TV Westerns for Coming Week

Of all times to run a slew of westerns the first week of the new season for many shows. Good grief! My recorder is going to be smoking. Here’s a list of what I found on the Hallmark channel, AMC, and TCM.

Wyatt Earp – the 1994 version  with Kevin Costner (Monday on AMC)

Return to Snowy River – Frontiersman returns for his girl – Hallmark

Rose Hill– this is a good one about four orphan boys find an abandoned baby girl and take her to raise in the West. Jennifer Garner (Mrs. Ben Affleck) plays the girl when she’s grown. It’s on Hallmark on Tuesday and Saturday.

The Unforgiven – Burt Lancaster and Audrey Hepburn (1960) – A Texas woman and eldest son fight Kiowas over an adopted daughter. Hallmark on Friday.

Red Headed Stranger – Willie Nelson plays a traveling preacher. Morgan Fairchild and Katharine Ross also star. Hallmark on Saturday.

The Outsider– A favorite of mine that I’ve raved about!! – Stars Tim Daly (who is in the new series starting this week, Private Practice) and Naomi Watts. Tim Daly plays a gunslinger who gets shot and wanders up to the home of a recently widowed Amish woman and her son. At the risk of being shunned by her people, she gets him well. He protects her from a big landowner who wants her land. And that’s all I’m telling. An excellent western in my opinion. The Hallmark Channel on Saturday.

Comes a Horseman – Hallmark on Saturday – Jane Fonda and James Caan – this is a western set after WWII. But Jane is fighting landgrabbing barons.

Rio Lobo  – 1970 western about a former soldier who seeks Union betrayers – TCM Saturday

Glory – Don’t know if this story about the Civil War is classified as a western or not. It comes on AMC on Monday.

I was severely disappointed when The Assassination of Jesse James came out Friday and it wasn’t in our theaters. I checked online and the movie is showing only in select towns. Dadgum it!!  🙁

Guest Blogger: Linda Warren


The good ol’ days…

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I was so excited when Lorraine asked me to be a guest blogger. I write contemporary, and my stories are mostly about Texas and cowboys. I love, love westerns and online cialis canada at the top of this page I see some of the very best western authors. So I’m honored to add my thoughts to the blog.

I write about Texas and cowboys because that’s what I know. I grew up on a farm/ranch in Texas. My dad raised cotton, corn and cattle. He also drilled water wells and was the constable in our community. He was busy and often worked late at night. My three brothers and I rarely saw him, but Sunday was our day. The day we spent with Dad. After early mass and a big dinner my mom had prepared, we’d go to the picture show (that’s what we called it back then ). And yes, you guessed it, it was always a western. My dad wouldn’t watch anything else. I grew up on Gary Cooper (High Noon), Glenn Ford (3:10 to Yuma), Gregory Peck (The Gunfighter), and John Wayne (Red River, Rio Bravo). “Saddle up, pilgrim.” John Wayne couldn’t act, but it didn’t matter. His strong male persona was enough. eastwood-rowdy_yates.jpgWagon Train (Robert Fuller) and Rawhide were TV favorites at our house and I had a hard time taking my eyes off Clint Eastwood, Rowdy Yates. A-ah!            

I’ll always remember those Sunday afternoons. My brothers couldn’t wait for the shootout with the bad guys. They were always making gun noises during the movie. I couldn’t wait for that last scene where the hero rides away with the heroine, sometimes holding her hand. I just knew they were going to live happily ever after. I would be going, “Ah.” My brothers would be sticking their fingers in their mouths and gagging at the scene.

After the movie we’d go for ice cream and my brothers would be acting out the fights and the shootouts. I’d be daydreaming. At that age I wasn’t even thinking about being an author, but those Sunday afternoons and those westerns influenced me in ways I never realized until many years later.  Cowboys have a way of sneaking into my books. Maybe it has something to do with the unwritten code of honor and moral fiber I saw in the heroes of those old movies. Fighting for a cause and willing to die for it. Throw in a romance and it can’t get any better.

Do you have a favorite western when you were a child? Or even now. (Lonesome Dove had me spellbound. I’m still not over Gus dying.) I’d love to hear your favorites. From brodie.jpgthose who post a response I’ll draw a winner for my Feb Harlequin American, Once A Cowboy. (Take a look at that cowboy.)ford_glen.jpg

3:10 ToYuma is now showing here and I’m trying to talk my husband into going to the movies. I’m dying to see Russell Crowe in Glenn Ford’s role. Not sure if he can pull it off, but I’ll just enjoy watching him. And we’ll definitely have ice cream afterwards.

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Ah, the good ol’ days… 

Thank you,

Linda Warren

ADOPTED SON—Sep 2007 Super Romance

TEXAS BLUFF—Feb 2008 Super Romance(Book #5 Texas Hold ‘em Series)

ALWAYS A MOTHER—May 2008 Harlequin Everlasting Love

Going Cover Wild!

Being a newly published author, a new book cover is big excitement in my house. I spotted the email titled MAVERICK WILD Cover and called the famly in so we could all catch that first glimpse together. It’s a nerve-wracking thing, waiting to see how they’ve packaged your baby. It got me thinking about all my book cover preferences and hang-ups(loved Linda’s post on cover models). During my six years of pre-published struggles I’d often daydreamed about what my book covers might someday look like, and would send up a little prayer each time of, “Lord, please let it be scenery.” My other P&P posts likely give away my fetish for western landscape, so it’s noOne Wish wonder my favorite western romance cover of all time is Linda Lael Miller’s ONE WISH. One glimpse of that cover stopped me in my grocery-shopping tracks and had me slapping down an extra seven bucks–and certainly delivered hours of reading splendor. Didn’t matter that the scenery on the cover isn’t actually in the story—in MY ideal world the best book covers have splashes of ambiance and leave the character building to the author and the reader’s mind. I have even been known to grab a trusty marker and black out faces before they can tamper with the image the words on the page create in my mind. I was totally into the ‘cover trend’ in 2000, when I started reading romance novels, which seemed to be big names and titles with a few flowers or dangling spurs or another little prop. I do believe the toon covers hit shortly after that…and westerns became plain hard to find no matter the cover. The Larkspur Library makes my heart bubble with all those western covers. 

Having such a strong cover preference as a reader had me sweating bullets last October as I waited to see what Harlequin had whipped up for my very first cover. That first book is like a miracle and I couldn’t wait to actually hold it, and hug it, and stroke it, and…well, I kept telling myself I’d love it even if there were strangers staring back at me on the cover. I couldn’t rightly black out faces on my own books. While authors do get to send in Art Sheets with suggestions for the cover, when all is said and done, the cover art is truly up to the art/marketing folks, as that is their area of expertise. When I sat down with my Art Sheets for MUSTANG WILD, I was surprised to realize I actually wanted my heroine Mustang Wildon the cover. I felt like she embodied the book,  the title representing her wild nature—so I asked for a rear view of a cowgirl holding her saddle and a rope and wrote in bold letters–on every page– PLEASE DON’T SHOW ANY FACES. I was pleasantly surprised with their version—front view, partially headless heroine—I loved it!

When the Art Sheets arrived for the sequel, I still included my now routine plea of “No Faces”, and asked for a headless cowBOY, since the Maverick in MAVERICK WILD is the hero, Chance Morgan.  Fairly certain I’d get Chance on the cover, I held my breath while I waited for my first glimpse to appear on the screen, hoping like mad that he’d at least come close to the MAVERICK WILDimage in my mind–we have dial-up, so it was a slow unveiling…bit by little bit.  I have to tell you, as I let out a happy squeal, my husband’s first comment was, “Hey, they forgot to button his shirt!”

They sure did 😉   My boys are calling it my Ambercrombie cover  🙂

My MAVERICK bookmarks just arrived today!  I’ll drop one in the mail to any of our readers who’d like a little MAVERICK preview. Just email your address to stacey@staceykayne.com.

Is there a certain type of cover that really grabs your attention? Open ranges?  Blue skies? Hunky heroes ? Those sweeping romantic embraces?

The Spaghetti Western – A Genre of its Own

fistful1.jpg366dollars1.jpgThe western movie genre is filled with mystique and legend. These movies tell and re-tell stories and myths of how early America began. Heroes and villains, searing landscapes, galloping horses and quick draws are just a few of the familiar sights and sounds that make up the western, and definitely among the things that draw us as western fans.

Spaghetti western is a nickname for a broad sub-genre of Western film that emerged in the mid-1960s, so named because most were produced by Italian studios. Originally they had in common the Italian language, low budgets, and a recognizable highly fluid, violent, and minimalist cinematography that eschewed (some said “demythologized”) many of the conventions of earlier Westerns — partly intentionally, partly as a result of the work being done in a different cultural background and with limited funds.   

The term was originally used disparagingly, but by the 1980s many of these films came to be held in high regard, particularly because it was hard to ignore the influence they had in redefining the entire idea of a western up to that point.  Because of the desert setting, and the readily available southern Spanish extras, a usual theme in Spaghetti Westerns is the Mexican Revolution, Mexican bandits and the border zone between Mexico and the US. Many of the films were shot in the Spanish Tabernas Desert of Almería, which greatly resembles the landscape of the American Southwest  

A bit of trivia: Spaghetti westerns are also known as “macaroni westerns” in Japan.   

eastwoodffod.jpgThe best-known and perhaps archetypical spaghetti westerns were the so-called Man With No Name trilogy (or Dollars Trilogy) directed by Sergio Leone.  Up until then we’d been mesmerized by Clint Eastwood as Rowdy Yates on Rawhide, and now here he was in living color and panorama on the big screen.  These movies replayed at the drive-in through the seventies, where my husband and I watched them with our kids sleeping in the back of the station wagon.  The musical scores composed by Ennio Morricone became synonymous with the genre and still ring in our heads. 

The man with no name rode into cinematic history in A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965), and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966). The latter had a shocking high budget for that time and this genre — in excess of one million dollars!   

filmlist_onceinwest1.jpgLeone’s follow-up film after the trilogy was Once Upon A Time In The West, which is often called one of the greatest films in cinema history.  It’s a classic good verses evil tale about railroads, land grabs, and the entrepreneurial spirit.  As the train moves west, the country is changed, paralleling the dwindling presence of the western movie with the forward expansion of Eastern civilization.  The story’s theme is the changing times.  Casting blue-eyed Hollywood good guy Henry Fonda as one of the nastiest curs in the West was pure genius, while Charles Bronson became an unlikely leading man.   

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AMC shows this movie frequently, about once a month. Usually they show a pan and scan version in the daytime, but the late night showing will be in letterbox format. Watch the letterbox format or you will miss the beautiful panoramic scope.  (I found it scheduled on TCM on Sat, Sep 22, 2:15 PM.  The original is three hours long, so watch listings for the full version.)

Can you recall the first time you saw Clint Eastwood?  Has anyone NOT seen The Good the Bad and the Ugly?  Do you have a favorite spaghetti western I didn’t mention?  Could you pass the parmesan–er popcorn, please?

“This your first time, honey?”

color.jpg“I could not make a demonstration of affection over men nor any pretense at response to their caresses.  For the life of me, I could not understand why they should expect it.  They had only bought my body.  I could not see why they should want more.”–Madeleine, An Autobiography

While visiting my brother several years ago and browsing through a

Seattle gift shop, I found a fascinating book on early western prostitution.  Inspired by those haunting stories, I wrote my fourth (and last) book for Leisure Books.  Entitled “BROKEN BLOSSOMS”, the heroine is fiercely protected by her father, an influentiasoileddoves.jpgl but corrupt judge in the 1890s.  When she discovers she is the daughter of a beautiful prostitute, we learn with her the degradation her mother endured to survive.

In 1849, when the West was at its most rugged, it’s estimated there were only 2 women for every 100 men.  Many of these females were illiterate and inexperienced but hoping to get married.  Others came for wealth and adventure.  Most had their dreams dashed and were forced to survive by the only thing they had to sell–their bodies. As their numbers grew, so did prostitution.  It wasn’t long before a class system fell into place, starting from the most elite: 

Courtesan or mistress–These women were sophisticated, beautiful and intelligent.  Their services were given solely to gentlemen of great wealth and power who paid them well for the privilege.  Because of the gentleman’s prominence, society inbed.jpggenerally accepted the courtesan/mistress, giving her a degree of respectability.

Parlor House Ladies–Ranging in age from 18-30 years old, they lived in well-furnished homes, dressed in elegant gowns and expensive lingerie, wore makeup and perfume, and charged everything to their madam’s accounts–which kept them in continual debt to her. 

To keep her business flourishing, the madam would parade her girls throughout the community in leisurely strolls or open carriage rides.  Often the girls carried cuddly poodles, a breed no decent woman would ever own.  poodle.jpg

This higher class of prostitute spent her days in the garden, doing needlework or reading.  She ate well–nourishing meals of steak, roast and lots of milk to keep up her stamina.  In the evening, her work began, and once a gentleman entered her bedroom, she was bound to service him as he wished, no matter how humiliating or painful it became.  Her fee would be about $25 (more if the man spent the night).  The madam received half. 

Brothel ‘Boarders’–Lower in the chain was the prostitute who worked in brothels located in the town’s red-light district.  She was both younger and older than her higher-class sister–about 16-35 years of age.  She earned less, too, roughly $10/customer. pros.jpgThe brothels were not as elegant as parlor houses, yet they were warm and welcoming.  The girls enjoyed care and protection from their madams–most of the time.

Crib Prostitute–In larger cities, she worked in ‘hog ranches’ or cribs, a string of miserable frame buildings comprised of two rooms each, a parlor in front and a bedroom in the back.  Or she lived in camps or mining towns.  Either way, she was beholden to a pimp.  On payday, it was standing room only, and a fast prostitute could service as many as 80 men a night, at 50 cents each. 

Streetwalker–the lowest class of all.  She was a desperate woman, ravaged by age, disease, alcohol and drugs.  She hovered on the brink of suicide and spent her days in shadowy doorways, waiting, hoping, for any man to take her.  

For propriety’s sake, newspapers were forced to fashion creative terms for ‘prostitute.’  Here’s a few: 

Calico Queen
Ceiling Expert
“Fair but Frail”
Girl of the line
Margarita
Nymph du pave
Painted Cat
Horizontal Worker

No matter what she was called, or at what level she plied her trade, the prostitute played an integral part in settling the West.  By the very nature of her gender, she provided warmth, comfort and pleasure to the men who craved it. 

It was a life few of us can imagine.  A job most of us will never have.  Thank goodness, eh? In future blogs, I’ll share some of their gripping stories with you. 

But for now, I’d love to know:  What was the worst job you ever had?  The strangest?  The most lucrative or lowest-paid? Let us know!  Share your story, and I’ll put you in a drawing to win a B & N gift certificate! 

Speaking of–don’t forget to enter our BIG FALL BONANZA contest.  Just go to our Primrose News Office Page!

My worst job?  I must’ve been about 13 years old.  Back then, babysitting netted 50 cents/hour, so when I was offered $1 to babysit on Saturdays, I jumped at the opportunity.  Little did I know, the lady of the house wanted me to clean it, too!  

 I swear, she stored up the mess all week long, just for me.  Talk about a pit! So for 8 hours, I cleaned every room in the place, washed her dishes, did her laundry, ironing, made beds, etc, etc, etc.  for $1/hour.  Sheesh!  Talk about slave wages!   

How about you?

OH BABY!!

Good morning, everyone! I’m your blogger for the day and I’m going to talk about cover models.

cheriffortin.jpgI think everyone agrees that the right book cover can make or break a book. Publishers try everything they can to ensure good sales because if a book flops, they lose money. Eye-catching titles and enticing blurbs are certainly two ways to attract attention. But cover models are one of the biggest drawing cards. Having a handsome hunk on the cover lures a reader right to it. Who wouldn’t want to take home a book with cover model John DeSalvo, Cherif Fortin, Nathan Kamp, Mike Dale, Tracy James, or Peter DeCicco on it? They’re sexy, red-blooded, very appealing men. One good thing is that there’s no extra charge for the eye-candy! They won’t give you cavities either. Are you drooling yet? By the way the photo is of Cherif Fortin.

Nearly all of us daydream. I think a reader shopping for a new book ldesalvo.jpgikes to imagine herself in the model’s arms, to be the love of his life, and to transport her from a boring life into one full of adventure and excitement. I think a woman would pretty much have to be dead not to like looking at well-formed abs and handsome features. Those faces draw us to the book like a June bug to a streetlight. Our fingers do a little dance right there in the store. We run our hands over the smooth image. We may close our eyes and picture ourselves on the cover with the model. Then we turn the book over and read the back blurb. If we’re satisfied with the full package we’ll trod to the check out with it and sat up half the night living in that fantasy world. I don’t know about you, but personally I prefer the covers with just the male model. I’m a teensy bit jealous if he has another half-dressed woman in a clinch pose. I think to myself, “How dare he, the two-timer!” I want him all to myself. I’m funny that way. The photo in this paragraph is John DeSalvo.

So, the publisher devotes a lot of thought, and psychology, into giving the book the right look. And what do they do when it’s a brand new, untried author they’re trying to promote? It costs big bucks to hire live models. In that case, the art department will probably go to their files of previous cover art and pull out one they’ve used on other books. I’d wager a great many are recycled covers. That puts more money in the publisher’s pocket. If they don’t use a recycled cover they might use a painting instead.

The cover of my first book,knightface.jpg Knight on the Texas Plains, was from a cowboy.jpgpainting that hung on the wall outside my editor’s office. I believe the second, The Cowboy Who Came Calling, was a recycled cover. I loved both because the men both looked strong and closely resembled my heroes.

When Dorchester bought Redemption I got live modelsredemptionfaces.jpg for the first time and that was flattering. It told me that the house was willing to risk a little more money on me. That gave me a wonderful feeling. I felt like I had finally arrived.

Now, the upcoming anthology Give Me a Texan by Kensington really went the extra mile when they hired nathan-kamp-face.jpgthe sexy Nathan Kamp to pose as a cowboy. Nathan’s been on a lot of covers. karenkay-cover.jpgBesides ours, I know he posed for two of Karen Kay’s as an American Indian—-Red Hawk’s Woman and The Spirit of the Wolf. He was also on Bobbie Smith’s The Lawless Texan so he really gets around, a very versatile man. And oh baby, is he nice to look at!

John DeSalvo sizzled on Geralyn Dawson’sjohn-d-geralyns.jpg Simmer All Night. Frank Sepe heated up the cover of Lorraine Heath’s A Rogue in Texas. And Tracy James galloped onto Pam Crooks’ Wanted. I think getting the right man on the cover (ha, or under them!) helps sell copies. I also believe it gives the reader a little extra bonus–-a win, win situation.

Do you have a favorite cover model?

And does the cover model influence your buying habits?

Reminder: Don’t forget to register for our contest on the Primrose Newspaper Office Page! We have a bonanza of prizes for a lucky winner.

Traveling Then and Now . . .

Confession time: I am the probably among the world’s worse travelers when it comes to packing.

When I go on a trip, even a weekend trip, I have a tendency to over pack. This is particularly true when I’m driving. I will take at least two suitcases, an ice chest, a minimum of five books and quite possibly the kitchen sink.

I think it goes back to my childhood. I was a Campfire Girl. Like Girl Scouts, we were taught to always be prepared. You never know, for instance, whether there will be a freak ice storm in August, or a heat wave in January. You never know whether you’ll be tempted to go to a formal restaurant or a Kentucky Fried Chicken window. And I must have at least two bathing suits and at least one coverup for frequent trips to a pool.

I know. Excuses. Excuses. But I can’t help myself. I’m a packaholic.

Everyone has their most admired person. My most admired person is Libby Hall, president of RWA when I first went on the board. We had ten day meetings in July – three to four days of board meetings and six days of conference. Most of us dragged huge oversized suitcases, book bags, carry-ons and purses large enough for a Great Dane. Libby carried one carry-on for all ten days. Ten days! Ten days of parties and formal events and presiding over luncheons and dinners, etc. Wonder of all wonders.

I was shamed but, unfortunately, not shamed enough to change my profligate packing.

So I was bemused — while researching a new western series – to find a recommended wardrobe for one man embarking on a three-month journey across the western plains. It comes from “The Prairie Traveler,” the Best-Selling Handbook for American Pioneers (published 1859).

Here it is:

2 blue or red flannel overshirts, open in front, with buttons.
2 woolen undershirts.
2 pairs thick cotton drawers.
4 pairs woollen socks
2 pairs cotton socks.
4 colored silk handkerchiefs.
2 pair stout shoes, for footmen.
1 pair boots, for horsemen.
1 pair shoes, for horsemen.
3 towels.
1 gutta percha poncho.
1 broad-brimmed hat of soft felt.
1 comb and brush.
2 tooth-brushes.
1 pound Castile soap.
3 pounds bar soap for washing clothes (for three months?)
1 belt-knife and small whet-stone.
Stout linen thread, large needles, a bit of beeswax, a few buttons, paper of pins and a thimble, all contained in a small buckskin or stout cloth bag.

Being written by a man, it doesn’t deign to offer advice on women’s wear, but I would guess it would be two dresses, two pair of cotton drawers, etc.

I fear I would make a terrible pioneer, but the above information provides some inspiration. Perhaps on the next weekend trip, I can leave the kitchen sink at home.