Sunday, December 09, 2012

Blog Hop!

large_book Steve (“Bart”) Bartholomew has tagged me in this Blog Hop.  His latest book is “The Woodcutter,” an historical western.  It’s in my queue to read, but I haven’t had the change.  I recently read his novel, “Journey to Rhyolite” before visiting the actual ghost town itself.  It really made the town come alive to have read this book before seeing it.  Bart’s keen historical sense and research gives the characters and society of that era reality.  I can’t wait to dig into The Woodcutter!

Blog Hop questions:

1.  What is the working title of your book?  My most current novel is “Tasting The Wind” which is currently only available in Kindle version (soon to be expanded to all other formats of e-books and hopefully paper versions by the end of this year).  The title is based upon a quote from the late William O’Dwyer:  “Whitehead never claimed he built and flew a practical flying machine.  He merely stated he built and tested a pair of silken wings and tasted the winds and saw the promise of yet greater machines that would plod the airborne trails of what he described as ‘…the only Universal Highway.’”

2.  Where did the idea come from for the book?  I read about the early flights of Gustave Whitehead and how he had possibly flown successfully two years before the famed Wright Brothers’ flight.  Upon researching Whitehead, I realized there was a lot more to his story than just the flights---namely the controversy concerning the Smithsonian museum and the Wright Brothers’ contract.

3.  What genre does this book fall under?  It is classified as an historical mystery.  The story surrounding the quest for Whitehead information is fictitious but the background of Whitehead’s flights is based on facts as they were recorded back in the early 1900’s.

4.  Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?  Lorie should be played by Ellen Page (from Juno) and her friend Ben could be played by Jessie Eisenberg (from Zombieland).  Henry Jackson could be played by Morgan Freeman and the evil Fred should be played by Woody Harrelson.

5.  What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?  In 1967, aspiring journalist Lorie faces prejudices, adversity and personal growth during her research of a 1901 airplane flight (two years before the Wright Brothers’).

6.  Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?  My book was published by Keyslip Press, a small independent publisher.

7.  How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?  I actually began this book back in 2005 and finished it in 2009.  But along the way, I put it down to complete my second novel, “A Rat Among Us” and during research, decided to try my hand at a script (which didn’t pan out).  Then I picked it back up and, thanks to our local writers group, managed to finish and polish the original manuscript.

8.  What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?  I can’t fairly answer that because I’ve not read any other books in this genre.  All my other books were straight mysteries.

9.  Who or what inspired you to write this book?  Both William O’Dwyer (author of “History by Contract”) and Stella Randolph (author of “Before the Wrights Flew”) inspired me to write this account concerning Gustave Whitehead.

10.  What else about your book might pique the readers’ interest?  The page on Gustave Whitehead at Wikipedia explains the controversy concerning his flights and those who believe they never happened are on the money, as far as I can tell.  I would hope people are interested in what REALLY happened back in those days concerning aviation history.  I know that I care.  Here is the cover of this book:  Tasting The Wind Cover1  The airplane in this picture is a reproduction of the ones that Gustave Whitehead flew during those 1901 flights!

Well, that is the end of my Blog Hop.  I hope you will consider checking out my other novels on  Everything’s Relative and A Rat Among Us.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


DSCF0304 During the Thanksgiving holiday with Sean, we visited Death Valley and, just outside the park entrance, the ghost town of Rhyolite, NV.  This is not just any ghost town---The interesting thing about Rhyolite is the fact that it went from a bustling town of about 8,000 people to 14 folks from 1904 to 1920! DSCF0309

Gold was found by Shorty Harris and Ed Cross in 1904 and by 1905, a township was established and platted.  Mining was the reason the town grew so fast, with a large mine right on its outskirts.  The entrance is still there, but blocked off by fences (mostly for safety reasons!). DSCF0315  DSCF0317 The economy began to fail, due to the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, and people began to leave the town by 1910.  But by this time, the town had a jail,DSCF0316 a new school, DSCF0327 a three-story bank building complete with a Post Office, DSCF0333 DSCF0334 and three railroads DSCF0336 with a depot (way in the background).DSCF0310  DSCF0330  DSCF0332 This mercantile was quite an attraction with its large plate-glass windows---the only one in town!  People visited just to see the glass! 

Probably the most popular place to see is this bottle house, DSCF0306 which was erected by Tom Kelly in 1906.  It has survived well DSCF0305 as it was refurbished back in the 1960’s and was most recently a curio shop.

DSCF0314 We enjoyed walking among all the ruins, looking for small treasures (but finding mostly tin cans and broken glass!) and unusual items.  There were lots of deserted bedsprings, broken dinner ware and metal pieces from woodstoves and chimneys.  All in all, it was a lot of fun exploring this piece of western history!  DSCF0325    

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Louisville, KY, Part Three

DSCF0084 I promise that this is the LAST KY entry.  On the final day of our trip, Max and I visited the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, which is right in the downtown area.  They still manufacture the famous baseball bats and we took a tour through the factory (even though they wouldn’t let us take pictures while in it!). 

DSCF0077  Max and Mom posed in front of the BIG bat  DSCF0078 outside the entrance before we went into the museum part.  Once inside it was quite a shock to look UP and see this:  DSCF0080 Famous ball players from all teams were represented in this museum.  Max posed with this one (under protest!) DSCF0079 Then at the entrance to the factory, I got this shot before they closed our cameras down. DSCF0081 Just at the exit was this interesting plaque:  DSCF0082 I promised Max that he could have his wish to eat Kentucky Fried Chicken in Kentucky, so we stopped by one on our way back to Mom’s.  DSCF0085   All in all, it was a great trip!  We all had fun exploring Louisville and seeing my Mom and brother (and his family) again!  DSCF0086

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Louisville, KY, Part Two: THE WEDDING

DSCF0076 The whole reason we went back to Louisville, was to attend my niece’s wedding (and to visit Mom and Bro, of course).  My brother, Jon’s, younger daughter (who is Sean’s age), Jennifer, was married on Saturday, June 30 to Josh. DSCF0057  The wedding took place in a restaurant located on the banks of the Ohio River, so the reception was held inside (in the air conditioning, thank goodness!).  They were married under a cabana outside next to the river in a short but beautiful ceremony. 

DSCF0050 The boys, Sean and Max, were seated at another table inside while Mom and I were in the Table One crowd with my brother and his wife, Julie. DSCF0051 The bride’s sister, Erin, flew in from CA and did one of the two toasts.  DSCF0062  It was good to see the sisters together! DSCF0070   There was a small dance floor but the music was pretty loud.  DSCF0067  But it was good to get the family together again:  DSCF0076 (L. to R.) Sean, Mom, Sue, Max and Jon.

Thursday, July 05, 2012


DSCF0046 We had a wonderful trip to Louisville (pronounced Loo-uh-vul), KY, this past weekend.  Because we did so much in such a short time, I’m splitting this report of the trip into more than one blog. 

The flights from CA to KY took a total of 5 hours and with waiting at the airport before and between flights, not to mention the 3 hours time change, made for a long day.  However, even the airports have interesting sites: DSCF0010 This “horn” statue was most intriguing.  I couldn’t resist photographing it DSCF0011  as Max ate his breakfast DSCF0012  (yes, that’s a sandwich he’s eating). 

DSCF0014 The highlight of our first full day in Louisville was the trip to Churchill Downs.  The museum there DSCF0045 was fabulous!  DSCF0021 Part of the guided tour was outside:  in the stands, DSCF0017_1 with a view of the track, DSCF0020 and the entrances to the track, DSCF0022 and the exits too.DSCF0023 In the grounds around the museum were several statues of famous horses, like Eight Belles, DSCF0025 one of the few fillies to win the Kentucky Derby.  (If you click on the picture, you can read the inscription.)  DSCF0026  All around the top edge of the museum walls were displayed all the horses to win the Kentucky Derby since the 1800’s! DSCF0024 We stopped at the restaurant inside for a marvelous lunch and I was amused by some of the quotes that adorned the walls:  DSCF0027_1  DSCF0027_2 Afterwards, we explored the rest of the museum: DSCF0028  DSCF0034  DSCF0042 (I apologize for the blurriness of this photo, but the inscription is quite interesting concerning Seattle Slew!)  We also dropped by the Bourbon Room (which is part of the Bourbon Trail) DSCF0037 and I was especially amused by this quote:  DSCF0039  All in all, it was an exciting trip!  DSCF0043

Stay tuned tomorrow for Part Two—the Wedding!