I’m thrilled to welcome my friend, D’Ann Lindun, back to my blog today (her last visit is here).
Welcome, D’Ann. For readers who don’t know you, can you tell them a little about yourself?
Falling in love with romance novels the summer before sixth grade, I never thought about writing one until many years later when I took a how-to class at my local college. I was hooked! I began writing and never looked back. Romance appeals to me because there’s just something so satisfying about writing a book guaranteed to have a happy ending. My particular favorites usually feature cowboys and the women who love them. This is probably because I draw inspiration from the area where I live, Western Colorado, my husband of twenty-nine years and our daughter. Composites of our small farm, herd of horses, five Australian shepherds, a Queensland heeler, two ducks and cats of every shape and color often show up in my stories!
I visited the Denver area once and loved it. One of these days, I’ll venture back there to see the rest the this gorgeous state. Now, the blog is yours. Take it away.
Did you know kids can start rodeoing at 5? Yes, five! In Little Britches Rodeo, kids start that young. They are called Little Wranglers and can participate in these events: Barrel Racing, Goat Tail Untying, Flag Racing, and Pole Bending.
Junior boys, ages 8-13, ride bulls. On the NLBRA website rules for the Senior and Junior Boysâ€™ divisions are virtually the same, except that a Junior Boy is not allowed to wrap the tail of his rope around his hand and is only required to stay on for six seconds.
There is also Junior Rodeo, and the kids who compete there start at 8 and the boys ride calves!
Some of the famous bull riders who have come up through the Little Britches and Junior rodeo ranks include Tuff Hedeman and Lane Frost.
In A Cowboy To Keep, Justin is 13 and desperateâ€¦
â€œDoes your mom know youâ€™re here?â€
He hesitated. â€œNo.â€
â€œI didnâ€™t think so.â€ For some reason, that bothered Cody.
â€œI know who you are,â€ the kid suddenly confessed. â€œI wanna ride bulls just like you.â€
Cody stifled a sigh. Heâ€™d heard it a million times from every wannabe out there. Every fan, every strangerâ€”they all said the same thing when they met him. â€œI have a school session coming up in Juneâ€“â€
â€œNo, not that. I need to learn from you. Youâ€™re the best, and I have to have the best.â€
Demanding little upstart. â€œIâ€™m not giving private lessons. And even if I were, you couldnâ€™t afford me.â€
â€œI could work for you. Feed, carry things, you know, anything you needed.â€ A hint of desperation filled the kidâ€™s voice, which broke a little. â€œPlease, Mr. Utah, give me a chance. You wonâ€™t regret it.â€
â€œWhat do your folks think about this?â€ Even though he had a sneaking suspicion this kidâ€™s mother would hit the roof at the idea, Cody felt himself weakening. Maybe because something about the kid reminded him of his own start, when nobody had believed in him but one old man.
â€œMy dad would love the idea, but heâ€™sâ€¦gone. My mom works all the time. She wonâ€™t even know.â€ His voice didnâ€™t plead anymore, but his eyes did.
â€œDonâ€™t you go to school?â€
â€œIâ€™m on spring break.â€
â€œFor how long?â€ Cody couldnâ€™t believe he was even considering taking on this scruffy kid. Then the boy shifted. His jacket fell open, and the big belt buckle again caught Codyâ€™s eye. A championship buckle from the National High School Rodeo Association. Something about it jogged his memory. The organizers made a different style every year. â€œAre you in high school rodeo?â€
â€œIâ€™m off for two weeks. And, no, Iâ€™m not in high school yet.â€ He said this reluctantly as though Cody wouldnâ€™t consider helping if he knew his age.
â€œHow old are you? Have you rodeoed before?â€
â€œNo, I havenâ€™t competed. Iâ€™m thirteen and in the eighth grade. I wanna go to the local Little Britches rodeo here in Black Mountain on Memorial Day. Iâ€™m going to join the high school team next year.â€
Cody didnâ€™t comment. If the kid hadnâ€™t been competing in Little Britches and junior rodeo since he was eight years old, then he was at a huge disadvantage. Boys who were serious about the sport usually got started riding sheep at three or four. By the time they were eight, they were old hands. Though some of the Brazilians taking over the sport hadnâ€™t gotten that early of a start, and they didnâ€™t have any problems. Raw talent could make up for a lot.
After Laney Ellisâ€™ husband is killed by a bull, she is left to run their small cattle ranch and raise their son, Justin, on her own. Despite some of Laneyâ€™s worst fears, the dream Justin holds dearest is to be exactly like his dad, a champion bull rider. He finds his chance when world champion bull rider Cody Utah moves in next door.
Although attraction between Cody and Laney flares, neither act upon it. Laney refuses to get her family involved with another bull rider, and Cody has heard rumors Laney trapped Wyatt, her late husband, into a high school marriage by getting pregnant.The last thing Cody wants is children.
A Cowboy to Keep is available on A Cowboy To Keep (The Cowboys Of Black Mountain)“>Amazon.
D’Ann is also offering a digital copy of A Cowboy to Keep to one lucky commenter.
Thanks for spending this time with me, D’Ann. Best of luck with A Cowboy to Keep.