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DescriptionTina Harker is a typical teenager. She loves hanging with her friends at the malls, shoes, and manicures. More than that, she loves horses. Life is everything she wants it to be, until her father packs their family up and drags them across the world to Arizona. Does he really think she'll be happy living in a ghost town in the middle of the desert? It's a million miles to the nearest shopping center, not even a real mall. Her only hope for survival is finding a new horse.
Trying to make the best of her horrible situation, Tina agrees to go on her first cattle drive. When one of the calves wanders off, Tina, in true cowgirl fashion and looking for excitement, rides off to rescue the poor little thing and gets a lot more adventure than she ever expected. A cowboy she’s never met accuses her of stealing cows, bandits kidnap her, and that’s not even the exciting part.
Reader Rating: (5 Ratings)
Excerpt:Jessica giggled. "He's super cute."
Tina tried to keep still while the manicurist worked on her fingers. She rolled her eyes. "I wish." She sighed. "There aren't going to be any cute boys in Arizona."
Jessica giggled again, earning a long-suffering look from the woman working on her nails. "Cowboys? Wrangler butts? You'll be fine."
Tina forced a grin and looked down at her hands. The manicurist had transformed her long nails into works of bright red art. She admired the gold swirls on the middle fingers and grinned for real this time. The manicure was a going away present from her best friend forever, Jessica.
"They're great," she said to both her friend and stylist. "Thanks."
"That pink sundress you bought is going to get all the cowboys' attention out there," Jessica said while they waited for their nails to dry. She had gone with purple and pink.
"Yeah." Tina didn't want to think about moving, but they were leaving in three days. "And the sandals are too cute."
"Yeah, and the halter top…I'm glad they had two."
Tina smiled. They both got one of the light cream-colored halters so they could wear them on the same days. It was silly, but it made her feel better.
"Cool. Let's wear them tomorrow for the going away party."
Tina smiled at her friend, fighting the tears that threatened to ruin her mascara. "Yeah, let's."
* * *
So, how is it?
Tina stared at her phone, then back out the window of her parent's car.
OMG. Just…OMG. I can't believe they're doing this to me, she texted back. She couldn't believe she had cell service, or at least enough to text with.
When Jessica didn't reply, Tina sighed. It's like being on Mars. All red and brown and flat. No trees. Some mountains, I guess. Alien. Horrible. She sent that text and waited.
Her phone beeped, searching for signal, and then found reception again.
Hugs. I'll come to visit soon. I miss you. Oh, gotta go. TTYL.
Tina put her phone away and stared out the window. There was nothing out there. No stores, no restaurants, no school, no people. Just empty desert. It was horrible.
"Honey, we're almost there," her mom said, sounding excited.
"Almost where?" she muttered, crossed her arms and glared at her feet.
"Almost home, sweetheart." Her dad was way too happy about the move.
"Almost to hell," she said, even more quietly so her parents wouldn't hear.
Tina went back to staring out the window since it was slightly more interesting than her feet. She supposed she would have to get used to the view. Like it or not, she wasn't going to be able to escape this hellhole until she went to college. It was going to be a long two years.
Her dad slowed and turned off the highway onto a dirt road. The car bounced, waking her little sister, Betsy.
"Are we there yet?" Her sister stretched and looked out the window. She paused mid stretch and Tina saw the expression of surprise on her face. "Wow!"
Tina shook her head. Of course Betsy would be excited.
"This is so cool!" She positively bounced in her seat, but that could have been the crappy road.
Tina ground her teeth. "Where are we going?" She felt she had to ask. All she saw in the distance were more of the weird, red mountain things and a dirt road stretching to nowhere.
"Home, sweetie," her mom said in a sugary sweet tone.
"Sure, if we were Martians."
"Tina Harker," her dad said. "Do not talk that way to your mother."
Tina sank down in her seat and crossed her arms again. This totally sucks. She tried not to hit her head on the top of the sedan as they bounced down what was supposed to be a road.
"Hey, look, a house!" Betsy bounced in her seat. This time Tina was sure it wasn't just the bad road. "And look, Tina, a horse. Maybe they'll let you ride it."
Tina sighed and tried to ignore her little sister. Her parents had obviously sold the ten-year-old on the adventure, but Tina had left more behind than Betsy. She didn't even try to look at the horse. She didn't want to see any horses right now. She missed Frankie, the thoroughbred she had leased for over a year. It wasn't fair that she had to leave him behind. She'd been planning on buying him, but with the move, there was no way. They'd told her there would be plenty of horses in Arizona and she'd find one there. They didn't understand. She didn't want just any horse. She wanted her horse.
Tears welled in her eyes, and she took a couple of deep breaths, trying not to cry. She didn't want her sister to make fun of her again. Betsy was such a pain.
A few minutes later, they passed another house on Tina's side of the car and she couldn't help but stare. A fence surrounded a large, dusty yard, and the front porch looked welcoming, except that one side sagged dangerously and the paint was chipped and peeling away.
She wondered if anyone actually lived there. She didn't see anyone, but there was a swing set in the yard and a rusty pickup parked in the backyard. It was like a bad TV movie.
Ages later they passed a couple more houses and then her dad pulled off the bumpy non-road. They drove for another million years before they stopped in front of a small store.
"Welcome to Golton, kids."
Tina stared around her, horrified. "I thought you said we were moving to a town."
Her dad smiled and opened the car door. "It's a ghost town."
Reader Reviews (3)
Submitted By: Cdnwmn on Apr 26, 2011great read for teen girls, fun and flirty! :)
Submitted By: lianuchan on Mar 9, 2011This is a wonderful quick read that pulls you all the way through to the end. Great writing and an interesting twist for a trip to the new/old west. I can't wait for the next installment! Highly recommended!
Submitted By: writerwoman on Mar 8, 2011Westward, Yo! is simply wonderful! I started reading and couldn't stop until finished. The characters are appealing and the story is exciting. I particularly loved the unique plot twist that I just didn't see coming. An excellent story that was very well-executed, I look forward to reading more from this author!
Westward, Yo!By: J.A. Campbell