07 July 2011

Excerpt Thursday: Jacquie Rogers

This week on Excerpt Thursday, we welcome author Jacquie Rogers who has just released her new novel, Much Ado About Marshals through Melange Publishing. It's available on Amazon in Kindle and on Smashwords in all formats, and will be available in trade paperback August 15. Check back on Sunday for Jacquie's interview and a chance to win a free book.

Back cover copy:

Daisy Gardner wants to be a detective, just like her favorite dime novel heroine, Honey Beaulieu. But Daisy's parents insist she marry soon, and to a farmer, heaven forbid! So she devises a brilliant solution--to marry the new marshal and become his number one detective. Only one problem: the new marshal isn't the faintest bit interested in marrying her.

Cole Richards is loyal, honest, and forthright. But thanks to his good buddy, Bosco, Cole is stuck in a lie borne of good intentions. If he doesn't go along with the people of Oreana's assumption that he's their new marshal, he and Bosco could be honored guests at a necktie party . . . and worse, a certain lady detective has marriage on her mind.

Cole has just regained consciousness after being shot. He's in the doctor's office, surrounded by several Oreana townspeople.

1885: Oreana, Idaho

“Yes, he’s definitely the one.” Her sweet tone belied her accusation. Most robbery victims wouldn’t be so cheerful. Was he in jail? The aroma of sagebrush and alkali had been replaced by tincture of iodine, so he could be in the doctor’s office.

“Fits the description exactly.”

Cole’s hopes sank at the lady’s certainty. While he’d never had a doubt he and Bosco would be caught, he’d hoped to make it back to the ranch to set things right. And the lady didn’t have to sound so damned happy about it.

“You’re sure about that?” a man’s voice asked.

“Well, Doc, he’s tall, so he matches the six-foot-two height, he has dark brown hair, brown eyes, and he’s wounded on the right leg just like the wire said.”

Cole hoped that at least Bosco had made it to the ranch. He was goodhearted, a loyal friend, but not all that quick on the draw.

“Yes,” the lady continued, “he’s our new marshal, all right.”

New marshal? Hell, he was wanted for bank robbery! This didn’t seem exactly the right time to mention it, though.

“Good,” the man named Doc responded, “then I’ll bill the city for his care. The wife will be happy to hear I finally have a cash customer.”

“You don’t have a wife.”

The doctor chuckled. “No, Miss Daisy, but I’d sure like you to change that.”

“Not a chance,” she teased.

They both laughed, but Cole knew how the doctor really felt. Some men were born to be alone.

A cool cloth smelling of borax mopped his forehead. He forced his eyes to open. He blinked a couple of times and focused on a beautiful woman, her brow wrinkled with concern.

“Come here, Doc,” she said with quiet enthusiasm. “He’s awake.”

Cole heard water pouring as he stared at the lady who belonged to the sunny voice. Her green-eyed gaze bathed him with compassion and reminded him of sunset on Sinker Creek, where the rays glanced off the rapids, and the rippling of the water made a man’s heart feel pure.

He wondered what she’d look like if he loosened her auburn hair that was pulled tightly into a bun. She was a beauty, all right.

A slight man dressed appropriately for a doctor, or an undertaker, rubbed his brown handlebar mustache while he mulled over Cole’s condition. “His color’s much better, Daisy, don’t you think?”

“I’ll go tell Dad that he won’t have to rush over here for the marshal’s last prayers.” She pulled on her gloves and tossed a cloak over her shoulders.

Damn, a preacher’s daughter. What a waste of womanly flesh.

“Look for him at your Aunt Grace’s house,” the doctor advised. “When I picked up the wire telling us the new marshal was riding in, Rayburn told me that your sister had just come home. Seems like some yahoos tried to hold up her bank--put quite a scare into her, too.”

Daisy clapped her gloved hands to her cheeks. “Oh, no! Is Iris all right?”

“She’s fine,” replied the doctor, “but I hear one of the would-be robbers is somewhat worse for the wear. She claims she shot one.”

“Oh, my!” Daisy picked up her parasol and reticule. “I’ll get over there right away. She may need me!”

Cole’s throat tightened as Daisy hurried to the door. She’d put two and two together as soon as she talked to her sister.

“God works in wonderful ways,” she exclaimed triumphantly as she unlatched the door. “It’s a miracle that our new marshal showed up when he did.” She swept out of the room like a queen.

Stay calm and think. So Daisy’s sister was the woman who’d shot him. What lousy luck. He had to get the hell out of here.

Especially since Miss Daisy thought he was the town’s new marshal.

He didn’t even know what town.


Jacquie Rogers is an Idaho native and loves to write stories set in the countryside of her childhood.  Her previous release, a contemporary western, is also set in Idaho.  She's a former software designer, campaign manager, deli clerk, cow milker, but always a bookworm.  Jacquie currently lives in Seattle with her husband, ornery cat, and dying refrigerator.

1st Turning Point: http://1stturningpoint.com/