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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Readers Want to Know: Much Ado About Mustangs by @JacquieRogers #romance #newrelease

Readers Want to Know...
by Jacquie Rogers

My latest book, Much Ado About Mustangs (Hearts of Owyhee #5) was released June 1, which was definitely an exciting day!    Several people have read the book already and many have read the blurb, so I asked my friends at the Pickle Barrel Bar and Books if they had any questions.  Did they ever!  

Their questions won't make much sense unless you know a little something about the book, so here's the back cover copy:

Secret lives, hidden dreams, and forbidden sex in the Old West—what’s a woman of nobility to do when a handsome rancher tears through her world like an Owyhee dust devil?

A British Aristocrat
Or is she? Lady Pearl Montford has performed in theatres all over the West for crowds of all sizes, but what would the world say if her secret was found out—that she's really plain old Pearl Jane Evans from Kentucky. To make matters worse, Pearl's past life as a professional trick rider is floating to the surface thanks to an unsavory suitor from her past who wants either her—or $10,000.

A Frustrated Rancher
Rugged Josh McKinnon has a ranch to build and blooded horses due in any day, but there's one problem standing between him and his dream—Lady Montford, a high-falutin' diva actress. Wrangled into playing opposite the snooty Brit in Shakespeare's ‘Much Ado about Nothing,’ Josh has to put his ranch on hold and put up with her nonsense for two weeks. Only thing is—how can he focus on his ranch when all he can think about is the way Pearl sits a horse?

Much Ado About ... Love?
With a slew of critters causing stirs left and right, meddling family members and townsfolk playing cupid, and horse rustlers causing a ruckus, Pearl and Josh have a heck of a time keeping their minds on the play and their hands off each other. When the dust settles and the curtain falls, will Pearl and Josh be able to overcome the odds working against them and find love in the wild Idaho countryside?

Those Questions
Kathleen Rice Adams: Why Shakespeare? The concept of cowboys performing Shakespeare is funny before one even starts reading the story.

Jacquie: Shakespeare’s plays were very popular in the Old West. I kept running onto newspaper articles about local theater groups performing them. Lots of folks had the plays, or at least particular roles, memorized and could perform. I’m not sure why they liked his plays so much, actually, but we still do, so I guess old Will was a pretty good writer. Modern readers aren’t enamored with his spelling and grammar, though. Several of my beta readers corrected it.

Bobbie Sue Brown: Were locals really used in traveling shows like this to play the extra parts?

Jacquie: Yes, that was very common. They didn’t have television or the internet in the 1800s, so they entertained themselves. Towns of any size at all would have a brass band or even an orchestra, a thespian club, and other means of entertainment. Silver City had a very active thespian club that was formed shortly after the camp (they never called it a town or a city) was founded. The Owyhee Avalanche tells of many entertainers who came and performed with the local group. In fact, that’s how I got the idea for this story.

Cissie Patterson: Where did the Cossack groups come from? And did they turn into circuses?

Cossack equestrian forking a horse.
Jacquie: The Cossacks (Ukrainian in Much Ado About Mustangs) were a formidable cavalry and developed the tricks used in the book for warfare. They’re not easy feats to perform standing still, and lots, lots harder on a galloping horse. Very dangerous, too. During the 1800s, equestrian shows were extremely popular and Cossack groups did come here to perform (not necessarily in Silver City or Virginia City—I fabricated all that). I could write an entire blog post on the history of trick riding, so I’ll save that for another day, but yes, all our modern equestrian tricks come from the Cossacks.

Claudia Stephan: What was the most difficult part about your research for this book? (I think the language barrier was one).

Jacquie: I don’t know Ukrainian! And they don’t use our alphabet. I never was able to get the Ukrainian words spelled out in ours, so I couldn't use a good share of the fabulous information I received.  But I did watch a bunch of YouTube videos of Cossack riders.  Incredible.  You might pick up on the fact that you can't watch videos and write at the same time, so I had to put a time limit on YouTube. 

Diane Garland: Was it common for actresses to change their names to protect their family name or so they could return to the world they knew before?

Jacquie: It was common for lots of people to change their names in the Old West. But yes, actresses seldom performed under their own names. Pearl Jane Evans didn’t take the name of Lady Pearl Montford for that reason, though. She took over for another British actress, and they created that persona for her. As now, everyone had to have a gimmick, and this one worked exceedingly well.

Cindy Jones: Without giving a spoiler or two, there were a couple of lines that just made me spew coffee laughing. For what I see as a true and beautiful romance, it's unusual. Where does that sense of humor come from?

Jacquie: I don’t know. Generally, if I try to make something funny, it isn’t. Early on, I learned that my critique partners laughed at all the wrong lines. So I gave it up and this is what happens. I get in trouble every time. LOL.

Cissie Patterson: Where do your ideas about all the critters come from? Are you an animal lover at heart?

Jacquie: I grew up on a dairy farm—we had animals everywhere, all the time. Come to think of it, I’ve never put a dairy cow in any of my books. We also had horses, lots of dogs, a zillion cats, chickens, and occasionally pigs. We never did have any mules, donkeys, goats, or sheep. The animal characters in my books have their own personalities. I’ve heard authors claim that animals are a good way to show the hero’s character, but my animals are characters in their own right, and they’re there because they show up—so I have to do something with them.

Richard Freel Sr: Why not Appaloosa, greatest horse in the west? Understand it was because Cossacks group, just saying.

Jacquie: Friesians were considered top of the line for showy horses. Appaloosas weren’t considered an official breed until the 1930s. In fact, I put an appaloosa in one of my stories but all the beta readers thought it should be capitalized—it shouldn’t. But I didn’t want anyone to think my editor didn’t do a good job, so I changed the horse to chestnut. So it goes. I love appies. Or Appies.

Other Hearts of Owyhee books


  1. Great post, Jacquie. I didn't know that about appaloosas. Love your books, and this new one is now my favorite!

    1. Yes, I'm still dithering about those appies. I want to include them because they originated in the area, but don't want to be called out for capitalization, and you know how that goes. Thanks for reading Much Ado About Mustangs! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. You know it's always a nailbiter when you release a book. LOL

  2. What an entertaining post! I love Shakespeare, so that doubled my enjoyment of all you had to say....and then, there's the romance. Sigh...

    1. I was surprised at the level of knowledge folks had of Shakespeare. Many of the plays were quite popular, and even illiterate people could quote lines from them. So it just seemed a natural. Phineas (in Much Ado About Miners started it all. ☺ Thanks for stopping by, Vonnie!

  3. Way cool i love your blogs and books

  4. Jacquie, even in a blog you make me laugh! Thank you for letting me join in the fun (and learn a thing or two)

    1. Cindy, thanks for the most puzzling question of all! LOL. And it's always fun to have you in the sandbox. ☺

  5. Thank goodness you answered those questions, Trail Boss. They've been keeping me awake at night. ;-)

    You're just all over the dang place lately. We'll expose every deep, dark secret in your sordid past the light of day yet.

    (Seriously, though, I always enjoy reading back-and-forths between authors and readers. This was fun! :-) )

    1. I bet they were, Tex. As if you didn't have anything else noodling around in your brain--like the next book I want to buy, for instance. Oh, and here is my deepest, darkest secret--I've already told it all. Just boring old me. But hey, I'm a fiction writer, so maybe I'll make something up. :)

  6. Yes, a very fun post, Jacquie! Helped by how fun the book is!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Judith! And for helping out with the book, too. ♥

  7. Not fair keeping me up all night AGAIN!!# lol ;)

    1. Well, from one insomniac to another, all I can say is if you have to stay up all night, you might as well get some fun out of it. Right? LOL

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  9. This sounds like another great read! Congrats, Jacquie!


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