Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thursday Thoughts with EM Lynley

A Cowboy’s Morning

You may be sitting back with a half-caff, double mocha, with two squirts of hazelnut and a whip, but for the cowboys at the Rocking Z Ranch in Spaghetti Western, the day starts out quite differently.

On a normal working day, Colby Zane who runs the working side of the ranch (real cattle, no dudes) would be up with the roosters—or maybe a little earlier if he stayed over with Riley Emerson, the new chef at the ranch. Colby likes to get in some morning exercise with Riley before they both have to start the day.

Usually, Colby slides into some worn jeans and pulls his boots on. He showers at night after a hard day in the saddle, so he’s ready to go first thing in the morning.

Then it’s coffee and a hearty breakfast. Once he gives his ranch hands their daily assignments, they’ll bring the horses in from the paddock, saddle them up, and start work. The Rocking Z has far more horses than cowboys because a working day tires the horses so much, they like to give them a day to rest in between.

Back in the old days of the cattle drives, the cowboys would head over to the chuckwagon to grab some fresh coffee and grub. Cookie—the chuckwagon cook—was up hours before the cowboys. He had to roast the coffee beans and grind them before making coffee, some sourdough biscuits and a hearty breakfast of eggs, potatoes and bacon. After the boys finish eating and start moving the cattle, Cookie cleans up, takes all the cowboys bedroll, extra tack, and the laundry, and makes his way to the spot they’ll stop for that night.

Who knew a chuckwagon cook’s hours could be longer than the cowboys’ day?

So, how does your morning compare?

A Pastry Chef’s Morning

Riley Emerson just finished the pastry course at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. He isn’t particularly keen on baking, or on the early hours. He just liked the idea of staying in Paris, cooking, without the responsibility that goes along with working at a top restaurant. In fact, he didn’t really need the pastry course to get a decent restaurant job, because he’d already done the main culinary program and he’d been working for a few years in Paris.

In fact, he used to work with Josh Golden at Le Petit Cerisier before Josh went back to New York (in Lighting the Way Home). And for those of you who remember Josh, he makes a cameo appearance in Spaghetti Western.

Riley did love dancing the night away the Paris clubs—sometimes with Josh—and coming to Colorado is a huge change for him. His mornings used be filled with crusty baguettes, rich butter and a huge café au lait.

He thought he’d be working in Aspen, which has its share of night life, rich and famous visitors and some of the best restaurants West of the Mississippi. But that didn’t work out as expected.

Now Riley’s working as the cook at a remote ranch where he can see the Rockies from his bedroom window. Not a bad view at all. It’s a better view when Colby Zane’s arms are wrapped around him. Colby’s got some nice scenery too, so Riley doesn’t mind getting up early before he has to start baking bread for the ravenous ranch hands and the guests.


I happen to love fresh pastries in the morning. I used to live a couple of blocks from one of the best bakeries in town and I’d reward myself for a brisk walk around the lake with a brioche or something flaky and rich. I never thought much about the staff who get to the bakery at five every morning to make sure the goodies are fresh and delicious when they open the doors at seven.


Do you have a favorite breakfast treat?


Spaghetti Western
A Novel in the Delectable Series

Cordon Bleu-trained chef Riley Emerson arrives in Aspen, Colorado for a summer at the best restaurant in town, only to discover his jerk of a boyfriend has dumped him, leaving his heart and his plans in tatters. Doubting himself and longing for a change of pace, he takes a low-paying position at the Rocking Z guest ranch, though he expects nature up close and personal won’t hold a candle to his exciting Paris lifestyle.

When born-and-bred cattle rancher Colby Zane spots a newcomer being pawed at by a passel of horny cowboys at Aspen’s Club Rawhide, he rushes in, throws the guy over his shoulder, and rescues him. Sober, Riley Emerson is sweet and sexy, but not interested in more than a one-night stand. Still, Colby’s over the moon when Riley later arrives as the new cook on his family’s ranch.

But all’s not well at the Rocking Z. Unsurmountable financial problems force them to seek a cash infusion from outside investor Fitz Wellington. Fitz is hot for Colby, and he won’t sign on the dotted line without some very personal incentives. The future of the ranch is at stake, and Colby’s just that desperate, but saving the Z might mean losing Riley.

Buy Links

Author Bio

EM Lynley writes gay erotic romance. She loves books where the hero gets the guy and the loving is 11 on a scale of 10. A Rainbow Award winner and EPIC finalist, EM has worked in high finance, high tech, and in the wine industry, though she'd rather be writing hot, romantic man-on-man action. She spent 10 years as an economist and financial analyst, including a year as a White House Staff Economist, but only because all the intern positions were filled. Tired of boring herself and others with dry business reports and articles, her creative muse is back and naughtier than ever. She has lived and worked in London, Tokyo and Washington, D.C., but the San Francisco Bay Area is home for now.

She is the author of Sex, Lies & Wedding Bells, the Precious Gems series from Dreamspinner Press, and the Rewriting History series starring a sexy jewel thief, among others.

Visit her online WebsiteBlogFacebookTwitterNewsletter


  1. I had a homemade chocolate scone this morning (bad for the arteries, good for morale)!


  2. My daughter now works as a baker. She has to be at work at 3:00 am, but she loves the job. Sounds like a fun book.

  3. I don't know if it's the cowboy that does it for me so much, as it is the environment, I like the beautiful rocky mountains :)

  4. I love stories with cowboys. I'm from Texas and there are plenty right here where I live. I like the way they dress, the way they work hard, and their attitude. They are just very sexy in my opinion. :) Look forward to reading this one. Thanks for the giveaway!