The big reward for writing My Loving Vigil Keeping came yesterday on Goodreads. Goodreader Lana from Virginia wrote a review of the book, and included some priceless information for me. She's a descendant of Samuel Padfield, who died in the mine disaster. Sam was married to Cassie Evans, the daughter of William Evans, who was brother to Richard Evans, an important character in my book. Lana said her 96-year-old great-grandmother, daughter of Cassie and Sam, was born in Winter Quarters coal camp, and read the book and loved it.
I started up a little comment conversation with Lana, and she wrote more about her great grandma's memories of the charming Welsh accent, and the Welsh wives who were such immaculate housekeepers and good cooks. This is such fun for me, because writing about real characters is generating more information. It's a delicious slice of social history that just makes me practically purr. If anyone is interested, go to Goodreads and look up Lana's conversation.
In the works, hopefully this month, is a visit of several readers to the Scofield Cemetery in Scofield, Utah. We're working on arranging this.
More fun - I just finished The Double Cross, first volume in my Spanish Brand series. That's why the dry spell between blogs. I just run out of time for blog stuff when (as Sherlock would say) "The game's afoot." I need to be writing. I have to polish and shorten it, then shoot it off to the Seattle publisher. I already have an idea for book two (a smallpox epidemic in 1780), but that won't happen until I start and finish my next book to Cedar Fort, about the Mormon Exodus from the Mexican Colonies in 1912, and a regency I owe to Harlequin after that. I've been a bit too busy this year. Next year, I'll only write three books, hopefully.
Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand is now available as a reprint through Cedar Fort now, and hopefully on ebook soon. It's a favorite of many, and my first Rita Award from Romance Writers of America. Cedar Fort is now preparing my newspaper columns in a volume called Stop Me If You've Read This One Before: Prairie Lite.
Also, my lovely kitchen is done now - see new photos. And not a minute too soon, because it's canning time. So far, I'm putting up green beans and chili sauce. Oh, that chili sauce. It smells divine. We've steamed/juiced some grapes for grape juice, and I'm planning on bottling peaches, too.
And the title battle continues with Harlequin. My book, The Hesitant Heart, set at Fort Laramie in 1876, will be out in May, 2013. (It is one of my favorite books.) My London editor says she will be sending title suggestions. In no uncertain terms, I told her to leave that title alone. It comes directly from an officer's wife's memoirs from the Indian Wars and is "romancy" enough. I'll be ignored, of course, but I will tell my editor that if they change that title, my next two Harlequins will be the last I ever write for them. I'm tired of being jerked around by their titles. Nuff's enough.