Shannon here: Read the opening scene from Rodeo Song based on a long ago dream. Comment on any post dated April 7 – 11 to enter the drawing for a copy. Deadline: April 19th, 11:59 pm central.
(Inspiration for Jenna Wentworth)
Screaming fans surrounded Jenna Wentworth as Garrett Steele’s rich, seductive voice and acoustic guitar drove the enraptured women into a frenzy. And despite her painful past with him, his lush baritone melted her insides.
Thirtieth row, floor seating. Jenna peered through the chaos, but with everyone standing, she couldn’t see much onstage. Her first country music concert. Ever. Stale beer assaulted her senses and her ears would probably ring for a week. Why had she come?
Because her friend Tori had promised to attend church with her in return, but. . .that wasn’t the whole story.
Truth be told—she couldn’t resist getting a glimpse of Garrett again. Pathetic.
The music stopped. Applause, whistles, and screams shattered her eardrums.
“What an awesome crowd.” Garrett’s words boomed over the speakers. “We’re taking a short break but we’ll be back, so don’t go anywhere Dallas.”
The crowd roared and the lights brightened. She stood on her tiptoes long enough to peer around the tall man standing in front of her to get a fleeting glimpse of Garrett leaving the stage before it went dark.
“I can’t believe I’m here,” Tori shouted over the clamor. “He’s even better looking in person.”
Jenna’s mouth went dry as the arena lights brightened. “How can you tell what he looks like?”
Maybe his floozy, boozy lifestyle had taken its toll, but Jenna couldn’t tell from the few glimpses she’d gotten of him.
“He’s just the greatest.” Tori did a little bounce.
Sure. Jenna rolled her eyes. The greatest guy to ever walk out on her.
“Okay, Jenna, I know you don’t really like him, but can’t you humor me?”
Time for a distraction. “I’m thirsty. Let’s get something to drink.”
They inched slowly up the stands toward the lobby, along with half the crowd in the American Airlines Center.
She could happily not talk about Garrett—if only she could stop thinking about him too.
Tori would be beside herself if she knew Jenna had grown up with him. That she’d once had feelings for him much deeper than like. Had once been the girl he’d claimed to love.
Though the cold bite of New Year’s Day lurked outside, the lobby was toasty warm. But the line at the concession stand was endless. At this rate, they’d never get anything to drink.
Amongst the crowd of adoring fans, dutiful husbands and shrewd boyfriends, Jenna blended in like a Queen Anne wingback in a farmhouse.
Several amorous couples surrounded them. Men obviously brought their dates to Garrett Steele concerts to perform the dance of seduction for them. And it was working. All too well. Jenna closed her eyes.
Past simply thirsty, her tongue stuck to the roof of her mouth.
“Look! It’s Garrett Steele!” Excited voices echoed through the lobby.
In the distance, security guards cleared a path. Garrett ran toward the concession stand pursued by a trail of women.
Tori and a herd of females surged toward him. Men, deserted by their dates, stood as if rooted to the spot. Jenna moved closer to the counter to avoid the mob. Surreal. At least she’d get her tea faster now.
Though the women ran to meet Garrett head-on, they ended up in the throng behind him with the security guards keeping them at bay. Hands grabbed and clawed at Garrett as he and his entourage got closer to her. She could no longer see Tori. The rush forced abandoned men to move out of the way.
Please don’t see me. Please don’t see me. Please don’t see me. The pathetic one he’d turned his back on—at his concert with the rest of his minions.
Brilliant green eyes locked with hers. A flick of recognition followed by a familiar grin. Her heart went into overdrive. Surely she’d swoon. Mere feet away from her now, he held his hand out toward her. As if of their own volition, her fingers clasped his as he ran past, dragging her with him.
What was she doing? Hadn’t she been sucked in by him once before? And in exchange for her brainless devotion, she’d gotten her heart broken.
Jenna fought to keep up with Garrett’s pace. Too late to turn back now, the stampede behind them encouraged speed despite her strappy heels.
He slowed only when they squeezed through a doorway and descended the stairs back into the sunken arena, then surged toward a smaller platform at the other end from the main stage. Security guards surrounded them as Garrett guided her up the steps. A guard tried to pull her hand from his.
“No!” he shouted above the chaos. “I want her onstage with me.”
Her stomach did a flip-flop. “No!”
The pandemonium surrounding them carried her protest away and the guard helped her up the stairs.
“It’s okay. I won’t force you to sing.” Garrett winked. “Even though you have a lovely voice.”
Her heart pooled at his feet, but her insides twisted in knots as he led her to a tall stool. Weak-kneed, she gratefully perched on it. His band and backup singers faded to the back of the stage. A spotlight blinded her.
About Shannon: Shannon Taylor Vannatter is a stay-at-home mom/pastor’s wife/award winning author. She lives in rural central Arkansas in a town with a population of around 100, if you count a few cows. Shannon writes inspirational contemporary romance and it took her nine years to get published in the traditional market.
Shannon hopes to entertain Christian women and plant seeds in the non-believer’s heart as her characters struggle with real-life issues. Their journeys, from ordinary lives to extraordinary romance through Christ-centered relationships, demonstrate that love doesn’t conquer all—Jesus does. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her family and doing craft projects.
Learn more and connect: Website: https://shannontaylorvannatter.com, Blog: https://shannontaylorvannatter.com/blog, Facebook: http://facebook.com/shannontaylorvannatter, Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/29672798-shannon-vannatter, Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/stvannatter/, Twitter: https://twitter.com/stvauthor
About the book – Rodeo Song (Book 6 in the Texas Rodeo series):
JENNA WENTWORTH FOUND THE MAN OF HER DREAMS
But when silken-voiced Garrett Steele set out for stardom, he left Jenna—and his cowboy past—far behind. A chance encounter at one of his concerts propels him back into Jenna’s life. But, once burned by love, Jenna must guard her heart against the captivating singer.
Once upon a time, Garrett vowed he’d be a success, no matter what. But that path shattered his soul. His reunion with Jenna makes him long for things he once took for granted. Now he must show her that he’s found what he was looking for all along…right here in his hometown.
Follow my blog tour where I’ll be talking more about Rodeo Song & giving away lots of free copies:
April 1 – ACFW Arkansas – http://acfwarkansas.com/
April 3 – Ausjenny – http://ausjenny.blogspot.com
April 5 & 6 – Barn Door Book Loft – http://www.barndoorbookloft.net/
April 7, 9, & 11 – Inkslinger Blog – https://shannontaylorvannatter.com/blog/
April 8 – Arkansas Authors – http://arkansasauthors.com/category/interview/
April 10 – Lena Nelson Dooley – http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com/
April 10 – Jennifer Slattery – http://jenniferaslatterylivesoutloud.com
April 15 – Cherie Burbach – http://workingwritersandbloggers.com/blog/
April 16 – Deborah Vogts – http://deborahvogts.blogspot.com/
April 17 – Ane Mulligan – http://www.anemulligan.com/
April 21 – Kimberly Rose Johnson – http://kimberlysmusings.wordpress.com/
April 21- Goodreads – Heartsong Presents Q & A –https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/129196-love-inspired-heartsong-presents
May 9 – Kristena Tunstall – http://kristenatunstall.com/blog/
May14 – Ginger Solomon – http://gingersolomon.blogspot.com/
Come back April 14th for Myra Johnson!