Monday, April 8, 2013

The Romance of the Old West, by Cassandra Dean

There’s just something about the Old West, about cowboys and gunslingers, saloon girls and fancy ladies, about the grim determination to carve a new civilisation out of an untamed land. I LOVE the Old West...But what is it I love about the Old West?

I keep thinking of this poster I have for the remake of 3:10 to Yuma, starring Christian Bale and Russell Crowe. It’s of a man, his back to us, staring down an oncoming steam train. His Stetson is drawn low, a leather jacket stretched across his shoulders, and around his hips two guns are slung, his hands poised ready over the hilt of both. Coloured in sepia and with the bold type of Western font proclaiming the title, the poster is just the bestest ever. However, it’s such a massively romantic view of the Old West.

In reality, the Old West would have been a tremendously hard place to exist. There was little to no infrastructure, as pioneers pushed further and further into the Western US. People were scarce, making it a lonely existence. Lawlessness abounded, and most of the rules and niceties were thrown out in favour of practicality.

But you should never let the truth get in the way of a good story ;) The Old West represents a hardy spirit, a time of new beginnings and the excitement of possibility. Anything could happen, a hundred thousand different things, and that more than anything is overwhelming attractive. There’s the romance of making things, of using your sweat and blood and own two hands to carve a place for yourself in a brand new land. A lack of rules and society can bring out the best in people, just like it can bring out the worst, making heroes and villains of everyone.
So I guess I’ll keep that poster of 3:10 to Yuma... and be thankful that gunslingers and cowboys look overwhelming sexy in dusters and Stetsons :)

Leave your answer to the following question about FOOL’S GOLD along with your email address in the comments below and you’ll go in the running to WIN a signed FOOL’S GOLD postcard and a FOOL’S GOLD magnet! International entries are welcome - if Australia Post can reach your country, you can enter!
Here’s the question, peeps:
In FOOL’S GOLD, what feature of Pearl’s makes Ethan haul her into a passionate embrace? (Hint: Check out the excerpt, peeps!)

Christmas in Freewill
Christmas Eve, the Diamond Saloon is empty of its people, and Pearl la Monte has a hankering to retire early. A pounding at the Diamond’s door rids her of such a fool notion. Her irritation rises when she sees the prissy, polite-like Garrett standing outside.
Ethan Garrett has a powerful need to gain succor. When the saloon’s voluptuous redheaded singer scowls at him from the threshold of the Diamond, he doesn’t stop to think on how his ire at her has disappeared. Or how he just wants to spend some time in her company.
When a blizzard storms in, trapping them, will they spend their time arguing or find their irritation for each other disguises something more?
Available from Decadent Publishing

Turning on her heel, Pearl marched off toward the stairs.
A weird kind of panic jolted through Ethan, one he’d never felt before in all his days. It was…he didn’t…. She couldn’t leave him. “Where are you going?”
She whirled to face him, her irritation plain. “I was seeking my bed before your arrival, and now I’m seeking it again. Help yourself to whiskey this one time. I got better things to do.”
Shoving to his feet, he strode to her. “Don’t just walk away when we’re discussing things.”
“We ain’t discussing nothing. You’ll be down here, waiting out the blizzard. I’ll be in my bed, doing what I was gonna before you arrived. That’s the end of it.”
Taking a step, she made to leave him. Again.
He grabbed her arm. “Don’t leave me.”
“Don’t tell me what to do.” Glaring at him, she stood before the bar, her magnificent hair slipping from its pins, her breasts rising and falling.
Abruptly, his mouth went dry. Clearing his throat some, he said, “You’re supposed to offer succor to those in need.”
“We’re closed, remember?” Paint-less lips pressed tight together, she glared up at him.
They were so close he could see the faint marks of freckles on her skin.
Pearl La Monte had freckles.
A kind of haze came over him, tightening his skin and bringing with it something all-fired powerful and completely unstoppable. All the years he’d known her crashed through him, all the times she’d flirted with him and meant something else, all the times he’d seen her perform on stage and wished he could have held such fire.
Grabbing her upper arms, he hauled her against him and, ignoring her shocked gasp, he covered her mouth with his.
Cassandra grew up daydreaming, inventing fantastical worlds and marvelous adventures. Once she learned to read (First phrase – To the Beach. True story), she was never without a book, reading of other people’s fantastical worlds and marvelous adventures.
Fairy tales, Famous Fives, fantasies and fancies; horror stories, gumshoe detectives, science fiction; Cassandra read it all. Then she discovered Romance and a true passion was born.
So, once upon a time, after making a slight detour into the world of finance, Cassandra tried her hand at writing. After a brief foray into horror, she couldn’t discount her true passion. She started to write Romance and fell head over heels.
The love affair exists to this very day.
Cassandra lives in Adelaide, South Australia.
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Only one entry per ISP address. Entrants must be over 18 years of age. By entering, you agree Cassandra can use your name when announcing the winner if you should win. If potential prize winner forfeits or does not claim the prize, prize will be re-awarded, in Sponsor’s sole discretion. All prizes will be awarded. International entries are welcome. No purchase necessary to enter. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. Void where prohibited by law.


Brooke Showalter said...

The feature is freckles ;) I'm a freckled girl, so I know how that can be LOL.

brookeb811 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

The feature was her freckles!

Jessica E. Subject said...

Great post, Cassandra! He pulled her into a passionate embrace because of her freckles. All the best!