Wayward Westerns and Little House on the Prairie
Growing up, I was not a lover of westerns.
I never watched Bonanza (because, really?). I certainly never watched the movies.
And can I let you in on a little secret?
I hated the Little House TV series…
Okay, I liked it at first. I am a huge fan of the books. I often retell the story (as do my parents) that I read and reread those books about 20 times before I graduated high school.
I couldn’t stand the fact that the TV series went so far off the mark. (For the record, the Disney Miniseries a few years back gets my big thumbs up, I had a few nit-picky complaints but on the whole liked it).
I turned my back on the TV show and stuck with my books.
My senior year of high school I made my first foray into the world of TV Westerns with Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. Oh yes, I was in love with the sweeping romance, until the romance soured for me and I turned my attention to the townies. The secondary players fascinated me more (and still do).
After DQMW, I backed off the world of westerns everywhere but my writing. My fascination with the time period had begun with the clothes described in the Little House books, and continued on into full on love for the time period.
Still, it wasn’t until I married my husband that I discovered things like Wyatt Earp, Tombstone – and eventually we both went a little nuts over Deadwood (shame on you, HBO, for cancelling it!!). Now there’s Hell on Wheels, which my husband doesn’t enjoy as much as I do.
I often joke about how my love for two so disparate westerns can exist. And point out that in my first novel, Changing Tracks I sort of split the difference and make a town that’s a little of both worlds.
I know all of the shows hold inaccuracies. And I’m okay with that (in everything but Little House, sorry…). I love the way the story is told.
For the record, I do still read Little House. Not nearly as often as I once did, but I do still read them. My girls have started to read them too.
These days I appreciate a good western, and sometimes I even enjoy a really bad one (Cowboys and Aliens, anyone?).
After all, I can count them all as research, right? I do write Historical Western Romances, after all.
What about you? Do you like watching Westerns? What do you watch for? The clothes, like me? The stories? Or is just the atmosphere is enough?
Masked Hearts by Sarah Cass
Sweet Cravings Publishing
Sweet Cravings Website – http://bit.ly/12z5EuC
Minnie Woodward lives a lie. After barely surviving the Bear River Massacre she’s lived in the white world of her guardian Mister Rawlins, her life debt keeping her tied there. The last thing she needs is Roy’s attempts to gain her favor. Her fate’s sealed. She’s never believed in hope, and not even Roy can make her start.
Roy Ornum saves Minnie every night in the traveling Wild West show. The job he took to break his gambling habit brought him a new addiction – her. He knows she doesn’t want to be rescued, but maybe he does. She’s the key to a past he lost, one he wants to find again.
As the two grow closer old wounds are reopened and their burgeoning trust is shattered. When lives hang in the balance of their choices they’ll need to work together. Otherwise everything will be lost before hope can be found.
Her finger jabbed into his chest, bringing his attention right back to her flashing brown eyes. The fire she directed at him might have cowed another man. For him it brought back memories of sunshine. It also lit a blaze under her touch that spread like wildfire. “You leave me alone.”
“No.” Roy grinned at how fast her anger melted across her features. It would be suicide to yank her close and kiss her, though at the moment he wasn’t sure if he cared. He leaned closer. “I have been trying to get you to talk to me every day for the past year. I think you’re running out of excuses not to.”
“Don’t bet on it.”
“I don’t bet anymore.” He caught her finger when she jabbed at him again. The moment her hand opened to pull free he flattened it to his chest.
She tugged against his hold. “I do well not speaking to anyone. You’re the only one that seems to have an issue with it. Even the Mister prefers me silent.”
“You don’t want me talking to the braves. You won’t talk to me. I suppose you just want me to be silent too?” He held onto her hand a moment longer before setting it free. “Why do you hate them so much?”
“They stay.” Her chin lifted. Like a lifeline she held the tomahawk in a white-knuckled grip. “They say they owe the Mister more, but they don’t. They choose this. Weak little men.”
“How does that make them weak?” Roy furrowed his brow.
“They prefer this disgusting display to life on the reservation. They are afraid to live on a reservation. They are afraid to try to escape and go be free out on the land that was once ours—because there are so many of you white men to catch or kill them.”
“I have no choice.” Her jaw worked. A glimmer of a tear shimmered at the corner of her eye before a rapid blink carried it away.
“There’s a price on his head, and he’s old. He has no choice.”
“You don’t matter.” She tossed aside the tomahawk, and then turned to leave. “You’re one of them.”
“Minnie, wait.” Roy followed her to the supply wagon. Even though she ignored him, he crouched beside the chair. “Please, I only ask because it’s important.”
“I told you. You don’t matter.” She picked up her needle and the canvas. Quick stitches repaired the holes he’d shot in the tent.
“Not that. What tribe are you from?”
“I don’t remember.”
“Newe.” She kept stitching.
“Newe. The people,” he whispered.
A small yelp escaped. A drop of blood appeared on her thumb before she shoved it in her mouth. With wide eyes, she stared at him.
With a gentle touch he pulled out her thumb. “What?”
“How did you know that?”
“I don’t know. I think…I think I remembered it.”
About the Author….
Sarah Cass’s world is regularly turned upside down by her three special-needs kids and loving mate, so she breaks genre barriers, dabbling in horror, straight fiction, and urban fantasy. An ADD tendency leaves her with a variety of interests that include singing, dancing, crafting, cooking, and being a photographer. She fights through the struggles of the day, knowing the battles are her crucible and though she may emerge scarred, she’s also stronger. Now officially multi-published, she’s still working on bringing new stories to fill out her year and your reading lists. While busy creating worlds and characters as real to her as her own family, she leads an active online life with her blog, Redefining Perfect, which gives a real and sometimes raw glimpses into her life and art.
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