Hi. My name is Michele Scott and I am a writer and a rider. My 9 year-old daughter and I event. I come from a family of horse people. . I currently own three Throroughbred yearlings, and an older TB mare (Krissy) who has been an amazing partner and I feel soul mate to me. We also own a very sweet, smart and talented Gypsy Vanner/Cob pony named Monty.
Anyway, I wanted to post here and let readers know that I have a mystery series available for anyone who loves horses, mysteries, a little comedy and romance tied in as well. I'm also running a contest this month to win a free kindle or nook of my blog site at Adventures N Writing
. I hope you enjoy.
Michele Michele Scott, Author | Wine and Equestrian Mystery/Romanc Chapter One
Michaela Bancroft didn't hear her sworn enemy walking up behind her until it was too late.
"Working overtime?" Kirsten Redmond said.
Michaela whipped around in her desk chair, where she'd been sitting for thirty minutes going over finances. She immediately stood up. "What do you want, Kirsten?"
"I know you received some very important papers early this afternoon from our attorney, and I'd like them signed, sealed and delivered as soon as possible, so that Brad and I can get on with our lives."
Michaela brushed a patch of dirt off her Wrangler Jeans. She'd been working with the horses and out in the barn all day and knew that her appearance wasn't remotely close to Miss Glamour Puss' here, the thought causing a flutter of discomfort. "You amaze me. What, do you have your little hair-sprayed, fake-bake, plastic Barbie doll-looking friends spying on me? Because it truly is a wonder how you know every little detail of my life. Or maybe you're screwing the mailman, too. Does his wife know? What, did he give you a call as soon as he delivered the papers?" She hated sounding so bitchy. God, why couldn't she just turn her back and ignore Kirsten?
"You're such a bitch."
That was why. Not that she was a bitch, but Kirsten and Brad had sort of pushed her into that category and she was living up to it, at least at that moment. "Yeah, well, it takes one to know one. Now, be a good girl and run along and play dress up or paint-your-nails with your girlfriends. Okay?"
"At least I have friends."
"Oh that hurt. And, you probably have some real quality conversations with them. You know, about important subjects like what color hat and boots you'll wear to this year's Miss Rodeo Pageant. C'mon, Kirsten, give up the dream. You're a bit too old for the crown and from what I know of rodeo queens, they have a lot more class, know how to ride a horse, and have a brain. Oh yeah, and they're what usually about five years younger than you are?"
Kirsten frowned. "I was Miss Rodeo of Indio, you know."
"Yeah, five years ago. I think I do remember. Wasn't there some article about the Coachilla Valley being desperate for entrants?" Michaela smiled sweetly, knowing she was getting the best of her.
Kirsten stomped her foot. "At least I've got Brad and you don't, and as soon as you get those papers taken care of we can start planning our future and I can start thinking about what color to paint our nursery. We want lots of children."
"I feel sorry for those kids." Michaela's stomach tightened and she clenched her fists.
"Just sign the papers."
"Just go away. Bye bye." She waved at her. "Some of us have important things to do."
Kirsten stood her ground, planting her light pink Justin boots into the dirt. Her long blonde hair hung loose down her back, and her overly made up face caused her to look aged and brittle for someone who couldn't be over twenty-five. She shoved her hands into her plastered-on jeans, belted in by her bright, silver belt buckle--her Miss Rodeo Indio silver belt buckle.
"Listen. I've asked you to leave nicely. I don't have time for your games. Trust me, I don't want Brad within fifty feet of me. Why you feel the need to annoy me like this is very confusing. I've moved on."
"Great, so you'll sign the papers?"
Michaela sighed and forced a smile. "The papers. Yeah, well see, those divorce papers aren't your concern. It's really between Brad and me."
"Not really. We want to get married. Brad just got a new truck. A Ford F 350. It has a backseat. We got the backseat for when we start having babies. And, trust me, it won't be long."
Anger rose from Michaela's gut and rushed straight to her brain. "As I told you, I don't want Brad back at all. Here's the problem, though: Brad owes me a lot of money from debts incurred by him, and I want that money. When I get it, I will sign the papers. Maybe he should think about returning the truck."
"I bought the truck. And, Brad would be able to pay you off on your debt if your uncle hadn't fired him."
"That debt is our debt, not just mine. And, as for my Uncle Lou firing Brad, that was cut and dried. Brad wasn't showing up for work even before Lou discovered what was going on between you two, but once he did and showed me the proof, Brad never even phoned Lou. I don't think my uncle had much of a choice, other than to let him go."
"Whatever. You are so going to be s.o.l. If you don't make a move quick and sign the paperwork." Kirsten did the hair flick thing, a sign of her disdain for Michaela.
All it did was make Michaela want to laugh. "Let me give it to you in simple speak. Brad is an adulterer, so I will sue him to my heart's content until he pays me back every dime, and something tells me that the judge is going to be on my side. Or, how about this? I just won't sign the papers ever and all those babies you're talking about having will automatically have a step-mommy."
"You can't do that!" Kirsten whined.
"Watch me." Michaela was aware that she really couldn't. After all, it was California, and she knew she only had thirty days to sign the papers or contest the decree before she defaulted. She was banking on Little Miss Hot Pants not being exactly versed in California state divorce law. But, surely Brad's lawyer was, and no matter how Michaela tried to play it, she'd likely be forced to sign those papers. She also knew that she would probably have to sue Brad for what he owed her in medical bills, and rumor had it he was going to file bankruptcy, which meant that she wouldn't ever see a penny from him. The lawyer fees alone in taking Brad to court would put her out of business. She knew Brad was living off Kirsten, so why not sign the papers and be free of him, her and the whole mess? Because they'd stuck it to her and she wasn't about to let them get the best of her, not yet anyway.
Kirsten turned on her heels in a huff and marched out. Michaela walked out of her office and peered outside the breezeway, watching Kirsten roar away in her red convertible Mustang GT, kicking up dust all the way along Michaela's drive. Talk about trouble. Michaela shook her head and let out a long sigh. What she'd ever seen in Brad Warren was beyond her, because anyone who could fall for a tramp like Kirsten was not a man she would ever want to be involved with. But she had been and as Mom always liked to spout the age-old adage, 'You made your bed,' now she'd have to lie in it.
She turned and headed back to the barn to say her good nights to all the horses down the row. She stopped at the end--at Leo's stall. Her ten-month-old colt glanced out, then returned to his dinner. Michaela had big plans for the little guy. She'd nurtured him from the night he'd been born last March and for a time it had been touch and go. She hadn't known if he'd make it...
The early spring night still had a chill in the air. Michaela held a thermos of coffee in her hand as she curled up on a cot inside her office, checking on her mare every hour or so and listening intently for any sounds that might echo down the breezeway, alerting her that the time had come. Cocoa, her brown lab, lay at her feet, snoring. Michaela had put a blanket over the aging dog. Usually by this time of night the two of them would be sound asleep in the house.
Her mother, after calling earlier, stopped by and brought her some homemade chicken noodle soup and coffee, aware that she'd be keeping vigil into the wee hours. It didn't matter how many foals she'd seen born in her thirty-two years. It never ceased to amaze her.
Around 1 A.M., as she drifted off to sleep, a thud woke her. She hurried into the stall. The mare eyed her from her straw bed.
Michaela went inside and knelt down beside her, stroking her face. "I know, girl. It's okay. You're all right. You're all right."
Little Bit let out a groan and lifted her head, groaned again and laid it back down.
"Easy, easy. You're doing good. Good girl."
The mare's water broke and wet her underside. This was it. Michaela went around to Little Bit's backside. The front hooves came first, and then the long spindly legs, revealing black legs like Little Bit. Next, a tiny face with a small star on it poked through, and with one final push the foal slid out, slippery and covered in the birthing sac, which with Michaela's assistance came right off. She took a hand towel from her jacket pocket and wiped the foal's nostrils and eyes. The foal struggled, laid back down and struggled again. Michaela wiped the tears from her face. The miracle of life.
(sorry there wasn't enough roomkto post the entire excerpt here. If you're interested in finsihing it, please visit my site). Thank You.