Saturday, April 4, 2015

Robert Randisi: 400 books in ONE series! #western #oldwest #fiction



by Jacquie Rogers

Robert J. Randisi
Normally, I’d write an article on a topic pertaining to  my own books, but today is very special, so I’m going to write about... a writer’s writer. Several of you know who I’m talking about and have either met him or know him through Western Fictioneers, which is how I know him.

My friends are astounded that I have seven books and a couple dozen short stories published. Well. Robert Randisi has over seven hundred books published and four hundred of those are in one series, The Gunsmith. That’s right, one series. He’s written a book every single month since 1981 in that series.

The four hundredth book just came out April 1. That would be The Gunsmith #400: The Lincoln Ransom. Randisi has several more in the pipe, and I have a hunch that as long as he draws breath, there’ll continue to be a new Gunsmith book for us to look forward to every month. (I hope so!) Originally, the series was published by Jove.  These days, the digital books are published by Piccadilly Publishing and the print books are through Western Trail Blazer.  And wow, the covers are gorgeous!

Kindle | Print
I don’t know about you, but I’m astonished by Robert Randisi’s talent as well as his production and commitment to his career. After reading a few books in this series, it’s obviously why The Gunsmith has dedicated fans and why Randisi should be admired as a talented author and a great storyteller. Yes, he can write most of us under the table when it comes to word count, and he can do that while producing first-class stories. During the time it has taken me to write this blog article, he probably just wrote a couple chapters.

To celebrate, we’re having a Facebook party and I hope you can all drop in for a while. This will be a fun two hours! The first hour, Clint Adams (The Gunsmith) joins us and you can ask him anything you want. Remember, these are adult westerns, so don’t be shy. The second hour, we’ll have Robert Randisi himself, along with his publishers, Mike Stotter from Piccadilly Publishing and Troy Smith at the helm of Western Trail Blazer, along with the president of the Western Fictioneers (and co-owner of Prairie Rose Publications) Cheryl PiersonKathleen Rice Adams will be helping me with hosting duties.


April 4
4pm Eastern, 3pm Central, 2pm Mountain, 1pm Pacific

Yes, there will be prizes! 
We’ll be giving away three digital copies and three autographed copies of The Gunsmith #400: The Lincoln Ransom.

So give yourself the luxury of attending this once-in-a-lifetime event!

And now for the obligatory promo, which seems a bit on the paltry side.  You see, I have four books published in the Hearts of Owyhee series.  Ha!  Four.  No hundred at the end, just plain four.



coming soon:
Much Ado About Mustangs

Sunday, March 8, 2015

NO SMALL TEMPEST (Muleskinners #2) #NewRelease #Western #Mule


No Small Tempest
(Muleskinners #2)


It's here!  The second story in the Muleskinners series took a while, partly because I got caught up in a bunch of other projects and partly because of the publisher's schedule.

What's it about?

Elsie Parry aims to get this load of salt delivered to Kearney, Nebraska, come hell or high water. Or outlaws. Or Indians. Her other driver, Hank, and her former outlaw brother Zeb will help – but her eight draft mules (who think they are Greek gods) will make the difference. If she can keep them from being stolen – or eaten.

The inside scoop

The Civil War wasn't kind to Elsie, her family, her home, or her neighbors.   In 1863, border ruffians abducted her brother, Zeb, along with the neighbor boy, Hank, from the family farm in Missouri. The next year, more came – she didn't know which side – and burned the farm to the ground. Elsie was given responsibility for eight draft mule foals and sent to live on a forested hill out of harm's way. She had little contact with the outside world, but her father visited infrequently.

She learned her mother had passed away, whether from sickness or hunger, Elsie didn't know, and neither did her father. In fact, he disappeared the last year of the war and Elsie thought he was dead, too, but imagine her elation to find him alive and relatively well five years later.

Meantime, those eight mules were her only friends and she'd named them after the Greek gods in her mother's book: Hermes, Zeus, Poseidon, Hephaestus, Aries, Apollo, Hades, and Plato (who's not a god but he's quite the thinker).  They have a good rapport, and she's very protective of them. 

Her papa was born with the gift of blarney, and he's a lot better at making deals than actually coming through with them. Still, he's her father and she loves him dearly – her only family other than the mules.

The underlying theme of the Muleskinners series is undoing the emotional damage that the war caused.  It tore her family apart--killed some of them, and scarred the rest.  But Elsie doesn't let these things get her down.  She's determined, bold, and can be a little hard-nosed at times.  She's also compassionate and has a wicked sense of humor.

Part of her character is patterned after my late aunt, who could get just about any animal to do whatever she asked of them.  Some people have it--most don't.  My aunt had it and so does Elsie.  My aunt also lived by her beliefs--right, wrong, or Bisquik.  Elsie has that trait, too, super-sized.  She also has a lot of other traits that my aunt didn't have.  Elsie is, bein's she's a fictional character, larger than life.

The series

Yes, you're better off reading Muleskinners #1: Judge Not first because this is a true sequential series.  Judge Not is the first leg of her journey, so while No Small Tempest could be read as a stand-alone, you'd get a lot more out it if you've read the first one.

Muleskinners 1 - Judge NotMuleskinners 2 - No Small Tempest
Amazon | B&N | Smashwords
Amazon | Smashwords
About the cover model.  Or not.  We simply couldn't find any photos that worked for Elsie.  The one we chose was the least worst, so you'll see the same picture on the next three stories, and she'll be wearing the same thing unless we can find something else.  Despite that, I thought Karen M. Nutt did a great job with the cover.  Thanks, Karen!

I'd also like to thank Troy Smith who got me into this mess in the first place.  He told me I could write a story for the Wolf Creek series and I did--but used my own cast instead of the Wolf Creek characters as he intended.  Through that misunderstanding, this series was born, and now he, at the helm of Western Trail Blazer, is publishing it.  Go figger.  

May your saddle never slip.


Monday, February 9, 2015

The Birth of a Book #CharacterInterview #Reading #HunkyHero


The Birth of a Book
and an
interview with
Kade McKinnon
by Jacquie Rogers

Much Ado About Miners is the third book in the Hearts of Owyhee series. I had no intention of writing this story but readers, after they read Much Ado About Marshals kept asking for Daisy’s sister’s story. That would be Iris Gardner. She fired the inciting bullet in that book, then makes a brief appearance later when Daisy needed some sisterly help.

Obviously, Iris is quite a firecracker. She’s 24 years old and lives on her own—not many women in the mid-1880s did that. She also is a bank clerk and takes her job seriously. But what else about her? Financial acumen had to be part of her character, and she had to have a secret. As a suffragist, she’d definitely be involved with making money in a man’s world.

But what about the hero? In walks Kade McKinnon, handsome and bold, but with his own secrets, too. Iris had a schoolgirl crush on him that never left, and when she sees him again, those feelings she’d tucked away came back with a vengeance.

Oh, wait—there’s Kade now! Let’s see what he has to say.

Jacquie: What do you remember about Iris?

Kade: She was a little pill. When we lived in Virginia City, Nevada, she was my sister’s best friend. Vivvie and Iris got in all manner of trouble—and dragging me with them since I tried to keep them safe. The girls were four years younger. Iris was a little blond-haired girl, the first to jump in the creek from a rope swing and the one who always wanted to explore abandoned mines and other forbidden spots.

Jacquie: Did you love her then?

Kade: She was just a kid. I never thought of her that way. She’s sure not a kid now, though. Whoo-wee! All woman, that one. And dangerous.

Jacquie: Dangerous? She’s a bank clerk.

Kade: I don’t expect you’ve ever been shot in the head. It ain’t no damned picnic. But worse than that, she’s the type of woman that makes you want to build a house for her, and make some babies. I’d rather face twenty outlaws at once rather than deal with a woman like her.

Jacquie: What was it like growing up with three brothers and a sister? How did you fare?

Kade: I’m the second of five. My older brother, Bram, did all the right things and got straight A’s in school. I could never measure up so there was no use in trying—I did my own thing, which generally got me into trouble. My younger brother, Josh, mostly tried to do whatever Bram did, and the youngest, Cage, was just a baby. Then there’s my sister, Vivvie, who’s four years younger than me. She’s the only one who didn’t give me crap—the kind that pulls you down. She did give me a one heckuva run for my money, though, especially when Iris was around, which was most of the time. What little brats they were!

Jacquie: What do you do for a living?

Kade: People think I’m a gunman and I let them think that. In truth, I’m majority owner of Prospero Security Transport. Phineas Stratford is my partner and the front man. Can that man ever yammer on! I swear he knows every line of every Shakespeare play. Ain’t worth spit at actual work, but that’s all right. Prospero needs a talker and he’s it. No one knows I’m involved with the company at all, and for security’s sake, I keep it that way.

Jacquie: How did you get in the security business?

Kade: While I was still living with the folks, I apprenticed with a blacksmith, and after I left, punched cattle for a while and did some security work. I’d always been good with a gun so signed up to escort bullion wagons to the mint. After a while, it occurred to me that I might as well own my own company, and then Phineas wanted to throw in with me, so things just worked out.

Jacquie: What brings you to Silver City?

Kade: Bonnet Consortium hired my company to escort a bullion shipment. Idaho Territory is out of the area I normally work, but this job is different—the bullion comes from my family’s mine. Also, Ma wired Bram saying they needed help. He couldn’t go so he wired me and asked me if I could. That gave me two reasons—to protect my family’s earnings, and to help them out however they need. (Kade stands and takes his Stetson of the hat rack.) If you’re done, ma’am, I’ll be seeing you later.

It didn’t much matter whether I was done or not because he left. That’s okay, because we can see him in Much Ado About Miners whenever we want. Still, I’d have liked to ask him about Duke the Cat, although I’m not so sure he’d tell the truth.

The Hearts of Owyhee books 


Thursday, January 22, 2015

2 Bibliophiles Guide: Much Ado About Miners by Jacquie Rogers

2 Bibliophiles Guide: Much Ado About Miners by Jacquie Rogers: Much Ado About Miners by Jacquie Rogers Genre: Western Romance $2.99 Amazon Amazon CA Amazon UK The third novel i...

Monday, January 19, 2015

#Excerpt MUCH ADO ABOUT MADAMS - #FirstMeet #HeartsOfOwyhee #historicalromance


Excerpt

Much Ado About Madams
Hearts of Owyhee #1
By Jacquie Rogers
Copyright © 2012-2015 Jacquie Rogers

Reese McAdams felt pretty damned lucky as he rode up to the Comfort Palace. He’d been able to conduct all his business over the wire and hadn’t needed to go to Wichita after all. Thanks to the full moon, he’d ridden late into the night to make his way home with money in his pocket and arrangements for a herd of cattle to be delivered to his new ranch.

Ranch land. Somehow, he had to find the time to build a bunkhouse, at least, so he could hire some cowhands. They’d need a place to stay, but he could live in the Comfort Palace another year before he built a house.

He dismounted, legs wobbly after the twelve-hour ride, and led Buster to the stable where he fed the exhausted roan stallion an extra ration of oats. Even though Reese’s fondest desire was to soak in a hot bath and crawl into his soft bed, he took extra care rubbing Buster down. The old boy deserved a little special attention.

With one last effort, Reese threw his bulging saddlebags over his shoulder. They were loaded with small things for the women—cheap jewelry and a few lotions—and the freight wagon due in the next morning would bring the other things he’d bought for the ladies.

He’d hated his father’s gambling and whoring, and hated more that he’d ended up inheriting a brothel. His first inclination had been to sell it, but he couldn’t bear to see the faded whores turned out. Where would they go? More than likely most of them would end up in the cribs. Instead, he vowed not to take money from their labors, except for selling the building when the time came.

Reese willed his tired legs up the back stairs that led directly to his room. Guilt nagged at him for not greeting Fannie and the girls before he went to his room, but they’d just have to forgive him this time. The need for sleep nagged at him more.

Even though he’d often cursed the noise of the brothel for robbing him of sleep, tonight it seemed a blessing. No one would hear him come in. He slipped quietly into his bedroom, felt his way to the dresser, and gently laid the saddlebags on the chair beside it, his hat and gunbelt on top of them.

In one motion, Reese yanked off his sweaty shirt and tossed it on the floor, then leaning against the dresser, pulled off his boots and pants. He peeled off his overripe long-handles and threw them in the farthest corner of the room so he didn’t have to smell them all night. That he stank of sweat and horse didn’t bother him, though. A hot bath was a good way to start the day.

He felt his way over to the bed. Knowing he’d be asleep as soon as his head touched the pillow, he lifted the down comforter and crawled in. He bumped into a lump, tried to pat it out.

It jumped.

Then it screamed. “Get out of my bed, you filthy whoremonger!”

A crazy woman pummeled his head with her fists. Reese tried to dodge the blows, but not before she’d whapped his nose a good one. Leaping out of bed before she could do more damage, he stubbed his big toe on the leg of the bed.

“Stop it!” he bellowed as he hopped over to the dresser. His nose ached and his toe throbbed. “What the hell are you doing in my room?” He pounded his fist down, propelling something gooey onto his chest.

“Your room!”

* * *

Reese lit the lantern. As the flame rose, he saw an irate woman with tousled blonde hair and blazing mad eyes. She clutched his comforter to her neck like armor.

“Yes, my room.” He made a swipe at the pie sliding down his chest and licked his fingers. Sadie’s berry pie was his favorite, but not mixed with chest hairs. “Who the hell are you and why are you in my bed?”

The strange woman turned her head and spoke to the wall as if she were too good to speak to a lowly rancher. “I’m the new schoolteacher, and Fannie told me I’m supposed to stay here. In this room. Alone. Without a naked man.”

Oh hell! Reese grabbed his duster and wrapped it around himself, berry pie and all. “Schoolteacher?”

“Yes.”

Dickshooter didn’t have a school. She must have stopped for the night. Fannie, in her infinite wisdom and the kindness of her heart, agreed to put her up. He’d wring her neck. He’d wring both their necks.

“I’ll get this mess straightened out with Fannie.” The berry pie stuck to his chest and adhered to the duster. “Damn!”

“There’s nothing to straighten out. You need to find another place to sleep.” She sniffed daintily. “And please don’t curse in front of a lady.”

“The hell I will—er, won’t! Oh, hell!” He charged out the door, swearing at the righteous woman in his bed, saving a few choice words for Fannie, and, for good measure, all females in general.

*  *  *

Lucinda hurled her pillow at the closing door. Who did he think he was, invading her bed like that? He didn’t even apologize for giving her the scare of her life. The vile man. Beast.

And he had stood in front of her naked as the day he was born with no shame whatsoever. Had he no pride? Yes, plenty. Probably an overdose. She had to admit, she’d seen few men who could compete with him in the looks department. Of course, she hadn’t looked below his waist.

Maybe just a little peek.

Were she the romantic type, which she wasn’t, she’d have thought him very handsome, indeed. Those dark eyes with the little smile wrinkles at the corners had probably coerced many woman out of anything without him saying a word. His long black hair looked rakish, and it seemed in keeping with the patch of black hair sprinkled on his chest and . . . well, other places she hadn’t looked.

♥ ♥ ♥
Oh, yes, this book is the first of a series.  Read 'em all!



Saturday, January 10, 2015

Cauliflower Casserole #glutenfree #grainfree #lowcarb #recipe

Cauliflower Casserole


I saw a recipe for a similar dish, but it called for two cups of sour cream. I love sour cream but sour cream loves my hips, so it has to go. Then I got the idea of using non-fat cottage cheese in its place. I haven't tried using reduced-fat mayo, and of course cheese is loaded with fat, but at least it's low in carbs.  

This dish was an instant hit at our house.  Sometimes, if the head of cauliflower is small, it's a little soupy, but still delicious.  I suggested a few variations at the end of the recipe and my daughter has even more ideas.  This recipe is so basic that you can add pretty much whatever suits your fancy--spice it up if you want, or add other low-carb vegetables.  Give it a try!

And now, let's make it!

Oven: 350 degrees

Ingredients

1 head cauliflower, cut in 1.5" cubes
1/2 cup minced onion (more or less to taste)
3 cups cheese (your choice--I used cheddar)
2 cups cottage cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 TBS minced garlic (more or less to taste)
pepper to taste (we like lots)

Boil or nuke cauliflower until desired tenderness.

Nuke onion until tender.  (Don't boil with cauliflower)

While the above two are cooking:
In blender, buzz cottage cheese, mayonnaise, garlic, and pepper until smooth

In a bowl, stir together the above mixture and onions with half the grated cheese.

Drain cauliflower and stir into mixture.

Pour (glob, actually) into a 9x9 pan.  Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.

Bake 15 minutes or until cheese is slightly browned.

Variations:
Add 6 strips of diced crisp bacon

Add diced jalapenos

I'm going to try it with half broccoli next time and see how that turns out.

Note: I used a cup of onion and 3 TBS garlic, and of course lots of pepper.

Got any other ideas?  Let me know!




Thursday, January 8, 2015

#FREE Friday Only. MUCH ADO ABOUT MADAMS #WesternRomance #HistoricalFiction #Humor


Welcome to 1880s Owyhee County, Idaho Territory!  It was a hoppin' place in those days, and I've brought you several fictional adventures, both novels and short stories.  These can be read in any order, but here's the chronological sequence:

Much Ado About Madams
Hearts of Owyhee #1
by Jacquie Rogers

Amazon Kindle

FREE, Friday, January 9 only!

5 Stars from Detra Fitch, Huntress Reviews: "A story this good can only come from the imagination of Jacquie Rogers."

"A rollicking riot of a good read!" ~Ann Charles, author of the Deadwood Mysteries

Low-down on Much Ado About Madams

Oh my stars! Suffragist Lucinda Sharpe can’t believe she was hired to teach a bunch of soiled doves their letters. And what about the handsome brothel owner? Only a despicable cad would engage in such a business.

Blast that woman! Reese McAdams didn’t want the brothel in the first danged place, and now a suffragist schoolteacher is stirring up the works.

Can she reform the Comfort Palace ladies without losing her heart to Reese? Will her secret past ruin her future?

"A romantic trip to the Old West stamped with Jacquie Rogers' special brand of humor. ~ Caroline Clemmons, author of Brazos Bride

"Ms Rogers' clever western romance, MUCH ADO ABOUT MADAMS manages to enrousingly engage her growing readership while reminding us of the difficulties faced by the brave women who tamed the American West. All that, and did I say entertaining!" ~ John Klawitter, author of The Freight Train of Love
♥ ♥ ♥

Much Ado About Marshals
Hearts of Owyhee #2
by Jacquie Rogers

Amazon Kindle

NOR Top Pick
CTRR Award
Winner: RttA, Best Western Historical Romance Novel

5 stars from Laron Glover: Need a break? This is a FUN book (seriously--when's the last time you read a laugh-out-loud book?)! Turn off the iphone, kick off yer boots (or Jimmy Choos) and let Jacquie Rogers provide that mini-vacation you KNOW you need!

Low-down on Much Ado About Marshals

Rancher Cole Richards rescues his friend from robbing a bank, but is shot for his efforts, and now is a wanted man. His friend takes him to Oreana to see the doc, but Cole's mistaken for the new marshal!

Daisy Gardner is obsessed with solving crimes just like dime novel heroine Honey Beaulieu. But Daisy's parents insist she marry a farmer. Problem is, she can't be a detective if she's stuck miles from town. What better solution than to marry the new marshal.

Now Cole faces a dilemma few men have to face—tell the truth and hang, or live a lie and end up married. Either way could cost him his freedom.

5 stars from romantchick: Nancy Drew meets William Shakespeare ...hilarious characters, memorable colloquialisms, a clever, engaging plot and fine writing. All of which recommends Rogers' Much Ado About Marshals as everything to do about a charming, well-written romp.
♥ ♥ ♥

Much Ado About Miners
Hearts of Owyhee #3
by Jacquie Rogers

Amazon Kindle

"My biscuits are burning from this scorcher of a book. I will never be able to bake again without a wicked grin on my face.This is the latest installment of the Much Ado series, and it's as explosive as a stick of dynamite." ~reader Karla Eakin

"My biscuits are burning from this scorcher of a book. I will never be able to bake again without a wicked grin on my face.This is the latest installment of the Much Ado series, and it's as explosive as a stick of dynamite." ~ Agnes Alexander, author of Drina's Choice

Lowdown on Much Ado About Miners

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.

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?

"...if you love a good romance set in a fun western setting, and you love to laugh, you will love this book as much as I did!" ~ reader Terry Gregson

♥ ♥ ♥



Much Ado About Mavericks
Hearts of Owyhee #4
by Jacquie Rogers

Amazon Kindle

FIVE STARS! "Jacquie Rogers writes some of the best Historical Romances on today's market. Not content to simply write a plot and toss in a lot of bed scenes and/or filler, this author adds in subplots, humor, action, suspense, and some endearing strays." ~Detra Fitch, Huntress Reviews

"When you read a Jacquie Rogers book, you know you're in for a fast, fun ride!" ~BookwormForever

Low-down on Much Ado About Mavericks

Against the sweeping backdrop of the Owyhee Mountains, Benjamin Lawrence meets the one woman who'll rattle his derby forever.

Ben is a highly respected attorney in Boston, but in Idaho Territory, they still think of him as that gangly awkward boy called Skeeter.  When he goes back home to settle his father’s estate, he’s confronted with an outlandish will and a fiery redheaded head wrangler, who just happens to be the sexiest female he's ever met.

Janelle Kathryn O'Keefe, affectionately called "Jake," can out-ride, out-shoot, and out-rope any cowboy on the Bar EL, which is why she was promoted to foreman.  She's not at all amused that she has to teach an eastern greenhorn how to work cattle, no matter how handsome he is.

5 Stars from reader Claudia Stephan: "I can't even count the times I laughed out loud while reading this book. What are you waiting for? Give it a try!"