I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Today is a mix of wonderful things that happened this weekend and one tragic loss. We lost screen legend Jane Powell September 16th. I am not going to go into great detail about this so I linked a wonderful article from MeTV about her and her career if you would like to read more about her.
I had planned to talk about Night Passage today with James Stewart and Audie Murphy, but with Powell's passing I decided to move that to next week. today's blog is more about her than a specific movie but I do love one of her movies in particular.
I have always loved her work in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. It is still one of my favorite movies. She had such a wonderful screen presence and her singing voice was fantastic. I love watching her go back and forth with Howard Keel in this movie. She was so petite (4'11.5") especially next to his 6'4", muscular build, and yet she still easily and believably gives him and the brothers what for on screen. She and Keel were great together.
While she she did not appear in a lot of western shows on stage or on the big or little screens, she does have some incredible credits to her name including Royal Wedding with Fred Astaire and Hit the Deck with Debbie Reynolds. When you read her biography, it seems as though she was performing her entire life. Powell began taking dance lessons at the age of two and performed on the radio program Stars of Tomorrow at the age of 5. By 12 she was performing on the radio to help sell victory bonds and at 14 she signed her first contract with MGM in Hollywood.
Her life was not a glamorous whirlwind of success that this brief history might imply. Powell was born Suzanne Lorraine Burce. As a child, she survived abuse from people around her as well as within her own family. She escaped that abusive environment and went on to build a successful career and transformed herself into Jane Powell, a name she took from her character in her first film, Song of the Open Road. You should take the time to seek out some of her movies. You will not be disappointed.
Movie Snack Recipe
In Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, there is scene after Powell's character, Milly, gets married and is heading off to her new home. She and her new husband stop on the way and she decides to pick some sorrel to cook for them later.
I thought this would be a great time to share a wonderful Spring Quiche with Leeks and Sorrel recipe from TheKitchn.com (<--- click to go to recipe - Image credit: Megan Gordon) Sorrel is a wonderful nutritious leafy green plant that you can often find growing wild in many parts of the world. If you do decide to forage for yours, just be sure you know what these plants look like. Check here with the Wild Foodie if you need help identifying wild sorrel.
Some great news that happened last night, To Celebrate Dianne's birthday, the eBook version for Part Six, Into the West: Last Showdown went on Pre-Sale September 19th.
The book is with my editor right now and depending on how fast we can get the edits made and uploaded to the publishing websites, the actually drop date might still change. It is currently set to download on September 25th (Shaggy's birthday).
To make that date, I have to have the final text uploaded by midnight September 21st. That is a long shot, but we are trying to make that happen. If we cannot make that, the drop date will only be pushed back a day or two. I hope to have the paperback on Pre-Sale before I go to bed tonight. The information is all set to go, but I need to update the cover a bit before I can set that up. I will make posts on my social media as soon as everything is set in stone.
One more bit of good news from this weekend. Dianne had a fantastic birthday weekend. Her incredible husband, Pedro, pulled out all the stops to make sure that happened. He even baked her a birthday cake. While he is well known for his cooking (He got Dianne's parents to eat a fish soup. If you knew them you'd know that was a miracle) and especially his grilling skills, this was only the second cake he has ever baked. The first being her birthday cake last year. According to Dianne, it was so good she had a hard time sharing it, even with him.
Last Bit of Business
Remember, many great western movies started out as great western books. If you haven't already, why not read my Into the West Saga Serial Collection (<---click to view books). Parts one through five are available now on Amazon.com and BN.com in eBook and Paperback formats. Part six, Into the West: Last Showdown on Pre-Sale now on Amazon in eBook and paperback is coming soon! Part seven, Into the West: Family Ties, the final book in this serial, is slated for a Christmas release (cross your fingers).
Don't forget, you can join my mailing list and never miss out on news or upcoming release dates. Just go to our subscribers page (<--- click here) and give us your name and email address. When you join up, you get to read the first chapter of Into the West: The Orphan Train for free. If you haven't read my books this is a great way to try them out with no risk to you. The mailing list is free to join, quit anytime, no strings attached . . . ever!
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You know what time it is now, posse! It's time to grab your snacks and settle in for another great western movie!
I hope you have a great week, posse!