CHERYL’S WINNERS!

 

Hi everyone, and thanks so much to those of you who stopped by today to participate in my blog about The Texan and reminisce about some of our favorite OLD westerns, both on the silver screen and on television! 

I’ve picked two winners today and they are…..

DENISE and SEXTONJUDY4!

Ladies, if you two will e-mail me at fabkat_edit@yahoo.com and please put WINNER in your subject line I will be glad to see that you get your prizes–be sure and let me know whether you’d like to receive A MARSHAL FOR CALLIE or LOVE UNDER FIRE! 

                                              Again, thanks to everyone who stopped by to participate today!

THE TEXAN–AND A GIVEAWAY! by Cheryl Pierson

 

I have become totally obsessed with an old TV series, THE TEXAN starring Rory Calhoun. I never knew this series existed until we switched cable companies not long ago and were so fortunate to be able to add GRIT TV to our lineup—and it’s about all we watch anymore.

THE TEXAN was a black and white series (yes, that’s how old it is, almost older than I am, but not quite!). It aired on CBS from 1958-1960, and as with so many of these older shows, I love to see so many roles by early “unknowns” who later became famous in their own right.

But the premise of THE TEXAN is really different, and heartbreaking all at once.

The Texan is Bill Longley, who was a captain in the Confederacy during the Civil War. When he comes back to his privileged life at his family’s southern plantation, he finds his young wife has died of a fever, and the plantation lies in ruins. He puts a grave marker up beside his wife’s that says Bill Longley died on this day, with the date below it—the date he returned home and found that his love was dead.

He goes to Texas and becomes a drifter, building a reputation as a fast gun, but he is not for hire. He just takes a hand when he sees wrongdoing and tries to right it, whatever it might be, when he can. I have, by no means, seen the entire series yet—we usually watch a couple of the 30-minute episodes while we eat dinner. Yes, some of them feel rather “rushed” because they are only 30 minutes long and the commercials have been moved around to accommodate today’s programming. But all in all, it’s really a good series, and I LOVE being able to study his character as the shows progress and we get to know more about him.

I truly admire the realism in this show. I didn’t realize it until recently, but there were so many westerns of that era that had the lawmen and the “good guys” always shooting to wound someone. The Lone Ranger even says at the beginning of that series that he will never kill, only shoot to wound, and then, only if necessary.

CREDIT FOR PICTURE: By Desilu Sales Inc., Hollywood – eBay (front & back), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=113095488

Well, let me tell y’all, Bill Longley has been through war and he is as tough as they come. Even though his past has been harsh (at least, it was once he joined the Confederacy and went to war), he still retains his sense of fairness. But make no mistake—he will shoot to kill, and he is fast. I don’t know how fast he was in actuality, but I did read something interesting the other day, as an aside—actor Glenn Ford was said to be the fastest gun in Hollywood, with a draw time of .04 seconds! WOW!

This character, THE TEXAN, is in many ways how I envision my heroes in my own books. My heroes, so far, don’t have his genteel upbringing—but I think if they all knew each other they’d be friends, because they’d see things the same way. Though they are fast with a gun, they don’t use it indiscriminately, and they are not ever ones to believe that “might makes right”.

You know, I have seen only one of Rory Calhoun’s movies, but in it, he plays the same kind of character as he played in THE TEXAN. A loner. A fast gun. Someone who makes tough decisions and takes up the slack when others don’t or won’t.

Now that I’ve started following him, I remember my mom saying something once about a movie she was wanting to see. I must have been about 8 or 9—all I remember was her saying, “It has Rory Calhoun in it!” and giving a little smile. I should have paid attention about 55 years sooner…

If you get a chance to watch THE TEXAN, you will not be sorry. This fictional Bill Longley is like so many of the western heroes we writers try to create, and the ones that readers love to read. It’s odd that they decided to call him Bill Longley, since there really WAS a Bill Longley, an outlaw who was nothing at all like the fictional portrayal. The real Bill Longley died at the age of 27 and was known for his hot temper, rages, and bloody murders he committed. Shudder. I love the fictional Bill Longley much better!

I’ve created many “loner” type heroes in my stories. Many of them resemble the characteristics of Bill Longley in THE TEXAN. Just thinking back on them, I’d say the two that stick in my mind as being most like The Texan are Johnny Houston from LOVE UNDER FIRE and Jaxson McCall from A MARSHAL FOR CALLIE–but it was a hard decision to narrow it down!

Who is your favorite television or big screen movie western star and why? And I’d love to know your favorite western tv series or movie that character played in. I’m giving away a digital copy of LOVE UNDER FIRE or A MARSHAL FOR CALLIE  to one commenter today (reader’s choice)! Don’t forget to leave contact details in your comment!

Here’s a short excerpt from A MARSHAL FOR CALLIE. A ruthless gang of cutthroats from Jaxson McCall’s past have re-surfaced and are holding Callie and Jaxson’s brother, Jeremy, and a young boy, Carlos, hostage. Jaxson is recovering from a poison-tipped arrow, but he and his other brother, Brendan, are there to save the hostages. Here’s the confrontation:

“Turn her loose,” Jax ordered in a low tone.

“Or what, Marshal? You’ll kill me?” Blocker taunted.

But Callie could hear the muted strain in his voice. I must have hit him, she thought, surprised.

“Take me, Blocker,” Jax murmured. Deliberately, he tossed the Winchester to the ground and held his hands out. “You don’t want her—not really. What you want is to finish what you started thirteen years ago. I wonder…” He took a step forward, his silhouette illuminated by the fire behind him in the growing darkness.

Blocker licked his lips nervously. “Wonder what, McCall?”

“Are you man enough to take me? We never finished what we started back in Fort Smith. But you can have it either way, Blocker. A fight, or…not. I’ll—go with you. Just let her go.”

“I don’t think so,” Blocker replied smugly.

“Why not?”

“Because you want it too much, McCall.” Blocker put the tip of the knife under Callie’s chin. “You agree to give yourself up to me, knowing what I’ll do to you?” He shook his head in disbelief. “Girl must mean an awful lot to you. I wonder why.”

“She’s worth money to me,” Jax said quietly. His heart lurched at the hollow, dead look in Blocker’s eyes.

“You’re both worth money to me,” Blocker responded.

Callie could feel the big man’s grip on her easing somewhat. He didn’t realize it, she knew.

“C’mon, Blocker,” Jax murmured. “Let’s fight it out. Just you and me.”

Blocker’s grip slipped a little more, and Callie felt an oozing warmth at her back.

His blood.

Blocker shook his head. “Shorty shoveled out three graves over there. I ain’t gonna fill one of ’em.”

Suddenly, Callie dug her elbows backward with all her might. She heard Blocker’s grunt of pain as he dropped the knife, and she squirmed away from him. He lunged at Jax with a snarl, and both men grappled together, then went to the ground, pummeling one another.

Callie watched in horror, thinking of how Jax had looked just this morning when she’d left him asleep in their bed. The fever, the wound, his fitful rest and lack of food would all surely take their toll. He was in no shape to fight.

“Callie!”

She turned, just as a strong arm encircled her waist, pulling her to the safety of the trees and underbrush along the creek bank.

The man urged her to the ground beside Carlos, then he was gone as quickly as he had appeared.

As Callie lifted her head to peer through the undergrowth, she saw him step out into the ring of firelight. He dropped to one knee, his gun ready, but Jax and Blocker fought too closely together to take a chance on a shot.

 

 

CHERYL’S AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE:  https://tinyurl.com/2k7xeddt

 

Order your copy of LOVE UNDER FIRE today!

 

A MARSHAL FOR CALLIE–KINDLE LINK: https://tinyurl.com/yn85vnkk

A MARSHAL FOR CALLIE–PAPERBACK LINK: https://tinyurl.com/mryt2fwf

 

Thanks for stopping by today! Be sure to leave your contact info along with your comment in case you win!

AN UNLIKELY PAIR OF SWEETHEARTS–AND A GIVEAWAY! by Cheryl Pierson

A few years ago, in 2015, my story HIDDEN TRAILS came out just before Valentine’s Day, which was appropriate since my heroine’s name in this tale is Valentine. Since we’re approaching that time of the year (I’m looking forward sooner than I normally would, because we are having such awful weather right now! I’m ready for January to be over!) I thought I would post this blog entry again. It’s been a while, and this is really one of my favorite novella-length stories I’ve written. I think I love it so because of the unlikely characters that end up falling in love, and the danger that almost thwarts a happily-ever-after for them, making the ending for them even sweeter!

Evidently, it resonated with many others, too, because it was a finalist in the Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Awards Short Fiction category for 2015!

Have you ever read a story or noticed, in real life, that some people seem to be an “odd match”? That’s the way I felt about my hero and heroine, but because of their pasts, they truly are totally right for one another!

I’m offering a giveaway today! Please leave a comment for me about a couple that seem to be an unlikely pair  for a chance to win a copy of Hidden Trails.  The most famous unlikely pair that comes to mind for me is Scarlett and Ashley–but there are sooooo many, both in fiction and in reality!  Don’t forget to comment!

I’ve got a new release (2015) that hit the shelves last week just before Valentine’s Day! Hidden Trails is my latest western historical novella. This was a fun little novella to work on because it was something I hadn’t dealt with before. Though I write a lot of stories with heroes who are of mixed heritage–half white/half Indian, or half white/half Hispanic, I’ve never written a story with a heroine quite like Valentine Reneau.

Valentine’s mother was a slave, a beautiful octoroon, whose cruel master sold her off in a fit of drunken pique–luckily for her! She is able to marry and make a new life for herself, but there is always the uneasy fear that her former owner might find her–even though the Civil War has ended, and she is free. When Valentine is old enough to understand, her stepfather explains it to her, and so begins her burden of constantly looking over her shoulder, as well.

Now that Valentine’s on her own, she has to protect herself. The old fear is there, and it’s very real. But Valentine isn’t alone any longer.

Levi Connor rides into her life with a bullet in his leg, half dead from cold, hunger and blood loss. Once Valentine saves him, will he ride on, or will he stay and help her face her nightmare-turned-reality–the man she must acknowledge as her father?

Valentine intrigues me because I don’t know where she came from in my imagination. I “met” her walking along the road in the blizzard, carrying a wounded collie pup. I just knew she was the one for Levi. Have you ever read a story with an unlikely love match that stuck in your mind? I always am curious about what makes one person fall madly in love with another–especially when the odds are stacked against them.

There’s lots of excitement and action—and a Valentine’s Day hope for new love in this novella! Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered to win a copy of HIDDEN TRAILS today!

 

PRPHidden Trails WebBLURB:

Levi Connor has never run from anything in his life, and he doesn’t intend to start now. After killing the two bandits who’d followed him into Indian Territory, he finds himself wounded and riding through a blinding February snowstorm. With no purpose ahead of him and no past to guide him, he discovers a reason to exist—the beautiful mixed-blood girl who takes him in and heals him.

Valentine Reneau lives in fear that her father will find her someday in the heart of Indian Territory and force her to return to Mississippi to take her mother’s place—in every way. She knows her time has run out when a stranger shows up on her land with two hired guns—and the devil in his plans.

With some unlikely help, Valentine must try to escape the slave’s fate that her mother left behind so many years before.

Will Levi kill for a woman he barely knows? The chips are down, the guns blaze, and everything finally comes clear along these HIDDEN TRAILS…but who’ll be left alive?

EXCERPT:

She pulled the covers away so she could see his leg. Without saying anything more, she took the lantern from the nightstand and turned up the wick, holding it close to the wound.

“I better get to this,” she said under her breath. Then, she glanced up to meet his gaze. “How long have you been carrying this bullet? And what are you running from?”

Levi grimaced as she turned her attention back to the wound and prodded at it.

“Three days. And I ain’t runnin’, ma’am. A Connor don’t run.”

“And you are a Connor, I take it?”

“Levi Connor. Didn’t get a chance to introduce myself earlier,” he muttered, letting go a sharp breath as she laid a warm, wet cloth over the wound.

“Need to get it cleaned up,” she said. “I don’t want to hurt you, but it can’t be helped. Taking out a bullet is always painful, but when it’s been in there for three days—”

“I know.” He waved a hand dismissively. “I’m just obliged to you—and I’ll make it up to you—for bein’ such a bother.”

She shook her head. “No bother. Truly. My father was a doctor, so I do know a little about what I’m doing.”

Levi breathed a slow sigh of relief. This wasn’t his first bullet hole. But thank God, he’d ended up here, with a beautiful young woman who seemed capable of treating him. There had been times before when he would have prayed to be in this circumstance, rather than some of the ones he’d found himself in.

Gentle hands ministered to him, but he suddenly remembered the very delicate location of the bullet hole and tried to re-cover himself.

“Mr. Connor, I’ve seen everything you have—and many others just like it,” Valentine said matter-of-factly. “I can’t very well remove a bullet from a wound I can’t see.” She snatched the covers from his hand and threw them back to his side. “You’re making it harder for me to be able to do what I need to.”

“In a week or two, I’d pay money for you to flip those covers away like that,” Levi answered.

She bent a long, hard look on him. “I’m not for sale, Mr. Connor. Not at any price. You want to keep riding?”

Levi shook his head. “Forget I said that, Valentine. Just the pain and the…damn humiliation talkin’. I didn’t mean it.”

A slow smile quirked her lips. “I can’t imagine you ever being embarrassed.”

“Believe it or not, I was raised a gentleman, ma’am.”

“I believe it, Mr. Connor. I do believe it.” Her voice was soft and sincere, and full of loss for things Levi didn’t understand.

But just then, she pulled the wound open and probed for the bullet, and the pain stripped everything else away from him. There was nothing in Levi’s consciousness but Valentine and her tweezers, delving into the bloody hole in his leg. He swallowed back the cry that threatened to bring the roof down, forcing it away.

 

Y’all know me…heh heh heh…as if this isn’t enough, trouble is on the way to Valentine’s house and is about to find her and Levi! I hope I have intrigued you!

AMAZON:    HIDDEN TRAILS  by Cheryl Pierson  

PRPHidden Trails Web

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHERYL’S AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE:  https://tinyurl.com/2k7xeddt

 

Order your copy of LOVE UNDER FIRE today!

 

A MARSHAL FOR CALLIE–KINDLE LINK: https://tinyurl.com/yn85vnkk

A MARSHAL FOR CALLIE–PAPERBACK LINK: https://tinyurl.com/mryt2fwf

 

Thanks for stopping by today! Be sure to leave your contact info along with your comment in case you win!

Christmas Decor Crawl ~ Cheryl Pierson

Hi Everyone!

Christmas is probably my very favorite time of year–every single year. My husband says I’m still “a big ol’ fifth grader” when it comes to Christmas, and he’s probably right about that.

Today I thought I would just share a few of my decorations–I don’t ever do ‘trendy’ things because my decorations and ornaments are ones that I’ve had since I was a child, going up through my early years of marriage, ornaments my own children made in school, and those we used to buy for them each year and hang on the tree. I couldn’t bear to get rid of any of these and opt for something more modern!  These two pictures are last year’s tree since I have none of my presents wrapped this year yet, and I had to show you all the very best present of all that keeps on giving every day–Sammy, the dog!

Every year, I always include the little ladder with Santa and his elf climbing up to the middle of the tree. I got this when my kids were very young, and my son Casey was fascinated with my earrings. He took a little Christmas sticker and drew a picture of an earring, attached the sticker to the edge and put it on the elf’s ear. That elf wore that earring for YEARS until the glue finally let go and the earring was lost. You can see the ladder, Santa and elf in the first picture on the left side of the tree.

The first Christmas ornament I bought for us when we married--two love birds! Still have it and it's always on the tree!

This is the first ornament I bought when Gary and I got married, waaaaaay back in 1979. It’s hard to see, but it’s two lovebirds with a red heart between them, surrounded by a clear heart. This is all blown glass and very fragile.

 

The last ornament my mom ever bought me. Clear glass, very fragile, and I put it on the tree every year!

 

Another “oldie but goodie”–originally a package tie-on, my mom converted this little deer into a much-loved ornament!

 

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I cross-stitched this ornament for her while I was in the hospital after my C-section. She has very dark hair in real life, but who knew? LOL This little angel is blonde!

 

Here’s the poor little mismatched, loved-through-decades nativity set. Mom and Dad had this nativity set before I was born in 1957! Oh, how I loved this, from the time I was able to crawl over to it! Some of the figures are plaster and have not stood the test of time (and three kids) all that well. I cut up a piece of green velvet fabric I wasn’t supposed to use to make Baby Jesus a beautiful blanket about 2 inches square for His cardboard manger. One of the wise men has disappeared, along with the donkey who didn’t make it, and a sheep. But, there are two camels, a cow and a sheep, along with a shepherd, two wise men, Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus and a plastic angel. The stable is cardboard, too. My mom gave this to me one year for Christmas when I was in my mid-thirties, and my kids were very small. We had a good cry over it at the time, but what a gift I will treasure forever!

This is one of my mom’s paintings that I am using on a display in my living room this year–it’s a very wintry scene and looks great with the bright red lighted poinsettias and some other Christmas-y things on my couch table. Below, you can see the entire display. That’s her painting right next to the old-timey lantern.

Here’s another favorite–back when latch hooking was so popular, I made this little Christmas tin soldier and he goes on my door every year. I can’t even remember how long it’s been since I made him, but I’m sure it was very late 1970’s. It wouldn’t be Christmas without him!

Here’s a couple of new additions to my holiday decor. These beautiful reindeer that I leave out all year round. I can’t bear to put them away. I’ve named them Fred and El Wanda, after my parents.

This is a plate I couldn’t resist and a little cute miniature bird house. Bought all of this just this year, but I won’t ever part with all the traditional decorations I love so much!

I always put “icicles” on my tree–this is something we did from the earliest Christmas I can remember, as a kid. I remember when we used to buy those for .17 a box–now, they are three boxes for $14.29!!!! Times have changed, in some ways, but I’m not sure it would be a real Christmas without those icicles, so it is my one big splurge from my usual practical outlook. 

I’m going to attach a short story here that I wrote many years ago about why icicles are so important in our family tradition. It is based on a very true story, and I hope I did it justice. Merry Christmas, everyone!

 

 

SILVER MAGIC by Cheryl Pierson

Did you know that there is a proper way to hang tinsel on the Christmas tree?

Growing up in the small town of Seminole, Oklahoma, I was made aware of this from my earliest memories of Christmas. Being the youngest in our family, there was never a shortage of people always wanting to show me the right way to do—well, practically everything! When it came to hanging the metallic strands on the Christmas tree, my mother made it a holiday art form.

“The cardboard holder should be barely bent,” she said, “forming a kind of hook for the tinsel.”   No more than three strands of the silver magic should be pulled from this hook at one time. And, we were cautioned, the strands should be draped over the boughs of the tree gently, so as to avoid damage to the fragile greenery.

Once the icicles had been carefully added to the already-lit-and-decorated tree, we would complete our “pine princess” with a can of spray snow. Never would we have considered hanging the icicles in blobs, as my mother called them, or tossing them haphazardly to land where they would on the upper, unreachable branches. Hanging them on the higher branches was my father’s job, since he was the tallest person I knew—as tall as Superman, for sure. He, too, could do anything—even put the serenely blinking golden star with the blonde angel on the very highest limb—without a ladder!

When Christmas was over, I learned that there was also a right way to save the icicles before setting the tree out to the roadside for the garbage man. The cardboard holders were never thrown out. We kept them each year, tucked away with the rest of the re-useable Christmas decorations. Their shiny treasure lay untangled and protected within the corrugated Bekins Moving and Storage boxes that my mother had renamed “CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS” in bold letters with a black magic marker.

At the end of the Christmas season, I would help my sisters undress the tree and get it ready for its lonely curbside vigil. We would remove the glass balls, the plastic bells, and the homemade keepsake decorations we’d made in school. These were all gently placed in small boxes. The icicles came next, a chore we all detested.

We removed the silver tinsel and meticulously hung it back around the little cardboard hook. Those icicles were much heavier then, being made of real metal and not synthetic plastic. They were easier to handle and, if you were careful, didn’t snarl or tangle. It was a long, slow process—one that my young, impatient hands and mind dreaded.

For many years, I couldn’t understand why everyone—even my friends’ parents—insisted on saving the tinsel from year to year. Then one night, in late December, while Mom and I gazed at the Christmas tree, I learned why.

As she began to tell the story of her first Christmas tree, her eyes looked back through time. She was a child in southeastern Oklahoma, during the dustbowl days of the Depression. She and her siblings had gotten the idea that they needed a Christmas tree. The trekked into the nearby woods, cut down an evergreen, and dragged it home. While my grandfather made a wooden stand for it, the rest of the family popped and strung corn for garland. The smaller children made decorations from paper and glue.

“What about a star?” one of the younger boys had asked.

My grandfather thought for a moment, then said, “I’ve got an old battery out there in the shed. I’ll cut one from that.”

The kids were tickled just to have the tree, but a star, too! It was almost too good to be true.

Grandfather went outside. He disappeared around the side of the old tool shed and didn’t return for a long time. Grandmother glanced out the window a few times, wondering what was taking so long, but the children were occupied with stringing the popcorn and making paper chains. They were so excited that they hardly noticed when he came back inside.

Grandmother turned to him as he shut the door against the wintry blast of air. “What took you so long?” she asked. “I was beginning to get worried.”

Grandfather smiled apologetically, and held up the star he’d fashioned.   “It took me awhile. I wanted it to be just right.” He slowly held up his other hand, and Grandmother clapped her hands over her mouth in wonder. Thin strands of silver magic cascaded in a shimmering waterfall from his loosely clenched fist. “It’s a kind of a gift, you know. For the kids.”

“I found some foil in the battery,” he explained. “It just didn’t seem right, not to have icicles.”

In our modern world of disposable commodities, can any of us imagine being so poor that we would recycle an old battery for the metal and foil, in order to hand-cut a shiny star and tinsel for our children’s Christmas tree?

A metal star and cut-foil tinsel—bits of Christmas joy, silver magic wrapped in a father’s love for his family.

This anthology is only available used now, but it’s well worth purchasing from Amazon if you can find it, and reading so many heartwarming Christmas stories from yesteryear! Hope you all have a wonderful, wonderful Christmas and a fantastic 2024!

Christmas horses

 

 CLICK THIS LINK FOR CHERYL PIERSON BOOKS AVAILABLE ON AMAZON!

CHERYL’S WINNERS!

Thanks to every one of you who stopped by today to read and comment on my post about MONDEGREENS. Oh, my goodness that was so much fun!

I’m picking two winners this evening for your choice of any one of my books in digital format!

My winners are:

AMY JACOBS and CHRISTY MALONE!

Congratulations, ladies, and if you will please e-mail me at fabkat_edit@yahoo (dot) com and  let me know which book you’d like to have and your e-mail address, I will see that you get your prize!

 

WHAT IN THE WORLD IS A MONDEGREEN? AND A GIVEAWAY by Cheryl Pierson

 

I know you are wondering. Mondegreen is a word that means the mishearing of a popular phrase or song lyric. (BOY, have I been there many times!)

I found this information and a wonderful list of Mondegreens on Dr. Michael Barber’s link on the web.  Here’s what he has to say about the origin of the word Mondegreen.

The word Mondegreen, meaning a mishearing of a popular phrase or song lyric, was coined by the writer Sylvia Wright.

 

 

 

As a child she had heard the Scottish ballad “The Bonny Earl of Murray” and had believed that one stanza went like this:

Ye Highlands and Ye Lowlands

Oh where hae you been?

They hae slay the Earl of Murray,

 And Lady Mondegreen.

Poor Lady Mondegreen, thought Sylvia Wright. A tragic heroine dying with her liege; how poetic. When it turned out, some years later, that what they had actually done was slay the Earl of Murray and lay him on the green, Wright was so distraught by the sudden disappearance of her heroine that she memorialized her with a neologism.

I have never heard of a Mondegreen before just about three days ago, and then, in the space of those three days, I saw it used twice in internet postings. I had to find out exactly what it was.

We’ve all done this, haven’t we? We want to sing along but we aren’t sure of the lyrics so we just…sing what it sounds like, even though it might not make the best sense. Later, we find out what we were singing was, well, not right, and didn’t make the best sense, as we’d always thought!

I’ll go first. When I was about 8, the James Bond movie Thunderball came out. The theme song was by Tom Jones.  Here’s the verse I always sang wrong:

He knows the meaning of success,
his needs are more so he gives less,
they call him the winner who takes all,
and he strikes like Thunderball.

Well, in my defense, I was 8 years old and what I actually sang made sense to ME: Instead of “they call him the winner who takes all” I sang, “the cold in the winter who takes all”—see? Perfect sense! Summer days were gone.

When Garth Brooks’ song Shameless came out, my sister and I happened to be talking on the phone one day about music and she said, “There is one song I don’t get. That song by Garth Brooks… “SHAVING”—why is he singing about shaving?”  I thought she was putting me on, but no. She really thought he was singing SHAVING instead of SHAMELESS.

My mom told me one time that when she was young, she and her sisters would go buy a Hit Parade magazine and gather round the radio listening to the “hits”, hoping they were in their magazine. They’d find it quickly in the magazine and try to memorize the lyrics along with the music. But there was one song that had some Spanish words in it and they just had to try to mimic the sounds, because none of them had a clue about Spanish, and I’m guessing that even if that song was included in the magazine, there would have been very little chance they’d have figured out the pronunciation on their own. I said, “Weren’t you embarrassed to be singing the wrong words?” She said, “No, because no one else could do any better.” HA! I have laughed and laughed about that through the years. The problem with a Mondegreen in another language is there are so many possibilities of what you might accidentally be singing about.

Here is a fun partial list of some Mondegreens you might recognize. For the full list, go to Dr. Barber’s page here: https://uh.edu/~mbarber/mondegreens.html

The artist is Elton John (Rocket Man), the Mondegreen is:  Rocket man, burning all the trees off every lawn. The actual words are: Rocket man, burning out his fuse up here alone.

The artist is Don Henley (Boys of Summer). The Mondegreen is: after the poison summer has gone. The actual words are: after the boys of summer have gone.

How about Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams”? Mondegreen is: when the rainbow shaves you clean you’ll know. Actual words are: when the rain washes you clean you’ll know.

And here’s a good one too, from Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Bad Moon Rising. The Mondegreen is a choice this time, with: There’s a bathroom on the right, OR There’s a baboon on the rise. Of course, it’s actually There’s a bad moon on the rise.

What about you? Do you have a Mondegreen to share with us today? Leave a comment for a chance to win a digital book off my backlist–or my latest story LOVE UNDER FIRE — your choice!  I really do love these!

 

CHERYL’S WINNERS!

A great big thank you to every one who stopped by today and participated in identifying the VERY BEST slow dance songs EVER! This was a fun blog day for me and I hope you all enjoyed it too!

My winners of the Kindle copy of LOVE UNDER FIRE are:

KATE SPARKS and MARIA LEEPER!

Ladies if you will e-mail me at fabkat_edit@yahoo.com I will see that you get your prize!

Again, thanks to everyone for participating in this fun day!

 

THE ALL-TIME BEST SLOW-DANCE SONG (AND A GIVEAWAY)–by Cheryl Pierson

Hi everyone! This is something that intrigued me the other day and I wondered what you all thought about it, too. I was on Facebook and saw this question: WHAT IS THE VERY BEST SLOW DANCE SONG?

Y’all know that got my little mind to wondering…and WANDERING! I had to scroll through many of the answers just to see what people thought—but not before I answered with my pick. The very best slow dance song (and in my opinion ONE of the very best songs ever recorded) is Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers. I am careful to always say “by the Righteous Brothers” because this song had a lonnnnng history of covers and remakes before the Righteous Brothers ever made their version of it. And theirs is the best.

But what did other people think was the best? There were so many opinions—and some were songs I had not ever heard of that became popular in the 90’s and 2000’s. By the same token, I’m sure there were plenty of songs that were popular in long years gone by that I haven’t ever heard, either.

 

Since many of us write historical romance, this also made me realize that songs of those old days in history (back in the 1800’s) might not be as meaningful to us now as they were to folks then—maybe they even seem childish and simple, not a song that would speak of love to your partner as we would think of today.

HERE’S THE LINK TO UNCHAINED MELODY–JUST A GORGEOUS SONG!

https://youtu.be/IYj2hex99gY

Some of the others that people listed as the “very best slow dance song” were:

At Last by Etta James

Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton

In the Still of the Night

I Only Have Eyes for You

Only You by the Platters

Earth Angel

These are just a few! The thread was full of songs, too many to list here. My hubby and I never had a “special” song. In our early years, we had our own band and played mainly country rock and easy listenin’ music, so I heard (and sang) an lot of different songs, but Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers was always my favorite song (and that was one we never performed, because who can top the Righteous Brothers?)

Order your copy of LOVE UNDER FIRE today!

 

What is YOUR favorite slow dance song? I’m giving away two digital copies of LOVE UNDER FIRE today, so be sure to comment! (This did make me wonder what my characters, Johnny and Krissy, might have wanted to slow dance to way back in 1899!)  

THE TREASURED SUGAR BOWL–by CHERYL PIERSON

I don’t know if y’all remember my “attic saga” from a few months ago, but I wanted to tell you about a particular treasure I found. The attic floor was sagging from all the “stuff” that was stored up there—yes, it was all stuff I had kept, but in my defense a lot of it had come from other places: My mom’s and dad’s when they could no long live at home; my oldest sister when she had her stroke and had to go into a nursing home; and of course, the things I’d kept for my kids; and my OWN keepsakes! WHEW! That was a lot!

Everything has been cleaned out and gotten rid of or “re-kept”, but I’m down to a total of about 18 containers now from probably close to 75 or 80. There were still 5 or 6 that I had not gone through that I’d brought downstairs, knowing they were going to take some time, since they were a hodgepodge of things that included correspondence and pictures, as well as other things.

 

My dad and mom on their 47th wedding anniversary

                                             My dad and mom on their 47th wedding anniversary

But the very first time I opened one of them up and started to go through it, I found something wrapped in cotton, and then in tissue paper, and a bag, and I knew that was something my mom had done. Mom was one to always write notes on things to let us know what they were. This was something my sisters and I would roll our eyes at, because she was so detailed in the descriptions she wrote.

But this time, I was so glad.

This treasure was something I’d never seen or known about. It was a sugar bowl. The note explained it all, and I still get teary when I think of it.

 

You see, my sisters were 10 and 12 when I was born, so a good part of my parents’ lives together had already happened by the time I came along. Certainly, the very hard times of first starting out together, of having their first home, and their first child (and second!) and those lean years that were now in the past.

But the sugar bowl told the story in a way conversational description could not.

When I unwrapped it, it was a China pattern I had never seen, so the sugar bowl must have remained after the other pieces had been broken. Maybe that’s why she saved it. I took the lid off, half-hoping there would be a note inside to tell why it had been wrapped so carefully and kept all those years.

I was not disappointed. This note is so typical of the things my mom wrote and taped to keepsakes. She didn’t want her life or the past to be forgotten. What a blessing to have found this!

 

This just made my heart glad in so many ways, and this sugar bowl, with the note inside, is sitting on the top shelf of my desk so I can just glance up at it whenever I want. That remembrance she included in the note of how happy she and my dad were with their little family, before I was ever born, is something I will treasure forever.

 

Mom and Dad, newlyweds, 1944

Of everything I’ve come across in those crates from the attic, this is the most treasured item I’ve found so far. There is a chip in the lid, and a crack that has been glued back together, and Mom’s ever-present masking tape holding the lid shut so it won’t fall off and break, but it will take a lot to beat this treasure!

 

In my book, LOVE UNDER FIRE, my heroine, Krissy, finds the pink pistol amidst her possessions. She doesn’t know who it belongs to or how it came to be in her bag, but instantly, she admires the feel of the wooden case, and she knows it was carved with such love. That’s how I feel about this sugar bowl. That note my mom included is filled with love and gratitude for those sweet memories of earlier days.

Have you ever found or been given something that had been forgotten or put away that you felt this way about? Please tell us about it!

I’m giving away a DIGITAL COPY of Love Under Fire to two lucky commenters! Don’t forget to check back tomorrow to see if you won!

Order your copy of LOVE UNDER FIRE today!

Be sure to check out the PINK PISTOL SISTERHOOD series page on AMAZON!