The Long Ride Home by Kari Lynn Dell
My First Rodeo
Yep, that’s me, at the ripe old age of eight, my very first rodeo. My mother and I dug this picture out of our old photo albums last weekend. Boy, did that bring back memories, in a rush of equal parts terror and nostalgia for both of us. Shivering in the darkness outside waiting for my turn, my dad leading me into the arena on Kleeko to compete at the Montana Winter Fair which was a BIG DEAL when I was a kid.
I have no idea why this horse had a name like a killer whale. I do recall looking at the stands and Oh My Lord all those people! I was shocked to return to the same arena when I was in college and realize it seated more like three hundred than three thousand.
I did not win. I didn’t even place. I didn’t care. I was just thrilled and relieved that I’d completed the pattern without falling off. So was my mother. Unfortunately for both of us, I was hooked. Condemned from that day forward to a lifetime of rodeo-induced poverty.
It only seems right to revisit my rodeo debut when my first novel has just been released. The experience isn’t all that different. You work and you work, practice and fine tune, and finally reach that moment when you have to just let it all go and hope for the best. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you get to hear the cheer of the crowd.
Yes, this is my first rodeo. Hope you enjoy the ride as much as I did.
The Long Ride Home
David Parsons is on the verge of making his pro rodeo dreams come true when his one-in-a-million rope horse, Muddy, goes missing. In the aftermath, David loses everything. His career, his fiancée´, his pride.
Four years later, David is clawing his way out of the ruins and back up the rankings when he gets the miracle he’s prayed for. Muddy has been found on Montana’s Blackfeet Indian Reservation.
But repossessing Muddy is unexpectedly complicated. Kylan, the teenager on Muddy’s back, has had a lifetime of hard knocks. His custodial aunt, Mary Steele, will fight like a mama bear to make sure losing this horse isn’t the blow that levels the boy. Even if it’s at David’s expense.
David is faced with a soul-wrenching dilemma. Taking back his own future could destroy Kylan’s. And ruin any chance he might have with the fierce, fascinating Mary.
It’s a long, hard ride to the top of the rodeo world. And for David, an even longer ride home. Unless he can find a trail that leads to both.