Though there are no Native Americans in The Texas Cowboy, Ash looks at Trish and because of her bone structure thinks she might be at least part. It wouldn’t be without the realm of possibility. Texas was home to hundreds of tribes of American Indians. I’ll only name and discuss a few, living around the location in Texas where our fictional town, Clark’s Folly, would be.
The Apaches dominated almost all of West Texas and ranged over a wide area from Arkansas to Arizona. Two groups of Apaches, the Lipans and the Mescalaros, were of primary importance in Texas. Apaches were among the first Indians to learn to ride horses and lived a nomadic existence following the buffalo.
The Biloxis gave their name to the area around Biloxi, Mississippi, where they first encountered European explorers. They began to migrate westward in the 1760s to avoid white interference. By 1828, a group had settled along the Neches River in present-day Angelina County. The Biloxies became allies of the Cherokees and were caught up in the violence in 1839 that drove the Cherokees out of Texas.
The Cherokees were one of the principal Indian nations of the southeastern United States. Wars, epidemics, and food shortages caused many Cherokees to migrate west to Missouri, Arkansas, and Texas in hopes of preserving their traditional way of life. Those who remained behind in the Southeast were eventually removed forcibly to Indian Territory (Oklahoma) in the incident known as the “Trail of Tears.”
Cherokees settled in Texas near the Red River. Pressed further south by American settlement, in 1820 about sixty families under Chief Bowl (Duwali) settled in Rusk County near the Caddos. As Americans settled that area, distrust grew between them and the Cherokees. Hoping to gain a legal title to their land, the Cherokees invested a great deal of energy in cultivating a relationship with Mexico. Hoping to protect this relationship, they remained neutral between Texas and Mexico during the Texas Revolution.
The Comanches dominated a vast area of North, Central, and West Texas. There were at least thirteen active bands of Comanches, with five playing prominent roles in Texas history. These unparalleled horsemen led a nomadic lifestyle following the buffalo. They controlled trade in produce, buffalo products, horses, and captives throughout their domain. In the 1700s, the Comanches made their presence known in Texas by warring with the Apaches and the Spanish. Fearing that they would lose Texas to the Comanches, the Spanish negotiated a peace treaty with them in 1785. When the Spanish were unable to keep their promises in trade goods and gifts, Comanche raiding against the Spanish resumed, with many of the stolen horses being traded to newly arrived Americans.
The Texas Cowboy is a contemporary western romance set in the Lone Star State. The hero is a little different having been born in Texas but raised in England. At his father’s death, he returns to inherit Marathon Ranch. And then the fun begins…
Can a Texas cowboy, by way of England, and a sassy ranch hand forget their differences to put Marathon Ranch in the winners’ circle…and to fall in love?
THE TEXAS COWBOY
Return To Folly Series
Contemporary Western Romance
When Ash Colter was twelve, his mother divorced his cattle baron father and whisked him away to raise in her native England. Sixteen years later, when his father dies, he inherits Marathon Ranch. Running a 1,000-acre spread famous for the best Black Angus cattle in the great state of Texas is the biggest challenge he’s ever faced…until he meets a pert, pretty, and sassy ranch hand who seems to have her own agenda for his ranch. Unfortunately, she makes his spurs go jingle-jangle-jingle like no one else ever has!
Trish Owens is a real cowgirl, a loner, and, though she’d never admit it, a little lonely. When the “English Cowboy” appears on the scene, her entire way of life is threatened, not only her job, but her beloved Quarter horses. She’s sure he plans to import his thoroughbreds from England. Worse of all is the chemistry sizzling between them. He makes feelings she thought long dead awaken.
Trish ignored his joke about taking care of her. “Well, thank you, Miss Whatever-your-name-is.” When she shot him a glance, he saw the sadness in her eyes before jealousy evaporated it like the morning dew. He couldn’t allow Trish to think he’d made love to her last night, knowing Dorothy would arrive today. Or thinking he’d sleep with the other woman tonight. Embarrassed as well as annoyed, he flushed to the roots of his hair. Dorothy leapt into his hesitation, offering Trish a handshake.
“I’m Dorothy Applewhite.” The Duchess stared down from her superior height of five-six. “I arrived with the horses, more or less.”
“I’m Trish. Nice to meet you.” Nothing could sound less like the truth.
He looked from one woman to the other. “Dorothy, how did you happen to arrive minutes after the horses were unloaded?”
His ex-girlfriend winked, squeezing his arm against her breast. “Trev mentioned the name of the transport company. I rang them and, using your stable name, was told the shipment would arrive this week. You’d given me the name of the town. I consulted my travel agent and here I am. I wanted to surprise you. I’ve missed you, Ash-Dahling.”
“Ash-Dahling has been busy managing this big old ranch…” Trish batted big innocent eyes and continued in a honeyed voice, “I imagine, that is.”
Dorothy simply stared at the other woman, probably trying to decide if the cowgirl in a red Marathon shirt and figure-hugging jeans was competition. Not Trish’s usual barn clothes. Had she dressed to impress him? Maybe before the horses were unloaded and the duchess arrived. Now, she only wanted to impress one thing upon him. Go to hell.
Trish cast a meaningful glance at Ash, then attacked her opponent with fine-edged sarcasm. “Your white studded jeans are just the thing for the wild west.”
“Thank you.” Dorothy smoothed a hand down her shapely hip. “I ordered them from an American western wear store just for this trip. The shirt, as well. Do people really wear these small string ties?” She flipped the ends of the Bolo, and Ash almost choked trying not to laugh.
Must be hysteria. This was no laughing matter.
“I don’t personally.” Trish leaned closer, pretending to admire the pearl snaps on Dorothy’s western shirt. “Yeah, really nice.”
“I haven’t seen a lot of people—in fact, not even one—wearing a Bolo.” Ash shoved his hands into his pockets. He felt naked, exposed, and a feeling he hated--vulnerable. “Maybe Sunday for church.”
“Church?” Trish barked a laugh.
Frowning, he suggested, “A country and western bar?”
“I prefer dives, sir. Country music, with or without a worn flag painted on the floor, lots of beer, and the Texas two-step.” Trish was no longer laughing, nor did she look very sassy. Was she angry enough to cry…or hurt enough to be angry?
“You two don’t get in an argument about my little tie. You may have it if you like.” His former girlfriend slid a possessive hand around his elbow. “I have Ash here. Dear, my bags are in the boot. Will you ask someone to take them to your room?”
Ash squared his shoulders. “I’ll ask Danita to prepare a guest room.”
“Are you still redecorating the Master Bedroom?” Trish was digging his grave deeper with a guileless smile.
She did not mean the redecorating question to be helpful, but he could turn it around on her. Though after the funeral, he’d moved into the Master Suite, he’d been too busy to make many changes. Marathon was a jealous lover.
“I am.” He looked from one to the other. “Still redecorating.”
The two women frowned. Each one affixed her chilly gaze to him.
Ash wanted to squirm, but a good rabbit knows that any movement only incites the hawk. “Let’s get you settled. Trish, if you need anything, call me. As I said, you’re very welcome to stay here.” Please.
“Will do, Ash.” Trish placed warm emphasis on his name, but the look she leveled at him gave him frostbite.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: LINDA NIGHTINGALE
After 14 years in Texas, Linda returned home to her roots in the South Carolina red clay. She has eight published novels, four of which are available in audio from Audible.com. For many years, she bred, trained, and showed the magnificent Andalusian horses. So, she’s seen a lot of this country from the windshield of a truck pulling a horse trailer. She won The Georgia Romance Writers’ Magnolia Award for Excellence, the Raven Award, and the SARA Merritt. In real life, she was a legal assistant. She loves to dress up, use the good china and crystal, and host formal dinner parties. She has a fondness for sports cars like her current ride, Zippy Z.
Web Site: http://www.lindanightingale.com – Visit and look around. There’s a free continuing vampire story.
Blog: https://lindanightingale.wordpress.com/ - Lots of interesting guests & prizes
Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/linda-nightingale