It’s a two-book-release summer! Reunited with the Cowboy came out in July, and After the Rodeo is out this week. Both books are in my Heroes of Shelter Creek series, set in a fictional small town in the beautiful coastal hills of Northern California.
After the Rodeo was such a fun book to write. It’s a sweet story of Jace Hendricks, a bull rider who leaves the rodeo just as he’s finally finding some success in the arena, to take care of his sister’s three kids.
He buys the only ranch he can afford in his hometown of Shelter Creek, and then discovers it’s overrun with elk that are protected by state and local law. To make matters worse, the town assigns Vivian Reed, a wildlife biologist, to survey the elk and their habitat.
Jace just wants to fix up his ranch. He doesn’t want Vivian around, telling him what to do. But he can’t help noticing the way she brings out the best in his nieces and nephew… and maybe in him as well.
I love writing characters who have to overcome a lot of obstacles in the story, and Jace has both physical obstacles, such as the elk and financial problems, as well as emotional issues. By spending his life chasing rodeo dreams, he never had to grow up and become an adult the way most of us do. Suddenly he’s a parent, and he has to grow up fast!
And then there’s Vivian. I think she evolved because I was thinking a lot about hidden disabilities when the idea for her character came to me. So many people are dealing with a physical or mental illness or injury that we can’t see. Vivian ended up with that type of challenge in her life, and she is afraid to reveal it to anyone because she perceives it as a weakness.
Writing a book is odd in many ways. You create these characters, put them together and hope they have chemistry. As I wrote this story it became clear to me that Jace and Vivian were absolutely meant to be together. It was a delight to write their scenes! They had banter and tension and even though they were at odds, they could eventually see the good in one another.
I hope you enjoy After the Rodeo. It’s available as an ebook or paperback, at all major online retailers. If you’d like to know what readers are saying about the book, here is the link to its page on Goodreads. And here is a link to a preview if you’d like to read a bit of the story for free.
Thanks for reading my blog today and helping me celebrate the release of After the Rodeo!