Years ago when my family vacationed in Colorado I recalled meeting a really old rodeo cowboy who'd been a friend of the family for years. I don't remember his name—only that it had sounded old-fashioned. Vern…Vick…Vance…not sure. Anyway, this old cowboy had been a former bull rider and he had the bowed legs and crooked spine to prove it. He competed in rodeo back in the day when no cowboy had heard of Kevlar vests and protective head gear. He told stories of his days on the circuit and one tale in particular left a lasting impression on me. He claimed a young woman had entered a bull-riding competition using a man's name. As the story goes, she was "about as handsome as a sack of horse-shoes." Today we call these women "plain Janes". Supposedly, this young lady hid in the shadows until it was her turn to ride. She rode the bull a full eight seconds and the fans went crazy until her cowboy hat popped off and exposed her long, blond braid. The cheering turned to booing and as the legend goes….the cowboys chased her "halfway to Mexico".
The memory stuck with me all these years so I thought.... why not incorporate women's bull riding into these stories. I admit this is an unusual angle for a romance, but the sport calls for very strong heroines—both mentally and physically. I've learned a lot about women's roughstock events while writing these books and have come to greatly admire the courageous women who compete in bare back, bull riding and saddle bronc events.
So tell me, does an unusual storyline scare you away from buying a book or are you willing to read something a little off the beaten path?