Category: Dance

And Then He Kissed Me — A Look Back at an Astounding Era — E-book Giveaway

Howdy!

I grew up in the 50’s — Okay, I’m giving away my age, but then, probably most of you know I’m a Grandmother — that gives away my age, as well.

Oh, how I loved that Motown sound of the 50’s and 60’s.  Do you remember it?   The Crystals, The Ronettes, Little Anthony?

If you’re too young to remember, come experience the magic of the 50’s music (for us young’ins).  I’m going to leave some links:

The Ronettes, Be My Baby — One of my favorites:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrVbawRPO7I

How many of you remember the dance names that they are doing in this link?  Can you believe that I do remember?  The main one, I believe, is the Bird, and in the middle they switch briefly to the Jerk.  Oh, how I loved those dances.  Did you?

And for all us romance lovers:  The Crystals, And Then He Kissed Me — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUaUIwuU8so

I still know all the words to this song.  Do you?

Me and hubby and a smooch — off to the right here.

Not to be outdone:  Anthony and the Imperials, Hurts So Bad — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSF2oLgyV5M

Oh, how I love this song.

Do you remember The Duke of Earl — another song I sing to my Grandchildren:  Gene Chandler and The Duke of Earl:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQnfooEED8Y

Okay, and how many of you remember the dance those girls are doing in the background?  Would that be the Twine?  I think it is.  Did you do this dance?

And how about Rockabilly — that’s rock and country all in one.  Do you remember the Everly Brothers?  Oh, my gosh, how I loved all their songs:

Here’s one of my favorites — beautiful, romantic, magical — Let It Be Me — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2ImS9RBszE — oh, my goodness, I melt when I listen to this

And how about one of their humorous songs:  Bird Dog — just recently I was singing this song to my grandchildren, who laughed and laughed and laughed and couldn’t believe it was an actual song.  So of course I had to find it online and play it for them:  Love this:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=US49tQbYsg0 — When men’s hairstyles defied gravity…

Of course, we can’t leave out The Beatles:  Here’s one of my favorites:  The Things We Said Today — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_-NHOPt3Mc

You might argue, that the Beatles are the 60’s — but oh, well, I can’t leave them out — they are probably the most inspirational band of all time.

Here are some of my other favorite Beatles songs:  Love in the Open Air, by James Paul McCartney — A very under rated song that I believe might be the most beautiful song written in the last Century.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ir-Pl4szYOs

And of course, the most beautiful song, in my opinion, from the Album, Revolver:  Here, There, and Everywhere:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdcSFVXd3MU&index=5&list=OLAK5uy_n9q-ezB2RZF1WS7PR3h3drrTgNCf-DRSk — This, in my opinion, is a runner up for first place in what might be the most beautiful song of the last Century.

What, you might ask, does this have to do with Native American Romance?  Well, perhaps a great deal, in several different ways.  One is always searching for inspiring music to write by — I think we, as authors, often write to music.  And for a lively scene, nothing beats the 50’s and 60’s music in my opinion.  But there is also this little bit of fact:  Did you know that the Native American Men who toured Europe  mirrored the Romantic Inspiration and female response as that of many rock stars?

And why not?  Many of those men were extraordinarily handsome.  All these photos here are of a couple of the men who were with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. 

Well, that’s all for today.  Come on in and leave a comment and let me know what you think.

As always, many of us writers are a bit busy and so we depend on your coming to the blog on Wednesday or Thursday to check to see if you are the winner of the Give-away.

And most of all, thank you for coming to the blog today.  And then he kissed me.

 

 

Updated: September 2, 2018 — 8:57 am

The Water Dance of the Scout

bannerHowdy!

And welcome to another wonderful Tuesday, and another give-away.  Because THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF is recently out in Tradepaper, I had originally wanted to do another give-away of that book (a $15.00 value).  However, I am away from home at present, which would make giving that book away rather difficult, and so I thought we could have a give-away of an e-book of mine instead…your choice.  So come on in and leave a message — that’s all you have to do to be entered into the drawing.  Void where prohibited.

Also, let me say again, that I rely on you coming here tomorrow — usually in the evening — to see if you have won.  I might have mentioned in my last blog that my schedule is rather intense, and although I’d like to chase up the winner, I usually don’t have a moment to myself to do that.  So please, do check back tomorrow.

apachescout4Because in my latest book, THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF, the hero is a scout, I have been wanting to post a little bit about scouting.  In my last post, we went into a little detail on how it is that a scout could tell many different characteristics of a person — even to his emotions — from the prints left on the ground.  In my last post I also promised to tell you a little about “the water dance of the scout.”

We all know that if one drops a rock into the water — or any object — it makes concentric circles in the water.  Any movement, it would seem, would cause water to move and to announce the presence of man or animal in the water.  So, how did the scout of old manage to move in the water without being seen, without making those telltale concentric circles, and so stalk his prey, or obtain information on the enemy that could help his tribe?

I’m going to rely heavily upon the book by Tom Brown, Jr., THE WAY OF THE SCOUT to tell you a little bit more about this.  As I said in my last post, Mr. Brown was taken under the wing of an old Apache, whom Mr. Brown and his friend, Rick, called Grandfather.  Grandfather had been trained as a young man into the old ways of the scout, and Grandfather wished to pass along some his knowledge so that it didn’t pass out of existence.

cheyennescoutI’m going to quote from the book now.  Grandfather is speaking:

“You must first understand that it (water) is the blood of our earth Mother, the same blood that courses through your veins.  Once entering the water you must blend your mind with that of the water, thus becoming part of the water and ultimately becoming invisible while wrapped in its mind…  …You must learn to move with the water, for to disobey its laws and move against its power is to perish.”  THE WAY OF THE SCOUT by Tom Brown, Jr.

And so started the lesson, which is at first a little humorous to read.  As Mr. Brown and his friend, Rick, were learning to become part of the water, they were having a tough time of it — trying to keep clear of brushes and fallen logs in the water.  However, he goes on with the lesson and says in his book, “After nearly two full hours of being impaled, battered, and tangled in sharp brush, Rick and I gave in to the stream’s energy and began to move freely, silently, and quickly.”  He goes on to say, “The stream and Grandfather had somehow taught us a great lesson without uttering a word…”  THE WAY OF THE SCOUT by Tom Brown, Jr.

siouxscoutHowever, they had been going downstream.  Now they had to somehow go upstream.  Says Mr. Brown that he and his friend Rick were struggling even more now and really fighting the currents of the water.  He says that both he and Rick were being beat up by the struggle to fight upstream.  Imagine then, these two boys, who upon emerging from the water being beat and tired, with no energy left, then found Grandfather waiting for them — for he had gotten far ahead of them in the water.  Says Mr. Brown, “He had that smile on his face, unruffled and relaxed, depicting an air of not having struggled at all.  Rick and I, on the other hand, were cold, exhausted, bruised, and cut…”

Grandfather then told the boys that they had chosen to fight the water, instead of moving with it.  But how can one move with the water upstream?  Grandfather answered their questions by signaling them to follow him back into the water.  And here’s what Mr. Brown writes:

“We began to follow Grandfather closely.  His motions were like those of a well-choreographed water dance, a flowing ballet, where he moved effortlessly.  He weaved back and forth, riding whirlpools, slipping through backwaters on the inside parts of bends in the stream, and dancing across submerged logs without a struggle.  He used the power of the waters to move him.”  THE WAY OF THE SCOUT by Tom Brown, Jr.

Isn’t that a beautiful description?0[5]  There is more, of course, as Mr. Brown and his friend, Rick, learn how to move in the water by watching herons and egrets who were in the shallows.  They learn how to raise up out of the water without leaving any of the telltale concentric circles, and they learn to stalk the more aware animals — a fox for example — from the water.  Mr. Brown says that he and his friend, Rick, went on to stalk all kinds of animals from the water, and he says, “We laughed at the antics of our local wildlife population around the waters of camp.  They had become a bit neurotic when approaching the water, but nonetheless seemed happy to join in the game.”

This is an incredible book and an even more incredible journey that Mr. Brown takes you on in this book.  It’s an older book, copyrighted in 1995.  But in the book, Mr. Brown makes mention of a school, a Wilderness Survival School.  If you’re interested, you might pick up the book and see if the school still exists.

SpiritoftheWolf-The-R -- first draftI hope you’ve enjoyed the blog today and I hope you’ll leave a message.  Please visit my page on the Samhain website at:  http://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5090/the-spirit-of-the-wolf and read more about the book.

Pick up your copy today!

 

Updated: August 10, 2015 — 9:13 pm

Cowboy Christmas Music

Photo Credit: kirky29 via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: kirky29 via Compfight cc

‘Tis the season for crazy schedules, harried shopping, and frenzied decorating, baking, and wrapping. Whew! I’m exhausted and it’s only December 10. Today, I’ll be squeezing into the junior high gymnasium bleachers along with hundreds of other proud parents to listen to the Wylie Junior High bands perform their Christmas concert. My youngest son will be on the trumpet playing catchy tunes like the Santa of Seville and African Bell Carol.  All three of my kids are involved in band. No big surprise since my husband and I were both band nerds growing up.

Music is a big part of Christmas. I’ve switched out all the CDs in our van so that we have plenty of Christmas music to listen to as we drive around town. However, before things get too crazy, I thought it might be a good idea to remind ourselves of days when things moved at a slower pace. When a cowboy might sing his lonely Christmas songs to his horse out on the range or gussy himself up and take his best gal to a barn dance.

I found these two videos online and thought they’d be fun to share. Not your typical country music superstar’s renditions, but songs that harken farther back in time. Enjoy!

  • What are your favorite Christmas songs?
  • Any child or grandchild Christmas concerts on your holiday schedule?

SHORT AND SWEET and a GIVEAWAY!

Charlene Newsletter Banner2

 

Hi Everyone!   I’m celebrating a milestone anniversary all week long.  I always say you have to live life in order to write about it. After all, most of what we write about comes from actual people we’ve known, places we’ve been, emotions we’ve experienced and love we’ve given and received.

So help me celebrate 40 years of love!  Yes, that’s right four decades married to a wonderful man whom I love dearly and who loves me back just as much.  I think that’s why I became a romance writer. For me, these stories are just an extension of my love for my own personal hero!

 Answer these fun questions:

Charlene and Don

Charlene and Don

1. Where was the above picture taken?

A.  At a wedding

B. At Charlene’s Class Reunion

C. At a Romance Writers Awards dinner

2.  Charlene and Don have:

A. One child

B. Two children

C. Three Children

3.  Charlene’s First Western novel was called:

A.  Bodine’s Bounty

B. Taming the Texan

C. Lily Gets Her Man

4  Charlene’s wedding reception was at:

A. The Secret Garden

B. Nob Hill

C. The Odyssey

5.  Charlene and Don’s favorite vacation spot is:

A. Palm Springs

B. Bass Lake

C. Lake Tahoe

D. All of the above.

Here’s a sneak peek at my next Desire.  I will give away 2 advance print copies of REDEEMING THE CEO COWBOY.  This is a July/ August release, so you’ll have to be patient.  As soon as I get my author copies, (think June) I’ll send one to the winners, before they even hit the shelves.  If you are willing to write a fair and honest review, all the better!  Just play the game and have fun.  I’ll be out celebrating, so I’ll pick my random winners on Sunday night…my real anniversary!

Ten years ago = ancient history…right? 

So what if former rodeo champion turned construction mogul Casey Thomas is back…living right next door? Susanna Hart is busy running her Sweet Susie’s pastry business and raising her two-year-old cousin. Why pay any attention to the man who took her virginity ten years ago, then left town? 

Casey still feels guilty for taking advantage of his little sister’s best friend. A helping hand is just what her business—and his conscience—need. But guilt isn’t his only motivation. Casey’s got a sweet tooth for Susie. And the more she resists, the sweeter it gets!

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Updated: May 15, 2014 — 12:53 am

Jan Sikes: Honky-Tonks and Flowers and Stone

 

When I was asked to be a guest blogger, I was thrilled. I have visited this sight often over the years since my sister, Linda Broday, is a founding Filly.

 

My next thought was,”What am I going to blog about that has to do with petticoats or pistols and in relation to my new book, Flowers and Stone?” It didn’t take long to come up with an answer.

 

My story is set in the rowdy honky-tonks of Texas in 1970; and back in that time, it was not uncommon for men to carry pistols (most often in their boot) and also very common to find ladies wearing a petticoat in the honky-tonk. After all, that was the best way to get a dancing partner for the night.

 

So, what I want to blog about is how that although time periods change, some practices do not. In the 1800’s music was the main source of entertainment. People worked hard and needed to have some way to relax and unwind (much like 1970). Alcohol was normally found to be a part of the event as well (much like 1970). There might be a fight or two break out (much like 1970) and two people might fall in love (much like 1970).

 

I’m sure you have heard stories about your parents or perhaps grandparents who met at a dance and wound up spending the rest of their lives together.

 

Then there were the saloons…now that’s where a big difference comes in. Women were shamed and ostracized in the 1800’s if they went inside a saloon, much less worked in one. In 1970, the honky-tonks thrived on the business women brought in because where there were women, men would follow and men drank, therefore spending money. All of the waitresses were women and in Texas, 1970, go-go dancing was a new rage.

 

In “Flowers and Stone” you will find young Darlina Flowers, a fledgling go-go dancer trying her wings out in the world, and a seasoned musician, Luke Stone, who finds himself inexplicably drawn to her. He has a strong urge to protect her from the rough honky-tonk world he’s lived in for a very long time.

 

As the story unfolds, they fall deeply in love and Darlina embraces the lifestyle, traveling with him and his band up and down the many roads of Texas playing their music. Luke decides to make her a part of his show bringing go-go girls to country music crowds. She is ecstatic to be included.  

 

I loved weaving some of Texas music’s history throughout the story and noted often how people came in great numbers to hear the band.

 

This is a true story based on my life with my husband, Rick Sikes. The band was Rick Sikes and The Rhythm Rebels, and they played in most of the honky-tonks, military bases, rodeos and even high school dances all over Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Louisiana and on out to California. They must have traveled at least a million miles over the many years they played. Here are some pictures of Rick and the band and of him dressed in his confederate uniform that he loved.

 

Music brings people together and it doesn’t matter if you are making it or listening to it. The energy of music draws people into the emotion of the song. Sometimes it is the person making the music who draws people in, but it always captures our attention and sometimes even a little part of our soul. There is nothing better than true “soul” music and that is simply music that touches us.

 

I’ve really enjoyed reading some of the recent blogs on this site that shared what particular song the writer listens to while writing, or the history of a song that we’ve heard all our lives.

 

It truly is the universal language and remains as important today as it was 200 years ago. Some things won’t ever change….

 

Please click HERE to watch my book video. Rick is singing the song we used.


Tell me your favorite Honky-Tonk story for a chance to win an autographed copy of FLOWERS AND STONE.

 

FLOWERS AND STONE is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, My Texas Books, and through www.JanSikes.com.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Jan began writing poetry at a young age, which coupled with her passion for music led to songwriting. She’s an accomplished singer and guitar player and she’s written a screenplay in addition to her first novel. You can visit her at www.JanSikes.com.

Giving a Cowboy the Boot!! by Charlene Sands

                                  

 

Little did I know that when writing Jackson Worth’s story that he’d have a weakness for a woman in boots.  Enter, Sammie Gold, just your normal run of the mill wholesome girl, who is a good friend of the Worth family.  Not only is our Sammie, Callie Worth’s best friend, she is a girl who is down on her luck and hoping to start a new life, with a brand new boot boutique. 

The boots Sammie wears turn Jackson’s head.  Whether stylish and sleek or sweet and innocent, to confirmed bachelor Jackson Worth, on Sammie they all look hot!  And that’s where the trouble begins!  Remember the coined phrase…what happens in Vegas? 

Well, what happened in Vegas didn’t stay there. It followed Sammie and Jackson to Arizona. 

In honor of boots all over the world, here’s a bit of boot trivia:

The Brooks and Dunn song ‘Boot Scootin’ Boogie’ on their 1994 album, ‘Brand New Man,’ resurrected the popularity of country music’s nearly defunct line dancing.  The hit spurred the country duo to fame and other than Simon and Garfunkel, they’d come to sell more albums than any other recording duo in history.

 

 

The popular “ugg” boots made of sheepskin were first became popular in Australia and New Zealand by local surfers who used the furry shoes to keep their feet warm after they exited the surf.  It is rumored that the manufacturer named the boots so because his wife said the first pair he made were ugly, thus “uggs”.

 

Go Go Boots were named from the French word “a gogo” which means “abundance or galore”.  In the 1960’s go go boots and mini-skirts changed everyday fashion.  Nancy Sinatra wore knee-high boots and sang these famous lyrics:

These boots are made for walking, and that’s just what they’ll do
One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you.

 

Boots were originally designed to keep the feet protected and warm, but boots have come back in a big way not just for function but for style.  Cowboy boots, field boots, military boots, riding boots,work boots, Victorian ladies boots, rain boots – whether midcalf, knee-high or thigh-high, boots today are designed to make a statement.  Boots have attitude! 

 

Unfortunately, my own two feet don’t do boots well, but I was able to live out my boot fantasy at Sammie’s Boot Barrage in Worth The Risk.  And I had fun researching and designing my own pair of Marianna boots in the story.  Tell me what you think? Would you wear outlandish boots? What’s your favorite type of boot?  Are you a style or function type of boot wearer?  

Please also, take a moment to check out my Worth The Risk..Risky Release Party and you can win $25 Gift cards and an ereader! 

*** I was thrilled that an excerpt to my story was added to Diana Palmer’s, Betrayed by Love. 

Adding just a cooool note:  Today is 10-11-12.  

And tomorrow, look for our new Petticoats and Pistols Contest!!

 

 

Updated: October 9, 2012 — 9:45 pm

Do Real Cowboys Line Dance?

 

Cowboy: “Can I have the last dance with you?”

Cowgirl: “You are having it!”

 

Dance has always been a way for people to relax and express themselves and that was as true for the nineteenth century cowboy as it is today. After spending hours in the saddle, cowboys weren’t exactly known for grace. Nor did they worry about traditional dance forms.   One observer commented in 1873, that “some punchers danced like a bear ’round a beehive that was afraid of getting stung.”

 

 Timing has an awful lot to do with the outcome

of a rain dance

 

Balls, Fandangos and German hops were held at ranches, barns, saloons and even under the stars.  Announcements were made in local newspapers or simply word of mouth.  Impromptu dances were common.  A few cowboys would start dancing in the middle of town and everyone would soon join in. Sawdust or corn flour was often scattered across the dance floor to allow boots to slide with the greatest of ease.

 

 When one partner pulls and the other bucks, you ain’t gittin’

no where fast!

 

If women weren’t available “stag” dances were held.  The “heifer-branded” men wore a kerchief tied to one arm and knew not to take the lead.  Even the roughest, toughest cowboys were expected to mind their manners on the dance floor. Men were referred to as “gentlemen” and women as “ladies.”  

 

Some cowboys march to a different drummer

and some polka 

 

The Polka became all the rage during the nineteenth century and phrases such as polka dots, polka socks and polka hats began creeping into the language.

 

Cowboys took to polka like birds to the air, adding a distinct western flair.  A cowboy’s spurs forced him to shuffle with his feet apart. Women were often held in a “vise” grip better suited to wrestling steer (actually, this describes the way my husband dances). 

 

Dancing is like a shower: one wrong turn and

you’re in hot water!

 

Immigrants brought their native dances to the west. Marching to a different drummer is one thing, but dancing to one can lead to chaos. The foreign dances with their intricate steps soon turned the dance floor into mass confusion.  No one really knows who first came up with the idea of picking up a megaphone and calling out steps to keep everyone on track, but this was the beginning of the “figure caller.”  After awhile, these callers began to create their own dances and square dancing was born.  (Did you know that square dancing is always called in English, even in foreign countries?)

 

If it’s got hair, I can ride it. If it’s got a beat, I can dance to it. (The Cowboy Way)
 

The two-step dance (sometimes called the Texas two-step) originated in 1889 when John Phillip Sousa composed the Washington Post March.  The nineteenth century two step was derived from the polka.  It actually has three steps, not two, but who’s counting?

 

One thing is certain, no cowboy ever worried about having two left feet.

 

Do real cowboys line dance?  Some say no and some say yes. What do you say?

Any hoofers out there?

 

Is there a dance scene in Dawn Comes Early?  You betcha!

Petticoats & Pistols © 2015