Hiya guys, we have George Seaton popping in with his upcoming release Shane Thorpe Knew Jesus and Rode Bulls (that title is amazing!), George also brings along an excerpt so we can have a sneak peek, so check out the post and enjoy! ❤ ~Pixie~
Shane Thorpe Knew Jesus and Rode Bulls
Eighteen-year-old Joe Vasquez leaves Denver for Texas with Harley Bray, the cow kid who never fit in at their high school. In spite of discovering there’s another side to Harley’s nature—occasional “withdrawals” from roadside convenience stores, a nefarious skill he teaches Joe—Joe shares Harley’s dream of riding bulls and a life together on the Texas plains outside of Abilene. A life that will hopefully see the fulfillment of another of Joe’s dreams—to become a veterinarian.
When a rank bull kills Harley in a rodeo on Longview, Texas, Joe accepts an offer from another bull rider, Shane Thorpe, to partner up and ride the circuit together. The problem is that the blond-haired, blue-eyed Shane found Jesus a long time ago, and he’s torn between his faith and his attraction to Joe. As they make their way across Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona to their final stop on the circuit at the National Western Rodeo in Denver, Joe bides his time for what he hopes will be a relationship with Shane as fulfilling as the one he’d had with Harley. His hopes for the future, however, are challenged along the way when he discovers that his “withdrawals” have captured the attention of a dedicated Texas Ranger.
Joe Vasquez was a bull rider who seemed to enjoy the idea of bull riding more than he did the ride itself. Or, that was Shane Thorpe’s conclusion once he and Joe had agreed to team up and ride the circuit together. Another thing Shane thought about Joe was that he was about as pretty as a man could be, and oh those eyes. Shane was occasionally bothered by his attraction to Joe but understood the danger of giving in to it. The Good Lord had spoken of those dangers, and Shane was determined, as he’d been his entire life, to avoid the temptation. Except for that one time with his boyhood friend, Eloi.
Joe and Shane had met in Tyler, Texas, when Shane had stopped at the Yellow Rose Saloon for a beer and to shoot the shit with the other cowboys who were always there, sometimes well into the night. That day he’d finished rebuilding the loafing shed his mother had been on him to do for months, and on his way back to town, the call of the fifteen-foot neon yellow rose just off the side of the road was not to be ignored and he pulled into the parking lot. As he got out of his truck, he glanced at the pickup he’d parked next to and saw a young man wearing a ball cap behind the wheel wiping his eyes as though he’d been crying. Shane knocked on the window. When the young man opened the window, Shane saw Joe Vasquez for the first time, felt his blood rush to his head, and knew that the sadness in those green eyes was something that needed his attention.
Shane listened to Joe tell his story as they both sipped drafts, ignoring the noise from the sparse crowd, the endless tunes filtering from the wall-hung speakers heard but irrelevant. Except when they both paused a moment when Johnny Cash told about that lonesome whip-poor-will. Shane watched Joe’s eyes betray him again.
“You and Harley was the best of friends, then?” Shane said as Joe again pulled his jacket sleeve across his eyes.
“Yes, we were.” Joe excused himself and walked into the bathroom.
Shane averted his eyes from the sight of Joe’s ass, tightly hugged by the grayed jeans he wore. He stood up, walked to the bar, and ordered two more drafts. Said hello to Wanda, who was sitting next to the serving station, and told her, no, he didn’t really know the guy that well, that he’d just met him.
“He’s a bull rider out of Abilene,” Shane told her. “His partner got killed over in Longview.”
“Oh my,” Wanda said, glancing at the empty table where Shane and Joe had been sitting. “How’d that happen?”
“Damn bull stomped him.” Shane grabbed the drafts and went back to the table.
Both Shane and Wanda watched Joe come from the bathroom. When he sat down, Shane nodded toward the bar. “Believe you’ve got an admirer.”
Shane followed Joe’s glance as he looked at the big-haired blonde looking at him, a pouty look on her face. “She doesn’t look very happy to see me,” Joe said.
“Oh, never mind her. I just told her what happened to your partner, and well…. Wanda’s kinda the motherin’ type. Gets drunk before eight and wants to hug people. She’ll be comin’ over here—Yup, here she comes.”
Wanda, a large-breasted girl in a cotton flower-printed blouse, tight jeans, and red Justin boots, grabbed a chair from the neighboring table and sat down with Shane and Joe. She set her glass of red gin on the tabletop and leaned over to Joe.
“Honey, I just heard the awful news. You all right now?” She reached out and put her hand on Joe’s shoulder.
“Thank you,” Joe said. “I’m fine.”
“Joe,” Shane said, “this is Wanda. Wanda, this is Joe.”
Wanda slipped her hand from Joe’s shoulder and took his hand. “Nice to meet you. I feel like you need a great big hug.”
“Oh, that’s okay,” Joe said as Wanda stood up, leaned down, and embraced him, the top of her chest at his chin.
Shane reached for a loop in Wanda’s jeans and gently pulled. “Sit, Wanda. He don’t want or need you smotherin’ him.”
“I was just—”
“I know what you were just doin’,” Shane said as Wanda eased back down into her chair. “Why don’t you just go back to the bar. Joe wants some quiet time. Right?” He winked at Joe.
“Yeah,” Joe said. “But thank you.”
Wanda stood up and grabbed her drink. “Well, I’m here if I’m needed,” she said. She placed two fingers to her mouth, kissed them, and then she touched Joe’s cheek.
As they watched Wanda walk back to the bar, Shane said, “She’s harmless. Like I said, she gets loopy early and….”
“It’s okay, Shane. It was well-meant, and I didn’t mind it at all.”
“Listen,” Shane said, tapping his finger on the table, “you got a place to stay tonight?”
“No, I… I just stopped here to try to get myself together. Got another three hours on the road tonight and….”
“I’ve got a little place in town. Used to be my grandmother’s, but she died and left it to me. You can stay the night and get on the road early tomorrow.”
Shane waited for Joe to give his offer some thought.
“I guess that’d be all right,” Joe finally said.
“Good. Let’s finish up our beer. Believe you had a helluva day.”
“Yeah.” Joe nodded. “I did. About as tired as I’ve ever been.”
George Seaton’s short stories, novellas, and novels capture contemporary life mostly set in the American west—Colorado and Wyoming in particular. He and his husband, David, along with their Alaskan malamute, Kuma, live in the Colorado foothills just southwest of Denver.