Catch as Catch Can and Classic Movie Junkie

Bogart and BacallVivian: You go too far, Marlowe.
Marlowe: Those are harsh words to throw at a man, especially when he’s walking out of your bedroom.

From The Big Sleep, 1946, Warner Brothers

Catch as Catch Can

I see the writing on the wall. Summer is wrecking my Sunday blogging schedule. Something to do with it being all sunshiny on the weekends. Talk about distractions. So many things to do, people to see, yard sales to investigate, fields to romp in…

So, I’m cutting myself a break from blog-guilt and setting up an official Catch as Catch Can Summer Blogging Schedule. This means I may or may not be popping up weekly. Or bi-weekly. Or not. Or… possibly on a day other than Sunday. (Holy cow! All this craziness is making me feel devilish. I may dash out to the mailbox without my sunscreen. I’ll let you know how it goes.)

So, what guilt-inducing “should” thing are you taking a vacation from this summer?  Think about it… 😉

Tidbits

I’d be remiss in the Shameless Self-Promotion Department if I didn’t mention a lovely review that popped up earlier this month on BOOK BABE  for my 1920s romantic mystery IT HAD TO BE YOU.  The comment that made me smile the most? “It’s like Nancy Drew in the twenties…”

BROKEN VOWS is on Prime!

Historical Western Romance

There was more to that handsome gun than she wanted there to be…

In other news, BROKEN VOWS the ebook is on Amazon Prime. That means, Prime members can borrow it for free. This one’s my best seller to date—a sensual marriage of convenience western set in 1870s Texas. Here’s the link. (So, go grab it. Go now. I’ll wait.)

<Elevator music…>

<More elevator music…>

Back?  Good. 🙂

Speaking of fun distractions, I got to visit recently with talented authors Karen Rose Smith and Natalie J. Damschroder at a booksigning event.

Karen was signing her brand new cozy mystery—the second in her Caprice De Luca series—DEADLY DÉCOR. Natalie was featuring three of her contemporary romantic adventure titles, ACCEPTABLE RISKS, BEHIND THE SCENES, and FIGHT OR FLIGHT.

If you’re looking for some entertaining summer reads, look no further. You won’t be disappointed!

Classic Movie Junkie

Yep, it’s summer, but there is such a thing as a rainy day. Here are two classic movie picks for this week if you’re not out barbecuing or sunning by the pool.

Sunday June 15

 Poster_of_the_movie_The_Courtship_of_Eddie's_Father3:45 pm   The Courtship of Eddie’s Father (1963) Romantic Comedy/Drama. TCM. The precocious young son of a widower plays matchmaker.  Glenn Ford, Shirley Jones, Ronny Howard.

Why?  This is the less well-known movie (based on a book) that inspired a popular TV series that aired from 1969 to 1972. (Got that?) Ronny Howard steals this show. He was at the height of his kiddie cuteness and a darn good child actor—both funny and heart-rending as the motherless Eddie Corbett.

Glenn Ford and Shirley Jones play the newly widowed Tom Corbett and the divorced girl next door, both of whom are afraid to risk their hearts for a new love.  Family-friendly viewing.

 Friday June 20

 9:30 am   The Big Sleep (1946) Film Noir/Mystery/Romance TCM. Private eye Philip Marlowe is hired by a wealthy retired A_Humphrey_Bogart_in_The_Big_Sleep_trailer (1)general to pay off his daughter’s blackmailer. He stumbles instead into a puzzling case of murder. Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Martha Vickers.

Why?  The twisting-turning mystery is secondary in this five-star classic. This is a Hollywood-sanitized Hays Code version of Raymond Chandler’s detective novel, The Big Sleep, but it makes up for what’s glossed over with clever Chandleresque dialogue and smart romantic chemistry. Witness Bogie and Bacall burn up the screen without removing a stitch. Excellent from start to finish.

Times listed are EST. Check here for your U.S. time zone Turner Classic Movie monthly schedule.

Have a great week!

Photo credits:

Bogart and Bacall – By Warner Bros. [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Courtship of Eddie’s Father – Reynold Brown [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Bogart – By Trailer screenshot Licencing information :http://www.sabucat.com/?pg=copyright and http://www.creativeclearance.com/guidelines.html#D2 (The Big Sleep trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Sneak Peek Sunday … Something wicked this way comes.

Sneak Peek SundayWelcome to Sara Walter Ellwood’s Sneak Peek Sunday! This is our last visit with Cal Delaney and Rachel Girard, the bounty hunter hero and cattle princess heroine from Broken Vows, a marriage of convenience tale set in 1878 Fort Worth.

Last week, Rachel began to realize that, with caring, comes risk. Cal has just come to the same realization.

He believed when he hung up his guns that he was finished with his old life and ready to make a new one, but after so many years of living by the gun, does he have it in him to put down roots and make this his home? Maybe it’s impossible for a man to escape what he is. Maybe it’s foolish to even try.

Cal’s right to feel uneasy. There’s trouble brewing. Some aspects of his past will not be left behind…

***

Cal filled his lungs with sweet, clean night air that still carried traces of beef stew from the chuckhouse. The cattle in their pens rustled lazily. Crickets chirped. From somewhere behind the stable, he heard two cats hissing and squealing. Either fighting or making love. He raised his gaze to the moon. It hung low in the sky, nearly full, round and yellow and wrapped in a ghostly haze. But it wasn’t a cloudy evening. What was that filmy haze swirling like misty fingers over its face?

A familiar chill raced up his spine. It reminded him of the hunt—when he was getting close to one of his prey. But he wasn’t a hunter anymore, and a bizarre turn of phrase came to mind. Maybe not the hunter but the hunted?

Don’t ever let your guard down, Cal. Who had taught him that? The old gunhand Grady? Jason Farley, perhaps?

He stared at the moon. That haze, that swirling mist, put him in mind of the steam that rose from a witch’s caldron as she stirred up some diabolical delight, and he recalled a line from Macbeth: By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes.

Instinctively, his hands dropped to his sides, to his thighs where his Colts used to ride. They were, of course, not there. He clenched his fists and tore his gaze from the giant glowing orb in the sky. He resisted an irrational urge to steal a glance over his shoulder. There was nothing back there, just a stable full of horses and two randy cats going at it like there was no tomorrow.

Historical Western Romance

There was more to that handsome gun than she wanted there to be…

You’re spooking yourself, Cal. He shook off the feeling and headed back up to the big house.

***

Broken Vows is available now at AMAZON.

Next time… a peek from A Touch of Camelot, a historical western with a Camelot twist!

For more fun sneak peeks, hop on over to SNEAK PEEK SUNDAY HERE!

Sneak Peek Sunday… So, what’s love got to do with it?

Welcome to Sara Walter Ellwood’s Sneak Peek Sunday! This is week 6 of a 7-week series with Cal Delaney and Rachel Girard, the bounty hunter hero and cattle princess heroine from Broken Vows, a marriage of convenience tale set in 1878 Fort Worth.

Historical Western Romance

There was more to that handsome gun than she wanted there to be…

Last week, we left our sparring newlyweds getting along about as well as a pair of Kilkenny cats. Circumstances will soon arise, though, that force them to either work together or risk exposure of their bogus marriage contract.

There may be hope for these two yet.

With caring, though, comes another sort of risk. When Cal goes into town on Rachel’s birthday and fails to show up for supper that night, Rachel assumes the worst. And the worst, she’s stunned to discover … hurts.

***

It was already past dusk. The night was clear and balmy. She ran across the darkened lawn until she reached the pavilion, far enough away to feel safe from prying eyes. She grasped the wooden railing, trying to catch her breath and calm herself. A cow mooed, low and mournful, and a calf bawled back. She could see the bunkhouse from here. Light poured from the open windows. Distant male voices drifted on the night air.

She imagined Cal in bed with Lacey Holloway and waited for the anger to come. She willed it to come, like a conjured spirit, swift and sure and furious. She needed it to come, but it wouldn’t. All she felt was a sick sort of churning in her stomach, a maelstrom of emotions she couldn’t identify. Cal Delaney, whoever he was, whatever he was, he wasn’t good for her. The sooner he was out of her life, the better.

Then she heard it. Hoofbeats. Soft and regular, thumping on the dirt drive.

She turned to see his tall figure astride Friday, the stallion that had brought him all the way from Dodge City and beyond, the horse that probably knew him better than any person ever would.

With the back of one hand, she wiped at eyes still brimming with tears. Thank heavens the sun had already set. Any redness would be undetectable in this light. She smoothed her skirt and folded her arms. She knew she was visible from the corral where he was now drawing rein. If he had any decency at all, he would try to explain.

Cal dismounted and tethered his horse to the hitching post. She recognized the tilt of his hat, the long, easy strides as he turned and started back toward the house—his walk

***

Sneak Peek SundayNext week … something wicked this way comes.

For more fun sneak peeks, hop on over to SNEAK PEEK SUNDAY HERE!

Sneak Peek Sunday – They Tangle!

Sneak Peek SundayIt’s Sneak Peek Sunday! (Yes, two blog hops in one week. Check out my February 22nd post below to join the Romancing the West Hop.)

This is week 5 of a 7-Week visit with Cal Delaney and Rachel Girard, the bounty hunter hero and cattle princess heroine from Broken Vows, a marriage of convenience tale set in 1878 Fort Worth.

Poor Cal. He and Rachel have been married for less than a week, and—without a little bed-warming at night to smooth out the day’s rough spots—the road of holy matrimony is proving to be very bumpy indeed.

He’s trying to get settled in working the family ranch, but Rachel has been baiting him for days. He can’t so much as turn around without her being there, her sharp eyes following his every move, just waiting for him to make a mistake. She’s not shy about pointing them out, either— right in front of every ranch hand within earshot…

***

She stood on the other side of the fence. He couldn’t see her, but he could hear her, and he could feel her eyes boring holes into the space between his shoulder blades. “You’re not planning on selling that bull in the holding pen to Charlie Canfield this afternoon, are you?”

Cal stopped coiling some rope and turned. She wore a white linen blouse tucked into a light tan skirt. The collar was open-necked, and he could see a fine sheen of perspiration coating the exposed skin of her slender throat. It was all the more frustrating that, even though he felt like he could wring that lovely neck, the sight of her sweating in the hot sun was singularly arousing. “Do you see a problem with that?” he asked.

Historical Western Romance

There was more to that handsome gun than she wanted there to be…

Paco and the other ranch hands stopped what they were doing and looked up. They had been observing the sparring newlyweds for two days now.

Rachel sucked in a deep breath before her eyes locked once again with her husband’s. “Yes, as a matter of fact, I do.”

Silence descended like a death shroud over the rapt group. Cal set his jaw. He didn’t say anything for a long time. Finally, he tossed his lariat to Paco. “I’ll be back in a minute.” He crossed to the fence and scaled it. If she wanted a showdown, she’d get a showdown. Cal was being paid to act the part of her husband, not her lackey.

Upon seeing the silent fury on his face, Rachel’s eyes widened. She recovered quickly, though, and donned that go-ahead-and-try-it expression Cal was becoming all too familiar with. He snagged her arm in passing, swinging her around in a semicircle and forcing her to stumble along after him toward the stable. “We have to talk, Rachel my sweet.”

***

 Next week… So, what’s love got to do with it?

For more fun sneak peeks, hop on over to SNEAK PEEK SUNDAY HERE!