Tuesday, June 19, 2012


My friend Brenda Chitwood alerted me to an article in Tuesday’s Fort Worth Star-Telegram about locales that had appeared in my books. Former Texan Tanner Beard has directed a movie about John Wilkes Booth titled “The Legend of Hell’s Gate: An American Conspiracy.” The film is distributed on DVD by Lion’s Gate.

The young director, whose parents live in Granbury, Texas, got the idea from a visit there. Apparently, a Shakespeare-quoting bartender named John St. Helen died in Granbury in 1870, and claimed on his deathbed that he was really John Wilkes Booth. As an aside, he’s not the only Granbury resident who claimed to be a famous outlaw. One man claimed he was really Jesse James, and was buried as the famous outlaw. The dispute was settled when James’s remains were disinterred in Granbury and in Missouri, and the Missouri skeleton’s DNA matched other James descendants. No such proof has been established for Booth, though, at least not to my knowledge.

Tuesday’s newspaper article interested me on several levels.

One, I just finished reading Bill O’Reilly’s excellent book, KILLING LINCOLN. I admit chose it only because it was the month’s selection for Book Divas, a monthly book club to which I belong. Imagine my surprise when I loved the book. In fact, Hero, Darling Daughter 2, and I read this book and each of us loved it! The fast-paced story reads like a novel and includes several things I hadn’t known before. But that’s for another day.

The other thing that fascinated me about the Star-Telegram article (and the reason Brenda alerted me) is that several of my books take place in the area of Hell’s Gate, now on Possum Kingdom Lake. Yep, life is imitating fiction again. Well, considering the article is about a movie, based partly on life, I guess that’s fiction too.

The first of my books that included Hell’s Gate was OUT OF THE BLUE, a contemporary time travel in which clairvoyant healer Deirdre Dougherty from 1845 Ireland jumps from a cliff into the Atlantic Ocean, but plops down into Possum Kingdom Lake in Texas. Yep, she lands right at the base of the cliff formation known as Hell’s Gate. Poor dear, she’s a good Catholic girl and believes she’s landed in Purgatory at the literal gates of Hell. Fortunately, she’s the key to helping Detective Brendan Hunter solve the mystery of who killed his partner and is trying to kill him. OUT OF THE BLUE is available from The Wild Rose Press at www.thewildrosepress.com/caroline-clemmons-m-638.html and at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

I love the Possum Kingdon area, and it’s also the locale for my current historical Men of Stone Mountain trilogy about the Stone brothers: Micah, Zach, and Joel. Micah’s story is the first, titled BRAZOS BRIDE. I'm currently writing the second book, HIGH STAKES BRIDE. Of course, the Stone brothers lived there decades before the Brazos River was damned to form the lake. While they were alive (sorry, but I always think my characters are real people), the river was wide and treacherous.

For instance, my 104-year-old-friend told me her parents once tried crossing the river about a year after they were married. Their wagon and team sank into the river’s quicksand. Obviously her parents escaped, but they lost all their goods as well as the wagon and team. Her mother was pregnant with her oldest brother at the time, and the couple had to walk all the way back to Weatherford where her grandparents lived. (Life was hard back then, but her parents had nine long-lived children, of whom three are still alive.) Hers is not the only tale of quicksand, which is why I related a similar incident in BRAZOS BRIDE, available from Amazon Kindle

Out of curiosity, I’ll be looking for this DVD. The film was shot in Glen Rose, Granbury, and near Hell’s Gate. The director and most of the actors are originally from Texas, so that’s another reason for me to see the movie.

Thanks for stopping by!

1 comment:

MK said...

Ireland to the Atlantic and then to Texas! I don't normally read time-travel, but Out of the Blue sounds great Caroline!