THE RODEO–by Celia Yeary


Even though I am a Native Texan, I”ve never attended a rodeo. Growing up in the western part of the state, I saw that many small towns had a rodeo arena. Those never looked appealing, because they were small, dusty, and open with wooden bleacher seats.

We live near San Antonio, and we follow the NBA basketball team, the San Antonio Spurs. During February, the team travels, playing all games on the road because the rodeo takes the convention halls and the arenas for two weeks. The Spurs call their away games the “Rodeo Road Show.”

During the weeks of the rodeo events, there are many family oriented events. This rodeo is a very big event in San Antonio. A few of the events are: Animal Adventures, Dairy Center, Horse Discovery, Little Buckaroo Farm, Food Sampling, Carnival, Cowboy Church, Petting Zoo, Wine Garden, Songwriters Front Porch, Commercial Exhibits, Bar-B-Que Cook Off, Boots and Shoots, Rodeo Ball…I cannot name all of the events. This list comprises about one-fifth of them. In addition, the convention center hosts concerts with big name country western stars.

The 1800s was a landmark period for the rodeo; the era of the American cowboy began. In the early 1820s the first Anglo-American settlers moved into Texas. As these settlers moved from East Texas to Central Texas to West Texas and other settlers moved to these areas from South Texas, a blending of the Anglo and Spanish-Mexican cultures occurred. With the Spanish-Mexican knowledge of riding, roping, herding, and branding available, events occurred that culminated in the Southwest cattle industry.

However, with the fencing of the open range in the late 1880s, the cattle industry changed to a more confining job for the range cowboy. When communities sprang up, social occasions, especially

Fourth of July celebrations, gave cowboys a chance to challenge the bronc riding and roping skills of cowboys from other ranches. Soon, local contests became annual events. By the 1890s, the rodeo had become a spectator event in the West, and an annual event in many places.

Many rodeo events were based on the tasks required by cattle ranching. The working cowboy developed skills to fit the needs of the terrain and climate of the American west, and there were many regional variations. The skills required to manage cattle and horses date back to the Spanish traditions of the vaquero.


Rodeo Man is a novella about a Dallas woman, Marla Ellington, who inherits an abandoned town in West Texas. She must live there one week to claim her inheritance. However, when she arrives, a cowboy sits on the porch of the dilapidated, abandoned honky-tonk, whittling and whistling to the tune of “Mamas, don”t let your babies grow up to be cowboys.”

Marla works in downtown Dallas in a bank. She knows nothing about cowboys or the rodeo. But this man on the porch–Cody Matheson–suddenly changes her life for he is a professional bull rider–among other things.

To learn more about the rodeo and a contestant, I watched numerous uTube videos complete with an announcer calling the ride. I decided to make Cody a bull rider instead of a bronc rider. Why a bull rider? I have no idea, except they looked very nice in their rodeo gear!

BLURB for Rodeo Man
Celia Yeary

Marla Ellington inherits an abandoned town on ranchland near Arrowhead, Texas. When she arrives to claim her property, and finds Cody Matheson sitting on the porch of the dilapidated honky-tonk, her temper flares hotter than her pistol. Anger blazing, she settles in for a showdown.

Cody’s only goal for the week is to

win the bull-riding event at the Saturday night rodeo. But when Marla receives an anonymous threat that forces her to leave town, Cody finds himself smack-dab in the middle of a mystery. ’Course, catching a criminal and lasting eight seconds on a bull are easy compared to winning the love of the feisty, strawberry-blonde beauty who wants nothing to do with him. Now it”s his turn for a showdown.

EXCERPT:

Cody turned to her, shaking his head. “Not a good spot for your bedroll. Not good at all.”

“Why not?”

“I saw mice droppings over here when I arrived.”

“Mice?” she squeaked.

“Yeah, I guess they come out over here.”

“Noooo,” she said with her hands on her cheeks. “Is that the truth?”

“Seems likely to me. That’s why I sleep back over there.” He motioned with his head.

“Then, where am I going to sleep?”

Cody looked behind her, and said, “Whoa! One just popped his little head out that hole.”

Goosebumps popped up on Marla’s arms and down her back. In one motion, she squealed, “Eeek!” sounding just like one of the mice again, turned, and slammed into Cody. He stood his ground while she literally climbed up his body, grasping his shirt, wrapping her legs around his hips, and moving on up to clasp her arms around his neck.

After only a few moments, she noticed that he hadn’t moved, except to lock his arms around her bottom and boost her a little higher. Leaning back, she looked into his face. He grinned like a Cheshire cat, or the one that got the cream, not unlike the roguish grin she’d seen earlier.

The man was dangerous.

“I’ll get down now,” she said, pursing her lips and looking away.

“Well…you’re gonna have to let go of my neck.”

When she did, he kept her escape in check by allowing her to slide down his body, unhurried, holding her close. When she stood toe-to-toe with him, she make the biggest mistake of her life. She looked up into his eyes.

“You sure are a little thing,” he whispered.

“I’m petite.”

“You’re short and compact,” he said low and sexy.

“I’m…will you stop it?”

“Haven’t done anything, yet.”

She raised one eyebrow in challenge. “Well?”

RODEO MAN-A Contemporary Western found at Amazon and B&N in ebook.

http://www.amazon.com/Rodeo-Man-ebook/dp/B00B14S4X4/ref=sr_1_21?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1358284697&sr=1-21&keywords=celia yeary

Note: I will give away an ebook copy of Rodeo Man, gifted through Amazon or B&N–or the pdf. Also, Rodeo Man is available for 99cents until February 11, when it reverts to $1.99. Please leave a comment to be entered for the drawing. Thank you!

Celia Yeary-Romance…and a little bit “o Texas

My Blog
My Website
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Resources:
The Handbook of Texas On-Line
Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Free Encyclopedia
Rodeo Man-rereleased with Publishing By Rebecca J. Vickery

Guest Blogger

28 Comments

  1. Lovely excerpt, Celia. You drew the scene so vividly.

  2. Celia, that excerpt had me chuckling… I think this is going to be a great read… I have never been to a rodeo.. But I would love to go to one and especially to San Antonio. It is the one place in Texas I have always wanted to visit…

  3. Su–thanks for the compliment. And thanks for visiting and reading about the rodeo.

  4. Kathleen–if I can make anyone cry or chuckle, I consider that a big compliment. The rodeo in San Antonio is an enormous event. The rodeo itself almost seems anti-climatic, after the huge parade and all the event for families and kids…and the more than one concerts in different places in SA. Visitors come from around the world–me? I’ve never been–maybe I should!
    Thanks so much for your comment.

  5. Hi Celia! Great to have you back. And you can’t beat your subject. Here in Texas we live and breathe the rodeo. I live in West Texas and it’s alive and well here. I love watching those cowboys do their thing, whether it’s bullriding or bronc riding. Those cowboys are tough. And they’re sure easy on the eyes.

    Your excerpt hooked me. Wow! Congrats on the new book.

  6. Celia, I always learn something new when I read your blogs. This one taught me a lot! As you know, I have read Rodeo Man and I was certain that you had attended many rodeos so you did your homework well! I don’t think anyone needs to be a Texan or a rodeo fan to enjoy this book. I am neither and i enjoyed it immensely.
    Linda

  7. Celia, I think my fanny would be sitting right there in front of that songwriter’s porch at the rodeo. 😉 I’ve never been to one, though. It could be fun to watch the cowboys at work. Cowboys will adapt, won’t they?

    Fun excerpt! Sounds like a good place to be if a mouse is around!

  8. Linda B.–you’d think being a lifelong Texan I’d know more about the rodeo. I was raised out on the South Plains in Levelland, and there was a small rodeo arena…I think. But my family were oil people–knew nothing about horses or anything about rodeos.
    I’m glad you like the excerpt. You know how hard it is to write a good excerpt…so I always worry. So, thanks a bunch!

  9. Linda S.–no, I cannot imagine your even in the vicinity of a rodeo. I actually like all the excitement and uproar over it–even though I do not take part. It’s just fun to watch the happy crowds on the nightly news.
    To kick of the rodeo weeks, some huge group offers a free breakfast at 6:30 under an enormous tent the day before. It’s consists of biscuits and gravy, or a breakfast burrito, and coffee..that’s it, I think. And people by the thousands line up. What’s funny–often a cold front has blown through and it’s freezing at 6:30 in the morning! But they’re all there anyway.. Tough people. Thanks!

  10. A very interesting history of the rodeo, Celia. I was very surprised to learn that you’ve never attended a rodeo. Even I, a big city girl, have been to a few. My first one was in Omaha, Nebraska where I got a chance to see Fess Parker (Davey Crockett). He was a towering figure of a handsome man. Hah-chee-mama! But that just shows my age. LOL More interesting, I’ve been to a few local rodeos right here in North Carolina that were filled with excitement and drama. I was lucky enough to have a friend who owned a western store and she went to these events to sell her merchandise so I got in for free. It was a whole lot of fun.
    Rodeo Man looks like a very entertaining story and I see you’ve got some humor going on in there, too.
    I wish you happy sales.

  11. I think the only thing that I ever seen that was even close to a rodeo was at a state fair when I was a kid. Other that that I have never been to one either.

  12. Hi Celia, and welcome to Petticoats and Pistols today! I really enjoyed your post–I have only been to two rodeos in my entire life, and like you, my dad worked in the oilfields and wasn’t interested, and my mom sure wasn’t. I guess growing up as they did, having to take care of livestock, etc. the appeal was gone for them. LOL My mom’s brother raised cattle, though, and my cousin and I went to a rodeo one year when we were about 9 or 10–Larry Mahan was there! We thought he was the cutest thing in boots. I won tickets one year to the rodeo at the State Fair when my kids were around 6 and 9. We went to that but my 9 year old daughter was more worried about the treatment of the animals than anything. I loved your excerpt. Your characters always “come alive” and are so real. These two are no exception.
    Cheryl

  13. Hi Celia, my fellow Sweetheart of the West! So wonderful to have you in Wildflower Junction today.

    I love this post~ I attended a couple of rodeos at our county fairgrounds (california), but my trip to Texas not long ago was made perfect with a Friday night rodeo outside Bandera. I loved every second.

    Amazingly, Hawaii has a cowboy culture, but Rodeo Season had just ended when we got there last Fall…the resort is right next to a ranch. I’d have loved to have been a barrel rider.

    Come back soon, y’hear! xoxo

  14. Sarah–Fess Parker? Wow! What a treat that must have been. That’s right–no rodeo. As a kid, we really didn’t know anything about a rodeo. I suppose I’d heard of it, but it never came up in our family. After watching all those UTube videos, now I’d really like to see one.
    Yes, Rodeo Man is humurous over all–it’s not hugely serious, except when Cody gets the wrong idea about Marla’s feelings. Then…”you feel his pain.”
    It’s lighthearted all the way.
    Thanks so much for visting P&P.

  15. Quilt lady–so, I’m not alone! Maybe you and I should go to the rodeo together. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

  16. Cheryl–Sarah saw Fess Parker and you saw Larry Mahan. Well. I am so jealous.
    These days, there is always a little protest about the treatment of the animals–just like there is for a circus (which I nor my kids ever like.) But I think they are cared for as well as can be, for they have veterinarians there and all kinds of special people to keep them clean, fed, etc.
    Thanks, too, for the comment about my characters. To me, characters make the story, don’t they? This is a lighthearted story–nothing tragic or sad about it at all.

  17. Tanya–thanks for the big welcome!
    If you’re going to see a good rodeo in Texas, I hear, one that’s not surrounded by so many other commercial events, then Bandera was the place to do it. Bandera–the home of the cowboy and the rodeo. You were so lucky.
    And you? You would have made a great barrel racer. Some high schools have Barrel Racing as a sport for girls–depending on the part of the state. It’s not easy!
    I do know that Hawaii has a big cowboy culture. Interesting, isn’t it? They do have ranches there.
    Thanks for having me at P&P. It’s always so much fun here.

  18. What fun, Celia. I always love your bringing a bit of Texas sunshine into my day. I’ve never attended a rodeo either. Closest thing, I guess, is the barrel races I competed in as a kid in Georgia. I rode on a borrowed pony, almost as fat as he was tall, and if you urged him to go faster with your heels, he’d kick up his feet in protest. Needless to say, I didn’t come close to winning, but I’ve always like Western saddles better than the English styled ones.

    Enjoyed the post and your excerpt. Like Cody and Marla – a good pairing of characters.

  19. I can’t get over that you’ve never been to a rodeo. My men folk are all team ropers. Being in California, it seems that half the rodeo population are ropers. Or calf ropers. Our little valley has had 4 team ropers at the National Finals in the last 10 years.
    My grand daughter and a niece are and have been barrel racers. So, we have a lot of rodeo blood in this family.
    The best rodeo to attend is an All Indian Rodeo! That is an event to see. They have no fear. My step son in law and his family put on the All Indian Rodeo in Fallon, Nev for many years.
    Thanks for stopping by today, Celia.

  20. Hi Celia,

    RODEO MAN sounds so good!! I’m not surprised though you always deliver fantastic stories.

    I’ve been to many, many, many rodeos from county fair rodeos to the Daddy of ‘Em All. My friend’s husband rides saddle-broncs and when I went to visit them one summer I caught up on missing the rodeo when living out East. We joked about how it was the week of a thousand rodeos. 🙂 Now I’m back in Wyoming and looking forward to the Sheridan WYO Rodeo. I’ve never been to this one, but it’s one of the oldest and best with a week of activities in the arena and out.

    I’ll be snatching up a copy of RODEO MAN for sure!

    –Kirsten

  21. Maggie–I would never have guess that your were a barrel racer. If you get tired of writing mysteries–and I don’t know why you would–you should write a YA novel about this girl on the fat pony. You could make that really funny–not that I’m saying you were funny on that funny pony…okay,I think I should stop right there.
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

  22. Mary J.–There’s a lot of roping up in North Texas–they use quarter horses. I at least know that much! I suspect rodeos are held in practically every state. Maybe even in Alaska, since they are held in Hawaii..Make sense?
    I bet an All Indian Rodeo is wild! That would be very entertaining.
    You know in Texas, The Hunstville Texas State Prison–a notorious prison–held a rodeo each year for many years. The prisoners–the contestants–wore their striped prison garb. It was truly wild and wooly and dangerous–those men went all out. What did they have to lose?
    I believe it has been banned, though…simply because of so many injuries to the men and the animals.
    Thank you so much for visiting–I really enjoyed your comment.

  23. Kirsten–You are truly a Rodeo veteran. I’m sure the one in Sheridan is grand! Have a lot of fun!
    Thanks for your kind comment about my books. Rodeo Man is still 99cents at Amazon for a couple of days, I think.
    (I lost track of the 30 days it was 99cents.)And when you read it, remember everything I wrote I learned from research and all those UTube videos of actual rodeos. I do hope I got it all right!

  24. LK–I can see you now, right in front of the Front Porch music venue. Cowboys–these days, you’re not certain if someone who looks like a cowboy really is. It’s a fashion statement many times. I find it interesting that so many men want to portray that western/cowboy look. I understand–I do love it, too. My daddy wore western boots and a Stetson many years of his adult life. And he never rode a horse in his life–maybe a mule when he was a kid–but not a horse and saddle. Yet, the look fit my dad. He was, after all, a Texan, and the “look” really evolved into that of a Texan or a Westerner.
    Thanks for visiting.
    (my newest wip is about Lee King, and his ranch is the LK Ranch. I think of you every time I write that.)

  25. Wonderful excerpt, Celia! And thanks for all the info about rodeos. Living in the UK I only had a vague idea what they were, so it was interesting to discover how they originated.

  26. Greetings, Paula–Yes, don’t most of our traditions/events evolve somehow, from earlier groups of people? That’s the way it usually works. Rodeos today are sporting events, and the riders are Professionals–Professional Bull Rider, Professional Bronc Rider, etc. They move around on circuits, just like racing or team sports. They earn points each time, trying to get to Las Vegas–in the case of the bull riders–championship rodeo.
    Thanks for commenting!

  27. I read your excerpt, sounds great you chose a good example. I will look for your book on kindle. Wishing you great success with the book.

  28. P.S. I love rodeos, never rode in one but had friends that did. I would ride with one of my friends and we would practice the barrel racing together. I enjoy everything about the rodeos even the clowns and when they let the children go down from the stands and chase the goats.

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