Fans of “chick lit,” rejoice! Frosted Cowboy is out just in time for your summer beach reading. It is the debut novel for Charlene Ross, an Agoura Hills resident and former contributor to Agoura Hills Patch. The book has already received rave reviews from New York Times bestselling author, Claire Cook, and Publishers Weekly.
Ross, the mother of two and happily married for 20 years, said she was inspired to write the narrative in a writing class she took in 2000. “We were each assigned to come up with a thee-page story based on a noun and adjective we drew out of a hat.” she said. “Mine were ‘frosted’ and ‘cowboy.’ I thought, ‘What the heck am I going to do with that?,’ so I just wrote, ”I’ll have a Frosted Cowboy, I said to the bartender,’ which became the opening to my book.”
The story revolved around Laney DeLaney, 32, who catches her fiancé
cheating and leaves him to start life anew. “My teacher loved it and told me I had something and should develop it,” said Ross. “I never really thought about writing a book until then.”
Over the next several years, Ross hand wrote three pages a day. “It took awhile, you know, life got in the way,” she said, but got serious about three years ago when it came together. She sent out her manuscript to friends as “beta readers” and began to query agents. After several rejections, she was openly received by the publishers from Velvet Morning Press, two women ex-Pats living in France, who were seeking women’s fiction. “I was so lucky to find them,” said Ross.
The story begins as Laney, a couture wedding dress designer, is fired from her job shortly after the cheating incident. With no boyfriend, no job, and no plan she has to figure out how to reinvent both her career and her love life.
So is Laney DeLaney anything like Ross? “I think her personality is a lot like mine at my snarkiest,” she said with a laugh.
However, the story and characters are pure, imaginative fiction.”I read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, who said ideas float through space, waiting to find their perfect mate, moving from one being to another. I guess that best describes how my story came to me,” she said.
Ross plans to celebrate her book release with the community on April 7 at Bellini Osteria Bar & Lounge, 951 S. Westlake Blvd #102, in Westlake Village from 5:30-8 p.m.
Ross will be selling and signing books during the reception and the venue will be serving specialty “Frosted Cowboy” cocktails, which Ross created (recipe in the book), for $5. All members of the community and media are welcome.