Please welcome author DiAne Gates to The West Corner!
Those of us not born-and-breed Texans love to say I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got here soon as I could! And those wise words applied to our family too. There’s something about Texas hospitality, food, and folks that slips under your skin and transforms a person into a new Texan from the inside out.
I’ve photographed miles of Florida sand and waves, but when we arrived in Texas my heart’s desire was to become a rodeo photographer. But somewhere along the way the urge to write about Texas Rodeo families won the coin toss—and The Roped Series was born.
Kids today need to be challenged to crawl from in front of their computers and X-boxes, and there’s no better way than learning to rope and ride. Rodeo kids are good kids… at the end of the day they’re too tired to do anything else. Besides, rodeo is like Florida sand, once it gets in your sandals, boots, or tennis shoes—you’re hooked.
Book One in the series, ROPED drops the reader into an ongoing generational feud between two Texas families. The Crosby’s own a small ranch outside of Terrell, Texas. Crissy Crosby is a teen who loves her family, loves the Lord, and loves her horses. But the Fairgate’s spread makes the Crosby’s place look like a dump. Ed Fairgate’s always gotta be the best at everything, regardless of the cost, and he expects the same of his daughter. Jodie Lea, is a spoiled, mean brat, who let’s everyone, including Crissy, know they are beneath her.
ROPED speaks to problems teens face or come in contact with in their friends’ lives—racial prejudice, feelings of inferiority, bullying, death of grandparents, competition—problems many parents are uncomfortable discussing, because they often don’t have the answers.
The reader is introduced to rodeo life…the process, the mentality, the rewards. And the dangers. Problems escalate when a new Chinese student enrolls in school in this East Texas town. But underneath all the bravado lurks a terrible secret. A secret so ugly and evil Crissy—who’s never scared of anything—meets her match in the dark shadows of an unfamiliar barn after the rodeo championship. Will she survive?
Book Two TWISTED, draws the reader into the lives of these two girls and reveals why Jodie Lea is such a brat, and the answer will toss both families into turmoil from which their lives will be turned upside-down and backwards. And all Crissy yearns for is to rope and ride again.
Book Three UNTIED, is still a work in progress, but I can tell you, both girls return to the rodeo arena—a place of comfort for Crissy, but a ring of hateful memories for Jodie Lea.
About the Author
Wife, mother, and Mimi, freelance artist and photographer, DiAne Gates writes for children, young adults, and non-fiction for adults through her blogs, http://dianegates.wordpress.com/ and www.floridagirlturnedtexan.wordpress.com. She also facilitates a GriefShare support group.
DiAne’s award winning, ROPED, first in her western adventure series released July of 2015, and the second book, TWISTED, released by Pelican Book Group July 14, 2017. Third book in this series, UNTIED, is her WIP.
Connect with DiAne on Facebook.
Thirteen-year-old Crissy Crosby chases a dream to live up to her parents’ rodeo legacy. But the rodeo championship is two months away and problems beyond her ability to solve stack and teeter like a game of Tumbling-Towers. Meanwhile rival Jodie Lea and her father, Ed Fairgate, contrive to swipe the silver buckles from Crissy’s grasp any way they can. Prejudice, anger, and dark secrets simmer in a pot of family feuds destined to boil over in a tragic nightmare at the rodeo. Will Crissy develop courage and faith to overcome the consequences of her temper? Will her dreams of buckles and titles become reality? Or will the character-building adversities of her life quash her dreams forever?
Roped (The Roped Series, Book One) is available from Amazon.