Meet Zach (Character Interview by Bonnie Phelps)
Character Interview by Bonnie Phelps
November 16, 2015
Please tell us your name and a little about your background.
Zachary Scott Kincaid – Zach for short. I’m a three-time World Champion Team Roper on the professional rodeo circuit and, along with my dad, run our family ranch, the Rocking K, in the beautiful Texas Hill Country. Rodeo folk are the salt of the earth and like my dad and grandad before me, I’m proud to call myself a rodeo man.
What is your greatest fear?
All my life, it’s been rodeo – junior level, high school, college and now pro. I live, eat, breathe and sleep rodeo. It’s defined who I am and how people have known me for so long. I know I can’t do this forever… reactions slow and the new kids take over… but am I at the top of my game yet? Is it time to step back from the thing I’ve loved most in the world for almost 26 years? I suppose what really scares me is who am I without the rodeo? Is there a ‘me’ beyond the rodeo? That’s the question I’m struggling with right now.
Whom do you trust the most?
My family. While my brothers can be a pain, they’ve always been there for me and will always tell it to me straight. My mom takes no prisoners but has a heart as big as the state of Texas. Dad would move heaven and earth to make sure his family is taken care of. No matter what happens in my life, I’m never going to be alone. I know that I am loved. They are good, solid, dependable people. We share the same values – family, God, country and a man’s word is his bond.
Is there someone special in your life?
Until recently, no. I was happy with my bachelor ways and too busy rodeoing and ranching for a serious relationship. A few months ago, when a feisty, sassy half-pint walked into my life, everything changed. Most people only see the cool, sophisticated debutant, the face Ashley presents to the world but I’ve seen beneath the surface. I’ve come to know and love the vulnerable, compassionate, hard-working but fun-loving woman she is. Ashley hasn’t had a lot of love in her life and I’m planning to change that. I’m awed by who she is despite what she’s had to face.
What would you sacrifice to be with your special someone?
For Ashley, I’d give up the rodeo, she means that much to me. Even though I’ve loved the rodeo all my life, if giving it up makes her feel safer, more secure in our love, I’ll do it in a heartbeat. She sees rodeoing as a risky lifestyle, filled with guys who are players and drifters and she’s been hurt by people like that in the past. I want to be the man she trusts, the man she can count on and will do whatever it takes to be what she needs.
Rumor has it that Bonnie began telling stories at a very early age. Photos exist of the author toddling around the corner of the house covered in mud babbling about magic rabbits leading her through the garden. Her parents were amused only adding fuel to the fire of her passion for writing. From then on, her active imagination continued to churn out plots and character sketches always wondering how different people would behave in similar situations. When she is not mucking around in her own characters’ lives, you will find her perusing her Kindle and reading someone else’s story. She also enjoys baking, taking long walks and people watching. Bonnie writes Contemporary Romance and lives in Northern California with her husband.
Zach Kincaid was definitely not what Ashley Drayton was looking for – one more risk-taking, bad boy to add to that long list of narcissistic, jerks who kept breaking her heart. Well, she was fed up. From here on out, bad boys need not apply. So how in the world had this cocky, confident cowboy charmed his way into her affections? She sure wasn’t going to succumb without a fight.
Ashley Drayton looked like the typical, spoiled Southern Belle that made Zach turn tail and head for the hills. As a champion team roper on the rodeo circuit and ranch owner, he sure didn’t need the complications a feisty, prima donna would bring to his life. When he finally did settle down, he wanted a woman strong enough to stand beside him in the hard-knock world of ranching and rodeoing.
Can a rough and rugged cowboy live happily ever after with a sassy and sophisticated socialite?
“Don’t do it, Ash,” warned Lauren Royall, latching onto her friend’s wrist. “That lower than pond scum, piece of cow shit, isn’t worth it. Think about it. For one small moment of satisfaction, the jerk could take you to court and sue you for damages. Do you really want to pay for a new paint job on this hunk of junk?”
Ashley Drayton, petite, with wild, wavy, raven hair and the kind of curves women visit plastic surgeons to get scowled at her BFF. Reluctantly, she lowered the key she held like a dagger, poised to plunge into the heart of an obviously meticulously refurbished 1955 Chevy truck.
“Can you believe the nerve of that man? Told me something came up so he’d have to cancel our date tonight. Something came up all right – a ditzy blonde.” Ashley vibrated with rage.
“That’s why I drug you out of there so fast before you dented his hood ornament, so to speak.”
A gust of January wind moaning through the Texas Hill Country oak trees had the women pulling their tailored wool coats a little tighter. How odd, thought Ashley, to be standing in the parking lot of one of the oldest dance halls in the area plotting to extract revenge on yet another scourge against womankind rather than having a good time inside.
Anger hit Ashley hot and stormy. “Wouldn’t it feel great to strike a blow for all the women who’ve been made to feel like they are worthless and unlovable?” She pumped her fist in the air. “It would do wonders for me. Besides,” she said with a saucy shrug and a back flick of her booted foot, “he’d have to prove it was me. Lots of people pass through this parking lot.” She tossed her head letting the breeze catch her long, dark tresses.
“While professionally I don’t recommend revenge as a strategy, are you willing to accept the consequences?”
“Oh, keep your marriage and family counselor psycho-babble to yourself, Lauren,” grumbled Ashley, but she tossed the keys in the air, catching them in her palm before tucking them back into her sequined clutch. While the temptation to hit the creep in one of the places it might hurt, she couldn’t do it. Her soft heart wouldn’t let her. She couldn’t deliberately hurt another person the way she had been hurt most of her life.
“What is it about me that pulls all the jerks within a 60 mile radius into my orbit? Is it a pheromone thing? Do I send out a signal that attracts only cheaters and deadbeats?”
“I thought you didn’t want to hear any of my psycho-babble,” Lauren said with an unladylike snort. “But since you asked, the sooner you realize there is something wrong with them and not you… and stop letting your mother influence your choices, the sooner you’ll find that love of your life you’re searching for.”