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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Taking Historical Romance From Real Life @JacquieRogers #kindle #nook

From Real Life to Fiction

Lassoing a Groom was just released last week, and the six of us (Kirsten Lynn, Tracy Garrett, Kristy McCaffrey, Linda Hubalek, Kathleen Rice Adams, and moi) couldn’t be more excited. Now that the book is out, we’re scrambling to find images that fit our stories. For me, that’s not so hard.

My story is Don’t Go Snaring My Heart, and it’s set in Owyhee County (pronounced oh-WYE-hee--original anglicized spelling of Hawaii), Idaho Territory, 1885. The thing about this area (I grew up there) is that not all that much has changed. My friend and soon-to-be-published author Chelle Gluch posted pictures of Owyhee County on Facebook, and of course that teensy bit of homesickness set in, so even though I had way more to do than mess around on Facebook, I had to look. And voila! I saw the draw where Betsy Lynch, my heroine lived. Sinker Creek.

Chelle's photo
Sinker Creek, Owyhee County
Copyright 2014 Chelle Gluch

A little about Sinker Creek

Sinker Creek is just south of Silver City. I moved it north of Silver for my story—not for any reason other than I’m directionally challenged and didn’t bother to look it up on the map. As my husband says, “If she were Sacajawea, we’d all be speaking Australian.”

Sinker Creek from Google Maps
It's the only green for miles.
Owyhee County is desert so creeks are few and far between in comparison with other places.  We thought we had a lot, though.  My dad loved to fish for trout at Sinker Creek.  Me—not so much.  At least, not after I peed on a rattlesnake.  I was twelve, and not at all wanting to do my business around my dad and my brother, so I climbed up the side of the draw and found a nice secluded spot behind a boulder.  It seems Mr. Rattler thought it was a good spot, too.  Scared me half to death and I didn't bother pulling up my drawers as I half-ran, half-tumbled down to creekside.  No, that varmint didn't make it into my story.  Shudder.  Yes, my dad and brother laughed themselves silly.  No, I've never forgiven them.  Yes, I still get razzed.

Other animals did make it into the story (surprise!), including a killer chicken named Jethro.  Now mind you, that chicken was not supposed to be in this story, but he thought otherwise.  Not every heroine has an attack chicken so Miss Betsy Lynch should feel honored.  Dex Madsen wasn't nearly as enthused.  Honestly, how can a fellow show how heroic he is when a chicken chases him?

Unless, of course, he gets booted in the backside by a goat named Lady Jane Grey.  This poor fellow had untold hardship to deal with, but at least he was upright.  Well, except for a few times.  Goats are sorta hyper-bovines, especially the kids.

Don't Go Snaring My Heart
by Jacquie Rogers
a short story in
Lassoing a Groom

Alone in the high-mountain desert, self-sufficient Betsy Lynch is determined to eke out a living selling goat cheese while she fulfills her father’s dream to find a rich silver lode. Claim jumpers threaten to take everything she holds dear, so Betsy uses a bullwhip, her wiles, traps, goats, and an attack rooster to defend her land.

Rancher Dex Madsen needs to feed his hungry crew. He tracks a herd of pronghorn and shoots one, then steps into Betsy's snare and is jerked upside down. The goats and rooster attack before Betsy cuts him down, and soon he's neck deep in her fight to protect the claim. But can he get past that killer chicken to claim her heart?


Set up: This is the first time Dex has seen Betsy in anything other than her rawhide skirt.

When he walked in, he stood in the doorway and stared. “Miss Betsy?”

“Ain’t no one else been here.” She held her breath, partly because she wasn’t for certain that he liked what he saw, and partly because she hadn’t worn a corset in two years.

He strode toward her, his gaze sweeping her head to toe, and back to her bosom. “You were already the purtiest girl I ever seen, but...I just don’t know what to say.”

“Do you like it?” She stepped close to within his breath. “The dress?”

“I like it just fine.” He clasped her shoulders. “The dress is nice, but you in it is what makes it beautiful.”

She raised her face to his. “You think so?”

“Betsy, I want to kiss you.”

“I was wonderin’ when you’d ever get around to that.” She leaned onto his chest. “Now’s a good time.”

Dex lowered his head and touched his lips to hers, gently at first, but then he caressed her back and hugged her tight, twining his fingers through her hair as he deepened the kiss. A thrill swirled through her, stirring her womanly parts and her soul, too. She’d kissed Petey Echols when she was twelve, but that peck was nothing like this.

Other books set in Owyhee County...


  1. I felt so sorry for Dex. It's not bad enough that he's heels over head (literally) in love with a woman who's more cactus than rose. Poor Dex also has to suffer the ignominy of being chased by a killer chicken AND being munched on by goats. I never realized how perilous life in Idaho could be. :-D

    1. That's not even to mention the horny toads, badgers, and coyotes. I think Dex will do all right once he gets his perspective set in an upright position. :)

  2. Good to know Dex can deliver a heated, grown-up kiss. Loved the excerpt.
    Making a living on goat cheese s certainly a different occupation. LOL
    I really envy those of you who live in the west. You can just take a day trip or so and research a place that might work in your story. It's beautiful country out there.
    Now that I have a copy of Lassoing a Groom, I'm going to get into these stories and I know I'm going to love them.
    Loved your post, Jacquie

    1. I live 550 miles from Sinker Creek now, so it's a little more than a day trip, but I did grow up there, and I do have friends I can call if I need some info, which is handy. But the basic culture lives inside me since that's how I grew up--and that is more valuable than anything else. Many just don't understand westerners, especially western women.

  3. What fun and your memories, I'm still smiling. I fished the Mississippi as a child from the family boat (lost it in one of the many floods) but now don't even want to bait a hook. Still your childhood story brought back such smiles for me.
    The book is to arrive this week, love the print versions, and I can't wait. Doris

  4. Peed on a rattlesnake...and that hasn't made it into one of your stories yet? WHY NOT????? LOLLOL You have got to write that in somewhere! I just had a visual of you, realizing what you were doing and half running, half tumbling down the hillside. LOL Oh, Jacquie. I might not stop laughing for a while. But I'm so glad you weren't

    I love me some Dex, now. He was soooo hunkish, and Betsy knew it, too! Great story--loved Jethro, the goats, Betsy, Dex...everything about that story was good!

    1. Well, I sorta used that scene in Much Ado About Miners, but used a horny toad instead because the snake creeped out some of my readers. As for Dex, he was attracted to Betsy early on--would've been earlier but a woman holding a bead on you will dampen things. LOL. But he and Jethro never did make friends, although they came to respect each other's territory.

  5. Jacquie,

    My favorite line in your story is, "Betsy, I want to kiss you." So honest and sweet.

    The scene that resonated with me is the conversation between Betsy and Dex when she tells him she has to stay and work the mine..."It was his dream "(her pa's). And Dex asks, "But was it your dream? What do you dream about...?" You hit the proverbial nail smack on the head with that exchange. Sometimes it is hard for parents who've missed their 'dream' to let their children have their own dreams instead of wanting what the parent missed out on. It was a nice theme that you wove throughout the story: personal sacrifice to honor a dying loved one's wish (dream).

  6. Thanks so much, Kaye. Yes, that's what this story is all about--being caught up in someone else's problems (Dex) or dreams (Betsy) and coming to realize that they had to grab their own happiness. If this story had been longer, I could've delved into Dex's issues, but I went waaaay over word count as it was, so decided to concentrate on Betsy.

  7. When you are dealing with animals, you never know what to expect. Thank you for the excerpt.

    1. That's for sure! Glad you enjoyed the excerpt. It's cool to be part of a collection with such talented authors.

  8. Great excerpt, Jacquie. I love how your imagination works! Best of luck to six awesome authors.

    1. Thanks, Tanya. I'm looking forward to reading your story in Lassoing a Mail-Order Bride! Lots of great stories from PRP!