I’m Julia Talbot, and I’m here to talk about Sparkle and Shine, which is one of my favorite stories. Dreamspinner is being kind enough to put it back out for me and I couldn’t be more tickled.
Brooks and Evan are rodeo cowboys, and that’s what I want to talk about today. Rodeo, I mean. It’s one of my very favorite pastimes, and I go every chance I get.
Rodeo is comprised of what people call timed events and roughstock events. Roughstock are bucking horses and bulls, animals that are not broken to ride. The timed events are just that. Roping and barrel racing and steer wrestling, all of which get their ranking from how little time they use up during their run.
The roughstock bucking events all get a score based on how well the ride went in 8 seconds. The score is based on a total of 100 points. 50 for the rider. 50 for the animal. Never think the bucking animal doesn’t matter. If they don’t like their jobs, they retire pretty quick. The judges score each ride. A 65 or better will keep you in the game, a 78 or more can put you in the money.
I can tell you that as a kid, I was totally a roughstock fan. I would go to the bathroom during the barrel racing, because I didn’t understand the skill and courage it took to ride at those speeds and still control your horse. I still love the bull riding best, but now I can appreciate the horses that are used for roping. Those animals are athletes, and if you’ve ever seen one waiting to make a run, dancing with anticipation, you know they love the game. I love to cheer the team ropers when both the header (the man who ropes the horns) and the heeler (the man who ropes the feet) when they make a good catch.
There’s a lot to love about rodeo, and I hope y’all will visit with Evan and Brooks and learn to love them, too.
All that glitters is not gold. No-frills cowboy Evan learned that lesson the hard way while married to a rodeo princess, a relationship that was all flash and no substance. At least Evan held on to his daughter, Cheyenne, and his best friend, Brooks, when the sparkle wore off and things fell apart. Life could be a lot worse.
But it could also be better… if Evan and Brooks took a step beyond friendship. Just as they start to explore their feelings, Evan’s ex-wife sticks her nose in to sabotage them. Suddenly everything is up in the air, and they have difficult choices to make about the rodeo, Cheyenne, and the romance they both want so badly to pursue
First edition published by Torquere Press, November 2007.
Stories that leave a mark. Julia Talbot loves romance across all the genders and genres, and loves to write about people working to see past the skin they’re in to love what lies beneath. Julia Talbot lives in the great mountain and high desert Southwest, where there is hot and cold running rodeo, cowboys, and everything from meat and potatoes to the best Tex-Mex. A full time author, Julia has been published by Dreamspinner and Changeling Press among many others. She believes that everyone deserves a happy ending, so she writes about love without limits, where boys love boys, girls love girls, and boys and girls get together to get wild, especially when her crazy paranormal characters are involved. She also writes BDSM and erotic romance as Minerva Howe. Find Julia at @juliatalbot on Twitter, or at www.juliatalbot.com “The mountains are calling, and I must go”