Sunday, May 8, 2011

Back in Time: The Wild West (with a Giveaway!)

For those of you who are even the slightest bit familiar with me and my blog, you probably are aware of my love of the American West. So, what better way to kick off "Time Travel" week than to visit the Wild West? ;) Hop on in to the time machine and we'll be on our way! (I hope someone else knows how to drive this thing, though, because I am unlicensed and I have no idea what all of these buttons are for...)

Ahhh, the Old West. Perhaps a bit idealized in the future when it comes to gunfights and striking it rich, but still majestic nonetheless. If you're lookin' for wide open spaces, you've come to the right place!

I just love the landscape of the West, and the idea that at one time it wasn't so cluttered. What must it have been like to be with the Lewis and Clark expedition in the the early 1800s? To see nature extending on and on to the horizon without a modern city to block the view? It must have been grand (and perhaps rather daunting)! Here's a quote from The Journals of Lewis and Clark to give you a taste of what it must have been like on that journey:

"We were now about to penetrate a country at least two thousand miles in width, on which the foot of civilized man had never trod. The good or evil it had in store for us was for experiment yet to determine, and these little vessels contained every article by which we were to expect to subsist or defend ourselves. However, as the state of mind in which we are, generally gives the coloring to events, when the imagination is suffered to wander into futurity, the picture which now presented itself to me was a most pleasing one. Entertaining as I do the most confident hope of succeeding in a voyage which had formed a darling project of mine for the last ten years, I could but esteem this moment of my departure as among the most happy of my life."~Meriwether Lewis

Talk about an adventure!

OK, in all honesty, I have no time machine. (I know, I know--sad, but true!) However, for those of us who are book-lovers and movie-lovers (which I think is most of us...), we have the opportunity to visit different time periods with ease (no license required!). I love books set in the West, and I'm getting ready to start one soon by Karen Witemeyer called To Win Her Heart. And I know a lot of us are Mary Connealy fans, right? (More on that soon!)

If we're talking about the literature of the West, you know we have to mention cowboys! There's just something so appealing about them. This past semester in my Literature of the American West class we talked about the honor code of the West that is a fundamental aspect of Western literature--a certain code that is separate from the law, but one that causes men to fight fair and to not back down. You've just got to love an honorable man! ;)

The West (with its cowboys!) is a wonderful setting for stories in general, not just books. Take, for example, the movie Back to the Future Part III... Cowboys make fabulous heroes, don't ya think? I just love the fact that the third part of the Back to the Future trilogy finds Doc and Marty back in time--in the West! And I love that Marty takes the name Clint Eastwood. So fun! There's a great romance in this movie, too, because as I've already alluded to, the Wild West is a great backdrop for love. ;) Lots of chances for adventure and rescues!

Well, I hope you'll forgive the rambling! As a reward for visiting the Wild West with me today, I'd like to give one of you a chance to visit the Wild West again--through the pages of Mary Connealy's latest release, Deep Trouble! Here's how you can enter the drawing:
  • Leave a comment today regarding what you love most about the American West. (I'm guessing if you want to read a Mary Connealy book, you must like something about the West, right??)
  • For extra entries, leave a comment on the other posts this week (through Thursday). One extra entry per post, not per comment.
  • Don't forget to leave your e-mail address so I can contact you if you win!
  • Important Note: The giveaway is for a Kindle (e-book) version of the book. Even if you don't have a Kindle, you can download Kindle for PC for free and read it on your computer. =)
There's more to come, so be sure to stop by throughout the rest of this week to discuss other days gone by! Also, I hope you all have a wonderful Mother's Day!!

8 comments:

Carissa said...

I guess what I love most about the American west besides the landscape and open spaces. Would have to be the cowboys; in books and real life. To me they are heros that show case America. That every kid growing up dreamed of becoming a cowboy or cowgirl. How the myths and legends of the old west give rise to movie and books today. It's a way for people to go back to simpler way of life, if only for a short time.
Carissa
belovedgraceful@bellsouth.net

Casey said...

I love the symplicity of the era. Yes, the work was harder, there were greater dangers, but it would seem there was a connection and faith that isn't so easily found nowadays.

Fun post, my parents talk sometimes about that film, "Back to the Future". Sounds fun. :)

Email in profile, thanks!

Amber S. said...

Carissa,

Oh, yes--gotta love those cowboys and the legends of the West! ;) And I agree about the simpler times. As much as life must have had very different difficulties back then, there were less distractions with technology and such, I think. :)

Thank you for your entry!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Casey,

Yes, I think so, too! :)

I'm glad that you found this post to be fun--I'm afraid I sounded very random and unfocused... Oh, well! ;) And yes, I love the "Back to the Future" trilogy! Great time travel movies. :) I think the third is my favorite with the Old West setting.

Glad you could stop by!

~Amber

Keli Gwyn said...

I'm partial to California's Gold Country, which is where I live, and love learning about the adventurous men and women who left home and family in search of a new life in the Golden State. Sadly, the dreams of wealth were exaggerated, but most found many other reasons to love their new home.

Amber S. said...

Keli,

As a California girl myself, I think I'm partial to this state's history, as well. :) I definitely love that adventurous spirit that brought people out here, even though many met with such tragedy/disappointment. But there is a lot to love about California other than gold. ;)

Thank you for visiting today! Unless you let me know otherwise, I'm going to enter you into the drawing. :)

~Amber

Amanda said...

Gosh, sorry it took me so long to get here, my friend! What a fun post! My love for the Old West is fairly new and there are a few authors (Mary Connealy among them!) and a very special soon-to-be-published author (you know her well!) I have to thank for it :D

I love the idea of the wide open spaces the Old West offers, especially being from modern day East Coast ;) And I must say, I have fallen head over spurs for cowboys!! Rough, tough, rugged, hardworking and honest, like you said, how can a girl not swoon? Though I will readily admit to somewhat romanticizing the Old West when I’m sure, though beautiful and breathtaking, life was anything but easy and the land anything but forgiving. Don’t know if I would have been strong enough to do what those women had to do back then. So, I won’t be joining Doc and Marty in the DeLorean to head on back but I am content, and blessedly so, to visit the Old West via the pages of romance fiction :) Though, if I could go back in time and get me a Tom Linscott (from Mary's "Sharpshooter in Petticoats") I'd go in a heartbeat! After all, Mandy is my nickname ;)

And a Mary Connealy giveaway?? How appropriate!! ;) And wonderfully sweet of you, my friend :) I would love a chance to read her new one, thank you!!

Off to go check out the other posts!

Blessings,
Amanda
mrose608{at}gmail{dot}com

Amber S. said...

Amanda,

Aww, no problem, friend! Yes, there have been some great Christian Western romances recently, like Mary's and Karen Witemeyer's books. And you're going to make me blush with sweet comments like that! :) Your comments were just what I needed today!!

I'm guilty of romanticizing the West, too, for sure! But yes, I definitely agree with your reasons for loving it. :) And I love your Tom Linscott comment. ;)

So glad you could stop by, and good luck in the drawing!

~Amber