Save a Horse, Dive a Cowboy
Today I’m thrilled to be joined by Kayla Jameth who has a new book out. With a title like “Save a Horse, Dive a Cowboy”, I was intrigued, and eager to find out more about the book 🙂
Hello, Nic! Thanks for hosting me today to discuss Save a Horse, Dive a Cowboy.
Save a Horse, Dive a Cowboy? Whatever inspired you to write such a story?
Well, you see… That’s a funny story. There was a conversation in one of the Facebook groups about cowboys. I and a couple of other authors were having fun with the idea. Josh Lanyon decided the cowboy was a scuba diver and for some reason had a broken leg. We talked about it more and suddenly a horse was coming to the rescue. So now a cowboy x horse shifter story.
And well, it kind of degenerated from there. BUT not before Josh challenged me to write it.
As a side note, turns out there is a scuba cowboy. Not the one in KA Mitchell’s No Souvenirs, but a singing cowboy. But back to Shep and Charlie.
So I kicked around ideas with Pam Singer and we came up with “it’s all Coyote’s fault.” And then I went haring off on my own and the story wrote itself as I came up with plausible reasons for how scuba diving with a broken leg would occur.
Coyote? Like the coyote and roadrunner?
Not exactly, but something similar.
Coyote, with a capitol C, is a Native American folk lore spirit. He is sometimes the creator of the world and other times a foolish, or not so foolish, trickster. He often gets himself into as much trouble as he other times avoids. I drew on several fables and mixed them. He’s not the Great Creator in my story.
Do you listen to anything in particular when you write?
I tend to look for topic appropriate music, preferably without lyrics. I wrote my ancient Greek stories to Niaz. They have a similar sound to what I imagine ancient Greek music would and I couldn’t understand the lyrics so I wasn’t distracted.
For Save a Horse, Dive a Cowboy, you might imagine I played a song with a similar title, but I listened to Native American music. Once again, I enjoy the sounds and don’t understand the language so I’m not distracted.
Who are your favorite authors?
You’ve probably never heard of any of them. Andre Norton, CJ Cherryh, Mary Stewart, Steven Brust. I take that back, JRR Tolkien.
And that’s why my voice sounds similar to theirs. I can do otherworldly because I saw how the masters and mistresses did it.
LOL. One of the very first ‘grown up’ novels I read was Touch Not The Cat by Mary Stewart. I think I was about twelve and loved it. It was the part of the start of my reading journey 🙂 What else can you tell us about your writing or the book?
Now that we’ve wrapped up “a little bit about me,” let’s talk more about the boys, Shep and Charlie. Cecil Orville “just call me Shep” Shepherd suspects if he’d been in a little more of a hurry to leave the womb, his mother might have named him something else. Or at least, he hopes so.
Shep runs the family ranch now that his father is gone. His life partner, Charlie Running Horse, keeps him young in spite of the burdens he carries. That is until one day a damn coyote steals the one thing that allows Charlie to shift from horse to human, his medicine horseshoe.
Now Shep has to find some way to retrieve it and reclaim his lover before it’s too late.
Thanks for answering my questions. I’m just about to start the book and I’m very much looking forward to it, based on the excerpt below.
They turned west, riding into the sunset. Well, soon enough it would be a sunset. Right now it was just really bright sunlight boring into Charlie’s eyes and obscuring his vision. He’d have to focus on the trail to avoid laming himself. Good thing he could rely on Shep to guide him around any real dangers.
Dust puffed under his feet and settled on his legs. That and his dried sweat made him itch. He couldn’t wait to get in the shower.
A sharp pain on his rump startled him into bucking and kicking.
Shep shifted his weight forward and followed his every move. “Whoa, Hoss!”
Charlie stopped so suddenly, he felt the horseshoe shift again.
Just a deerfly. Now he felt like an idiot. Fortunately, horses couldn’t blush; although, he’d heard that rabbits could.
He turned his head and met Shep’s eye, hoping to convey his apology, earning him another pat on the shoulder.
“I’m okay. But it was good practice for saddle bronc riding. Should I enter this year?”
He tossed his head and crow hopped, but didn’t budge Shep. He could have tried a little harder, really bucked; after all, his partner had a good seat. The horseshoe thumped against his hoof and he stopped. This business with the shoe was getting worrisome.
A fly buzzed behind him again and this time he settled for swishing his tail. He hated the damn things. At least it wasn’t a horsefly. Those things were vicious.
“Maybe you should use more of that fly repellant you call aftershave.”
Haha… Charlie snorted and considered making Shep walk home.
Shep shifted his weight forward. Charlie took the hint and set off. Clip, clop, clip, clop… The trip home always seemed to take longer than reaching their goal.
Something dust-colored darted across his path. He threw his head up and reared, startling like some green-broke colt. His hooves struck the ground on either side of a quivering jackrabbit. The poor animal screamed and brushed against his fetlock as it made a dash for the scrub bordering the trail.
A fluffy little bunny. How flipping embarrassing.
He stood with legs braced, still snorting. His rib cage expanded and contracted spastically under the girth.
“That was close. You didn’t hurt yourself, did you?” Shep slung a leg over and dismounted. He smoothed gentle fingers over Charlie’s legs and examined his hooves. “Other than the horseshoe, I think you’re fine.”
Shep picked up a stone and tried to pound one of the nails back in. A partial success, but they both knew it would work its way back out again.
His breathing slowed, but he could still feel the adrenaline burning in his veins. Maybe a lope would take the edge off.
“Feeling better?” Shep scratched between his ears, calming them both.
He nodded and gave a breathy sigh, nuzzling against Shep’s chest.
Shep uncapped the canteen and took a few swallows. Then he took his hat off and smacked it against his leg, sending up a puff of dust. He poured water into his sweat-stained Stetson and held it up for Charlie.
He drank the salty water in a few quick draws.
Clapping the hat back on his head, Shep mounted. Once he had settled, Charlie took off at a lope.
“In a rush to get home?”
Charlie snorted and stretched out. He still had some relatively smooth flatlands before he reached the outcroppings. When the last of the frantic energy began to ebb, he dropped down to a jog, and then a walk. He felt a little better.
More rocks littered the ground. Soon boulders took their place. He could see the stone outcroppings ahead. Shep’s deft hands on the reins helped him make his way through the maze where a stone bruise could leave him lame.
Before they reached the outcroppings, a snake slithered out in front of him. The unmistakable buzz of a rattlesnake filled the air. Heat flushed his skin and then a chill filled his veins. What. The. Hell?
He didn’t have room to jump the rattler. Once more he rose in the air, pivoted and came down outside the irate serpent’s strike range.
“Back! Get away from it!” Shep shouted.
Charlie agreed with him whole-heartedly. He started backing, ears flicking forward and then to his rider, trusting Shep to guide him with little movements of the reins.
“Just like we practiced it for that reining class,” Shep encouraged.
Yeah, they’d done this before. Nothing difficult, just tighter quarters and the risk of being lamed if he stepped wrong.
“I’ve got you. I won’t let anything happen.” Shep spoke slowly and evenly, soothing the disquiet in Charlie’s soul.
When they finally left the boulders behind, Charlie stood trembling.
Shep dropped from his back and pulled his head into a hug. “I’m really starting to hate today.” He glanced around. “We’ll take the long way. I don’t want to risk anything else jumping out at us at this point.”
Charlie sighed, but Shep was right. If they stayed in the open, nothing else should happen. If something did while they were cutting through the rocks, they could get hurt. Good thing Shep was a bronc rider or they’d have been in trouble today.
“Thirsty?” When he nodded, Shep gave him the last of the water.
They walked for a while, side-by-side, until Charlie stopped and looked pointedly at the saddle.
“Are you saying I’m too slow?”
He nudged the stirrup with his nose. If they kept on at this rate, it would be dark before they reached the ranch.
Charlie hadn’t gone two strides when a roadrunner darted in front of him with… a coyote on its tail. Seriously?! I thought that shit only happened in cartoons.
The coyote slowed and winked at him. Actually winked. Could this day get any weirder?
“You’ve got to be shitting me!”
The coyote circled Charlie and came up behind them, much closer than he liked. Coyotes usually left larger animals alone, but this one was acting strange. Could it be rabid?
The slinking shadow took another step closer and Charlie cow-kicked. His horseshoe went flying.
“Finally!” A voice he didn’t recognize shouted in triumph. The coyote snatched the glittering curve of metal out of the air and ran away.
“Hey! We need that!” Shep tugged on the hackamore, whirling Charlie, and set heels to his flanks.
Charlie didn’t even think about it, he jolted into a gallop. He had to have that horseshoe or he’d spend the rest of his life as a horse, slowly losing his humanity.
Burdened with a rider, he couldn’t seem to catch up with the coyote. But stopping to offload Shep would only insure he wouldn’t overtake the damn thing. At least, this way he could keep the mangy beast within sight and see what it did with his horseshoe.
He did manage to slowly gain on the coyote. If this went on long enough, he might catch up.
Ahead, he could see the cenote coming into view. Was the coyote headed toward the sinkhole?
He caught up with the coyote in time to watch his horseshoe arc into the air and splash into the water. The coyote grinned and disappeared into the brush with a flick of its tail.
Shep’s just your average all-American cowboy. He runs his own ranch and rides the occasional saddle bronc. Nothing special there. Unless you look too closely at his boyfriend.
Descended from a long line of Native American mustang shifters, Charlie “Hoss” Running Horse is anything but average.
When Coyote takes a shine to Shep, he decides that Hoss has got to go. With the theft of the medicine horseshoe that allows Hoss to shift from mustang to human, Coyote sets his evil plan to have his way with Shep in motion.
Will Shep be able to save Hoss before it’s too late? Or will Coyote’s plan come to fruition?
Save a Horse, Dive a Cowboy goes live on December 26th, just in time for anyone with a new Kindle to read it.
About the author
Rainbow Award winning author, Kayla Jameth grew up on the family farm in Ohio. An unrepentant tomboy, she baled hay, raised cattle, and her father taught her to weld before she graduated from high school.
She attended Cleveland’s Case Western Reserve University and later, Texas A&M University in her pursuit of veterinary medicine, taking her far away from her rural roots.
But it wasn’t all hard work for her, her sojourn as the princess of the Celestial Kingdom left her with the title “Sir” and a costume closet the envy of many knights, lords, and ladies.
After declaring for years that she was not an author, Kayla now finds herself writing m/m erotic romance outside of Houston, Texas. While you can take the girl out of the country, you can’t turn her into a city slicker. Kayla would still rather be outside getting down and dirty with the boys.
She shares a full house with her favorite animals: a dog, a cat, three guinea pigs, as well as her husband, son, and daughter.
Find me at:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/KaylaJameth