STEPHEN BLY is the award winning author of 100 books, including Wish I’d Known You Tears Ago, The Mustang Breaker, Memories of a Dirt Road Town, The Paperback Writer, and The Fortunes of the Black Hills Series. More information about him and his books found at http://www.blybooks.com/. Learn more about One Step Over The Border and Hap’s search for his Juanita at http://www.onestepovertheborder.com/. This book is available through your nearest quality bookstore or your favorite online book supply site, such as www.bn.com, www.amazon.com, www.christianbook.com, or at the Bly Books Store at http://www.blybooks.com/
I’m a pastor, a mayor, an antique Winchester gun collector and a writer. I’m also a fan of Jimmy Buffet music. What do these diverse avocations have to do with each other? In every field I want to grow as a person . . . push myself and my skills . . . my understanding . . . my spirit. I’m not a sit-around-and-let-life-come-to-me kinda guy. I want to dive in and change things for the better, if I can. I write a lot of fiction books, all from a Christian world view. Being pastor helps me stay focused. I’m mayor of a town of 308 in the mountains of Idaho, on the Nez Perce Indian Reservation. That keeps me very western. And I collect old Winchester rifles, which reflects my love of historical accuracy. And Jimmy Buffet music? Hey, there’s not a whole lot of difference between a pirate and an outlaw.
I write about the West (historic or modern) from the inside. Born and raised on western ranches, I have both the heart and mind to describe things as they really were and are. There are those who think the frontier has long passed and with it the ‘code of the west.’ The truth is, both are still around . . . and it’s fun to show that in a contemporary story. The West is so big, so diverse, so enchanting it’s a thrill to write about it in any era.
Here’s a blurb on my newest book, One Step Over The Border . . .It’s a romp. A road adventure. It’s a buddy story with romantic comedy. Some call it CowboyLit. Rodeo cowboy Hap Bowman’s on a search for Juanita, the gal of his dreams, whom he hasn’t seen in 18 years. He seems stuck on 12-years-old and the enchanting girl he met then. An idiot obsession,” his roping partner, Laramie Majors, chides. But Laramie agrees to a final summer’s trek along the Rio Grande. If they don’t find Juanita during those months, Hap promises to drop the idea of the hunt for the mystery senorita. But if they find her, will she feel the same as Hap does about their years ago interlude? In One Step Over The Border the time tested values of cowboys rub up against contemporary mores. It’s a crazy story that becomes more logical as the reader delves deeper into it. It will make you laugh and shed a tear or two. I hope you’ll find some new life-long friends in Hap and Laramie, like I have, and that they make you think about your own ‘idiot obsessions’ in a fresh, fun way. Have I ever had one? Are you kidding? Being a full-time fiction writer is an idiot obsession all its own. Most people have the good sense to avoid such an occupation. Getting back to Hap’s pursuit . . . don’t we all have someone in the past, that we knew for only a short while, that we wish we could have known better, longer? I know I have. So when Hap and Laramie ventured out on a quest for Hap’s Juanita, I decided to invite others to go along too. Folks have been e-mailing Hap firstname.lastname@example.org and asking for their own “Juanita Search Kits.” They get a bumper sticker, magnet, bookmark, stickers, flyers, etc. It’s a whole packet of material that will equip anyone to join the fun of finding the Juanita with “the mark of God.” If they send Hap a picture of the places where they stuck their Juanita signs, they’ll receive a free copy of the book. It’s all there on the website at http://www.onestepovertheborder.com/ . . . .
How would I describe the ‘most likely’ reader? Or what ‘felt need’ does this book meet? While the book will appeal to both men and women, I believe, by sheer numbers more women will read it, especially country gals with cowboy-on-their-mind kind of hearts. While people often talk of women looking for knights on white horses, many gals have at one time longed for a tried-and-true cowboy on any color of horse. So this tale has that kind of appeal. Plus, the drive to find that one person, the one you can’t forget, lingers in the mind of all romantics. And we all have a desire to find the ‘right’ person who will share the ups and downs of life, to be searched for and found, or to complete something we promised ourselves long ago. We also really want to do the right thing, even if no one knows it. That drive often makes us take a stand against pesky odds. This story’s also about friendship, being there through all the struggles and mistakes and quirkiness. In that way, it’s a satisfying and yet surprising story.One Step Over The Border is available as of June 12, 2007, through your local quality bookstore, your favorite online book supplier, or you can order an autographed copy through http://www.blybooks.com/And there’s a very special feature on http://www.amazon.com/. . . some more adventures about Hap and Laramie that did NOT appear in the book, can be found on AmazonShorts in the story entitled, Aim Low, Shoot High.