Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Who Held The First Rodeo? First A Little History....

When was the first rodeo held? History isn’t clear on this and it’s hotly contested.

Rodeo came into being when cowboys from different ranches engaged in friendly, and not so friendly, competitions of skill after long cattle drives in the late 1800s. Such a cowboy gathering was a good place to blow off steam and a form of needed entertainment. When the Homestead Act and barbed wire fences brought an end to the open range, cowboys would gather at stock shows and compete.

Payson, Arizona claims it’s the oldest continuous rodeo (1884). But when the game Trivial Pursuits upheld Prescott Arizona’s documented claim as the oldest organized rodeo (1888) it was Pecos, Texas that threatened to sue based on its documented eye-witness accounts of a rodeo that took place there in 1883. However, all three may be have lost out by about fourteen or so years, according to the New York Times, since it appears Deer Trail, Colorado may hold the bragging rights as they held their event in 1869 when an Englishman, Emilinie Gardenshire, successfully rode a horse named Montana Blizzard and took home a new set of clothes as his reward. Rodeo is still going strong in big cities and small towns not only out west but throughout the United States. My own eastern town throws a rodeo the first weekend of June every year. Even New York City hosts an annual rodeo at Madison Square Garden.

In my new book, Re-ride at the Rodeo, from The Wild Rose Press, part of the Wayback, Texas, series, rodeo is the element that both brings the couple together and threatens to tear them apart. You see, the hero, Clay Tanner is a saddle bronc rider looking to make some money and have a good time. He spies a pretty little blonde who looks like she could use some fun. Trouble is she turns him down. Dusty Morgan wants nothing to do with rodeo riders. Her late father rode broncs and he was never there for her—until he learned he was going to die. Now she’s looking for happily ever after and despite her attraction to the strapping cowboy, she’s not interested in a hit and run with a footloose rodeo man. But Clay's betting he'll get a re-ride and walk away with more than a new pair of clothes. You can purchase Re-ride at the Rodeo at The Wild Rose Press.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Cowboy Superstitions: Bad Luck at the Rodeo

Seems since Halloween is coming up, it's a good time to talk about superstitions. Like anyone else, cowboys have their superstitions, particularly rodeo cowboys. And those are the kind of cowboys you'll find hanging about in Wayback, Texas looking for a Re-ride at the Rodeo, the name of my new book from The Wild Rose Press. Here's just a few superstitions and feel free to add some of your own.

-Never put your hat on a bed or you'll have bad luck. Now they don't say whether that bad luck extends to the lady whose bed you've just set your hat on!

-A saddle bronc rider always puts the right foot into the stirrup first.

-Never kick a paper cup in a rodeo arena; it could spook the horses nearby

-For as many steps as you take wearing only one boot, you will have that many bad days to come.

-It's bad luck to put your left boot first

-Never compete with change in your pocket, that might be all you'll win

-If a cowboy wears his boots while his baby is born, it will be a boy.

-Eating a hot dog before you compete is good luck

-In winter, if you sprinkle red pepper in your boots it will keep you warm

-Entering the north end of an arena is bad luck

-If you put your boots on the table, you'll get into an argument. (Of course you will, your gal is going to tan your hide for a stunt like that!)

Good things for a cowboy to remember, especially if you're planning on rodeoing. And since a lot of supersitions revolve around the boots, let me add one more just for Clay, the hero of Re-ride at the Rodeo, remember whose bed your boots are under. Only kidding!:)

You can purchase Re-ride at the Rodeo for $3 at The Wild Rose Press and find out how Clay's luck holds out with a very little firebrand called Dusty.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Origin of the Term Maverick

This political season there’s be a lot of talk about mavericks, a term that’s come to mean someone who is a rebel or outlaw or, according to Trivia Library, someone who couldn’t be trusted to remain one of his group. Some of you may remember the television series by that name with James Garner as one of the Maverick brothers. But did you know that it is Samuel Augustus Maverick that we have to thank for the term?

Maverick, by this time a rancher, refused to brand his cattle saying, according to Wikpedia, that he didn’t wish to inflict pain. Others suspected that not branding cattle allowed him to claim all unbranded cattle as his own. However, Terrillita Maverick, now 82 and a resident of San Antonia told the New York Times Sunday that it was because he was more interested in land than the livestock on it. Regardless of the reason, the term maverick in the 1800s came to mean any steer that didn’t bear a brand.

According to the New York Times article, Terrillita Maverick is quite miffed at how the term is being bandied about and used in the political arena. Perhaps it’s because Samuel Augustus Maverick helped organize the Democratic Party in Texas after the Civil War or that a later generation Maverick was labeled a communist by the opposition when he ran for congress during Roosevelt’s time or that a recent Maverick was a civil libertarian and lawyer who took up the cause of those scorned by society, his last column at his death attacking the coming war in Iraq. Or that she herself is part of the board of the local American Civil Liberties Union of Texas.
Politics aside, it is fascinating to note that the Mavericks of Texas still appear to be Mavericks in name and in deed.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Re-ride is Released—Available Now ; Two New Contests!

Re-Ride at the Rodeo is NOW AVAILABLE at The Wild Rose Press. Just $3 will get you a front row seat at the Wayback rodeo where saddle bronc rider, Clay Tanner, is going to try his luck with feisty Dusty Morgan. When he gets shot down, he asks for a re-ride, but it may cost him more than he’s prepared to lose.

And there are two contests going when you get your e-copy of Re-ride at the Rodeo:

Sony E-Reader Contest from The Wild Rose Press
I love my Sony E-Reader! I can have up to 300 books and my favorite tunes all in one slim, compact device. No books to find homes for when I’ve finished reading them. I can bookmark pages, never lose my place when I’m reading and can change the type to large (so no one knows I need glasses—LOL) You'll have a chance to enter when you buy a copy of Re-Ride at the Rodeo. Once you make your purchase, just e-mail a copy of your order number, the title purchased and the date purchased to:
sonyreader@the and you’ll be entered! The contest runs until December 15, 2008. More information is on the purchase page of Re-Ride at the Rodeo

Re-Ride at the Rodeo Contest-$15 gift certificate
After reading Re-ride at the Rodeo, all you have to do is send an e-mail to me at with contest in the subject line and tell me if you think Jesse should have told the truth to Dusty about what he and Clay did. He said it was in her interest to know—but was it?

Anybody who sends an answer by November 30th will be entered into a drawing for a $15 Amazon gift certificate! I’ll draw the winner at the end of November, right in time for the holidays.

One new story to read, two chances to win!