From Clancy Tucker’s Blog: 16 January 2016 – JAMES DEAN

Source: Clancy Tucker’s Blog: 16 January 2016 – JAMES DEAN

First of all, I’m reblogging this post because it brought back some memories. I remember going to see “Giant” with my mother, and falling in love. Then, over lunch, when she gently explained how he had died, I was devastated!

So here is a trip back to the 50’s with Clancy Tucker’s article…

G’day folks,

Today, I present some facts about a former heart throb from Hollywood. James Byron Dean was an American actor. He is a cultural icon of teenage disillusionment and social estrangement, as expressed in the title of his most celebrated film, Rebel Without a Cause, in which he starred as troubled teenager Jim Stark.

Everyone remembers the stunning black-and-white photo taken of James Dean in the mean streets of New York. He’s walking alone next to Central Park, hands wedged deep in the pockets of an oversized trench coat, smoking a cigarette and looking off into the distance. It’s an iconic image of an iconic young man, one who was taken from the spotlight before he ever really entered it.

When James Dean died in September 1955 he was just 24 years old. He had certainly gained notoriety through his work on East of Eden, a film that was largely improvised and won him the first ever posthumous Academy Award nomination for lead actor. But it wasn’t until a month after his death that the real film for which the actor became known for was released: Rebel Without a Cause. A short time later the third and final film for which the actor would be known, Giant, also hit theatres.

The actor’s roles in each of the films may have been significantly different, but it was his portrayal of rebellious teenager Jim Stark in Rebel Without a Cause that hit the right notes with adolescent movie-goers. That, coupled with the way Dean died (racing his Porsche 550 Spyder, which was nicknamed “Little Bastard”) propelled him to a type of immortal cult status like Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley, but one that celebrated rebellion and going against the status quo. Fittingly, it was also the only one of these three film for which Dean wasn’t nominated posthumously for an Academy Award, and the role that made him go for Giant in the first place; he didn’t want to be typecast as the bad boy teenager.

While Dean may have become something of a teen heartthrob onscreen, behind-the-scenes it was a different story. The man was known to pay very little attention to his personal appearance, reportedly sometimes even showing up places with disheveled hair or without shoes. That’s largely why the set of photos including the one mentioned above were such an integral part of his story. Shot by up-and-coming Life photographer Dennis Stock, these prints included photos of Dean visiting the town of Fairmount, Indiana, where he grew up, getting his hair trimmed or going about his every day life.

It’s this photo shoot that is the subject of the latest biopic revolving around the actor’s life in Life. In it, Dean is portrayed by Dane DeHaan, while the role of Stock is helmed by Robert Pattinson. The flick doesn’t hit theatres until December, but it’s already garnering mixed reviews from several film festivals, with criticisms against the film accusing it of shying away from digging deep into Dean’s personal interactions.

That includes the often looked over fact that Dean was reportedly bisexual, having had relationships with several men and women over the course of his short life. It’s a fact that’s been confirmed by Elizabeth Taylor herself, Dean’s Giant co-star who once counted Dean among her many gay friends.

In fact, after Taylor’s death in 2011, off-the-record interviews with the star surfaced revealing even more gossip about her former co-star. In an interview with the Daily Beast, the starlet dropped another bombshell to Dean fans everywhere.

“I loved Jimmy. I’m going to tell you something, but it’s off the record until I die. OK? When Jimmy was 11 and his mother passed away, he began to be molested by his minister. I think that haunted him the rest of his life. In fact, I know it did.”

Whether Dean’s racing and continued quest for speed (he upgraded racing cars several times in the years before his death) had anything to do with trying to escape his past is something the actor has taken to the grave with him. What he did leave behind is an image of restless youth intent on fighting The Man, and an actor who was able to express the hopes and dreams of the young in a way so few others ever have. Even if that wasn’t exactly the legacy he planned on leaving behind, it’s one that has stuck for more than half a century with movie buffs everywhere. It’s an impressive feat indeed, considering the man’s altogether short resume and life.

 

A Clancy Tucker’s Blog Repost: HARRIET TUBMAN

Reposted from Clancy Tucker’s Blog:

Harriet Tubman (1822–1913) was an escaped slave who became a leading figure in the abolitionist movement. Harriet Tubman also served as a spy for the US army during the civil war and was an active participant in the struggle for women’s suffrage.

Tubman was born Araminta Ross, to slave parents who lived on plantations in Maryland. Little is known about her family background and ancestry, but her maternal grandmother came to the US on a slave ship from Africa (possibly from modern-day Ghana).

Her parents Rit and Ben Ross had nine children together, but three of Harriet’s sisters were sold at an early age by their owners and she never saw them again.

Even as a young child Harriet was responsible for looking after her younger siblings because her mother was too busy working as a cook. Harriet was also hired as a nursemaid to a “Miss Susan”. She was frequently whipped by her overseers – leading to scars which would last all her life. For periods of time, she was also sent out to work for a planter – checking muskrat traps – and later farming tasks, such as ploughing and moving logs.

On one occasion, Tubman was hit in the head by a stone thrown by a slave owner. The slave owner was aiming at another slave, but the stone hit Tubman in the back of her head – cracking her skull and leading to lifelong headaches, epileptic seizures and dreams or visions. Tubman later attributed her bushy unkempt hair for reducing the impact of the stone and saving her life.

Around 1844, Harriet married John Tubman. Around this time, she adopted her mother’s maiden name, Harriet, in place of her childhood name Araminta.
In 1849, Tubman’s slave owner, Edward Brodress, died. This raised the likelihood Tubman would be sold, and the family split up. With her two brothers, Ben and Henry, she decided to escape from the large plantation in Caroline County where they lived and worked. The escape was successful, but after a few weeks, her brothers had misgivings because they wanted to return to their children; Tubman was forced to return with them.

However, soon after, Tubman escaped for the second time. With the help of the Underground Railroad, she took a 90-mile route northeast along the Choptank River towards Pennsylvania. The journey on foot could have taken a couple of weeks, with great care being needed to avoid slave catchers, who could gain a bounty for catching any escaped slaves. After reaching Pennsylvania, she expressed her tremendous joy.

In Philadelphia, Tubman took on odd jobs to earn some money, but she wanted to return to Maryland to rescue the rest of her family. A significant element of Tubman’s life was her strong religious faith. From her childhood, she had learnt aural biblical stories, and although she couldn’t read, she felt a strong faith in the presence and guidance of God. She related receiving intense visions and clear messages coming from God, and on the dangerous missions, she trusted in the direction and protection of God to succeed in her mission.

In 1858, she met the radical abolitionist John Brown, who advocated violence to promote the ending of slavery. Although Tubman never promoted violence herself, she was sympathetic to the aims of John Brown and assisted him in finding willing volunteers. Brown’s raid on Harper Ferry, Virginia failed and he was executed, but Tubman praised his courage in death for trying to fight the institution of slavery.

At the outbreak of the civil war, Tubman saw a Union victory as a way to advance the cause of abolition. She served as a nurse in Port Royal, treating soldiers suffering dysentery and small pox.

In 1863, Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, and Tubman became more involved in the efforts of the northern forces. She offered her services as a guide for scouting trips in South Carolina – using her skills to travel undetected. She also became the first woman to lead an armed assault during the Civil War, when she guided three steamboats to an assault on plantations on the Combahee River. The raid was a great success with around 750 slaves escaping onto steamboats; later, encouraged by Tubman, many of the liberated men went on to join the Union army – forming the first all-black corps. For her courageous efforts, she received favourable press coverage, though as a black woman she received no regular pay or pension (until 1899). During the war, she had to supplement her income by selling pies and root beer.

After the civil war, Tubman returned to Auburn where she continued to look after her family and other ex-slaves. She also remarried (Nelson Davis, 20 years her junior). They adopted a child Gerti.

Denied a pension, her financial situation was poor, but friends in the abolitionist movement helped raise funds.  An authorised biography Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman was written by Sarah Hopkins Bradford. Over the next few years, Tubman often gave speeches on both slavery and women’s rights. She was an excellent storyteller who could capture the imagination of the audience.

Tubman also began supporting the women’s suffrage movement, supporting the work of Susan B. Anthony and others. Tubman spoke of her experiences and suffering in the war and railroad movement as proof that women were the equal of men. This brought her wider national recognition.

She donated her property to the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Auburn to be converted into a home for aged and coloured people. After becoming increasingly frail, in 1913, she died of pneumonia, surrounded by friends and family.

Thank you so much, CLANCY TUCKER, for always providing such interesting blog posts!!

 

The first female detectives

From David Lawlor, a fascinating article! Check it out…

historywithatwist

Growing up in Dublin’s inner-city northside, my childhood was filled with crime.

Ironside, Mannix, Banachek, The Rockford Files, Hawaii Five-O, The Streets of San Francisco, Cannon, Kojak, Columbo, McCloud, Petrocelli, Quincy M.E… I watched them all.

They were cops and private detectives mostly, armed with snub-nosed Smith & Wesson’s, screeching around corners in Buicks, Chevrolets and Dodges, hubcaps flying off as they frantically pursued the bad guys.

Sometimes the cars got cooler – like Jim Rockford’s Firebird, or, later, Starsky and Hutch’s white-striped Gran Torino. One thing that was a given, though, was that all crime fighters were men. Then the female detectives Cagney & Lacey came along, and a small blow was struck for feminists. To teenage me, though, that last one seemed a bit, well… contrived.

Am I really expected to believe that these women can haul the killers off the street and lock them in the clink…

View original post 915 more words

STEVEN RAMIREZ: The Zombie Guy With a Living Heart!

I first met Steven Ramirez on Facebook, through the support group, ASMSG. I would see his name here or there, but because he wrote zombie novels, I have to admit, I paid little attention. After all, in my household I was known to run from the room whenever someone would turn on “The Living Dead.” But one day, I happened to “look inside” his book, TELL ME WHEN I’M DEAD and was instantly hooked. Reading it, I quickly learned a simple truism: When characters and story are well done and appealing, that’s all you need. If the prose is also terrific, it’s golden. I quickly became a fan.

Then, he not only read and reviewed one of my books, he graciously invited me onto his blog. More than that, whenever I’d post some promo of my work, there he was, happy to share it. I also noticed he was doing the same thing for other authors. Finally, I tested the waters by asking him if he was willing to beta read my western. He immediately stepped up and did a fine job, making vital comments that greatly enhanced my manuscript.

So thank you muchly, Steven, for all your kind and generous gestures! And living heart…

 

Amazon Bio:

Steven Ramirez is the author of the acclaimed horror thriller series, TELL ME WHEN I’M DEAD. A former screenwriter responsible for the funny, bloody, and action-packed movie “Killers,” he has also published COME AS YOU ARE, a horror collection, as well as a children’s book. Steven lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughters. He enjoys Mike and Ikes with his Iced Caffè Americano, doesn’t sleep on planes, and wishes Europe were closer.

You can connect with Steven

Amazon

Website/Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

 

FIVE FUN FACTS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT ME

  1. While in high school, my band recorded a song I wrote. Sadly, it never sold. As a college student, I was stranded in London one night. A religious cult took me in and tried to convert me. It didn’t take.
  2. At one point in our marriage, my wife and I owned a Thoroughbred. They sure eat a lot. I wrote and directed a short film starring Rose Hobart, a truly amazing woman who began her film career at Fox in 1930.
  3. Many years ago in Pasadena CA, I ran into the renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, who was presumably on his way back to Cal Tech. I wish I had been better prepared.

     

JAMES MOUSHON: Generosity Runs Supreme on the Blogosphere

For an author, much good can come from participating in a boxed set. Exposure, of course, is the number one benefit. In addition, another title is automatically added to your stable. But by far what I found to be the most rewarding gift I received when I joined the set of, “Love In Times Of War,” was meeting new authors who have now become friends. It also brought James Moushon. A fine novelist in his own right as well as a consummate reviewer/blogger/promoter, as soon as I ‘met’ him he proved to be incredibly supportive of me and so many others. After giving reviews for each author in this particular boxed set, he then invited every one of us onto his blog, where he proceeded to interview and create very nice looking, well composed promotional posts.

That wasn’t all. To my delight, he continued on with this path of generosity. Without my even asking him, he presented a couple of other books of mine, always with the thoughtful comment in his email informing me of his newest post about me: “Please let me know if you need anything else from me.”

In short, how could I not include him on my KINDNESS KORNER? So thank you so much, James, for your largesse and extreme kindness to those of us in the Indie Author world.

BIO:

James Moushon is a Mystery writer, Author Advocate, and a Book Publishing Blogger. His blogs recently passed ONE MILLION views.

Starting over 15 years ago, he helped lead the startup of the electronic forms industry in the creation, conversion and usage of electronic forms by supplying that industry with a continuing source of published literature, software products and training seminars.

In 2003, Moushon changed his focus to ebooks and their development.

He is the author of the Jonathon Stone Mystery Novels. He has published three books: Black Mountain Secrets, Game of Fire and The Cajun Ghost plus several short stories including Operation No Sanctuary (June 2017), Operation Camp Navajo (July 2017), and Operation Asian Tiger (August 2017). All featuring CIA Agent Jonathon Stone.

A Jonathon Stone Mystery Short Story Winter 2017 has been released:

Operation Sundown (November 2017), Operation Little Havana (December 2017), and Operation Listen Close (January 2018). All featuring CIA Agent Jonathon Stone.

You can find his blogs at:

HBS Author’s Spotlight http://bit.ly/QVEMix

The blog’s purpose is to help authors get exposure in the book publishing industry. He has interviewed and showcased over 600 authors to date.

HBS Mystery Reader’s Circle http://bit.ly/19Nfrx8

The HBS Mystery Reader’s Circle provides information about the latest novels and what is coming next from a collection of Bestselling and Outstanding Authors in the Mystery, Thrillers, Historical Fiction and Crime genre.

eBook Author’s Corner http://bit.ly/TauYkJ

The Corner is a collection of Author advice and studies including Marketing, Social Media and other major topics created to help writers in today’s everchanging world of book publishing.

He has spent the majority of his adult life developing computer systems and thinking about writing mysteries.

His website is: www.jamesmoushon.com

To contact him, e-mail: james.moushon@gmail.com

Website: James Moushon – Mystery Writer

Author’s Blog: eBook Author’s Corner

HBS Author’s Spotlight

Twitter: @jimhbs

E-Mail: james.moushon@gmail.com

Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads

Google+: Check Out Google+

Facebook: Check out Facebook

 

Historical Saturday Review: “Trouble in Glamour Town” by SR Mallery

Much thanks to Christoph Fischer for this lovely review of my newest!

writerchristophfischer

Trouble In Glamour Town by [Mallery, S. R.]I’ve been following SR Mallery’s writing from the start and am a big fan. Here is the blurb for her latest master piece, followed by my review. Enjoy!

Hollywood, 1926. Where actors’ and actresses’ dreams can come true. But do they? While silent screen movie stars reign supreme, a film producer is gunned down in cold blood. Enter Rosie, a pretty bit-player, Eddie, her current beau, and Beatrice, her bitter stage-mother. As real celebrities of the time, such as Clara Bow, Lon Chaney, Gloria Swanson, and Rudolph Valentino float in and out, a chase to find the killer exposes the true underbelly of Los Angeles––with all its corruption.

I’ve been saving this book for the festive season as I knew I would enjoy this murder mystery set in prohibition Hollywood. An aspiring actress is at the centre of a murder investigation: her ex-boyfriend is murdered on a film set and…

View original post 319 more words

SUZANNE JENKINS’ The Jade Emperor

by 3 Comments

Almost fifty years ago, I read  Pearl Buck’s Letter From Peking. I was a new bride, faced with my own boogeyman when my husband was confronted with the draft. We were all petrified in those days; for a man to get drafted was an automatic order to go to Vietnam, or so we thought.

Four months after we were married, Jim received his notice that it was time to get his draft physical, and rather than take his chance with the Army, he and a friend joined the Air Force where supposedly, according to the recruiter, chances of going to war were much less. Well, he went to Vietnam.

In Letter From Peking, the American protagonist living in China with her university professor, half Chinese husband, is forced to return to the states with their infant son when the Japanese invade the country during World War II. Her husband isn’t allowed to leave, and to prove his loyalty to the Chinese government, is forced to do something that made my skin crawl. Lol! I won’t say anymore in case you decide to read the book. I was haunted by that book for years.

When Jim returned to the states from Vietnam, it never occurred to me to think he might have left a child over there until I started to read about all the Vietnamese/ American babies who were growing up without their fathers. Fortunately, that’s one thing I’m writing about that I have not experienced. But the idea haunted me. What if a couple, nearing retirement, had to face the secret of an ancient affair and its outcome?

The Jade Emperor is FREE on Amazon from DECEMBER 29th to JANUARY 2nd. Please consider leaving a review for my book when you’re finished reading 🙂

 

 

The Jade Emperor received Runner Up in General Fiction at the Southern California Book Festival.

 

 

Colleen’s #Book #Reviews – “Trouble in Glamour Town,” by Author, S. R. Mallery

Much thanks to the wonderful author, Colleen Chesebro, for this great review of my TROUBLE IN GLAMOUR TOWN.

Colleen Chesebro ~ The Faery Whisperer

  • Title: Trouble in Glamour Town
  • Amazon Author Page: S. R. Mallery
  • File Size:  2185 KB
  • Print Length:  202 Pages
  • Publisher: Self Published by Author
  • Publication Date: November 12, 2017
  • Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B077D7T2KC
  • ISBN-10: 1979566070
  • ISBN-13: 978-1979566070
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Historical, Fiction

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

“Hollywood, 1926. Where actors’ and actresses’ dreams can come true. But do they? While silent screen movie stars reign supreme, a film producer is gunned down in cold blood. Enter Rosie, a pretty bit-player, Eddie, her current beau, and Beatrice, her bitter stage-mother. As real celebrities of the time, such as Clara Bow, Lon Chaney, Gloria Swanson, and Rudolph Valentino float in and out, a chase to find the killer exposes the true underbelly of Los Angeles––with all its corruption.”

MY RECOMMENDATION:

Welcome to Los Angeles, California. The year is…

View original post 741 more words

The Dolan Girls is part of the “Thrill Me!” GIVEAWAY Audio Event!

THE DOLAN GIRLS is proud to be part of author/blogger/artist Uvi Poznansky’s

“THRILL ME!” event: 12/8/17 – 12/9/17, where the various authors shown below will #GIVEAWAY copies of their audiobooks.

Here are all the authors included in this giveaway event

@uvipoznanskyauthor

 

GO TO THE FACEBOOK EVENT

 

 

 

The narrator for my THE DOLAN GIRLS is Nancy Peterson, who does both a terrific job capturing the essence of my book, as well as truly portraying the Wild West.

CLICK HERE TO HEAR THE AUDIO VERSION:

EXCERPT 1)  “Without warning, an Irish bodrán drum started thumping. Whoops and hollers were unleashed, and all attention swiveled toward the front of the room where the fiddler had started an Irish jig.

Minnie clapped her hands. “Come, girls, it’s the Dolans turn to shine!”

Grabbing Cora with one hand, Ellie with the other, she forced them out onto the middle of the floor, and using authentic Irish steps, her hands on her hips, she began dancing. Ellie laughed and chimed in. Cora stayed still, until her sister and daughter were dancing in true Irish style—legs executing intricate patterns, their upper bodies straight as laundry pegs holding steady on a clothes line.

Thinking of her ma, Cora shrugged and joined in, as the dance steps got more complicated and the entire room watched, egging them on with rhythmic applause.

It was as if she were back in that encampment so many years before, dancing in front of strangers in a new land. Only this time, it was in front of her friends, her neighbors, and Thomas. She let herself go.

The music and drumbeats swelling, soon it was over as abruptly as it had begun. People walked by the threesome, slapping them on their shoulders and nodding graciously, as conversation returned to normal and a lilting waltz infiltrated the room.

Thomas turned to Cora, taking in her sparkling eyes, her fly-away hair, her collar opened one button down, and asked in a low voice, “May I have this next dance?”

He held out his large hand.

Exhausted, taken aback, she reacted without thinking. “Sorry, Thomas. I’m quite tired.”

Instantly, she regretted her words. When she saw his eyebrows raise, and one of his cheek muscles twitch, she opened up her mouth to explain, to try to soften her remark, but it was too late.

Clearing his throat and straightening his cravat, he turned succinct.

“Excuse me, then. I intend on dancing,” he said coldly, and without a backwards glance, walked across the room and stopped in front of a school committee member’s oldest daughter, Merribelle. Within seconds, they were twirling around on the dance floor––he talking continuously, she gazing up at him with enamored eyes, hanging onto every word.

“You had your chance, Cora,” Minnie snorted, after watching them dance for a while. “He’s a handsome devil and if you don’t…”

“Just don’t, Minnie,” she flared. “I’m tired, I don’t feel like dancing, and I don’t need your meddling. Just leave me be!” Still, she couldn’t take her eyes off of Thomas’ arm around Merribelle’s waist.

“Folks, the next dance is Ladies’ Choice, so grab the man of your dreams and keep those dancin’ shoes goin’!” He hardly got the last words out when the room broke out in a cheer.

Shot full of adrenaline, Cora didn’t even hesitate. Charging over to Thomas and Merribelle, on their way to a second dance, all she could concentrate on was his arm, and how it should be around her waist, not someone else’s.

“No you don’t! Now it’s my turn, Miss Merribelle,” Cora said firmly, gripping Thomas’ arm from Merribelle’s slim waist and yanking him over to her.

With a slight shrug to the disappointed debutant, Thomas positioned his arm firmly around Cora’s waist and brought her onto the dance floor.

“‘Bout time!” Minnie called out, then watched them glide effortlessly, with Thomas’ Cheshire cat grin growing as large as all of Nebraska.

Pete steadied himself against her and gave out a large burp.

The waltz was extra slow and melodious and to further enhance the romantic setting, Mr. Corrigan had come up with a brilliant plan. Walking around the room, he blew out alternating lamps as the room dimmed in increments, the aaah’s grew serious, and the men’s arms tightened around their partners’ waists.

Ignoring the usual waltz ‘space protocol’ between partners, Cora’s and Thomas’ bodies moved together as a single entity as they rotated and swayed, wordless. Pressed up against him like old times, her body tingled. But there was something else. The stirrings she was feeling as his lower body hardened against her, were a sudden reminder of things she had not thought about for years, not since that night on Madam Ana’s porch so long ago. At one point, he leaned back slightly and carefully placed several wispy strands behind her ear, and when he stroked her neck with his fingers, she felt it down to her toes.

“Oh Cora,” he half groaned, as Cora felt the gooseflesh ripple over her arms. Still waltzing, still floating, they continued on, wordless, as Corrigan kept blowing out more and more lights.

Without realizing it, they had drifted out toward the back door, out where the air felt cool and fresh, and for the first time since forever, she wasn’t aware of her brain, only her senses.

“The moon’s almost full tonight,” she murmured. Biting her lip, she gazed up at him.

“Yes it is,” he murmured back, and pulling her close, lifted her face up toward his so they could kiss, for the first time in their lives as grown adults––slowly, deeply.

Sensations sparked through her like lightning bolts, sensations that made her kiss him back just as fully, as she ran her fingers through his hair. Transported, the screams of laughter and feet stomping inside had become a dim haze, as he stroked her back with his hands, and she melted even further into him.

“Lord!” Minnie exclaimed, coming outside where they stood.

Like two fighting cats being doused with water, the couple jumped apart. Minnie laughed.

“It’s about time…”

“Stop it, Minnie!” Cora flared, her chest still heaving unevenly. She glanced at Thomas and said, “I better go in now.” Minnie shook her head, while Thomas looked grim.

“Cora, please?” he pleaded.

“No, I need to go. After all, I’m not a young girl anymore. I’m a businesswoman,” she answered, fidgeting with her hair before she went back inside.

Thomas turned to Minnie. “I don’t understand her, Minnie. I truly don’t.”

“Thomas, honey, I guess she’s lived with a world of hurt, and frankly, she just doesn’t want to get hurt again, if you get my meaning,” she said, and headed inside.”

EXCERPT 2)

…The two sisters shifted into their usual standoff poses: Cora annoyed, self-righteous, her hands on her hips; Minnie, wiry, know-it-all, breathing hard.

Just then, one of their ladies entered. “Mrs. Cora, Miss Minnie, there’s a problem out on the floor.”

Cora sighed. “What now, Marlena?”

The soiled dove gulped before answering. “One of our customers, the old geezer one, is having a fit. Gettin’ real ornery, too.”

In recognition of a regular happenstance, the two sisters looked at each other and grimaced.

“Need any help?” Minnie asked Cora as she stood up.

“Nope, I have it under control. Thanks, Sis,” Cora replied and headed out the door, Ellie and her homecoming temporarily forgotten.

Out in the main parlor, the girls had already formed a wide circle around old Pete. Corsets, bustles, crinolines, pantaloons, and camisoles intermingled with a whiskey-stained suit, a grimy vest, and mud-caked boots. He was no match for them. As they gleefully shoved and tickled him, his fury rose with each breath, while his face ripened into the color of raw meat. Finally, when he could take it no longer, he sputtered, “She-devils!” which produced gales of laughter.

“Ladies, ladies. Enough. Leave the man alone,” Cora said, placing a concerned arm around the smelly habitué. “There, there, Pete. They meant you no harm.”

“As Mercutio proclaimed in Romeo and Juliet,’tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church door, but ‘tis enough, ‘twill serve. Ask for me tomorrow and you shall find me a grave man. All I wanted was a little love, Cora. I swear it!” He sniffled pathetically as the girls giggled.

With a dirty glance aimed at the group’s ringleader, Charity, Cora turned back to Pete. “You did produce some money, right, love?”

He looked down.

“Now, Pete, you know the rules.”

“I just wanted a little love. As Henry David Thoreau said, There is no remedy for love but to love more. He also said…”

“Now, Pete, enough about Thoreau,” she interrupted, gently angling him toward the door. As soon as he left with a snort and an “After all we’ve been through together,” Cora shook her head and turned back to face her employees.

“Ladies, she said, “some women in this town may look down on us, but I do have my standards. Gentility is most important, above all else. I thought I had made myself perfectly clear.”

A few head nods and corset scratching was all she got before Marlena stepped forward. “Ah, Mrs. Cora?”

Placing one hand on her hip, Cora sighed. “Now what?”

“He was full as a tick, that one was. He almost fell down twice.”

Cora squinted her eyes, assessing her new employee. “I don’t care how drunk he was. He, Miss Minnie, and I go way back.”

“But you tossed out a feller from Fanny’s bed just the other night. I reckon he wasn’t half as likkered up as that ol’ coot.”

Cora frowned. “I could tell the man with Fanny was going to be big trouble.”

“Yes, zat one very, very scared me,” Suzette, the resident French girl affirmed. “I zink Mrs. Cora maybe saved Fanny’s life.”

“Trust Mrs. Cora,” Rosie interjected. “She’ll always watch your back, or at least your backside!” There was an explosion of laughter.

“All right, all right. Get a wiggle on, ladies,” Cora continued, her eyes sweeping over them. “I heard a group of cowboys are ridin’ through town, maybe even this afternoon. Now, go, go!”

 EXCERPT 3)

A slow, undulating breeze ruffled the prairie grassland as the Baltimore & Ohio chugged on toward Cheyenne. High up on a distant ridge, the Soltano gang sat back on their horses and carefully surveyed the scene before starting their drill. Composed of two Mexican-born brothers, seven cohorts, and a new member named Clyde, each man inspected his Winchester rifle or Smith & Wesson, readied his bandanna, and roll-clicked a fast command to his horse before heading downhill toward the Pullman.

On the train, the passengers had been lulled into an exhausted stupor. After days of rhythmic jiggling and wheel clanking, they were looking forward to their final destination in Wyoming. Families, businessmen, and immigrants jostled silently in their seats, while thick dark clouds of smoke blasted past the soot-stained windows.

Down on the plains, the ten-member Soltano gang stretched out in a line, galloping furiously, their torsos bent forward over their saddles, their linen dusters flapping feverishly against the wind.

The train engineer had delivered careful instructions to his fireman, conductor, and brakeman earlier that morning. “Be on high alert today. We’ve got a safe overloaded with payroll, and we’ll be entering Wyoming soon. That’s not a good combination.” Seeing the nervous faces in front of him, he added, “But there’ll be a Pinkerton agent riding in the baggage car to protect the money, so there’s no cause for alarm. Just be watchful.”

The conductor nodded slowly and promised vigilance, but by noon, his predilection for liquor had gotten the better of him. Swaying slightly from side to side, he teetered through each passenger car holding onto seat backs and barely registering the outside world.

As they neared the train, the robbers slowed down long enough to position their bandannas up on their faces and secure their six-shooters. Four of them galloped next to the railroad tracks and stayed in tandem with the last car, four on each side. Two men covered the rear as designated horse wranglers.

The leader, José Soltano, still galloping, rode on ahead and hoisted himself up onto the moving baggage car as his horse dropped away and moved on, riderless. On the other side of the car, his brother Guillermo did the same. Soon, eight of them were onboard with bandanna-covered faces, empty burlap bags, and handguns cocked, ready to go.

 

HERE’S WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT THE DOLAN GIRLS:

1) “At times rollicking, at times poignant, but always authentic, well- researched and a beautifully told story.”

2)“A compelling read, perfect amount of romance, with a wonderful ending.  With Mallery’s warm writing style, you will be immersed in cast, time, and place.”

3)“S.R. Mallery’s words thunder off the page like a cattle stampede… her sharply written characters demonstrate that truly it was WOMEN who tamed the American West.”

4)“It’s a rip-roaring, nail-biting, heart-throbbing ride…my Stetson is off to S.R. Mallery, five stars all the way.”

5)”What a marvellous story… A well-researched book of historical value for this reader–entertaining and very warmly written. Highly recommended.”

6)“Mallery has done it again. THE DOLAN GIRLS leads you on a trip that is sometimes painful and sometimes loving. You are taken from innocence to womanhood. From love to heartbreak… Definitely 5-stars!”

7) “As a history buff, I just loved this whoppin’ good tale set in the old west…From the first word to the last, the pages couldn’t fly fast enough. Highly recommended!”

8)“S. R. Mallery gives us a colourful view of America’s wild west of the 1800’s… The characters are endearing and the action is fast paced  … Looking forward to more from this talented writer.”

9)“If you’re a fan of the old west, strong women, and enjoy a great read, this book is for you. Recommend highly!”

10)“The Dolan Girls is simply a wonderful book. It brings the West alive in a way that is not only historically interesting, but one can’t help but become fascinated with how the story is going to play out.”

11) “S.R. Mallery knows how to write historical fiction in a way that hooks the reader…”

12) “I loved The Dolan Girls. It was easy to get interested in from the start. I recommend that anyone wanting a good read of a clean historical western romance give this book a try.”