Thursday, January 16, 2014

HEARTS & SPURS: A Flare of the Heart, by Jacquie Rogers #valentine #western #historicalromance

A Flare of the Heart
a short story in

Nine days—nine stories from nine veteran western historical romance authors
Just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Today's guest is Romancing The West's owner, Jacquie Rogers.  You can never take the country out of a girl’s heart. Jacquie lives in Seattle, Washington, now but grew up in Owyhee County, Idaho, where her Hearts of Owyhee series is set. (Owyhee, pronounced oh-WYE-hee, is the original anglicized spelling of Hawaii.) She and her friends rode horses all over the hills chasing fictional outlaws and generally causing a ruckus.

The writing but didn’t strike until later, but Jacquie’s always been a daydreamer. While she milked Holsteins, she dreamed of herding Longhorns and when she rode her horse, she charged into battle. Since taking up the pen, her books have won several awards. Her latest releases are Much Ado About Miners and Sleight of Heart.

RTW: What intrigued you to write this story?

JR: I had just read three or four books in a row where the heroine was reed thin.  Well, a lot of us aren't, but that doesn't mean we're not romantic, or attractive.  When the heroine, Celia, popped into my head, she came with a healthy derriere and a can-do attitude.

Then the hero, Ross (or Flare, as he's also known) showed up--a man's man who considered all women delicate.  Celia's not coarse, but she's not delicate, either.  That confuses the poor fellow and was the source of my own amusement.

About A Flare of the Heart
Celia Valentine Yancey has no illusions she’ll ever enjoy wedded bliss, so chooses marriage over spinsterhood even if she has to marry a man her father picked. On the way to meet her groom, she endures armed robbery, a stagecoach wreck, a dozen hungry baby pigs — and an incorrigible farmer. 

Ross Flaherty retired from bounty hunting to become a farmer but now Celia has brought his worst fear to his door — in more ways than one. A ferocious wolf-dog and a dozen piglets are no match for this determined lady. 

Which is more dangerous — the Sully Gang or Miss Celia Yancey?

RTW: How about a short excerpt from A Flare of the Heart?

Once Celia Valentine Yancey’s father had heard the Silver City Church was built on a mine, he decided its pastor was in sore need of a wife. She’d even agreed, what with her being on the shelf at twenty-eight despite her middle name. That was before she’d seen miles upon dreary miles of crackly sagebrush, winding mountain roads, clouds of powder dust that sifted into the most uncomfortable spots, rattlesnakes, and heathen men of every ilk. The last two were equally dangerous.

Still, a promise was a promise. She’d agreed to marry Reverend Cheasbro, and so she would. If she survived the long trek into the Owyhee Mountains, that is. Celia had never met her future groom—her father had insisted on conducting all the correspondence, which annoyed her even now. At least she’d get some children out of the deal, and a home of her own.

RTW: Tell us about your latest release, please!

Hearts of Owyhee 
by Jacquie Rogers

The fourth novel in the 
Hearts of Owyhee series!

Cupid’s bullet...
Hired gun Kade McKinnon interrupts a bank holdup and is shot by the teller, Iris Gardner, whose victims have a tendency to be the next groom in town. Will he be the groom this time?

Cupid’s bow...
Iris Gardner, a smart, independent bank clerk, fell in love with Kade when she was too young to know better. So when he walks back into her life and her bank, it's only fitting that she shoots him ... by accident, of course. But she’s a suffragist now, so his charms can’t affect her...right?

Cupid’s blindfold...
Kade doesn’t know Iris’s company is the one who hired him to escort a bullion shipment, and Iris doesn’t know Kade owns the security company, but they both know robbers are on their trail. Which is more likely to be stolen—the silver, or his heart?
Available in Kindle and soon in print!
♥ ♥ ♥
How do you capture a cowboy's heart? Hearts and Spurs is a collection of nine stories by some of western romance’s best—just in time for Valentine's Day! Following up their Christmas collection Wishing for a Cowboy, these ladies have done it again with new stories of handsome cowboys and the women who captivate them in Hearts and Spurs.

The Widow's Heart by Linda Broday
Skye O’Rourke thinks her imagination is playing tricks on her when she sees a man emerge from the shimmering desert heat. No one would willingly take a stroll under the scorching sun with a saddle slung on his back. She’s shocked to discover it’s Cade Coltrain, a man she once gave her heart to only to have him give it back.

Can she trust him not to abandon her this time? Yet, trusting each other is the only way they can survive. And love might just save them if they believe…

Guarding Her Heart by Livia J. Washburn
Julia Courtland was on her way west to marry a man she had never met. Henry Everett, the marshal of Flat Rock, Texas, was the grandson of her uncle's best friend. It seemed like a good match for both of them, and the wedding was scheduled to take place on Valentine's Day.

Grant Stafford thought the young woman who got on the stagecoach at Buffalo Springs was the prettiest thing he had seen in a long time. She wasn't too friendly, mind you, but she was sure easy on the eyes. Not that Grant had time to worry much about such things. He was the shotgun guard on this run, but more than that, he was an undercover Texas Ranger on the trail of the vicious outlaw gang responsible for a string of stagecoach robberies.

Fate threw Julia Courtland and Grant Stafford together on a cold February day in West Texas, but it also threw deadly obstacles in their path. A runaway team, a terrible crash, and bullets flying through the air threaten to steal not only their lives but also any chance they have for happiness. If they're going to survive, they will have to learn to trust each other...and maybe steal their hearts back from fate.

Found Hearts by Cheryl Pierson
Southern belle Evie Fremont has lost everything — except hope. When she answers an advertisement for marriage to Alex Cameron who lives in the wilds of Indian Territory, she has few illusions that he could be a man she might fall in love with — especially as his secrets begin to unfold.

Ex-Confederate soldier Alex Cameron needs a mother for his two young half-Cherokee sons more than he needs a wife — or so he tells himself. But when his past threatens his future on his wedding day, he and Evie are both forced to acknowledge their new love has come to stay — along with their Found Hearts.

Open Hearts by Tanya Hanson
To honor her brother’s last request, Barbara Audiss takes on his identity. Letting loose her secret will land get her arrested. But keeping it prevents her from giving her heart to handsome sheriff Keith Rakestraw.

Furious at “Judge Audiss’s” latest verdict, Keith discovers she’s a fake and consequences seem easy: toss her in jail. Instead, he finds himself eager to give her his heart.

Hollow Heart by Sarah J. McNeal
Madeline Andrews is a grown up orphan. Sam Wilding made her feel part of his life, his family and swore he’d come home to her when the war ended, but he didn’t return. With the Valentine’s Ball just days away, the Wildings encourage Madeline to move forward with her life and open her heart to the possibilities. But Madeline is lost in old love letters and can’t seem to let go.

A Flare of the Heart by Jacquie Rogers
Celia Valentine Yancey has no illusions she’ll ever enjoy wedded bliss, so chooses marriage over spinsterhood even if she has to marry a man her father picked. On the way to meet her groom, she endures armed robbery, a stagecoach wreck, a dozen hungry baby pigs — and an incorrigible farmer. 

Ross Flaherty retired from bounty hunting to become a farmer but now Celia has brought his worst fear to his door — in more ways than one. A ferocious wolf-dog and a dozen piglets are no match for this determined lady. 

Which is more dangerous — the Sully Gang or Miss Celia Yancey?

Coming Home by Tracy Garrett
Sometimes it takes two to make dreams come true.

When a man who believes he’ll never have a home and family…

Former U.S. Marshal Jericho Hawken should have been shepherding a wagon train to new territory, but he unwillingly left them vulnerable to a vicious raider. The murder of the settlers he was supposed to be guarding is the hardest thing he’s ever had to face…until he meets the sister of one of the settlers.

…finds a woman who has lost everything…

Instead of a joyous reunion with her brother, Maryland Henry has come to River’s Bend to take responsibility for her three orphaned nieces. Fired from her teaching position and with no other family on whom to rely, Mary believes Jericho Hawken is responsible for all her woes. Or is he what she’s been searching for all along?

It takes a lot of forgiveness and a few fireworks to realize that together their dreams can come true.

Tumbleweeds and Valentines by Phyliss Miranda
When Amanda Love finds a tumbleweed lodged against her fence with an invitation to a Valentine Day dance stuck to it she thinks someone must be playing a joke. No one would invite her. No one ever had. Besides, she has no time for such things. She has a candy store to run. Curiosity gets the best of her though. Finding her name scrawled on it as bold as can be sends ripples of surprise through her. As she embarks on a quest to find the sender’s identity, she examines herself and the secret dream she harbors of having a husband and children.

Maybe, just maybe, someone had seen the yearning in her heart. But who?

The Second-Best Ranger in Texas by Kathleen Rice Adams
His partner’s grisly death destroyed Texas Ranger Quinn Barclay. Cashiered for drunkenness and refusal to follow orders, he sets out to fulfill his partner’s dying request, armed only with a saloon girl’s name.

Sister María Tomás thought she wanted to become a nun, but five years as a postulant have convinced her childhood dreams aren’t always meant to be. At last ready to relinquish the temporary vows she never should have made, she begs the only man she trusts to collect her from a mission in the middle of nowhere.

When the ex-Ranger’s quest collides with the ex-nun’s plea in a burned-out border town, unexpected love blooms among shared memories of the dead man who was a brother to them both.

Too bad he was also the only man who could have warned them about the carnage to come.

♥ Hearts and Spurs ♥


  1. Trail Boss, your sarcastic wit reached sublime levels in "A Flare of the Heart." Ross and Celia are just too much fun. And good on ya for putting some meat on your heroine's bones (and flummoxing poor Ross half to death with that). :-D Now, about them dang piglets.... ;-)

    1. Thanks, Tex. My first vision of this story was a heroine who had her rump stuck in the stagecoach window with little pigs sucking on her legs. Then came the hard part--I had to figure out how the stagecoach tipped over and the pigs got in there. Sometimes these Bright Ideas lead to brain fever. You should see my poor whiteboard.

      I'm looking forward to featuring your story. Loved it! Quinn--definitely droolworthy!

  2. I agree with Kathleen, Jacquie. I loved that Celia was "sturdy" and it became a good thing rather than a negative in her mind. That was the best little story, and once again, she came to the rescue and it got her what she truly wanted in life. Loved that story!

    1. Cheryl, thanks for stopping by! Yep, lots of us are sturdy--doesn't mean we aren't romantic or attractive. Celia didn't let her generous behind get in the way of life. Ross sure didn't seem to mind, either.

      Your story's next on RTW. Alex Cameron would capture any woman's heart.

  3. Jacquie, your story was great! Love your sense of humor. Celia and Ross really came alive on the page. So funny. Also....You have a really nice website. I'm going to have to download MUCH ADO ABOUT MADAMS into my Kindle.

    Wishing you much success!

    1. Thanks, Linda. My website is in woeful need of updating--don't even have my last five releases on there. I need a keeper! I'm glad you enjoyed Celia and Ross. They had a lot of notions that had to be changed, and sometimes it's hard to show that change smoothly in a short story. Correction--that's the challenge every time.

      But you sure nailed it with Skye and Cade. What a great start to the anthology! I loved your story.

  4. Hi Jacqui, I love the idea of a non-reed thin woman. The older I get (and I'm getting there fast) the too-perfect heroine is just downright tiresome., and I want to smack her for not being content LOL. Great story!

    1. Especially the too-perfect heroine who thinks she's ugly. Not that it doesn't happen in real life--we all have issues--but that trope has been used and used. So when Celia popped into my mind, I was happy that she didn't need much of a bustle to be stylish. :) And Flare--he isn't exactly knows for saying the right thing.

      I'll be looking forward to reading about Barbara and Keith in a day or two on RTW. Loved your story!

  5. What a wonderful childhood you had, Jacquie. Us city kids only dreamed of having a horse or a pony. Lucky girl. I didn't know you milked cows.
    I am eager to get to the Hearts And Spurs anthology. As soon as I have my writing obligations under way, I'm gonna dig it. I still have one of your Much Ado stories to read and I am really looking forward to it. I have enjoyed every one I've read so far.
    All the best to your corner of the earth, Jacquie.

    1. I milked a lot of cows--that's why I live in the suburbs now. LOL. Thanks for the compliment. All the Hearts and Spurs stories were good! Lots of pulling the heartstrings in this one. Except mine, of course. And it's always good to read about your Wildings! Excellent story.


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