Category: Oldies, But Goodies

Movie Quotes: You Can’t Say it Better Than That!

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I love good dialogue, especially when it delivers the unexpected or makes me laugh. Dialogue sparkles when it reveals insight into the character, adds conflict, or moves the plot forward. I also like dialogue that adds sexual tension—hee haw!  Here are a few of my favorite western movie quotes.

The Ououtlawtlaw Josey Wales

Josey Wales: When I get to liking someone, they ain’t around long.
Lone Watie: I notice when you get to disliking someone they ain’t around for long neither.

 

Once Upon a Time in the West

Wobbles: You can trust me, Frank.
Frank: Trust ya? How can you trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders, a man who can’t even trust his own pants?

True Grit

Rooster Cogburn: Damn that Texan, when you need him he’s dead.

The Magnificent Seven

Chico: Ah, that was the greatest shot I’ve ever seen.
Britt: The worst! I was aiming at the horse.

 Tombstone

 Wyatt Earp: You gonna do something or just stand there and bleed?

 Unforgiven

The kid:  Well, I guess they had it comin’.
Munny: We all got it comin’, kid.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

 Man with no name: See, in this world, there’s two kinds of people, my friend. Those with loaded guns, and those who dig. You dig.

 The Cowboys

Jebediah: Above all, forgive me for the men I’ve killed in anger…and those I am about to.cowboy

 Pale Rider

Preacher (played by Clint Eastwood): Well, if you’re waitin’ for a woman to make up her mind, you may have a long wait.

 Support Your Local Sheriff

Jake: You want me to tell Joe Danby that he’s under arrest for murder? What’re you gonna do after he kills me?
Jason: Then I’ll arrest him for both murders.

The Searchers

Martin: I hope you die!
Ethan: That’ll be the day.

Blazing Saddles

Lamarr: Taggart.
Taggart: Yes, sir.
Lamarr: I’ve decided to launch an attack that will reduce Rock Ridge to ashes.
Taggart: What do you want me to do, sir?
Lamarr: I want you to round up every vicious criminal and gunslinger in the West. Take this down: I want rustlers, cut-throats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperadoes, mugs, pugs, thugs, nit-wits, half-wits, dim-wits, vipers, snipers, con-men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bush-whackers, horn-swagglers, horse-thieves, bull-dykes, train-robbers, bank-robbers, ass-kickers, shit-kickers, and Methodists!
Taggart: Could you repeat that, sir?

GWTWWestern movies aren’t known for love or romance, so I offer one of my favorite romantic quotes from Gone with The Wind:

Rhett Butler (who else?) You should be kissed — and often — and by someone who knows how.

And finally, here’s one from my soon-to-be-released book Left at the Altar

Josie (when the groom fails to show up for the wedding) You don’t suppose something might have happened to Tommy, do you? An accident?
Meg (the bride) It better have!

Do you have a favorite book or movie quote to share?  If not, which of the movie quotes above did you like best?

LeftattheAltarfinalcoverWelcome to Two-Time Texas:

Where tempers burn hot

Love runs deep

And a single marriage can unite a feuding town

…or tear it apart for good.

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Updated: July 28, 2016 — 2:27 pm

Jane Porter: Life with the Alpha Hero

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We’re heading towards Valentine’s Day and I’m in the thick of writing my next, and final, Taming of the Sheenans story, set in Marietta, Montana and I love this series because it celebrates tough rugged men and equally strong women.

The series started with five brothers that grew up together on the Sheenan ranch in Paradise Valley and each of the brothers (including the lost brother, Shane, that shows up this April) is a true alpha hero.

American actors Robert Redford (left) and Paul Newman in a still from the film, 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,' directed by George Roy Hill, 1969. (Photo by 20th Century Fox/Archive Photos/Getty Images)

American actors Robert Redford (left) and Paul Newman in a still from the film, ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,’ directed by George Roy Hill, 1969. (Photo by 20th Century Fox/Archive Photos/Getty Images)

An alpha hero is my favorite hero to write, and read. He isn’t defined by money or success. He might be powerful and successful, but that’s not what sets him apart.

 

What makes him riveting reading is that he is almost always a masculine, primal male. He doesn’t need to be rich, but he must have the means to provide for his woman. And he can and will, because he is strong, mentally and physically.

But alpha males are not perfect. They make mistakes…maybe even more than other men…and that’s because they take risks and they aren’t quitters and they refuse to walk away from a fight where something important is at stake.

john-wayne-movie-poster-1971-1020222804These heroes may have painful pasts, too, and because they’ve had to overcome challenges and tragedies, they can be overly confident. Possibly arrogant.

But when they love, oh how they love. Once an alpha hero finds his match…his mate…he will never be content with another woman.

I adore reading and writing alpha heroes because they sizzle and are sensual in bed (whether they seduce the heroine before marriage or wait til after), but he’s complex, and he demands more from his woman. He doesn’t want a doormat. He wants an equal, and he’s going to demand a lot from his woman. Maybe even in bed.

UnknownA great alpha hero must know how to satisfy a woman. He must focus on her, and focus on her pleasure, ensuring she is going to have the most sensual, satisfying experience of her life. He’s a man that’s gifted in foreplay, and can, and will, put her needs before his.

Readers that enjoy love scenes, want to read love scenes where the hero does satisfy the heroine…but not just sexually, emotionally, too. A great love scene requires connection and time. In real life people are rushed and tired and there might just not be enough foreplay, but in a romance novel, the hero better make sure he has endless time and energy to please his woman.

4343437733_remembering_paul_newman_photos_02152009_43_820x1003_answer_3_xlargeAnd thank goodness this same hero doesn’t ignore his ranch responsibilities. We don’t read about him leaving his socks or boots all over the bedroom. His dirty Wranglers aren’t crumpled on the bathroom floor. His truck isn’t filled with junkfood wrappers. Even better, he always takes care of the livestock and the chores so that she doesn’t have to pick up his slack. No, the great alpha hero in our western romances is concerned about making life better for her. He isn’t there to make life harder, but easier.

images-1I love that.

I love that in a romance, we get a man who wants and needs his woman, but doesn’t want her trapped in the laundry room, or the kitchen.

Heaven.

Do you have a favorite type of hero? What makes him special? I’d love to hear what kind of man makes you swoon! (He can be real or fictional!)  Leave a comment for a chance to win a $15 gift card from Amazon!

TheTycoon'sKiss-SMALLWinner announced on the 10th!

PS: In case you’re interested in catching up with my Sheenan Brothers, Book 2, The Tycoon’s Kiss is on sale for .99 until Feb 8th so be sure to get your download soon!

 

Updated: February 3, 2016 — 12:02 am

Today, Yesterday and Tomorrow

Phyliss Miranda sig line for P&P BluebonnetAs lot of you know, I’ve been away from P&P for a few months due to a knee replacement. I’m certainly glad to be back and thank everyone for the wonderful cards and words of encouragement.

My stint away and the experience gave me time to think.  Basically, about the improvements in medicine amongst other things.

Not long ago, I had a conversation with my college grandson about what is the best oils to use for cooking. His argument was something on the line of which is better to buy olive oil or coconut. I told him he didn’t have to buy anything, because I had both in the pantry.  He was shocked and said he thought I probably still used shortening. That gave me food for thought. My grandmother was born in the late 1800’s and she used lard then later shortening.  I know one thing her fried foods couldn’t be beat.  Then I thought about the path from lard (pig fat, used since prehistoric times) to olive and coconut oils. I’m doing this by memory, so I’m probably showing my age, but from shortening, I remember going to plain ol’ vegetable oil, and later a zillion kinds of vegetable oils, corn, soybean, and sunflower.  Of course, we had to adjust our baking recipes accordingly.

Crisco ShorteningCrisco, arguably was the first popular national shortening.  It began being manufactured in the late 1800’s and it’sLard still on the grocery shelves today, as is lard.  There are some older recipes for cakes in particular that are just not the same without shortening.

This took me back in time to a lot of changes that have been made in the kitchen in particular that make our grandchildren think of their grandparents growing up kinda like we think of the pioneer families.

One thing we have in common, to a degree, was simply being able to come home from school, and yes I walked then took the public bus when I got in high school, getting our homework done and playing outside.  I remember how much I enjoyed smelling supper up and down the street.  Meatloaf and baked beans could really catch my attention.  We didn’t have storm doors but plain jane ol’ screens where the scents could escape.   During supper, there were no distractions like television, phone especially cellular ones, no iPads or game machines.  It might sound odd to many of the younger readers, but we didn’t have those distractions. We talked, unique as it may seem today. Of course we had phones but most everybody had a party-line.  You had to carefully pick up the phone and not make any noise in case there was a conversation going on.  I think the party-line was shared by four households.Telephone

After dinner, we washed the dishes and then we’d go to our rooms, shared by other siblings, and read and play our record player.  Our parents would sit out on the front porch with neighbors and talk.  Oh yes, and the reason we didn’t sit in front of a television was because we didn’t have one!  I vividly remember the day we got our first black and white TV and had only one channel!  Yep, one local channel.

Life was truly more simple.  Mother and Daddy didn’t have to worry about my driving because I wasn’t allowed to drive.  We only had one automobile (and you’re not gonna catch me on my age by my revealing the model or year of our brand new Chevy).  If we wrecked it, Daddy couldn’t have gotten to work.  Mama kept it once a week to do her grocery shopping.  I don’t know about you guys, but Monday was washing and Wednesday was grocery shopping, because that was the day for the “new deals” to come out which meant Mama got more grocery store trading stamps.

Hanging Clothes on the lineI can remember the smell of clothes hanging out on the clothes line, but didn’t necessarily like to hang them.  Nothing is better than sheets dried outside.  In the summer we always had a gallon of tea for sun tea on the porch.  Add one cup of sugar and water to the top and we had southern sweet tea paradise. I still make it to this day except I boil the water and steep the tea in a pitcher.

Another smell I’ll never forget is perked coffee. It’s just like the Mr. Coffee but there’s something special perk-o-lator pictureabout the water running over coffee once verses it being perked up and over the coffee grinds again and again until it’s just the right color.  There was no fixin’ one cup of coffee at a time, after you’ve gone through a couple of dozen flavors.

As writers of historical westerns, for those of us who are, I’d really be interested in the changes that we made from 1850 to 1950, and especially those from 1950 to today.  Many of the changes came about when women began working outside of the home, plus taking care of the children, cooking from scratch, grocery shopping, sewing clothes for both boys and girls, being Boy Scout and Girl Scout leaders, Sunday School teachers, homeroom mothers, plus being a loving mother and wife, and the hostess of the home.  And a home is what I grew up in … not a house.

What are some of your greatest memories from growing up … and no iPads, Xboxes, or cell phones, please?

 

The Troubled Texan GoodTo one lucky winner I will send you a gift certificate to purchase my latest book from Kensington The Troubled Texan and watch for my next Kasota Springs, Texas, contemporary Out of a Texas Night.

Updated: February 1, 2016 — 9:38 pm

A Cowgirl’s New Year’s Resolutions

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cowboy

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According to a recent survey 38% of us will go through the ritual of making New Year’s resolutions this year. Sad to say, only 8% of the resolutions will make it to January 2nd. As someone once said, even the best intentions go in one year and out the other. That’s probably because we insist upon making resolutions that involve giving up something (smoking) or getting rid of something (weight, debt).

 
I don’t know what resolutions they made in the Old West, but I’m willing to bet that giving up or getting rid of something was not on anyone’s priority list. It was more like getting something (land or gold). Early settlers probably didn’t do any better than us modern folks in keeping their resolutions, but you have to give them credit: some died trying.

 
I plan to take my best shot at keeping my New Year’s resolutions this year—but dying is where I draw the line.

A Cowgirl’s Resolutions for 2015

 

Lose the extra five pounds on my hips. From now on, pack only one gun instead of two.

Make an effort to see the good in everyone. Even barbed wire has its good points.

Stop treatin’ suspicion as abs’lute proof.

Be more generous. No more keepin’ opinions to myself.

Make exercise a priority—for my horse.

Practice my quick draw with my gun—not my VISA card.

Keep from taking sides during a shoot-out, especially shoot-outs involving family members.

Avoid stampedes by shopping online.

Limit time spent on the open range. That www dot brand sure can waste a lot of time.

Clean out closets. Nothing (or no one) should hang that doesn’t deserve to be hung.

And finally: Stop holding up shopping carts and forcing people to buy my book.

 

 www.margaret-brownley.com

 

I told you my resolutions, now tell me yours. Afraid you won’t keep them?

Not to worry. I promise not to tell if you don’t die trying.

 

 

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Updated: December 13, 2014 — 7:50 am

Sometimes Only a Cowboy Will Do

 quotescover-JPG-98 cowboy 2

If you’re like me, you love to watch historical shows and movies, but really crave anything with a western flair.  There have too little of them lately, too few and far between.  My latest fan crush is OUTLANDER (Scottish–not western but wonderful) and my biggest gripe is that there were only 7 made for Showtime and the next full season doesn’t start until April 2015!  That’s a long time for an avid fan!  

Here’s a list of IMDb’s (Internet Movie Database) Highest Rated Western Television Shows.  I think you’d be surprised with some of them.  

1.    Deadwood   2004

deadwood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.    The Adventures of Brisco County   1993

3.    Trigun  1998 Animated

4.    Have Gun Will Travel  1957

5.     Saber Rider and The Star Sheriffs  1987 Animated 

6.      Hell on Wheels   2011

7.      Zorro  1957

8.    The Rifleman   1958

9.    Maverick    1959

10.   The Wild Wild West  1965

11.   Rawhide   1959

12.   Longmire   2012

13.   Gunsmoke  1955

14.   The Big Valley   1965

15.   King Fu   1972

Hell on Wheels

 

 

 

 

I was surprised Bonanza wasn’t in the top 15.  It came in at  #17, while Little House of the Prairie was #19 and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, was 20th. Looks like westerns rocked the television screens in the 1950’s.   Now, occasionally a good western will come our way, but not often enough if you ask me.

Is your favorite on this list?  What are your top 5 westerns, movies or television series?  

I have a great two-in-one Desire to give away to one blogger today!  (Suddenly Expecting and The Texas Renegade Returns)

 

LOOK FOR MY NEW HARLEQUIN ONLINE READ coming in January to kick off my Moonlight Beach Bachelors series! TITLE TBA

HER FORBIDDEN COWBOY coming in February!

 

 

 

 

Updated: October 15, 2014 — 12:58 pm

Texisms

phyliss_miranda.jpgLast year my daughter and I went to New York City on business.  We stayed at a hotel right off Times Square and on our walk back to the hotel every evening we stopped to goggle some larrupin’ good delicacies at a bakery.  We resisted until the night before we left when we stopped.  After a minute or two of discussing which item we wanted and realizing the owner had been watching us stop each night, we placed our order.  The gentlemen, while wrapping up our goodies, simply asked, “You don’t have these in your country?”  I was surprised but I think he was more surprised that we live in Texas and Texas is in the USA.

As a disclaimer, I was born and raised in the Texas Panhandle and I’ve never kicked my Texisms nor have I tried.

The second incident that made me wonder about the Texisms that I think are normal but may not seem so to other people was a review of The Tycoon and the Texan.  Now keep in mind that this contemporary romance begins out in California with my hero and heroine working together, but the last third to half wraps up their relationship in the panhandle of Texas on the Johnson-LeDoux Ranch.  If you followed my western historical anthologies with Linda Broday, DeWanna Pace and Jodi Thomas, you’ll recognize the LeDoux Ranch at Kasota Spring, Texas.

The first book of my new series “Kasota Springs Romance Series” The Troubled Texan hasThe Troubled Texan Good lots of 4th and 5th generation Kasotans.

A couple of reviews on The Tycoon and the Texan were particularly harsh about my Texisms.  One wrote that she or he had never heard half of the words I used and doubt they were real words that people in Texas use today.  After I got out of my poor pity party, I realized that there are many areas of the US who don’t understand our Texisms and certainly don’t realize that we still use words and phrases that were used in the mid-1800’s.  But then let’s not forget that this part of Texas wasn’t settled until around 1875 … that’s less than a century and a half ago.  As a matter of fact, many of our ranches are owned by the original families.  The bank we do business with is still owned and operated by the same family who founded it in the 1800’s.

Well, all of this put together gave me cause for thought.  Maybe you all might like the definitions of some of the words and phrases we use … so here goes.

Y’all or you all is both singular, plural or plural possessive.

Y’all come back, you hear. We don’t want an answer, but are inviting them individually and collectively to come back.

Now, all you all is definitely plural. Adding the all is self-explanatory.

We put y’all’s packages under the Christmas tree.

bull riderMosey is an interesting word, depending on how it’s used.  It can mean to move quickly or slowly.  A two thousand pound Brahma bull moseys pretty dern slow, while a cowboy moseying toward a honky-tonk for a cold beer would mosey that direction pretty quick.

I’ve written this before, but in case you missed it and plan a trip to the south please remember that you can’t just order a coke … you need to explain whether you want a Coca-Cola, Pepsi, 7Up, Dr Pepper or Root Beer.  We typically don’t use soda or pop, but I’ve heard a coke called a soda-pop.

Fixin’ can be a noun, verb or adverb depending on how it’s used:  I’m fixin’ to be in a fix because I’m missing some of the fixin’s for dinner, so I’m fixin’ to head for the grocery store.

For your wordsmith’s out there, here’s a regional note from the dictionary which I found interesting:  “Fixing to” ranks with y’all as one of the best known markers of Southern dialects, although it seems to be making its way into the informal speech and writing of non-Southerners.  “Fixing to” means “to be on the verge of or in preparation for doing a given thing,” but like a modal auxiliary (can, may, must, ought, shall, should, will and would, that are characteristically used with other verbs to express mood or tense), it has only a single invariant form and is not fully inflected like other verbs.  Its form is always the present participle followed by the infinitive marker to: They are “fixing to” leave without us.  Semantically, “fixing to” can refer only to events that immediately follow the speaker’s point of reference. Hell fire and brimstone, bring on the matches we all thought it was everyday language in Texas and are sure glad it’s made it’s way into the dictionary!”

Aren’t we glad someone went to all the trouble to explain fixing, except they obviously aren’t from Texas ‘cause we drop that useless “g” at the end?

I’ll leave you with a couple of Texisms you must know if you mosey into Texas and plan on stayin’ a spell.

Only a true Texan knows the difference between a hissie fit and a conniption fit.

A true Texan can point out the general direction of catawampus.

A true Texan grew up knowing the difference between “pert near” and “a right far piece. If all you all will keep these little ditties in mind when you are in Texas, it’ll likely keep you

Mobeetie Strap-Iron Jailfrom spending your vacation in the hoosegow.  An example, if you ask to buy some coke from the wrong party, you’ll definitely end up in the pokey.

Do you have a regional phrase, word, or saying you’d like to share with all of us?

To one lucky winner, I will give you an eBook of either The Tycoon and the Texan or The Troubled Texan.

TheTycoonAndTheTexaneBook

Updated: April 9, 2014 — 8:13 pm

Debra Clopton Loves Western Movies!

Debra CloptonHi Everyone! Debra Clopton here and I’m thrilled to be back on Petticoats and Pistols. Like everyone else here, I love cowboys and write Texas cowboy heroes in all of my books.

How did that happen?  Well, I live in central Texas, cowboy capital basically, in between Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio. I’m surrounded by every kind of cowboy there is: Horse trainers, ropers, bull riders, calf wrestlers, and just plain hard-working cowboys, ranchers and cowboys at heart. Because of where I live, my research is fairly easy.  I watch, listen and ask the closest cowboy around if I don’t know about something.

But, since one of the things my readers love most about my books is the spunky interaction between my heroes and heroines, I fuel my imagination for those fun sparring matches through my love of cowboy movies. Oh yeah, give me a cocky, slow-drawling cowboy movie hero and I’m a happy girl. Fun western romances with strong cowboys who meet their match with strong-willed feisty heroines are the best. You know what I mean.  Hero and heroines involved in some good old-fashioned arguing fueled by undeniable attraction!

So let’s talk movies for a moment.

Here are a few of my favorite movies:

THE BALLAD OF JOSIE:  Doris Day plays a widow who has to fight the cattlemen when she decides to raise sheep in the middle of cattleDebra Clopton 2 Debra Clopton 1country! Now there’s conflict! What a fun movie this is and the sparks!!! I think I’m going to rent it this weekend because it’s been too long since I’ve watched it.

NORTH TO ALASKA! Oh, my.  Stewart Granger, goodness what a hunk. And of course John Wayne. Fast-paced quick word play and lots of those sparks between hero and heroine.

And then speaking of the Duke—my all-time favorite: McLINTOCK with Maureen O’Hara. Those two make me smile just thinking about them. A fairly silly movie, but just plain good fun. When I’m really getting into my hero and heroine having at it, these two and the chemistry between them always spurs me on.

I’ve talked about this one here on P&P before, but QUIGLEY DOWN UNDER has some of the best dialogue between Mathew Quigley and Crazy Cora that I’ve ever seen. There is so much about this movie that is wonderful. I loved it so much that for my novella A COWBOY FOR KATIE which will be included in the June 2015 anthology collection, FOUR WEDDINGS AND A KISS, I decided to create my own version of Crazy Cora! I had a blast creating Crazy Katie and her hero Treb Rayburn. Katie has her reasons, but she’s a pistol packin’, sure shootin’ little gal who’d just as soon shoot a cowboy for lookin’ at her wrong, especially if he happens to ask her to marry him…and there’s a bunch of them asking!

So, do you love cowboy movies with fireworks shootin’ off between the hero and heroine? I would love to hear your favorites.  Might be one I’ve missed and need to watch!

No PLace Like Home and Dream a Little dreamI’m pleased to say, that as of October 1st Love Inspired has just reissued in a 2-for-1 volume two of my earliest Mule Hollow books. They are peppered with some great tickle-your-funny-bone flavored sparks. NO PLACE LIKE HOME and DREAM A LITTLE DREAM, book 3 and 4 definitely have roots from my infatuation with old fun western romances. If you haven’t been to Mule Hollow yet, this is a great place to start!

Also, I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve just completed a brand new Mule Hollow romance that will be the lead book of a 5 story collection. It is set to release Feb 1 so I would love for you to drop by my website here http://www.debraclopton.com/contest and sign up for my newsletter and monthly contest. You’ll receive my news updates and sneak peeks at upcoming book releases and surprise giveaways. There is a lot of fun stuff coming from me in 2015—I’m so excited but there’s too much to share in one blog post.

Okay, it’s been fun but I’m done writing and ready to talk movies—shoot me your favorites please…oh, for instance don’t you just love Harry Connick Jr in HOPE FLOATS—goodness, he makes my heart sing. Oh, and from my childhood memories, Dean Martin as quick-witted, fast-talkin’ cowboy with a funny bone makes me smile…I could go on and on but it’s your turn now!

I’m giving away 2 copies of one of my really spark-filled Mule Hollow books, HIS COWGIRL BRIDE to two y’all who share a movie with me.  Debra Clopton 3

 

Buy your copy of Debra’s new release, NO PLACE LIKE HOME,, on Amazon!

An Epic Western Classic: Lonesome Dove

call and mcrae

Recently Lonesome Dove was on television in its entirely, and even though I’ve seen it a dozen times or more, I watched a lot of it. It’s available on Netflix – and I have a DVD. What is it about these characters and their plight that draws us back again and again? Three-dimensional, well-drawn characters, backstories of Texas Ranger heroes and lost loves, a yearning for times long past and future hopes suck us right in. I’m still as mad today as the first time that Captain Call wouldn’t acknowledge Newt as his son.

Lonesome Dove, written by Larry McMurtry, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning western novel and the first published book of the Lonesome Dove series. Can you imagine the daunting task that native Texan and screenwriter Bill Wittliff took on when he adapted Larry McMurtry’s novel to film? First, he needed to rein in the sprawling 843 page story while still retaining its majestic essence. Wittliff’s work was also made more difficult because, in the novel, McMurtry uses the narrator’s voice to reveal information about characters and to describe events. To provide the same information in the film, Wittliff needed to create dialogue and provide visual cues that did not exist in the novel.

See an original costume sketch below:

costume sketch

A Southwestern Writers Collection is housed at Texas State and many of the original documents he used while creating this western classic can be viewed online at:

http://www.library.txstate.edu/swwc/ld/ldexhibit.html

The web exhibit features storyboards, costumes, including Gus’s boots, and even Gus’s dead wrapped body.

The epic four-part six-hour mini-series focuses on the relationship of retired Texas Rangers and their adventures driving a cattle herd from Texas to Montana. McMurtry originally developed the tale in 1972 for a feature film entitled The Streets of Laredo (a title later used for the sequel), which was to have starred John Wayne, Henry Fonda, and James Stewart. That didn’t happen, but thank goodness, McMurtry later resurrected the screenplay as a full-length novel. It deservingly became a bestseller and won the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

The mini-series won six Emmy Awards and was nominated for 13 others.

Casting for this epic was pure genius. Who better to portray these multi-faceted aging Texas Rangers who to this day represent the epitome of courage, loyalty and everything we think of when we think “American West?”

Robert Duvall is Captain Augustus McCrae, co-owner of the Hat Creek Cattle Company, and considers himself the brains of the outfit. Generous, humorous, and lazy to the point of eccentricity, he serves as a foil to the more serious, practical Call. When not working, which he does as little as possible, Gus pursues his three chief interests in life: women, alcohol and cards. He is well known in the territory for his loud voice, superior eyesight and accuracy with a revolver.

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Tommy Lee Jones is Captain Woodrow F. Call, Gus’s partner in the company. Less verbose and chatty than McCrae, Call works long and hard and sees no reason why others should not do the same. A former Texas Ranger, he served with Gus when both were young men. Though Call has utter disdain for lazy men who drink, gamble and whore their lives away, he has his own secret shame, which he hides carefully from his comrade. Call’s ability to manage unmanageable horses is also well known.

Danny Glover plays a magnificent role as Joshua Deets, an ex-slave and former Ranger. When the story starts he’s a ranch hand at the company. On the drive, he serves as scout. A remarkable tracker and morally upright man, he is one of the few men whom Call respects and trusts.

Before he hit the NY streets as a cop, Rick Shroder played Newt Dobbs, young orphan raised by Gus and Call. His mother was a prostitute named Maggie Tilton, who died when he was a child. He knows his mother was a prostitute, and has no idea who his father might be. Most other observers, notably Gus and Clara Allen, are quite certain that Call is his father. Call eventually comes to this realization privately, but is never able to admit it explicitly.

 

After watching her on the hit series SMASH, I love seeing the beautiful Anjelica Houston as Clara Allen, a former love of Gus’s. She declined his marriage proposals years ago, and now lives in Nebraska, married to a horse trader who is comatose, having been kicked in the head by a horse. They have two girls, though she is afflicted deeply by the death of her sons. Though separated from Gus by many miles and years, she still holds him fondly in her heart. In contrast, she has utter contempt for Call. When Gus arrives at her ranch their reunion is bitter-sweet.

 

gus and clara

lorena

Diane Lane is the lovely young Lorena Wood, a kind-hearted young woman who was forced into prostitution by her lover, then abandoned in Lonesome Dove. Lorena is silent, strong willed, and intimidating, refusing to submit meekly to her various admirers. Discontent with her line of work, “Lorie” hopes to leave the dead town and find her way to San Francisco. Gus is her champion, and who could ask for a better one?

Secondary threads with characters of July and Almira Johnson and Blue Duck are intricately woven into the plot and throughout the journey of the cattle drive. You can’t help but be enamored by the characters and caught up in their adventures. Watching the story unfold brings laughter and tears every time. The music that accompanies the panoramic scenes does a beautiful job of enhancing the grandeur of the vast landscape and feel of the untamed west. I often listen to the original soundtrack, composed and conducted by Basil Poledouris. Lonesome Dove spawned the follow-up miniseries, Return to Lonesome Dove.

 

gusboots.jpg

Trivia facts about Lonesome Dove:

* Robert Duvall, who has appeared in over 80 movies, told CBS that Augustus McCrae, the character he played in Lonesome Dove, was his all time favorite role. We can see why.

* The characters of July Johnson and Roscoe bear the same names as the sheriff and his sidekick who track James Stewart and Dean Martin in the movie Bandolero! (1968). Also, the sequence where Stewart and Martin discuss Montana resembles a similar scene in Lonesome Dove.

* The book, and the character Gus, is mentioned in country singer George Strait’s song “That’s My Kind Of Woman.”

So, fess up. How many times have you watched Lonesome Dove? Did you think return to Lonesome Dove lived up to the first? Have you watched Streets of Laredo or Deadman’s Walk which precede the story?

If you’re a western lover and you’ve never seen this movie, well, I’m just sad for you. But your situation is subject to change. Head for Blockbuster or put it in your Netflix cue!

Leave a comment today for a chance to win a $15 e-Amazon card from Tanya Hanson.

Cheryl St.John: The Early Days

I had been writing and submitting for several years before I joined an RWA chapter and a local writers group. With the help of other more experienced writers, workshops and conferences, I learned and grew. Those first early projects are still in boxes in a storeroom—where they belong. I truly didn’t know what I was doing. After studying Dwight Swain and garnering the advice of great ladies like the late Diane Wicker Davis (Avon) and Barbara Andrews (Ecstasy – and Silhouette as Jennifer Drew with her daughter Pam Hanson) and also being with a critique group, the first book I wrote start to finish was Rain Shadow.

 

At a Minneapolis conference Pam and I attended, after spending the entire morning in the bathroom doing self-talk, I pitched the book at my first editor appointment. The editor asked to see it and later rejected it saying my hero was too unsympathetic.

 

I had submitted to agents about that same time, and one called me, saying with certainty, “I can sell this book for you.” I was thrilled, of course, and she did indeed sell it to Harlequin Historical. Forty-four books later she is still my agent. After some initial quibbling over my title, it stuck and RAIN SHADOW was released in 1993. Back then HH did what they called March Madness and introduced two new authors each March. I loved the cover, loved it loved it. Loved the Wild West Show on the front. Adored her fringe jacket. Blew up the image and admired it. The art department used the pictures I’d sent them, and even her gun is in perfect detail.

 

Question from shopper at one of my very first book signings: “Is this you on the cover?”

 

Note to self: At all times be prepared to answer very odd questions graciously.

 

My second sale followed right on the heels of the first because it was a book I’d written previously. It had been shopped around other publishers without success. My new editor, who continued to be my editor for the next ten years, agreed to look at Heaven Can Wait, then asked me to cut a hundred pages and take out a subplot. Which I did with a lot of help from my critique group. It’s difficult to be that brutal to your own work. The story was indeed better for that revision. So the books came out one after the other, but not in the correct chronological order, story-wise. The villainess in Heaven Can Wait is the dead wife of the hero in Rain Shadow. So whenever I talk to people who will be reading them for the first time, I suggest they read them in the correct order.

 

So there you have the inside scoop on my first two sales and how they came about. It’s still exciting to see a new cover for each current release. It’s always a thrill to know that the stories I’ve worked so hard on are bringing pleasure to readers. Nearly twenty years later, I’m currently revising those books to bring them out as digital releases. I’m working on Heaven Can Wait right now. Interestingly, I ran across a review by a reader who had never read the story before and had some very insightful comments. What worked in 1993 doesn’t necessarily work today—and there’s more freedom in the creative aspect when a writer publishes a book independently. So Jakob and Lydia are getting new life and the villainess of the story? Well, she has a new and improved persona.

 

As readers ourselves, writers know the delight of finding a new author, of becoming lost in a story, of falling in love with appealing characters. Being able to write those stories for others is a joy and a satisfaction beyond measure.

 

What we remember when we think back on a story isn’t always the specific details of the plot or even the character names. What we remember is how the book made us feel. If we were swept away, excited, intrigued, riveted, saddened, we recall those feelings. I’ll bet you remembered the way the first romances you ever read affected you on an emotional level, and you probably remember the stories today.

Which romances did you first read that have stayed with you forever?

 

Addendum to this blog post:

As soon as Kristin Burns saw this announcement come across Facebook, she went to her bookshelf and got books out to take this picture and send it to me. It’s foreign editions of these two books. Fun – thanks!

Kat Martin’s All time favorite movies


Since Academy Awards Night is one of my favorite evenings, I thought it might be fun to talk movies.  Old favorites, new favorites, worst picks of all time.

Let’s start with the positive.  Who doesn’t love ETStar WarsGone with the WindWizard of Oz?  They’re classics, never to be forgotten.

Sometimes I look back and realize some of the books I’ve written were probably inspired by films I had seen and loved.  Gone with the Wind, at least the pre-civil war time in the South, elegant hoop skirts and Georgia mansions led to Captain’s Bride and Creole Fires.  I went on to follow Creole Fires with Savannah Heat and Natchez Flame.  Actually stayed in a gorgeous old plantation house inNatchez built in the 1840’s.

I’m a Star Trek fan, a total Trekie.  Maybe that’s how I got interested in UFO’s and wound up writing Season Of Strangers.  I did a ton of research for that one and was amazed to find myself convinced there’s a very good possibility UFOs are real.

I love Western movies.  Quigley Down Under with Tom Selleck is a personal all-time favorite (if you haven’t seen Tom in a pair of chaps you are really missing out!).  There’s a scene in my book, The Secret, a modern-day Western set inMontana, that was definitely inspired by the movie.  I’m excited that the publisher is re-issuing the book next year.

I loved True Grit, both versions, love some of the great old Westerns like Wagon Master, Wagons West, Brigham Young.  My husband, who still writes Western novels, and I belong to Western Writers of America.  We love attending the conferences and plan to be in Albuquerque, New Mexico mid-June this year.

I love high action adventure movies.  Old ones like The African Queen with Humphrey Bogart and Kathryn Hepburn, new ones like Taken, with Liam Neeson.  The plot for my new book, Against the Night, may have developed from the abduction theme of the movie.

Against the Night is Johnnie Riggs’s story, a fish out of water tale about a kindergarten teacher who braves the LA underworld to find her missing sister.  Its clear Amy needs help, and John Riggs is just the man for the job.  Unfortunately, Johnnie is more interested in Amy’s luscious little body than the money she can’t afford to pay him.

It’s a romp that starts on L.A.’s Sunset Strip and travels all the way to the tropical jungles of Belize, a fast-paced, high-action, hot-blooded adventure I’m hoping readers will enjoy half as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Here’s the back cover copy:

He knows what goes on in the dark.

She’s got the face of an angel and the body of…well, isn’t that what he’d expect from an exotic dancer? But there’s something about this girl that Johnnie Riggs can’t shake. The former army ranger is hot on the trail of an elusive drug lord—and suddenly very hot under the collar, as well.

Amy’s got her own agenda to pursue: her sister is missing and Amy seems to be the only one who cares. She’ll enlist Johnnie’s help and do her best to ignore her growing attraction to finally get some answers. But when the two trails begin to converge and reveal something even more sinister than they imagined, their mutual desire is the least of their problems. They’ll bring the truth to light…or die trying.

Johnnie is a hunk and the cover of the book looks just like him.  I hope you’ll watch for Against the Night and other of the books in my AGAINST series.  Out the end of May is AGAINST THE SUN, Jake Cantrell’s story, another fast-paced, heart-pounding tale.

In the meantime, have fun and happy reading.

Warmest, Kat

 

Miss Kat is giving away a copy of AGAINST THE NIGHT to one lucky commenter. Join the conversation to be entered to win.

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