Guest Post (and a Giveaway!): Tina Radcliffe & The Cowboy’s Secret Past

Posted February 14, 2024 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, Christian, contemporary, giveaway, romance, Tina Radcliffe / 192 Comments

Tina Radcliffe guest post dialogue

Woohoo!! What better way to recognize Valentine’s Day here on the blog than by inviting romance author & reader fave Tina Radcliffe to stop by for a visit! Today she’s talking about the Gus-isms and other unique dialogue she had fun writing in The Cowboy’s Secret Past … and she brought her swoony cover with her!

The Cowboy's Secret Past by Tina RadcliffeTHE COWBOY’S SECRET PAST by Tina Radcliffe
Lazy M Ranch #3
GENRE: Contemporary Romance (Christian)
PUBLISHER: Love Inspired
RELEASE DATE: February 20, 2024
PAGES: 224

He’s not the same man he was

But maybe now he’s ready to be a father

Since leaving his wild rodeo days behind, rancher Trevor Morgan has sobered up and built a faith-filled life. So he’s shocked when the woman caring for his grandfather intrudes on that solitude. Nurse Hope Burke has hidden motives for coming to the Lazy M Ranch—she believes Trevor is the father of her orphaned nephew. Can a loving aunt and a wary cowboy change a little boy’s life forever?

From Love Inspired: Uplifting stories of faith, forgiveness and hope.


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Other Books in this Series

The Baby Inheritance by Tina Radcliffe  The Cowboy Bargain by Tina Radcliffe

Let’s Talk About Dialogue

by Tina Radcliffe, author of The Cowboy’s Secret Past

Let’s Talk About Dialogue.

Happy Valentine’s Day, readers! Thank you to Carrie and the friends of Reading is My SuperPower for allowing me to share today.

One of the best parts of writing is creating a realistic backdrop for my characters. I’ve been setting my stories in Oklahoma for some time as I lived and worked in Tulsa for over seventeen years.

The backdrop I create encompasses geography and the cast of characters. I enjoy creating realistic and also unique dialogue for the characters based on their personality and their location in the world.

Grandpa Gus is the patriarch of the Morgan family and Gus-isms are my favorite types of dialogue.

Here’s a few examples from The Cowboy’s Secret Past.

“Sounds like you graduated from the school of hard knocks too.” Gus cocked his head. “I was at the top of my class.”

Gramps put a hand on Cole’s shoulder. “Time flies when you’re winning. You’ll see.”

 “There were more colors in the sky than on the paint chips at the hardware store.” Gus huffed. “You kids take it all for granted.” 

 Gramps nodded. “I respect your right to be wrong.”

 “I appreciate that,” Gus said. “Now let me give you something to chew on, because you don’t get to be my age without learning a few things. We make plans, and the Lord laughs and offers a better way. A way we couldn’t even see, because sometimes, we can’t get out of our own way.”

Besides Gus-isms, I collect cowboy lingo to sprinkle into my stories. Here’s some fun ones.  

  • Not making a choice is making a choice.
  • You’re never too old to do something stupid.
  • God forgives. That’s his business.
  • Don’t let so much reality into your life that there’s no room for dreams.
  • You know you’re in love when there are only two places in the world: where she is, and where she’s not.
  • There’s a lot more to riding a horse than sitting in a saddle and letting your feet hang down.

On February 20, 2024, The Cowboy’s Secret Past, Book 3 in the Lazy M Ranch series, debuts.
Book 1 The Baby Inheritance released in April 2023
Book 2 The Cowboy Bargain released in September 2023

Here’s a sneak peek into The Cowboy’s Secret Past

“I don’t have a calling,” he scoffed. “I manage a ranch.”

 “Your grandfather thinks you do, and I agree. You have a calling to kids. Your heart feels their needs and their pain. It’s your ministry. That’s why you invited Cole to stay.”

 “I invited you as well.”

 “Not that you had much choice.”

He smiled, and Hope lost her train of thought.

 That smile.

 She was right in her original assessment. It was his secret weapon.

 “What’s wrong?” he asked.

 “Nothing. Nothing.” She fiddled with the edge of the plate, avoiding his gaze as her pulse returned to normal.

Now it’s your turn. Tell me some favorite sayings from your part of the world, places you’ve visited or your beloved family members like Grampa Gus.

None you can recall? Then just say hi!

I’ll send The Cowboy’s Secret Past Giveaway Package to one commenter, selected through the Rafflecopter form.

You can find many of the recipes mentioned in The Cowboy’s Secret Past on my website here:

Publishers Weekly bestselling author Tina Radcliffe is an American Christian Fiction Writers Honor Roll member. She is also a four-time nominee for the ACFW Carol Award and a three-time ACFW Mentor of the Year finalist. Besides her novel-length fiction for Love Inspired, Tina has sold over three dozen short stories to Woman’s World Magazine. A former registered nurse and library cataloger, Tina is a frequent workshop presenter. She currently resides in Arizona, where she writes fun, heartwarming romance.

Stay up to date on all her releases and fun giveaways by signing up for her newsletter here. Visit her on the web at

The Cowboy's Secret Past giveaway

Tina Radcliffe is offering a The Cowboy’s Secret Past Giveaway Package – including one print, autographed copy of The Cowboy’s Secret Past, a Society6 Power Reader Tote, and a $15 Amazon Gift Card – to one of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics. Total Value over $45) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What about you? What makes you want to read The Cowboy’s Secret Past by Tina Radcliffe? What are some favorite sayings from your part of the world, places you’ve visited or your beloved family members like Grampa Gus?

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192 responses to “Guest Post (and a Giveaway!): Tina Radcliffe & The Cowboy’s Secret Past

  1. Kay Garrett

    Enjoyed reading Tina’s guest post and LOVE her books! Each one is such a joy to read and leaves you greatly anticipating the next release.

  2. Audrey Stewart

    I will read anything written by Tina Radcliffe. I have no good childhood memories. My mother isolated us from the relatives, so I never knew a one.

  3. Jackie Tessnair

    Hi , I guess would have to say my favorite saying would be from the song, Live Like You Were Dying. I love reading Tina’s books because she has a way to writing that touches my heart. Beautifully written.

  4. Jan Hall

    I am curious as to what his secret past is. One of my favorite sayings is “I’ll buy it when my rich uncle gets out of the poor house”.

  5. I love Tina’s books because she draws you in her storytelling and I loved that she uses Oklahoma as a backdrop since I am an Okie from birth and still an Okie. My new favorite inspiration quote would be “let it be” meaning to me is that don’t stress and just let it go and let God lead the way and that he got this. He’s telling me don’t worry! My Late Grandfather would always say be a hard worker and once, that hard work is done and now you can say I did good.

  6. Anne

    Captivating, a a treasure to enjoy. Wonderful author whose books I cherish. Not to worry. Live and learn. Make do.

  7. Dana Boersma

    I love Tina’s books! She is one of my favorite authors. We say ope often and we also answer how far away something is distance wise in minutes rather than miles.

  8. Tracie M Cooper

    I am new to this author but this book sounds like such a heart warming story and I am so excited to read it!

  9. Winnie Thomas

    Thanks for the fun post, Tina and Carrie! You’re two of my favorite people! The cowboy wisdom is so amusing and entertaining.

    I love Tina’s books! They’re always delightful and lots of fun! One of my grandmother’s sayings was, “Two heads are better than one, even if they’re cabbage heads!” It’s even funnier if you’d known her. She was born in Switzerland in the 1880s and came to the U.S. around 1915. She had a hard early life and was usually quite serious.

  10. Author Tina Radcliffe is on my must-read list…for all her books. Why? Her humorous dialogue, the endearing characters and the faith-filled, gentle message tucked into each story. Plus the food treats mentioned on the pages. (Bess, the housekeeper on the Lazy M
    Ranch, makes the best cinnamon rolls!)

  11. June Sheppard

    Hi! Here in southern New Jersey our saying is, “ I’m going down the shore for the day” We don’t say beach here, it’s the shore!

  12. Tina Radcliffe

    Hi Diana! Happy Valentine’s Day. May your chocolate be fresh and your calories be non existent.

  13. Elly

    Two things I’ve grown up with my dad saying.
    1. “Food’s done!” (What kind?) “The kind you eat.”
    2. Believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see.

  14. Aicia Haney

    I enjoyed reading this post, your book sounds like a great read and I love your book cover, it is Gorgeous! Happy Valentines Day! Thank you for sharing about your great sounding book with us.

    • Tina Radcliffe

      Thanks so much, Heidi! You’e one of my favorite readers. We’ve known each other virtually a long time.

    • Victoria Roberts

      True, but this girl would like to learn more. I’ve actually had several opportunities to do so and my parents live down the road from a family who owns a number of horses they train for racing. It is so cool watching them train.
      Tina, one of the most well known sayings from my region is “Bless your heart.” Contrary to popular belief, though, it’s not just an insult. I think it comes from the Scotch-Irish tradition and it has so many meanings. You have to listen carefully to understand which one is being used. I’ve actually used it myself a few times. 😳🫣

  15. Steph

    I think it sounds really good. I enjoyed the dialogue in the excerpt. I do not have any favorite sayings, although they often say “Minnesota Nice” when talking about us, and Skol comes up a lot in sports.

  16. Cindy Merrill

    I’m interested in reading the book because I never got to know my father, really, he died when I was very young and I was sent to live with an aunt.

  17. Shelia Hall

    Book sounds great! Here in the South we say “Bless your pea picking heart/bless your heart & love you a bushel and a peck and hug around the neck.

  18. Trina Chadwick

    In the crazy mixed up world
    of political correctness
    I’ve clung to…….Ya’ll

    It’s accepted kindness
    to one and all
    From Indiana

  19. Sue Parrish

    I love Tina’s books. My daddy used to say things like “don’t stand there like a calf at a new gate.” I would reply, “I’m a city girl. What does that mean?”

    • Tina Radcliffe

      Stephanie, it is so interesting that it will make you laugh out loud and sigh for miles. May the Force (Jesus) be with you today.

  20. Sandy Avery

    I loved the first two books and have my hold in at my library for this one. I am excited to read it very soon!

  21. marti

    I can definitely testify to the fact that rodeoing is wild! I love that the character matures, and grows spiritually!

  22. Becky Nelson

    I enjoy reading about cowboys because most of my relatives are them, they live in Montana and Texas.

  23. Nancy

    I would like to read The Cowboy’s Secret Past by Tina Radcliffe because it sounds as if it is filled with interesting and pithy sayings!

  24. Debbi Wellenstein

    I haven’t read Tina’s books-it sounds like I need to! One saying I heard a lot as a kid is “Children should be seen and not heard!” Hmmm-I can’t say it’s a favorite!

  25. Leigh Nichols

    The Grandpa Gus character reminds me of MY grandpa- he literally had a nickname for EVERYONE. I don’t think he ever used anyone’s real name. I need a lighthearted romance to read this month- February is a rough month for me already, my daughter’s birthday would have been the 18th, and I just lost my sweet beloved kitty. I need a nice distraction

  26. Jennifer R

    I am looking forward to reading The Cowboy’s Secret Past because I enjoy wholesome books that make me feel good. One of my favorite saying from where I live is “towards the mountain, away from mountain” completely legit directions.

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