Larissa Lyons shares the inspiration for her Bottoms Up series, featuring the smoking hot McKenzie cowboys. Learn about the art by Michael Breyette that got the wheels turning in this author's head and then meet heroes of Restrain Me and Rein Me In!
Howdy! I’m Larissa Lyons and today I’m going to introduce you to the two oldest McKenzie brothers. Once you’ve met Boaz and Jonah, there’ll be something nifty you can win (and it’s not a book!). First, I want to thank Morgan and RT Book Reviews for inviting me to share about the Bottoms Up series and the McKenzie clan. These guys, and their three female cousins, have been a big part of my writing life the past few years and I love talking about ’em!
Story ideas can come from so many places. A chance encounter with a stud in spurs at the post office might blossom into a full-fledged hero during the drive home. Another book or maybe a television show or movie might provide the impetus for a strong and sexy hero. I confess, I’ve always had a bit of a thing for Tell Sackett, thanks to his portrayal by Sam Elliott and my own reading history. As a result, I think there’s a bit of the Louis L’Amour cowboy “ideal” in every Western character I create.
Though I won’t deny Boaz McKenzie, in my mind, looks a bit like Tom Selleck (another yummy Sackett brother), the modern-day cowboys populating the Bottoms Up Western series—the six McKenzie brothers—were based on the phenomenal artwork of pastel artist Michael Breyette.
Ready to “see” the men behind the book cover?
Meet Boaz, head of the rowdy McKenzie clan. Bo’s the oldest brother, the responsible one intent on getting the ranch work done even if it means working sunup to sundown then chasing after his ornery, sleepwalking Granddad in the dead of night. Is it any wonder this hard worker needs to relax in the tub with back scrubber and longneck? (He’s got the empty beer bottle sitting on the floor. :-) Actually, in Restrain Me Bo has a flat screen mounted in his bathroom, but that’s a whole other post!)
Michael’s picture Soak inspired the character of Boaz. Those smoldering eyes that burn right through you, the candlelight illuminating strong and soapy muscles but also the empty space in the tub next to him... What could we do but give Boaz Sommer, a soft-spoken sweetheart who’ll provide the tenderness—and be the temptress—Bo’s been needing in his life. And he’s just the man to help Sommer uncover her courageous side (with a little assistance from his brand).
Now it’s time to meet Jonah, the studious McKenzie brother, the one voted most likely to never do anything spontaneous, wicked or wild. Jonah is the second-eldest and his very existence was inspired by one of my absolute favorite pieces Michael has created—Snow Day. The man in this pose, with those eyes and lips (and yeah, firm-looking butt), is just sheer perfection to me.
While it’s not snowing during Rein Me In, Jonah sure does spend a lot of time in bed. Some of it’s doing exactly what you’re thinking (*grin*) but not all of it. There are both some comical and unexpected discoveries to be found when he breaks into the cabin of a vacationing city gal he’s just spent the night with, demanding answers and claiming his place in her bed. There’s also some heartfelt confessions to be made when Jonah shares the secrets of his tragic past. But spitfire Suzy has crushed on Jonah for over a decade and she’s willing to listen—as long as she can goad him in to tying her down for a little (actually, a lot of) spanking in the process.
Both Restrain Me and Rein Me In are available as e-books and Restrain Me just came out in print.
So who’s story is next? One of the triplets’? Bull rider Josiah or bronc rider Ezra? Though their time is coming, the book I’m working on now is Isaiah’s, the quiet, keeps-to-himself-after-losing-his-wife McKenzie. Isaiah has hidden depths. Secret dreams he’s only now revealing to me, but I’ll be revealing his inspiration in my next newsletter, sent out to subscribers some time in the next few weeks. So sign up and be one of the very first to know. :-)
Now it’s your turn. I want to know what, or who, inspires your heroes. Cowboys, Regency rakes, owner of a tattoo shop on a Harley? Tell me what strikes your fancy in a man. Who knows—he might end up in one of my books!
As a thank you to anyone who comments during March, I’ll send one random North American winner three full-color 5 X 7 greeting cards depicting Michael Breyette’s artwork—one for each of the three oldest McKenzies. I have these on my desk and boy are they sigh worthy. (Hmmm, maybe that’s why the dishes never get done...these cowboy hunks keep me “chained” to my desk. >^..^<) Winner will be announced in early April.
- Larissa Lyons
You can check out Larissa Lyons' first two Bottoms Up novels, Restrain Me and Rein Me In, are both available now! And don't miss your chance to win a copy of the images that inspired these cowboys by leaving a comment below during the month of March!
BLOG UPDATE 3/31/11: And the winner is ... RandiAlexander!