I love this time of the year. It starts with All Souls. It may not seem to jive with my country girl vibe, but I’m a huge believer in the wheel of the year. I love the idea that Halloween is actually new years, so we can run into the holidays thinking about what we did right last year and what we want to do even better in the next.
Then comes Thanksgiving in the US, which is a huge deal for me. My family has always done it up right, whether there’s two of us or two hundred. (Don’t laugh. I had two days and a budget of just over two hundred dollars for that one. I made it work.)
I love everything about Thanksgiving, from the parades and dog shows to the turkey and pie. Pecan, because I’m Texan. (My wife insists that pumpkin is superior, but she’s wrong. ;-))
What I love about the holiday the most, though, is that I get to celebrate the thing I do all year. Practicing gratitude.
See, I’ve had some tragedy in my life. You can’t have as many relations and adventures as I have without them. My health can be an issue. I had one doctor tell me my body was a burning building. No shit. So a long while ago I decided I wasn’t going to let that stop me. I wanted to see things and do things and write all the things!
Travel and friendship and my work were important to me, and I had a lightbulb moment that I could hold on to the things I love and let go of anything that didn’t give me happy.
Once I prioritized that it wasn’t too hard to see how to implement the Plan. I decided to experience my own personal joy. That means I am thankful for every day that I get up and have my wife and my dogs, for everything I get to see, and for having the best job in the world. I’m thankful for my abundance, and for having a house I adore. I’m grateful for my moma and my daddy and my 8 brothers and sisters and 32 nieces and nephews.
Mostly, though, I’m so thankful for the fact that I learned at a young age that life if what you make it, and that I decided to make it the very best experience I could and just not wallow in the drama.
So, there you go, y’all. My motto. Experience your own personal joy, which ranks up there with don’t be any stupider than you have to be, but that’s a whole different blog post, and it’s not about gratitude…
Oh, and I’m also thankful for cowboys. Yee-haw, baybee.
Very, very thankful for those.
Much love, y’all
About BA Tortuga
Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy's Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds and her beloved wife, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she's not doing that, she's writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA's personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.
Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has heard the call of the high desert and lives in the Sandias. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head. Find her on the web at www.batortuga.com
King of the cowboys, Ace gets whatever what he wants. Kitty is strong, independent, and madly in love, but will they go all the way?
Ace is a record-breaking all-around champion bull rider. He’s used to being the boss, and he knows what he wants. When he meets reporter Kitty at a black tie event, he knows he wants her, and he’s hoping she feels the same about him.
Kitty loves Ace’s strength, and his old-fashioned gentlemanly ways, which are rare in her world. She’s used to war zones and petty tyrants. Ace wants to protect her, and she’s willing to let him. To a point. She still has a job to do, though, and when danger strikes too close to home, Ace comes to the rescue. Will Ace be able to keep Kitty safe, and by his side?
The music started playing, the lights went down, and she touched his wrist again, fingertips warm and soft. “So you travel most of the time?”
“I’m on the road a good bit, yeah. We do about three months off a year.” He turned his hand, his fingers gripping hers lightly.
“I’m more random than that. I can be off on assignment for months sometimes. Honey wants to kill us.”
“Honey?” He was feeling a little like he’d been dropped in a weird TV show or something.
“Sorry. Leroy’s wife. She’s a force of nature.”
“Ah. Sorry. Most of my friends aren’t married.” Okay, how stupid was that to say? Way to announce that cowboys could have trouble settling down.
“Most of your friends are young, hot cowboys, I bet.” Kitty’s cheeks were pinking, too.
“Shit. We ain’t that young.” This was getting ridiculous. George Strait came on the sound system and Ace stood. “You dance?”
“If you can lead, I can follow.” She slipped the heels back on, then took his hand.
“I’m not bad.” He was no Andy Baxter, who could dance a lady right out of her shoes, but he could cut a rug. He pulled Kitty close and got the rhythm in his head before two-stepping her around the floor.
The lady was about as lean as Jason Scott—damn near bird-like in his arms—and he worried about hurting her just by holding her. Kitty didn’t seem to worry about that at all, proving she could follow along, easy as pie. She smelled right, like honey and citrus and a hint of musk.
They took a moment or two to really get settled, but suddenly he wound his arm around her waist, and his other hand held hers, and her hips were lined up in the cradle of his, her feet moving like they were attached to the toes of his boots. She relaxed in his arms—as if she did this every day, leaned into the swing of it and trusted him to move her around. He kind of hoped she didn’t do it every day, though, as this was the first time she’d done it with him.
They two-stepped to three songs, then the music slowed, turning to a belt-buckle polisher.
Ace held her close, noticing that their food hadn’t come. Then he rested his cheek on her head, keeping his hat right out of the way.
“You smell like heaven.” She felt fine as frog hair against him, soft and warm.
“Just Old Spice.” Some big old fragrance company had offered him his own smell-good, but he’d never been able to give up the white bottle.
“My dad used to wear that, when he was going out to dinner. It smells better on you.”
“Thanks.” She smelled fine, too, and felt amazing in his arms. She was stronger than she looked, not near as delicate. “You’re a fine dancer, lady.”
“Thank you. You make it easy.”
The waitress put their food on the table, nodded at him, smiled.
Ace winked at the girl over Kitty’s shoulder, but didn’t end the dance until the song was over. He had ahold of the hottest thing he’d seen in years. Onions and wings could wait.
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