Judy Duarte’s heroes have always been cowboys!

Howdy, everyone!

I’m really glad to be blogging at Pistols and Petticoats today.   In fact, just thinking about westerns and romance has me thinking country and humming the old Willie Nelson tune, “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys…”

For as long as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed a good western—whether it’s in the form of a book, movie or country song.

I cut my teeth on shows like Gunsmoke, The Lone Ranger, and The Big Valley.   I must admit, though, Bonanza could sometimes be tough to watch.  I used to cringe whenever Adam, Hoss, or Little Joe fell in love, because sure as shootin’, whenever that happened, you could be sure that the poor little woman was fixin’ to die…

But I’d watch the show anyway, pull out a hanky, and prepare for a good cry.

That’s because I love cowboys.  And here’s why:

1.  Cowboys believe in truth and justice

2.  Cowboys choose to do whatever’s right—no matter what the consequence

3.  Cowboys know how to kick back and have fun—Yee Haw!

4.  Cowboys are tough on the outside and gentle within

5.  Cowboys tame wild horses and bad hombres with their bare hands

6.  Cowboys have a unique scent of leather and musk that can turn a woman’s heart on end

7.  Cowboys are sexy and rugged and romantic

8.  Cowboys know how to treat a lady

So when push comes to shove, the bad guys get their comeuppance, and the sun sinks low in the western sky, I want to climb on a horse behind a handsome cowboy, slip my arms around his waist, and ride off into the sunset. 

Happy-ever-after doesn’t get any better than that.

Judy’s latest Special Edition, IN LOVE WITH THE BRONC RIDER, is a June 2008 release.


When Tori took the job at the Rocking C ranch, nobody told her an ornery cowboy came with it.  As a former nurse, Tori new she could help Matt Clayton get back on his feet.  The only obstacle was the injured bronc rider himself….

An accident may have ended his rodeo career, but Matt wasn’t one to back down from a challenge!  Now one bossy redhead was about to meet her match!  But Tori was hiding something.

Would Tori’s secret force her to leave Matt and the feelings he was awakening in her?  Or could love work its healing magic on them both, making this a homecoming neither would forget?

The Texas Homecoming:  There’s no better place for love.

Order Judy’s books by clicking on the thumbnail covers!

A Stroll Down Memory Lane …

Take a stroll with me down memory lane and see how many of these things you remember.  It’s funny how we forget many trivial things that were, at one time, significant in our lives.  Some, I haven’t thought about in years, but once I was reminded, they put a smile on my face and the memories came flashing back.

 Special thanks to my friend Cindy M, for reminding me about things long forgotten!

 Who remembers the good old 45 RPM Spindles?  Gosh I haven’t thought of them in ages.  But they were necessary when we played our records, because only the 78’s were the right size.  The 45’s needed the spindle in order to fit our record players.  Gosh, I remember at my 7th birthday party, we played and replayed my favorite record outside in our backyard, the 45 spindle working like magic as Frankie Avalon sang “Venus, oh Venus, goddess of love that you are”.   Well, we didn’t wear the record out, but we’d forgotten about it and the good old California sunshine melted that 45 record. It had curled up at the edges, never to be played again. “Burning” a record has taken on a whole new meaning in this day and age!



And who could forget the Drive-In Movies?   It was the Saturday night hang-out for teens, back in the day, when it was fun and safe and thrilling to see a movie in your car!  For me, it was special, because it’s where my husband of 34 years told me he loved me for the first time!  I couldn’t tell you what movie was playing, but I will say that was one heck of sweet night for me.


Do you remember gum wrapper chains?  Again, I haven’t thought of them for a long time.  Chewing gum was BIG when I was a kid.  We had wrappers galore. I chewed Juicy Fruit, my favorite.  So my gum wrapper chains were always yellow.  We’d have contests to see who could make the longest chain. 


Ah, before Microwave Popcorn, the only way you could get popcorn in your home was to JIFFY POP it!  What an invention!  Our popcorn always burned because we had an electric oven and we never could get the temperature right.  I remember standing over the oven, holding onto that handle and shaking and shaking, hoping that we didn’t undercook or overcook the popcorn.  The bag would burst on its own, right down the middle.  If we were lucky, our popcorn wasn’t brown and burnt around the edges.  Most days, we weren’t so lucky!


McDonalds was a big thing in our day. It was one of the first fast food chains to come along.  Honestly, I don’t remember the 15 Cent hamburger.  But I sure do remember a time when there wasn’t a McDonalds.  Goodness, my mom cooked every meal and occasionally we would go out to dinner at a restaurant, but those times were few and far between.  I do remember when Jack in The Box opened up right across the street from my high school.  It was very innovative, to drive through and order your food.  My goodness … that was a treat!


And lastly, do you remember a time when we only had television stations from major networks, 2, 4, 5, 7,9, 11 and 13?     The TV stations would go to “bed” after a certain time.  Who remembers when that was, midnight? 1 or 2 PM?  I can’t recall now, but I remember those Test Patterns.  Yep, they’d come on and let all the insomniacs know there wasn’t going to be any television until the morning.I’ll be giving away a signed copy of Western Weddings today!  Please join in on the fun and let us glimpse into your past.  Do you have more to add to my stroll down memory lane?   What icons do you remember? 


Thanks for sharing the day with me today.

I’ll announce the winner later in the day! 


If you’d like to purchase one of my books, simply click on them!





You Asked For It


A couple of weeks ago I mentioned in a post that I belly danced.  Since then I’ve received several requests to blog about belly dancing and to include a photo or two.  It’s been a while since these were taken.  Can’t remember how long, but that’s definitely my pre-menopausal body you’re seeing…

I started belly dancing about 19 years ago when my then high school age daughter signed up for a class.  After seeing a couple of her performances, I decided it was too much fun to sit and watch.  I signed up too, and stayed with it long after she’d burned out and quit.  I’m not a great dancer but I have fun performing at community events—and you should see my costume closet!

Here are some belly basics for you.

  • It’s old.  The history of belly dance goes back thousands of years and has evolved into many different styles.  Best known is the cabaret style with the bare bellies and glittery costumes, but there are tribal, folk and gypsy styles as well as many others.  Most dancers are women, but I’ve seen some terrific men as well.  Some folk styles can be very masculine.
  • It’s about celebration, not seduction.  At its best, belly dance takes place in a happy crowd with the audience clapping, whooping and cheering the dancer on.  The dancer draws energy from her audience and gives it back.  At Middle Eastern celebrations many of the women get up and dance—they all know how.  Its about family and community.
  • If you can move, you can dance.  Belly dance is based on natural movement.  Some of the showy techniques—the shimmies, the swords, finger cymbals, etc. need to be learned, but you don’t need them to dance.  All you need is the joy of movement.  Dancers use their torsos, feet, their arms and hands, their fingers, their heads, even their eyes.  I’ve never seen a belly dance done from a wheelchair, but truly believe it’s possible.  And you can be any age and size (just ask this statuesque senior citizen).  Perfect young bodies are a pleasure to watch, but it’s the mature dancer with something to shake and that certain “been around the block” look who can really blow an audience away.  It all comes down to attitude.
  • Belly dance has a link to the Old West, believe it or not.  The dancer known as “Little Egypt” who caused a sensation at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, had many imitators (some of whom actually claimed to be her—there’s gotta be a book there and someday I may write it).  Many traveling shows of the time included belly dancers.  One of the most famous was Fatima, an amply curved damsel who starred at Tombstone’s notorious Bird Cage Theatre.

Why do I dance?  I do it because I love the music and costumes and because it’s good for my body, mind and soul.  When I’m dancing, I’m totally “in the moment.”  I forget everything but the dance.  How about you?  Have you ever tried belly dancing or thought you might like to?  Do you have any questions about it?  If not, what do you do to relax and unwind?

Judy Duarte Rides by Saturday!!

The Fillies hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day last weekend and are ready to help us entertain another special guest. We sure couldn’t do it without you I guarantee.

Miss Judy Duarte, author of contemporary western romance, will come riding by on Saturday. Yippee! We’ll have us a grand old time discussing the whys and wherefores of cowboys and bronc riders. Miss Judy writes some of the best cowboy stories around. She’s such a delight to have with us.

If you don’t join us, you’ll miss out on a wonderful time. So everyone mark your calendar and set your watch. Get a move on, now!

The History of the Gun

I’m slow this morning but I PROMISE I wrote this yesterday and had it saved and scheduled. So I messed up somehow and I’m sorry. Me and computers…NOT an easy co-existance.

I remember a cable special, the History Channel I think, about The History of the Gun and it was so interesting, especially how ancient the gun really was and how each new patent, improving it, made the creator a fortune.

The one I remember best was the one BEFORE the Matchlock gun. The shooter had to light a little pile of gunpower with a striker or match, so they were one handed, plus the little POOF of fire scared away whatever animal they were hunting for.


1364: First recorded use of a firearm – shooter lit wicks by hand that ignited gunpowder that was loaded into the gun barrel. huochong gun

Contrary to popular belief, the Chinese did not use gunpowder only for fireworks. In fact, the earliest surviving recipes for gunpowder can be found in the Chinese military treatise Wujing zongyao of 1044 AD, which contains three: two for use in incendiary bombs to be thrown by siege engines and one intended as fuel for smoke bombs.

14th century China: The matchlock firearms were first mentioned in . The matchlock appeared in Europe some time in the mid-1400s, although the idea of the serpentine appears some 40 years previously in an Austrian manuscript. The first dated illustration of a matchlock mechanism dates to 1475, and by the 1500s they were universally used.

The Matchlock secured a lighted wick in a moveable arm which, when the trigger was depressed, was brought down against the flash pan to ignite the powder. This allowed the musketeer to keep both hands on the gun, improving his aim drastically.


1630: Flintlock guns – the flintlock did two things mechanically, it opened the lid of the flash pan and provided an igniting spark. Flintlock is the general term for any firearm based on the flintlock mechanism. Introduced about 1630, the flintlock rapidly replaced earlier firearm-ignition technologies, such as the matchlock and wheellock mechanisms. It continued to be in common use for over two centuries, replaced by percussion cap


percussion gun1825: Percussion-cap guns invented by Reverend John Forsyth – firing mechanism no longer uses flash pan, a tube lead straight into the gun barrel, the tupe had an exposive cap on it that exploded when struck  The percussion cap, introduced around 1830, was the crucial invention that enabled muzzle-loading firearms to fire reliably in any weather.

The percussion cap system was made obsolete by:


1835: Colt revolver – first mass-produced, multi-shot, revolving firearms

Samuel Colt invented the first revolver, a gun named after its inventor “Colt”, and after its revolving cylinder “revolver”. In 1836, Samuel Colt was granted a U.S. patent for the Colt revolver, which was equipped with a revolving cylinder containing five or six bullets and an innovative cocking device.

Before the Colt revolver only one and two-barrel flintlock pistols had been invented for hand held use. Colt revolvers were all based on cap-and-ball technology until the Smith and Wesson license on the bored-through cylinder (bought from Rollin White) expired around 1869.

“Abe Lincoln may have freed all men, but Sam Colt made them equal.”


gun rifle winchester 731873: Winchester rifle

One of the most successful, and certainly one of the most famous Winchester rifles was the Winchester Model 1873. The Winchester ‘73 was produced in such quantities that they became a common sight in the American West, leading to the rifle being nicknamed “The Gun that Won the West.”


In researching for a book I found out so much about the development of the gun that I gathered these milestone styles. The Winchester and Colt are a big part of many western novels and movies. There’s even a movie called Winchester ’73.

Chime in if you’ve got a comment about the settling of the west and the part guns played in it.




When it rains it pours

 width=Good Morning!

I hope you will forgive my short post today.  I am sitting here at home (which is good), but with some grief in my heart, and a little pain, as well.  My brother-in-law passed away four days ago and because we were close this has affected me very much.  And then as if that isn’t enough, when I was out walking our dogs (which are wild dogs that we made our own last July when we were on the Blackfeet reservation), I fell and was dragged a bit and ended up with a broken hand and so I am hunting and pecking in order to type this.  Add to that that my darling kitty ate a plant yeterday that appears to be poisonous and you might understand my concern.

Well I was hoping to post a picture of my brother-in-law, but I can’t seem to make my computer work either.   Anyway as a memorial, let me say a few words.  When I married my husband 12 years ago, I didn’t know at the time that when I did, he came complete with my brother-in-law.  They were so close that it was almost like having two husbands instead of one.  I became used to over time having two men to boss around instead of one –I’m sure you can relate — and I must admit that I used the relationship shamelessly.  If my husband didn’t respond to “honey, could you fix this?”  My brother-in-law would and if he didn’t all it would take on my part would be to ask my brother-in-law to do something, and my husband would at once respond.  : )  Finally I was able to figure out how to download his picture — here is Bob about 10 years ago.

I will miss him.  I will miss how good I’ve had it also over these past few years.  And I hope you will forgive this terribly short post — I literally am hunting and pecking to talk to you today.  Have a super day, everyone.

From left to right my husband, Paul, me, my daughter, Trina and Bob.  Picture was taken in 1999.