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Beyond The Page & Giveaway: “My Cowboy Heart” by Z.A. Maxfield

Aug 22
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My Cowboy Heart cover


Love a sexy cowboy? 🙂

Then make sure you check out Z.A. Maxfield‘s guest post & giveaway today

She’s broken down her top 5 scenes in her m/m contemporary erotic romance, MY COWBOY HEART




Z A Maxfield pictureZ.A. Maxfield:


My Cowboy Heart Top Five Scenes


As a writer, I often think in terms of scenes. Usually any book begins with the germ of an idea for some scene – either the first time the main characters meet or the setup to their meeting. For My Cowboy Heart, I had the idea for a country meets city pairing, a cowboy who is country through and through, and another who was raised in the city, but found ranching in his early teens and never looked back.


In My Cowboy Heart, Malloy is my country boy, and so are the rest of the hands. When Crispin arrives, he’s considered suspect because he worked on a touristy bison ranch in Wyoming with a gourmet organic restaurant. They see him as a “dude ranch” kind of guy, and of course, he can’t help but bring his LA sensibility with him.


In descending order, my top five favorite scenes in the book are:


5. At one point in the book, Crispin and Malloy are in a hotel room and Mrs. Jenkins – the only true mother Malloy has really known, comes to the door. I pictured the scene in my head, two grown men scrambling around to mess up an unused bed in a room that smells like sex with no way to open a window for fresh air. I enjoyed writing Malloy’s obvious embarrassment as much as I enjoyed writing Mrs. Jenkins vocal approval of their affair.


I opened the door to find Emma Jenkins on the other side.

“Hey, honey. Can I come in for a minute?”

“Emma?” What the hell?

I glanced behind me. Our room wasn’t like the one she’d stayed in. Not ten feet from where we stood, Crispin was asleep in one of our queen-sized beds, in sheets rumpled and stained with our spunk. The other bed was still pristine, as if the maids had just left. She couldn’t see it because of the way the beds were out of sight from the door, but if she came in–

Christ, it probably stank like Sodom and Gomorrah, and here was Emma Jenkins, pale but clear eyed, asking to come in.

I’d never even dated, as far as she knew. I’d never brought a girl to the ranch. Never gone to a church dance or one of the local bars. I’d kept my personal life perfectly private for years, but now she was going to see I was nothing more than a horndog.

A gay horndog.

A fucking, sucking, lube-using, condom-throwing, horndog of the very worst sort.

My stomach roiled.

“Uh…” I leaned in the doorway so she couldn’t pass. I know my face probably broadcast my shame. Behind me, I heard Crispin rumpussing around, probably tidying up the room, just in case. “I just woke up, and I haven’t even had my coffee yet.”

“I had to check out of here, and I wanted to talk to you before I head back to Analise’s, do you mind?”

“Why don’t you give me time for a real quick shower and I’ll meet you down in the lobby. Say, ten minutes?”

Her eyes narrowed. “How come I feel like I caught you jacking off?”


4. Without giving spoilers, when Malloy finally asks Mrs. Jenkins for what he wants, I made myself cry… That doesn’t happen very often but in fact, I’ve made myself cry every time I’ve read it since. So… either I’m just a weepy dork, or there’s something touching about that scene.


You’ll have to wait for this scene, it’s at the end… 😀


3. There’s a point where Crispin shows he has a gift with animals, and Malloy’s horse has fallen under his spell, just as Malloy has. I enjoyed writing that, it’s kind of an homage to Mr. Ed or something. The horse obeys Crispin but fights Malloy all the time. I really liked writing Roosevelt the horse, who likes to be called Theodore. (Not Teddy.)


At first I thought the leisurely clip-clop of horse hooves came from my dream.

“I thought I’d find you asleep somewhere.” Crispin rode up on Roosevelt, who let him dismount like a perfect gentleman and peered at me like he wanted to take a bite of my arm.

“What’re you doing here?” I sat up, blinking the sleep from my eyes. I must have been deeper under than I thought because for a minute I was woozy, and Roosevelt took that opportunity to nip at my shoulder.

“Theodore,” Crispin’s tone brought the beast up short. He nodded his big head and backed up a step.

I gaped at my horse. “You practiced that.”

“Nope,” Crispin climbed up onto the bumper and swung a leg over into the truck bed. He sat on the tailgate and stared down at me like he was pretty proud of himself. “He likes to be called Theodore. I told you.”

I leaned my back against the cab and watched Theodore munch on some scrubby grass. “Ingrate.”


2. There’s a scene where Crispin has Malloy stop to rescue a dog, and that’s pivotal for me. Malloy wonders whether he’d have done the same thing. He wonders if he’d have seen what Crispin saw — that the dog was a fighter and she had the will to recover even though she was badly injured. That sums up what makes Crispin special in general, and also what makes Crispin special to Malloy in particular. He sees potential in everything and everyone, and it’s contagious.


“Just pray we make it without skidding out and ending up in a ditch.”

“I don’t pray.” He snorted a laugh. “I was raised in the twin churches of narcissism and Scientology. Who am I supposed to pray to?”

“Wait, I know this one. Tom Cruise?”

He chuckled, but it upset the dog. “If there’s a God he must be pretty hopeless. Bad shit just seems to happen all the time.”

“I don’t know about that.”

“Look at this dog. Someone hit her and just kept on going. They left her on the side of the road to die. People can’t be more than animals themselves if they’d do a thing like that.”

I was compelled to point out the obvious. “But you’re here, freezing your ass off, ruining your only coat trying to save her.”

“I guess.”

“So that must mean something. Maybe you’re the proof of God for that dog.”

“If that’s the case, heaven help us all.”


1. My favorite scene is actually a tie between two scenes. I’m not surprised that I’ve gotten some mixed comments about the doll scene. My dear friend James Buchanan said that scene made her skin crawl. She hated it. Men don’t play with dolls. And my other dear friend friend Belinda McBride said they were spirit objects, and not dolls, and therefore, they had power and using them to communicate was perfectly reasonable. I kept that scene because it brought tears to my husband’s eyes when I read it to him. He was moved so I figured I’d done my job.


“Most folks call me boss or Malloy.”

“Is Malloy your Christian name?”

“It’s my family name.”

“I’ll call you jefe until you trust me with your given name.”

“I don’t even remember my given name, kid.”

Crispin picked up his Charro–his Mexican horseman skeleton–and waved it until its legs moved like a marionette’s. “Hello, I’m El Jefe. I’m such a strong and silent cowboy I don’t even have a name.”

I couldn’t help a bark of surprised laughter. I picked up his Catrina. “Hello, I’m a nice lady who runs a ranch and I am so glad to have a Vaquero who doesn’t waste his time flapping his gums all day.”


The other scene I had fun with was where Crispin points out that Malloy’s given name fits him. It’s his warrior name, and – despite the fact that he hates it – it carries a meaning he never imagined and a message that proves that Crispin sees the real Malloy, and not the one he presents to the world.

This is also a spoiler, so I’ll let you find out for yourselves… 😀


A writer thinks ahead, she looks back. She finds meaning in things that don’t always translate to the reader. Yet in this case, I felt like I had something to say, and I gave it my bet shot, and I’m proud of the results.


Thanks so much for letting me be part of your blog, and thanks to all the readers who are taking the cowboys of My Cowboy Heart into their hearts.




My Cowboy Heart cover


A cowboy’s heart has room for anything…

J-Bar ranch foreman Malloy pretty much keeps to himself—slinking around the edges of everybody else like an old coyote, doing his job and staying private.

That is until Crispin Carrasco shows up. Lean, muscular, and with a motor mouth that won’t quit, Crispin sparks something in Malloy—something the foreman didn’t know was there.

But how does a lone coyote approach the warmth of a fire? And more important, what would happen if that fire burned?

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Z A Maxfield picture


I have no excuses.  I started reading Yaoi when my kids decided they had to read every manga ever published and I got tired of little ninja boys and magical girls.  I sat in the corner with Descendants of Darkness and my world was officially rocked.

I started to read love stories between men, and my official position is that if one hot guy in a book is good, then two is arguably better.  If you add to that the fact that I believe everyone should have a happy ending?  Well, this is the end result.

I hope you enjoy reading these stories.  Each one is carefully hand crafted with love, humor, and just the right touch of… er… touching.



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