Keep watch here for news about my Virtual Valentine’s Day Party beginning February 7th and how you can win some prizes! It’s all to celebrate the publication of my novel WILDEST DREAMS, both in print and as an e-book, from Sourcebooks. You can also find the book at Amazon.com. It’s a true “Bittner” western romance, set in the wilds of 1800’s Montana – a great love story filled with real history, lots of action and adventure. This is a love story that spans a generation, one you will not soon forget!
I want to talk a little more about TV and big-screen westerns. In my comments about some of the best western movies I realize I failed to mention DANCES WITH WOLVES. Don’t know how I managed to leave that one out! And then there is THE BIG COUNTRY, a magnificent western. And although I mentioned some of the best TV westerns, I failed to mention a couple of western movies made for TV. Yes, the new AMC series, HELL ON WHEELS, is great; but yesterday I watched (for probably the fourth time) BROKEN TRAIL, a full TV movie with Robert Duvall (who needs to be added to my list of some of the most authentic-looking grizzly old cowboys I’ve ever seen). BROKEN TRAIL is one of the most realistic westerns I have ever watched, actually difficult to watch at times because it makes us face the pitiful, shameful way the Chinese were treated in the Old West, especially young girls kidnapped from China and brought to this country to be sold into slavery as prostitutes. In BROKEN TRAIL Robert Duvall and the men with him end up helping some of these girls, a bit by accident at first, and then because they realize they need to protect them from evil forces who want them back for slavery. This is such an incredibly touching movie that it makes you cry, and the best part about it is how Robert Duvall’s character and his partner depict (perfectly) the role of the true cowboy spirit, and the cowboy way of respecting and protecting women. They come through as true, yet humble, heroes.
Robert Duvall does this yet again in OPEN RANGE, with Kevin Costner. Again, the true cowboy spirit shines through in this story of rugged ranching life, as well as the quintessential good vs. bad plot line that is so important in all good westerns. Both these TV movies are some of the most realistic I’ve ever seen as far as what life was really like for cowboys/ranchers and their women in the Old West. And realism is what I love to write. I try hard to put myself in the shoes of my characters and imagine what it would be like to live with no electricity, no doctors, no conveniences, in a time when women did all the cooking and baking, all the sewing, scrubbing everything by hand, made the butter and the soap and the candles and helped with all the chores. It was a hard life, and I have tremendous respect for America’s pioneers, especially the women. We have no idea how good we have it today.
I know all I seem to talk about is westerns and pioneers and Native Americans, but that’s the genre I love and the only one about which I write. I believe that to do a good job writing a story, you have to totally love the subject matter and then immerse yourself in the story to the point that you believe the characters really did exist. I’ve had many readers who have written me to ask just that – were these people real?
Thanks for your continued support of my writing, and be sure to visiti my comments on other blogs who participated in my blog tour for WILDEST DREAMS!
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Publishers Weekly Review
"This Western historical is chock-full of danger, with families set on a vendetta, the threat of Emma’s stepfather, and the daily demands of Mitch’s job, but Emma is no wilting lily, proving she is a match for Mitch in every way."
Read More of the PW Review of