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Could Western Romances Make a Comeback?
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Kayne



Joined: 31 Mar 2007
Posts: 892

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 5:49 pm    Post subject: Re: westerns Reply with quote

xina wrote
....Kayne, did you mean to mention...The Coming Home Place by Mary Spencer? That is a wester/american historical, although Samuels, No Place Like Home is a great book, it isn't a western. The Coming Home Place is one of my favorites. I think I've read it at least 3 times...and I'm not a rereader...much. xina

Xina, so now I am wondering how you define a Western? I always thought of a western as a story that takes place out west and has some of the color, landscape or culture of the west. I think of Barbara Samuel because of the descriptions of Pueblo and I think its on a farm. Does it need to have horses or Indians to be a Western? I think Samuel has had a hero that is Native American in a book but I can't remember which one.

I also like the old Elizabeth Lowell series that includes Granite Man, Outlaw, Fire and Rain and Reckless Love. Jayne Krentz did a contemporary a while back called Cowboy that takes place in Arizona. They ride horses and he has a horse ranch so I would think it is a western.
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 6:48 pm    Post subject: Re: westerns Reply with quote

Kayne wrote:
xina wrote
....Kayne, did you mean to mention...The Coming Home Place by Mary Spencer? That is a wester/american historical, although Samuels, No Place Like Home is a great book, it isn't a western. The Coming Home Place is one of my favorites. I think I've read it at least 3 times...and I'm not a rereader...much. xina

Xina, so now I am wondering how you define a Western? I always thought of a western as a story that takes place out west and has some of the color, landscape or culture of the west. I think of Barbara Samuel because of the descriptions of Pueblo and I think its on a farm. Does it need to have horses or Indians to be a Western? I think Samuel has had a hero that is Native American in a book but I can't remember which one.

I also like the old Elizabeth Lowell series that includes Granite Man, Outlaw, Fire and Rain and Reckless Love. Jayne Krentz did a contemporary a while back called Cowboy that takes place in Arizona. They ride horses and he has a horse ranch so I would think it is a western.



Kayne, I think I did mention, on this subject, that I think there is, at least for me, a fine line between western and american historical. As for contemporary westerns I think a few of Kathleen Eagle's should be mentioned too.
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Kayne



Joined: 31 Mar 2007
Posts: 892

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:13 pm    Post subject: Re: westerns Reply with quote

Xina said
Kayne, I think I did mention, on this subject, that I think there is, at least for me, a fine line between western and american historical. As for contemporary westerns I think a few of Kathleen Eagle's should be mentioned too.

Yes, and I agree with you on the fine line between Western and American Historicals. Also agree on Kathleen Eagle for ex. I think What the Heart Knows is a good contemporary western. I haven't seen anyone mention Diana Palmer. Even though her stories mainly take place in Texas IMO I've always considered them to be westerns. I think the popularity of Sarah McCarty has recently sparked interest in westerns. Ann Marble asked about western covers and I have to say I'm not as crazy about McCarty's cover where the head is cut off. I guess I like seeing a cowboy hat. Kayne
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NoirFemme



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1476
Location: America

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kass wrote:
Quote:
ALL westerns are based on murders of native Americans?

Given that the white protagonists couldn't settle in the West without there having really, in history, murders of the native inhabitants of that land, yes. It's like celebrating English settlement of Irish land after Cromwell murdered and drove them out.


Urg...you shouldn't read any sort of historical, period, since someone always exploits someone else and profits nicely from it. Or how about no fiction, period, since Schola brought up the aspect of the sweatshop--which everyone but those workers benefit from. Confused Sorry Kass, you seem to be on a soapbox made of soggy cardboard.
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kass wrote:
Quote:
All of them? That's rather a broad brush, isn't it?

There is some alternate history where no Western settler ever settled on Native American land? I don't remember that. Do inform me of it, please.


Kass, are you saying that you will not read any book set in what was once Native American land? That would mean all books set in the United States, except perhaps Alaska. Hawaii would probably count because the Polynesian natives were politically displaced.

Assuming you are serious about an alternate history novel, I have an answer for you--though it's not an exact one:

L. Neil Smith's Probability Broach is an alternate history of the United States in which white settlers lived in peace with the natives and abolished slavery as early as the eighteenth century. By their 1970s, everyone lives in a multicultural, libertarian heaven. Cool
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"To be in a romance is to be in uncongenial surroundings. To be born into this earth is to be born into uncongenial surroundings, hence to be born into a romance." (G.K. Chesterton)
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That would put Australia out of the reading loop too regarding the Aboriginal Australians having to do with the British colonisation.
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 9:18 am    Post subject: Re: westerns Reply with quote

take place in Texas IMO I've always considered them to be westerns. I think the popularity of Sarah McCarty has recently sparked interest in westerns. Ann Marble asked about western covers and I have to say I'm not as crazy about McCarty's cover where the head is cut off. I guess I like seeing a cowboy hat. Kayne[/quote]


Also, Kathleen Eagle's two recent books feature Lakota cowboys (safe for even Kass to read since Kathleen Eagle's hubby is Lakota Sioux and Kathleen is known for getting it "right"). They are wonderful, but I've always loved her writing. Her covers are geat too but don't feature the cowboys, but the horses.
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Amanda



Joined: 25 Aug 2008
Posts: 289
Location: the midwest

PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking of dominating the native people. . . Wasn't England invaded by Normandy around 1100? Does that make the English repressed?
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Amanda



Joined: 25 Aug 2008
Posts: 289
Location: the midwest

PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

True -- though I doubt that most romance readers are willing to consider the option of a frontier heroine who smokes a corncob pipe (although many of them did in the real world).

I raced through this blog to see if anyone mentions Maggie Osborne and didn't see her name. She writes some wonderfully imperfect heroines who smoke, drink and tend to smell bad. In The Promise of Jenny Jones she had head lice and didn't like children. In Foxfire Bride jokes were made about the 'walks' the h/h took after taking a bath.

Shoot. I have to soap box a little too. Sorry to pick on Kass again, but these aren't just stories about subjugating the native people. It's also about the unprivilaged taking an opportunity to have a better life. One of the things I love about western romances is the dream these characters have for themselves and their children. These are characters who don't have generations of privilege and ease. It makes for a far more interesting story than coping with corsets and stays and the perfectly tied cravat by the butler.
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cheri



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1350
Location: michigan

PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amanda, I LOVE imperfect Heroines who smoke and drink. Any type of heroine that doesn't fall into normal stereotype woman of the time is good for me. Thanks for the rec, will be checking this author out. cheri
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Amanda



Joined: 25 Aug 2008
Posts: 289
Location: the midwest

PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cheri wrote:
Amanda, I LOVE imperfect Heroines who smoke and drink. Any type of heroine that doesn't fall into normal stereotype woman of the time is good for me. Thanks for the rec, will be checking this author out. cheri


Cheri,

I forgot Silver Lining by Maggie Osborne. This was one of the most physically unappealing heroines I've ever read, but she has tremedous growth during the story and I adored her by the end.
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4225
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheri, I think you will really enjoy Maggie Osborne. She's had some wonderful books out and I agree with Amanda in that some of her heroines are pretty iffy from the start, but you grow to love them as the book goes on.

In addition, there are:

I Do, I Do, I Do
The Wives of Bowie Stone
The Promise of Jennie Jones
The Seduction of Samantha Kincade
The Brides of Prarie Gold
and, of course, Silver Lining

Jill Marie Landis has written many good westerns, also. Her first was Sunflower and it was wonderful.

The queen of westerns just has to be Dorothy Garlock, though. She's been around since forever, I think; but I don't think her writing is old-fashioned at all. I still read and enjoy her novels.
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cheri



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1350
Location: michigan

PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks girls. Already mooched The Promise of Jenny Jones. I work quick. I 'll write down the rest too. Ill post after ready. And Tee, never read any of those authors either. cheri
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oh yes, Silver Lining is a wonderful book. Not your usual romance novel though, but rather a book about a heroine who comes into her own.....slowly. I read this in my first year reading in the romance genre, and I was puzzled as to why this was in the romance genre. The heroine was so unlike all the perfect heroines I had been reading. I was used to this sort of heroine outside the genre, but she is very different that the usual romance heroine. Keep that in mind and enjoy her! Loved this book...so long ago. I think I'll plan a reread! xina
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Susan/DC



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 1665

PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 10:22 pm    Post subject: Maggie Osborne Reply with quote

Cheri,
Be sure to let us know what you think of The Promise of Jenny Jones. She's a wonderful heroine, and definitely not in the usual mold. I discovered Osborne only a few months ago with this book, and it's a keeper.

OTOH, I Do, I Do, I Do contains some excellent writing, and it certainly gives you a sense of how very hard it was to be a pioneer in Alaska, but it didn't pack the emotional punch of Jenny Jones. Maybe it was because it had three primary romances so it couldn't concentrate on any one couple quite enough. I usually enjoy ensemble casts because I like getting a sense of a hero and heroine in a real world with interactions among family and friends, but that works better when there is one primary couple and others are more secondary. Fighting for equal time dissipated the interest a bit. Nonetheless, it's well written and worth reading if you find it somewhere.
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