Don’t forget to rummage around the main site. Jacquie is giving away three Kindle copies of Much Ado About Marshals, so check it out and put in your entry.
Thanks, Marsha, for hosting me today! I’m delighted to be here and have enjoyed your books immensely.
The world of romance novels is vast. Early on, I realized that the humorous books always stuck with me, and since I have an off-kilter approach to life myself, well, the books I write reflect that. Maybe growing up on a dairy farm in an area where you could only get one channel on television warped me, I don’t know. That’s my best guess, though.
As a kid, my friends and I rode our horses everywhere, and I can’t tell you how many stagecoaches we robbed or how many times we formed posses to chase bad hombres. Holsteins just aren’t that exciting, so we pretended they were longhorns. The cows weren’t amused, but it kept us busy.
We lived in Owyhee County, Idaho, and that’s where my Hearts of Owyhee series is set. The county is large, about the size of New Jersey, but rather than 1,000 people per square mile, Owyhee County had 1 person per square mile. It’s also home to a mining town, one of the few that didn’t succumb to fire, Silver City. Lots of fascinating rabble-rousing happened there but few know about it, and now instead of mining for silver, I mine for interesting tidbits.
The Owyhee Avalanche has been in business since the mid 1860s, starting in Ruby City, moving to Silver City, and is now publishing in Homedale. I found this article in the January 11, 1873 issue:
“ROLLER SKATING. Jones & Bonney’s Skating Rink is now open and is a splendid place for exercise and amusement. Roller skating not only most consummately occupies the mind in its performance, but it brings the whole muscular system into active play in the most enticing and beautiful manner. A good skater sails over the floor as airily as a bird upon the wing, in a perfect revelry of enjoyment, and a carnival of fun.”
I can just picture those cowhands and miners on roller skates! And I wonder if they had to check their weapons at the door. Then there’s this item from the same newspaper:
“A young lady got on her muscle and gave a fellow a black eye in to the other afternoon. Served him right.”
Silver City is where Much Ado About Marshals (Hearts of Owyhee #1) begins, but the rest of the story is in Oreana. I used the name but moved the town, and made it more populace than it ever was. But what a pretty name. In the real Oreana, there’s a beautiful stone church. I found out that the building was renovated in the 1960s to be a church, but it was originally a mercantile.
Ah ha! My heroine’s family owned that store, I decided, and that gave me fodder for a lot of humor. After all, everything people bought came from there, so the Gardner family would know all everyone’s secrets. And the products—wow, fodder for fun. Here’s the blurb for 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!
Wanted for bank robbery, Cole is mistaken for the new marshal and faces a dilemma few men have to face—tell the truth and be the exalted guest at a necktie party, or live a lie and end up married. Either way could cost him his freedom.
Excerpt set up: Cole was wounded while trying to keep his friend from robbing the bank in Silver City, and now he’s wanted for the crime. His friend took him to Oreana to see a doctor, but they mistook him for the new marshal. In this scene, the town gossip has just complained that Oreana shouldn’t pay salary to a marshal who’s wounded and can’t do his job. “Half a man” she called him. Daisy and her friend Sarah are worried that the widow will throw a kink into Daisy’s plan to marry the new marshal.
“Maybe so, but the boarders were talking about it last night at supper. I’d say if you want the new marshal to keep his job, you’d better find a way to get him on his feet. And fast.”
Unfortunately, Daisy knew Sarah was right. She tried to concentrate on her task, but all she could think about was how she could get the marshal healthy—her entire future depended on it! When she unwrapped another bottle from the new box, the label caught her notice:
LOST MANHOOD RESTORED
The DR. LIEBIG Private Dispensary
400 Geary St., San Francisco, Cal.
“Sarah, I think we have our answer! Listen to this. “Nervous Debility, Impotency, Seminal Losses, Physical Weakness, Failing Memory, Weak Eyes, Stunted Development, Impediments to Marriage, etc. from excesses or youthful follies, or any cause, speedily, safely and privately cured.”
“He doesn’t look too nervous.”
“No, but maybe he doesn’t show it.” Daisy concentrated on the next word, trying to decipher its meaning. “Do you suppose Impotency means general weakness? After all if a medicine is potent, that means it’s strong. So impotency would mean that a man has lost his strength.”
Sarah nodded. “Must be. And he can’t be all that strong with a hole in his leg.” She picked up another bottle, unwrapped it, and studied the label. “Why on earth do you need a cure for not wanting to be a preacher?”
“Well,” Sarah explained, “it says Seminal Losses. I guess that must refer to men who have quit seminary school.”
Daisy shrugged. She didn’t know, either, so she studied the label again. “This medicine sounds like just the thing to speed his recovery, especially if it removes any Impediments to Marriage—although I don’t know how on earth it could do that. Mama says love potions are hoaxes.”
“But it couldn’t hurt.”
“It might help.” Daisy stuffed a bottle in her apron pocket.
“How are you planning to pay for it? Aren’t you going to tell your dad?”
Daisy shook her head. “He won’t mind. I’ll just record it in the account book.” Where, she didn’t know—maybe on Mrs. Courtney’s account, but she wasn’t about to let her father in on her plans to marry the marshal until she had him bagged good and proper.
Hearts of Owyhee Buy Links
Much Ado About Marshals: http://amzn.com/B0058ON1LS
Much Ado About Madams: http://amzn.com/B007HRTQ0O
Much Ado About Mavericks: http://amzn.com/B008EDN9T4
Thanks again to Marsha for hosting me today, and please visit her post on my blog to learn more about her wonderful pirate adventure, Across A Moonlit Sea:
Jacquie’s Contact Links
Romancing The West: http://romancingthewest.blogspot.com
Author blog: http://jacquierogers.blogspot.com