Jeannie Watt and Nevada’s West!

jwattI’m so excited to be here at Petticoats and Pistols.  For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Jeannie Watt and I write Nevada ranch stories for Harlequin Superromance. Like most western ranching states, Nevada has its own unique culture. 


The cowboys here are buckaroos.  Buckaroos inhabit an area known as the ION—southern Idaho, eastern Oregon, and northern Nevada.  They wear short chaps called chinks, flat top or short brimmed hats, vests, silver conchos and big silk scarves known as wild rags.  They favor high cantle saddles with slick forks and bucking rolls, highly ornate silver bits and, rawhide reins, romals and reatas.  If they ride a snaffle bit horse, they may use horsehair ropes called mecates instead of regular reins.  A northern Nevada working cowboy may not sport all of these trappings, photo1but it would be rare to see a cowboy in the area without at least one or two buckaroo accoutrements.   Now, do you think I could find a photo of any of my neighbors in their buckaroo gear?  Of course not.  But if you’re interested in seeing photos of the ION and buckaroos, I suggest you check out David R. Stoecklein’s western photo portfolio.  It’s excellent.  


Distances are vast in Nevada.  My school district encompasses over 9,000 square miles and has five rural combined class schools in addition to the traditional schools in the larger town where I teach.  I live in a small ranching community of 250 people, but drive 40 miles a day to work.  My doctor is 200 miles away.  The fuel prices have been a killer lately, especially since I live off the grid—not by choice, mind you, but rather because the local power company wants half a million dollars (literally) to run power to my house.  I just haven’t been able to squeeze that out of the grocery money, lol. When fuel prices jump, so does the cost of operating my house.  But I just have to show you one of my views—the photo2reason I put up with living off the grid.   This is my driveway.


The federal government owns eighty-four percent of Nevada, so there are a lot of wide-open spaces.  There are really only three honest to goodness cities in Nevada—Reno, Carson City and Las Vegas.  The north and the south.  The rest of the state is considered rural—which is amazing when you consider the fact that Nevada is the seventh largest state in the union.   The rural people tend to be acquainted with one another, even if they live hundreds of miles apart.  The isolation and great distances lead to an amazing sense of community—which is the lead in for my book…


In my story, A COWBOY’S REDEMPTION, set in a fictional community wattcoversouth of Elko, the hero desperately needs isolation.  He’s just gotten out of jail and is licking his wounds while rebuilding his grandfather’s homestead.  Enter the heroine, who wants access across his property so that her family can subdivide a half section of ground for a housing development.  Needless to say, the hero is not in favor.   The heroine expected that reaction, but she doesn’t understand the cause of the deep hatred the hero holds for her family.  He isn’t talking, and she isn’t giving up until she gets to the bottom of things.  Ultimately the hero has to chose between vindication and shattering the heroine’s world—a tough choice since somewhere along the line he fell in love with her.


I’m giving away three books today, plus one of my braided horsehair bracelets.  Just stop by and introduce yourself, let me know if you’ve ever visited Nevada and I’ll put you in the random drawing for the books and bracelet. 


And to wrap things up, here’s a photo of my friend Tim getting ready to brand.  



To learn more about Jeannie and her books, visit her website:

   <—Click On Cover to Order From Amazon!

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53 thoughts on “Jeannie Watt and Nevada’s West!”

  1. Hi Jeannie!
    I have never been to Nevada but I clicked that link and those pictures were amazing. It must be nice to come home every day to such a beautiful setting.

  2. Hi Jeannie,
    I’d love to see this part of the country. My ideal vacation would be to fly to Colorado, rent a car and drive through Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and come back through Nevada to Arizona and New Mexico.

    I’m big fan of SuperRomances, too.

  3. Hi Maureen and Victoria–Good to see you here. I do love coming home to the peace and quiet. Not so much so yesterday when my generator broke down. It’s limping along today and the battery is all charged up on my computer so I should be able to keep popping in to say hello!

    Victoria–what a trip that would be! You would see some of the most amazing country. Glad to hear you’re a Supers fan!

  4. I live in ND. MT is the farthest west I’ve been. I love stories set in the west though. I’d love to win your contest today.

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  5. What wonderful information, I never knew Nevada was so wide open, how beautiful that must be. Pictures could not do that justice.

    I have never be out West, I live in Middle TN, but I have been trying to talk my husband in to vacationing this year out there.

    I Hhave read Harlequin books before but not sure any was a Superromance. This may show my ignorance but what is a Harlequin Superromance?

  6. Hi Abi–I hope you do win, lol. I’ve never been to North Dakota. My daughter worked in Miles City Montana one summer and that was the closest I’ve been, and the farthest east I’ve been in a car. I have flown over the Mississippi twice.

    Hi Sherry–Harlequin Superromance is one of the lines. At the top of the cover there’s a special insignia. These books are longer than the regular romances, thus the name Super, and they are very much character driven.


  7. I have never been to Nevada, but it looks beautiful. I have never been out west before but would love to travel there. I was raised in the country and I do love the country life.

  8. The closest I’ve come is visiting Arizona. It’s quite an extreme difference from the rolling hills of PA but I bet I could get use to the weather and the cowboys 🙂

  9. Hi Jeannie,I love westerns,an I havent read any of yours yet so you’ve got me very interested,I guess cause I live in the deep south,the west has always beeen a dream of mine,I would love to see Nevada some day,again thanks for coming to see us today,Welcome!

  10. Hi Jeannie,
    Wonderful views of Nevada. I love Nevada and have been to all 3 of those cities you mentioned! Who knew? I’m happy to meet you via Petticoats and loved the pictures you posted. Your book sounds wonderful!
    Happy Trails!

  11. I live in the southeast, but I have traveled to the West several times. I love Nevada. I have visited Reno, Las Vegas, Red Rock Canyon, Lake Tahoe, and traveled to Hoover Dam. Very interesting state!

  12. Hey everyone–thanks for dropping by!

    Quilt Lady–there are so many different topographies out west. I hope you get a chance to see it some day.

    Jeanne–Arizona is gorgeous and it tends to be a lot redder than Nevada. Nevada is pastel blue, lavendar, sage green and yellow.

    Vickie–I love reading books set in the deep south! When I went to Georgia for RWA Nationals I found the humidity challenging, but loved the greeness. Such a lush area.

    Charlene–It’s nice to meet you, too! I’m so glad to have to opportunity to blog here at Petticoats and Pistols!


  13. Good morning, Jeannie! Wow–you’ve had a busy morning already! Thank you for visiting us this weekend!

    I’ve only been to Las Vegas once, so that’s my only foray into Nevada–but oh, your pictures make me want to go back. There’s alot to be said for wide open spaces and peace and quiet.

  14. Hello Jeannie… I have not had the pleasure of visiting Nevada. Love the pics… thanks for sharing them! 😀

  15. Hi Jeannie, Thank you! I have finally read an author who to me is local. You nailed the No. Nevada cowboy. My husband has always said that you can tell where a cowboy is from by his outfit. Not only clothes, but the horse outfit. He’s been a cowboy and Packer all his life and he is 81. I love Nevada. I live in Eastern California and we have wanted to annex into Nevada for over 100 years. The Sierra Nevada separates us from the rest of California and nobody, but Nevadans, know we exist. I haven’t read any of your books, but you can be sure that I will, now. Thanks, again.

  16. Hi Colleen–I’m glad you liked the pictures!

    Mary J.–Glad to meet you! I’m going to be blogging again about buckaroos in June. Hey–if you ever get over to the Winnemucca Ranch Hand Rodeo (we usually have teams from Eastern California competing) you’ll have to look me up. I display my hitched horsehair gear there.


  17. Hi Jeannie, it’s sandy from Sierra Writers…just dropped by to check out the blog. Great descriptive on Nevada 🙂


  18. Hi Jeannie, what wonderful pictures!

    I live in England but have been to Nevada. I got married in Vegas … with Elvis as my witness. Ahem … what more can I say 😉

  19. Hi Jeannie! I’ve never been to Nevada but it’s always been a dream of mine to visit out West. The area looks so beautiful! Thank you for the information on buckaroos. I love westerns and your book looks wonderful! Thanks for blogging here at P&P today!

  20. Hi Jeannie, oh, those pictures are wonderful! Our niece lives outside of Reno in Sparks, we just love those wide open spaces! Last spring, we followed up a visit there with a week in Lake Tahoe…where it snowed on us May 30!

    I love cowboys any place, any time. Thanks for the explanation of your buckaroos.

    Our daughter and her fiance are on the road to Vegas as I write this but after, Tahoe, I gotta say my favorite Nevada place is Virgina City. Not only because I love Mark Twain…but I feel like a real cowgirl there.

    Thanks for a wonderful post and great pix, Jeannie, and congrats on your book.

  21. Enjoyed reading about Nevada which I have visited often. I agree with you, it is beautiful in the wide open spaces. While there, we visited the old mining towns.
    I taught in Arizona where my district covered 90 square miles so I can imagine your big district presented challenges too.
    I have a read your books and enjoyed them.

  22. Hi Pam–Thanks for asking me to blog. It’s been great being here. I’ve only been to Vegas a few times, but I had a blast there.

    Sandy–So glad you could stop by!

    Joanne–Elvis as a witness? I am so jealous. I’ve always wanted to visit England. Someday…

    Margie–I hope you do get to the west. It’s a neat place to visit.

    Tanya–I go to or through Sparks often. We like to spend weekends in Reno since our son lives there. Tahoe is gorgeous. We run a 10K up there every fall. All downhill–my kind of run, lol.

    Joye–I’m so glad you enjoyed my books. It’s good to meet fellow teacher!


  23. What a wonderful view you have!
    I live in Oregon and I have been to Nevada several times. I really enjoyed the little town of Fallon.

  24. Hi Jeannie, Figured you were close to Winnemucca, just because….. The men in my family and male relations rodeo–so I will add this to our agenda. Definately will look you up. (I just finished my first chapter in my novel writers course.) Yay.
    Write on.

  25. Hey Jeannie, The Ranch Hand rodeo is scheduled for February 26 to March 1, 2009. Only a couple of weeks away. Don’t know about getting up there so soon. We’ll see.

  26. Jeannie, your book looks wonderful. I have been out West and love it. I appreciate the wide open vistas, the endless horizon, and the beauty and natural surroundings. I live in the Southwest which I adore. The West, though has me under its spell.

  27. I have had the pleasure of visiting Nevada several times, but only the cities of Las Vegas and Reno, plus had the pleasure of touring the Hoover Dam. Being from the midwest I loved the warm weather and some of the sunsets were gorgeous.

    Since I love cowboys your book definitely sounds interesting and exciting to me.

  28. Hi Jeannie, I’m a big fan of the SR line, and cowboys *g*, so I’ll be picking up the book even if I don’t win a copy. I have spent a lot of time driving through Nevada, on my way to other places, LOL. You need to go through it to get from California to Colorado – a drive I’ve taken many a time. Our country is so beautiful, isn’t it? It’s always amazing to me, every time I get out of the city, how much beautiful, wide open space we actually still have.

  29. Hi Jeannie, The pictures of Nevada look beautiful. I’ve never been there and only thought of it as being desert and not very pretty. I have recently got hooked on cowboy romances so your book sounds interesting. I would love to be able to tour that part of the country some day.
    Thanks for the opportunity to win your books.

  30. Hi Jeanie – thanks for sharing with us today! I am attorney from Florida and my DH and I hope to take our RV across the country some year soon. I have been to California (and just returned from beautiful Baja, Mexico) but otherwise not west of Texas in the South and Chicago in the North. Your books of the Nevada buckaroos sound interesting! Thanks for a chance to win!

  31. Hi, Miss Jeannie, Thanks for visiting with us
    today! I’ve never had the opportunity to visit
    Nevada, but I enjoyed the mountains in your photos.

    Pat Cochran

  32. Hi Jeannie,
    I’ve only been to Vegas and didn’t have a chance to visit a ranch. I hope to go back soon and see more of Nevada.

  33. Hi! I didn’t know that Nevada was so pretty up north. I’ve never been there, but my in-laws live in Reno and I thought that it had it’s own particular type of beauty. We are actually looking to move to Nevada…
    I think I would be scared to live so far out from a neighbor…
    Thanks for the posting!

  34. Hi Jeannie, sister Sierra Writer! Thank you for the fun post. I love learning about cultural differences, so I look forward to reading more about the buckaroos in June. Your book sounds terrific, too. I’ve put it on my Kindle wishlist. 🙂

  35. Hello Jeannie! It is so nice to have you visiting today!

    I had NO CLUE that Nevada is like how you described it to be! I guess when I think Nevada-I think Vegas!

    I have never been there, but desperately want to come out for a visit-to Vegas (of course)-but also to see some of what you have described…the open country! I bet it is breathtaking to take it all in the first time!

  36. Hi Estella–Fallon is a neat little town. My daughter’s best friend is about to marry a Fallon guy.

    Mary J.–Well, if not this year, then next. I’m there every year. We have a great covered arena, so I get to sit on the mezzanine with the other gear makers, watch the rodeo and talk with my neighbors.

    Minna and Crystal B.–I hope you get a chance to visit. And if the desert isn’t your cup of tea, Tahoe is very beautiful.

    Diane–I love the southwest. The scenery is spectacular. I have a friend that just moved to Yuma and I’m going to brave the heat and go visit one of these days.

    Shari–We do have gorgeous sunsets–I think it’s from all the dust in the air. Hoover Dam is pretty spectacular, isn’t it?

    Lori–Yes, our country is beautiful. You must pass through the town where I work-Winnemucca. I actually live forty miles away, but make the drive.

    Marion–I have to admit, there are parts of Nevada that are *ahem* ugly…but the pretty parts compensate, lol. And the culture here is quite unique.

    Pat–I have truly enjoyed being here. What a friendly bunch of people you have here!

    Jane–Vegas is a kick. It’s like a different planet, though. When I’m there I have a hard time believing it’s part of my state.

    Stephanie–Most people don’t live as far from their neighbors as we do–although I do have three neighbors up the canyon from me. We’re only a few miles apart. I go to Reno a lot–that’s where my doctor and Whole Foods is 🙂

    Cate–Oh, thank you for stopping by!

    Melissa–I hope you get your trip to Vegas. If you do, visit the Red Rock area. It’s so beautiful.

  37. Hi Jeannie! I’ve never had the pleasure of visiting Nevada but hope to someday. Thanks for the interesting information on buckaroos. Your book sounds wonderful! Thank you for sharing today!

  38. Hi, Jeannie, I’ve been to Las Vegas, and we did do a little driving around between Nevada and Utah–it’s absolutely gorgeous out there! We’d love to take the kids when they get a little older and better able to hike themselves 😉 It’s nice to be reminded that there are still parts of the US where there are wide-open spaces 🙂 And yay, you, on your latest! Can’t wait to read it!

  39. Sadly, I’ve never been to Nevada, but would love to some day. I was born and raised in TN and am married to a farmer. We have some beautiful scenery, but those pictures are gorgeous!

  40. Jeannie, what a wonderful backyard you have! I’m so envious, as I live in the Texas Panhandle and our mountains are called prairie dog mounds! Like so many of your visitors today, I’ve been in Las Vegas (and Laughlin) and had no idea the rest of Nevada is so beautiful. I’ll have to add that to my “some day” travel itinerary. Thanks for sharing. Phyliss

  41. Hi Jeannie,

    Looks like you’re having a great time at P&P. Lots of comments and good conversation. I’m sorry to be chiming in so late, but I’m on a book tour and didn’t have access to a computer until today. Hope you’re enjoying your stay with us!

    I love the Nevada scenery. Wow! Talk about inspiration for your stories! It’s just gorgeous. I’ve visited Las Vegas and Reno but not a lot of other places. I’d love to go back sometime.

    Thanks for introducing us to the splendor of the state!

  42. Hi and welcome coming to you from Canada.
    I have been to Las Vegas and Laughlin Nevada and loved it. In Laughlin we visited a quaint ‘English village’ setup where the phone booths were like the red English type ones and they have pop corn vendors etc.

  43. Jeannie,
    It was nice to learn about Nevada I have never been there but my husbands mom and dad lived there a few years in Reno and they loved it but came back to Nebraska.
    It looks very beautiful and peaceful out there. Sounds like you have a long trip to work each day I am not sure I would like to do that. Makes for a long day especially in the winter.
    I hope you get a new generator to help you out it sounds like you could use one.

  44. Hi Phyliss–I’m traveling to Austin next week to run in the Austin Half Marathon. My brother lives there. Someday I’d like to travel to the panhandle and experience it.

    Linda–I have loved being here. Everyone is so friendly. Good luck on the book tour.

    Robyn–I’ve never been to Laughlin, but I think I’ll have to put it on my to do list. The English village sounds fun.

    Brenda–The generator repair guy is coming on Monday. Yay. I’d love to go solar, but have to save a bit, lol. Thanks for stopping by.

  45. I have been to Las Vegas several times on vacation, but the very best vacation we ever had was in Lake Tahoe in the winter. It was beautiful. And this is coming from someone that lives in Minnesota and has 3 feet of snow in the front yard. The trees in Tahoe are so wonderful to look at. I grew up in western Washington so I am more used to that scenery. Nevada is really a great setting for your books.

  46. Jeannie, Love the pictures. I traveled through Nevada once as a child. Can’t say I remember much but the lights of Vegas.
    Looking forward to reading your book.

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