Saturday, August 31, 2013

Two of my favorite things...

appear on this brand new future cover for the All Aboard PAX collection where Last Train to Clarkdale will be one of the five featured tales. They are, of course, trains and hunky guys! This one is totally drool-worthy and I am on pins and needles as I wait for the bound-to-be-awesome cover for Last Train! I'll share as soon as I get it!

For just a little background, I first have to admit that both my grandfathers were career railroaders. It skipped a generation then but my brother, with whom I now share a home, put in close to forty years in the industry and between us we have many friends who are or have been associated with the train business.

My earlier tale, Workin' on the Rairoad, celebrated the side of the business my brother was involved in, the critical aspect of maintaining the track to keep those monsters rolling. I am working on a sequel titled Second Summer which I may have ready to submit before the end of the year so it should be released in 2014.

Last Train depicts quite a different side since one hero is involved in administrative work, the scheduling and shipment of large and high-priority freight cargo. And it also features a real-life wonderful scenic tourist excursion which uses the tracks that originally brought Santa Fe freight into our home area in Arizona's beautiful Verde Valley. Add a bit of bulk to the reclining eye candy here and a neat beard, make the eyes blue and you'd have a good facsimile of the second hero in Last Train.

I am so delighted to be able to keep "the romance of the rail" alive in some of my fiction. While passenger travel is not a big thing anymore, I can assure you that rail freight is very much alive and well. It's a critical link in the world economy  getting raw materials where they are needed and the end products to where we can buy them. If you are interested or curious, there is a great magazine, called simply Trains and they have a web site with lots of neat photos, articles and news as well. The URL for it is http://trc.Trains,com/   in case you'd like to take a look. They also have a Classic Trains magazine about historical/nostalgic railoading which I subscribe to and use as a reference aid. Wearing my "Gwynn Morgan" hat, I'm in the developmental stages of a novel about a "Harvey Girl" back around 1900 or so and another tale of the construction of a narrow gauge line into the booming mining town of Jerome, AZ a bit earlier. More on them in some future day!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Update on things to come

Last Train to Clarkdale is submitted and tentatively set to come out in November. We'll see. Of course I will let everyone know as soon as I do. This one is a special story to me for the chance to "go back home" in a different way and honor the little rail line that grew out of a significant part of my past! I don't know if there are any rail fans among my readers and friend-fans but I hope there are! I'll share some more train-related stuff in the next month or two leading up to the release of this story and the others in the All Aboard PAX of which it is a part.  Here's one very bad shot from the tourist excursion that I took a few years back and another of the scenery, which is awesome and well worthy of photography!

Now I have a WIP that has been set aside for a time to work on and then another PAX story for the 'It Happened in a Garage" themed PAX that is due in by 1 December. I have one hero clear in my mind now and he'll be talking to me so I can get that one underway. The working title is "Wrenching" and it has a double meaning of both the work of a mechanic and the way emotions can hit you at times. I hope it will be as powerful as my title implies. More on it as it develops.

I've been working in odd moments on my own memoirs plus scanning zillions of old photographs. Right now I'm reading my journal for a period of about three years that seems more like a novel now than real, sadly not a romance per se. The period covers some of the most traumatic and yet also amazing months of my life 'way back when' and wrenching is a word that fits there very well. First loves tend to be that way; mine did not have a happy ending but perhaps we will have another chance in the next life. Anyway, I can see from revisiting my long-ago self that becoming a romance writer was almost inevitable and inescapable! Love has always been the focus of so much of my time, efforts and thoughts that of course I would have to write about it. Now I am glad I do and also thankful for the strange and twisting path of my life that provides much fodder for stories.

The other tale I think I have mentioned before--about a wildfire fighting slurry bomber pilot and the young journalist-reporter who develops a crush on him. The working title for it is "Red Tails in the Sunset" since the fire fighting planes are all marked with the identifier of a tail section painted red. The plot is starting to shape up now that I have both the characters clear in  my mind. They come in odd ways and times and once I can see and 'hear' them, they will start telling me their tale. That's where this one is right now, the opening scene written and more to come soon, at least hopefully!

I'm also working on some minor revisions of another Gwynn Morgan book that has been out of print for a time and hope to submit it to Amber Quill to be reissued sometime next year. Titled Deal for Love originally--and I may keep that title--it's about a young woman from Boston who is working as a financial planner with an investment and real estate firm and an anthropology profession she first takes for a blue collar type guy when they get stuck in a blizzard together. And yes, there can be blizzards in Arizona! This one is a fun romp and may end up a bit hotter than it was but probably not quite to the X rated level for the Heat line so it will likely be released on the regular Amber Quill side of the house.

The writing never stops and I am soooo thankful for that. It's been so much a part of my life for so very long and sharing these stories that are given to me is one of my greatest joys. That at least a few readers enjoy and appreciate them is my gift too. I pray I never stop. And I just got the Dragon Naturally Speaking software that will allow me to dictate work when my eyes are not up to snuff. It's kind of daunting to start to learn it but I shall! I'll begin by reading in a bunch of stories that were written by my father and then my husband since I intend to self-publish an anthology book of these for each of them. Dad's were outdoor hunting and fishing adventures and Jim's were borderline urban fantasy/nostalgia/historical since they take place around some mining camps and nearby ranches about a hundred years ago but feature some paranormal aspects! Retyping was going to be so daunting that I decided this method would be a lot faster and easier for me. I hope I can get this going soon.

So that's what I'm up to right now. More news as things advance. BTW, Dark and Stormy has done really well and got a couple of good reviews, one actually very good-- a '5' level rating and many kind words. I think I posted that link last time. Happy reading all!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Time flies when you are having fun??

I'm hard at work on Last Train to Clarkdale and it's shaping up very well. It's fun to revisit some of my old haunts from years ago, modernize them in degrees and let my two heroes see them through new eyes. And of course watch them find the pleasure and treasure of a new love on the way. You'll enjoy Jon and Clay, I think, and the proxy trip on the Verde Canyon Wilderness train. It makes me want to go back and take the trip again!

I also really wanted to share a wonderful review of Dark and Stormy that I saw the other day. The reviewer mentions my story and Jane Eyre in the same sentence. Talk about being on cloud nine! She really loved it and had very few negative comments at all. That is wonderful! It feel so good to have someone else love Dylan and Martin too. I really liked them both very much.

Here is a snip and  the link to read the whole thing:

"I  was reminded of Jane Eyre more than once as I read this. Common themes sprung throughout, the mystery hidden in the manor out in the moors. But the mystery here is different, with drama, suspense, and action on a whole other level… The haunting manor with its rich private rooms and its abandoned sections offers a delightfully suspenseful backdrop to a Gothic style mystery/adventure and erotic romance. The scenes between Martin and Dylan are fraught with sexual tension. Martin and Dylan are both heroic in their own way, and I rooted for them from the beginning. Highly recommended ..."

A reissue of Gwynn Morgan's Healing Hearts will be coming in January on the regular (non erotic/LGBT) side of Amber Quill under the new title Hearts to Heal. More on that when the date gets closer. Meanwhile watch for Last Train in September or October. I'll share the cover and the exact date just as soon as I have them!