A Charismatic Cowboy

Casanova front cover (2)

You could see it in the way he did most anything.  His manner of even holding a chair in his hands before sliding into it could made it a mesmerizing sight to see.

If you lived in the Rusty Springs Valley, many women were, of course, fascinated by him.  The new cowboy had such a confident stride.   If his blue-gray eyes glanced at you, it was plain to see there was an uncanny interest in them for you.  An extremely effective gesture.  It’s a rare man who could do so, such a little thing, but, it could bring such remarkable feelings, such joy.

His lifestyle was fascinating, scary perhaps to a few, but one woman later said that he had been, “her hero.”

Award-winning Western artist, Debbie Hughbanks, corralled him one day at work and captured this image.

His story and the adventures he took part in during his time in the Rusty Springs Valley appears soon on Amazon and Kindle.  Perhaps it be read some day by Books in Motion, who will be  releasing the audio book Rusty Springs, the first in a series of how the Old Wild West lives on there in that Valley.

As one male reviewer says: “The people and places seem like the ones I know.  A “hot” cowboy, the women chasing him, a Vietnam Vet, the ranches of the West, all make it seem as if I am one of the characters.  Many can put themselves in the story as either one that lived some of that life, or one that fantasies about being there.”




It might have been the casual attitude that he wore a long-sleeved blue-denim shirt, the well-worn cowboy hat, or the broken-in boots.



Casanova Escapes from Prison

Italian Casanova

This portrait of an Italian Casanova thanks to Photo Pin.  Here continues the story of how Casanova escaped from his Venice Prison in the Doges Palace when no one had done so in the early 1700’s.

It gives us an idea of who the REAL Casanova really was, not my story’s version of a Casanova cowboy, the book available late this April.

In one of the seven cells in The Leads,  it is dark, with little ventilation in the heat of a Venetian summer with millions of fleas.  During one of his walks in the prison garret, he finds a piece of black marble and an iron bar which he smuggles back to hide in the folds of his arm chair and waits for the chance to sharpen the bar on the stone in between cell mates.

He starts gorging through the floor under his pallet bed directly over the Inquisitor’s Chamber.  He plans to leave during a festival, a time when no one would be in the Chamber.  Just days before the festival, guards come to move him to a larger, more lighted cell with a view in response to his to a friend’s plea that he have a larger cell with a view and better food.

He protests, saying, “But I’m perfectly happy here,” but persuades the guards to bring his armchair to the new cell.  He’s stunned and feeling low.  The only thing he can do is not to think of the future. Hope returns when he hatches another plan upon meeting a priest in the cell next door.  He talks a guard into carrying the bar to the priest under a big bowl of pasta, who then makes a hole and climbs across to Casanova’s cell.

The priest is so afraid of the consequences of being caught, he’ll help Casanova to escape but he’ll stay behind.  The two pry through the roof’s lead plates and make it onto the sloping roof of the Palace where Casanova opens a grate over a dormer window.  They break the window and with a ladder they find on the roof and a bed-sheet rope,  they go down 25 feet below into the room below and rest until morning.

They find a change of clothing, break a small lock on an exit door, sneak through galleries and chambers and go down the stairs where they convince a guard that they have inadvertently been locked inside the Palace after an official function.  Casanova takes off at 6 a.m. in a gondola heading for Paris.

Later, he writes in, The Story of My Life, –Thus did God provide me with what I needed for an escape  which was a wonder if not a miracle.  I admit that I am proud of it; but my pride does not come from my having succeeded, for luck had a good deal to do with that; it comes from my having concluded that the thing could be done and having the courage to  undertake it. 

This is a good premise to remember as you face your world today.



How Is the Real Casnova Like My Casanova?

Italian Casanova

Authors write about the places and things they know.  I have written the western fiction, Casanova Cowboy, because I have stood on the Bridge of Sighs in Venice, Italy, which leads to the prison in the Doges Palace where the famous Giacomo Casanova was imprisoned.

His presence centuries later lingered where I stood–this legendary lover, writer, a man who traveled from one end of the other in Europe, seeking answers beyond the conventional.

The charming and masterful lover was an adventurer much like Lance, the cowboy I write about in my story.  He was first of six children born to an actress on April 2, 1702 in Venice.

By vocation and self pronouncement, he was among many other things, a lawyer, clergyman, military officer, violinist, con man, dancer, diplomat, spy, politician, playwright and writer of over 20 works of plays, essays and letters.

He was fond of gambling, just like me.  In his day, it would have been faro, basset, piquet, whist, a game like bridge, of which I’m also fond.  He said about gambling, “I had neither prudence enough to leave off when fortune was adverse, no sufficient control over myself when I had won.”

Like my protagonist, he often avoided “sustained” work, got into trouble when prudent action would have been better.  He lived largely by quick wits, steely nerves, and social charm.

His writing reveals that he liked to use soft words when speaking to a woman.  He said, “A man who makes known his love by words is a fool.  Verbal communication, however, is essential, because without speech, the pleasure of love is diminished by at least two thirds.  Words of love must be implied.”  (He did use “assurance caps” to protect women.)

One of the more fascinating parts of Casanova’s life was his imprisonment at The Leads at the Palace.  At the age of 30, he was taken there without a trial for speaking out in public against religion.

The Leads, which took its name from the plates covering the Palace roof, had seven cells on the top floor of the east wing wing of Doges Place reserved for those of high status or for political prisoners.  His sentence was for five years.

He was placed in a dark, drab place, alone.  It was the worst cells in the bunch and he looked for a way to escape.

In Part Two of my tale of Casanova, you’ll learn how he escaped and was later allowed to return to Venice if he’d only tell officials how he managed to do it.





The Beautiful Visitor

woman thinking
“Here she is — the prettiest girl in the West.”

Lance has a visitor at the Oliver Ranch where he has come to be a hired hand for the summer.  He told the Olivers no one knows where he was going.

He comes in with her on his arm.  The Olivers who are almost beside themselves with  curiosity almost trip over the throw rug in front of the sofa in their haste to get up to meet her.

Joy Ann Oliver has a wide smile on her face openly admiring the woman as she takes her extended hand.  Her husband, Larry, comes up eager to meet the lady, but Joy Ann now has placed a second hand over the visitors.  “Pleasure,” he says, angling in closer in a loud voice as he attempts to get his wife’s attention and move her away.

Lance chuckles at the sensation she is causing.

Later, after Lance escorts his guest back to his room, Joy Ann says to Larry, “Doesn’t she have the most beautiful name.  Imagine a name like Ferris.  It’s as beautiful as she is. Ferris, it rhymes with Paris.  Didn’t she have the most beautiful hair?  Have you ever seen more beautiful eyes?  Or hair?  Soft like a halo around her head and silver in color.  Can you believe silver hair.  Never saw anything like it.”

“What face?”

“You didn’t notice?”

“Couldn’t get past lookin’ at the tight little getup she was wearing. Besides she’s the best looking gal we’ve ever seen in these parts.  Now Joy Ann don’t you think about getting anything like what she has on.”

“I’d never get any work done around the ranch would I?” said Joy Ann, who had grown accustomed to a husband who never pays her a compliment.

As the summer goes on, Lance will become Joy Ann’s hero.




What Is the Rancher’s Wife Missing?


Joy Ann Oliver has always yearned for a man who appreciated her feminine qualities. A person who offered adventure and romance like the cowboy could not be resisted.  His face spoke a language if pleasure, giving a woman, or yet, a man, something to feed their fantasies.

Now she had the chance to pry information from him.  She was so nervous she almost forgot what she was going to do.  The phone rang and her husband left the room so she could go ahead with her plan.

Her heart began pounding.

She sat down beside the cowboy, not daring to look directly at him.  His eyes could take the thoughts right out of her head.  Their light-blue color seemed to chance to deep, dark blue.

“I’ve never known anyone who takes to the road like you do,” she said with a sigh, “Someone who actually lives in a tipi.”   She wondered what he was thinking.  He did seem to have a sixth sense about women.  Does he know that I’m trying to pin him down, analyze his actions, and then put him into some type of container with an appropriate label–safe, unsafe, friend or lover?

“You’ve been kind to me since I’ve been here,” he said.  “Would you like me to tell you why I have come?”

She about fell off the chair.  Joy Ann looked up at him, suddenly worried about what she might learn.  His voice was soft, his tone sincere, giving her the feeling he was at least going to tell the truth.

She didn’t move one little bit.  She craved to know things about this charming man.  The urge to uncover his mysterious past kept building.  The reasons for him being at their ranch twisted and turned.  Now was her chance to find out — that’s if her husband didn’t return too soon and she wouldn’t find out what her heart yearned to know.



A Cowboy Brings a Breath of Fresh Air When He Arrives in the Rusty Springs Valley . . .

Joy Ann Oliver is first to be attracted to the charms of her husband’s hired hand.  His devil eyes and his finely-chiseled face speak a hidden language of pleasure.  His manner of living life also intrigues her husband.

He’s the Casanova Cowboy.  You’ll be hearing what other women say about him, too, in these weekly blogs during March.

When Joy Ann, for example, tells a group of her friends, The Stitch N’ Bitchers that he is working at their ranch but doesn’t want anyone to know it, Stormy Smith, a young woman, asks, “Is he cute?  Will I like him?”  Gladys, an older woman, urges, “Joy Ann, now don’t pimp so fast.  He may be on the run.”

Casanova Cowboy when it is anticipated to be published April 27th unfolds along with wild and unruly happenings in the valley.  When fall comes and the cowboy departs, the women who fell into his orbit will never forget eyes which could warm like a shot of Jack Daniels.

Each had something missing in her life and was hoping the cowboy would be the one to fill it.

Joy is infectious.
Start reading about the adventures of the Casanova Cowboy soon – right here – don’t forget.  


These Things Are Fun

Snowbird DRAFT1a+l cover JULY 14 2014.indd

  • A smooth flowing pen or a dark pencil.
  • Starting the day walking, gardening or journaling.
  • Figuring out what to do if a character has a crisis.
  • Someone tells me they have read one of my books.
  • Blogging about people or events.
  • Enjoying a dinner party we’re hosting that lets me be a guest, too.
  • Planting wildflowers and imagining them in bouquets.
  • Trying a new recipe that turns out better than expected.
  • Conquering a problem.  The little van pictured on the cover of Snowbirds provided many, but the joys experienced were rewarding.
  • Realizing the U.S. is a great place to live.
  • Finding St. Andrews Anglican Church in Trail, B.C., a place of tranquility, happy people and beautiful music.