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 love to hear from readers! Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Thanks for having me on today!
Great post and excerpt! I didn’t know that about 5yr olds, I thought the starting age was older.
I love bull riding, and I think kids on sheep are adorable. Still, it’s a very dangerous sport, so I cannot blame any parent for refusing to let their kids bull ride. But on the same point, I can’t blame any parent from stopping their boys from playing football. (Concussions are a serious problem and probably why women tend to be so much smarter than men.) Still, bullriding is a fair sport (unlike bullfighting), the bulls are not mistreated, and by the time the bull riders meet the seriously dangerous bulls, they are skilled in their sport and they do know the risks.
I just checked. I have this book. I’ve moved it up on my reading list.
I love the rodeo information, D, since I know nothing about it except what I’ve seen on TV. Great excerpt, too. 😉
Liz Flaherty recently posted…Shot Through the Heart by D’Ann Lindun
Great excerpt, D’Ann!! Tweeted.
Little Britches Rodeo, that is so cute! Love this book-and all of D’Ann’s books! You should RUN to get your copy! Right now! You’ll love her heroes 🙂
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Isn’t a kid who is 5 about the same size as the bull’s head?!?!? I think I’d be terrified if my daughter did that – I put her in ballet instead of on a horse.
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We had a really small rodeo here once. I watched the little ones on the sheep and was both mesmerized and terrified. There’s no way I would have allowed that – yet I allowed hockey 🙂
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Thanks, all. Yes, little kids ride some big animals in rodeo.
I love the fact that you write cowboy romances because you have authentic knowledge of the life.
I’m not surprised that they are so young. It seems like the best skilled people train at an early age (football, hockey). I believe that these type of sports and all sports must have safety situations in place to make sure that children or any participants are protected. Thank you for sharing. I love your cowboy books! They are wonderful romances!
At the Farm Show here in PA, little boys rode bucking goats in one of the events. A few years ago they showed a snippet of the event on the news… It was fun to watch.
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