Cowboys and Soldiers, oh my!
Hey, y’all! I’m BA Tortuga, and I write cowboys and rednecks. A lot. No, really. I love a man in Wranglers, and I hail from Texas, so I love to set stories in and around my old hometown. In fact, you could say cowboys are my brand, my stock in trade, and what readers have come to expect from me.
That’s why when I set out to write Wounded Warrior, I was a little worried. I didn’t have a cowboy, really. Luke is an ex-soldier, and Rory is a legal eagle who’s dabbling in real estate for the moment. Now, they’re both Texans. Lifelong. Hardcore. But neither are cowboys. At least not at the beginning, and I feared that would turn people right off the story.
See, Wounded Warrior was important to me because most of the men in my family were in the military at some point. Most of them men, and some of the women, of my wife’s family served. And every day we hear stories of soldiers coming home with very real injuries, with terrible PTSD, and with troubles re-entering society. I wanted to represent those people, to show that they’re important, not people to forget or ignore. I wasn’t sure how to do it within the kinds of stories I write, but I was determined. Trust me, y’all, when I’m determined, I get the job done. That’s the cowboy in me.
So I set out to write Luke’s story, and in the process, I realized he was learning to be a cowboy. He learns to care for horses from his brother Matt. He learns to cowboy up from his family and his newfound friends. He learns that he can be a stubborn ass and people will still love him, which is definitely a cowboy trait…
I do love the breed, but I have no illusions about them.
Another surprise for me was how Rory stepped up in the book, as well. He’s got just as many issues as Luke, if for different reasons. He didn’t fight the same war, but he’s wounded all the same, and he’s working hard to make things right, and to get his life going exactly where he wants it.
I guess the story is all about recovery. Luke and Rory have the potential to heal each other a lot, which really makes me happy.
By the end of the story, I felt like I had three cowboys on my hands. Matt, Luke’s brother, who’s the reason the ranch gets going in the first place, became way more of the story than I expected. He was a cowboy from the get go, and he becomes a mentor to both Luke and Rory in a lot of ways. But Luke and Rory also measured up to the painfully honest, loving, stubborn cowboys I know and love so well.
I loved writing these boys, exploring some themes near and dear to my heart. I hope y’all will take a chance on them, too.
Much love, y’all.
You can find BA at:
BA Tortuga bio:
Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds and her beloved wife, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.
Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has heard the call of the high desert and lives in the Sandias. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head.
When Luke’s lost everything, the only thing to do is head back home to the ranch and pray that he finds his way again.
When Navy SEAL Luke Blanchard comes back to Northeast Texas after a devastating injury, he feels like the whole world has gone dark. In a wheelchair and feeling worthless, Luke has no idea what to do, even as his twin brother Matt is determined to lift him up and help him heal.
Rory McConnell is a local prodigy, a real estate lawyer with a plan to buy up land before his bitter rival can collect it. When the Blanchard ranch goes into the red, he offers to buy out the debt. Luke backs his brother instead, but he doesn’t believe for a minute that Rory is a bad guy. No one that sexy and fun can be, right?
As Luke claws his way out of depression with a crazy idea to run a therapy ranch, he and Rory start to explore the need growing between them. Will Rory’s need for revenge against a man who damaged him forever come between them, or will it be the force which brings these two wounded men together for good?
Reader Advisory: This book contains fragmented recollection of gang-rape which happened off-screen several years earlier.