Today, Feathered Quill reviewer Barbara Hamburger Scott is talking with Jo Ann Bender, author of Casanova Cowboy: Where the Old West Lives on in the Rusty Springs Valley.
FQ: If you live in Montana, how much comes from the nearby region.
BENDER: I have lived and worked in Montana. Now, I make my home in Eastern Washington in a very remote area near the Canadian border.
FQ: Do you have a sequel in mind?
BENDER: Yes, the third in the Wild West series is Ladies of the Ti-Pi. There are five chapters already written. It takes place right where the Casanova Cowboy leaves the valley to go find Alexis in California. He’ll return for his saddle he left high up in the Oliver Barn in the next book. Readers will meet Leigh from the first book, Rusty Springs. She came from Florida, rented the Sheriff’s cabin and returned to live in the area, but in the town of Rusty Springs, not out in the country. She raises and trains search and rescue dogs now and will be needed to find a person who is missing from the Stitch N’Bitchers. The underlying theme: best use of time.
FQ: Why did you make Lance such a lover?
BENDER: The cowboy leads the same style of life as the original Casanova of the l7th century. Both are creative individuals who have many unique qualities and skills, lead adventurous lives and are remembered for their daring feats.
FQ: Do you have knowledge of Viet Nam Vets and PTSD?
BENDER: In my career with two American Red Cross Chapters (Iowa and Montana), there were many situations in which, as pr director, I had a need to know.
FQ: Why did you decide to make Alexis unresponsive to sex? Why did you decide to make Lance such a lover, and yet, almost envision him as a monk?
BENDER: The first on a list of a man’s need is for sex. Next is his need for a woman who shares his recreational passions (football, hiking, other sports, shooting, traveling, etc) and in this case it was a woman unlike any he’s ever known. She has things to teach him and he is eager to learn.
Lance has the ability to make any woman (or man, too) find him irresistible. His eyes focus upon the person like a warm shot of Jack Daniels. He is a hero to many throughout a lifetime, perhaps because he was the only child of a single mom who he felt he had to help in so many ways. He learned about taking care of himself, and others, until his mother had to reluctantly part with him at the early age of 12 and send him off to work at a ranch in Texas. She was dying and wanted to save him the heartache and not to feel so helpless watching her deterioration.
Woman chased him no matter that he usually found himself working at remote ranches. But his for love for dancing brought him into contact with so many females. In this story, when he sees Alexis, in a place in the forest. wise, tiny, standing in the circle of people who want her wisdom and counseling, the sunlight aglow behind her, cupid and his arrow is ready to strike his heart.
Alexis, though she never says so, needs him, whereas others never do in the same way. He must be with her to protect her as she is dying. Other women, such as Stormy, pursue him. His feelings for Alexis are righteous, strong, steady and gentle. His men friends try to steer him away from Alexis, but, cupid’s arrow has done its job, has penetrated and gone deep.
My novel looks at the powers of seduction, from the unlikely standpoint that this time they are those of a male. Even the novel’s title, Casanova Cowboy, is flirtatious.
But, so is the prequel: Rusty Springs, a fact that was brought to my attention by a man. “Really?” I asked. “I guess it could be thought of as sexy.”
Many men want to let me know they’ve read one of my books. Even my memoir, Snowbirds, non-fiction about an RV trip with problems, has been touted by several guys as my best prose.
Meanwhile, the first two books are now audio books, and so Lebensborn.