Several months, and many emails later, the idea for Nate Rock's Virtual Sketchbook was born - an online sketchbook of Nate's adventures - written by me and illustrated by Jess.
Below is the first installment, titled NATE ROCKS THE BANDITS originally published on the blog Jessica runs with her co-author Stephanie Robinson (another awesome and talented woman whom I adore!) They have a book called The Secret File of Fairday Morrow coming out in 2015 - I was lucky enough to read it, and I loved it! ... Now - onto the first installment of Nate's Sketchbook, reposted from Fairday's Blog:
Hey guys! Brocket here. I'm your host for Nate's Virtual Sketchbook. Nate is amazing with a pencil, and it's awesome that I get to share his ideas with you!
Don't forget to enter the fun bonus contest at the end. Trust me, you don't want to miss out! Rock on ✌ ~ M
Nate Rock's Virtual Sketchbook
Hold onto your pants- here we go!
"Giddy up," I say, taking hold of the reins. The horse breaks into a gallop, and we head into town down the dusty road.
Just as we reach the outside of the dingy saloon, a man comes crashing out of the front window, nearly hitting us as he tumbles to the ground. Glass shards and dust fly through the air. I jump off my horse and run up to him.
"Sir, are you okay?" I ask, reaching my hand out to him.
The battered man looks up at me weakly and whispers, "You better get in there cowboy, they need all the help they can get."
I can barely hear them creak over all the commotion. The scene is unbelievable: tables are overturned, people are screaming, chairs are getting tossed about chaotically, and women wearing long skirts are hiding behind the counter.
I spot the sheriff in the corner trying to break up a fight.
"Sheriff! What's going on?" I yell over the sound of breaking glass.
"Nate Rocks! Thank goodness you are here! Bandits are trying to take over the town. They've already captured Lady Madeline."
"Don't worry, Sheriff, we'll find her." I reach for my lasso, hold one end, and throw it up towards the ceiling. The powerful sound of the thick rope whipping through the air causes the room to momentarily stand still.
"Who wants to tell me where Lady Madeline is?" I yell into the crowd.
There is silence. The townspeople all step to the side, leaving me face to face with the ten burly bandits. I spot one of them reaching for a pistol in his holster.
"I don't think so mister!" I shout. In the blink of an eye, I direct the lasso toward him. The lasso wraps around the bandit, swinging him through the air, as if on a wild carnival ride. With the flick of my wrist, I release the lasso, causing the defeated man to slam against the wall before he crashes down to the ground. His gun slides across the floor behind the bar. The sheriff moves quickly to grab the pistol. He handcuffs the captured outlaw, as the other bandits look on in shock.
"Anyone else want to give it a try?" I ask, staring back at the others, no longer looking so tough and confident.
The group of nine remaining bandits start to back away from me and towards the door, hoping to escape.
"Not so fast!" I say. My lasso once again flies through the air, capturing the men with one fell swoop.
"She's...she's on tracks," one of them whispers through trembling lips.
"Sheriff, quick! We need to get over to the train tracks." I yell.
"You go Nate. The boys and I need to take these criminals over to the jail where they belong."
I run out the door and jump back onto my horse. I can hear a muffled train whistle from the other side of the mountain. The horse takes off in the direction of the sound.
"Faster, boy, faster." I shout. I hit the reins along the horse's side. The horse picks up speed and races towards the train tracks.
As we get close, I can hear a woman's voice shrieking, "Help me, please! Somebody, help me!"
"I'm coming, Lady Madeline!" I yell, not sure if she can hear me. "Faster, boy! We have to get to the tracks before that train makes it over the mountain!"
"Over here! I'm over here!" Lady Madeline screams, as she sees us coming towards her.
The horse stops abruptly. I leap off and run towards the beautiful woman wearing a long, ruffled yellow dress and boots. She's tied to the train tracks with a thick rope.
"Nate Rocks! You have to save me!" Lady Madeline cries.
"Don't worry, Ma'am, everything is going to be just fine."
I try to loosen the knot on the rope, but it won't budge. I pull harder, but still nothing. I look around- I need something to use to cut the rope. The train whistles again, slightly louder this time. I can see steam from the train's engine, as it reaches the top of the mountain.
"Hurry, Nate, hurry! The train is getting closer."
I grab a nearby rock, trying to cut the rope with its edge- no luck. Time is running out quickly, as the train descends the mountain and heads towards Lady Madeline.
My spurs click together. I take a step back to try to find a larger rock. My spurs- that's it! I rip one of my sharp spurs from my cowboy boot. The train whistles again, much louder this time.
"Please Nate!" Lady Madeline pleads, with tears in her eyes. She looks at the train heading straight towards us. With my spur in one hand I rip through the rope, releasing the knot. I untie Lady Madeline quickly, and she rushes into my arms knocking us both off the tracks just as the train whizzes by, blowing its whistle one final time before disappearing over another mountain.
Coming Next Time .... Nate Rocks the Stage