Friday, August 24, 2012

Summer Road Trip

Earlier this month we packed out bags and hit the road. Destination? Missoula, Montana. More about why in a few minutes.

The great things about a road trip, in addition to the final destination, are all the wonderful things to see along the way. Like this awesome view of the falls on the Spokane River from the deck a restaurant where we had dinner one evening.

You can imagine our surprise when, in the small and very quaint town of Wallace, Idaho…

…we discovered the Center of the Universe. There’s something you don’t see every day. Unless you live in Wallace.

A sign along the freeway…advertising a bookstore with 100,000 books in stock!...had us braking for the exit to Alberton, Montana. Who could resist?

In Missoula we stayed at the Gibson Mansion Bed &Breakfast, a beautifully restored home where we enjoyed the most amazing breakfast that started with coffee and scones delivered to our room and wrapped up with banana macadamia nut French toast.

And that brings me to the reason for our trip to Missoula.

Bob Dylan. Live. In Concert.

I couldn’t take my camera into the concert, but thrilled to find these professional photos on Ann Alhouse’s Flikr page, and I thank her for providing public access to them.

It was an outdoor concert on a beautiful summer evening, with the sun setting over the mountains, and one of my all-time favorite musicians. It was a night to remember, and my bucket list now has one less thing on it.

Gotta love a road trip! I hope you're having a wonderful summer, and that your bucket list is a little shorter, too!

Until next time,
The Daddy Project, December 2012
Daddy, Unexpectedly, May 2013

Monday, August 20, 2012

Yes, Women do Ride Bulls

This month I'm excited to announce that the fifth book in my Rodeo Rebels series, A Cowboy's Duty, is being released.  The 4th, 5th & 6th books in the Rodeo Rebels are tied together by a common thread--women's bull riding.  I blogged about where I got the idea for this unique story angle earlier this month at I thought it would be fund to share the story here. 

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? 

 Happy Trails!