Thirteen-year-old Crissy Crosby chases a dream to live up to her parents’ rodeo legacy. But the rodeo championship is two months away and problems beyond her ability to solve stack and teeter like a game of Tumbling-Towers. Meanwhile rival Jodie Lea and her father, Ed Fairgate, contrive to swipe the silver buckles from Crissy’s grasp any way they can. Prejudice, anger, and dark secrets simmer in a pot of family feuds destined to boil over in a tragic nightmare at the rodeo. Will Crissy develop courage and faith to overcome the consequences of her temper? Will her dreams of buckles and titles become reality? Or will the character-building adversities of her life quash her dreams forever?
ENDORSEMENTS FOR ROPED
“Roped has much more tension and suspense per page than any book, adult or otherwise, I’ve read in years. Like the serial books I loved as a young person, Roped leaves you panting for the next installment. Entertaining, exciting, and colorful, the descriptions, particularly of the villainous Ed Fairgate after Buster’s demise, helps you remember why books were always better than movies. So much more show than tell. Crissy’s temper is a major theme. Her growth comes at a high price, but she does her folks proud and wins big. And teaches Christian values. Love certain phrases like, “Shame sifted over me like pollen in the springtime.” Judy Madsen Johnson, Author of Joy Cometh in the Morning, the Joy Postle Blackstone Story and Stories from the Front Lines, the Battle Against Abortion, judymadsenjohnson.com
“I read the novel Roped by DiAne Gates, because I was curious to see what kind of work she could produce, having been a writer alongside her for a few years. I was not excited about it because I do not generally like or read fiction. However, I want to say I found it truly a page-turner and I actually enjoyed it very much. I read it in one day, although I had many other things I should have been doing. I found myself, a Granny, quite anxious to know what happened to each character and felt a sense of satisfaction at the end of each episode, coupled with a sense of time passing while I wasn’t reading, something I’ve only before experienced while reading Frank Peretti . DiAne has written a great book for young adults, one that will engage them, I feel sure, and also will inspire teens to do the right thing, a lesson that is much needed in this day. I cannot emphasize my surprise at liking a piece of fiction. To me this says more than any other words I could say. I am glad I read it and look forward to the next in the series. Brava, DiAne!” Katharine Trauger, The Conquering Mom.com, katharinetrauger.wordpress.com
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I wiped slick palms on my jeans and shuffled the reins from one hand to the other. I’d done this a hundred times before. But tonight. Tonight was different. Tonight ended my last season in the junior rodeo division, and if I couldn’t win here, I’d have no chance with the seniors next year.
“Buckle’s mine tonight, Crissy.” Jimmy Henry’s comment sounded more like a question than trash talk, but a cocky grin wrinkled his freckles and I wondered who he was trying to convince.
All I needed was a catch, a hold, and a flip and I’d show ‘em all. Four quick twists of my rope and that goat would be on the ground. And the buckle would be all mine.
“Crissy Crosby, you’re on deck.”
The announcer’s voice caused a flutter to skip through my stomach. I patted Lollipop’s soft chestnut neck and whispered in her ear, “That’s us, girl. We’re up. Three more minutes.”
Papa wore a rodeo championship buckle. Mama had stacks of barrel racing buckles. The buckles Daddy wore for bull riding were gynormous—bunches of ‘em.
And me? I’d won nothing. Nada. Thirteen years old and no championship, not one single silver buckle.
I sighed and my shoulders sneaked up to my ears. Next year I’d be a teensy tadpole in a terrifying pond of competition. My heart pounded like a stampede of spooked steers. And I could feel the tension in the arena rising thick as a rib-eye—rarin’ to go.
The rodeo was a barn-blazing sellout tonight. Folks packed into the Terrell arena like the stinky fish my papa ate in the peel-back tin. All the cowboys and cowgirls stomped, whooped, and hollered, anxious for the competition to begin. The aroma of fried everything hovered in the night air.
Lollipop pawed the ground. Somewhere behind me a bull kicked the hollow iron pipes of his stall. The clanging sent a ripple of restlessness through the stock. Talk about luck of the draw. Sure hoped that wasn’t my bull.
Glitzy costumes of the other competitors scattered rainbows of light around the dusty arena. While my third-generation, blue-checkered shirt and grungy jeans left me feeling like leftovers. No glittery stuff for me. No sequins. No rhinestones. Just boring. Dull and boring me.
I tugged my old black hat down to my ears and hunched over the saddle horn so Lollipop could hear me. “Look at that Jodie Lea Fairgate in her Miss Me jeans and Reba blouse. Thinks she’s hot stuff. Well, it’s gonna take more‘n powder and paint to beat us.”