My Other Half
By Laura Drake
No, I’m not referring to my husband, Alpha Dog (my own personal hero.)
I’m referring to what I write. They say, ‘Write what you know,’ so I did.
But, I’m a little . . . quirky.
I write about my two passions: Bull Riding and Motorcycling.
Yeah, I know. I did warn you!
Bull Riding –
How did a city girl from Detroit end up a cowboy fan-girl? Well, I did marry a Texan.
There’s just something about a cowboy – but bull riders are the elite cowboys; men who have the guts to tie themselves to a plunging one ton animal that wants to throw them in the dirt and dance on their dangling parts. Well, then there’s cowboy butts in chaps….sigh.
I’ve written a three book series set in the world of Professional Bull Riding. My Sweet on a Cowboy series (Grand Central) debuted in May with, The Sweet Spot. I’m thrilled that it was chosen as an RT Top Pick! Here’s a quick taste:
She stood before the mirror, buttoning blue flannel pajamas with shaking fingers. Fluffy white cartoon sheep bounced across the material on her chest. Oh, nice. You’re a forty-year old woman, taking a man to your bed for the first time in forever, and this is the best you can do? How sad is that? It’s going to put a damper on the mood if he’s laughing his head off.
It would almost be better to walk out naked. She reached for the top button before she remembered. He’s used to a twenty-year old! Her hand dropped. Better flannel sheep than floppy boobs and a poochy belly. He sure hadn’t traded up in the body department.
Her panicked gaze darted the room, searching for an alternative. My robe! She reached for it. Yellow terrycloth, it covered her from neck to ankle. She looked closer. In spite of numerous Shout applications, the sleeves were stained grey, and snagged strings dangled everywhere; it looked like a shedding bison. A yellow shedding bison.
A soft tap at the door made her jump. “Charla? You okay in there?”
She shot a look to the ceiling. You got me into this. I hope you’re amused. She pulled open the door. . .
Here’s an excerpt from Her Road Home, to be released in August by Harlequin’s Superromance:
“I’m full blooded Italian.” His back to her, he added, “My mom taught me. Those are my best memories – she cooked to Verde and while the pasta boiled, we’d dance in the kitchen.” The soft pain in his voice sounded like a bruise – an old, deep bruise.
He turned, and held out a hand. “Will you dance?”
She stood like a scared rabbit. You don’t want to give him mixed messages.
The violin wove through the music, a crying thread of sadness.
He doesn’t want you, he wants a memory. You could give him that.
She looked up.
His hand hung outstretched. “It’s only a dance.”
His soft smile convinced her. She stepped forward and took his hand.
It was large and warm, the calluses a reminder that this dance partner was also her mechanic. He swept her away, gliding across the kitchen, his steps sure and graceful. He held her classically, giving her space. But his pheromone-loaded working man smell bridged the gap. She took a long breath of him and held it, feeling no guilt – she was doing him a favor, after all. His strong arms supported her but didn’t push; suggesting movement rather than demanding. Relaxed in his surety, her awkward body shifted — to something petite, fragile, almost graceful. She felt like Cinderella, at the ball. When he spun her, a bubble of joy rose in her chest until it burst from her mouth in a laugh.
If this man loves like he dances, any woman would be toast.
Not that she’d ever know. She stiffened, her fairy tale moment popping like a soap bubble.
He danced her back to the stove and pulled her into a brief, fierce hug. Lips beside her ear, he whispered, “Grazie, bella signora.” He released her, and stepped back.
She curtsied low. She had no idea why; surely it was the first curtsy of her life. But something in the formal passion of the old world music and his courtly manners made her feel . . . womanly.
He turned to the oven, missing her blush.
You’re a little old to play princess, Crozier. And a Tiara doesn’t fit under a motorcycle helmet.
Thanks for hosting a quirky author in The Café today!
Laura Drake is a city girl, who never grew out of her tomboy ways, or a serious cowboy crush. She writes both Women’s Fiction and Romance. The Sweet Spot, the first novel in her, ‘Sweet on a Cowboy’ Series, will be released by Grand Central in May of 2013, Nothing Sweeter, in December. Her ‘biker-chick’ novel, Her Road Home, will be released by Harlequin’s Superromance in August, 2013.
Laura resides in Southern California, though she aspires to retirement in Texas. She gave up the corporate CFO gig to write, full time. She’s a wife, grandmother, and motorcycle chick in the remaining waking hours.