Friday, January 15, 2010

Cowboy Lovin' Day 15: Marguerite Arotin

It's the second day of The Way Back Home anthology's special event. Today we have guest author of the Wayback series title Return of the Prodigal Daughter, the 2nd story featured in The Way Back Home. Marguerite Arotin goes in-depth with her cowboy hero, Jake Serrano, just for us here at The Cozy Page...

When my friend and fellow author Abbey MacInnis told me all about our publisher’s Wayback series and the idea she had about us writing stories with sister heroines, I think I knew automatically that I wanted my hero to be a rodeo clown. That is my ultimate idea of bravery and not to mention, sexiness. I mean who wouldn’t totally crush on a cowboy who puts himself in the line of fire to protect other cowboys? I thought it would be fun to interview my hero for the fictional Texas town’s newspaper. Of course, I interviewed him close to the start of my story- Return of the Prodigal Daughter, because I wanted to get his thoughts on how he felt when the love of his life, Sherrie Serrano, came home to Wayback after her Malibu home went up in smoke.

Jake’s Interview for The Wayback Journal

Howdy all, today I had the privilege of interviewing Jake Serrano, also known to the townsfolk of Wayback as our favorite Rodeo Clown, Colt. Now he might have been a little hush-hush when it came to his personal life and a certain blonde super-model who came back into his life and turned his life upside down, but he was willing share his love of the rodeo and some of his tricks for wowing the crowd while still protecting our participating cowboys.

Marguerite: The first thing I wanted to ask is why do you work as rodeo clown? Why do you feel it’s necessary to risk your life like that?

Jake: It’s not just the adrenaline rush. I genuinely like doing my part in the rodeo, staring down a bull and luring him away from a cowboy who’s down. I guess it all comes down to how I raised. My Pa and grandma told me you gotta use your God-given talents to help others’ in this world. I was played defense on the football team in high school because I was fast and I liked protecting the other players on the team. When I left for Hollywood after graduation, I went right to work as a stuntman to keep the actors out of harm’s way. Guess I that was my first real big dream when I was a kid, because I used to watch “The Fall Guy” and I wanted to be just like Colt, always saving the day.

Marguerite: You just brought up Hollywood. I understand the young lady you left town has returned to Wayback. How does that make you feel?

Jake: I don’t want to talk about Sherrie right now Mam’. We parted ways and oh … (He rubs the back of his neck as his cheeks turn scarlet) Maybe I was an idiot for walking on out her and I’ve apologized for that. Now, no more talking about my personal life. I thought you wanted to know about the rodeo and my job.

Marguerite: Sorry. Okay, I guess I can understand how the issue of Sherrie is touchy for you. So tell me more about how you became a rodeo clown?
Jake: I ran into an old friend when I came back home who’d been clowning on the rodeo circuit for a few years. I knew I could help out at my family’s property, Sombrero Farms, and I did have a part-time night job working as a bouncer for Maizie at the Cue Ball Pool Hall and Laundromat, but I wanted to do something a little bit more … well … exciting. So I followed my friend back to a clown training camp in Denver and I trained there for a few months, working the occasional small 4-H rodeo and one large semi-regional championship. When I thought I was ready to come home and work Wayback’s rodeo, they hired me on the spot and I’ve been working for the local rodeo ever since. (He smiles and reveals his dimples, which I’m sure always charms the local cow girls) I love it. May through November is my favorite time of year.
Marguerite: I also understand you help out at the farm from time to time when you’re grandmother has school kids at her restaurant. Is this correct?
Jake: You betcha. I make balloon animals, do a little juggling, or some of the stunts I do to entertain the crowd during the rodeo intermissions.
Marguerite: So you love kids, you’re a very adorable daredevil, I can’t imagine why any cow girl hasn’t snatched you up yet. Is there a special lady in your life?
Jake: There will only be one special lady in my life and I’m working to try and make up with her now.
Marguerite: Could that be Sherrie?
Jake: No comment.
I thanked Jake for the interview and hoped he could patch things up with Sherrie. After all, even a brave rodeo clown needs a strong woman behind him.

An excerpt from Return of the Prodigal Daughter available in e-book and in the print Anthology- The Way Back Home from
Jake stood alone with Sherrie. The bank was closed for the night. Downtown Wayback was still and quiet. The first tones of a fiery sunset colored the horizon and he supposed most people were settling into their homes for dinner. He should have left after depositing his paycheck at the bank ATM. He should be at home now too, relaxing on the couch with a cold beer and a cold slice of pizza. Instead, he stared into that soft blue gaze he missed so much, wanting to find the right words to say Sherrie.
“I’m sorry,” he blurted out, figuring that would be a good start. “I’m sorry about the way I left. I’m sorry for ... hell a lot of things.”
Sherrie shrugged and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. “Sorry’s a good start. Suppose I can forgive you.”
“Why? Why’d you come back? We both know you belong in California. Your career was taking off. You wanted that big house on the beach.”
She lowered her gaze to the sidewalk and kicked the front wheel of her SUV. “I don’t have a career no more. I had the big house on the beach and lost it. God, I don’t know if I should tell you any more. I don’t know if I could trust you after—”
“After what? I told you I was sorry.” He placed his hand on her shoulder. “Sherrie, it’s me, the man you used to confide all your hopes and dreams in. I never told anyone about how were so nervous during your first fashion show that you nearly tripped on the runway. You can trust me, darling.”
Sighing, she removed her left hand from her jeans pocket and Jake noticed the black leather glove covering it. She removed the glove, revealing a swollen, red hand.
“Jesus, what happened?”
“A wildfire took my house, scarred my hand and arm, ruined any chance of strutting my stuff on the runway again, or sitting pretty for the camera. All I have left is my family. So, I came home.”
“Sherrie ... I ... Heck, I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be. I don’t need your sympathy. You didn’t start the fire. I was stupid enough to try to grab my family photos and now I’m paying the price.” She raised her head to meet his gaze. “Your mama dropped by to see me while I was in the hospital.”
“Oh.” Jake hadn’t seen his mama in three years. Pa told him when she ran out that trying to hold on to Mama was like trying to catch a shooting star, which is exactly how he felt about Sherrie too. He knew she was in Wayback now, but he was sure his shooting star would fly off to the next galaxy as soon as she got back on her feet again. “How is she? I bet by now she probably went and got herself hitched again.”
She nodded. “Sure did. Met her latest husband. His name’s Bob. Seems like a nice ‘nough fellow.”
Jake rolled his eyes. “Yeah and so were the last nine stepfathers. I’ll be surprised if this marriage sticks.”
“I think it just might. I still believe in happy endings, Jake. I wish you did too. I should get on home. Max is waiting on me.”
He didn’t know quite why, but he grabbed her arm before she could slip into her Escape, pulled her close to him, so close that her soft curves pressed against him, close enough that he could smell the lavender scent of her perfume. Everything about Sherrie positively intoxicated him, made him dizzy, and weak, but it wouldn’t be enough until he tasted her lips and he did. He crushed his lips into hers.
To his amazement, she didn’t fight him, didn’t even try to break free. She relaxed into his embrace and parted her lips. He delved his tongue inside, tasting every corner of her spearmint mouth. She must still be a gum chewer. God, this feels so perfect having her in my arms again, even if she isn’t mine to hold.
Finally, she broke free, leaving him breathless, and with a raging hard on. If he had his way, he would pick Sherrie up and carry her back to his bed, but he was certain Max would have something to say about that. Max Porter was a big man and he made it clear when Jake returned to Wayback that he was to stay away from the youngest Porter girl ... forever.
Sherrie suddenly slapped the side of his cheek so hard that it stung. “That’s for taking advantage of me.”
He gave her a half-grin. “You didn’t seem to mind it so much when I was kissing you.”
“You ... Oh ... Damn it, Jake!”
He loved the way her cheeks turned a bright crimson. Watching her open the door to her SUV, he decided that he might not be able to hold his shooting star forever, but he’d enjoy the way she shined for as long as she stayed in Wayback.

Marguerite has kindly offered, in honor of heroine Sherrie's modeling profession, to giveaway a $25 Victoria's Secret Gift Card to one lucky commenter! To enter, comment to this post before midnight EST January 19th. Winner will be announced the following Tuesday. Chances of winning depend on the number of entries. You must be 18 years or older to enter!

And, of course, be sure to get your copy of Return of the Prodigal Daughter at The Wild Rose Press or in the Wayback anthology The Way Back Home!


Autumn Jordon said...

Adorable! Colt sounds like the kind of cowboy I'd love. He sure is a nice guy, but fears no bull. Great interview. I've got to read this story.


Amy said...

Return of the Prodigal Daughter sounds great. I loved the interview with the hero. I've read a lot of cowboy books, but I don't think I've read one where the hero was a rodeo clown. I'll have to read this one. Sounds so good!

suehussein said...

Hi, nice post and I loved the interview with Colt. I read a lot of anthologies and I'm going to pick this one up. It seems like there aren't many authors writing Westerns right now. Keep writing for us cowboy lovers!! Thanks, Sue

Anonymous said...

Wow I would love to meet a guy like Colt. This book sounds so good I am getting it right away. Always looking for new authors to read.

Marguerite Arotin said...

Thanks Ladies :-) and Sue I am working another Western right now, this one's a historical with a Texas Ranger hero. Colt/Jake was one of my faves to write though because yeah, I have a thing for a nice guy with a daredevil streak ;-)

Cherie J said...

I loved the interview Colt. He sounds like such a great Guy. Makes me want to read the story.

Margaret Tanner said...

Great interview,with the hero. Ooh I do love cowboys. Gripping extract, I've just added it to my to buy pile.

Linda Henderson said...

I enjoyed the interview. Loved the excerpt. I can't wait to read it, it's going on my wish list.

Julie said...

Your hero sounds adorable! Thanks for the chance to win. :)

Becky said...

What a great interview with Jake. "Return of the Prodigal Daughter" sounds real good. I have added it to my list to buy.

Lisa G said...

I have this ebook and after reading the excerpt, it just got moved to the top of my tbr list! Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

This story puts a new spin on things. I like to read about characters that are normally in the background of stories getting a chance to have center stage.

Kammie said...

Neat idea! I like that interview. Gives you some insight into Jake's character and makes you want to read more. Enjoyed the excerpt, too!

CrystalGB said...

Great interview and excerpt. Sounds good.