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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

An Interview with Burke O'Shaughnessey, star of Sleight of Heart

Burke O'Shaughnessey
star of 
Sleight of Heart

Special thanks to author and critique partner (translation: slavedriver and friend, albeit a bit goofy—oh, wait, that's why she's my friend) Judith Laik, author of Sentimental Journey, a short story in her WWII romance series, who interviewed Burke O'Shaughnessey, star of Sleight of Heart, exclusive this month  in the 9 Ways to Fall in Love box set.

About Sleight of Heart: Starched-up Lexie Campbell, more comfortable with neat and tidy numbers than messy emotions, must find the man who ruined her little sister and make him marry her. When his lookalike brother Burke appears, she greets him with a gun and forces him to help her. Smooth-dealing Burke O’Shaughnessey, riverboat gambler and prestidigitator, must find his brother Patrick to claim the family fortune. But when Lexie shows an astounding talent for counting cards and calculating odds, he figures she might be useful after all. Can he resist the queen of hearts?

Judith: You look pretty good for a 158-year-old man.  Would you care to share your secrets?

Burke: You’re a good-looking filly, too.  Want to share yours?  {Buys her a sarsaparilla.} I resemble my father and brother.  My brother, Patrick, is four years younger than I am but from a distance most people can’t tell us apart.  And the Indian salve doesn’t hurt—keeps my hands in good shape so I can feel the cards.  Not that I’d ever deal seconds, at least, not in a square game.

Judith: For your debut as a hero, you’re featured in a nine-book boxed set, 9 Ways to Fall in Love.  Have you any comments about your fellow heroes?

Burke: I’m a thoroughbred gambler.  You would think a man in such an esteemed profession would be on top of the deck.  All I can say is that when you ladies get to my book, you’ll win the jackpot.  Besides, I know when to raise the stakes, and I’ll be the star of my own show November 1 when Sleight of Heart will be released in print and ebook.

Judith: Times have changed in the 130 years since the events of Sleight of Heart.  Being a professional gambler was an individual and freewheeling way of life back then.  Now poker tournaments are on television—was yours a better time?

Burke: Any time’s a good time to play poker.  I wouldn’t mind being on one of those newfangled talking picture shows—a few of the players are good enough to make money in my time, and a couple of those might even be tough enough.  The problem is, they don’t seem to have fun.  Gambling is a true delight, not to be taken seriously.  Nor is money—if you have it you might as well spend it, if you don’t have it, well then, go make some more.  Simple as that.

Judith: Have you been back to visit your old stomping grounds in Colorado?  There’s still a narrow-gauge railroad that travels between Silverton and Durango, which offers thrills for acrophobic tourists.  What are your thoughts about how Colorado has changed?

Burke: Colorado will always be one of my favorite places—it’s beautiful even though there are people all over the place.  But no matter where I travel, the concept of fairness is taken to the extreme.  People aren’t responsible for their own decisions anymore, and I find that downright baffling.  In my lifetime, if someone skinned you, you learned from it and didn’t let it happen again.  Nowadays, being gullible seems to be all right, and they call in the law.

Judith: Any ideas about who should play you in the Sleight of Heart movie?

Burke: Timothy Olyphant might do all right if he loosened up some and bulked up a little.  My scribe says I’m a combination of James Garner, Clint Walker, and Houdini, with a little Steve Martin thrown in.  I’d rather play myself, but tell me who you think would be the best actor to play me.  I’m curious.

Judith: I'll leave that one for the commenters. ☺ Thank you for talking to me today.  I must confess my heart was going thumpetty-thump at the prospect of actually getting the chance to interview you.

Burke: You’re most welcome, Ms. Laik.  {kisses her hand}  Enough business—would you like to go dancing?  Maybe buck the tiger later?  
♥ ♥ ♥
Lowly scribe here: I hope you enjoy Burke and Lexie in Sleight of Heart.  For you western historical romance lovers, Caroline Clemmons' The Texan's Irish Bride is also included in 9 Ways to Fall in Love.  There's something for every reader—contemporary, romantic suspense, paranormal, and of course our westerns. :)  At 99¢ for nine full-length romance novels, you can't go wrong!

Join our Facebook Party and you could win prizes all month!

So tell me—who do you think could play Burke O'Shaughnessey?


  1. Loved this interview! I've never read an interview of a fictitious hero, and I love the idea! Very clever. It makes him come alive (and he's a darling!).

    I'm afraid I'll be terrible at suggesting an actor to play Burke. I haven't been to a movie in ages, and people talk about this actor and that actor and I have no idea who he is! So I'll have to go with some older actors I know of when they were in their heyday.

    I think Ross Martin from the Wild Wild West TV show would make a good Burke O'Shaughnessey. In that same vein, another choice would be James Garner in his Maverick role. BTW, I just Googled James Garner and found out he's been married to the same woman since 1956. Now that's some record! If that doesn't make him hero material, I don't know what does!

    1. I gotta admit, James Garner was a strong influence, as was Pierce Brosnan to a lesser extent.

  2. I agree with Sherrie in that I'm sort of out of touch about actors except for Hugh Jackman and Chris O'Donnel, the latter I saw on an episode of "Who Do You Think You Are?" sponsored by But I love Burke and he is built in my mind and doesn't look like an actor--he just looks like Burke.

    1. That's just it--Burke is his own person and never would comply to anyone else's looks or personality. I like him just as he is. :)

  3. Thanks for commenting, Sherrie. Admission time: James Garner is the actor I always thought of when I read the story, after Jacquie started this book many years ago. I loved Garner in the old TV series Maverick (and the movie with Jodie Foster in the 90s) as well as the many other roles he's played. And for sure, being married to the same woman since 1956 makes him a real-life hero!

    1. Yep, that puts James Garner up several notches in my estimation.

  4. Caroline, thank you for your comments. It's true, when you read a book that really engages you, you have your own picture of the hero and heroine, and if a movie were to be made of it, the stars they pick would always disappoint. I do love Hugh Jackman, though!

  5. I think Hugh Jackman would be perfect for the role

  6. I think Hugh Jackman would be perfect for the role

  7. Lol..Andrea I was just thinking Hugh Jackman would be perfect

    1. Hmmm, might have to rethink this. Loved the video Alison Bruce posted on FB. :)

  8. I think Joe Manganiello from True Blood would do! He is serious eye candy & he has the stare!

    1. Oh, yeah. Forgot all about Joe! He definitely is eye candy.


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