Welcome Guest – Jacqui Nelson


While doing research for my upcoming late-August release BETWEEN HOME & HEARTBREAK (book 2 in my Gambling Hearts series) about a Texas horseman and a Wild West trick-riding superstar, I was eager to delve into everything about 1800s show people including Buffalo Bill Cody and Annie Oakley who were the first American entertainers to gain superstardom.

BUFFALO BILL’S WILD WEST: the Greatest Show on Earth

Buffalo Bill’s Wild West ran from 1883 to 1913 and toured all across America including summer seasons on Stanton Island and winter ones at Madison Square Garden. The show also spent four years touring Europe and gave a command performance at Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887 at Windsor Castle.


THE PERSONALITIES/PERFORMERS: the Colonel and Little Missie

Colonel was an honorary title given to Cody by his many admirers including the top military men of his time. Little Missie was Cody’s name for Annie.

I struck research gold when I read a fantastic non-fiction book by Lonesome Dove author Larry McMurtry called The Colonel and Little Missie and found the following descriptions…

1. HOW THEY DIFFER: the Loud and the Quiet

Cody: “generous, gushing, in a hurry, incautious, often drunk, and almost always optimistic.”

Annie: “in manner Cody’s polar opposite…reserved, modest to the point of requiring a female embalmer (that she organized in advance of her death), so frugal that many of the troupers believed she lived off the lemonade that Cody and [show manager] Salsbury served free to all workers.”

2. HOW THEY’RE SIMILAR: for the Love of the Show

Cody and Annie were show people “through and through. Even after a bad car wreck, rather late in life, Annie once got onstage and danced a jig in her leg brace.”

ON WITH THE SHOW: History + Personality = Wild West Life

For book 2, BETWEEN HOME & HEARTBREAK, I wanted to write about a character from book 1 in my series. In BETWEEN LOVE & LIES, my hero Noah Ballantyne is a Texas drover who arrives in Dodge City after completing a cattle drive with his friend and neighbor Lewis Adams.


THE QUIET (OR EASY-GOING) PERSONALITY: Lewis Adams – an honest Texas horseman

Buried deep beneath Lewis happy-go-lucky temperament was a territorial streak as wide as it was long. The only time Noah had witnessed Lewis’ anger was when someone threatened to take what belonged to him or those he cared about. (Noah describing Lewis in Book 1)

Who would be the most challenging woman for Lewis?

  • A woman who’s come to steal his land and add a lot of excitement to his easy-going life.

How could this woman steal his land?

  • She has a claim to it. She says she’s the previous owners’ long-lost daughter, Jane Dority, who vanished eighteen years ago while riding in a storm with her childhood best friend Lewis – who’s always felt responsible for Jane’s disappearance.

Why were they riding in a storm?

  • A medicine show with elixirs and acrobatic riders had entertained their community. Jane wanted to replicate one of their acts. Lewis wanted to learn to ride as well as Jane and impress his father so he’d let him join the ranch roundup.

THE LOUD (OR DAREDEVIL) PERSONALITY: Eldora Calhoun – a famous trick-riding superstar

So who is this woman who’s come to claim or steal (depending on your perspective) Lewis’ land?

  • A confident, well-travel, talented trick-riding superstar in the nation’s most popular Wild West show. She calls herself Eldorado Jane. Is she the long-lost Jane Dority? She might be something even better.

BETWEEN LOVE & LIES (Gambling Hearts Series, Book 1)

In a town ruled by sin, will he earn her love or her lies?

JacquiNelson_BetweenLoveandLies_800pxDodge City, Kansas – 1877

Sadie Sullivan lost everything when a herd of longhorn cattle bound for Dodge City trampled and destroyed her farm. Now she works in Dodge—one of the most wicked and lawless towns in the West—at the Northern Star saloon. But her survival in this new world of sin and violence depends on maintaining a lie so deadly it could end her life before the town of Dodge can.

The one man capable of unraveling all of Sadie’s secrets is Noah Ballantyne, the Texan rancher whose herd destroyed her home. Back in town and taking up the role of deputy alongside legendary lawman Bat Masterson, Noah vows he won’t leave until he’s made things right. But with the saloon’s madam unwilling to release Sadie and a rich cattle baron wanting her as well, the odds aren’t in favor of finding love…or leaving town alive.

BETWEEN HOME & HEARTBREAK (Gambling Hearts Series, Book 2)

Who is Eldorado Jane? Long-lost friend or scheming superstar?

JacquiNelson_BetweenHomeAndHeartbreak_eCover_800Texas Hill Country — 1879

Plain Jane Dority vanished while riding in a storm beside her childhood best friend. Eighteen years later, Wild West trick-riding superstar Eldorado Jane returns to claim her birthright: the Dority homestead now owned by the steadfast Texan who never forgot Jane or forgave himself for her disappearance.

Lewis Adams would give anything to see his friend come home, but he’s certain Eldorado Jane isn’t his Jane. So why does this mesmerizing woman—with the talent and fame to have anything she desires—want the small patch of land that he loves? There’s only one way to find out: accept a wager with a deceiver who holds the power to bring back his friend or break his heart. The outcome rests in her hands. Or does it?

Friendship. Betrayal. Blackmail. Eldorado Jane holds every card…except the one that matters most.

Giveaway! – Jacqui has three digital prizes lined up for our readers!  Leave a comment for Jacqui and you’ll be entered to win. One winner will receive an e-copy of BETWEEN LOVE & LIES (Gambling Hearts series, book 1) and when it releases, two winners will each get an e-copy of BETWEEN HOME & HEARTBREAK (Gambling Hearts series, book 2).

Jacqui's Sale

Look for Jacqui online at:
Website: http://www.JacquiNelson.com
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/JacquiNelson
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/JacquiNelsonBooks
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Jacqui_Nelson

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62 thoughts on “Welcome Guest – Jacqui Nelson”

  1. Hi Jacqui, long time no see and I can see you have up to writing some really great interesting stories and anything based on Cody and Annie will have delved into all the facts, the tales and come up with something very interesting yet with lots of true tidbits as well. Maybe a bit behind it all and I love the other sseries as well too, it looks great. Can’t wait to read them all since you always do great justice to our western roots especially ferreting out all the good bits to keep us intriqued and entertained. Keep up the good work Jacqui, besides everyone really loves a lot of backstory into the real wild west shows not just made up tales and versions, thank you. I love that all of you authors are helping keep this alive for us with many truths on the wild west shows back then.

    • Hi Elaine! Wonderful to see you here! Writing historical fiction is great fun, but one of my big challenges is keeping true to dates. Since my story is set in 1879 it’s too early to include a visit to Buffalo Bill’s show which started in 1883. Very sad about that! But Buffalo Bill still gets a special mention in my story. If the timeline worked, I’d have definitely had him on the page. When my research revealed that Marshal Bat Masterson had a devilish sense of humor (and that he’d been in Dodge City in 1877), he became an integral part of book 1 of my series.

  2. Jacqui- book 2 Between Home & Heartbreak sounds wonderful. I loved Between Love & Lies. So glad to see this book extends from book 1.
    I’ve read all your books now and I love them all. I’m so thankful I was fortunate to meet you in Vegas. It’s still the highlight of my year. You , Linda, Rosanne, & EE made me feel like one of you. I’m super excited about your newest book.
    Love & Hugs: Tonya

    • That Vegas trip was the highlight of my year as well, Tonya! Loved meeting you. Even though book 2 can be read on its own (without reading book 1), I’d definitely recommend reading book 1 first. Several characters from book 1 make a reappearance and play a part in this new story. Couldn’t resist including them! I think they’ll be popping in and out throughout the series to both help and make trouble 🙂

      • I’m super excited to read this book. I truly love your writing & the details and emotions you convey through your characters. Speaking of Dodge City, Rob & I are going there tomorrow. It’s only 80 miles. Have a fabulous weekend.

  3. Hi Jacqui! Welcome to P&P. We’re so happy to have you visit. I love your books and I cannot wait for Between Home and Heartbreak. Eldorado Jane sounds like the perfect woman for Lewis. Wow! I’ll bet she turns him every way but loose. I love the mystery surrounding this story. I know you’ll have me on the edge of my seat again.

    I’ve always been fascinated with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. That must’ve truly been something to see. I like that you made Jane a trick-riding star. Brilliant.

    Thanks again for coming and good luck with your books! Big Texas Hugs!

    • Hi, Linda! I’m thrilled to be with you here today on the Petticoats & Pistols blog! I’m also thrilled that I’ll soon be sharing this book with you 🙂 When I first started the story, I made my heroine a sharpshooter (like Annie) in a Wild West show, but the theme of horses soon took over and I knew Eldorado Jane had to be a trick rider. BETWEEN HOME & HEARTBREAK has a lot of horses. Even Lewis and Noah’s faithful steeds (who carried them on the cattle drive to Dodge City in book 1) are part of this new adventure.

  4. Wow, Jacqui! This book sounds magical! I can’t wait to read it. Looks like a third book will join your other two on my “keeper” shelf! I’ve always been fascinated by the character of Wild Bill Cody and his show, and I can’t wait to see how you’ve incorporated bits of this into the books. You are so good at weaving history and fiction!

    • Looking forward to sharing this new story with you, Elisabeth! One of my favorite sayings is: truth is stranger than fiction. I found a ton of interesting historical tidbits in McMurtry’s “The Colonel and Little Missie.” But McMurtry also said that when show people are telling folks their life stories it’s hard to tell what’s fact, fiction or just embellishment. No matter which, it makes for interesting reading. And I love reading your stories! The copy of “Valentine’s Rose” (that I received from you at the Vegas convention) is sitting on my desk right now. Congrats on releasing another book your marvelous Bride Train series yesterday!

  5. I loved your previous books, Jacqui, and I’m looking forward to this one. The Wild West Show angle sounds like SO much fun. Be sure you let us know when it’s available!

    • Thanks for reading all of my books, Kay! I’m excited to share this new one with you soon. So far I’m on track for an August 31 release day. Will keep you posted 🙂

  6. Cody built a home here in North Platte nebraska that still stands today he sold it to the state because he was bankrupt by the time he would of be able to enjoy it.

    • I’d love to visit and see the home and walk in Cody’s footsteps, Kim! Amazing how highly paid superstars went bankrupt even way back then. I read that Cody wasn’t very good with picking investments and that he lived a life as wild as his show. Thanks for commenting and visiting with me today!

  7. Hi Jacruise, this sounds like a great series!! Definitely going on my wishlist! I love the tidbit about Annie Oakley being so shy that she arranged a female embalmer.

  8. Jacqui, you had me when I learned your heroine was a Wild West trick-riding superstar! I can’t wait to read this book!

    Thanks for the interesting facts about Buffalo Bill Cody and Annie Oakley. Funny to hear they were such opposites!

    • Hi India! So happy you could join me today! From the little bits I’d read before diving into my research, I’d always suspected Buffalo Bill and Annie were opposites – but not as opposite as Larry McMurtry’s book revealed them to be. If I could time travel, I’d be traveling straight back to see their show…and maybe try to get a job looking after their horses so I could learn more about everyone in their show.

    • Thanks for reading my books, Jo-Ann, and for visiting my guest blog today! Get ready for a wild ride in both sunny and stormy conditions. I turned BETWEEN HOME & HEARTBREAK into a very twisty ride full of action and intrigue. Couldn’t help myself 🙂 Looking forward to sharing the story with you very soon!

  9. That blurb sold me, Jacqui! Definitely need to read the book. That was such a fascinating time in America’s history. You must often get lost in research. 🙂

    • Glad to hear you enjoyed the blurb, Sandra! You’re right about this time period and setting. I’m constantly jotting down historical tidbits for use in future stories. Thanks for visiting my guest blog!

  10. Love reading facts mixed with fiction, it makes the story more interesting.will be adding these books to my tbr list.thanks

    • Hi, Judy! Wonderful to hear that you’re adding my books to your tbr list! I plan to make my Gambling Hearts series into a 7-book series. Wish I could write faster and share them all with you today.

    • Thank you, Jacquie! I’m excited that I finally have the pages almost ready (hopefully only a few more things to tweak!) to combine with the amazing book cover Kim Killion created for me. I definitely jumped the gun when I revealed that cover earlie this year 😉

  11. Wow, Jacqui Nelson thank you so much for the giveaway. But, more importantly for writing these books! I am very excited to read them now! It must have been a blast to research them!

    • Thank you, Bonny! It’s comments like yours that keep me writing. Researching history also keeps me writing – except for when I’m falling down the research hole chasing those intriguing historical tidbits 🙂

    • Thank you, Melissa! Hope you enjoy Lewis’ story. Since the first moment he showed up with his easy-going (but also teasing) personality on the pages of book 1 in my series, I’ve been eager to write his story.

  12. Thanks so much for the chance to win. I have not read either one, so it would be a blessing to win.

  13. You have a special way of writing, that I get lost in your books & don’t want to put them down till I’m finished. Looking forward to reading Home & Heartbreak.

    • Thank you for your kind words about my writing, Lisa! I love adding lots of action and intrigue to my stories. Looking forward to sharing Lewis and Eldorado Jane’s adventure with you very soon!

  14. Great to hear you enjoyed this post and my stories, Alisa! Hope you enjoy this new adventure in the Texas hills and a tiny town I called Juniper Flats. I had fun bringing Eldorado Jane and her Wild West show into Lewis’ life. Good thing Noah & Sadie (from book 1) are on hand to help him!

  15. Interesting history and wonderful sounding books! Thank you. I love history and research too.
    Please note I can’t be in the drawing because of having no digital reader, but I wanted to welcome you anyway and let you know how much I enjoyed your post.

    In fact when I read that your first book “Between Love and Lives” is set 1877 Dodge City my researcher bells went off. 🙂 The Earps were in Dodge 1877-79 at that time, and there is a picture of Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson together on the Wikipedia Bat Masterson page (and two more pics of Bat). In 1880, Buffalo Bill Cody helped Masterson with an arrest. In 1881 Masterson went to Tombstone, meeting up with the Earps where he helped them with a stage coach roberry. In 1882, Bat saved Doc Holliday in Colorado, and by 1883, they were all back in Kansas for the “Dodge City War.” There’s another picture that includes Masterson and Earp among others.

    Much earlier than that, Cody (age 12) met Wild Bill Hickcock (age 18) during Jayhawker times. Both served during the Civil War and met up, Hickock in a brigade, Cody as a scout. In 1867, Hickock as a US Marshall along with Sgt Cody and some privates were assigned to pick up 11 deserters. And then in 1873 before Cody’s Wild West Show, Cody invited Hickock to perform in a play.

    It’s amazing to me how these men all crisscrossed. Not true for Annie Oakley, though. The tidbit I’d like to share is that “Oakley was given the [Lakota] nickname of ‘Watanya Cicilla’ by fellow performer Sitting Bull, rendered “Little Sure Shot” in the public advertisements.”

    I hope you don’t mind I shared some of my love of western history.

    • I love that you shared this information, Eliza! The reason book 1 in my series is set in 1877 (except for the opening scene) is for the very reason you mention – Bat Masterson was in Dodge City during 1877, and I wanted to include him in that book. Masterson kept going to Dodge and leaving and returning, so the timing was tricky. He sure had an interesting life, just like Cody. I hadn’t heard that Cody helped Masterson with an arrest in 1880. That is so cool! I may have to use that in a future book in this series 🙂 Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge!

      • Here’s more on that 1880 incident you mentioned (oops–it wasn’t an arrest but an assist!). sorry

        “Not long after this [1880] census was taken, Bat Masterson received a telegram from Ben Thompson asking Bat to save Ben’s troublesome brother, Billy Thompson, from almost certain lynching in Ogallala, Nebraska. Billy Thompson had shot the thumb off a man named Tucker, who – despite missing a digit – managed to fire back and seriously wound Billy. Masterson took Billy Thompson out of Ogallala via a midnight train bound for North Platte, Nebraska. In North Platte, Masterson was provided with assistance by no less a personage than William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody, who promptly offered to help. According to Masterson, both he and Billy Thompson “were given a royal welcome and were immediately taken in charge by Colonel Cody, who found a safe place for us to remain until he could outfit us for the trip across the country to Dodge City.” [16] The finale of the Billy Thompson episode was reported in the Dodge City Times which noted that “W.B. Masterson arrived from a visit to Ogallala, this week. He says Nebraska is dry and many people are leaving the state. He came by wagon, and was accompanied by ‘Texas Billy’ Thompson. The latter has recovered from his wounds.” [17]

        16) Masterson, W.B. “Bat.” “Colonel Cody – Hunter, Scout, Indian Fighter.” Human Life Vol. 6, No.6, March 1908.
        17) Dodge City Times, July 17, 1880.

        All of these folks also appear in a book, “Bat Masterson: The Man and the Legend” by Robert K. DeArment (The University of Oklahoma Press, reprint 1889)

        Another slightly different account but same event from the Courier newspaper from Houston called “Buffalo Bill goes target shooting with Ben Thompson”: http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/courier/opinion/buffalo-bill-goes-target-shooting-with-ben-thompson/article_31f70c50-88a4-57bd-9c3e-e8c61e46fa3c.html

    • Hi Teresa! When you get a chance to read my Gambling Hearts series, I’d love to hear what you thought of the stories. Thanks for dropping by my guest blog and commenting!

  16. This is a new series for me. Both excerpts were so interesting. And fun to get some info about Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley. I always thought he was outgoing but was surprised to read that she was so quiet – and frugal!

    • Wonderful to hear you liked my book blurbs, Sally! I have excerpts (usually a first scene or two) from all my books on my website at: http://www.jacquinelson.com/Excerpts.html I was also surprised to hear Annie Oakley was so quiet and frugal. But her frugal nature made sense after I remembered her challenging upbringing: her father died in a snowstorm trying to bring supplies to his family & Annie first took to sharpshooting to earn a living by supplying a local grocer with game. Those tough times were probably never far from her thoughts. Backstory and motivation are…well, maybe they’re the cake under the icing 😉

  17. Both of these novels sound like fast paced, suspenseful, romantic historical westerns with colorful and memorable primary and secondary characters. I’m looking forward to reading both.

    • I love your description, Edwina! I’d love to hear which characters you enjoyed most after you’ve had time to read my stories. It’s always uplifting to get an email (or a message on Facebook / Twitter) from a happy reader. Thanks for visiting my guest post and leaving your comment!

  18. Your books sound great and the covers are inticing! Wonder if the Colonel and Little Missie would approve?

    • Thanks, Melody! And great question! I think the Colonel and Little Missie, being savvy show people, might very well approve. The most successful Wild West shows posted lots of advance posters in every location featuring an upcoming show. They knew how to promote and probably cross-promote as well. If you’re on Pinterest, I had too much fun adding all sort of things (including those long-ago show posters) to a special Pinterest board dedicated to this new book: http://www.pinterest.com/JacquiAuthor/between-home-heartbreak-a-novel/

  19. Wild west trick-riding superstar?!?! THIS SOUNDS PHENOMENAL, Jacqui! What an amazing premise. So excited for this new series!!! You continue to dazzle, m’lady. <3

    • Thank you, Darcy! When I came up with the idea, it was one of those where I said, “Why didn’t I think of this sooner?!” So glad you could make it to my guest blog. It always brightens my day to be near your wonderful spirit <3

  20. Sending a big thank to everyone who’s already visited my guest blog and also for those who left comments!

    I had such a wonderful time that I was inspired to make the Kindle e-copy of Between Love & Lies (Gambling Hearts, book 1) FREE FOR THE WEEKEND, Aug 13-14. Here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B014BNUCKO

    Hope you’ll continue to comment here until Petticoats & Pistols closes my contest for a chance to win my e-book giveaway mentioned at the end of my blog. For the person who wins the e-copy of book 1 – if you already have book 1, I’ll make sure you receive one of my other e-books.

    Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

  21. Thanks for the link. I look forward to reading BETWEEN LOVE AND LIES.

    Thank you for an interesting post. The contrast in personalities between Cody and Oakley is interesting. I was not aware Larry McMurtry had written a non-fiction book about them. I will have to check it out. I am sure there is more interesting information about them.

    The GAMBLING HEARTS Series sounds like it will be a good one. A woman’s life and existence was so tenuous in that time and place. No matter how hard they worked and how capable they were, they were still at the mercy of the men around them. Finding that one special man to be her partner and protector made all the difference in the world. Their path to finding him is what makes for an enjoyable story. Thanks for giving us some to enjoy.

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Patricia! Happy to hear you enjoyed my guest post. You are so right about women’s lives being tenuous back then. If you didn’t have even the basic right to vote, your control over your prospects and your community’s future would have been very limited. Finding a partner would be a blessing. So would good friends. I think that’s why I like to write romances and also stories about friendships.

  22. Thank you all for visiting with me and thank you Petticoats and Pistols for letting me be your guest! I’ve emailed the winners of my giveaway. If you haven’t already and you have a Kindle e-reader, you can still download BETWEEN LOVE & LIES (Gambling Hearts, book 1) for free today (Aug 14). Here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B014BNUCKO Wishing you all the best!

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