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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Have Wand - Will Travel, by @JacquieRogers #Halloween #Western #Romance

Website | Pickle Barrel Gazette

Have Wand - Will Travel
by Jacquie Rogers
a short story in
Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico: Vol. 2

It’s always fun to just let your hair down and write a fun story without regard to genre expectations and preordained story elements. That’s exactly what happened with Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico—two volumes of stories where the PRP owners (Livia Reasoner and Cheryl Pierson) turned us loose. In retrospect, that was very brave of them.

I’ve wanted to write a story that incorporated Paladin from Have Gun – Will Travel for a long time, but never had the opportunity. Thing of it is, you just can’t improve on the original Paladin played by Richard Boone, so exactly what do you do? My answer was to make him a mage. Only this mage isn’t so handy with his wand as he is with his gun. The first scene is a take-off of the TV show, but everything else, including the hero’s personality, takes a left turn.

His name is Tremaine Ramsey and he rides a horse that is a centaur-unicorn-horse shifter named Abraxus. He and Tremaine have been partners since their school days, and Abraxus is never shy about giving Tremaine a hard time. In fact, Abraxus was pretty sore at me for not making him the hero. See? He’s trying to take over now. Anyway, Tremaine has taken a vow of chastity because he’s convinced that his father’s womanizing ways is what led to his loss of powers and subsequent downfall.

What started out as a take-off of the TV show ended up being a mash-up of Have Gun – Will Travel, Narnia, and The Princess Bride just as soon as Nora Castle came on the scene. I envisioned her as Susan Pevensie from Narnia, but Nora had a different set of tools, including a wu shu iron fan, and lifelong martial arts instruction by the Castle cook, Chan Li. And in the very first scene, some unplanned Beavers of Extraordinary Size showed up. Who knew.

I can’t imagine any other western romance publisher letting me get away with all this, but I have to say Have Wand – Will Travel was one of my very favorite stories to write. Ever. And then it got even more weird when the evil sorcerer showed up with his griffins and a few other scary critters. I also had a good time with Yort Smith (originally named Troy but I already had a T name so reversed it) who is the Castle foreman in the summer and a dime novelist in the winter.

Off we go on an adventure—sometimes scary, sometimes thrilling, and always romantic.

Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico, Vol. 2
Halloween short stories by
Cheryl Pierson, C. Marie Bowman, Jacquie Rogers, 
Kaye Spenser, Kristy McCaffrey, Kathleen Rice Adams

What better way to spend Halloween than with some handsome cowboys and feisty heroines who are determined to fall in love despite their supernatural powers—or lack thereof? Halloween’s a good time to take a chance on love—and to see what these Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico Vol. 2 stories might reveal to the unsuspecting reader—you!

Cheryl Pierson’s Spellbound will have you on the edge of your seat as safecracker Brett Diamond and witch Angie Colton take on a border gang leader who is pure evil. Can Angie’s supernatural powers save them? No matter what, Brett and Angie are hopelessly Spellbound.

C. Marie Bowen’s Hunter and Lily Graham is an unforgettable tale of a beautiful school marm’s love for her children that surpasses all. When a Cajun bounty hunter known only as “Hunter” shows up, Lily Graham knows he, and no one else, can help her save a young girl.

Have Wand — Will Travel 
is Jacquie Rogers’s offering about a handsome young mage, Tremaine Ramsey, who has a wand and knows how to use it…sometimes. Will his magic be strong enough to pull off a daring rescue of his father from the evil Gharth? Or will he need the warrior Nora’s love to help him see his Fate through?

Will Kaye Spencer’s character, Mercy Pontiere, be able to break a centuries-old curse and find true love all at the same time? It all depends on Reid Corvane and what he’ll do For Love of a Brystile Witch.

In Kristy McCaffrey’s story, The Crow and the Coyote, Hannah Dobbin is after an evil Navajo sorcerer who murdered her father, and she’s determined to see him dead. But she’ll need a bounty hunter, The Crow—to help find this vile man. With Hallowtide upon them, more evil is afoot than they can handle; but love will find a way.

A failed bank robber, Tombstone Hawkins, along with a fake gypsy fortune teller, Pansy Gilchrist, set out to make both their deceased fathers proud in one final spectacular heist. Family Tradition is Kathleen Rice Adams’s tale of the discovery of true love amid the commission of a crime—or the failure to commit a crime—while being overseen by the ghosts of the couple’s fathers. How can there be a happy ending? It’s Halloween, and anything can happen!
Available in digital at:


  1. Jacquie, I loved your story! SO DIFFERENT! And it made me smile --especially Abraxus. I'm thinking he just stole the show in several places! LOL I always loved Paladin, too, and I was glad to see this homage to Have Gun - Will Travel. Great story. Yes, Livia and I are two brave and stalwart women to turn y'all loose sometimes like we do...

    1. I figure you had a helmet on when you check your inbox. LOL. Well, now I have the Paladin story out of my system. For now. Who knows what the future will bring.

  2. My first comment didn't show I'll try again.

    It is wonderful when an author can take a 'what if' and make such fun stories. You have such a fun sense of the unique and your readers are the recepients of that gift. Thank you Jacquie. Who's to say the Old West might not have had such residents? As soon as I finish the stories on my 'to do' list, (fall and winter are my writing times) I am going to have a reading fest. Many thanks to PRP for bringing such fun stories and new authors to the publics attention. You have given readers the gift of many new 'favorite' authors to our reading list. Doris

    1. Thanks, Doris! I'm glad you used the term "fun sense of the unique" rather than crazy. Or peculiar. You're very tactful. :)

  3. Hi there Jacquie,
    You are gifted with a wonderful sense of humor and I'm absolutely in love with your stories (and those crazy pets roaming about and wanting their moment of glory). Now that I have a brand new Kindle (kindly offered by hubby who didn't want me to use HIS iPad), I will be able to get some books and read them wherever I'll be (let's say that carrying my computer is not very practical). Keep on writing, mon amie. Love your stories,

    1. Oh yay--a new Kindle! That's awesome, Liette. We can sure load you down with books. It's our aim in live. Congratulations. :)

  4. Aaaaand...Blogger is misbehaving again. Jacquie, do you suppose we could sic Tremaine -- or better yet, Abraxus -- on the *$&%^@ thing?

    Once more, with feeling!

    I loved your exceptionally peculiar story. You do exceptionally peculiar exceptionally well. ;-)

    Seriously, though, I've always appreciated your vivid imagination and quirky sense of humor. No matter what you write, those two things are always part of the mix. And animals -- or, uh. mythical creature who kinda-sorta resemble animals. With sarcasm. And attitudes.

    I still think Abraxus needs his own story.

    1. Abraxus would agree with you. No buxom lady centaurs have shown up yet, though. And you don't think a not-all-that-competent outlaw named Tombstone who's trying to satisfy two ghosts is not peculiar? Sheesh.

  5. Jacquie,
    Your story was a hoot! Definitely outside the box. :-) I especially liked the beavers.

    1. Kristy, I enjoyed your story, too! Hannah was one determined woman, and Crow was a very intriguing (and drool-worthy) hero. Spooky scary, but oh so romantic, too. Sigh.