by Jacquie Rogers
Buy links: Amazon * Smashwords * B&N
Jacquie Rogers is a former software designer, campaign manager, deli clerk, and cow milker. She writes romance in three sub-genres: western historical, fantasy, and contemporary western. She calls Seattle home, and lives with her husband who is an audio/video engineer and a fantastic proofreader. They are allowed to reside in this house by Annie, a feral cat who has decided she likes to be warm, dry, and fed, although not held or petted.
About Much Ado About Marshals
Daisy wants to be a detective just like dime novel heroine Honey Beaulieu. But her parents insist she marry. What better solution than to marry the new marshal!
Cole, mistaken for the new marshal, faces a dilemma few men have to face--tell the truth and get hanged, or live a lie and end up married. Either way could cost him his freedom.
A lucky commenter will win a free copy of Much Ado About Marshals. Yay!
Editor's Note: So how exactly does one interview oneself? Easy! My husband was pressed into duty, so he is "RTW" today.
RTW: Tell us a little about the setting for Much Ado About Marshals and why you made me drive to hell and gone to look at a stone building.
JR: I grew up on Owyhee County where this story takes place, although we lived quite a ways north of there in a farming community. Why Oreana? Because I always loved the sound of the name--it just sounds so lyrical. Oreana isn't exactly a major metropolitan area, but there is a beautiful stone church, Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church. When I found out that church started as a general store, Gardner's Mercantile was born.
I orignally thought to set another story there, but when Cole Richards needed a place to recover from his wound after saving Bosco from robbing a bank, I thought of Oreana. Those who live in Owyhee County will know that I moved towns around a bit to suit my story, but hey, it's fiction. You can do that. :)
RTW: The heroine, Daisy Gardner, is obsessed with Honey Beaulieu, Lady Detective novels. How did Honey Beaulieu come into being? Why is this important to Daisy?
JR: My original notion of this story took on the tempo of the soundtrack for Cat Ballou and I could hear Nat 'King' Cole and Stubby Kaye singing as I wrote the opening scene. When I needed a lady detective, my critique partner, Judith Laik, came up with Honey, I supplied Ballou, and then she changed the spelling to Beaulieu, which I rather liked. So thank you, Judy!
Daisy is enamored with the whole idea of Honey Beaulieu because she's a take-charge woman who takes no crap from anyone and thrives in a man's world. For a small town girl like Daisy, who's expected to marry, make a home, and raise a passle of children, Honey Bealieu's adventures would seem glamorous, indeed. But even more than that, Daisy has an incurable curiosity about things and she really does want to be a detective.
RTW: What common misconception about the Old West most irritates you?
JR: About women. Writers nearly always portray western women as clones of eastern women, and firmly ensconsed in the Victorian way of doing things. Yes, some of the attitudes did prevail, but western women did what needed to be done whether it was "proper" or not. They had to in order to survive. They were tough ladies, and I'm in awe, actually. We could take a lesson or two today.
Also, marriage was desirable but not necessary. Had to be that way--there were very few preachers or judges around to do the marrying. If convenient for others in the community, a couple might have a wedding party, but not a legal marriage if there was no one available to marry them. As a result, a couple might have lived together several years and have two or three children before they ever actually tied the knot. No one thought a thing about it.
RTW: But yet Daisy's motivation for marrying the marshal was to avoid her parents forcing her into a match with a local farmer.
holding her g-grandson
JR: Yes, that's true. Women were expected to marry--but then they're expected to marry today as well. A friend of mine didn't marry until her mid-30s and her parents were highly relieved when she finally chose a husband.
Part of this is just because we all want true love, security, and to grow old with a spouse we adore and who loves us back just as much. It's the ulitmate happiness for many of us, and it's easy to see why parents would want this for their children.
To the left is a photo of my great-great-grandmother, Martha Gooding Walker, who is proudly holding her great-grandson. She didn't marry until she was in her late 20s, and then to a a three-time widower (my g-g-grrandfather) who was in his 50s. Because she waited so long to marry, talk of her inability to catch a man followed her most of her life. Luckily, she outlived all her naysayers.
RTW: You'd better tell your readers about the strapping lad on the cover.
JR: That's Kyle Walker, my nephew. Handsome, ain't he? And he'll be on the cover of Much Ado About Madams, too. My niece, his cousin, will model as well. But back to the marshal book and Kyle. He's not a cowboy, actually, although his mom takes care of horses and he's very good with them. You know he's a good guy because all animals love him. He's a welder at his day job, and an excellent one, too. Oh, and others on the jobsite are recognizing him now. :)
RTW: You'd better tell your readers about the strapping lad on the cover.
|Kyle Walker as|
RTW: Please set up your excerpt.
JR: Cole has been shot in the leg while preventing Bosco from robbing a bank, and passed out from blood loss. Bosco took Cole to Oreana for medical treatment. Cole wakes up knowing he and Bosco are wanted for bank robbery.
"Yes, he's definitely the one." Her sweet tone belied her accusation. Most robbery victims wouldn't be so cheerful. Was he in jail? The aroma of sagebrush and alkali had been replaced by tincture of iodine, so he could be in the doctor's office.
"Fits the description exactly."
Cole's hopes sank at the lady's certainty. While he'd never had a doubt he and Bosco would be caught, he'd hoped to make it back to the ranch to set things right. And the lady didn't have to sound so damned happy about it.
"You're sure about that?" a man's voice asked.
"Well, Doc, he's tall, so he matches the six-foot-two height, he has dark brown hair, brown eyes, and he's wounded on the right leg just like the wire said."
Cole hoped that at least Bosco had made it to the ranch. He was goodhearted, a loyal friend, but not all that quick on the draw.
"Yes," the lady continued, "he's our new marshal, all right."
New marshal? Hell, he was wanted for bank robbery! This didn't seem exactly the right time to mention it, though.
"Good," the man named Doc responded, "then I'll bill the city for his care. The wife will be happy to hear I finally have a cash customer."
"You don't have a wife."
The doctor chuckled. "No, Miss Daisy, but I'd sure like you to change that."
"Not a chance," she teased.
They both laughed, but Cole knew how the doctor really felt. Some men were born to be alone.
A cool cloth smelling of borax mopped his forehead. He forced his eyes to open. He blinked a couple of times and focused on a beautiful woman, her brow wrinkled with concern.
"Come here, Doc," she said with quiet enthusiasm. "He's awake."
Cole heard water pouring as he stared at the lady who belonged to the sunny voice. Her green-eyed gaze bathed him with compassion and reminded him of sunset on Sinker Creek, where the rays glanced off the rapids, and the rippling of the water made a man's heart feel pure.
He wondered what she'd look like if he loosened her auburn hair that was pulled tightly into a bun. She was a beauty, all right.
A slight man dressed appropriately for a doctor, or an undertaker, rubbed his brown handlebar mustache while he mulled over Cole's condition. "His color's much better, Daisy, don't you think?"
"I'll go tell Dad that he won't have to rush over here for the marshal's last prayers." She pulled on her gloves and tossed a cloak over her shoulders.
Damn, a preacher's daughter. What a waste of womanly flesh.
"Look for him at your Aunt Grace's house," the doctor advised. "When I picked up the wire telling us the new marshal was riding in, Rayburn told me that your sister had just come home. Seems like some yahoos tried to hold up her bank--put quite a scare into her, too."
Daisy clapped her gloved hands to her cheeks. "Oh, no! Is Iris all right?"
"She's fine," replied the doctor, "but I hear one of the would-be robbers is somewhat worse for the wear. She claims she shot one."
"Oh, my!" Daisy picked up her parasol and reticule. "I'll get over there right away. She may need me!"
Cole's throat tightened as Daisy hurried to the door. She'd put two and two together as soon as she talked to her sister.
"God works in wonderful ways," she exclaimed triumphantly as she unlatched the door. "It's a miracle that our new marshal showed up when he did." She swept out of the room like a queen.
Stay calm and think. So Daisy's sister was the woman who'd shot him. What lousy luck. He had to get the hell out of here.
Especially since Miss Daisy thought he was the town's new marshal.
He didn't even know what town.
# # #
Yes, There's a Contest!
Comment on one of Jacquie's posts this week and you'll be entered in a drawing for Much Ado About Marshals (Smashwords coupon). The lucky winner will be drawn August 20, 2011, at 10pm Pacific Time. Please include your email address with your comment, or we'll have to draw another name.