Ah, firsts...They play an important role in our lives, don’t they? From the moment the stick turns (pink? blue?), the newly expectant wait anxiously for that first stir of life. We wonder if that first word will be “Ma-Ma” or “Da-Da.” Parents watch with camera in hand for their child’s first step. Grandparents fly in to watch their grandchildren head off for their first day of school, the first prom, the first graduation.
In Rodeo Daughter, my June Harlequin American Romance, four-year-old Hailey’s first horseback ride becomes a pivotal moment in the blossoming romance between former rodeo star, Amanda Markette and Mitch Goodwin, a stern prosecuting attorney who—thanks to a playground accident—struggles to regain custody of his daughter while earning Amanda’s love.
What child doesn’t love that first chance to ride a horse. I’m tipping my cowboy hat to Harlequin’s Art Department for capturing that excitement for the cover of Rodeo Daughter.
Recently, I ran across this picture of one of my firsts—my first horseback ride.
Yes, that’s me riding Biscuit. What a thrill! I just knew I was going to grow up to be a rodeo star like Amanda in Rodeo Daughter. I didn’t, but from that moment through my late teens, my sister and I spent most weekends at the local riding stables where we groomed horses in exchange for rides. And just a couple of years ago, when we wanted to celebrate a significant milestone, sis and I went on an all-day trail ride.
How about you? Have you ever been horseback riding? Was it a pivotal moment in your life?