Friday, August 26, 2022

Cowboy by Staci Stallings - Choosing Favorite Author to Just...Sit...Back...and...Enjoy! Featuring Music of Morgan Wallen!


“Ashton, what in the world are you doing up there?” Barry Braxton yelled to the stonewashed jean-clad figure leaning perilously over the edge of the top row of bleachers. 

“These bleachers have to be up by seven,” Ashton yelled back over the din of workers surrounding him without so much as looking down at his manager. 

“They will be,” Barry called, “but if you fall, we won’t be needing them anyway.” 

Irritation at being treated like a three-year-old crawled through Ashton’s chest as he twisted the wrench on the bolt he was working on with three more quick jerks. “I’m not going to fall, Barry.” 

“Well, why don’t you come on down anyway?” Barry set his hands on the rolls of excess weight just beneath his off-brown, button up shirt. “Really. There’s no reason for you to be up there. I’m sure the crew can get it.”

“Look around you, Bare.” Ashton waved the wrench angrily. “We go on in three hours. Does it look like they’re going to be ready?” Barry shook his balding head in disgust. He really couldn’t argue with that as much as he obviously wanted to. With the concert set to start in three hours, Ashton knew his manager would’ve preferred for him to be in his dressing room getting ready rather than tightening bolts on the bleachers for their latest venue. However, here he was twisting bolt after bolt tighter and tighter, wrenching his anger and frustration into them as if that would somehow make everything better. After a full thirty seconds Barry stalked off leaving his golden egg hanging off the edge of a set of bleachers that looked like it might fall any second. Ashton didn’t so much as watch him leave. Barry, of all people, knew Ashton’s stubborn streak ran a mile deep and just as wide. And the fact that he had acquired a death wish in the last year didn’t help matters. Trying not to think lest the memories swarm him again, he bent his head and body into the work. If he could just keep working, keep moving, keep going, somehow he would find a way past the hurt. If he didn’t, Humpty Dumpty would look easy to put back together by comparison.

I have learned after reading many books written by Staci Stallings, that, no matter the genre, I will enjoy her stories... One thing, though, is that whenever there is a reference to music, songs will be "brand new" as written by the author... How I wish I could hear her words with music! So, instead, I've selected a few songs that seemed to be relevant...hope you think so too!

If you stop and think about it, ever single relationship between two people will be--different. Yet, the same... Books are written to share unique stories, yet based upon a certain set of factors that will slowly evolve, entertain and lead to a satisfying conclusion--most times. This story is not different, yet the two personalities created by Stallings, makes readers able to sit back, meet these individuals and, soon, be so involved that we think we actually know them as friends or, at least, acquaintances.

Ashton Raines is a country singer that has been selected as Male Vocalist of the Year three years in a row, he won Entertainer of the Year last year and Song of the Year, Album of the Year, and... Life was good and his group were successfully touring most of the time... That is, until, Ashton's wife died... and he was devastated since they had been so close and she had been there by his side constantly...

Things had been building and then one night he just snapped--and had to get away... He walked out, on his own, and wound up in a small out of the way country diner where a waitress offered to get him coffee and maybe something to eat? 

At some point the city lights had turned to winding roads, mountains, and trees, but Ashton couldn’t clearly remember how or when that had happened. All he could see was freedom. Everywhere he looked was freedom. No guitars, no managers, no people, no buses. Just him and the open road stretched out in front of him. It was the most amazing feeling in the world. He was free. But it was as though his mind wouldn’t allow him to enjoy anything for more than just a moment because just then he heard her voice...

Beth McCasland had been on her own as a single mother, widowed for more years than she wanted to count, but she had found somewhat of a welcome in a little town where she had been working as a waitress, making friends with Lynn, the other waitress on her shift, and the owner, as much as they would allow a relationship. She was barely making it financially, but didn't have many options. So, when Lynn came in talking about an upcoming concern nearby, featuring the country male voice of the year, she was so involved with thinking, that it took awhile to realize that Lynn wanted her to go to the concert with her. Not... was her first thought... But, of course, things worked out as they were supposed to, of course, and she attended the concert. And had to admit she'd very much enjoyed it...

But that didn't prepare her for the night she was called in for emergency noght coverage  and was therefore there when Ashton walked in, drenched from the heavy rain and looking like he'd lost his best friend. And, indeed, she learned that he had...

But even though things felt so strange, Beth felt compelled to start talking about how God was available to help Ashton through anything he was going through... That was not what Ashton expected or wanted to hear... He had felt God had no business taking the one good thing he'd had in his life... He had been living his dream until his reason for living was stolen...

Like I said, Stallings has a way of making her characters seem to come alive in our own lives, like we begin to have a vested interest in them... Now, confess, a widow and a widower might not be unusual...but with one putting God right into the mixed from the beginning discussion, now that's something that grabs our heart strings, doesn't it? Sure, the story, the plot is not so new that we can't see what's going to happen...but what we so enjoy is watching... watching how the "do-si-do" between the two characters--and God--finally makes it all come out just like, it seems, that a plan has been successfully executed. 

If you are somebody who has never met Stallings through her books, then this might just be a great one to start reading! Especially if you like country music! And, BTW, I'd never heard of Morgan Wallen, since I'm normally reading rather than listening to country music...LOL... So, was my finding him a God Incident?

God Bless,


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