A Big Howdy to Sandra Jones and Her Wicked Captain

Today I’m giving away a copy of a cookbook, Cooking on the Mississippi, that I picked up in New Orleans this past summer, as well as an e-book of HER WICKED CAPTAIN, to one lucky blog commenter!

I’m tickled to pieces to get to visit with you all today and want to say thanks to the ladies of Petticoats and Pistols for letting me share. I write NOVEMBER !5 Sandra Joneshistorical romances for Avon Impulse and Samhain Publishing. My latest series, The River Rogues, is set in my neck of the woods, the Arkansas Ozarks and the Mississippi River Delta. Get ready to travel, because book one of the series, HER WICKED CAPTAIN is about steamboat gamblers, dueling, and revenge—and of course, romance!

The heroine of the story, Philadelphia Samuels, is inspired by two real women from the 1800s, Caroline Dye and Adah Isaacs Menken.

“Aunt Caroline” Dye (1843?–1918)

When I knew I was going to write about riverboat gamblers, con artists, and gunslingers, I wanted my heroine to be the perfect match for these lawless men. During my research, I then came across a story of a psychic in Arkansas named Caroline Dye with an equally infamous background.

“Aunt Caroline” was born into slavery, but she soon learned how to tell fortunes over playing cards. She became so successful at it, that people came from as far away as Memphis and even Chicago to have their fortunes read. She used her “expertise” to find lost items for people and never asked for any money for her services. Yet when she died, it is said that her bathtub was full of cash from her customers’ “donations.”

Adah Isaacs Menken (June 15, 1835 – August 10, 1868)

NOVEMBER 15-Adah_Isaacs_Menken,_age_19,_1854-55

There are few characters in American history I find more intriguing than the beautiful Ms. Menken, a famous actress in her time, though some of the facts of her life are still a mystery. In part, her obscurity was self-created because Ms. Menken told many versions of her life story. She was also known by other names.

A great chameleon or maybe even a “Renaissance woman,” she enjoyed acting, art, and poetry. Most authorities say she was of European and Creole descent, and for all of these she also inspired my fortune-telling heroine, Philadelphia Samuels, in the first book of The River Rogues series, HER WICKED CAPTAIN.


About the book:

She played right into his hands.

Possessing uncanny people-reading skills like her mama, Philadelphia “Dell” Samuels has spent thirteen years in her aunt’s rustic Ozarks home, telling fortunes over playing cards and trying to pass as white. But the treacherous Mississippi River childhood her mama dragged her away from finally catches up to her on a steamboat captained by her old friend Rory Campbell.

Known to his crew as the Devil’s Henchman, Rory is a gambler in need of a miracle. Following the cold trail of his boss’s wife and bastard daughter, Dell, Rory has only one goal in mind: saving his crew from the boss’s cruelty by ruining him. The only one who can defeat the Monster of the Mississippi is the man trained to take his place. Rory’s convinced he can lure his boss into a high-stakes game against a rival, and with Dell’s people-reading skills, the monster will lose everything.

Under Rory’s tutelage and protection, Dell agrees to the tortured captain’s plan. Passion and peril quickly bring them together as lovers. But when Rory’s plan goes awry, the lives of the innocent depend on Dell’s ability to read the situation correctly—and hopefully save them all. 

Buy Links

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Her-Wicked-Captain-River-Rogues-ebook/dp/B00M497W56/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1410398050&sr=8-1&keywords=her+wicked+captain

B&N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/her-wicked-captain-sandra-jones/1120006611?ean=9781619223752

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/her-wicked-captain

iTunes:  http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/her-wicked-captain/id903379545?mt=11

Visit the link below to enter a special blog tour contest with prizes including a $15 gift card and more. Then don’t forget to come back here and comment for a chance to win a Mississippi River cookbook and an ebook of HER WICKED CAPTAIN!


For a chance to win today’s prizes on Petticoats and Pistols, I want to know who you would most like to play cards with? (Even if you really can’t play cards, like me!)

+ posts

21 thoughts on “A Big Howdy to Sandra Jones and Her Wicked Captain”

  1. I’m not good at playing cards, so I would want to play against someone who I would be able to beat. How about Kim Kardashian. I bet she doesn’t have a good poker face at all. 😉

  2. Hi Sandra! Welcome to P&P. We’re really happy to have you. Interesting question you pose…I’d love to play poker with Jean Lafitte, Bat Masterson and Doc Holliday. Maybe Wild Bill Hickok too. I know they’d beat me like a drum but it would be fun. I think gamblers led an exciting life.

    Congratulations on the book release! Love books about riverboat gamblers. Rory Campbell sounds like a great hero. Bet he has more than one trick up his sleeve.

    Wishing you much success!

  3. Wow, this series sounds fascinating. I love the riverboat era and your heroines sound fascinating. I’m not too good at poker, but if someone would teach me, I’d love to play. Maybe Poker Alice, who fleeced many a customer on the railroads. Then I’d challenge your hero to a game!

  4. Not much of a card player, but if I do it is with friends and family… nothing fancy… if I could choose a person to play… I would say my grandmother… I never played cards with her when she was around, but I know her and my grandfather used to play with friends…

  5. I would love a card game with Robert Duvall, Kevin Costner, and my husband….what a game!
    Thank you for the interesting post!

  6. I grew up playing cards with family,,so I would love to play cards again with my Dad and Grandad,,my grandfather never liked to lose and took his card playing very seriously

  7. I am not much of a card player and its been years since I played at all. When we were teens we played a lot of Rook cards and I don’t even remember how to play now. I guess I wouldn’t mind going back in time and playing with that same group of teens again because we always had a lot of fun doing that. It was mostly in the winter and some of those teens have passed away now.

  8. If I did play cards it would be an experience to play cards with William Shatner. Oh, what a great time that would be.

  9. I would love to be able to play canasta (poker still confuses me) with my parents and grandparents. We had such great fun on Saturday nights when my dad’s parents and my aug and uncle would come over and we would play canasta. They often played pinochle, but I could never figure that out. All but my dad are gone now and I miss them dearly. We live too far away for family card night. My children never really got interested in it. When we get together with our oldest daughter and her family, we play Scrabble.
    Cookbooks are a favorite of mine. They tell so much about a community.
    How sad that Adah Menken died at 33. What happened? She was a lovely young woman.
    Your series sounds like it will keep us interested and guessing. Should be a good read.

  10. Hi Sandra! Thank you for sharing a great post and giveaway. Her Wicked Captain sounds like an exciting story! I adore historical romances! When I think of card playing, I think of the Old West and men such as Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday. What fun it would have been to sit around a table with them!!

  11. When my family gathers we all play cards. Not for money, but for fun. My mother is a great strategist, my father the worst cheat. He did it so openly it was very funny.

  12. We play Texas Hold em. I have a terrible poker face. My children say they always know when I have a good hand.

    I’d like to watch the pros championship tournament. I see glimpses of it on TV. I’m only qualified to play with family.

  13. Sorry I’m so late chiming in, Sandra. Her Wicked Captain sounds like a high-stakes read. What an intriguing blurb! As for my choice in gambling rivals? I’d have to say those sexy Maverick brothers, Bret and Bart.

    Good luck with the book! 🙂

  14. thanks for such a fun post! This book sounds like a lot of fun 🙂 Ummm… James Gardiner as Maverick 🙂 thanks for sharing!

Comments are closed.