The Birth of a Book
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.
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.
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