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.
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
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.
Cody turned to her, shaking his head. “Not a good spot for your bedroll. Not good at all.”
“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.
“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.
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!
The Handbook of Texas On-Line
Wikipedia Free Encyclopedia
Rodeo Man-rereleased with Publishing By Rebecca J. Vickery