Thursday, September 11, 2014

What’s more American than Rodeo?

Today being September 11th, I thought I’d frame my post around a patriotic theme. With the Fourth of July picnics all done, the kids all back in school and fall upon us, it’s time to turn on the TV and watch some sports. Baseball has started and football has started too. But I’m here to talk about another American sport – or rather the U.S. version of it – bull riding.
In American bull riding, the rider must stay atop the bucking bull for eight seconds. He is not allowed to touch the bull, the rope or himself with his free hand. The rider wins points for his ability to stay in control during the ride. The bulls are assigned points as well for their agility, power and speed. This sport truly pits the human against the animal’s raw natural power.
No wonder bull riding has been called the deadliest 8 seconds in sports!
In Perfect Ride, by myself and Shiloh Saddler, the lead character and bull riding champion, Garrett Anderson, picks a dangerous bull to ride, hoping to gain maximum points and secure his win and this is what happens during his 8-second ride:

Garrett bit down on the mouth guard and squeezed the bull tightly with his legs. The gate swung open and Spitfire didn’t move. He acted like he’d already expended all his energy acting up in the chute. Come on. You’re supposed to be one nasty bucker.
The gateman closed the gate and Garrett had to reset. Freddy stood near him ready to offer any assistance. Garrett cussed under his breath and rewrapped his hand.
“Come on, Spitfire, it’s time for both of us to go to work.”
Garrett slapped the bull’s side, getting his attention. He nodded again to the gateman and this time they burst out of the chute, but he couldn’t spur until the bull settled his footing. When he did, Spitfire charged and weaved down the arena snorting and thrashing his head along the way. Every toss of the massive head brought those creamy-clear horns dangerously close to his thighs and his guts. Garrett’s heart settled squarely in his throat and he struggled to breathe. Holding tight to the rope, and squeezing his leg muscles until he ached, he felt like he was being dragged by a runaway train. He wished the bullfighters would come in and shoot the crazy animal.
The bull didn’t slow down or change course. The steel barriers loomed closer and closer and closer. Should I bail? If he jumped, he’d have no chance at the money. He gripped the rope harder, his knuckles turning clear, and hung on as Spitfire crashed into the heavily reinforced gate head on, horns clanging against the metal nearly pitching his rider off over his head. Garrett felt his arm pulled out of its socket and pain engulfed his shoulder. Then Spitfire spun and rammed Garrett’s leg against the gate. Garrett heard the loud crack over the roar of the crowd, felt the sharp stab of pain race up his thigh hard and fast to jolt his brain. More adrenaline flooded his system and the pain went away. His leg dangled uselessly against Spitfire’s side. Without it to help keep himself upright, he was entirely at the bull’s mercy. Garrett’s already hard breathing quickened. He felt the sickening surge of combined pain and panic clawing at his awareness. Just don’t get tangled up in the rope. With his broken leg, he wouldn’t be able to stand and would be whipped around like a rag doll. Now he could only grip the rope tighter and pray. His whole bull-riding career flashed before eyes going all the way back to mutton busting. A sour taste rose into his mouth. Was this going to be his last ride?
The bull snorted and bucked into a right-hand spin. The change of momentum threatened to push him into the well. Then he heard it. One of the sweetest sounds he’d ever heard or would ever hear. The buzzer sounded and Garrett let go of the rope with relief, crumpling to the ground. He laid there unable to move. With the ride completed, awareness of the pain in his leg took over. It was impossible for him to stand now, much less run. He gritted his teeth and attempted to crawl away from the bull, the pain so intense it felt like his leg was on fire. He finally gave up, crumpling into the dirt.

Tune in to the PBR on your local CBS Sports channel and see for yourself how nail-bitingly long 8 seconds can really be!
If you’re feeling patriotic, they play the national anthem at the start of every night/day’s competition.  Here is a video of one such anthem, and she does a pretty good job! 

Happy trails to you and yours,


Here’s more about Perfect Ride: 
Professional bull rider Garrett Anderson lives for the next town, the next trophy and his next ride. When he rolls into Sheridan, Wyoming, the last thing he expected was to meet a cowboy like Cole—a man who corrals his heart and leaves him aching for a love he never realized he’d been missing.
Surrounded by hate, Cole Richards wasn’t prepared for Garrett’s passion or the longing their night together leaves him with. But when he’s shot, and stuck in his hospital bed, Cole watches every second of Garrett’s disastrous ride, and is heartbroken when the battered and bruised bull rider leaves town.
Attacked again and knee-deep in trouble, Cole wants only Garett at his side. But can his bull rider trade fame and fortune for a lifetime with his one perfect ride?

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Eva Bio:
Eva Lefoy writes and reads all kinds of romance, and is a certified Trekkie. She’s also terribly addicted to chocolate, tea, and hiking. One of these days, she’ll figure out the meaning of life, quit her job, and go travel the galaxy. Until then, she’s writing down all her dirty thoughts for the sake of future explorers.

Shiloh Bio:
Shiloh Saddler likes to do research for her steamy romances first hand. She has invented a time machine and travels back to the 19th century on a regular basis. There are experimental settings on her time machine which could propel her into the future and even other worlds. She believes love and a good book makes anything possible.

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