Tag: rodeo

Jeannie Watt Goes to the Rodeo

One of my favorite rodeos is not a PCRA (Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association) sanctioned rodeo, but rather our local rodeo, where we get riders from southwest Montana.

As we headed out to the rodeo, my husband had reservations… What is that, you ask? The view from inside the truck as we drove to town.

I assured him the skies would clear and sure enough they did, but not before making a nice amount of muck.

The arena hadn’t gotten sloppy, however, so it wasn’t too slick to ride in. This is the mounted drill team my mother coaches. She rode with them for over a decade, then retired from performing at the age of 76 and took over coaching.

What follows are views from behind the chutes where the competitors saddle their broncs. I do love me a yellow slicker, thus the photo of yellow slicker guy.

Each cowboy puts his own gear on the horse he’s going to ride. In general there are fewer bareback bronc riders than saddle bronc riders because it’s so hard on the body. They were vests with special neck rolls to cushion their head as it snaps back. The cowboy in the pink chaps is wearing his vest and you can see the roll on it. By the by, cowboys are not afraid of pink. Something to do with being comfortable in their masculinity, I think.

These are the saddle bronc riders getting ready to go.

The rodeo is a real family affair. If you look closely you’ll see a cowboy holding a baby, another holding his toddler and, of course, a dog. This photo was taken behind the chutes as they were prepping the bulls for the bull riding. The guy in the chaps is a bull riding contestant, who is thankfully wearing a helmet. I’m a proponent of helmets in rodeo events.

It rained during the bull riding and got my boots wet, but they didn’t soak through. I could have sat under the cover of the grandstand, but I like to sit on the open bleachers next to the chutes. You can see why…it’s worth getting wet.

All in all it was a great time at the rodeo!

Pickup Riders

Our local rodeo season is about to head into full swing next week. We are fortunate enough to live in an area where we can attend four big rodeos, one every week, for a month.

Since Captain Cavedweller and I both enjoy rodeos, this is a grand thing. 

Thoughts of rodeos and the athletes that compete in them, both human and animal, made me think about a group of folks who largely go unnoticed at rodeo events — pickup men. 

(If you’re thinking about the drunk guys who hang around after the rodeo ends, wrong kind of pickup men!)

The pickup men I’m referring to today have one of the most important jobs at a rodeo because they are there to keep the athletes safe. In the arena, they look after the cowboy at the end of his ride as well as the horses and bulls used in rough stock events and they help with the overall production. They might work for the stock contractor or be employed directly by the rodeo association.

Regardless of how they come to be there, pickup men are often referred to as the ghosts of an arena. They ride in, sometimes seemingly out of nowhere, help a cowboy off a ton of twisting, bucking beast, then guide the animal from the arena before vanishing again. 

Depending on the size of the rodeo, you might see two of them working together while bigger rodeos have as many as six working at a time. 

Pickup men are in the arena from start to finish, but if all goes smoothly, rodeo fans might not notice them at all. Riding horses is second nature to many of the men who work as pickup men. They have to be able to rope a bucking bronc or a rank bull. They also have to be ale to think on the fly and make quick decisions. Out in the arena there isn’t time for talking and deciding what to do. They have to act intuitively. 

Once a cowboy and horse bust out of the chute, the pickup men are watching every move, ready to ride to the rescue or offer a hand when the eight-second buzzer sounds. 

During a ride, most anything can happen and does. 

Competitors can get hung up in rigging or stirrups and find themselves being dragged around the arena or getting an eyeball of dirt while dodging flying hooves. 

While their actions aren’t choreographed, the way pick up men work together can appear so flawless and performed with such ease, it looks like they’ve practiced the intricate dance that is based on their quick reactions and know-how.

Pickup men have cowboys crawling all over them and their horses which makes it essential they can handle a cowboy hanging off his shoulder.

 

Or his neck, or whatever else the athlete happens to get a hold of in his scramble to get off a wildly bucking bronc. 

The equipment a pickup man uses is vitally important to a smooth, successful rodeo, too. His saddle has to fit just right, many use specialized bits, and they all have a favorite brand of rope they use. Many use breast collars on their horses to keep their saddle from sliding back if they have to rope a bull. And it gives a little added advertising space to their stock contractor or sponsor.

The pickup man might wear shin guards, or kickpads, around their lower legs to protect from flying hooves, scrambling boots from the rodeo athlete as he tries to get off a bucking animal, or even just a saddle bronc saddle rubbing against it when he has the horse snubbed to get it out of the arena. 

Another piece of equipment no pickup man would work without is his chaps. They provide another layer of protection against the bucking horses and their saddles. 

It’s also important for their horses to be well-trained and able to keep up with a reaction that happens in a split-second. Many pickup men have a string of horses they use, rotating them out between each event.  One horse might do better picking up bareback riders while one might do better when it’s time to chase bulls out of the arena. Most pickup men will use splint boots for their horses for protection against injury. 

Some pickup men work smaller rodeos they can catch on a weekend and still keep their regular job (like ranching). 

Others travel non-stop on the rodeo circuit right along with the rodeo athletes, gone from home for weeks, sometimes months, at a time. 

At the end of the day, the pickup men are the unsung heroes who might have prevented a cowboy from receiving a serious injury, or kept a bull from charging into a crowd.

So, the next time you are at a rodeo, take a moment to watch these men at work and think about all they do to make the rodeo a safe place for everyone to enjoy. 

If you enjoy reading about rodeos, check out my Rodeo Romance series. Each book can be read as a stand alone and features a different rodeo event or personality. Right now, Racing Christmas is on sale for just 99 cents! The hero in the story just happens to be a pickup man.

“From the realistic rodeo scenes to the tender love scenes Shanna Hatfield keeps you reading.”

Jodi Thomas, New York Times Bestselling Author

She’s racing to save the ranch

He’s struggling to win her heart. . . again

Brylee Barton has just one goal in mind: win the barrel racing world championship. Not for the glory, but for the attached cash prize that could save her family’s ranch. When an injury leaves her at the mercy of the very same copper-headed, silver-tongued cowboy she once vowed to loathe forever, she has no choice but to swallow her pride and accept his help.

Fun-loving, easy-going Shaun Price has a million dollar smile, more charm than he can channel, and a string of ex-girlfriends rumored to have started their own support group. When the one woman he’s never quite managed to get out of his head or heart needs his assistance, he jumps at the chance to help. Little does he realize how challenging it will be to keep from falling for her all over again.

Will Shaun and Brylee discover the gift of forgiveness, and experience their own happily-ever-after?

Available on Amazon

Answer this question for a chance to win an autographed copy of The Christmas Cowboy, book 1 in the Rodeo Romance series! 

What is your favorite rodeo event? 

 

Racing Christmas

I love a good rodeo. There’s nothing quite like the excitement that snaps in the air while watching athletes, both human and animal test their skills as they compete.

It was while my husband and I were in Las Vegas for the granddaddy of all rodeos – the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo – several years ago that the idea for a series came to me. We were sitting in the airport, surrounded by cowboys as far as the eye could see, and I couldn’t help but ponder how fun it would be if a cowboy fell in love with a girl he met at the airport.

From there, the Rodeo Romance series was born and I recently released book six – Racing Christmas!

 

winter wedding

She’s racing to save the ranch

He’s struggling to win her heart. . . again

Brylee Barton has just one goal in mind: win the barrel racing world championship. Not for the glory, but for the attached cash prize that could save her family’s ranch. When an injury leaves her at the mercy of the very same copper-headed, silver-tongued cowboy she once vowed to loathe forever, she has no choice but to swallow her pride and accept his help.

Fun-loving, easy-going Shaun Price has a million dollar smile, more charm than he can channel, and a string of ex-girlfriends rumored to have started their own support group. When the one woman he’s never quite managed to get out of his head or heart needs his assistance, he jumps at the chance to help. Little does he realize how challenging it will be to keep from falling for her all over again.

With the holiday season fast approaching, will Shaun and Brylee discover the gift of forgiveness, and experience their own happily-ever-after?

This sweet Christmas romance warms the heart, lifts the spirit, and touches the soul with its message of forgiveness, hope, and redemption. Don’t miss it!

Amazon

Racing Christmas support group

Excerpt:

Brylee opened her eyes and tipped her head back, watching as the pickup men rode into the arena. One went to catch Rocket while the other hastened her direction. The announcer and the clown told a joke as the medical team hustled toward her as fast as they could make it through the mud.

Frustration battled with anger as the pickup man approached. The last person on earth she wanted to see was that man.

“Maybe today would be a good day to die,” she muttered as she tried again to move her foot from beneath the fence. If she freed it before he reached her, she could crawl over the fence and make her way back to her trailer without speaking to him.

Why couldn’t he have gone on ignoring her like he had the last five and half years? Why tonight, of all nights, was he going to force her to acknowledge him? Didn’t she have enough to deal with, like missing her opportunity to claim the winning title? Or the undeniable fact she looked like a half-drowned kitten that had been dragged through a pig wallow?

She thought of her wasted entry fee. Not to mention the hours it would take to get all the mud scrubbed off Rocket and her tack.

Wasn’t a no-score enough punishment without being forced to face the most arrogant, self-centered, childish man she’d ever known?

Trapped on her back in the mud, it seeped through her clothes, chilling her and making her fight the need to shiver. She questioned how she could exit the arena with even a shred of dignity when her pants oozed soupy mud like a toddler’s soggy diaper.

The slap of boots hitting the mud in the arena drew her gaze upward. A handsome face appeared above her as the pickup man leaned over her. Gray-blue eyes twinkled behind thick lashes and a smile full of even, white teeth gleamed in the arena lights. Shaun Price braced his gloved hands on his thighs and offered her an infuriatingly cocky grin.

Why couldn’t she have at least passed out and awakened far away from the infuriating, irritating, Adonis-like cowboy?

“Well, Bitsy, I see you’re still racing Christmas,” he said, his voice sounding as deep and rich as she remembered.

Brylee glowered at him. “You know I hate that name.”

“Yep, I sure do.” Shaun chuckled and stepped back as the medics surrounded her.

~*~

If you love cowboys as much as I do, I hope you’ll take a look at my Read a Book, Help a Cowboy campaign, too! It’s a great way to help injured rodeo athletes who need a hand up!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! 

Let ‘Er Buck

Today kicks off a 107-year-old tradition — the Pendleton Round-Up.

This rodeo, held in the western town of Pendleton, Oregon, began when a group of community and area leaders developed the idea of an annual event. It all started, really, with a successful 4th of July celebration in 1909 that included bronc riding, horse races, Indian dances, foot races and fireworks.

The Pendleton Round-Up was incorporated as a non-profit organization at the end of July in 1910. The legal name was the “Northwestern Frontier Exhibition Association.” The group decided to stage the event in September to allow the grain farmers time to complete their harvest and the ranchers time to make a late summer check-up on their grazing cattle.

Image from the East Oregonian

The first Pendleton Round-Up was to be a frontier exhibition that brought the old west back to life and offered the crowd entertaining Indian, cowboy, and military spectacles, held in conjunction with the Eastern Oregon District Fair.

Image from the East Oregonian

People responded so enthusiastically to the idea, special trains ran from Portland to Pendleton to make sure the “city crowd” could witness the event.

The stores in town closed for the first performance. In fact, so many people showed up at that first performance, workers jumped in after the rodeo and added an additional 3,000 seats to accommodate the crowds the next day.  More than 7,000 people attended the first event (which far exceeded the number of people living in town at the time).

In just a few short years, the wooden grandstand and surrounding bleachers were completed, offering seating to more than 20,000 spectators.

Before women received the right to vote in Oregon, the Pendleton Round-Up gave them a chance to compete in a variety of events. In 1914, Bertha Blanchett came within a dozen points of winning the all-around title, right alongside the men.

Many famous names competed in the Round-Up arena including people like Slim Pickens, Hoot Gibson, Jackson Sundown, and Yakima Canutt (a stuntman who doubled for Clark Gable and John Wayne, to name a few).

Pendleton is home to the Umatilla Reservation and from that very first show in 1910, many Indians have participated in the event. There are Indian races at the rodeo, the special Happy Canyon pageant, and the Indian Village that is one of the largest in North America with more than 300 teepees set up annually.

Tribal members also ride into the arena before the Indian dancing at the rodeo (right before the bull riding) and wow spectators with their beautiful regalia, some that dates back more than a century.

There are unique facets to the Pendleton Round-Up that make it different from many rodeos. For one thing, the rodeo arena’s grass floor is one-of-a-kind in the world of rodeo, adding a unique challenge for competitors. It provides the largest barrel racing pattern on the professional rodeo circuit, too.

Also, the Pendleton Round-Up was the first rodeo to have rodeo royalty, beginning in 1910. Today, the queen and her court race into the arena, jumping over the fence surrounding the grassy expanse not once, but twice.

The first year of the rodeo also saw the introduction of the Westward Ho Parade, one of the longest non-motorized parades in the country.  The parade tradition carries on today with entries from all around the region.

Since 1910, the Pendleton Round-Up has been a popular event. Other than two years it was not held during World War II, it has run continuously each September. Today, more than 50,000 attendees fill the bleachers to watch the four-day long event.

And on their lips, you’ll hear them shout the slogan that was first used in 1910…

Let’ Er Buck!

***

 Dally  (Pendleton Petticoats, Book 8) is a sweet romance that encompasses the first year of the Pendleton Round-Up. In fact, the girl on the cover is one of the 2017 rodeo court.

I’m going to give three lucky winners a digital copy of  Dally .

To enter for a chance to win, all you have to do is answer this question:

What’s your favorite rodeo event or thing to see in a parade? 

 

 

Welcome Guest – Pam Meyers

 

The Pioneer City Rodeo – A Perfect Setting for Second Chance Love

I’ve loved everything cowboy since I was a child, and dreamed of living where I could have a horse. But, unfortunately, that wasn’t a dream my parents shared, and as I grew into adulthood, I moved on to other interests. Like many in Wisconsin, or Illinois where I live now, I used to think that all rodeos happened in the west. Just yesterday at church a woman was surprised I was interested in rodeo or that rodeos occur so close to us. There are a lot of rodeos going on in my home state of Wisconsin and all around the Midwest during the warmer months. A fact I learned about a dozen years ago when a friend invited me to a rodeo.

The Pioneer City Rodeo, where Second Chance Love is set, is a real event that happens every Labor Day weekend, which I attend every year now. Like in my story, there are rodeos on three consecutive evenings, and we attend all three. Located in the tiny village of Palestine, a southern Illinois town nestled along the Wabash River, the rodeo offers a wonderful getaway to cap off the summer. We meet a lot of the locals sitting around us in the stands and on Main Street during the street fair. Although some of the retail establishments in my story are from my imagination, many are real, including the Back Porch Smokehouse and the Wabash Coffee House, located a short distance upriver from Palestine.

When I decided to write the story, it was a natural to make my hero, Jace McGowan, a bull rider, since that’s one of my favorite events. My heroine, Sydney Knight, is a born and bred Chicagoan and can no more picture herself living on Jace’s Texas ranch than he can see himself hanging up his bull rope and living in a Chicago apartment building. This conflict leads to a lot of tension, but they both have baggage beyond that which must be overcome before they can move forward and learn how much they really do have in common. I hope you’ll read my story to find out.

Second Chance Love

Chicago lawyer Sydney Knight and Texas bull rider Jace McGowan have nothing in common but everything to lose when they are thrust together during a weekend rodeo in rural Illinois. Neither one of them would have imagined two years ago that the deep attraction they sensed during a day-long outing would resurface when Sydney’s boss assigns her to Jace’s legal case.

Sydney has been through a world of hurt since losing her dad when she was sixteen, then being dumped the morning of her wedding. She’s sworn off romance and instead devotes her time toward a partnership in her father’s law office.

Jace has found faith in God and wants out of his sponsor contract with a risqué restaurant chain that requires him to pose with scantily-clad women. He’s about to bail on the contract and pay steep penalties—something he can ill afford, given that his deceased father left the family with unpaid taxes.

Sydney is determined she’ll get Jace out of his contract and return to Chicago with her heart intact, but Jace is just as determined to help her see they are meant to be together. Can a city girl with roots deep in Chicago and a bull-riding rancher with roots deep in Texas give themselves a second-chance love?

Giveaway!

Pam will give one lucky reader a Kindle version of Second Chance Love. Leave a comment to enter.

  • What is your favorite rodeo event?

Ranch Hand Rodeo

Hey everyone! Happy Wednesday!

IMG_1001 A few weeks ago, I set up my small vending booth at the 27th annual Winnemucca Ranch Hand Rodeo and enjoyed a rodeo weekend. It’s my fourteenth year of vending there and I love, love, love attending. For one thing, I get to see my neighbors, many of whom I only see a few times a year. Several of them are on ranch hand teams, so I also get to see them compete, which is a lot of fun. Also I get to seefamily kids grow up, from being babes in arms to competing in stick horse races, then sheep riding, then…well, I haven’t been there long enough to see any of the kids reach the age where they compete on an actual ranch hand team, but I’m sure it’s coming.

Ranch hand, or rancher, rodeos are competitions betwRanch Hand 1 007een teams of cowboys and cowgirls representing different ranches. The events are those that a working cowboy might encounter in the course of their day. There are a few traditional rodeo events—bronc riding, team roping and steer stopping—along with ranch events—branding (with paint), ranch doctoring, cow mugging, steer loading. The wild horse races and wild cow milking may not be everyday ranch occurrences, but they add some spice to the competition.

Ranch Hand CalcuttaThe rodeo starts off with a Calcutta, where people bid on the teams. The money goes into a pot proceeds are used as prize money, with a portion going to the person buying the winning team(s). Yes, you can buy your own cowboys.

 

Steer loading is one of my favorite events. There are times on a ranch when a steer on the range needs to be loaded into a trailer to be brought back to the ranch.

Cow mugging is along the same lines. Sometimes a steer or cow needs to be caught and cared for due to an injury or some other circumstance and is in an area where it can’t be run through a chute. It may take three or four people to take a grown cow down after it’s been roped.

This video does a great job of showing just what happens at a Ranch Rodeo.

There are sanctioned ranch hand rodeos and qualifying teams compete for a national title in early November. The Winnemucca event lasts for four days. In addition to the two-day rodeo, there are children’s events, cow dog trials and a stock horse competition, followed by a ranch horse sale.

If you ever get a chance to attend a ranch hand rodeo, I highly recommend it. It’s a great family experience.

And…my first  American Romance is out this month!

Watt The Bull Rider Meets His MatchTESTING THE LIMITS 

Rodeo star Grady Owen has a new challenge. No-nonsense Alexa Benjamin is tougher than any bull he’s ever faced…but she sure is a whole lot prettier! Not that Grady has time for much between caring for his twin nieces, rebuilding his family’s farm and training. Trouble is, the more he tangles with Lex, the more he wants to win her heart. 

Lex is drawn to Grady…in spite of herself. But ever since her bullfighter father died in the ring, she’s determined to never need anyone again. She’s afraid, and Grady is all about facing fear head-on. Taking a chance on this bull rider is unthinkable…but so is the idea of letting him walk away!

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Barbara Ankrum and the fun research into rodeo bull riders!

Hello, my name is Barbara and I’m a rodeo fan-girl.

There, I said it. Yes, I love watching cowboys take their lives in their hands aboard those lunatic pro-bulls. (Screaming into my fists, aside.) But after agreeing to write a bull-riding hero for my next book, I realized how little I actually knew about the mechanics of the sport. I needed to do some research, which is always one of my favorite parts of writing. I’ve discovered many a good turning point through research.

Hours of YouTube marathons yielded these tidbits, for example:

* Bull riders most often use man-made barrel contraptions manipulated by a huge lever to practice on and not (for the most part) real bulls because…life and limb.

* There are coach/mentors who teach/hone bull riding technique, even to the pros. One of these ended up figuring into my story and even changed my hero’s living situation.

* The bull ‘athletes’ are respected every bit as much as the riders and are specially bred to buck. One is even crowned champion at the end of the season for big money.

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* The difference between a slinger –a bull that tries to hit the rider in the head with its horns and a honker: a really ‘rank’ and difficult animal to ride.

Most intriguing was the bullrope—that woven rope/strap that goes around a bull’s chest and which the rider wraps around his gloved hand—which he must release at the end of the ride or risk getting hung up and dragged around by the arm. (The screaming into fists part.) It took a while to figure out the wrap techniques and how riders freed themselves at the end of a ride.

Traditional American bullropes, position the cowboy’s hand directly over the bull’s spine. Each time a bull bucks, the rope slides a little to the left, tightening on the cowboy’s fingers. And if the stars align badly, the cowboy is unable to release this bucking strap from his pinched fingers and he gets dangerously hung up.

Barbara Ankrum Bull rider 1Brazillian bullropes are relatively new on the scene. They appeared with the influx of Brazillian cowboys who have taken many of the top spots on the rodeo charts in the past few years. The bullrope they use is slightly different from the American one.

Their grip handle starts off center, to the right of the bull’s spine, and releases to the right, the opposite direction of the American rope, which takes the pressure off the cowboy’s hand and allows him to easily free himself, preventing hang-ups. Some U.S. rodeos have banned them, claiming they’re an unfair advantage for the Brazillians and U.S. riders who have embraced them, but the jury’s still out on whether it’s simply a smarter design or an advantage. With the high stakes money in the PBR, it’s understandable that some sour grapes linger over these ropes. But I decided to use one in my story, because it felt like a smarter choice for Finn Scott, who had two little children waiting at home for him, along with a temporary wife with commitment issues.

Barbara Ankrum bull rider hung upI loved every minute of writing CHOOSE ME, COWBOY (Part of the Montana Born Rodeo series) And for those who read last year’s, A FAIR TO REMEMBER, this book follows the second of the Canaday sisters, Kate.

I have a $10 Amazon gift card for one lucky commenter here. Just tell me your favorite rodeo event!

Barbara Ankrum is the bestselling author of fourteen books, including her latest contemporary romance, CHOOSE ME, COWBOY, from Tule Publishing. Her bestselling western historical series, ‘Wild Western Hearts’ and ‘Wild Western Rogues” are available on all e-book platforms. She’s been twice nominated for RWA’s prestigious RITA Award.

Women in Rodeo by Barbara White Daille

Ride ‘em, Cowgirl

Thanks to Petticoats & Pistols for the opportunity to drop in for a visit!the texan's little secret

Carly Baron, the heroine of my August romance release, has upheld her family’s time-honored tradition of rodeo by competing as a barrel racer.

Writing Carly’s story made me curious about the origins of women in rodeo.

The first professional organization was formed in San Angelo, Texas in 1948 by a group of women who established the Girl’s Rodeo Association. In 1981, the organization was renamed the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association. According to its website, the WPRA is “the oldest women’s sports association in the country and the only one governed entirely by women.”

The organization originally stemmed from the efforts of thirty-eight cowgirls who came together to create a fair and competitive environment for women in rodeo. Their number nearly doubled to the seventy-four members who established the organization that is now more than twenty-five hundred strong, with members in the United States, Canada, and Australia.

In the sport of barrel racing, three barrels are set up in an arena, and a cowgirl and her horse perform as a team to complete a circuit around the barrels. They’re working against the clock—a stopwatch measuring their time down to a hundredth of a second. Their goal is to complete a cloverleaf circuit in the shortest time possible…without knocking over a barrel, which would result in a penalty.

Barrel racing is a test of speed and control and is a testament to the cowgirl’s dedication to her sport. That dedication can be handsomely rewarded as, in annual competitions across the country, barrel racers vie for millions of dollars in payouts.

During her story, Carly faces conflict with the bull-riding-champion hero, her first love, as well as within herself. She mistakenly ties her growing restlessness to her feelings about her family’s tradition.

Once, she had thought she would never get enough of barrel racing, of the thrill of commanding her mount, honing her skill, adding rate. But since she’d left the ranch, with each year that had gone by, her interest and enthusiasm had waned by ever-increasing degrees. Though her eyes stayed on the prize, the motivating spark was gone.

And she needed a spark. A lure. A challenge. She needed something to make her feel whole again.

Like her dad, she needed a reason to get up in the morning.

There is a history of women bull riders, too, beginning in the late 18th century.

Rancher at RiskCarly’s need for a challenge leads her to try bull riding. Here’s a look at her first attempt.

A hunk of metal had nothing on a real live, stinkin’, snortin’, stompin’ bull.

Heart in her throat, Carly fought to keep her butt on the bull she intended to ride. The animal her brothers used for riding practice wasn’t having any of that idea. Her hundred-twenty-plus-pounds in jeans and sturdy boots were no match for twelve hundred pounds of playful bull.

Twister flicked his heavy haunches and tossed her as easily as Anna tossed greens for a salad. Carly landed in the dust of the arena, splat like a thrown tomato. Again.

After today’s short session with Twister, every muscle in her body seemed stretched like a worn-out rubber band. Worse, every bone felt like it had been worked over with an off-duty branding iron.

I’ll be honest. That scene was not written from personal experience, and you’ll never find me on the back of a bull! But I tip my Stetson to any cowgirl—or cowboy—willing to go the distance in the sport of rodeo,

Barbara hopes you’ve enjoyed this brief look at Carly Baron’s story. She is offering both a giveaway of an autographed print copy of The Texan’s Little Secret and a second giveaway of her previous title, Rancher at Risk. Two winners’ names will be drawn from comments left here at the blog (US & Canada addresses, please).

The Texan’s Little Secret can be purchased from the following sources (Just click on the name for the link!):

AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-a-Million HarlequinPowell’s BooksThe Book DepositoryIndieBound

Barbara White DailleBarbara White Daille

Originally from the East Coast, award-winning author Barbara White Daille now lives with her husband in the warm, sunny Southwest, where they love the lizards in the front yard but could do without the scorpions in the bathroom. Barbara writes romances—usually with cowboys, kids, and a touch of humor. Her previous title is Rancher at Risk, and she’s excited to share that her current title, The Texan’s Little Secret, has just been released.

She would love to have you drop by her website: www.barbarawhitedaille.com
and to see you on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BarbaraWhiteDaille
and Twitter: http://twitter.com/BarbaraWDaille

Donna Alward: Wild Cow Milking


Years ago, when I attended my first rodeo, I had a great laugh at the Wild Cow Milking event. These days when I write rodeo scenes, it’s usually the bull riders or saddle broncs that get my attention. But when I was writing LITTLE COWGIRL ON HIS DOORSTEP, I was faced with a unique challenge.

My hero is a dairy farmer.

In the middle of ranch country.

Callum Shepard bought the place from a retiring farmer. Dairy is what he knows. He spent lots of time working on his uncle’s farm on lower mainland BC.  When he’s looking for his own little slice of heaven, this small dairy operation is just the thing. But Callum’s also a bit of a loner, and doesn’t make friends easily.  The only people he seems to trust when Avery comes on the scene are the Diamond brothers who run a local ranch.

Throughout the book Callum mellows out and comes out of his shell bit by bit. And since it’s summer, there’s the annual rodeo to think about. Is he going to go? Sam and Ty Diamond seem to think it’s time he become a part of the community, so they drag him into a fun event: Wild Cow Milking. Right up Callum’s alley. Sort of. Because Wild Cow Milking isn’t like putting a Holstein in a milking parlor. It looks more like this (only more often a 4 man team and not 2):

Well, you’ll have to read  to find out if they win or not, but I will tell you that Callum is a great sport, and even receives a proper

cowboy hat at the end from rodeo royalty.

What’s your favorite rodeo event? Answer in the comments and we’ll draw for a copy of LITTLE COWGIRL ON HIS DOORSTEP!

And please visit me at my website at www.donnaalward.com! You can find out more about my new releases…and the Cadence Creek series. Next up at the creek is A COWBOY TO COME HOME TO… coming in July.

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

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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