a working ranch.  My parents met on this ranch in the early 1940’s.  It was still a real working ranch then as well as a ‘dude’ ranch. 

My mother came up from Texas with a young boy she was caring for.  She was called a nursemaid.  Now we would call her a nanny.  He had asthma and could breathe better at the higher altitudes.  Probably because the air was drier and cleaner.  Less dust.  Anyway, she and the boy stayed for the summer.

During that time, Mom met Dad.  When she went back to Texas, they corresponded by mail for about six months before my dad finally got up the nerve to ask her to marry him.  When he did, she immediately said yes and took the next bus up to Alamosa, Colorado.  This was the closet town with bus service.  My uncle and my dad went and picked her up.  She stayed overnight with another uncle and his wife, then the next day Mom and Dad drove to Taos, New Mexico and got married.  They didn’t need a blood test in New Mexico like they did in Colorado, so there was no waiting time.  I guess they were anxious to get married.

My first book Tame A Wild Heart was inspired by my parents' love story.  I decided I had to place my book on that ranch.  That’s the only similarity to their love story.

My third book in the series, Tame A Wild Bride, is a mail order bride story and was inspired by the correspondence that they did before they were married.  In a way, Mom was a mail order bride.  But unlike real mail order brides of the 1800’s she and Dad did know each other before they started corresponding.

My readers seem to enjoy my western stories.  I hope your readers do too.

Buy Links

Tame A Wild Heart -

Tame A Wild Wind -

Tame A Wild Bride -

About the author

Cynthia Woolf was born in Denver, Colorado and raised in the mountains west of Golden.  She spent her early years running wild around the mountain side with her friends.

Their closest neighbor was one quarter of a mile away, so her little brother was her playmate and her best friend.  That fierce friendship lasted until his death in 2006.

Cynthia was and is an avid reader.  Her mother was a librarian and brought new books home each week.  This is where young Cynthia first got the storytelling bug.  She wrote her first story at the age of ten.  A romance about a little boy she liked at the time.

She worked her way through college and went to work full time straight after graduation and there was little time to write.  Then in 1990 she and two friends started a round robin writing a story about pirates.  She found that she missed the writing and kept on with other stories.  In 1992 she joined Colorado Romance Writers and Romance Writers of America.  Unfortunately, the loss of her job demanded the she not renew her memberships and her writing stagnated for many years.

In 2001, she saw an ad in the paper for a writers conference being put on by CRW and decided she'd attend.  One of her favorite authors, Catherine Coulter, was the keynote speaker.  Cynthia was lucky enough to have a seat at Ms. Coulter's table at the luncheon and after talking with her, decided she needed to get back to her writing.  She rejoined both CRW and RWA that day and hasn't looked back.

Cynthia credits her wonderfully supportive husband Jim and the great friends she's made at CRW for saving her sanity and allowing her to explore her creativity.

Excerpt from Tame A Wild Bride

Rosemary Stanton stood patiently on the train platform, sweat rolling down her back and between her ample breasts.  Waiting.  Sweating because it was an unusually hot day in late April.  Waiting for her husband.  A husband she wouldn’t recognize if he were standing right next to her. 

She’d been desperate when she answered the advertisement for a mail order bride.  Wanted: Single woman to cook, clean, and care for children on a cattle ranch in southwestern Colorado.  Will marry upon arrival.

Well, she was twenty-six with no prospects.  Her brother just got married and his new wife, Beatrice, didn’t want Rosie around.  She could answer the advertisement or become a governess.  Help someone else’s children grow up into adults.  Live in someone else’s house.  For the rest of her life, she’d have nothing she could call her own.

Rosie wanted a home.  Her own home.  She wanted a husband and children.  All the things she’d never have if she stayed in Philadelphia.  When she’d seen the ad in the morning paper, she’d nearly shouted with glee.  However, she managed to restrain herself until she retired to her room before she giggled with delight as she pressed her back against the door.  The advertisement was tailor-made for her needs.  It got her away from Beatrice and got her own home all in one fell swoop.

Her brother, Robert, though was not happy with the idea of his baby sister traveling across the country to marry a stranger.  He grudgingly agreed to give her her dowry to take with her.  Five thousand dollars.  She’d take the draft to the bank as soon as she arrived in Creede, Colorado, and married Mr. Thomas Harris.  Cattle rancher.  It was her “in case it doesn’t work out” money.  Though she supposed it would belong to her husband once she married.  Perhaps she just wouldn’t tell him about it. 

Her conscience spoke up.  That’s no way to start a marriage.  With lies and secrets. Oh, all right.  She’d tell him and have him take her to the bank.  But not until after she’d taken his measure.  She could tell by how he treated his animals what kind of man he was.  A man who was cruel to his horses would also be cruel to his wife. If he was a cruel man, she would leave and she sure as heck wouldn’t tell him about her money.

Even the substantial size of her dowry couldn’t seem to provide marriage prospects for Rosie back in Philadelphia.  She wasn’t pretty in the conventional sense.  She thought her face with its big brown eyes and full lips was pleasing enough, but men apparently hadn’t.  Her one beau told her that her eyes were the color of warm brandy.  That was before he left her to marry another more suitable woman.  More suitable, hah!  Richer was more like it.

He’d had expensive tastes and had married a rabbit-faced girl, heir to a substantial fortune to which he’d have access.  Well, good luck and good riddance.

She hoped her new husband wouldn’t be as snootish as Paul had been.  As a cattle rancher she didn’t know what to expect but the idea of a more earthy, less frivoless man appealed to her.

Rosie did have one extraordinary feature.  Her hair.  Waist length, wavy and a clear, golden blonde.  Right now, standing on the train platform in Creede it was bound up in a loose bun on top of her head under her hat.  It, like the rest of her, was covered in white dirt and a nasty grayish soot from the train.  Her suit would never be the same again. 

She’d discovered on the second day of her trip, she could minimize the grime by sitting in the front of the car with the window closed.  But sooner or later the heat and mugginess of the car would force her to open the window.  The air came rushing in, cooling her, but bringing with it the dirt and ash from the train’s boilers and whatever the wind picked up along the way.

On the long trip, she’d told herself again and again she’d made the right decision.  She was right to make the difficult trip.  This was her life and she had to take her future into her own hands.

“Excuse me.  Miss Stanton?”

Rosie shaded her eyes from the late afternoon sun and looked up at a tall man with dark hair.  His hat was pulled low, hiding his eyes.  He had a strong jaw covered with a shadow of whiskers.

“Yes.  I’m Rosemary Stanton.”

He took off his hat and held out his hand.  “I’m Tom Harris.”

Rosie took his hand.  It engulfed hers with a shock of warmth.  Her pale skin stood in stark contrast to his tanned one.  Calluses rubbed against her soft palm though the touch was not unpleasant.  She looked from their clasped hands up into the bluest eyes she’d ever seen.

“Pleased to meet you, Mr. Harris.”

“Tom.  Call me, Tom.”

“And I’m Rosie.”

“Where are your trunks, Rosie?”

“Oh, I don’t have any trunks.  I only brought what I thought I would need out here.”

He picked up the two valises at her feet.  “Doesn’t seem like much for an Eastern woman.  I’m glad to see you’re practical.”

Rosie felt the heat in her cheeks and knew she blushed at his praise, undeserving as it was.  “Well, I didn’t think you’d have any balls.”

He cocked an eyebrow.


  1. Thank you for having me today. I look forward to lots of comments.

  2. Cynthia~

    Wow, what a sweet story about your mom and dad. LOVE Rosie's last line. Too funny. Just how much of your mama is in the Rosie character??? ;)

    Here's to continued luck with your sales.

  3. Lovely excerpt. I too like the last line. Can't wait to hear Tom's answer and see his reaction.

    I wish you many sales on your western. Great post.

  4. Great story about how your Mom and Dad got together and how you used that as the spark that started your first book! My own father's experience at the end of WW-II sparked my own first book, Immortal Relations. The second in the series is to join it on AMAZON & KINDLE in a few days.

  5. Thank you all for stopping by. I appreciate your comments. Rosie's determination is all my Mom's character. She was a very independent and determined woman.

  6. As another Colorado author, I, too, am inspired by the Western settings here, historic and contemporary. Small towns, especially, are appealing. Great to hear about Cynthia's background for writing. Bonnie McCune, author, A Saint Comes Stumbling In

  7. Hi Bonnie, thanks for stopping by. Always glad to see another Colorado author.

  8. A very cool story about your mom and dad. It's a novel in the making.

  9. Hi Roxy. I think you have something there.

  10. Great story and I love how you based it on how your parents got together. thanks for sharing. Can't wait to read it.