Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Gift for Rhoda by Jacquie Rogers in WISHING FOR A COWBOY #romance #western

A Gift for Rhoda
by Jacquie Rogers
a short story in
Wishing for a Cowboy
Prairie Rose Publications

RTW is pleased to host the authors of Wishing for a Cowboy, the debut offering of Prairie Rose Publications.  It's available in ebook at Amazon and Smashwords, and in print at Amazon.

I'm my own guest today, actually, and what an honor to be included in this anthology! I’m a country girl at heart, raised on a dairy farm in Idaho — a great place to grow up.  My friend and I rode our horses all over the Owyhee Mountains and managed to get ourselves in just about every sort of pickle.  Now I live in the suburbs of Seattle with my husband who is also my cheerleader (sans pompoms) and proofreader.  I write in several genres including fantasy romance, and YA fantasy, but mostly western historical romance.  My latest release is Sleight of Heart.  The fourth book in my award-winning Hearts of Owyhee series, Much Ado About Miners, will be released later this month.

I love to hear from readers!  Please visit my website, sign up for my newsletter, or join the fun at the Pickle Barrel Bar & Books at Facebook.

My story in Wishing for a Cowboy is A Gift for Rhoda  A mail-order bride disaster!

Rhoda Johnson is stranded in a lonely cabin without a groom.  The townsfolk say she's better off without him, but her drunken groom sends a message that he'll claim her as his Christmas bride.  Gunman and ex-Confederate soldier Nate Harmon comes to Idaho to make peace with his abolitionist preacher father.  When half-frozen Nate reaches the cabin on a snowy Christmas Eve, instead of finding his folks, he's greeted by a pretty blonde with a shotgun who keeps calling him Mr. Snyder.  Will she shoot him, or melt his heart?

Jacquie Rogers
RTW: How did Nate and Rhoda come to you?  Were they fully formed, or were they stubborn about telling you their stories?

Jacquie: My first vision of this story was a huge bear of a man, Nate, huddled over from the cold, trudging up a mountain trail leading his tired horse.  What I didn’t know was why Nate would endure so much to get wherever he was going — but I knew his personality and how much he hurt inside.  I wrote the first scene and before I finished it, I saw Rhoda peeking through the cabin window.  She’s of mostly Swedish ancestry, a natural blond, but has had little available to eat so is thinner than she’d normally be.  Once I saw her, she jabbered in my ear to convince me she was the right woman for Nate — because I had my doubts.  She did sway me to her side, and I think Nate and Rhoda complement each other very well.

RTW: What is it about Christmas that lends itself to romance?  How is Rhoda’s Wedding Custard incorporated into your story and is it a part of your own family lore?

Jacquie: Christmas is the end of the year, the Winter Solstice, the dawn of new beginnings.  It’s a time where we practice the adage that it’s better to give than to receive.  Nate keeps giving but Rhoda doesn’t know what to make of either the gifts or the man.  

As for our own family food lore, it’s mostly based on delicious, down-home cooking.  When I was invited to participate in Wishing for a Cowboy, I panicked because our family doesn’t use recipes.  I cook and bake, but I come from a long line of “dumpers.”  A little of this, a handful of that, a dollop of that over there.  Stir until it feels right.  Oops, throw in a little more of that.  Stir again.  Now you know our family recipe for just about anything.  So I had to measure what I put in — which totally messes me up but luckily I’m married to an engineer.  He measured all my additions and subtractions and wrote up the recipe for Rhoda’s Wedding Custard printed in Wishing for a Cowboy.

RTW: If you lived in Rhoda’s house, how would you decorate it for Christmas?

Jacquie: I’d want that wonderful smell of Ponderosa Pine, so I’d decorate the sitting room with pine boughs and cones, maybe even berries if available, and ribbon would be pretty, too.  There might be room for a dinky Christmas tree in the corner.  I’d string anything I could find that’s colorful and make garlands for it.  Assuming I had string, of course.

RTW: What other books do you have for our readers to enjoy?

Jacquie:  My latest release is Sleight of Heart, the first in the High-Stakes Heroes series.  Next week, my traditional western short story, ’Twas the Fight Before Christmas, will be released in the Western Fictioneers anthology, Wolf Creek, Book 9: A Wolf Creek Christmas.  Later this month, the fourth book of the Hearts of Owyhee series will be released, Much Ado About Miners.

Hearts of Owyhee 

♥ ♥ ♥

Cowboys, kisses and love in the holiday air make for a special recipe in each of these wonderful new stories. Christmas miracles can happen when you're 

A Christmas Miracle by Phyliss Miranda 
Acceptance comes not through frosty eyes, but from the warmth of loving hearts. 

Outlaw's Kiss by Cheryl Pierson 
A long-ago schooldays crush is rekindled by an Outlaw's Kiss that sparks true love, and a new future for Jake Morgan and Talia Delano. 

A Husband for Christmas by Sarah J. McNeal 
A haunting night of horror and a wish for a new life. 

Peaches by Kathleen Rice Adams 
When a strong-willed schoolteacher invades an irascible rancher's Texas range, not even the spirit of Christmas may be able to prevent all-out war. 

A Gift for Rhoda by Jacquie Rogers 
A mail-order bride disaster! 

Her Christmas Wish by Tracy Garrett 
Her only wish for Christmas was the man who left her behind. 

Covenant by Tanya Hanson 
Can a Christmas blizzard ignite love gone cold? 

Charlie's Pie by Livia J. Washburn 
A wounded man, a desperate woman, a gang of ruthless outlaws... and the best pecan pie in Parker County!


TracyG said...

Morning, Jacquie! I loved Rhoda & Nate. He was so calm and gentle, while she was stirred up and mistrusting. It's a wonderful Christmas story.

Cheryl Pierson said...

I agree with Tracy. It seemed like Nate had come to grips with everything in his past and truly wanted to make amends with his parents, and Rhoda was just worried sick about what she thought was going to happen. You really made me sit there with crossed fingers about the outcome! LOL

Jacquie Rogers said...

Tracy, both Nate and Rhoda have been through hard times, and it's always interesting to me how people react to it. Thanks for dropping by!

Jacquie Rogers said...

Cheryl, Rhoda sure made Nate work. LOL! And who knew a chicken could be so wise.

I enjoyed all the stories in this anthology--what a great way to get in the Christmas spirit! Thanks to you and Livia for making this possible through Prairie Rose Publications.

Tanya Hanson said...

Hi Jacquie, I love Christmas stories and this collection will long be my favorite. I love a big gentle bear of a man. Nate is a keeper for sure.
God bless!

Jacquie Rogers said...

Thanks, Tanya. I think all eight heroes are keepers, and it's a pleasure to have my story in an anthology with yours. :)

Sarah J. McNeal said...

I love the little mix up with Nate and Rhonda. I like Nate for the noble reason that he came home; to make amends.
I haven't arrived at this story yet in the anthology, but I sure am looking forward to it.
Your Much Ado series has really roped me into some wonderful reading. I always look forward to reading your work, Jacquie.

Jacquie Rogers said...

Thanks, Sarah. :) And I sure enjoyed even a fleeting glimpse of Banjo!