"Smart and sassy Deputy Honey Beaulieu straps on her
“Peacemakers” and takes the reader on a hilarious
ride through the Old West."
“Peacemakers” and takes the reader on a hilarious
ride through the Old West."
—Chanticleer Book Reviews
Gritty! Funny! It's Honey Beaulieu, the heroine you always wanted to be!
Honey Beaulieu grew up in her mama's whorehouse, the Tasty Chicken, which serves up the finest food, whiskey, and women in Wyoming Territory, but Honey takes after her crack shot Pa--and she doesn't back down from anyone or any thing.
Determined not to make her living on her back, Honey does her best to keep the peace in Fry Pan Gulch, but a deputy’s salary won't buy her a home. Once she's adopted by a donkey and then a pickle-eating mule, she sets out to collect a bounty on one of the town's annoyances.
She's got brass
The owlhoot leads her on a dangerous chase. Can Honey persevere despite a wise-cracking ghost who manages to disappear when she needs him, and a handsome U.S. deputy marshal who doesn’t seem at all put off that she’s so scrawny?
Q&A with Honey Beaulieu
How did you manage to star in your own series?
Honey Beaulieu: That’s a long story that spans eighteen years. I put the idea of this series in my scribe’s head in 1998, but she wouldn’t write it. Said it wasn’t marketable because my story didn’t fit in any genre, and she couldn’t sell it. So she stuffed me in a folder. Turns out that was just as well because she kept calling me Pansy, and I’ll be danged if I’ll go by that sorry name.
The first time she let me out of that folder was in Much Ado About Marshals (Hearts of Owyhee #2) when the heroine, Daisy Gardner, was a fan of the dime novels that was written about me. No mind you, most of what that reporter wrote was hooey, but the readers seemed to like it. Later, Mercy Eaton in Mercy: Bride of Idaho enjoyed my series.
Finally, the time came when writers could write whatever they durn well pleased, and it was then that my scribe said I could tell my story. So I did. Only it’s not hooey—I’m making her tell it how it really happened.
How did you get so good with a Peacemaker?
Honey Beaulieu: My pa is the best there is. Could be a few that’s faster, but ain’t none more accurate. He’s been a bounty hunter for as long as I’ve been on this earth, as far as I know. When he visited Fry Pan Gulch, where I grew up, he’d take me out in the countryside and give me shooting lessons. I practiced whenever I could, and every time he came back, I was a little better. Now Pa says I’m as good as he is, but that ain’t so—at least, not in my mind.
You grew up in Fry Pan Gulch but your father was gone most of the time? Tell me about your mother.
Honey Beaulieu: Mama owns the Tasty Chicken Emporium, which serves the finest poker, whiskey, and women west of the Mississippi. Likely east of it, too. Actually, I ain’t never seen the Mississippi but I’d like to someday. Anyhow, Mama and Pa ain’t married, although Mama would like to be. She don’t take customers anymore—just serves as hostess.
There couldn’t be a better mama. She likes to do my hair up fancy and she’s always fawning over me. Sometimes I get annoyed with her but mostly I’m proud of how she built the most successful business in Fry Pan Gulch.
What was it like growing up in the Tasty Chicken Emporium?
Honey Beaulieu: Mostly good. The working gals always treated me special and one thing about a whorehouse—they have the best bathtub in town. I do love my long, soaky baths, especially when Mama sprinkles lavender or rose in it. The food is good, too. Mama always hired the best cooks for the restaurant and besides, she said she could charge more if the gals had a little meat on their bones. All the good food just made me grow taller like my Pa, though, and my begonias never got all that big. I’m tall and skinny.
But some things weren’t so good. The townsfolk never gave me the time of day, for I was a whore’s daughter. School work came easy for me but I never had any friends on account of the other kids was told not to associate with me. Their loss.
How did you get in the man hunting business?
Honey Beaulieu: While one of my sisters did go into the family business and owns a fancy bordello in Silver City, Idaho Territory, my other sister is a suffragist and temperance worker, and I’m a bounty hunter. I was too scrawny to be a whore, so Mama got me a job in the marshal’s office. Turns out that I could make five hundred dollars on a single bounty, which beats a deputy’s salary of seven bucks a week all to heck. So I quit and went on my own.
How about a taste of your first book, Hot Work in Fry Pan Gulch (Honey Beaulieu – Man Hunter #1)?
Honey Beaulieu: We can do that. The first story is how it came to be that I ended up a bounty hunter. Here’s what my scribe wrote:
Hot Work in Fry Pan Gulch
(Honey Beaulieu – Man Hunter #1)
by Jacquie Rogers
“Honey’s too scrawny to whore—and damned smart, too—so you need to hire her to rid yourself of that there paperwork you curse to the devil.”
That was my mama, owner of the Tasty Chicken Emporium. She served as business manager, madam, and in days past, working girl.
Mama crossed her arms and glared at Marshal Fripp as she tapped her toe. I was nervous as all git-out. Couldn’t decide if I wanted him to say yes, or no. The money sounded good, especially if I didn’t have to earn it on my back, but I hadn’t ever lived on that side of the fence.
“I dunno.” The marshal leaned back in his chair and propped his boots on the desk, strewn with all manner of papers—some printed, some with scribbles, and more than a few wadded up.
“Honey does know. She’d have this mess cleaned up inside of an hour. Besides, if you don’t hire her, I’m limiting you to only one free visit a week.”
He surely enjoyed his three free pokes a week. Sometimes he even paid for extras. One thing about tending bar at the Tasty Chicken—I knew the particulars of what every man in this lousy town liked to do with women. Two or three times, when the train brought more visitors than normal and Mama was shorthanded, or short-pussied to be more on the mark, I helped out. But I’d only do it regular. None of that peculiar stuff for me.
So that’s how I ended up working for Marshal Fripp.
You could say I’m a mite scrawny. That comes from my papa’s side. He’s tall and rangy, and handsome, too. I expect that’s why he was Mama’s one and only once they’d two-stepped. They never married, though. Papa’s a pistoleer, and he said that was no life for a family. Well, I got news for him—a whorehouse ain’t no picnic, either.
It’s been a month since Mama hauled me into the marshal’s office. Took me three weeks to scrub the whiskey, coffee, and other unidentified dried liquid that I didn’t want to know what was off the floor and his desk.
Some of the papers stuck. He didn’t have no idea what half the papers was for. I found a coffee cup that he’d been missing for six months and a set of false teeth that he didn’t know was there. Said they ain’t his, so I screwed them on the privy door for a handle.
Finally, I picked out the wanted posters, leastways the ones that hadn’t stuck to the wood, and threw the ripped and wadded papers in the burn barrel.
Then I got out the mop bucket and a good stiff brush. The place smelled a whole lot better once I got the floor and walls scrubbed with lye soap. Marshal Fripp didn’t seem to notice one way or the other. Since he made himself scarce the biggest share of the time, I purtied up the office the way I wanted it, although he wouldn’t tolerate posies on his desk. That was an easy fix—I went and bought my own danged desk.
The more I did around the office, the less often he was there. Said he had rounds. Lots of those rounds involved a working girl’s begonias at the Tasty Chicken. It made no nevermind to me, though, on account of it was a lot more peaceable when he was elsewhere.
Until the mayor came in with the tax papers.
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Meet the Author
Jacquie Rogers has been a software designer, campaign manager, deli clerk, and cow milker, but she was always a bookworm. She writes western romance with a dose of humor, and grew up riding in the hills of Owyhee County, Idaho, where many of her novels are set, including her award-winning Hearts of Owyhee series. Currently, Jacquie lives in Seattle with her IT Guy and contrary cat. For the latest news and fun tidbits, subscribe to the Pickle Barrel Gazette: http://eepurl.com/qhA_1