Harlequin Teams Up with Professional Bull Riders: Matt Triplett & Reese Cates

HARLEQUIN TAKES THE BULL RIDER BY THE HORNS
Professional Bull Riders Partner with Harlequin Books

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Harlequin, the internationally-renowned publisher, is teaming up with the Professional Bull Riders (PBR), the world’s premier bull riding organization, to bring you four revived titles featuring swoon-worthy, rugged bull riders. This collector’s edition by USA Today and award-winning author Tina Leonard will feature covers showcasing real-life, top PBR riders Matt Triplett, Reese Cates, Harve Stewart and Zane Lambert.

Each book contains exclusive content, including biographies, interviews, photos, signed reader letters from the riders and $20 of value-added coupons for select PBR events, fan club membership and upcoming Harlequin titles.

Harlequin Pro Bull Riders stories are heartwarming contemporary tales of everyday women finding love in the arms of the quintessential American icon, wrapped up in manliness and romance. The stories showcase the charm of small-town America and the ruggedness of Western locales and regularly feature Western characters as protagonists.

Founded in 1992, the PBR pits the world’s toughest bull riders against the fiercest bucking bulls on the planet in an 8-second showdown. More than 600 bull riders compete in PBR-sanctioned competitions in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the United States each year. These events are attended by more than 2.5 million fans annually who respect the riders’ athleticism and courage. PBR broadcasts are televised weekly on CBS and CBS Sports Network and reach more than half a billion households in 50 nations and territories around the world.

Harlequin sells more than 100 million romance, young adult, adult fiction and nonfiction books annually worldwide—approximately three books per second—making Harlequin a publishing powerhouse. Harlequin books are sold in 102 international markets on six continents with more than 6.38 billion books shipped around the world. Approximately one in every six mass-market paperbacks sold in North America is a Harlequin novel. More than one-third of American females have read a book published by Harlequin Enterprises at some point in their lives.

Click HERE to read an excerpt from A Family For the Bull Rider.

Click HERE to read an excerpt from Heart of a Bull Rider.

Click HERE to read an excerpt from One Wild Bull Rider.

Click HERE to read an excerpt from The Bull Rider’s Twins.

**There is a printable coupon on the end of each excerpt.**


matt tSo, Matt, how did you get into bull riding?
I grew up on a little ranch in Columbia Falls, Montana, and I grew up watching my dad ride bulls, and he’s been my hero all my life. So what better way than to follow in his footsteps? That’s exactly what I did, and he taught me everything I know and showed me the ropes of bull riding—and that’s how it got started.

What’s been your most memorable ride so far?
I think it’s yet to come. I still have a bright future ahead of me, and so I’m just ready for it.

What’s your idea of a romantic evening?
My idea of a romantic evening—well, it would start with a couple’s massage, then I would take her to the fanciest restaurant in town and then end by having a glass of wine and sitting in a hot tub.


Rider Info

triplett#3 Matt Triplett
@triplett_matt

World Finals qualifications: 2
Hometown: Columbia Falls, Mont.
Residence: Columbia Falls, Mont.
Height: 5-7
Weight: 155
Born: 6/28/91
Riding Hand: Right
BFTS Season: 3rd
Career Earnings: $396,825
High-Marked Ride: 92 points on Walk Off during Round 2 at World Finals on Oct. 23, 2014

Personal
Matt started bull riding when he was 10, with help from his dad who used to ride bulls as well. He said although his grandfather was too tall to ride, he is still Matt’s biggest fan. When he’s not busy traveling the country entering in as many competitions that he can, he enjoys riding horses, hiking, feeding baby ducks at the park and playing basketball—his favorite team in the Indiana Pacers. He also loves watching football and cheers on the New England Patriots because of Tom Brady. His go-to meals are sushi, spaghetti and steak, but not all together, of course. Matt’s most memorable ride was in 2013 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Pandemic (C’N Stars Bull Company) for 91 points during the Championship Round. During a bull riding in Montana, Pandemic kicked Matt in the stomach, causing him internal bruising, so he says it was his way of getting back at the bull. He also added that the injuries didn’t stop him from riding. He loved riding in Anaheim because of how close it is to Disneyland, he visited the amusement park last year and plans to go again each year the PBR visits. You can find the 23-year-old hanging out with Ryan Dirteater, Douglas Duncan, Chase Outlaw, Sean Willingham and Gage Gay on tour. He also works out with Douglas year round doing hot yoga and visiting Michael Johnson Performance.

2014 Highlights
Spent his first full season on the Built Ford Tough Series to be ranked No. 3 overall in the PBR world standings following World Finals…posted a career-high 92 points during Round 2 of the World Finals on Walk Off (Jeff Robinson Bucking Bulls)…placed fourth in bulls attempted (86) and sixth in bulls ridden (33)…won the last PBR 15/15 Bucking Battle of the season in Huntington Beach, California, with 87 points aboard Oklahoma Bell (Jeff Robinson Bucking Bulls)…picked up round wins in Tacoma and Billings…tied for second in most appearances during the championship round, but only made the 8-second mark once, during Allentown, Pennsylvania, in those 16 attempts…landed 11 Top 10 finishes, including four Top 5 finishes…ranked in the Top 10 of the world standings 19 times overall and remained in the Top 10 for the last 11 weeks of the regular season…won Touring Pro events in Sterling, Colorado, and Lewiston, Idaho.


r cates
So, Reese, how and when did you start bull riding?
I started riding bulls at a very young age. My dad and my granddad both rode bulls. So it was something that I grew up around. Something that I knew I wanted to do. I got on my first calf when I was three years old, and I had already been riding horses and stuff since before I could walk, and I just fell in love with it. The adrenaline rush, the idea that I could make a living doing something that was so fun. I was mesmerized by the sport. I did high school rodeo, college rodeo and worked my way up into the PBR—and here I am today living my dream.

How would you describe yourself to your fans?
Wow, that’s a good question. I think a lot of people misinterpret bull riders and have this assumption that we are all cocky, arrogant guys that are too full of ourselves. But there really is a lot to bull riders. Whenever you’re getting on an animal that weighs between 1500-1800 pounds for a living each and every week, you kind of have to have a little bit of cockiness or arrogance about you. But we are really and truly a bunch of small-town guys who grew up hard-working, and I think the same holds true for me.

Do you find you get nervous on competition nights?
I think that nerves and adrenaline can be misinterpreted as one or the other, and it can make you perform fifteen percent better or fifteen percent worse. If you interpret it as nerves, then it’s going to cause you to perform worse, and if you interpret it as adrenaline and you harness it and use it to your advantage, you are going to compete even better. So, yeah, there are butterflies there, but you know it’s the same way with Peyton Manning or Michael Jordan whenever he was playing basketball. The greatest athletes in the world know how to harness that and use it to their advantage. And that is what we are trying to do.

What do you see as the ideal romantic night?
I think for me it’s not so much about what you do or where you are at, it’s about who you are with. I’ve heard a lot of stories about finding a good woman and how she makes you better but I think the best one was: there was a mayor and he and his wife were eating dinner and they walked by this construction site and this man said hello to the mayor’s wife as they passed by. And the mayor asked who was that and she let him know that was a guy she dated in high school and he told her, well, aren’t you glad you didn’t marry that guy, you would be married to a construction worker, and she informed him very quickly that, no,, if I would have married him, he would have been the mayor. I think there is a lot of truth in that. I think the woman makes the man. I think that the couple makes the date; it doesn’t matter whether you are taking a long romantic walk on the side of a beach or whether you are having a nice dinner with a glass of wine or if you are sitting in front of a fire. If the chemistry is there it’s going to be amazing either way.


Rider Info

cates#58 Reese Cates
@reesecates

World Finals Qualifications: 3
Hometown: El Dorado, Ark.
Residence: El Dorado, Ark.
Height: 5-9
Weight: 155
Born: 1/12/89
Riding Hand: Right
BFTS Season: 8th
Career Earnings: $449,167
High-Marked Ride: 91 points on Firewater at Built Ford Tough World Finals on Nov. 2, 2008

* 2008 Rookie of the Year

Personal
A third-generation bull rider (his father and grandfather both rode professionally), Reese says he was riding horses before he could walk (his mother, aunts and grandmother were all barrel racers). Growing up and rodeo-ing with Chase Outlaw, the two are still the best of friends and now compete in the PBR together. During his first couple years on the BFTS, Reese attended and graduated from Panola College in Carthage, Texas with an Agriculture Business Degree. After suffering multiple debilitating injuries during the 2013 season (three crushed ribs, a collapsed lung, a dislocated shoulder with torn ligaments), Reese says he learned so much about medical procedures he thinks he might have liked being a doctor if he weren’t riding bulls. When he is touring, there is one thing he always has to have with him…his Tempur-pedic travel pillow. “I like my sleep”, jokes Reese, who says he could easily snooze for 10 hours if given the opportunity. After appearing on The Rachel Ray Show a few years ago (he tested a portable washer/dryer for the show), Reese admits he is now a fan and also regularly watches Dr. Phil. When he’s in top form, Reese sometimes hangs out and trains with Chad Mendes and Urijah Faber (top UFC fighters who are also PBR fans), and says that Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) workouts help keep him in shape for bull riding. In his down time, Reese likes hunting with Chase and San Diego Padres pitcher Andrew Cashner, fishing and spending time at home with family in Arkansas.

2014 Highlights
Earned a ninth place finish in Chicago, Illinois, going 2-for-3 during the event…landed a fourth place finish in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, covering three of his four bulls…competed in 10 events before dislocating his shoulder while in Phoenix, Arizona…missed six months of competition after undergoing shoulder stabilization surgery…returned to competition in Nashville, Tennessee…placed 13th in Oakland, California, as his last Built Ford Tough Series event of the season.


Author Bio

leonardUSA Today Bestselling and award-winning author Tina Leonard has sold over 3 million copies of her titles. She has made the USA Today Bestseller, Waldenbooks, Bookscan, and Ingrambook lists, and has written and contracted seventy-one books and special projects. She is best known for her sparkling sense of humor, endearing communities, snappy dialogue, and memorable characters that include sexy hunks with attitude and heroines with plenty of sass.

Author Links: Website * Facebook * Twitter


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3 Comments

Filed under Interview

3 Responses to Harlequin Teams Up with Professional Bull Riders: Matt Triplett & Reese Cates

  1. Timitra

    Interesting!

  2. wondering the rating of these books G, PG, PG13 or R

    • Book Reviews & More by Kathy

      While I don’t have an exact answer, I did find this on Harlequin’s submission guidelines for their American Romance Imprint: Level of sensuality is low to moderate.

      Hopefully this is helpful.